Line Combos: Nashville/Montreal Trios on Fire Right Now

Fred Poulin



Let's have a look at the hottest lines in the National Hockey League since the beginning of the season, including a few defensemen producing offensively. You will also find below the "Cold as ice" line and duo of the week.


Hot forwards


Viktor ArvidssonFilip ForsbergRyan Johansen (Nashville)

Back in the spotlight, this line has been blazing hot recently. With 11 points over his last five games, including eight goals and two hat tricksw, Forsberg is proving us once again that he usually excels after Christmas. Forsberg had no goal in his first 13 games of the year and he now has 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points in 63 games. His seven points in his last four games have put Johansen over his usual 60+-point pace. The former Blue Jacket now has nine goals and 38 assists for 47 points in 62 games. Johansen has been very productive on the power play with 19 points already in addition to scoring a shorthanded goal. Joining them on that line is the speedy and fairly unknown Arvidsson. The left winger has five points in his last four games for Nashville. The sophomore is enjoying a breakout season, having notched 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points in 60 contests. The Swede had recorded only 16 points in 56 games last year with the Preds so this offensive surge is kind of unexpected. Incredibly, he is on pace to almost quadruple that total!


Overall Production = 137 points

PP Production = 34 points


Johnny GaudreauSean Monahan – Micheal Ferland (Calgary)

Monahan is finally heating up for the underrated Flames, recording five points in his last four games. The pivot now has an even 20 goals and 20 assists for 40 points in 60 games. The past two seasons, the youngster scored over 60 points for the goal-starving Flames. He will most likely stick with Johnny Hockey until the end of the season. Gaudreau has two goals and six assists for eight points in his last four games. With 13 goals and 30 assists for 43 points in 53 games, Gaudreau is on pace for a solid 60-point campaign, but he is still far from repeating last season's 78-point production. Joining them now is hitting machine Michael Ferland, who has three goals in his last four games. While Ferland has an impressive 120 hits, he only has 11 goals and seven helpers for 18 points this year. Calgary is currently shopping for a right winger, so whoever ends up there might benefit from playing with Monahan and Gaudreau (Radim Vrbata anyone?).


Overall Production = 101 points

PP Production = 27 points


Richard PanikJonathan ToewsNick Schmaltz (Chicago)

The rookie Schmaltz is finally clicking offensively after a long period of adaptation in the NHL. In his first 35 games, the youngster had recorded only seven points! Now he is en fuego, potting three goals and seven assists for ten points in his last eight games. He is almost coming straight from the American colleges so it's hard to predict if he can keep the pace over a long 82-game season. Toews is über-torrid right now with nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points in his last 15 games. The captain is back to his usual 60-point pace, having recorded 16 goals and 30 assists for 46 points in 53 games (he had a mere 18 points in 38 games). Finally, with five goals and six assists for 11 points in his last eight games, Panik is back track after a cold spell. He has already career bests in goals (16), assists (17) and points (33). If he can stick on Toews line for an extended period of time, he will maintain some value in fantasy circles.


Overall Production = 96 points

PP Production = 19 points


Dynamic duo

Andrei MarkovShea Weber (Montreal)

New head coach Claude Julien finally removed Alexei Emelin from the first pairing to put the veteran Markov alongside Weber. The left-handed rearguard has five points in his last eight games for the struggling Habs. This season, the 38-year-old defenseman has a respectable four goals and 23 assists for 27 points in 44 games after missing 19 games with a groin injury. As for Weber, he has somewhat cooled down after a torrid start, but he has four points in his last four games. He is currently on pace to get close to 50 points, which is a little below his usual production of 50 points. If Montreal manages to get back on track and score more goals until the end of the year, Weber will benefit from a more favorable situation.


Overall Production = 63 points

PP Production = 30 points


Cold as ice line

Artturi LehkonenTomas PlekanecAndrew Shaw (Montreal)

The youngster Lehkonen has been a huge disappointment offensively so far this year as he has been held off the scoresheet in his past 15 games. You read it right, ZERO POINT! Playing mostly in the middle-six, the left winger was expected to produce more and give the Habs much-needed complimentary scoring. He will be lucky if he records 25 points this season (he currently has 16 points in 54 games). The veteran Plekanec fell from a cliff this offseason as he's struggling mightily to contribute offensively for the Habs this year scoring only one point in his past 12 games. Turtleplek is now basically a shutdown centerman with no offensive value as he's not getting much power play time any more. On the season, he has seven goals and 17 assists for a putrid 24 points in 63 games after recording 54 points in 2015-16. A change of scenery would be welcomed in his case. As for Shaw, he has only three points in his last 11 games for Montreal. With only 22 points in 49 games, the former Blackhawk is on pace to get 35 points, on par with his usual production. Shaw's real fantasy value lies in his penalty minutes (97), which ranks him third in the NHL.


EV Strength Production = 62 points

PP Production = 17 points


Cold as ice duo

Shayne GostisbehereMark Streit (Philadelphia)

With seven points in his last 15 games, Gostisbehere is having problems staying consistent for the struggling Flyers. The Ghost has only five goals and 21 helpers for 26 points in 55 games, being made a healthy scratch on several occasions. He is also a putrid minus-24 on the season and has only nine even-strength points. After potting 46 points in 64 games, we can conclude he is suffering a severe bout of sophomore jinx! His older partner Streit, he has only one point in his last 10 games for Philadelphia. The impending UFA is at the end of the road, recording only five goals and 15 assists for 20 points in 48 contests in 2016-17, missing several games due to injury. The 39-year-old veteran is likely to change home at tomorrow's trade deadline, so monitor his situation as he might benefit from playing with a much better team.


Overall Production = 46 points

PP Production = 26 points





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