Puck Daddy - NHL

Recently, Wysh discussed the powerhouse line of Alexander Semin(notes)-Nicklas Backstrom-Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals along with a few other top lines around the National Hockey League. But what about the rest of the league? How do some of the top lines compare to one another?

For this Puck Daddy experiment, we used the amazing "Line Combination" tracker from Dobber Hockey, which charts the lines for every team and how often they are played together. It's incredibly resourceful for fantasy purposes as well as a great tool for stat geeks everywhere.

After the jump, we break down the top two lines* from all 30 NHL teams into a five-tier system much like ESPN's Bill Simmons uses with his NFL power rankings.

*Note: In these rankings we used the top two lines by their frequency together, which, according to Dobber, the percentages "represent on-ice line occurrences compiled from NHL play-by-play events." This is why there might be some notable name omissions; Patrick Kane(notes) and Evgeni Malkin(notes) might pop out right away. Some of the lines may be temporarily scrambled by coaches. Also, the lines are not ranked within their individual tiers.

THE BEST OF THE BEST

Bobby Ryan(notes)-Corey Perry-Ryan Getzlaf(notes), Anaheim Ducks

Daniel Alfredsson(notes)-Milan Michalek-Jason Spezza(notes), Ottawa Senators

Dany Heatley(notes)-Devin Setoguchi-Joe Thornton(notes), San Jose Sharks

Alex Burrows(notes)-Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin(notes), Vancouver Canucks

Alexander Semin-Nicklas Backstrom(notes)-Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Tied for third in the best line poll from the other day, the Ryan-Perry-Getzlaf line is a developing powerhouse line that features the two stalwarts in Corey Perry(notes) and Ryan Getzlaf along with the budding star Bobby Ryan who broke out in his first full season in the NHL last year. The trio combined for 88 goals (31 on the power-play) and 220 points, leading Anaheim to an upset of the No. 1 San Jose Sharks in the first-round of the playoffs last season.

Keep in mind that we're talking about these lines at full power; right now, Semin's been dropped down to the second line and Daniel Sedin(notes) is out a month with a broken foot.

THE ALWAYS DANGEROUS

Jamie Langenbrunner(notes)-Zach Parise-Travis Zajac(notes), New Jersey Devils

Nik Antropov(notes)-Ilya Kovalchuk-Bryan Little(notes), Atlanta Thrashers

Milan Lucic(notes)-Marc Savard-Marco Sturm(notes), Boston Bruins

Jarome Iginla(notes)-Olli Jokinen-David Moss(notes), Calgary Flames

Mike Cammalleri-Brian Gionta(notes)-Scott Gomez, Montreal Canadiens

Patrick Sharp(notes)-Jonathan Toews-Kris Versteeg(notes), Chicago Blackhawks

Derick Brassard(notes)-Kristian Huselius-Rick Nash(notes), Columbus Blue Jackets

Loui Erikkson-James Neal(notes)-Brad Richards, Dallas Stars

Pavel Datsyuk(notes)-Johan Franzen-Tomas Holmstrom(notes), Detroit Red Wings

David Booth(notes)-Nathan Horton-Stephen Weiss(notes), Florida Panthers

Anze Kopitar(notes)-Ryan Smyth-Justin Williams(notes), Los Angeles Kings

Andrew Brunette(notes)-Martin Havlat-Mikko Koivu(notes), Minnesota Wild

Brandon Dubinsky(notes)-Marian Gaborik-Vaclav Prospal(notes), New York Rangers

Daniel Briere-Jeff Carter(notes)-Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers

Sidney Crosby(notes)-Bill Guerin-Chris Kunitz(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins

Ryan Clowe-Patrick Marleau(notes)-Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

Brad Boyes(notes)-Paul Kariya-Keith Tkachuk(notes), St. Louis Blues

Ryan Malone(notes)-Martin St. Louis-Steven Stamkos(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning

It's the grizzled veteran surrounded by the two kids. For whatever reason, the line of Zach Parise(notes)-Jamie Langenbrunner-Travis Zajac works for New Jersey and it's no wonder all three are coming off career seasons. Painted as a defensive-minded team forever, Zach Parise is the man if the Devils are looking for a goal and if the chemistry the three built last season can be found again, they will lead the way offensively for New Jersey.

