It’s never a bad idea to draft a dynamic duo to lead your fantasy hockey team all the way to a championship. When you rely on a deadly combo of proven snipers and setup men your fantasy hockey team reaps the rewards of some massive point total nights when the two star players light up opponents. Some stars in the National Hockey League are lucky enough to play with great talents, forming some of the most prolific point producing machines in hockey. Here is a look at the 10 best duos worth considering to lead your fantasy hockey franchise all the way to 1st place and bragging rights over all your friends.
10. Taylor Hall & Jordan Eberle – The Edmonton Oilers
Hall and Eberle enter the 2013-14 NHL season on a serious upward trend toward elite NHL scoring prowess. Hall’s breakout 2013 campaign saw him finish top 10 in league scoring, placing him in some very elite company. Jordan Eberle is always clutch and capable of a deadly strike to end a game. This dynamic duo make up 2/3 of a very exciting, goal scoring line that is on the cusp of taking their game to new heights as they compete for spots on Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Socchi, Russia.
9. Ryan Getzlaf & Corey Perry – The Anaheim Ducks
My, how the mighty have fallen. A few years ago these two puck possessing power forwards from the Western Conference could have argued for a place at the top of this list. However, in recent years their numbers have been slightly less impressive than some of the duos with higher ranking. Regardless, at any time, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry could explode into top 5 in scoring stratosphere with MVP type seasons. When they are playing well, these two Ducks dominate possession and create opportunities almost every shift. It’s a smart strategy to let Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry play a lead role on your fantasy hockey team in 2013-14.
8. Henrik Sedin & Daniel Sedin – The Vancouver Canucks
The Sedin twins still got it. No other combo in the league displays as much chemistry and all out attacking synchronicity. The Canucks two lead men are the perfect compliment to each others strengths. Henrik’s playmaking and Daniel’s sniping combine for a plethora of lamp lighters throughout the course of an NHL schedule and this season will be no different. In drafting Hank and Daniel, your fantasy team will be guaranteed at least two players who will produce at the highest level, and maybe even challenge for scoring titles. The only fear here, is that the aging stars will see another decline in production.
7. Eric Staal & Alex Semin – The Carolina Hurricanes
Eric Staal and Alexander Semin form one of the newer duos on this list, however, last season, both proved that together they are nearly impossible to contain. These dominant big snipers on the Canes can not only set each other up, both can score at a lethal clip, and with deadly precision. They may not get the attention some of the other guys on this list receive, but there is no denying that when the puck drops and the 2013-14 NHL season begins, Eric Staal and Alex Semin are going to score a ton of goals, accumulating crazy pool points for hockey fantasy owners all over.
6. Jonathan Toews & Patrick Kane – The Chicago Blackhawks
With another Stanley Cup under their belts, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks are locks to produce regularly on the scoresheet in 2013-14. Coach Q likes to mix his lines up, so Toews and Kane may not always share the ice, however, in the past that has not hurt either player’s production. There is no inkling of doubt that Toews & Kane will produce with the best of them this season, regardless of which line they play on. The two Hawks’ superstars will share significant power play time together, ensuring that goals will come in abundance, and multiple point nights will regularly boost the success of your fantasy hockey team.
5. John Tavares & Matt Moulson – The New York Islanders
Last season’s Hart Trophy nominee, John Tavares, is in the conversation to capture this season’s Art Ross trophy as the league’s top scorer. In Matt Moulson, JT has a partner in crime who doesn’t get enough credit for his ability to tally repeatedly in the goal department. As a duo, Tavares and Moulson will cause fits for defence corps’ and goaltenders all around the league this season, as the young stars continue to improve and reclaim franchise respectability for the New York Islanders. Tavares has reached superstar status. With his incredible pedigree and obvious skill, there is no questioning whether Tavares will challenge for a scoring title and place in the league as one of the game’s top 5-10 players this season. Moulson’s complimentary finishing ability ensures this combo will be near impossible to stop.
4. Sidney Crosby & Chris Kunitz – The Pittsburgh Penguins
Last season, depending on the point structure of your hockey pool, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz were likely the highest scoring duo in your fantasy league. Sid The Kid tore up the league in spite of missing the final 12 games of the season. Kunitz, broke out and took his game to extraordinary new heights, finishing with the 6th highest point total in the NHL. As a combo, they could very easily produce at the highest level once again in 2013-14, and with all certainty, probably will. As great as Crosby & Kunitz are, there remain questions that prevent them from placing higher on this list. Can Sidney Crosby play a full season? He hasn’t suited up for more than 41 games in a season since 2008-09. The other question, can Chris Kunitz repeat last season’s success? In 2012-13, the Penguins’ late bloomer finished with more than a point per game for only the first time in his ten year NHL career. Although Kunitz looked legit racking up the points, until he does it twice, there will be questions surrounding his ability to duplicate as one of the league’s elite scorers.
3. Martin St. Louis & Steven Stamkos – The Tampa Bay Lightning
This duo features last season’s Art Ross winner and runner up for the Rocket Richard, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos are absolute scoring menaces. Over the last several NHL seasons, this Tampa Bay Lightning scoring partnership has proven time and time again that they will score at the highest level and with the most consistency of any two player combo in hockey. St. Louis is an ageless wonder – one of the most individually lethal visionaries to skate on NHL ice. Steven Stamkos is a flat out scoring machine, it’s that simple. There is perhaps no safer bet amongst NHL scoring duos than Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos.
2. Evgeni Malkin & James Neal – The Pittsburgh Penguins
The last time the NHL played a full 82 game schedule, the duo of Evgeni Malkin and James Neal combined to score 90 goals. It’s virtually impossible to stop these two highly skilled giants from generating elite offensive numbers on a nightly basis. With Crosby and Kunitz alternating shifts, the Malkin/Neal combo is able to escape defensive shutdown assignments against teams that don’t possess multiple defensive units. Malkin and Neal play a power game that shines while possessing the puck in the offensive zone, yet, their counter attack and rush game is equally deadly. And once they get on the power play with Crosby and Kris Letang, a goal is likely on its way. You can’t go wrong with Malkin and Neal as your franchise players.
1. Alex Ovechkin & Nicklas Backstrom – The Washington Capitals
Last season, Alex Ovechkin reminded us all that he is still in the mix as best player and most lethal goal scorer in the National Hockey League. After slow starts, Ovie and Backstrom erupted for a streak of ridiculous point totals while the Caps won 15 of their remaining 19 regular season games in 2012-13. This duo is the perfect combination of top goalscorer/top playmaker. Since 2008-09, these two Caps superstars have produced more than a point per game all but once each. Their collective skill level is undeniable and even more importantly, unstoppable. If you can get your hands on Alex Ovechkin and Nik Backstrom your fantasy hockey team will enjoy a lot of big point nights from arguably the NHL’s most superior, and perfectly designed duo of complimentary weapons.
DISCLAIMER: This article is not gambling advice. It is hockey pool strategy theory generated to explore the possibility of building a fantasy team that relies on a high scoring NHL duo. At the end of the day, make your own informed decisions about the type of fantasy hockey team you want to build. Whether you play in a money league or a no cash prize environment, do your own research and form your own opinions. Good luck.