Lining Up: Scorching Flames Find Success Together

by Brennan Des on December 11, 2018
  • Lining Up
  • Lining Up: Scorching Flames Find Success Together

 

In this week’s instalment, we focus on one particularly hot line. Using Dobber’s Line Production Tool, we compared even-strength point production around the league over the past 10 games. I compiled a list of the highest scoring line for each team at even strength. Here’s the list…

 

#

Team

Line

Points

1

Colorado

Gabriel LandeskogNathan MacKinnonMikko Rantanen

26

2

Columbus

Artemi PanarinPierre-Luc DuboisCam Atkinson

24

3

Tampa Bay

Tyler JohnsonBrayden PointNikita Kucherov

23

4

Toronto

Zach HymanJohn TavaresMitchell Marner

22

5

Calgary

Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanElias Lindholm

21

6

Philadelphia

Claude GirouxSean CouturierTravis Konecny

21

7

Vegas

Max PaciorettyCody EakinAlex Tuch

19

8

Buffalo

Jeff SkinnerJack EichelSam Reinhart

16

9

Washington

Alex OvechkinNicklas Backstrom – Tom WIlson

16

10

Winnipeg

Kyle ConnorBryan LittlePatrik Laine

16

11

Montreal

Jonathan DrouinMax DomiAndrew Shaw

14

12

Pittsburgh

Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyDominik Simon

14

13

Ottawa

Brady Tkachuk – Colin WhiteMark Stone

13

14

Carolina

Jordan MartinookLucas WallmarkAndrei Svechnikov

11

15

Los Angeles

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarDustin Brown

11

16

Dallas

Jamie BennTyler SeguinAlexander Radulov

10

17

Edmonton

Alex ChiassonConnor McDavidLeon Draisaitl

10

18

Minnesota

Jason ZuckerEric StaalMikael Granlund

10

19

Rangers

Chris KreiderKevin HayesFilip Chytil

10

20

Vancouver

Josh LeivoElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

10

21

New Jersery

Taylor HallNico HischierKyle Palmieri

9

22

Detroit

Justin AbdelkaderDylan LarkinGustav Nyquist

8

23

Nashville

Kevin FialaRyan JohansenRyan Hartman

8

24

San Jose

Timo MeierLogan CoutureTomas Hertl

8

25

Arizona

Josh Archibald – Nick Cousins – Lawson Crouse

7

26

Chicago

Alex DeBrincatDylan StromePatrick Kane

7

27

Islanders

Anders LeeBrock NelsonJordan Eberle

7

28

Boston

Brad MarchandDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak

5

29

Florida

Jonathan HuberdeauAleksander BarkovMike Hoffman

5

30

St. Louis

Robby FabbriBrayden SchennRobert Thomas

5

31

Anaheim

Pontus Aberg – Brian Gibbons – Carter Rowney

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanElias Lindholm

The Flames are hot. After an impressive 9-2-1 run, Calgary sits atop the Western Conference. While the team as a whole has been playing some inspired hockey, their top line has been especially impressive. In about 350 minutes together as a line (good sample size), Gaudreau, Monahan and Lindholm have controlled 57.6% of shot attempts, 56.3% of scoring chances, and 51.7% of high-danger opportunities. With everyone raving about how well Elias Lindholm is fitting in with Gaudreau and Monahan, I wanted to compare this trio’s numbers to Calgary’s top line of last year – which featured Micheal Ferland in Elias Lindholm’s spot. Surely enough, Lindholm has had a positive impact on the line overall. Last year, Gaudreau – Monahan – Ferland controlled 53.9% of the shot-share and 52.5% of scoring chances. Although Gaudreau and Monahan created more high-danger opportunities with Ferland on the ice than with Lindholm, the rest of the numbers seem to favour Lindholm. It’s also interesting to note that this line is seeing 61.7% of their starts in the offensive zone, so they’re definitely being put in a position to score by head coach Bill Peters.

If your fantasy league focuses primarily on scoring and less on peripherals like hits and PIMs, Johnny Gaudreau might be the most valuable left-wing available. With 39 points in 31 games this season, he’s certainly making a strong case for it. The most exciting part is that he’s on pace for career-highs and none of the advanced stats really scream regression. He’s scoring on 13.3% of his shots, which might be a tiny bit higher than we tend to expect, but it’s certainly not ‘unsustainable’. He’s on pace for 34 power-play points, which would obliterate his previous career-high of 24. The best part? Calgary’s power play is clicking at a modest 22.4%, so it’s not like that’s going to come crashing down either. We often warn against players whose totals are inflated by secondary assists, because it sometimes means they weren’t directly involved in the goal that was scored. Well, let me assure you that Johnny Gaudreau is very much involved in the goals that are scored while he’s on the ice. Of his 39 points, 82% (32) of them are primary points (goals/primary assists). I’m expecting him to finish the season with around 95 points.

This offseason, Sean Monahan had a bunch of surgeries. While that can usually be worrying, all the procedures were meant to provide Monahan with some relief from a number of nagging ailments. With more than enough time to recover from those surgeries, I’d wager a guess that he’s feeling much better now than he has in previous seasons. He specifically mentioned a lack of strength in his wrist last season which was finally treated. Can you imagine how much easier it is to play now that his wrist is back to 100 percent? I mean, shooting, passing, and stick-handling all get a million times easier when your wrist is doing what you want it to. I mention all this, so you’ll believe me when I tell you that Monahan will be break the 75-point mark this season – for the first time in his career. Although he probably won’t keep scoring on 18.8% of his shots, he’s always been an efficient shooter, and is shooting the puck more this season than he has in the past.

Elias Lindholm is being given a much bigger opportunity in Calgary than he ever had in Carolina, and he’s making the most of it. His ice-time is up almost two and a half minutes from last season and he’s seeing about 50 seconds more on the power-play. In 2015-2016 he needed a full 82 games to put up a career-high 16 power-play points. 31 games into this season and he has 13. It’s pretty insane to think that someone who’s never broken the 50-point mark is on pace for 90 points this season. Sure, his 19.3% shooting percentage is going to see some regression, but there’s a real chance he finishes with 70-75 points this season – which would be very impressive.

 

 

Follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza for the latest injury updates and line combinations!

 

Top Line Targets

Let’s take a look at a few players who are playing with more skilled line mates than usual. Most of them should be available in free agency!

 

Teuvo TeravainenSebastian AhoJordan Martinook (Source)

Martinook is available in 97% of Yahoo leagues and the Hurricanes play four games this week. He makes a good short-term addition, but I wouldn’t expect him to stick on this line for long now that Micheal Ferland is healthy.

 

Connor BrownJohn TavaresMitch Marner (Source)

Brown is owned in just 1% of Yahoo Leagues and should get on the scoresheet within the next couple of games. After those two games (when Zach Hyman returns from suspension), Brown will probably be bumped out of the top-six.

 

Brad MarchandDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak (Source)

Krejci is still available in 71% of Yahoo! Leagues and has three points in two games since joining this line. With Patrice Bergeron out for the foreseeable future, I think there’s a good chance Krecji stays on the top line.

 

Josh LeivoElias PetterssonBrock Boeser (Source)

Leivo is owned in just 7% of Yahoo! Leagues and playing beside two young superstars. He was never given a huge opportunity in Toronto, but he definitely has one in Vancouver.