Lining Up: Week Six (2016-17)

by Fred Poulin on November 22, 2016

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 of the week.

 

Hot forwards

 

Brandon SaadBrandon DubinskyCam Atkinson (Columbus)

The surging Blue Jackets are scoring goals in bunch and this line has been put together last game. With nine points in his past five games, Atkinson now has 17 point in 17 games with the Jackets. Playing more than 17 minutes/game and skating on the league's most lethal power play, the talented right winger is ready to breakout in his fourth full season in the NHL. After seasons of 39, 40 and 53 points, Atkinson is bound to reach the 60-point plateau in 2016-17. After only one point in his first eight games, agitator Brandon Dubinsky is finally heating up with four points in his last five games. Usually getting around 45-50 points per season when healthy, Dubinsky is too talented to have only six points in 15 games. Look for him to heat up and find himself on the scoresheet more often. With also four points in his last five games, Saad is producing on a regular basis this season with 14 points in 17 games for Columbus. He has yet to record a point on the power play where he scored seven of his goals last season. Saad notched 47, 52 and 53 over the last season, so a season of 55-60 points is quite possible.

EV Strength Production = 37 points

PP Production = 9 points

 

Daniel SedinHenrik SedinBrandon Sutter (Vancouver)

After slumping badly on offense on their six-game road trip, the Canucks are finally scoring goals again! Recently paired with the twins, Sutter now has five points in his last four games for 11 points in 19 games overall. The center moved to right wing is taking advantage of his opportunity after newcomer Loui Eriksson failed to produce with the twins. Despite a slow start, Henrik is back on track with six points in his last six contests for 12 points on the season. The 36-year-old pivot has been inconsistent over the last few years, recording 50, 73 and 55 points respectively, so his owners hope he gets back to the 70-point mark. As for his brother Daniel, he has nine points in his past eight games for 13 on the year. With 76 and 61 points in the last two seasons, it is safe to assume he will close on the 60-point plateau. If you can stomach the hot and cold streaks, these players are worth picking via trade or on the waiver wire.

 

EV Strength Production = 36 points

PP Production = 10 points

 

Andrew CoglianoRyan KeslerJakob Silfverberg (Anaheim)

While this is not a new line, the trio is finally heating up and contributing offensively for the inconsistent Ducks. Silfverberg is leading the way with ten points in his last eight games for a total of 13 on the year. The speedy winger should easily surpass his career-high of 39 points from the last two seasons. Expect around 45 points at season's end from him. The veteran Kesler is also red hot with 10 points over his last 10 games for 14 points overall. The two-way center is on pace for 60 points, a total he should approach in 2016-17. The last member of this line is Cogliano, who is one of the best penalty killers in the league, but he is not getting much power play time. With nine points in 19 games, Cogs is on pace for 40 points, a total that he reached only twice during his career.

 

EV Strength Production = 36 points

PP Production = 9 points

 

Filip ForsbergMike RibeiroCraig Smith (Nashville)

Head coach Peter Laviolette has been shuffling his lines all season and he has finally found some combinations that are clicking together. While Forsberg has only one goal this year, he has an impressive 12 assists in 18 games. Heating up lately, the shifty winger has six points in his last seven games. With 63 and 64 points over the past two campaigns, Forsberg should easily notch 60+ points again this year. The veteran Ribeiro keeps finding his name on the score sheet with five points in his last six games and 11 overall this season. The pivot recorded at least 47 points in three consecutive seasons, so he should end up with 45-50 points again in 2016-17. Smith, the third member of this line, has two points in his last three games for seven points in 17 games. After seasons of 52, 43 and 37 points respectively, Smith seems to be declining offensively and is a risky fantasy option going forward.

EV Strength Production = 31 points

PP Production = 9 points

 

Teuvo TeravainenVictor RaskElias Lindholm (Carolina)

They are one of the most obscure productive line in the NHL right now as the Hurricanes play in front of only a handful of fans. The most electrifying Canes player is finally finding his groove with his new team as Teuvo now has seven points in his last five games. With now ten points on the year, Teravainen will certainly eclipse last season's career-high 35 points with Chicago. With five points in his last five games, Rask keeps putting points in the board with 15 points in 17 games so far. After clicking with Skinner and Stempniak earlier this season, Rask is flying under the radar and remains under-appreciated in fantasy circles. He should easily reach the 50-plateau for the first time of his young career. Finally, the least known and productive member of this new line is Lindholm who has three points in his last five games after a mediocre start (he has a mere five points in 17 games). The 21-year-old forward recorded 39 points in each of the last two seasons, so if he keeps heating up, a 35-40- point season in foreseeable.

 

EV Strength Production = 30 points

PP Production = 9 points

 

Dynamic duo

Andrei Markov – Jeff Petry (Montreal)

While Shea Weber leads all NHL defensemen with 15 points in 19 games, the tandem of Jeff Petry and Andrei Markov is providing much-needed secondary scoring for the league-leading Habs. With two goals and eight assists in his last ten games, the veteran Markov doesn't seem to slow down despite his venerable age (he'll turn 38 in December). While the talented rearguard won't score 60 points, it is fair to expect between 45 and 50 points for Markov. With nine points in 18 contests, Petry is on pace for a career-high 40 points. Playing mostly on the second power play unit, Petry is also getting PP time on the first unit with Shea Weber. The right-handed defenseman is widely available in most fantasy leagues and is a nice pickup if you need help on your blue line.

EV Strength Production = 23 points

PP Production = 8 points

 

Cold as ice

Zack Smith – Derick Brassard – Mark Stone (Ottawa)

With Mike Hoffman and Bobby Ryan both going down with injuries, the Senators are currently starving for offense. Coming off two consecutive seasons with more than 60 points, poolies were hoping that Mark Stone would continue producing offensively for their fantasy team. With only two goals and one assist in his last ten games and a mere eight points on the season, Stone is not clicking with anybody this season in Ottawa. The arrival of Derick Brassard was supposed to give them another offensive weapon in their two six forwards. Unfortunately, the dynamic center has only one goal and one helper in his last ten contests and has only seven points on the season. It is safe to say that Brassard won't repeat the offensive output he posted over the last two seasons (60 and 58 points respectively). Joining them on the team's first line is grinder Zack Smith, who is not known for his offensive skills, but rather for his defensive awareness. Smith has only four points this season, none coming on the power play. Stay away from this line from the time being as the Senators are struggling to score goals at even strength and on the man advantage (they are ranked 29th in the NHL on the PP).

 

EV Strength Production = 19 points

PP Production = 3 points