Good day everyone. I hope you were able to take in some of the all-star festivities this past weekend. I was able to watch all the games on Saturday and even though it was the all-star game, three-on-three sure is a lot of fun to watch when there are a bunch of high caliber players on the ice at all times. Anyway, I am here with this week’s ‘Lining Up’. I am going to look at a couple of players that should be returning to their team’s lineup very soon. I have also compiled a list of the top lines over the last ten games at even strength. I’ll go over a couple of the top performing lines

 

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Montreal Canadiens

It looks as though the Canadiens are about to get two of their missing players back very soon. Jonathan Drouin has been out of the lineup since November 15th with a wrist injury that had to be surgically repaired. Drouin has been skating with the club for a couple of weeks now and hopes to return to practice this week. His next chance to play would be this Thursday but if he doesn’t get in a couple of practices beforehand, it may not be until the weekend. On the season Drouin had 15 points in 19 games and when he does rejoin the lineup he will most likely be slotted back on a line with Max Domi. Who else joins him there is still unknown but I wouldn't be surprised if Ilya Kovalchuk is that player.

Brendan Gallagher is also nearing a return after suffering a head injury. When he returns he will most likely link back up with Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault. In 41 games this season Gallagher has 15 goals and 17 assists. He has spent 69 percent of his time on ice with this line, so it makes the most sense. The only player on this line that is somewhat available would be Phillip Danault. He is owned in about 66 percent of Fantrax leagues so if you want to grab a piece of this line Danault is your man.

 

Chicago Blackhawks

Dylan Strome has missed the Blackhawks last seven games with an ankle injury but it looks as though he is nearing a return. Their first game back is February 1st when the Blackhawks take on the Arizona Coyotes. I would imagine being a game against his old team, Strome is doing everything he can to rejoin the lineup and when he does rejoin the lineup he should be paired up with Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach. On the season Strome has scored a respectable 30 points in 40 games which over the course of a full season is a pace of 62 points. Strome is available in about 25 percent of Fantrax leagues so there is a slight chance he is on the waiver wire. Try not to procrastinate on the decision too long otherwise one of your opponents reading this will scoop him up. 

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Here is the list of the top lines over the last 10 games. I have talked about a few of those top lines in the past so I am going to have a look at a couple of new lines near the top of the list.

 

