We'll take a look around the league and discuss a few of the key line combo changes or battles going on. Thanks to the always amazing Fantasy Hockey 911 for making this job about 10X easier than it used to be.
The Eastern Conference will be coming shortly... probably tomorrow. (Click here for East)
For up-to-date line combos for all 30 teams make sure to visit our Latest Line Combinations page.
Earlier this week, both Dan Sexton and Matt Beleskey were healthy scratched. So you figure the team would play Bobby Ryan with Getzlaf and Perry but no instead Aaron Voros got the nod. For real, Aaron Voros. He has no fantasy value and we can't expect this to continue for very long. Ryan owners are definitely hoping for a reunion with the big two.
Your update on who's centering Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay... it's now Matt Stajan. Expect a lot of line shuffling in Calgary so don't get too comfortable.
Some line shuffling with Hossa out of the lineup. Patrick Sharp lined up on #1 with Toews and Viktor Stalberg. Tomas Kopecky and Kane lined up with Brouwer on #2. Looks like the Hawks are liking Stalberg and Kopecky for scoring line jobs this year. Keep an eye on what happens when Hossa returns though.
While Stalberg is getting some good EV minutes he's not seeing any PP action (average of only 8 seconds per game).
Columbus Blue Jackets
Antoine Vermette's poor play got him a spot on the 2nd line... which means good things for Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek as they will see some good minutes with Rick Nash. Voracek and Brassard could really surprise if they get things going with Nash. They have struggled out of the gate, but with Nash on their line and the big PP minutes they are getting... they could surprise.
Nikita Filatov has been shunned to the fourth line. He's got too much talent for that spot so expect something to happen soon... hopefully it's him getting his ass in gear.
Some line shuffling going on in Edmonton and the big loser was Dustin Penner finding himself on the 3rd line. One of last year's big breakouts will have a very hard time repeating if these lines stick. Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are playing with Horcoff and Magnus Paajarvi anf Ales Hemsky are with Sam Gagner. We like those combos. The team had a big seven goal game against the Stanley Cup champs so expect to see these configs for the short term at least.
Los Angeles Kings
The Andrei Loktionov train made an unexpected stop this week as he was healthy scratched against the Stars. Brad Richardson of all people played LW with Kopitar and Brown. Yikes. The 'big' free agent LW'er the Kings signed this off-season (Alexei Ponikarovsky) was playing on the third line.
As we predicted at the beginning of the season (although we were counting on Lombardi instead of O'Reilly) David Legwand is now a third line center. Colin Wilson and Cal O`Reilly don't look like they are going anywhere soon and when Matthew Lombardi comes back, all of the sudden this team has a glut of centers.
Francis Bouillon has been filling in for Ryan Suter on the 1st PP unit. He had only 11 points last year so nothing to see here fantasy players.
With Antti Miettinen out with a concussion guess who gets the #1 RW job... Chuck Kobasew apparetntly. Now you know why the Wild are terrible. Would have been nice to see them give Martin Havlat a chance to play with Koivu more... we're sure his agent agrees.
Wojtek Wolski was a healthy scratch this week. Which is weird as he had three points in the three games previous. The lines look a bit of a mess right now as guys like Lauri Korpikoski and Eric Belanger played on scoring lines. We'll keep a close eye on Phoenix so see how things shake out over the next few days.
Kyle Turris was getting some big time minutes (15-17 minute) for a couple of games before playing only 8:30 on Thursday.against Detroit.
San Jose Sharks
With the team starting slow the big three (Thornton, Heatley and Marleau) were reunited and had a monster game versus NJ on Wednesday. Expect that to continue for the short term at least... good news for anybody that owns one of those three, but bad news for owners of guys like Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, etc. Their fantasy value would rise if they had some better linemates.
The big news with Vancouver is that Jeff Tambellini has been playing EV with the Sedin's and even picked up two goals in his last two games. Don't get too excited though, Alex Burrows is expected back very soon (like next week) so Tambellini will have no fantasy value again very soon.