Line combinations are the name of the game in DFS hockey. The start of the NHL season always brings line uncertainty throughout the league. Even after the ebbs and flows of the preseason, coaches and staffs still take the first few weeks of the season to tinker with their lineups looking for that ultimate combo. DFS players know how much of a scoring swing the right line combo can provide on any given night. So with that in mind, here are a few potentially high-scoring line stacks to consider for opening night.
Jonathan Toews ($6,200) – Marian Hossa ($5,700) – Teuvo Teravainen ($3,500)
The Blackhawks are coming off their third Stanley Cup championship in six seasons and Toews, Hossa and Teravainen were large parts of that effort. Toews and Hossa combined for 29 team goals when on the ice together, which led all Blackhawks point pairs. Add in youngster Teravainen, who scored 10 points in 18 playoffs games last season, and Chicago’s top line has the potential to be scary productive. Even though DraftKings doesn’t count power-play points, all three will see time and extra scoring chances on the PP with the likes of Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.
Tomas Plekanec ($5,300) – Max Pacioretty ($7,100) – Brendan Gallagher ($5,100)
Though the Canadiens were in the bottom half of the League in scoring last season, they have a chance to get off on the right foot in 2015-16 against the lowly and rebuilding Maple Leafs. Pacioretty posted 37 goals on his way to his third straight full season of 60-plus points and will have extra motivation after recently being named captain. Plekanec and Gallagher have played together in the past, combining for 17 team goals as a point pair last season. The trio has the potential to each crack the 60-point plateau this season.
Anze Kopitar ($5,600) – Marion Gaborik ($5,500) – Milan Lucic ($4,300)
A rare off year for LA saw the Kings miss the playoffs in 2014-15. Now armed with a large new body up front in Lucic, the Kings top line has potential to be one of the best all-around trios in the League. Lucic struggled last season with the rest of the Bruins to a 18-26-44 stat line, but should see a bounce back with playmakers Kopitar and Gaborik. Gaborik and Kopitar started last season slow but heated up late to combine for 28 goals scored while on ice together.
Sean Monahan ($5,700) – Johnny Gaudreau ($5,500) – Jiri Hudler ($4,800)
This trio formed one of the most prolific lines in the NHL last season. Hudler tied for eighth in the League with 76 points, Monahan posted the first 30-30 season of his career and Gaudreau netted 64 points on his way to being a Calder Trophy finalist. The three combined for 110 points at home in ’14-15 and have a favorable matchup at the Saddledome on Wednesday against Ryan Miller and a suspect Canucks defense.
Derek Stepan ($5,400) – Chris Kreider ($5,000) – Kevin Hayes ($4,200)
With Derick Brassard and Rick Nash together on the first line for the time being, the Rangers will need to rely heavily on their secondary scoring in order to be successful this year. Stepan will be motivated to live up to his new contract, while both Hayes and Kreider are pending restricted free agents with a lot to prove as well. These three saw time in different spots in the Rangers top-nine forward mix last year, but will see significant minutes together Wednesday against Corey Crawford, whose GAA was much worse at United Center (2.48) than it was on the road (2.06) last season.
Bo Horvat ($3,600) – Sven Baertschi ($2,500) – Radim Vrbata ($5,900)
An intriguing line to say the least. Vrbata, who had 63 points playing right wing alongside the Sedins for much of last season, finds himself in a secondary spot with two up-and-comers. Horvat only managed 25 points in his first NHL season but looked every bit the prospect he was in his junior career with four goals and an assist this preseason. Baertschi, who posted five assists this preseason, has struggled to stay in the league since the Flames drafted him 13th overall in 2011 but he will get the chance to prove his worth with a spot on Vancouver’s second line to start the season.
For any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey