A look at the hottest lines in the National Hockey League since the beginning of the season, including a few defensemen producing offensively.
Brayden Schenn – Claude Giroux – Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia)
Since Schenn has returned from his three-game suspension, this line has been clicking nicely in Philly. Schenn has now six points in seven games, including four PP, while Giroux is now leading the NHL in scoring (12 points) and assists with 10. The high-scoring Flyers are piling up the goals, especially with the man-advantage where Simmonds (11 points) is racking up goals with a league-leading four goals.
I wouldn't be surprised if Giroux cracks the 80-point mark after a down year in 2015-16 and to see Simmonds record his first 40-goal season.
EV Strength Production = 29 points
PP Production = 17 points
Artemi Panarin – Artem Anisimov – Patrick Kane (Chicago)
This line has been playing well together in recent games as the Hawks' top line. While Kane (nine points) and Panarin (eight points) were expected to be offensive dynamos for the revamped Hawks, nobody predicted such a hot start for Anisimov (11 points). With less depth than last year, Chicago is relying even more on their veterans this season and this line is red hot right now.
Anisimov's career best is 42 points, so don't expect him to continue his torrid pace and record 90 points, but ride the wave while it's high and benefit from his chemistry with Panarin and Kane.
EV Strength Production = 28 points
PP Production = 6 points
Patrik Laine – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg)
With Bryan Little out of the lineup with an injury, this line has been the only positive element offensively this season for the struggling Jets. Winnipeg's lack of depth up front and shaky goaltending is the reason why they are not a .500 team. Playing on average 20 minutes a night, this trio is generating a lot of scoring chances and Patrick Laine (eight points) has been flying under the radar with his six goals. Scheifele and Wheeler should have no problems eclipsing the 60-point mark again this season.
EV Strength Production = 23 points
PP Production = 8 points
Alexander Radulov – Alex Galchenyuk – Brendan Gallagher (Montreal)
Despite their 8-0-1 start, head coach Michel Ther