Welcome to Line Combo Look where we take a somewhat weekly look around the league at any recent changes to line combos or power play set ups.
Today we'll look at the East (West coming tomorrow). All statistics are for games up to Jan 24th, 2011.
This has been going on for awhile but just a heads up... Nik Antropov has been centering the fourth line with Tim Stapleton & Nigel Dawes and getting barely any PP time. Yikes. He was expected to put up around 60 points this year. He has four points in his last five games so maybe he'll get himself a better slot.
Patrice Cormier has been playing with Bryan Little and Anthony Stewart on L2 in Hotlanta. He's got some potential but he's projected as more of a checking line center so his offensive upside is small.
Marc Savard is out injured which means Tyler Seguin is back playing center. It's on the third line, but his linemates are Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder.. which isn't too bad for a third line. I'm hoping for a better 2nd half than 1st, but his PP TOI needs to rise for that to happen.
Looks like the Tyler Ennis show has arrived for good. He's getting great PP minutes (5th on team over the last five) and is contributing with the man advantage (six PPP over those five games).
D-man Clay Wilson has been getting a ton of PP time (average 5:00 / game). Granted, he's only been up two games (with zero points) but it still raised an eyebrow over here. He's 27 years old has only 18 games of NHL experience but did put up 60 points in 75 games last year in the AHL. In addition to his point job on the PP he's also playing wing on the fourth line. Maybe he'll pull off a miracle and become fantasy relevant... we'll see what happens over the next few games.
Michael Santorelli & Dmitry Kulikov have also seen an uptick in their PP time lately. Maybe the Panthers are giving their youngsters a bit more responsibility down the stretch? It would be a good idea.
P.K. Subban is back playing a ton on the PP (4:08 / game over last five). Looks like his early struggles are officially behind him.
The Patrik Elias-Dainius Zubrus-Brian Rolston line has been cooking lately so expect them to continue to play together. Zubrus has also been getting more PP time lately (2nd on team over the last five) we're not sure why as he has only 2 PPP all season.
Ilya Kovalchuk has been getting a lot of time with the man advantage lately (leads the team) but has been seeing a lot of different linemates at ES. On the 23rd, he was playing with Travis Zajac and Mattias Tedenby... as a Kovy owner I like that combo and hope it continues.
P.A. Parenteau continues to surprise. He leads the team in PP TOI over the last five games and only John Tavares leads him in that category for the entire season (actually Doug Weight does as well but he's only played 18 games).
Looks like the Rangers are finally settling down into some permanent lines. Sean Avery, Artem Anisimov & Marian Gaborik are L1 and Wojtek Wolski, Derek Stepan & Mats Zuccarello are L2. Other than that one monster game they haven't really been scoring a lot but expect these lines to continue as the team is running out of healthy bodies for scoring line jobs
Mats Zuccarello is leading the team in PP TOI over the last five. Also with Michael Del Zotto back in the NHL, Dan Girardi and/or Matt Gilroy could be seeing a bit less time on the PP... we'll see if MDZ's time in the "A" helped things.
The Bolts have been doing a lot of line shaking lately... which included splitting up Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos for a few games. Looks like things have settled down as the lines we saw earlier in the season (Downie-Stamkos-St. Louis and Gagne-Lecavalier-Purcell) were reformed on Jan 23rd.
Over the last few weeks the Caps have tried three different RW's with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom: Mike Knuble, Eric Fehr and most recently Jason Chimera. Chimera has four points in his last five but don't expect that pace to continue. If he tops 30 points he should be happy.