A look at the hottest lines of the past week, including the Tyler Bozak line in Toronto and the Jack Eichel line for Buffalo…
The Leafs have played some better hockey as of late as they have won three of their last four games. In those four games the Leafs managed to score a staggering 17 goals and this trio was responsible for a majority of that damage. Bozak is having a sneaky good season as he currently has 24 points on the year in only 30 games. To put that into perspective, elite centers such as Joe Thornton and Sidney Crosby have 23 and 24 points respectively but in 34 games. Call me crazy but I think the Leafs will make some noise in 2016 and this is most especially the case if James Reimer stays healthy. I would keep an eye on the Leafs over the next few weeks as the much talked about “Babcock Effect” may finally be… in effect.
EV Strength Production = 9 points
PP Production = 2 points
And the next winner on Playing with Jamie and Tyler is… PATRICK SHARP! The Stars continue to roll as they sit atop of the NHL and with four wins in their last five games, nobody wants a piece of them. Additionally, the Stars boast the league’s most potent offense with 129 goals on the season which is over 25 goals more than the next team. Jamie Benn is proving that he is in fact the real deal, following up his Art Ross season with another dandy. Benn is currently ranked within the top 3 of most standard fantasy leagues and he truly is a rotisserie stud as he produces in just about all categories. Goals, assists, points, PIMs, PPP, PPG, SHP… I mean the guy is an absolute machine. There isn’t much to say about this line other than continue to roll these studs with confidence. The Stars will continue to fill the net and the future is bright for Dallas.
EV Strength Production = 4 points
PP Production = 4 points
I expected a lot more from Eichel coming into this season. How much more? I had him pegged to out produce Conner McDavid and to take down the Calder Trophy. Now to be honest I predicted that only because I had a gut feeling that McDavid would have injury issues in his first season and with him out of the picture I thought Jack was a shoe-in. However, things haven’t gone as to plan as Eichel has been slow out of the gates and a young lad named Artemi Panarin has taken the NHL by storm with 31 points on the season. To be fair, Panarin is playing sidekick to Patrick Kane who is currently on God mode but with six points in his last four games, Eichel maybe turning a corner. In regards to the rest of this line, I wouldn’t touch Ennis with a ten foot pole and Kane is worth a look but he seems to always get himself into trouble.
EV Strength Production = 6 points
The dynamic duo of Hall and Draisaitl continue to wreak havoc on the Western Conference as they make this week’s list. Draisaitl has been a gem for the Oilers and most importantly for those fantasy owners who managed to snag him off waivers. I keep trying to figure out when he will start to regress but when that happens he has an offensive outburst. I truly believe as long as Hall stays healthy, Draisaitl will continue to produce at a near point per game pace. But we all know Hall has durability issues and that makes owning Draisaitl a little risky. As for Purcell, he is having a solid year but you could expect him to end up in the 40-50 point range as the last time he eclipsed 50 points was in the 2011-12 season with the Bolts. According to Looking Ahead the Oilers have a favorable schedule for the upcoming week with four games at home so roll these boys with confidence.
EV Strength Production = 11 points
As I mentioned above, the Leafs have amassed 17 goals over the last four games. Naturally the blue line got in on the action as Gardiner and Phaneuf make their first appearance on this list. I’ve never been a huge Phaneuf fan as I think he is a disaster but for fantasy leagues that count PIMs he is own worthy. As for Gardiner, I’ll pass. The Leafs have a kaka schedule over the next week as reported in Looking Ahead so steer clear of the Leafs and this less-than mediocre tandem.
EV Production = 2 points
PP Strength Production = 3 points
You have to love Burnsy. The guy is an offensive stud and he has arguably the coolest beard in the NHL. I draft Burns just about every year because he is the undisputed man in San Jose and he plays with reckless abandon which leads to many points. However, for leagues that count plus/minus that reckless abandon hurts as he is -13 on the season. If Burns can tweak his defensive game a smidge he could be in for a better plus/minus but I’d actually prefer he continues to play the way he has as he currently has more goals than star forwards such as Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, and Blake Wheeler with 14 on the year. Other than Burns the Sharks offer nothing on the blue line in terms of fantasy production so look elsewhere for defenseman.
EV Strength Production = 3 points
The Flames defense continues to get it done. Calgary is 8-2 in their last 10 games and their recent surge has propelled them back into post-season contention. Giordano owners can breathe a sigh of relief as he’s been scorching hot with 11 points in his last 10 games. The Flames have a ton to offer on the back-end as they generate a majority of their offense from the blue line. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the last three games for the defensive core of the Flames on Frozen Pools. Moral of the story, the Flames have a very good blue line.
EV Production = 4 points
Follow Jonathan Coretti on Twitter (@HolyPuckHockey)
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