Rank

Team

Line

Points

1

T.B

KUCHEROV,NIKITA – POINT,BRAYDEN – STAMKOS,STEVEN

22

2

MIN

ERIKSSON EK,JOEL – FOLIGNO,MARCUS – KUNIN,LUKE

20

3

NYR

FAST,JESPER – PANARIN,ARTEMI – STROME,RYAN

19

4

WSH

BACKSTROM,NICKLAS – OVECHKIN,ALEX – WILSON,TOM

18

5

EDM

DRAISAITL,LEON – NUGENT-HOPKINS,RYAN – YAMAMOTO,KAILER

17

6

FLA

HOFFMAN,MIKE – TONINATO,DOMINIC – VATRANO,FRANK

17

7

VAN

ERIKSSON,LOUI – HORVAT,BO – PEARSON,TANNER

16

8

ARI

DVORAK,CHRISTIAN – GARLAND,CONOR – HALL,TAYLOR

15

9

TOR

HYMAN,ZACH – MARNER,MITCHELL – MATTHEWS,AUSTON

15

10

WPG

CONNOR,KYLE – LAINE,PATRIK – SCHEIFELE,MARK

15

11

COL

LANDESKOG,GABRIEL – MACKINNON,NATHAN – RANTANEN,MIKKO

14

12

L.A

IAFALLO,ALEX – KOPITAR,ANZE – TOFFOLI,TYLER

14

13

PIT

KAHUN,DOMINIK – MALKIN,EVGENI – RUST,BRYAN

14

14

MTL

DANAULT,PHILLIP – KOVALCHUK,ILYA – TATAR,TOMAS

13

15

STL

BOZAK,TYLER – STEEN,ALEXANDER – THOMAS,ROBERT

13

16

CHI

KANE,PATRICK – KUBALIK,DOMINIK – TOEWS,JONATHAN

12

17

BOS

BERGERON,PATRICE – MARCHAND,BRAD – PASTRNAK,DAVID

11

18

DET

BERTUZZI,TYLER – FABBRI,ROBBY – LARKIN,DYLAN

11

19

VGK

PACIORETTY,MAX – STASTNY,PAUL – STONE,MARK

11

20

N.J

COLEMAN,BLAKE – GUSEV,NIKITA – ZAJAC,TRAVIS

10

21

NSH

BONINO,NICK – GRIMALDI,ROCCO – SMITH,CRAIG

9

22

NYI

BARZAL,MATHEW – EBERLE,JORDAN – LEE,ANDERS

9

23

CBJ

BJORKSTRAND,OLIVER – DUBOIS,PIERRE-LUC – FOLIGNO,NICK

8

24

CAR

FOEGELE,WARREN – STAAL,JORDAN – SVECHNIKOV,ANDREI

7

25

CGY

BACKLUND,MIKAEL – GAUDREAU,JOHNNY – MONAHAN,SEAN

7

26

DAL

COGLIANO,ANDREW – COMEAU,BLAKE – DICKINSON,JASON

7

27

OTT

BROWN,CONNOR – NAMESTNIKOV,VLADISLAV – TIERNEY,CHRIS

7

28

ANA

JONES,MAX – KASE,ONDREJ – STEEL,SAM

6

29

BUF

JOHANSSON,MARCUS – SHEARY,CONOR – VESEY,JIMMY

6

30

PHI

GIROUX,CLAUDE – KONECNY,TRAVIS – VAN RIEMSDYK,JAMES

6

31

S.J

HERTL,TOMAS – KANE,EVANDER – LABANC,KEVIN

5

 

Edmonton Oilers

Leon DraisaitlRyan Nugent-HopkinsKailer Yamamoto

The second scoring line in Edmonton has scored 17 points over their last seven games as this line has only been together since January 2nd. They seemed to have found great chemistry and have added a second threat for the Oilers offence.

 

Leon Draisaitl

Quite possibly the only player that may be able to pace Connor McDavid to the scoring title is Leon Draisaitl. Being moved away from McDavid has certainly not slowed him down. Over his last seven games with this line he has eight points at even strength. He has been on fire over his last 21 games, putting up 27 points. The Oilers are winning again so they may not deviate from this setup for a while until another slump happens. Obviously Draisaitl isn’t available in your league so look to his new line mates to try and get a piece of the action.

 

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

The Nuge is having a decent season averaging .77 points per game which is a great second-line mark. Over his last 11 games, RNH has been on fire scoring 15 points. In the month of January, he has seven even strength points to keep pace with Draisaitl. He is only available in ten percent of Fantrax leagues so if you are trying to get him hopefully your trade partner hasn’t seen how the Oilers lines have been deployed this month.

 

Kailer Yamamoto

Hoping to finally stick to the big club’s roster, Yamamoto is taking advantage of his current line deployment. In eight games this season he has three goals and three assists. Five of those points have come paired with these line mates. He is currently available in 56 percent of Fantrax leagues so I wouldn't wait too much longer before picking him up as he may be gone very soon.

 

Florida Panthers

Mike Hoffman – Dominic Tonimato – Frank Vantrano

The Florida Panthers have jumped into the third playoff spot after going 8-2 this month. They have some new-found scoring with this line and it is certainly taking the pressure off their other scoring lines.

 

Mike Hoffman

Hoffman is currently just as hot as his team right now. Over the last 10 games he has put up 13 points, and nine of those points have come at even strength. Hoffman put up a career high in points last season with 70 and he is looking to get close to that again this year. At even strength he has 11 goals and 13 assists, and he has a shooting percentage of 13.6. Hoffman is owned in most leagues right now and with his current hot streak, he may be hard to trade for.

 

Dominic Toninato

In his first year with the Panthers, Toninato is starting to fit in with his new club. This has really been the first chance he has been out into a scoring role while in the NHL and he is starting to get into the groove. Over his last three games Toninato has four points. He only has ten points in 30 games this season so be a little cautious before jumping to the waiver wire. If the Panthers have a good matchup, he may be a good cheap secondary option in daily leagues.

 

Frank Vatrano

In his second full season with the Panthers, Vatrano has been put into a good situation to perform well. Over his last eight games he is currently listed as hot scoring 11 points. On the season he has 10 goals and 13 assists at even strength. He is shooting at 12.7 percent which is a little higher than his career average but certainly sustainable. Vatrano does a bit of everything for the Panthers. He hits, block shots and is a threat on the penalty kill with two shorthanded goals this season. He is currently available in about 63 percent of Fantrax leagues so if you are looking for a short term pickup while he is hot, I would look to Vatrano to fill that void.

 

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Thanks for reading this week’s ‘Lining Up’. I will see you all next week

Aaron