Lining Up: Week Three (2016-17)

by Fred Poulin on November 1, 2016

A look at the hottest lines in the National Hockey League since the beginning of the season, including a few defensemen producing offensively.

 

Hot forwards

Brayden SchennClaude GirouxWayne Simmonds (Philadelphia)

Since Schenn has returned from his three-game suspension, this line has been clicking nicely in Philly. Schenn has now six points in seven games, including four PP, while Giroux is now leading the NHL in scoring (12 points) and assists with 10. The high-scoring Flyers are piling up the goals, especially with the man-advantage where Simmonds (11 points) is racking up goals with a league-leading four goals.

I wouldn't be surprised if Giroux cracks the 80-point mark after a down year in 2015-16 and to see Simmonds record his first 40-goal season.

EV Strength Production = 29 points

PP Production = 17 points

 

Artemi PanarinArtem AnisimovPatrick Kane (Chicago)

This line has been playing well together in recent games as the Hawks' top line. While Kane (nine points) and Panarin (eight points) were expected to be offensive dynamos for the revamped Hawks, nobody predicted such a hot start for Anisimov (11 points). With less depth than last year, Chicago is relying even more on their veterans this season and this line is red hot right now.

Anisimov's career best is 42 points, so don't expect him to continue his torrid pace and record 90 points, but ride the wave while it's high and benefit from his chemistry with Panarin and Kane.

EV Strength Production = 28 points

PP Production = 6 points

 

Patrik LaineMark ScheifeleBlake Wheeler (Winnipeg)

With Bryan Little out of the lineup with an injury, this line has been the only positive element offensively this season for the struggling Jets. Winnipeg's lack of depth up front and shaky goaltending is the reason why they are not a .500 team. Playing on average 20 minutes a night, this trio is generating a lot of scoring chances and Patrick Laine (eight points) has been flying under the radar with his six goals. Scheifele and Wheeler should have no problems eclipsing the 60-point mark again this season.

EV Strength Production = 23 points

PP Production = 8 points

 

Alexander RadulovAlex GalchenyukBrendan Gallagher (Montreal)

Despite their 8-0-1 start, head coach Michel Therrien keeps juggling lines, especially with Tomas Plekanec not providing any offense this year. Alexander Radulov was moved to left wing in order to get this line going, sending Max Pacioretty with David Desharnais and Andrew Shaw. The line produced the Habs' two goals on Saturday and it will be interesting to watch if Therrien doesn't change his lines again next game.

Moving Radulov (seven points) from Plekanec (who couldn't keep up) is great news for fantasy owners as the Russian could be an interesting sleeper this year. Chucky (eight points) and Gally (seven points) have had chemistry for some time, so they should stick together for a while.

 

EV Strength Production = 22 points

PP Production = 7 points

 

Matt MoulsonRyan O'ReillyKyle Okposo (Buffalo)

This newly-formed line has been very effective for the Sabres, especially on the man advantage where Moulson has recorded all of his five points. The MOO line has been the lone bright spot offensively for a Sabres team that has scored more than three goals in a game only once this year. Expect Okposo (seven points) and O'Reilly (seven points) to stick together for the long haul and hope that Moulson manages to stay with them if you own him in fantasy leagues.

 

EV Strength Production = 20 points

PP Production = 13 points

 

Dynamic duo

Brandon Manning – Ivan Provorov (Philadelphia)

Everybody knows about Shane Gostisbehere, but how about the defensive pairing of Manning (seven points) and Provorov (five points)? With barely any power play time, the duo is able to get on the board regularly and it's worth monitoring if they stick together or if the Flyers tinker with their defensive pairings as the team has allowed a league-high 38 goals this season. They should be available on the waiver wire in most leagues.

EV Strength Production = 12 points

PP Production = 1 point

 

Cold as ice

Daniel SedinHenrik SedinLoui Eriksson (Vancouver)

Held off the scoresheet in the last three games, this line is struggling mightily to put points on the board. With only 17 goals in nine games, the Canucks are starving for goals, but head coach Willie Desjardins is sticking to this line even if Eriksson (no goal, four points) has no chemistry with Henrik (five points) and Daniel (four points). Eriksson should be moved to Bo Horvat's line, while Jannik Hansen, who scored 22 goals last year, should play with the Sedins. Avoid that line as Vancouver is heading on a six-game road trip, starting Wednesday against Carey Price and the stingy Habs.

 

EV Strength Production = 13 points

PP Production = 5 points