It feels weird to like Ian White this much
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 West followed by the East, likely tomorrow.. All statistics are for games up to Mon Dec 5th, 2011.
Bruce Boudreau isn't doing anything different in Anaheim as he's pretty much running the same lines we're used to.
Kurtis Foster returned on Sunday and played on the 1st PP unit. I've given up on this guy so I'll need to see some actual production before I jump back on board (he had zero points and a minus-1 in the game).
Over the last few weeks the Flames have switched things up. Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - Jarome Iginla form unit one. Alex Tanguay - Roman Horak - Rene Bourque are on the second. The Flames have been playing a bit better lately, but I avoid putting your faith in the Flames if you can.
Blake Comeau is the new Flame and he's playing with Mikael Backlund and Lee Stempniak on the 3rd line. He's got three points in six games with the Flames... which doesn't sound great until you compare it to the zero points in 16 games he had with the Isles. Way to go, Blake!
Marcus Kruger has been lining up with Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa lately. That's good work if you can get it. He's playing a bit on the PP. He's got some upside but I'll be surprised if he keeps this job long term.
Finally Matt Duchene has some decent linemates (Paul Stastny and David Jones). It's been a pretty miserable start to the season (six points in first 12 games) but he's turning it on since (13 points in 15 games).
Rookie Stefan Elliott is logging a ton of PP time (even though he's barely playing at full strength). He leads the Avs over the last five games in PP TOI but he does have three points in those fives games (of course none of them came on the PP).
Columbus Blue Jackets
Hey guess who's back? Kristian Huselius! I've never been a big fan, but he played with Rick Nash and Antoine Vermette in his 1st game. He might be a decent add if he can stick with Nash (and eventually Carter for the rest of the year).
Tomas Vincour does have a scoring line job and does get some PP time. I don't like him either... just sayin' is all.
Another unexpected stat out of Dallas... Philip Larsen leads the team in PP TOI over the last five games and has been playing on the 1st PP unit.
Detroit Red Wings
No major changes to the lines but just thought I'd mention that Ian White is playing with Nicklas Lidstrom at even strength and on the 1st PP unit. He has the fourth most PP TOI on the team over the last five games. He's curently on pace for 39 games and plus-48. He makes a great fourth d-man.
Sam Gagner has finally worked himself onto the top six. He's playing with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky and getting some decent PP time lately. It seems to be working as he has six points in his last seven. It's going to be pretty tough for him to hang onto this spot when Taylor Hall eventually returns.
With all their blueline injures the Oilers have been leaning on Tom Gilbert on the PP. Even with Ryan Whitney's return, Gilbert has still hung onto his #1PP job (he plays with four forwards). No real results so far (two points in last five) but an interesting development.
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings have been shaking things up lately as they look for a winning combination. Dustin Penner, Trent Hunter and Andrei Loktionov has all been moved in and out of the scoring lines recently.
The Kings only have two PP goals over their last five. That's a pretty weak number for such a talented unit.
Cal Clutterbuck is off the top line and Casey Wellman takes over the #2RW job... he has three points in two games in his new role so he might get a longer look. I don't like his long term potential though.
Just heads up (as this has been the case all year) but Jared Spurgeon is getting the bulk of the PP minutes on the blueline. Marco Scandella and Nate Prosser are next on the list. Don't expect much from these guys (on pace for 27, 16 and 19 points respectively) but they may be of use to some of you in very deep leagues.
With Sergei Kostitsyn out injured for the last two games, Colin Wilson has stepped up to the 2nd line and has four points (all on the PP) over that span. I really like Wilson's upside especially if he can stick on a scoring line and keep his PP TOI up (third most on team over last five games).
FHS favourite Roman Josi got the call up but isn't seeing much PP time so far. He has one assist in five games and is only getting around 10-14 minutes per game. He's one to keep in mind for the future but it's not looking like he'll have much of an impact this year.
Kyle Turris welcome back... you're on the third line. Shame he didn't sign earlier as the Flames may not have traded for Daymond Langkow and he'd have a scoring line to pump up his value with. Don't get carried away here... remember remember he played at a 31 point pace last year.
San Jose Sharks
Don't lose faith in Brent Burns. He's on pace for just 28 points (I was expecting nearly double that) but he's still getting a ton of PP time on that first unit... and in case you don't remember that's a pretty talented unit. It's gotta turn around soon.
St. Louis Blues
With David Perron back the Blues put him on the 2nd line as expected. What wasn't expected (at least by me) was Chris Stewart getting bumped down to the third instead of Matt D`Agostini. Stewart is also just 11th(!) on the team in PP TOI over the last few games. As a Stewart owner in one league I'm not happy about this news. Not happy at all.
No recent changes.