Over the course of the league’s wild history, some star-studded line combinations have left all of us speechless. Whether it was Jari Kuri and Wayne Gretzky in the 80s or more recently Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, the talent was undeniable at times. In this day and age, the talent among some of these top lines is something out of a fantasy world. These are the top five best lines in the NHL for the 2021 season so far.
The Best Lines in the NHL Should Not Be a Debate
Toronto Maple Leafs
For years the Toronto Maples Leafs played their entire game through one player; Phill Kessel. Jump a couple of years and entry drafts later and they’ve now got one of the best forward tandems in the entire league.
Auston Matthews has developed himself into an elite goal scorer with MVP aspirations every season. However, there’s no doubt Matthews wouldn’t be where he is without his partner in crime Mitch Marner. Marner is the water to Matthews’ flower. He’s become one of the best passers in the entire game and his speed allows both players to really compliment each other.
Both Marner and Matthews sit atop the NHL point leaders and have continued to make the Leafs contenders in the East. The veteran Joe Thornton provides some fantastic leadership and size, without taking anything away from the youngsters. This young tandem should continue to provide the NHL fans with some electric content and play, and they are without a doubt one of the best lines in the NHL.
The Carolina Hurricanes are slowly becoming one of the most feared teams in the NHL and there’s no question this group’s development into one of the best lines in the NHL is the reasoning behind it.
Both Andrei Svechikov and Sebastian Aho exploded in their first season with the Hurricanes and at such a young age, so the development of these two into elite-level talents is not at all surprising. Teuvo Teravainen did not have the same immediate success that these two did when they first entered the league, but once he was moved to Carolina things quickly started to shape up and one of the best lines in the NHL began to form just a couple of years ago.
Once again, the chemistry matters so much when ranking the best lines in the NHL. Without a good dynamic, skill can only go so far. All three of these players excel in different parts of the game and have hyper-focused on those roles as they have become acclimated as linemates.
Last year, this line catapulted the Hurricanes into a playoff spot and although they were run out early by Boston, their first big season all together proved to be worth the wait. All three would finish with 60+ points in just 68 games and without a doubt would have tailed a few more had the season not been suspended.
Nonetheless, the sky is the limit for all three of these young studs and that’s part of the reason they are so appealing among both fans and league personnel. They’ve now helped lead the Canes to an extremely hot start to the season and will look to make a serious run come playoff time. The combination of their age and skill gap over nearly every line in this league is a scary sight for the rest of the NHL.
There truly hasn’t been a star-studded line like this in the league for quite a while. It rivals just a handful of truly some of the best lines this league has ever seen, with the perfect combination of chemistry and skill. What is now known as the “perfection line” is certainly just that and for the Boston Bruins, this has been an enormous blessing.
Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have been together for over a decade, attending three Stanley Cup Finals together (2011,2013,2019) and becoming very good friends in the process. David Pastrnak would explode into the league a couple of years before Boston’s latest Stanley Cup Finals appearance, very quickly becoming the missing piece to that top line. Not only was the scoring unmatched, but the playmaking from all three players has truly pushed the line to another level.
The compliments to each other really set this group apart from everyone else. Marchand and Pastrnak have both become elite scoring options alongside one of the most complete forwards in the entire league.
Both of them have taken the scoring burden from Bergeron and while he’s still producing at an elite level, he’s not looked at anymore for major goal totals. That’s a blessing for an aging Bergeron and I’d argue his production on both the defensive end and playmaking side of the game has improved even more because of that.
Even with the lack of defense that the Bruins possess, this “perfection line” has stopped a number of wounds in Boston and continues to keep them in contention every season. This line is undoubtedly one of the best lines in the NHL and many believe they will hold the top spot for a while.
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