Which forward lines and defense pairs have been the most noticeable during the first week of the season?

Lead us forwards…..

Justin AbdelkaderDylan LarkinHenrik Zetterberg (Detroit)

Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist have hogged much of the spotlight heading into this season. Many poolies had circled their names on draft day expecting a breakout year. However, it has been Abdelkader who has exploded out of the gates with five points in his first two games of the season, four of which being goals. At the age of 28 can Justin breakout for a career year? With a new coach in town and increased ice time… I can’t see why not. Additionally, his career high is a lowly 44 points which was set last season. If you haven’t snagged Abdelkader off the waiver wire yet, do it immediately as he can pay off handsomely in just about all formats. Zetterberg has also produced five points in his first two games but we expect this from the old vet. Larkin has been a nice surprise, however, Coach Blashill put him between Tomas Tatar and Teemu Pulkkinen to finish off the game Saturday night which consequently sparked a late comeback. This line may not stay together but the Abdelkader/Zetterberg combo is a hot pairing to ride going forward in fantasy leagues.

  • EV Strength Production = 7 points

Gabriel LandeskogNathan MackinnonAlex Tanguay (Colorado)

He’s AAaalliivveee! Mackinnon has started the year off strong with five points in his first two games after having an abysmal sophomore season. Landeskog has also potted five points and the tandem seems to be clicking so far. This line has connected for seven even strength points but what is more impressive is the PP which currently leads the league at 66.7%. The PP will be a major factor for the young Avalanche players this season. If you own Tanguay… pray that he stays on this line with the deadly Landeskog/Mackinnon tandem.

  • EV Strength Production = 7 points
  • PP Production = 5 points

Artem AnisimovPatrick KaneArtemi Panarin (Chicago)

Any questions as to how Patty would start the season off amidst all the legal issues has been certainly answered. Agent 88 currently leads the league with six points and looks menacing as ever whenever on the ice. His linemates have connected well with him but I mean who couldn’t play with Patty. It’s pretty simple… get him the puck and watch him go to work. Panarin has been a pleasant surprise as he seems to have great chemistry with Kane. Undrafted and in his first NHL season, Panarin has produced four points in three games so far this season. Artemi is definitely worth a waiver add in deeper leagues as anyone who has chemistry with Kane is worth a look.

  • EV Strength Production = 6 points

Mike HoffmanMark StoneKyle Turris (Ottawa)

Boy oh boy has this trio looked solid. What is most rewarding is how they have produced both at even strength and on the PP together. Turris has looked like a true #1 centre to start the season with four points in three games. Stone has picked up right where he has left off with four points as well and Hoffman is not too far behind with three. This line has combined for eight even strength points and all signs thus far point towards a productive season. However, it is important to keep in mind that all of their production came in the first two games against the Sabres and Maple Laughs as they were blanked in their third game versus the Habs. 

  • EV Strength Production = 8 points
  • PP Production = 4 points

Defend this…..

Andrei MarkovP.K. Subban (Montreal)

I don’t know if there is a more reliable D-tandem than these two. People continue to wonder when Markov will hit a wall as he enters his 15th NHL season but he continues to produce. This pairing has combined for six even strength points so far this season. What I like most about this tandem is their guaranteed solid plus/minus and PP production. With Carey in the net these two are able to take more chances in the offensive zone which is music to their fantasy owner’s ears.

  • EV Strength Production = 6 points
  • PP Production = 1 point

Victor HedmanAnton Stralman (Tampa Bay)

There is no real surprise here. The Bolts are quite possibly the league’s most explosive team and scoring goals will be no problem as Tampa has produced 13 goals in just three games to start the season. With so much scoring depth this pairing is destined to benefit as they have combined for four points at even strength. Stralman is definitely worth an add in most leagues as he seems to be getting solid PP time with a slight edge over Hedman at the moment (52%-40%).

  • EV Strength Production = 4 points

Francois BeaucheminErik Johnson (Colorado)

26 points. That is the career high of Beauchemin since joining the league in 2002. Beauchemin has produced a whopping five points in his first two games which is nearly 20% of his single season career high total. Beauchemin has gotten a decent look on the PP with Johnson as they have produced four points with the extra man advantage. Coach Roy seems to be using his two PP units quite evenly (56% and 40% split) and this could bode well for this tandem. Beauchemin has a decent shot at setting a new career high in points but this current pace is obviously unrealistic. As for Johnson, he is definitely worth a look in deeper leagues. He has shown potential to produce before with 39 points in 2013-14… and if the Avalanche rebound he can flirt with that total again. Keep an eye on this tandem.

  • EV Strength Production = 3 points
  • PP Production = 4 points

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