The Flames' defense is heating up and other hot lines around the NHL.
Lead us forwards…..
Yes, that isn’t a typo down below, this line has produced a staggering 17 points at even strength this past week. Consequently, the Oilers are currently on a six-game win streak and have managed to crawl out of the Western Conference basement. Hall and Draisaitl produce one of the best one-two punch combinations in the league and their dominance has been on full display over the past week. There is no question that Hall is an elite talent as he currently sits fourth in the NHL for scoring with 34 points. However, his problem has and always will be his durability with a litany of injuries in his past. With Hall healthy the Oilers should continue to roll and once Connor McDavid returns, the sky is the limit. The future is bright for the Oilers and their primary concern for the next month should be to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot until McDavid comes back. And with their current six-game win streak they have done just that as they are currently tied for second in the Pacific. Hall and Draisaitl are MUST starts in fantasy and even Purcell is worth a strong look as he has amassed six points in his last three games. Based on Looking Ahead the Oilers have a somewhat unfavorable schedule this week so check out the matchups.
- EV Strength Production = 17 points
- PP Production = 2 points
He’s ALLLLIIiivvveee! If you’re a Skinner owner you know who I’m talking about as Jeff has shown signs of life this past week with five points in his last three games. Those five points include an impressive hat-trick against the Ducks on Friday night. It’s no secret that Skinner has really fallen off since all the head injuries. However, you always hope that a highly skilled player such as Skinner will find his way back to that same elite pre-concussion level. I would keep an eye on Skinner because we all know what he can do when he’s on as he dropped 30 goals in his rookie season back in 2010-11. Another player to keep an eye on is Victor Rask as he has taken the reins away from Eric Staal as the number-one center in Carolina. With seven points in his last four games, Rask seems to be poised for a solid sophomore season as he should smash his rookie season total of 33 points from last year. Last, Giueseppe has been solid since being called up from the AHL with three points in his last three games. This line will be interesting to watch as there seems to be chemistry between these three and if they can continue to roll the Hurricanes will continue to climb as they have four wins in their last five games.
- EV Strength Production = 10 points
At 5-foot-9 and 160 lbs soaking wet, Johnny hockey is yet another example that size doesn’t matter. Gaudreau is playing some sick hockey right now as he currently ranks within the top 10 for scoring in the NHL with 31 points. Gaudreau has nine points in his last four games and as a result the Flames are currently on a five-game win streak (refer to Hall situation). The only thing that sucks about this line is that Jiri Hudler is not on it. As a Hudler owner I am extremely disappointed and with the way this line has played as of late it will be hard for Jiri to make his way back on this top unit. Jones will continue to have some fantasy relevance as long as he plays alongside Johnny, however, he only has two points in his last five games. That being said Hudler could find his way back to the promise land if he can wakeup over the next few weeks. The moral of the story is Johnny is the real deal so roll him and his right hand man Monahan with confidence.
- EV Strength Production = 8 points
It hasn’t been the top line in Winnipeg doing the damage this past week, yet the second line has made some noise. To be fair the Jets only had two games this past week but this second line lit the Blue Jackets up in a 6 – 4 win last Thursday night. This line did virtually all the damage on that night and as a result if you owned a chunk of this line you probably won your H2H this week. The Jets have been rather inconsistent this season and a major part of that is because their lines seem to take nights off. When the top line is going the second line falls asleep and when the top line is cold the second line is clicking. If the Jets can get both lines rolling they could do some serious damage in the Western Conference. Winnipeg is a real tough team to gauge on DraftKings and that why I’d actually rather steer clear of them because you never know what line is going to produce on any given night. If you scoop up a Wheeler and Little combo next thing you know its Scheifele and Stafford dropping bombs that night. Based on Looking Ahead the Jets have an unfavorable schedule this week so start your Jets with caution.
- EV Strength Production = 7 points
- PP Production = 6 points
Who is this Justin Faulk guy…? I mean he’s been bananas this season. What is most impressive is that he really doesn’t have much to work with. One could argue that due to the lack of skill around him he is receiving more opportunities to shoot and take the reins himself. However, I’m from the school of thought that this lack of elite skill around him is actually detrimental to his production and makes what he is doing this season even more so impressive. To further that point, Faulk has 12 goals on the season and every one of those goals has been on the PP. That is insane when you think about it and that type of production on the back end can single handily win you a fantasy season. Hanifin has been less than stellar in his rookie season as he only has seven points in 27 games. However, it will be interesting to see how he grows alongside such a dominant force in Faulk on the PP. Keep an eye on this duo on the man advantage and if you own Faulk… screw you.
- PP Production = 5 points
Things haven’t been great for the Sabres this season. They continue to lurk near the bottom of the Eastern Conference and their goaltending has been very murky since Robin Lehner went down with injury. To make matters worse Lehner had a setback in his recovery. All is not bad in Buffalo as the young Ristolainen has exploded over the past 10 games with 10 points. Highlighting his impressive week was a hat-trick against the Flames last Thursday night. The Sabres have a bright future with key pieces in many areas of the ice and now the young Ristolainen is providing some strength on the blue line. The Sabres have an unfavorable schedule in the coming week according to Looking Ahead. However, I would still start Ristolainen with only two games against the Blackhawks and Ducks.
- EV Strength Production = 2 points
- PP Production = 4 points
One of the major reasons for the Flames recent success and aforementioned five-game win streak is the elevated play of their defensive core. There is no doubt the Flames have some solid names on their blue line but that hasn’t translated to success this season until this past week. Giordano has been abysmal this year with a mediocre 12 points. But Mark has four points in his last four games and we know he can easily turn it around. The buy low window on Giordano and other Flames defenders is starting to close and I would definitely make some offers before it’s too late. Continue to roll this pairing as Gaudreau and company continue to fill the net.
- EV Production = 4 points
– Follow Jonathan Coretti on Twitter (@HolyPuckHockey)
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