Two months into the season we took a look at what lines around the NHL had been the most dominant at 5-vs-5, with the stipulation that the lines had to spend at least 100 minutes together in that game state as a unit, so we could get some semblance of a decent sample size.
Over halfway through the season, how much has changed? How reliably have those lines held up as the top ones, and are there a definitive top-five this time?
This time, since we’re so deep into the season, the cutoff is a bit higher at 200 minutes played together, so some lines will be different due to injury or other line shakeups. Like last time, we won’t number the lines from one to five, but here are the most dominant lines in the NHL at 5-vs-5 this season.
The most improved line from the first quarter of the season is the keystone of the most improved team, with the Tampa Bay Lightning looking like themselves nowadays. The top line led by Brayden Point has been astonishingly good this season, controlling more than 60 per cent of play on average while they’re on the ice, and nearly 70 per cent of the goals.
A slow start to the season really put Tampa behind the pack for a good stretch of the season, but they’re so red hot right now that they’re pushing for the division lead, thanks in large part to this line’s dominance.
Point specifically keeps carving out his niche as one of the league’s best two-way players and Nikita Kucherov is producing offensively in the way he’s expected to.