The Alex Radulov debut so far has been a fantasy success with a goal and two assists in three games for Nashville. However, with two weeks left in the fantasy hockey season, there is bigger success to be had in finding the right line combinations. We go “Between The Lines” once again.
Tyler Ennis-Marcus Foligno-Drew Stafford (Buffalo) -- The improbable run continues for these three players as they flexed their fantasy muscle to the tune of 19 points this last week. Four Buffalo players had three or more goals last week and Drew Stafford led the way with seven points on this line as Ennis and Foligno had six each. Marcus Foligno has ten points and six goals in nine games despite a hair over 15 minutes of ice time. When will the run end? The schedule is still favorable so let it ride.
Chris Kelly-Benoit Pouillot-Brian Rolston (Boston) -- One of the hottest players in the NHL is Brian Rolston? That is actually true with Rolston as eight was enough as in points in his last four games. Overall, Rolston is on a six game scoring streak (11 points) and now Benoit Pouillot is starting to heat up along with Chris Kelly. The latter two had five points apiece and this line kind of plays at a checking line pace. They are a nice line to keep an eye on as defenses still pay attention to the Seguin and Krejci lines.
Spencer Machacek-Ben Maxwell-Tim Stapleton (Winnipeg) -- Can anyone believe that this line scored 11 points in the last seven days? Yet the fantasy hockey world produces some very strange bedfellows. Machacek had six points and Tim Stapleton had five points with these two clearly showing a longer term chemistry. Winnipeg did benefit from a four game week but these are more or less fourth line players who barely are out there 10-12 minutes a night at most. Do not expect this to continue but at the very least a blip like this is rare.
Bryan Bickel-Dave Bolland-Andrew Shaw (Chicago) -- Chicago has this knack of finding youngsters or guys out of nowhere like Andrew Shaw. Shaw has 18 points in 30 games on the season but anchored this line with six points (four goals) and yet averages only 14:40 of ice time. Unlike Viktor Stalberg, Shaw is sometimes relied on for 19 and 20 minutes of ice time with mostly Bolland and Bickel. (31.6% EV, 0% PP). Do note the second split more importantly in your fantasy leagues. Chicago faces a tough road this week.
Eric Staal-Chad LaRose-Jussi Jokinen (Carolina) -- Eric Staal is playing like a Captain should with eight points last week and has been one clutch fantasy playoff performer. Jussi Jokinen is on a good streak with six points while it seems LaRose creates the traffic and space needed. The twist is that the trio is kind of a quartet. Consider that Jiri Tlusty had five points with mixed duty and there just seems to be more than enough ice time to go around. Keep an eye on this situation that is favorable for next week.
Lead Us Defenders…….
Kevin Shattenkirk-Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis) -- They are at it again with five points combined last night alone against the Phoenix Coyotes. The duo seems contained then can just produce at the most critical time. With an eight point week and the two of them at a combined age of 45, this is just the beginning of a dynamic fantasy defensive duo. Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo are must plays for the last two weeks.
Ryan Suter-Shea Weber (Nashville) -- Sure Nashville had a clunker against Pittsburgh at home but bounced back with a 6-1 road rout of Chicago. Weber was one of the catalysts with a goal and an assist. Overall Ryan Suter and Shea Weber did pile up seven points and are the most obvious of starts as a defensive pairing. Enjoy their last couple weeks together fantasy fans.
Jeff Petry-Ladislav Smid (Edmonton) -- Do people remember when Ladislav Smid had no goals? That time has passed. The fact that they amassed seven points in the last seven days just illustrates that they played Columbus or just happen to be the first defensive pairing almost by default. Edmonton is playing loose and at least that has to be a good sign for fantasy owners of Petry and Smid this week. Finally Tom Renney has figured out a first line and first defensive pairing. That has to be encouraging for owners of fantasy teams.
As always you can follow @TheProgramBTR and fire away those questions. Some finals start next week so keep those questions coming. Good luck this week.