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The First Line: March 20, 2018

Left Wing: James van Riemsdyk- Toronto Maple Leafs:

After making a brief appearance in the playoffs last year the Leafs seem to be even more motivated this year as they have picked up 93 points as they look to cement their place as the three seed in the Eastern Conference.

van Riemsdyk is one of the big reasons why the Leafs have been among the league’s best this year with a team (and career) best 31 goals while also adding 16 assists.

Over the past week, the winger really stepped up his game picking up five goals and one assists and lifted his team to a 3-0-0 record over that stretch.

As the Leafs shift their attention from the regular season to the playoffs they will look for van Riemsdyk to supply a lot of the offense so the lights at Air Canada Centre stay on until late May.

Center: Tomas Hertl- San Jose Sharks

After the trade deadline one thing was clear about the Sharks, they were going all in to make the playoffs and try to win the Cup.

Hertl working to make that goal a reality by having a career season by recording 22 assists and 20 goals ranking seventh and second on the Sharks in those two categories.

This past week was more of the same for Hertl who picked up seven points via four goals and three assists in an effort resulting in eight much needed points for San Jose.

The center man’s continued success will only become more crucial for the Sharks as they enter the home stretch of the NHL season. Especially since the 3-8 seeds in the Western Conference are all separated by less than five points (Sharks are fourth in the West).

Right Wing: Mikko Rantanen- Colorado Avalanche

With two years of play under his belt, Rantanen is getting the feel for being a star wing in the NHL and the Avs are reaping the rewards of his great season.

This is Rantanen’s second week this month on the first line, the forward has been incredibly crucial to the Avs final push for the playoffs in one of the tightest Western Conference races we have seen in recent years.

This season Rantanen has scored 25 goals surpassing his previous career high of 20. The winger also has blown past his previous career high of 18 assists piling up 52 helpers this season.

The past week has been no different for Rantanen who pick up two goals and four assists to help his team to a 3-1-0 record to keep the Avs in the playoff picture.

 

 

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