Every week or two we take a look at the line combos around the league. We're looking for any recent changes and any players with a key role on their team. As always, we're getting our line combinations from the always amazing (and free) FH911. Make sure you pay them a visit.
Today we'll take a look at the West... hopefully the East will be posted tomorrow.
Visit our Updated Line Combinations page for a a complete list of each teams lines. All statistics up to and including game from Nov 18th, 2010.
Things are back to normal in Anaheim. Getzlaf, Perry and Bobby Ryan are all playing on L1. It would be nice if the team had a real LW to play with Koivu and Selanne on L2 but Jason Blake will have to do for now.
Lubomir Visnovsky, Cam Fowler and Teemu Selanne, have been picking up a ton of PP time they are 1st, 2nd and 3rd on the Ducks in PP TOI the last five games. Seven points in 15 games for Fowler which is a great start for the rookie.
Brendan Morrison has still been getting the odd point here and there (four in his last eight games) but he's been playing with Stefan Meyer and Tim Jackman. That's not going to make things easy on B-Mo. He's still getting some decent PP minutes but he should definitely be dropped in most leagues.
The Hawks always seems to be shaking things up. Recently, early season surprise Tomas Kopecky, has been playing on the fourth line (along with a guy we kinda like in Troy Brouwer). Both Kopecky and Brouwer have zero value if they continue to play on that line (although Kopecky has still be getting decent PP time (2:26 / gm over last five).
Replacing those two on the scoring lines are Dave Bolland (centering Sharp and Hossa) and Viktor Stalberg (with Kane and Toews). We've been fans of Bolland's in the past but with only three points in 15 games we're not getting our hopes up.
Kevin Shattenkirk played his seventh game this week and has been getting some decent ice time (17-19 minutes a night) and seeing the fourth most minutes on the PP the last five games. He's a offensive specialist so if the rookie can stick with the big club all year 20-30 points is possible.
Dear Dallas Stars,
Please play Jamie Benn on L2 over Brandon Segal. I'm sure Mr. Segal is a nice person but we picked Jamie Benn as one of our big breakouts this year and while he's doing well so far (9 points in 13 games) we worry he won't be able to live up to our hype if he continues to play with Steve Ott and Adam Burish.
PS - A little more PP time wouldn't hurt either.
Jiri Hudler is slowly working his way out of the dog house. He's got points in two of his last three games and played on the second line against STL this week. His playing time has been in the 13-15 minutes / game range (up from 8-11 min) over the last few games and he also has the fourth most PP time on the team the last five games. He's got 60 point potential if he can ever get it going.
The Oilers are in the middle of a big time slide so a rejig of the lines was expected (even if their issues are keeping the puck out of the net).
Dustin Penner is back on a scoring line (with Hall and Gagner). While Hemsky and Horcoff are seeing time with Gilbert Brule. The other unit has Andrew Cogliano between Eberle and MPS. Really not happy with those changes from a fantasy standpoint. I think everybody's value drops a little but (except for Cogliano and Brule but they should be of concern to you)
Ladies and gentlemen... your new #1 line in Hollywood: Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Brad Richardson???? Maybe the theory is that LA hockey fans won't know the difference between Brad Richards and Brad Richardson? Ah, who are we kidding? Like they'd even know who Brad Richards is. Tou don't want anything to do with Richardson. Other than a WTF hat trick on Oct 23rd he has one point on the year. He also gets zero playing time on the PP. This is your scoring line winger LA?
The Kings don't have much on the LW depth charts with Alex Ponikarovsky out. It wouldn't surprise us if the Kings added a LW sometime this season for Richardson's spot on L1.
Matt Cullen and John Madden have switched spots. Which means that Cullen's crazy start (14 points in 17 games) will be a bit tougher to keep up with Clutterbuck and Wellman on his wings. He is still leading the team in PP TOI (which just boggles my mind) so all hope is not lost.
Colin Wilson was a guy were were expecting a mini-breakout from this season. He started out well with five points in his first eight games but has only one point in his last eight. He's now playing on the fourth line with Smithson and Kostitsyn. Not good. The only encouraging news for you Wilson owners is his PP time has risen over the last few games.
Wojtek Wolski, Eric Belanger and Lee Stempniak are forming the new look 2nd line in the desert... but they haven't produced much together yet. All three are also getting decent power play time as they are the top three forwards in PP TOI on the team the last five games. All good signs for a rise in production but we're still not really excited at their fantasy prospects.
Probably the biggest line combo news is that our boy Logan Couture has been promoted to a scoring line. We've been saying that his checking line center role was all that has been holding him back and so far he's making us look smart... five points in his last three games. Grab Couture ASAP, he's still way under-
owneredowned in Yahoo! leagues (only 18%).
The move seemed to give Joe Pavelski a bit of a boost as he's picked up six in those same three games.
The big loser in Couture's promotion is Devin Setoguchi. He only has five points in 17 games... so if you owned The Gooch you probably saw this coming.
With T.J. Oshie out (sob) Matt D'Agostini has been handed a scoring line role (on the second line). He has only one point in the four games Oshie's been out but has put together some decent seasons in the AHL (career .79 ppg). Only really of interest for those of you in very deep leagues.
Alex Steen has also been playing on L2 as David Perron is out injured. Not sure who will drop down when Perron returns but we have a feeling it will be Steen. Another note on Steen: his ice time, particularly on the power play, has dropped dramatically the last five games. He was leading the team in PP TOI by a mile the first 10 games of the season but is only sixth over the last five. He was shutout four of those games.
PS - While I was doing a search for Steen on NHL.com I stumbled across the profile page for Steele Boomer. Best name ever? I think so.
Alex Burrows is back and playing on his old spot with the Sedins. He has only two points in the eight games he's played. Expect him to turn it around once he gets into game shape.