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Fantasy hockey line top 25 rankings for October 21, 2018

Tatar, Gallagher form chemistry for Canadiens; Tierney thriving on Senators' line with Stone

by Jonathan Baron / NHL.com Fantasy Correspondent

NHL.com ranks the top fantasy hockey forward lines and tracks notable changes and production trends each week during the 2018-19 season. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 200 rankings | Tracker | Top 10 waiver wire

 

PRODUCTION TRENDS

-- The Montreal Canadiens were not represented in last week's line rankings, but a huge performance from the group of Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher helped them join the list. After four goals and two assists in 20 games following a trade to the Vegas Golden Knights last season, Tatar outperformed those numbers with three goals and four assists in three games from Oct. 13-17. In the past four games, Montreal's line has combined for seven goals and seven assists. The Canadiens have outscored opponents 6-1 with their top line on the ice this season at 5-on-5, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

Video: STL@MTL: Gallagher puts Habs ahead late off turnover

 

-- The Tampa Bay Lightning line of Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov was reunited by coach Jon Cooper on Oct. 13, and they hit the ground running like they were never broken up in the first place. Kucherov (one goal, four assists) and Palat (four assists) each have at least a point in all four games since the reunion, and Johnson had his fourth career hat trick against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. A lack of line continuity kept the Lightning out of last week's rankings, but this line's track record and current success make it an instant top-25 unit when together. If the recent production isn't enough, the numbers tell us to expect even more from this group: the "Triplets" line has produced 29.6 scoring chances per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 (about three better than NHL average of 26.8), according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

 

LINE CHANGES

-- Two seasons ago, the Chicago Blackhawks line of Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane was one of the most steadily used and productive in the NHL. Anisimov and Kane were reunited Saturday with Nick Schmaltz as the third member against Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets. The revised line had instant success, with all three members having at least one point in a 4-1 win. Kane had two goals and one assist in the win and is off to one of the best starts of his NHL career with seven goals & four assists through seven games entering Sunday. Kane has at least four shots on goal in six of his first seven games and ranks third in the category (38) behind Tyler Seguin and Nathan MacKinnon. Like in 2016-17, Anisimov (3 percent owned in Yahoo) becomes immediately fantasy relevant with exposure to Kane.

Video: CHI@CBJ: Kane finishes off beautiful passing play

 

-- Rookie Brady Tkachuk's leg injury has forced Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher to shake up his line combinations, leading to the effective unit of Ryan Dzingel, Chris Tierney and Mark Stone. The Dzingel-Tierney-Stone line owned the puck in their first game together against the Canadiens on Saturday, out-attempting Montreal 14-5 in 8:39 of 5-on-5 ice time, according to NaturalStatTrick.com. Tierney (17 percent owned) played a season-high 21:09 on Saturday and is quickly making a case for an ownership boost given his usage and exposure to a productive wing in Stone. Tierney has started his Ottawa tenure with at least a point in each of his first seven games with the Senators (totaling two goals, seven assists).

 

FANTASY LINE RANKINGS FOR 2018-19

These rankings have taken into account NHL.com fantasy top 200 rank (listed next to applicable players), recent production in standard Yahoo categories (goals, assists, plus/minus, power-play points, shots on goal, hits), line stability or fluctuation from previous season(s), team scoring distribution and injury risk or contract status of any individual player(s).

1. BOS: Brad Marchand (8) -- Patrice Bergeron (35) -- David Pastrnak (12)
2. COL: Gabriel Landeskog (91) -- Nathan MacKinnon (10) -- Mikko Rantanen (69)
3. TOR: Patrick Marleau (157) -- Auston Matthews (11) -- Kasperi Kapanen (180)
4. TOR: Zach Hyman (177) -- John Tavares (9) -- Mitchell Marner (23)
5. DAL: Jamie Benn (14) -- Tyler Seguin (13) -- Alexander Radulov (54)
6. WSH: Alex Ovechkin (2) -- Evgeny Kuznetsov (22) -- Devante Smith-Pelly (N/R)
7. NSH: Filip Forsberg (34) -- Ryan Johansen (117) -- Viktor Arvidsson (98)
8. CAR: Micheal Ferland (188) -- Sebastian Aho (52) -- Teuvo Teravainen (99)
9. PHI: Claude Giroux (19) -- Sean Couturier (102) -- Jakub Voracek (61)
10. CGY: Johnny Gaudreau (28) -- Sean Monahan (58) -- Elias Lindholm (183)
11. CHI: Alex DeBrincat (89) -- Jonathan Toews (122) -- Dominik Kahun (200)
12. PIT: Carl Hagelin (N/R) -- Evgeni Malkin (7) -- Phil Kessel (39)
13. WPG: Kyle Connor (96) -- Mark Scheifele (30) -- Blake Wheeler (19)
14. FLA: Evgenii Dadonov (132) -- Aleksander Barkov (41) -- Nick Bjugstad (167)
15. CBJ: Artemi Panarin (28) -- Pierre-Luc Dubois (114) -- Cam Atkinson (116)
16. TBL: Ondrej Palat (162) -- Tyler Johnson (159) -- Nikita Kucherov (8)
17. NJD: Taylor Hall (22) -- Nico Hischier (146) -- Kyle Palmieri (176)
18. PIT: Jake Guentzel (93) -- Sidney Crosby (3) -- Bryan Rust (N/R)
19. VGK: Jonathan Marchessault (58) -- William Karlsson (65) -- Reilly Smith (134)
20. MTL: Tomas Tatar (195) -- Phillip Danault (N/R) -- Brendan Gallagher (174)
21. CAR: Warren Foegele (N/R) -- Jordan Staal (149) -- Justin Williams (N/R)
22. EDM: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (112) -- Connor McDavid (1) -- Kailer Yamamoto (N/R)
23. SJS: Evander Kane (42) -- Joe Pavelski (58) -- Kevin Labanc (N/R)
24. STL: Jaden Schwartz (151) -- Brayden Schenn (73) -- Vladimir Tarasenko (23)
25. ARI: Lawson Crouse (N/R) -- Derek Stepan (N/R) -- Clayton Keller (96)*

NOTES: The Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings' top lines have been omitted from the rankings because of changes and/or injuries this season. ... It's worth noting Alex Galchenyuk practiced on the Arizona Coyotes' first line with Keller and Crouse on Monday.

Teams with two lines in the rankings: CAR, TOR, PIT

Teams not represented in rankings: ANA, BUF, DET, LAK, MIN, NYI, NYR, OTT, VAN

 

Read: October 14 line rankings

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