Lining Up: Sheary Getting It Done

by Fred Poulin on January 24, 2017

Let's have a look at the hottest lines in the National Hockey League since the beginning of the season, including a few defensemen producing offensively. You will also find below the "Cold as ice" line and duo of the week.

 

Hot forwards

 

Conor Sheary – Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh)

With 21 points in his last 15 games, Sid the kid is now ranked second in NHL scoring with 28 goals and 26 assists for 54 points in a mere 40 games. Even if he missed the first six games of the year due to concussion symptoms, Crosby is not feeling any side effect and he keeps finding his name on the scoresheet, on pace for over 100 points for the first time since 2013-14. Rust, one of the heroes of last year's playoff run, has seven points in his last four games on the Penguins' first line. After a very slow beginning (one point in 10 games), Rusty has picked things up and now has 12 goals and 24 points in 43 contests, which is double of last season's production (11 points in 41 games overall). As for the speedy Sheary, he has been blazing hot last week, potting nine points in only four games for Pittsburgh. With 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points in only 37 games, Sheary is scoring at almost one point per game and he should hit the 65-point mark if he manages to stay alongside Crosby.  He has tripled last season's totals of 10 points already and I'm glad I picked him up in my deepest keeper.

 

Overall Production = 112 points

PP Production = 18 points

 

Anders LeeJohn TavaresJosh Bailey (NYIslanders)

With eight goals and one assist in his last six games, Tavares is finally heating up for the cellar-dwelling Islanders. He now has 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points in 45 games on pace for a mere 66 points this year. Remember that Tavares recorded 87 points only two years ago. The goals are there for Lee with 17 in 45 games, but he has only recorded seven helpers for 24 points in the process. If he can stay on JT's line, Lee should continue his hot stretch (six points in five games) and improve on his career-best 41 points from two seasons ago. Completing this trio is Bailey, who has six points in his past six games. The 27-year-old winger is finally breaking out in his ninth season in the NHL with 6 goals and 30 points in 45 games. At this pace, he will break the 50-point mark for the first time in his career (his career best is 41 points).

 

Overall Production = 90 points

PP Production = 23 points

 

Zach Smith – Derick BrassardMark Stone (Ottawa)

With seven points over his last seven games, including three points last night, Smith is flying under the radar in offensive circles this season. The rugged winger has 11 goals and 11 assists in 42 contests, well on pace to reach the 40-point for the first time ever. Also with seven points in his past seven games, Brassard is finally clicking with two quality wingers in Ottawa. He started the year with only six points in his first 15 games after being acquired from the Rangers, and he now has eight goals and 24 points in 45 games, on pace for 45 points, which is still below his usual production of 55-60 points. Stone, the last member of that line, has six points in his last seven games. After notching 61 and 64 points over the past two campaigns, Stone is again on pace to reach that output with 16 goals and 35 points in 44 games in 2016-17.

 

Overall Production = 81 points

PP Production = 15 points

 

Dynamic duo

Jared SpurgeonRyan Suter (Minnesota)

Spurgeon, who has five points in his last eight games, is currently of pace to reach to 40-point mark this season. After three campaigns of 25-to-29 points, he has already reached the 20-point plateau (6-15-21) for the powerhouse Wild and he makes for s solid option in deeper leagues. Suter, his defensive partner, is also red-hot with eight points in his last seven matches. On the season, the veteran has seven goals and 30 points in 46 games for Minnesota. He is on pace to reach the 50-point mark for the second consecutive season and will most likely score 10+ goals for the first time in his illustrious career.

 

Overall Production = 51 points

PP Production = 12 points

 

Cold as ice line

Johnny GaudreauSam BennettAlex Chiasson (Calgary)

With no single point in his last 11 games, Bennett is struggling so much offensively that he was made a healthy scratch last week. After potting 36 points in 2015-16, GMs were expecting him to improve his point totals, but he is currently on pace for 30 only points. He is suffering from a bout of the sophomore slump! Chiasson keeps getting quality playing time, and he keeps disappointing offensively. After a miserable season in Ottawa (14 points in 77 games), Chiasson has only 14 points again in 2016-17, albeit in 49 games. He is currently ice cold having not recorded a point in the last seven games. Is Johnny still "Hockey" Or not? Gaudreau is struggling mightily in his third year with the pros, having recorded only two points in his last seven games. On the season, he only has 29 points in 39 games and will definitely not repeat his 78-point season from a year ago. The Flames' lack of depth at forward is hurting his production as Sean Monahan was put on another line to spread the talent in hope of jump-starting a struggling offense.

 

Overall Production = 61 points

PP Production = 14 points

 

Cold as ice duo

Mattias EkholmPK Subban (Nashville)

With Roman Josi on the shelf with an injury, this duo was expected to pick up the slack offensively, but they have been cold as ice lately. Ekholm has no point in his last five games and he has only two goals and 14 helpers for 16 points in 47 contests. After a 35-point season, Ekholm is only on pace for 27 points and he has seen his production falter after a slow start. Coming off a back injury that sidelined him for 16 games, Subban a no point in his last six games (including two since his return). Usually good for 55-60 points, the Subbanator has missed 30 games due to injuries over the past two seasons. Overall, he only has seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points in 31 games with Nashville.

 

Overall Production = 33 points

PP Production = 10 points