Lining Up: Habs, Lightning, and Leafs – October 16
In this week’s installment, we take a look at a few lines that have been particularly successful in this young season. Using Dobber’s Line Production Tool, I compiled a list of the highest scoring line for each team at even strength. If a line has crossed the double-digit mark at this point, it’s unlikely they’ll be broken up for the foreseeable future. You’ll notice Arizona is still missing because they haven’t yet scored a goal at even strength. Also, keep in mind certain teams have played more games than others. Here’s the list…
Max Comtois – Adam Henrique – Jakob Silfverberg
Bran Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Conor Sheary – Jack Eichel – Sam Reinhart
Micheal Ferland – Sebastian Aho – Teuvo Teravainen
Nick Foligno – Alexander Wennberg – Anthony Duclair
Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Elias Lindholm
Alex DeBrincat – Jonathan Toews – Dominik Kahun
Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan Mackinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Alex Radulov
Tyler Bertuzzi – Frans Nielsen – Michael Rasmussen
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Ty Rattie
Evgenii Dadonov – Aleksander Barkov – Nick Bjugstad
Alex Iafallo – Anze Kopitar – Ilya Kovalchuk
Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Nino Niederreiter
Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danault – Brendan Gallagher
Taylor Hall – Nico Hischier – Kyle Palmieri
Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Vicktor Arvidsson
Anders Lee – Brock Nelson – Jordan Eberle
Pavel Buchnevich – Mika Zibanejad – Mats Zuccarello
Mikkel Boedker – Matt Duchene – Bobby Ryan
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Jakub Voracek
Carl Hagelin – Evgeni Malkin – Phil Kessel
Evander Kane – Joe Pavelski – Kevin Labanc
Alexander Steen – Ryan O’Reilly – Vladimir Tarasenko
Ondrej Palat – Tyler Johnson – Nikita Kucherov
Zach Hyman – John Tavares – Mitchell Marner
Loui Eriksson – Elias Pettersson – Nikolay Goldobin
Jonathan Marchessault – William Karlsson – Reilly Smith
The Leafs have one of the most lethal offenses in the league, they sit atop the league standings with an average of 4.83 goals for per game. This particular line features two of the team’s offensive superstars, and boy do they have the points to prove it. While Hyman, Tavares and Marner may not have the most impressive Corsi for % (50.26), they have generated a far greater number of high danger chances (22) than they’ve allowed (14).
John Tavares hasn’t received much attention for his impressive 11 points in seven games to start the season. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch, considering how crazy Toronto’s media is; John Tavares has definitely received his fair share of attention. What I mean to say is, everyone’s so busy talking about Auston Matthews, they’re missing how effective Toronto’s other top line is at even strength. Tavares was pretty much a point per game player in Long Island, where the offensive talent didn’t really match what he has to work with in Toronto. He’s probably not going to hit the 128 points he’s currently on pace for, but as his shooting percentage (26.1%) gets closer to his career average (13%), I’d expect him to finish with around 90 points on the season.
Now that he’s on the last year of his entry-level deal, you can bet your bottom dollar that Mitch Marner put up points this season to earn top dollar next season. Playing beside John Tavares can’t hurt, right? No disrespect to guys like Patrick Marleau, Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak, and James van Riemsdyk, but Tavares is easily the best player Marner has ever played with. On top of that, Marner’s ice-time has jumped from 16:23 last season, to 18:55 this season. I know the Leafs have only played six games this year, but that’s a substantial increase in ice-time that should allow Marner to crack the 70-point barrier.
Zach Hyman might be the most exciting player on this line for the simple reason that he’s actually available in the majority (55%) of Yahoo leagues. While he might not be able to put up points like Tavares and Marner, he’s in coach Mike Babcock’s good graces thanks to his hard work. Hyman’s diligence on the ice should keep him somewhere in the top six even when lines start getting shuffled, so he’ll either be playing with Matthews or Tavares. Think of him as a solid waiver wire option when Toronto has a favourable schedule, but don’t expect more than 50 points from him this season.
As a Habs fan, I can’t adequately express how happy this line makes me. I know it’s only been five games, but during those five games, it has been impossible to ignore their hard work and relentless pressure on the puck. At first, I thought it was just the eye-test, that my bias as a fan was hindering my ability to impartially assess the quality of this line. Then I looked at the numbers. Through five games and 52 minutes of ice-time together, the Tatar-Danault-Gallagher line has an insane Corsi for % of 64.15. Not only have they been generating more scoring chances than their opponents, but they’ve been capitalizing as well. The trio has scored five goals at even strength and conceded zero, which reinforces the strong defensive play I’ve seen from them.
Phillip Danault might not put up enough points to justify a spot on your roster for the entire season, but I’d definitely recommend him as a sold streaming option when Montreal has a good schedule.
Brendan Gallagher is the definition of tenacity. Throughout the years, he’s the one player that Montreal can count on to bring it every night. If he can stay healthy this season, I believe he can break the 60-point barrier for the first time in his career.
Throughout his career, Tomas Tatar has hovered around 40-50 points, but I think there’s potential for him to put up 55 this season. When Carey Price says you have a “great shot”, I think you have the tools to score 25-30 goals in the NHL.
The ‘triplets line’ from previous years has been reunited in Tampa, and they’ve gotten off to a quick start with two goals in just 8:40 of ice-time. I thought I’d remind you how dominant this line has been in the past. Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat are owned in just 28% and 15% of Yahoo leagues respectively.