THIRD TIER

Milan Hejduk(notes)-Paul Stastny-Wojtek Wolski(notes), Colorado Avalanche

Saku Koivu(notes)-Joffrey Lupul-Teemu Selanne(notes), Anaheim Ducks

Tuomo Ruutu(notes)-Sergei Samsonov-Eric Staal(notes), Carolina Hurricanes

Jamie Benn(notes)-Brendan Morrow-Mike Ribeiro(notes), Dallas Stars

Todd Bertuzzi(notes)-Dan Cleary-Henrik Zetterberg(notes), Detroit Red Wings

Alex Hemsky-Shawn Horcoff(notes)-J.F. Jacques, Edmonton Oilers

Dustin Brown(notes)-Teddy Purcell-Jarret Stoll(notes), Los Angeles Kings

Jason Arnott(notes)-Patric Hornqvist-Steve Sullivan(notes), Nashville Predators

Ryan Callahan(notes)-Chris Drury-Chris Higgins, New York Rangers

Mike Fisher(notes)-Nick Foligno-Alex Kovalev(notes), Ottawa Senators

Ryan Kesler(notes)-Mikael Samuelsson-Sergei Shirokov(notes), Vancouver Canucks

Someone's going to have to score goals for Colorado as they can't rely on Darcy Tucker(notes) to contend for the Rocket Richard Trophy. The line of Milan Hejduk-Paul Stastny(notes)-Wojtek Wolski will be the one and only offensive unit that will pose a threat to defenses over the course of this season. It's another veteran partnered with two youngsters trio that seems to work and will only help to further the development of Stastny and Wolski.

FOURTH TIER

Matt Cooke(notes)-Tyler Kennedy-Jordan Staal(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins

Patrice Bergeron(notes)-Chuck Kobasew-Mark Recchi(notes), Boston Bruins

Rene Bourque(notes)-Nigel Dawes-Daymond Langkow(notes), Calgary Flames

Matt Cullen(notes)-Chad LaRose-Ray Whitney(notes), Carolina Hurricanes

Jason Chimera(notes)-Samuel Pahlsson-R.J. Umberger(notes), Columbus Blue Jackets

Martin Erat(notes)-David Legward-Mike Santorelli(notes), Nashville Predators

David Clarkson(notes)-Rob Niedermayer-Jay Pandolfo(notes), New Jersey Devils

Matt Moulson(notes)-Kyle Okposo-John Tavares(notes), New York Islanders

Max Afinogenov-Slava Kozlov(notes)-Todd White, Atlanta Thrashers

Martin Hanzal(notes)-Petr Prucha-Radim Vrbata(notes), Phoenix Coyotes

Mikhail Grabovski(notes)-Niklas Hagman-Alexei Ponikarovsky(notes), Toronto Maple Leafs

Jason Blake(notes)-Matt Stajan-Viktor Stalberg(notes), Toronto Maple Leafs

The Pittsburgh Penguins third forward unit of Matt Cooke-Tyler Kennedy(notes)-Jordan Staal is a mix of a checking, shutdown, and offensive line. Cooke is the agitator, Staal is the shutdown pivot and power forward and Kennedy is the workhorse who has played himself into a full-time role with the Penguins. When the attributes of all three are blended together, you have a line that was a key component to Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup run last spring.

FIFTH TIER

Andrei Kostitsyn(notes)-Max Pacioretty-Tomas Plekanec(notes), Montreal Canadiens

Josh Bailey(notes)-Trent Hunter-Jon Sim(notes), New York Islanders

Tim Kennedy(notes)-Clark MacArthur-Jason Pominville(notes), Buffalo Sabres

Matt Ellis(notes)-Patrick Kaleta-Drew Stafford(notes), Buffalo Sabres

Troy Brouwer(notes)-Andrew Ladd-John Madden(notes), Chicago Blackhawks

T.J. Galiardi(notes)-Chris Stewart-Darcy Tucker, Colorado Avalanche

Mike Comrie(notes)-Patrick Sullivan-Ryan Stone(notes), Edmonton Oilers

Gregory Campbell(notes)-Radek Dvorak-Rostislav Olesz(notes), Florida Panthers

Cal Clutterbuck(notes)-Antti Miettinen-James Sheppard(notes) , Minnesota Wild

Blair Betts(notes)-Daniel Carcillo-Ian Laperriere(notes), Philadelphia Flyers

Matthew Lombardi(notes)-Peter Mueller-Scottie Upshall(notes), Phoenix Coyotes

B.J. Crombeen(notes)-Jay McClement-Alex Steen, St. Louis Blues

Jeff Halpern(notes)-Andrew Miller-James Wright(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning

Here's an interesting line on the Montreal Canadiens: The Kostitsyn-Pacioretty-Plekanec line features two players who took steps back last season and a youngster who's expected to develop into an important part of the Canadiens future. Kostitsyn and Plekanec saw their stats drop 42 points combined last season. As the team's current second line, if Montreal is to rebound from a playoff-less 2008-09 campaign, the production from their second line must get back on track.

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