Let's have 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 and duo of the week.
James Van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Mitchell Marner (Toronto)
This line has been together for some time and it keeps producing offensively. Bozak is having a good season with 24 points in 36 games for Toronto. The pivot has five points in his last five games and is on pace for his usual 50-point season after an injury-plagued 2015-16 campaign during which he only potted 36 points in 57 games. One of the Leafs' top three rookies, Marner, is currently on a hot streak with six points in his last four games, including three points against the Canadiens on Saturday. On the year, he now has a solid 10 goals and 32 points in 39 games, and he still is a dark horse for the Calder trophy. With nine points in his last three games, Van Riemsdyk is blazing hot and on pace for a 65+-point season with 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points in 39 contests. JVR also has 10 power play points for the surging Leafs.
EV Strength Production = 89 points
PP Production = 25 points
Parise is finally heating up with 11 points in his past 11 games after a slow start. He has missed nine games with injury and illness, giving him 20 points in 30 games this season for the powerful Wild. It seems this is the year that Coyle is putting it together offensively with 14 points in his last 12 contests. The 24-year-old is hitting his prime and it shows on the scoresheet with 32 points in 39 games. He is only 10 points away for his career-best 42 points and will most likely hit the 60-point plateau. Sometimes a change of scenery is simply what is need for a struggling star. That's what is happening with Staal, who struggled mightily last season with only 39 points in 83 games. He is already only four points away from this production with 35 points in 39 contests. He has 18 points in his last 15 games and he has 13 goals already and 10 power-play points for Minnesota.
EV Strength Production = 87 points
PP Production = 24 points
After a very slow start, captain Pacioretty is leading the injured-marred Habs in scoring with 34 points in 40 games, including 19 goals. Max Pax has 10 points in his last 10 matches for a Montreal team that is finally back home after a seven-game road trip (4-1-2) that ended Saturday in Toronto. As for Radulov, he now has eight points in his last six games and he has been a real leader on the ice with all the injuries the Canadiens are facing. On the season, the Russian playmaker has 10 goals and 31 points in 38 games, which would make him the best free agent signing of last summer if he keeps this rhythm. Centering the two veterans is Danault, who has five points in his last five games. Picked up at the deadline from Chicago in exchange for Dale Wise, the centre has a respectable seven goals and 19 points in 40 games in 2016-17. The 23-year-old is taking advantage to the injuries to Galchenyuk and Desharnais to get more ice time and finally getting some power play time.
EV Strength Production = 84 points
PP Production = 19 points
Andrej Sekera – Matthew Benning (Edmonton)
With six points in his last eight games, Sekera is flying under the radar and his quietly enjoying a good season with the Oilers. Currently on pace for 40 points, Sekera has four goals and 15 helpers for 19 points in 40 games. Getting over two minutes of power-play time per game, there is no reason for Sekera not continue producing offensively, especially with talented forwards like Connor McDavid upfront. His rookie partner Benning is finally feeling comfortable on Edmonton's blue line as shown by his five points in his last six games. While he only has one goal and eight points overall, Benning makes for a nice pick-up in dynasty leagues as well as very deep leagues where it's often hard to find production from the back end.
EV Strength Production = 27 points
PP Production = 7 points
Cold as ice line
Now off the McDavid line, Lucic is struggling to get his name on the scoresheet being held scoreless in his last four games. While he has slowed down since a hot start, Lucic still has a respectable 10 goals and 26 points in 42 games for the Oilers. Hope that he doesn't stick on this line for too long. After four points in his first six games, Kassian's offensive production has been almost non-existent with only five points in his last 33 contests. Stay away from the grinder unless you're looking for penalty minutes (68) and hits (84). Playing between these giants is tiny Nugent-Hopkins, who is struggling to produce with only four points in his last 12 games. On the year, RNH has only 19 points in 42 games to go along with a minus-12 rating and no power-play time on the first unit. Gone are the 50+-point seasons.
EV Strength Production = 54 points
PP Production = 18 points
Cold as ice duo
With a mere point in his last 13 games, Golisgoski's offense has dried down in the desert this season. The former 40-point rearguard has only one goal this year to go along with 12 assists for only 13 points. Playing for the goal-starved Coyotes is certainly not helping his production and he will be hard pressed to reach the 30-point plateau in 2017. Coming off a year season when he recorded 36 points, Stone is currently as cold as it gets without a point in his last 14 games. After missing some games with an upper-body injury, he has no goal and only six helpers in 28 games for Arizona. The impending UFA is a serious trade candidate at the deadline, so let's hope he ends up in a better environment for a contender.
EV Strength Production = 19 points
PP Production = 7 points
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