The NHL season is only a few weeks old, but it hasn't disappointed...unless you cheer for the Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild or Los Angeles Kings, of course.
By now, teams have a good idea as to what their roster will look like for the remainder of the season. And with that in mind, it's worth looking at which lines have been the top producing units in the NHL through the early stages of the season. One group you won't find below? The Colorado Avalanche's star trio of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, which was one of the league's most lethal last season. Nor will you find the Tampa Bay Lightning's top unit. In place of those two groups are a couple of surprise lines who ply their trade with clubs that have seen early scoring surges.
Here are the top-scoring lines in 5-on-5 play so far:
Leon Draisaitl – Connor McDavid – Zach Kassian (Edmonton Oilers – 11 goals)
The Oilers are on top of the world right now, and with McDavid playing at the top of his game, it's no surprise this line is No. 1 right now. Stitching McDavid and Draisatil together last season resulted in both members of Edmonton's dynamic duo breaking 100-point barrier, while Kassian finished with a career-high 15 goals. The trio has hit it off again this season, leading the league with 11 goals and a whopping 78.6 goals-for percentage while McDavid and Draisaitl sit No. 1 and No. 3 in league scoring. Don't expect them to fall far from the throne this season as they look to help the Oilers return to the post-season.
Tyler Bertuzzi – Dylan Larkin – Anthony Mantha (Detroit Red Wings – 9 goals)
If you saw how well Detroit's top trio played in the late stages of the 2018-19 season, albeit well after the Red Wings' playoff hopes had perished, it shouldn't come as a surprise to see them lighting it up once again in Motor City. Mantha is leading the charge with six goals this season, three of which have come as a direct result of an assist by Larkin or Bertuzzi. The trio's 69.2 GF percentage is the second-best among lines with at least seven goals so far. However, with the Red Wings not expected to contend for a playoff spot this season, the line will simply be asked to play important minutes and lead the charge into the future.
Filip Forsberg – Matt Duchene – Mikael Granlund (Nashville Predators – 8 goals)
Argue amongst yourselves whether or not this is the first or the second line, but it's producing like a true top trio right now. Forsberg, in particular, has scored four goals thanks to the work of either Granlund or Duchene, with the latter leading the Predators with nine points. Granlund already looks much more dangerous with the puck than he did following the trade from Minnesota last season, as well. Worth noting, though, is that Forsberg is expected to miss a handful of games with a lower-body injury.
Dominik Simon – Sidney Crosby – Jake Guentzel (Pittsburgh Penguins – 7 goals)
Despite injuries to a couple of the Penguins' top scorers, the team's top line hasn't missed a beat. Crosby is back to his old self, posting 12 points in nine games, connecting with Guentzel for four goals already. Guentzel, of course, already looks primed for another 40-goal season after eclipsing the plateau for the first time last season. Simon has been along for the ride with four points himself, but his value has been in his back-checking ability and holding his own defensively to allow his star linemates to stay busy. The line's production shouldn't be surprising. They'll remain a top unit throughout the season.
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins – 7 goals)
It's not exactly a surprise that one of 2018-19's most dominant lines back at it again this season. The three forwards have combined for 35 points, but no other forward on the roster has more than two this season. A one-line offensive attack? It definitely feels that way, but it's doing the trick. The Bruins sit near the top of the Atlantic Division. Boston's top line would be at the top if we counted power-play goals, that they remain in the top-five despite limiting their production to five-a-side speaks to how well-rounded the group is. It shouldn't be long before this line is fighting for the top spot.
(Statistics via LeftWingLock)
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