The First Line: March 27, 2018

Left Wing: Brad Marchand — Boston Bruins

While Marchand may not be the ‘cleanest’ player on the ice when Boston takes the ice night in and night out, there is a reason why the winger has been a staple of the Bruins’ lineup since his first full season 2010-11.

It’s because he puts up seasons like the one he’s having right now; so far he has recorded 33 goals and 47 assists setting a career high in the latter category. Marchand also simply has a positive effect on his team when he is on the ice, ranking second in the league with a plus/minus of 34.

This past week has been no different for the veteran forward as he picked up three goals and four assists lifting his team to a 2-0-1 record during that stretch. The Bruins will look to capitalize on Marchand’s play as the team will cruise into playoffs as one of the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference.

Center: Connor McDavid — Edmonton Oilers

Over his three years in the league, McDavid has shown the world why the Oilers took him first overall in 2015 recording 100 points in his first full season of action in 2016-17.

This year, McDavid is on pace to pass that mark as the centerman sits at a league high 99 points with six games left on the schedule. The 21 year old also ranks fourth in both goals (39) and assists (60) making him a contender for the Hart after taking it home last year.

However over the past week, the center was on fire recording a league high 10 points equally divided between goals and assists, coverting on 33 percent of his shots. Over that stretch the Oilers are 3-0-1,

This hot streak has come too late for the Oilers, who are mathematically eliminated from this year’s playoffs, but if McDavid’s play has shown us anything it is that missing the playoffs will be a rare occurrence for the Oilers throughout his career.

Right Wing: Phil Kessel — Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens are not done yet; after winning back to back Stanley Cups Pittsburgh is still hungry as they are in line to make the playoffs to try for the ‘three-peat.’

While not always in the spotlight, Kessel is a big reason behind the Pens’ success and has put together one of his best seasons in recent memory with 30 goals and 55 assists ranking tenth in the latter category.

This past week has not been much different for the forward who put up a goal and six assists over the past seven days lifting his team to a 3-0-1 record.  The Penguins need every win they can get as they are fifth in the Eastern Conference now, but only three points ahead of the No. 7 seed Flyers.


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