East Line Combo Look - Leino, Callahan, Ruutu, Connolly, Carlson

Welcome to LCL where we take a look around the league for recent changes to line combos or power play set ups.

I'm using quite a few resources to put this post together.  FH911 (who power our Latest NHL Line Combo page) and Left Wing Lock are the two key ones.  You should check them both out if you need some line combo info.  Great, great stuff by both.

Today we'll look at the East followed by the West tomorrow (hopefully).  All statistics are for games up to Wed Oct 27th, 2011.

Boston Bruins
It's been two games now that we've seen Chris Kelly centering Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic.  Maybe Seguin gets winger status one day? If you're in a Yahoo! league anything is possible!  Got to think that Kelly's days on L1 are numbered as I can't see David Krejci on L3 for an extended period of time.

Dennis Seidenberg is leading the team in PP TOI the last five games.  He has 1:10 / game more than Zdeno Chara, which is surprising.

Buffalo Sabres
Ville Leino has been rescued from checking line hell (thank you Tyler Ennis injury).  His PT has been pretty low (~ 14-15 minutes per game) and he's barely getting any PP TOI.  Nice signing there Buffalo.  Playing with Derek Roy and Drew Stafford might give him a bit of a jump start.  He sure needs it.

Carolina Hurricanes
At the beginning of the year we were trying to pick who Eric Staal would have on his wings.  Zac Dalpe and Jeff Skinner were early favourites but so far it looks like the winners of those prime roles are Alexei Ponikarovsky and Tuomo Ruutu.  Both have started out a bit slow but we like their chances if they can hold on to those jobs.  Ruutu has four points in his last four games so it might be a good time to jump aboard.

After a few early season healthy scratches Jamie McBain is back in the lineup and is seeing some solid PP minutes (sixth on team over last five games).

Florida Panthers
Marco Sturm made his Panthers debut and played on the 3rd line with Mike Santorelli and Jack Skille.  No fantasy value here.  We'll have to wait a while to see where Mikael Samuelsson fits in.  He's still rehabbing his injury and/or has some visa issues

If you were worried that Dmitry Kulikov would lose PP TOI to Ed Jovanovski... don't.  So far the kid has 4:18 PP TOI / game while the veteran has just 2:22.

Don't forget Kris Versteeg is playing on the top line (with Weiss and Fleischmann) and getting a ton of PP TOI.  With nine points in eight games look for that to continue.

Montreal Canadiens
Tons of line juggling going over the last few games but last night vs. the Flyers Mike Cammalleri was on the third line.  The Habs had a big game so this might stick for a few more games.

As Cam has been noting in the Dosages Yannick Weber has playing some big PP minutes lately.  He's got the third highest total in PP TOI over the last five games and if that keeps up the points will come eventually.

New Jersey Devils
Zach Parise played his first game at center.  He lined up with Ilya Kovalchuk on what could be a pretty potent line if things stick.  In their first game together they collected zero points.  By the way, Nick Palmieri is the third member of that unit.

The big loser of the line juggling is Patrik Elias as he'll be lining up with Dainius Zubrus and Petr Sykora now.  Elias picked up a goal and an assist in his first game with his new linemates, so he doesn't seem to care who he plays with.

David Clarkson is getting used pretty heavilty by new coach Peter DeBoer.  He's averaged the fifth most PP TOI on the team so far.

New York Islanders
No major changes

New York Rangers
Guess who leads the team in PP TOI the last five games.  Richards?  Gaborik?  Nope.  Ryan Callahan.  He has started slow but you have to like his chances to rebound if he can keep those key minutes up.

Second on that PP TOI list is Michael Del Zotto.  If the Rangers PP gets it's act together (29th in the league in PP%) and he can keep his PP QB job MDZ could have a nice 30+ point season.  Although maybe the reason the Rangers are 29th is that MDZ is their PP QB.  Chicken and the egg.

Ottawa Senators
No Nikita Filatov means we get to see Colin Greening on the top unit.  I'm not too keen on his chances but he does have three points in his last three games.  He might be of some interest to those of you in very deep leagues.  Not much, but some.

It was looking like Mika Zibanejad had a solid grip on the second line center job but the Sens decided to send him back to Sweden for the season (smart move).  He had one point in nine games.

Erik Karlsson and Sergei Gonchar are getting a ton of PP TOI so far.  When Gonchar has been out David Rundblad and Filip Kuba have been chipping in.

Philadelphia Flyers
Scott Hartnell is back.  He had a big week point wise and you have to think a big reason for that has been his new linemates the last three game... Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr.  Hartnell might have been dropped by some impatient owners so go have a look on your waiver wire.

With a promotion we get a demotion.  James van Riemsdyk has seen his TOI plummet and is now on the third line with Matt Read and Jakub Voracek.

Which d-man lead the Flyers in PP TOI / game so far?  Matt Carle.  That surprises me.

Pittsburgh Penguins
James Neal and Steve Sullivan lined up with Evgeni Malkin last night.  Neal had no trouble scoring without Geno but last night Neal was held pointless. Malkin is obviously a fantasy killer.

Paul Martin leads the Pens in PP TOI over the last five games.  Pretty sure that's a trend we won't be seeing often this year.

Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning did a bit of line juggling three games ago.  Vincent Lecavalier has been lining up with Martin St. Louis and Brett Connolly.  Nice spot for Connolly but he has just one point in those three games so we'll see how long this lasts.  Steven Stamkos owners are not happy.

Much All of Steve Downie's value comes from his linemates.  If he's playing on L1 he has 50 pt / 200 PIM potential.  With Connolly on L1 he's been playing on L3, and I'd be expecting more like 30-40 pts in that spot.

Marc-Andre Bergeron almost has more PP TOI than all the other Bolt blueliners combined the last five games.  This guy has shown he can bring the goods in the right situation and it doesn't get much more 'right' than the Tampa PP.  He has 10 points in nine games so far.

Toronto Maple Leafs
Dion Phaneuf and John-Michael Liles are fifth and sixth in the league in PP TOI / game so far.  The top four, in case you're curious, are Dan Boyle, Joni Pitkanen, Ilya Kovalchuk and Keith Yandle.

With Tyler Bozak out Monday night, the Leafs had Matthew Lombardi centering L1.  Bozak's injury doesn't sound serious (and Tim Connolly should be back soon) so don't expect to see Lombardi in that spot for any extended period of time.

Cody Franson has been healthy scratched the last two.  It's looking like a trade is the only solution for Franson owners.

Washington Capitals
Troy Brouwer has been playing with Ovechkin and Backstrom at ES but he's not doing much with it.  Only three points in seven games (although he does have two in his last two).

You might want to downgrade John Carlson's value in single year leagues.  He's not getting the big PP minutes with just 52 seconds / game so far.  Dennis Wideman and Mike Green are taking all the minutes (both over three minutes / game) and doing all the damage (seven PPP combined) so far with the man advantage..

Winnipeg Jets
Evander Kane is back and is playing with Alex Burmistrov (who is suddenly hot) and Nik Antropov.  That's not a bad second unit.  Both Kyle Wellwood and Brett MacLean had looks on scoring lines but didn't stick.

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