The Ducks Top Line Has Taken Off With Getzlaf’s Return
This week we quickly review the 10 lines who scored the most goals in the 2017 portion of this season. We also take a look at a couple of lines who should see great production in 2018. For injury updates and the latest line combinations that affect your fantasy roster, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza!
Goals For: 25 | Goals Against: 15 | Corsi For %: 54.28
Namestnikov has 35 points in 38 games, not too shabby for a player who averaged the 139th pick in Yahoo! Leagues.
Goals For: 23 | Goals Against: 11 | Corsi For %: 55.96
Coming into this season, Sean Couturier’s career high in points was 39. He currently has 36 points in 38 games.
Goals For: 22 | Goals Against: 17 | Corsi For %: 49.85
Goals For: 21 | Goals Against: 15 | Corsi For %: 57.28
William Karlsson’s career high in ice time was 14:28 coming into this season, now he’s averaging 18:19.
Goals For: 19 | Goals Against: 9 | Corsi For %: 51.68
Nathan Mackinnon sits fifth in league scoring, with 46 points in 38 games.
Goals For: 17 | Goals Against: 12 | Corsi For %: 51.98
Goals For: 17 | Goals Against: 9 | Corsi For %: 56.82
Goals For: 17 | Goals Against: 15 | Corsi For %: 47.28
Goals For: 17 | Goals Against: 4 | Corsi For %: 59.07
Brayden Schenn has five points in 11 games since Schwartz injured his ankle, he had 36 points in 30 games before that.
Goals For: 17 | Goals Against: 10 | Corsi For %: 54.34
Johnny Gaudreau leads left wingers in scoring with 43 points in 39 games.
Scoring Chances For: 22 | Scoring Chances Against: 13 | Corsi For %: 59.04
Let me preface this by saying that I’m a big believer in the Getzlaf and Rakell for the rest of the season, but Kase might not always be skating beside them. Jakob Silfverberg, Antoine Vermette and Corey Perry are a few examples of players that have been in Kase’s position on this top line. After a plethora of injuries in 2017, I think the Ducks will start of 2018 on a high note now that they’re starting to get healthy.
A broken cheekbone made Getzlaf a sitting Duck this season, but in the 16 games he has played, he’s put up an impressive 20 points. While his 5 on 5 shooting percentage (13.33%) is higher than it has been in past seasons (around 10%), none of the other stats really stand out. Getzlaf has established himself as a top centre, breaking the 70-point barrier in three of his last four seasons. Now that he’s 32, an important aspect of Getzlaf’s production is how it benefits those around him. His playmaking ability has allowed Rickard Rakell to develop into a potential 60-point player.
After being drafted 30th overall in 2011, Rickard Rakell is now in his fourth NHL season. Over the years he has shown consistent improvement in point production, going from 31 points in 2014-2015 to 43 in 2015-2016, and taking another step forward last season with 51 points in 71 games. If you’re an avid Dobber reader, you’re probably familiar with the fourth-year breakout that will hopefully see Rakell continue the trend and flirt with 60 points this season. The 24-year-old is being put in a situation to succeed this season, with career highs in even strength ice time (19:44) and power play ice time (2:55). Although last season’s 18.6% shooting percentage will be very hard to replicate, he’s shooting much more this season and his current 13.6% shooting percentage should be easier to maintain.
It took 53 games last season for Ondrej Kase to put up 15 points, he has matched the same total in half the time (27 games). As I mentioned earlier, his spot beside Getzlaf and Rakell is not permanent, but he holds some value in deeper leagues as long as he’s part of this line. However, he’s spent most of this season with the likes of Nick Ritchie, Antoine Vermette, and Derek Grant, so expect other Ducks to get a quack on the top line.
Scoring Chances For: 104 | Scoring Chances Against: 75 | Corsi For %: 54.28
It’s hard not to bet on a line when it includes one of the most talented players the NHL has ever seen. While Connor McDavid has seen a number of different line mates this season, he’s recently seen a lot of Milan Lucic and Jesse Puljujarvi.
You don’t need me to tell you how good Connor McDavid is, the proof is all around us. Hop on Youtube and search “McDavid goal”, you’ll see this beauty, or this one, or maybe this one. There are so many different examples that showcase McDavid’s skillset, just looking at his point production doesn’t tell the whole story. He’s currently on pace for 95 points, with most of the underlying numbers being very similar to last season in which he totalled 100 points. While GM Peter Chiarelli is rightfully criticised for not providing McDavid with an adequate supporting cast, Edmonton’s never-ending supply of top draft picks did land them Jesse Puljujarvi, someone who might provide sneaky value in your fantasy leagues.
Jesse Puljujarvi was drafted fourth overall in 2016 and now has a huge opportunity to establish himself in the NHL. It’s well documented that any player playing beside Connor McDavid is fantasy relevant, but Puljujarvi is so exciting because he’s still young and has all the tools to develop chemistry with McDavid. While his 11 points in 22 games this season might not seem impressive, nine of those points came in his last 13 games, which is pretty encouraging for a 19-year-old! It’s not like these are secondary assists piggy backing off of McDavid either, Puljujarvi has scored eight goals already, and is on pace for a respectable 180 shots. He has recently started to see time on the power play, which makes him even more valuable going forward. Currently owned in only 12% of Yahoo! Leagues!
Milan Lucic is an interesting player because he has shown he’s capable of 60-point seasons, but is better known for his toughness. In my opinion, that combination of skill and toughness will play a role in how this line produces going forward. Players are less likely to try underhanded tactics against McDavid and Puljujarvi when Lucic is on the ice, but the fact that Lucic also has some offensive ability means McDavid’s beautiful passes can be put into the back of the net. It seems reasonable to call Lucic a 50- to 60-point player, but the Oilers will need him to perform at the upper end of that range if they’re going to turn their season around.
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