Here's a look around the league at the latest trends after another week of hockey. Some food for thought, some leftover stats and, of course, some fantasy advice. Let's dig in.
All fancy stats courtesy Natural Stat Trick.
In a shortened season and trade acquisitions having to quarantine before joining their new teams, there is no simple fix for coaches other than to tinker with their lines. It's been a difficult balance to maintain all season, especially with games being postponed and players being placed on COVID protocol. Case in point, the struggling Flames, who re-united their old top line of Sean Monahan between Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm and ended up winning 6-3 against the Sens on Saturday.
Monahan's line combined for four points but it also allowed a lot of chances and was completely dwarfed possession-wise by the second line of Mikael Backlund centering Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane, with Backlund snapping an eight-game drought with a three-point effort. Long-term, however, re-uniting Gaudreau and Monahan with Lindholm seems like the right play; they had a 54.13 5v5 CF% in 2018-19 and 52.56 5v5 CF% in 2019-20, so there's plenty of history to show it can and should work.
The biggest beneficiary should be Monahan, who is rostered in only 69 percent of Yahoo leagues but could see a big boost from playing with his old linemates and, hopefully, an improving shooting percentage that's at a career low. It's worth noting that Backlund's line has been