The First Line: March 13, 2018

As we get closer  and closer to the end of the NHL regular season, big weeks for players become more and more crucial for playoff teams. These three forwards have done the most to help their respective teams in their hunt for the playoffs.

Left Wing- Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins:

While you can certianly question the way Marchand plays the game, there is a reason he is an elite forward in the NHL.

Marchand is having a nice season piling up 29 goals and 40 assists in an effort to lift the Bruins back into the playoffs for a second straight year.

It appears that Marchand has avoided a suspension for his hit last week on Anthony Duclair and that is a good thing for Boston as the left wing has been heating up of late piling up four goals and four assists over the past week.

The Bruins will look to continue to lean on their star winger as they try to lock up one of the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference.

Center- Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks:

The Bruins are playing for seeding in the Eastern Conference but for Getzlaf’s Ducks, it is all about just getting into the playoffs.

The Ducks currently sit in the nine seed with 80 points and will be leaning on their star center to help push them over the hump.

It has been a bit of a disappointing season for Getzlaf in regard to putting the puck in the back of the net only picking up 10 goals on the season. However he has been there when his teammates needed him most with 41 assists.

This past week has followed a similar trend for Getzlaf who picked up seven assists and one goal to keep his team’s playoff hopes alive.

Right Wing- Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets:

It has been a career year for Laine who has already matched his point total from his rookie year in 2016-17 with 64.

Laine has also set a new career high in goals with 41 which is just one goal behind Alexander Ovechkin for the league lead.

However this was in large part made possible by the past week where Laine picked up seven goals and one assist in just four games this week.

The Jets have flourished from Laine’s play as they are the three seed in the West just three points behind the surprising Vegas Golden Knights for the Two seed and six behind the Preditors for the top spot.

If Laine can continue to play like this, or anything close to this, level of play for the rest of the season the Jets will be in good shape going into the playoffs.

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