It's not one line that will win a team a Stanley Cup championship, but it helps to have at least one very good one. There are a number of really good lines in the NHL right now. Here's a look at the best of the best at the midpoint of the 2018-19 season.
An Avalanche of Scoring The Colorado Avalanche are tied for third in the Central Division of the Western Conference. The big reason why is the line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog. Both Rantanen (68 points) and MacKinnon (66 points) are among the top five scorers in the NHL. Rantanen trails only Nikita Kucherov of Tampa Bay for the NHL lead in points. Landeskog has the most goals of the three. His 27 scores put him fifth in the league. The line has been awesome all season long for the Avs. The problem is Colorado doesn't have another one even close. As a result, the Avalanche are 3-10-3 since Dec. 8.
On Fire in Calgary If you had not been paying attention to the NHL this season and were asked to name the team atop the Western Conference, it likely would not be the Calgary Flames. It is the Flames though that are leading not only the Pacific Division but the entire West. The reason? The line of Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and Elias Lindholm.
The Flames' top line has skated together for 525:39 of ice time in 5-on-5 situations. They have outscored opponents by a 38-22 margin. They are also one of the more dominant defensive lines in the league controlling 56.4 percent of shot attempts as well as 54.6 percent of the shots on goal. The Flames could become the West's top seed in the postseason and the reason why is the Monahan-Gaudreau-Lindholm line.
Nashville Net Music The Nashville Predators are currently second in the Central Division just two points behind first-place Winnipeg. Nashville's top line of Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen, and Filip Forsberg is as good as any. Its problem is injuries. The Predators trio has only played 17 games together this season, but they have proven their dominance.
They have controlled 60.32 percent of the scoring chances when 5-on-5 and have outscored their opponents 15-11. Taken over two seasons, the Arvidsson-Johansen-Forsberg line has a plus-22 goal differential. Their on-ice shooting percentage is one of the best in the NHL at 10.79 percent. The Predators best line is putting up numbers similar to those of MacKinnon and company in Colorado.
Maple Leafs Best The Toronto Maple Leafs signed John Tavares in the offseason to add him to a line that already had Mitch Marner. Zach Hyman, now healthy, makes this line one of the league's best. In 34 games playing together, the trio has come together for a 64.29 percent goals for percentage when at full strength. They usually play against an opponent's strongest line and still manage to produce. Tavares will probably score 50 goals this season and Marner, who is just 21 years old, will eclipse the 100-point barrier.