Good day to all the readers. We are now through a little over a third of the season so I thought I would compile a list of the top lines at even strength. I am going to look at a few of the surprise lines to date. 

Rank

Team

Line

Points

1

EDM

DRAISAITL,LEON – KASSIAN,ZACK – MCDAVID,CONNOR

61

2

FLA

BARKOV,ALEKSANDER – DADONOV,EVGENII – HUBERDEAU,JONATHAN

46

3

BOS

BERGERON,PATRICE – MARCHAND,BRAD – PASTRNAK,DAVID

44

4

MTL

DANAULT,PHILLIP – GALLAGHER,BRENDAN – TATAR,TOMAS

41

5

TOR

JOHNSSON,ANDREAS – MATTHEWS,AUSTON – NYLANDER,WILLIAM

36

6

BUF

EICHEL,JACK – OLOFSSON,VICTOR – REINHART,SAM

34

7

DET

BERTUZZI,TYLER – LARKIN,DYLAN – MANTHA,ANTHONY

31

8

MIN

STAAL,ERIC – ZUCCARELLO,MATS – ZUCKER,JASON

30

9

L.A

BROWN,DUSTIN – IAFALLO,ALEX – KOPITAR,ANZE

29

10

NSH

BONINO,NICK – GRIMALDI,ROCCO – SMITH,CRAIG

29

11

WPG

CONNOR,KYLE – LAINE,PATRIK – SCHEIFELE,MARK

28

12

CHI

DEBRINCAT,ALEX – KANE,PATRICK – STROME,DYLAN

27

13

VGK

KARLSSON,WILLIAM – MARCHESSAULT,JONATHAN – SMITH,REILLY

26

14

PIT

CROSBY,SIDNEY – GUENTZEL,JAKE – SIMON,DOMINIK

24

15

CGY

GAUDREAU,JOHNNY – LINDHOLM,ELIAS – MONAHAN,SEAN

22

16

VAN

BOESER,BROCK – MILLER,J.T. – PETTERSSON,ELIAS

21

17

WSH

BACKSTROM,NICKLAS – OSHIE,T.J. – OVECHKIN,ALEX

21

18

ANA

HENRIQUE,ADAM – RAKELL,RICKARD – SILFVERBERG,JAKOB

20

19

S.J

GOODROW,BARCLAY – HERTL,TOMAS – MEIER,TIMO

20

20

CAR

AHO,SEBASTIAN – SVECHNIKOV,ANDREI – TERAVAINEN,TEUVO

19

21

COL

LANDESKOG,GABRIEL – MACKINNON,NATHAN – RANTANEN,MIKKO

18

22

N.J

COLEMAN,BLAKE – GUSEV,NIKITA – ZAJAC,TRAVIS

18

23

NYI

BAILEY,JOSH – BARZAL,MATHEW – LEE,ANDERS

18

24

PHI

COUTURIER,SEAN – KONECNY,TRAVIS – LINDBLOM,OSKAR

18

25

STL

SCHENN,BRAYDEN – SCHWARTZ,JADEN – TARASENKO,VLADIMIR

18

26

ARI

DVORAK,CHRISTIAN – GARLAND,CONOR – SCHMALTZ,NICK

17

27

T.B

GOURDE,YANNI – MAROON,PAT – PAQUETTE,CEDRIC

16

28

OTT

BROWN,CONNOR – PAGEAU,JEAN-GABRIEL – PAUL,NICK

15

29

NYR

FAST,JESPER – PANARIN,ARTEMI – STROME,RYAN

14

30

CBJ

ATKINSON,CAM – FOLIGNO,NICK – TEXIER,ALEXANDRE

9

31

DAL

BENN,JAMIE – DOWLING,JUSTIN – SEGUIN,TYLER

9

 

Surprise, we do know how to score.

As I mentioned, there are several lines that are surprising me this season and they are racking up the points.

 

Montreal Canadiens

Phillip DanaultBrendan GallagherTomas Tatar

The Montreal Canadiens have found their number one scoring line this year having scored 41 points at even strength. Spending 67 percent of the time together this line has found great chemistry and a key injury to forward Jonathan Drouin has certainly helped propel this line to the top for the Canadiens. Will it be this way all season long? Only time will tell but they have another four weeks to go before Drouin hits the ice again.

 

Phillip Danault

The centre of the top scoring line of the Montreal Canadiens has certainly found some chemistry with his line mates, scoring 12 points at even strength. For the season Danault is on pace to best his career point totals of 53 which for a second or third line centre is a decent number. Being forced into a number one scoring role has proven that Danault can help carry a team’s scoring load. Currently only owned in 53 percent of Fantrax leagues, I would expect that number to rise over the next couple of weeks until Jonathan Drouin returns to the lineup. There are always a lot of centres available but if you get the chance to pair him with one of his other scoring linemates I would pull the trigger and reap the rewards.

