Happy New Year to all Dobberhockey readers! 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.
We obviously have one line for the league-leading Blue Jackets. The high-powered offense is led by Cam Atkinson, but this line is proving to be lethal offensively. Saad, the former Hawk, has six goals and four assists for 10 points in his last eight games. The gritty winger now has 32 points in 35 contests en route to shattering his career-high of 53 points recorded in 2015-16. What is amazing is that he has only ONE power play point! The better of the Foligno brothers, Nick, is en fuego and has nine points in his last five games. After a subpar 2015-16 season when he recorded only 37 points, he is back on track with 32 points in 33 games, on pace for more than 70 points for the second time in his career. The center of that trio is the biggest surprise in the NHL right now. The power-play specialist Wennberg already has 16 PP points this season and he is currently on a hot streak with 11 points in his last nine games. His total of 33 points in 35 games makes him the best breakout candidate this season after campaigns of 20 and 40 points.
EV Strength Production = 97 points
PP Production = 32 points
The rookie Tkachuk is finally playing with confidence, potting 10 points in his last nine games on the Flames' second line. The 19-year-old left winger now has a respectable 19 points in 35 games and he is starting to play like his father Keith. The two-way forward Frolik is red-hot with six points in his last four games and is proving to be a solid signing for Calgary. Overall, he has 21 points in 39 games and should reach his usual offensive production of 40 points. With eight points in his last four games, Backlund is currently on fire despite not getting much power play time! The second-line pivot now has 24 points in 39 games and will most likely break the 50-point mark for the first time in his career.
EV Strength Production = 67 points
PP Production = 14 points
Leading the way for the surging Leafs is the rookie Matthews, who is hot again with eight goals and four assists for 12 points in his last nine games. The first overall pick now has 20 goals and 32 points in 36 games, playing with two unknown players in most fantasy circles. With three points in the Centennial Classic Sunday, Brown now has seven points in five games for Toronto. If he can stick with Matthews over a long period, he will definitely improve his production of 16 points in 36 games. Modeling his game over division rivals Brendan Gallagher and Brad Marchand, Hyman is putting points on the board with five points in his last four matches. The rookie also has 16 points in 36 games despite not getting power play time.
EV Strength Production = 64 points
PP Production = 13 points
The highest-scoring defenseman in the NHL, Burns keeps putting points on the board, with 15 points in his last 15 games for the Sharks. On the season, Chewbacca now has 35 points in 37 contests and is on pace to replicate last year's 75-point season. He is the best rearguard in the NHL right now, so enjoy his offensive production! With three points in his last six games, Martin is having a solid year alongside Burns. Overall, he has 12 points in 37 games to go along with a plus-nine +/- ratio and 57 hits, so while he won't help you much in the points category, his peripherals could help you in deeper leagues.
EV Strength Production = 47 points
PP Production = 11 points
Cold as ice line
Oh, the mighty has fallen! Pastrnak doesn't have a single point in his last seven games after a torrid start in 2016-17. Back with his regular linemates, Pastrnak had potted 19 goals and 7 helpers in only 26 games before this cold spell. The youngster should regain his scoring touch, but don't expect him to score at a point-per-game pace. While his center Bergeron is somewhat heating up, he has only four points in his last 12 contests. The perennial Selke candidate has only 12 points in 37 games and is unable to put points on the board regularly for the inconsistent Bruins. After seasons of 68, 55 and 62 points, he'll be lucky if he manages to hit the 50-point plateau. The last member of this trio is the über-pest Marchand, who is still contributing offensively despite his linemates' dry spell with four points in his last eight games. Team Canada' hero is still enjoying a very good year offensively with 31 points in 40 games, on pace for his usual 55-60 -point campaign.
EV Strength Production = 69 points
PP Production = 16 points
Cold as ice duo
Shayne Gostisbehere – Brandon Manning (Philadelphia)
With zero points in his last 17 games, Manning's offensive streak has cooled down mightily after scoring nine points in his first 17 games. The sophomore defenseman has hit the wall hard and is not a good option anymore in fantasy circles. Drop him if you still own him. Gostibehere's second NHL season has been a roller coaster so far. With only two points in his last eight games, Ghost is struggling to get consistently on the scoresheet as shown by his 18 points in 2016-17. The second-year defenseman has only seven even-strength points and has been a healthy scratch at times. Hang on to him as he is too good not to reproduce his 46-point season, but be patient as he will continue to be inconsistent.
EV Strength Production = 27 points
PP Production = 11 points
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