David Krejci and Jarome Iginla are building a connection in Boston
Jarome Iginla appears to have found a home with David Krejci
Normally we do a four-by-three listing but today we are going to a slightly trimmer three-by-three approach for "Between The Lines". With the New Year approaching, it is time to take a look at the best lines and duos from Week 13. Are you ready? Let's get down to business.
Lead Us Forwards
Brent Burns-Joe Thornton-Joe Pave ski (San Jose) — Here comes a late entry into the equation but their mini outburst against Anaheim was just enough to land the trio on the top of our list with 14 points in all. For a holiday week, that is pretty impressive as Burns led the line with seven points overall. All three linemates figured prominently in the first goal on Sunday against Anaheim as when Burns is healthy, this is one of the best lines in the NHL. San Jose does play noticeably better at home and honestly about 3/5 of their points come at their friendly confines so it is good to be up on this top line for Week 14.
Marian Hossa-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane (Chicago) — When they get going, they can put the fear of God into any defensive scheme or team for that matter. They also racked up 14 points in Week 13 and with four games this week, there is no reason to expect too much of a downturn. Chicago's captain led them as his seven points was good for second overall last week. The three players team up with Patrick Sharp on the power play at times which creates quite the lethal PP1 unit (on paper anyway). The schedule is favorable even with trips to Long Island and New Jersey on the horizon. Did we mention Corey Crawford may be back? Hey that can only help heading into 2014.
Jarome Iginla-David Krejci-Milan Lucic — The oddest thing is this line should be able to generate more points on the man advantage and yet they cannot. When 5 on 5, they were one of the best units in Week 13 with ten points. For perspective, David Krejci led the Bruins with seven power play points in the shortened season (12 points over a full season). The Bruins have finished 25tth or worse in the league with the man advantage over the last six seasons (30th last year and this year). If you are looking for special team points, one is barking up the wrong tree. However, their 28-35% line frequency indicates their fantasy staying power even if it is not as consistent from week to week.
Derek Engelland-Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh) — I can hear it now, Orpik is on this list? Yes this duo combined for four points when together. That is the key word here as it is all about finding combinations. Also keep in mind, that defensively these guys racked up some impressive numbers across the board which helped fantasy bottom lines. While they may not get the most points. Hits, blocks, and PIMS are other intangible categories of which they can help you in. While Pittsburgh mends, they are a decent temporary fix.
Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook (Chicago) — Though mostly separated, they also were at the top with four combined points. Keith had a whopper of a week with six assists while Brent Seabrook had three helpers and one goal. Keith and Seabrook only played together on even strength in Week 13 but at 44.8% of the time. Most of their points came via the special teams route however. Points come in bunches for Chicago but this defensive pairing usually is at or near the top of the list so they are quite valuable fantasy wise for their 25:00 of ice time a night. Fantasy hockey is made easier by having this duo.
Tom Gilbert-Brian Campbell (Florida) — So this Campbell-Gilbert pair is making a bit of a splash with another appearance on our column. Even in a slow week, Brian Campbell did wind up with three points and Gilbert had two. Add in again, the ton of power play time and ATOI that Campbell can play and this is another pretty solid combination. Their line point chart is interesting though as it seems they like the Aleksander Barkov (Killer B's) line a little bit. Again Florida as a whole is on an upswing so if they should falter, well you know the drill looking ahead.
As always you can follow me @ChrisWasselTHW and thanks again for reading. Have a Happy New Year and may 2014 be a very good year fantasy hockey wise. Good luck this week.
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