 

Brendan Gallagher

The feisty right winger has always had a goal scorer’s touch. Over the last two and a half seasons he has been able to stay healthy and it's starting to show on the scoresheet. Currently up to 13 goals on the season and on pace for 35 goals and 63 points, Gallagher is the goal scorer of this line. He’s also firing the puck at the net at a career high pace. If he keeps shooting at almost four shots per game, he will eclipse his previous best total of 302 shots. When Gallagher is on the ice, he is controlling 59% of the chances while starting half of his shift on the offensive zone. Not surprisingly he is owned in 93 percent of Fantrax leagues so you probably have a slim chance of snatching him off the waiver.

 

Tomas Tatar

Playing left wing on this line, Tomas Tatar might be turning into quite the playmaker before our very eyes. In the past he has shown flashes of brilliance, but he just never really clicked while playing in Detroit or Las Vegas. Well things seem to be clicking right now with his current line mates. Tatar leads his line in points with 25 on the season which puts him on pace to pass his career-best of 58, which he scored in his first season with the Canadiens. Playing 72 percent of his ice team with these linemates has definitely given Tatar consistency and confidence. Also playing with a pair of defensively responsible linemates has given him the opportunity to show off what kind of playmaker he can be. Already up to 16 assists on the season he certainly is showing the patience one needs to be a great playmaker. Don’t be surprised to see him with over 40 assists to finish the season.

 

Vegas Golden Knights

William KarlssonJonathan MarchessaultReilly Smith

After trading for Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone and signing Paul Stastny, I certainly thought we would see this line as the top scoring line. That has not been the case as the line of Karlsson, Marchessault, and Smith continue to show who the top scorers are for the Golden Knights.

 

William Karlsson

After pretty much being a nobody when he was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets, William Karlsson of the Vegas Golden Knights has shown that with the proper coaching and line mates mixed with a little bit of talent you can turn any player into a star. Karlsson has the ability to put the puck in the net when it’s needed scoring six goals at even strength but where he really shines this year is dishing the puck. He is up to 14 assists at even strength and is on pace for over 42 to go with and a total points pace of 64. I say he beats that number and gets closer to the 70-point mark for the second time in his career.

 

Jonathan Marchessault

Playing 60 percent of his ice time with these line mates he has compiled eight even strength points which is 57 percent of his even strength point total. He is currently on pace to score 56 points for the season but if his trio stays hot for the next little while I can see that point total pushing past 60. Currently riding a five-game point streak where he has six points. Jonathan Marchessault is hot right now and he is owned in pretty much every league at the moment which means the buy low window for him might just be closed.

 

Reilly Smith

This season Reilly Smith has turned out to be the goal scorer of this line. His 12 goals scored currently leads them team. He is shooting the puck almost two and a half times per game and converting at a career best 15.4 percent. That number is bound to regress a little, but I still see him beating his career mark in goals which is 25. He is also on pace for 59 points which would tie last year’s total. He is owned in 82 percent of Fantrax league so you may be lucky enough to pick him up before someone else notices.

 

Chicago Blackhawks

Alex DeBrincatPatrick KaneDylan Strome

After joining the Chicago Blackhawks midway through last year, Strome and DeBrincat have been joined at the hip. To make matters worse for their competition, they’ve been teamed up with superstar Patrick Kane.

 

Alex DeBrincat

This season, DeBrincat has spent about 40 percent of his time on ice with Kane and Strome. During that time he has put up eight even strength points. On the season DeBrincat is up to eight goals and 14 points and he is on pace to put up 60 points. Playing with Patrick Kane certainly won’t hurt that output so I could certainly imagine that number being higher by season’s end.

Patrick Kane

It’s to no surprise that Patrick Kane is putting up the points with whatever line mate he is given but he does play at his best when he is on the ice with these two young studs. Kane is up to 10 even strength points with this trio while playing just 32 percent of his ice time with them. He is on pace to score to score 38 goals and 60 assists and I feel that if he stays with DeBrincat and Strome for the remainder of the season, he should be able to get past the 100-point mark for the third time in his career. Good luck trying to pry Kaner away from whomever has him in your league.

 

Dylan Strome

If you want to get a piece of this line than Dylan Strome is your best chance at it. Currently owned in 78 percent of Fantrax league, he may just be available to you. On the season Strome has played almost 50 percent of his time on ice with Kane and DeBrincat and it is certainly helping his points total. At even strength he is up to nine points with these line mates which is 56 percent of his total even strength production. Strome is also on pace for 63 points which would be a career-best for him. If he stays with this line, don’t be surprised to see him get a little closer to the 70-point mark.

 

Thanks for reading this week’s ‘Lining Up’

 

Aaron