Lining Up: The latest line combos and duos of note (Dec 13)

by Fred Poulin on December 13, 2016
  • Lining Up
  • Lining Up: The latest line combos and duos of note (Dec 13)

A look at the hottest lines in the NHL over the last couple of weeks, including a few defensemen producing some big numbers.

 

Hot forwards

 

Carl HagelinEvgeni MalkinPhil Kessel (Pittsburgh)

So far so good for Malkin as he has yet to get injured this season, having played in every game. With 17 points in his last 12 games, Geno is carrying the Penguins on his back with Sidney Crosby. He now has 32 points in 29 games and is on pace for an 80+-point campaign (if he doesn't visit the infirmary). Finally comfortable in Pittsburgh, Kessel is also red hot with 10 points in his last six matches. Overall he has 31 points in 29 games, which would give him an 85-point season if he can keep this pace. Kessel potted 80 points in 2013-14 with Toronto, so there is a chance he can repeat that feat alongside the talented Malkin. With four points in his last five games, Hagelin is not producing as much as his two linemates, but he will certainly benefit from moving to this new line. If he can stay with them for an extended period, he might be able to turn things around and finally crack the 40-point plateau.

 

EV Strength Production = 73 points

PP Production = 23 points

 

Michael RafflClaude GirouxJakub Voracek (Philadelphia)

Named the NHL's first star of the week, Voracek is now second in scoring behind Connor McDavid with 32 points in 31 games. With 15 points in his last nine games, Voracek is blazing hot and helping the Flyers battle for a playoff spot despite a slow start. After a disappointing 55-point campaign, Voracek should bounce back and finish with close to a point per game. After seeing his offensive production dip over the last three years (86, 73 and 67), Giroux is finally finding his groove with 12 points in his last 10 games and 29 points in 31 games overall. The native of Hearst, Ontario should be able to record between 70 and 80 points on a better Flyers team. With three points in his last six games, one would think Raffl would manage to be more productive offensively playing with these two studs, but his lack of power-play time on the first unit hurts his offensive value.  They’ve tried this combo before, with middling (at best) results.

 

EV Strength Production = 69 points

PP Production = 28 points

 

Max PaciorettyTomas PlekanecAlexander Radulov (Montreal)

When the Habs lost Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais to long-term injuries in a span of two games, we knew that Tomas Plekanec had to wake up from his season-long slumber and he did big time. Turtleplek is finally heating up with six points in his last four games. While he still only has two goals and 13 points this season, he is likely available in your league so it's time to pick him up. With nine points in his last five games, Pacioretty is blazing hot and now has 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in 29 games. As for Radulov, he has five points in his last five games and is enjoying a solid season in Montreal with 23 points in 27 contests in his first year back from the KHL. The Canadiens had scored 15 goals in their last two games prior to last night's 2-1 overtime loss to Boston, so this line should continue to pick up points on a regular basis.

 

EV Strength Production = 60 points

PP Production = 14 points

 

Chris KreiderDerek StepanMats Zuccarello (NY Rangers)

Despite missing a few games with a neck injury, Kreider is having a solid campaign so far with 20 points in 24 games. He is on fire lately with seven points in his last six games. It might be the year he finally surpasses the 50-point mark. Also with seven points in his last six games is Stepan, who now has 21 points in 30 games for the Blueshirts. Stepan is on pace for a 57-point season, exactly what he produces year in, year out (he just had seasons of 53, 55, and 57 points). With four points in his last five games, Zuccarello now has 19 points on the season. The speedy winger will have to go on a tear in order to reach last year's total of 61 points in 81 games.

 

EV Strength Production = 60 points

PP Production = 14 points

 

Marcus JohanssonNicklas BackstromT.J. Oshie (Washington)

Head Coach Barry Trotz has been juggling his lines a lot and he recently formed this line for the Capitals. With 15 points in his last 12 games, Backstrom is almost back at a point-per-game pace with 25 in 27 games. With eight points in his previous eight games, Johansson is enjoying a quiet, but solid, year so far with 21 in 27. He will most likely hit the 50-point target after scoring between 40 and 50 points over each of the last three campaigns. Finally, with six points in his past five games separated by an injury that cost Oshie seven games, the sniper has 14 points in 20 contests. He should reach the 50-point mark if he can avoid the infirmary again.

 

EV Strength Production = 60 points

PP Production = 22 points

 

You can check out team-by-team line combos for the last game here or the last three games here, or you can run the program for any time window you like (here).

You can also check out the « hottest lines » in the Report Generator here.

 

Dynamic duo

Mark GiordanoDougie Hamilton (Calgary)

Along with five points and a plus-7 in his last four games, Hamilton is shooting the puck on goal a lot with 92 shots this season. Overall, he has 17 points in 31 games en route to eclipsing his career best of 43 points set last year. The struggling Bruins could really use him right now. As for Giordano, he has three points and a plus-7 rating in his last four games. Even if he is heating up and has 12 points in 31 contests, he will have a tough time repeating last season's career-best 56 points. With T.J. Brodie struggling offensively, Hamilton and Giordano are getting the bulk of power-play time and should keep racking up points for the Flames.

 

EV Strength Production = 29 points

PP Production = 8 points

 

Cold as ice

Michael GrabnerKevin HayesJ.T. Miller (NY Rangers)

After being one of the hottest lines in the NHL, this line has come back to Earth. After potting 16 points in 20 games, Grabner has only one point in his last nine games. As everyone expected he was not able to keep his hot streak going and I hope you sold him when his stock was high before his cold streak. With only one goal and one assist in his last eight games, Hayes' production also slowed down drastically and now he has 21 points in 30 games for a 57-point pace on the season. Finally, the "hottest" member of this line is Miller who has three points in eight games. Overall, the winger has 22 points in 30 games and he should easily surpass his career best of 42 games amassed last season despite cooling off a bit in recent games.

 

EV Strength Production = 60 points

PP Production = 5 points