Looking at the hottest line combos in the league right now, including the Tavares, Kessel and Briere lines...
It was a chaotic fifth week in fantasy hockey that featured quite a few injuries along with some painful lessons. There were some pretty amazing performances mixed in with the usual suspects. This all leads into an even crazier Week 6. Now, we go “Between The Lines”.
Brad Boyes-Matt Moulson-John Tavares (NY Islanders) -- They seem to just keep on keeping on no matter how inconsistent the Islanders are. The trio combined for 17 points while Moulson had eight points and Tavares had seven. For fantasy owners, that is great. For the Islanders, the inconsistency abounds. Sadly, the rough part is figuring out when the point party ends with this first line. There will be a cold streak, so watch.
Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel-James Van Riemsdyk (Toronto) -- It is simple. This first line keeps it going with another ten plus point week. They just seem to all be around that point a game mark or darn close which is good, stable production. People forget how simply consistent Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel were last year. Now, Kessel is more of a facilitator. It is kind of an ideal line in a sense where the pivot exists along with the hybrid and then the finisher. That usually results in stable success.
Daniel Briere-Wayne Simmonds-Brayden Schenn (Philadelphia) -- Here is another line that found a way to the magic number ten as Simmonds continues to impose his physical play yet find points in timely ways. Each player produced seven points but keep in mind that the Flyers overall did have kind of an all or nothing week. Their defense is still porous but if you just need points then keep an eye on how their top six is mixed in. Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek can be sprinkled in from time to time.
Claude Giroux-Matt Read-Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia) -- It was sad to hear of the news regarding Matt Read’s injury (he will be out at least six weeks with a rib issue). This line was clicking and when they were together for brief periods of time (mostly on the power play), they struck with furious anger with nine points against the Islanders alone.. That is why you see those low frequencies on the Dobber charts as the Read injury occurred early. Whomever Giroux and the 12 point Voracek play with are going to mesh well depending on the opponent.
Cory Conacher-Teddy Purcell-Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay) -- Conacher has slowed down a bit but is still a feel good story while Purcell and Stamkos continue to click. Please keep in mind that occasionally Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier are added into the equation so again split frequencies do result. I saw a number last week way down in frozen pool where these guys were on the ice all at the same time. Yes the Stamkos line tallied ten points but they are dangerous and scary. I project a 35-38% number on EV with this unit and almost a third on the power play for Week 6.
Lead Us Defenders……
Paul Martin-Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh) -- Martin is being picked up more and more leagues and if he keeps near a point a game, those numbers will surely rise. Orpik is the physical push while Martin is the playmaker. The former New Jersey Devil (Martin) had six points and two goals on the week. It will not matter that Evgeni Malkin is out for a little while. Martin’s short term looks bright at least for Week 6. They play a huge majority together now….feels like ¾ of the time. Roll this pairing forward.
Kris Letang-Matt Niskanen (Pittsburgh) -- Letang had a nice five point week but remember this is all before the Malkin injury so the top two defensive pairings may be fighting for that accompanied pairing with the first power play unit. That will be key in determining potential fantasy production in Week 6 as far as the Pittsburgh corps from the back end. It is too early to tell how this will work but the points will be tilted a bit. Expect Martin to see more of the first power play unit time. He has earned that right with Letang not too far behind (say 5-10%).
Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Zbynek Michalek (Phoenix) -- This is another case where one provides the push and the other provides the offense. Larsson had a solid four poit weekRhR IA mislkj @maagruet9j; Again the key is finding the balance. While Keith Yandle and Larsson switch for the point league, there is more to come. After all, there is the usual battle with Yandle and Larsson. Again, there is no rhyme or reason for this so play at your own risk.
As always you can follow @ChrisWasselTHW and fire away those questions. Good luck this week.