For the Brief Time They Were on the Ice at Five-on-five, the Blue Jackets' Line of Yegor Chinakov-Cole Sillinger-Kirill Marchenko Was Effective

By Coby Maeir on December 7, 2022 at 1:45 pm
Cole Sillinger and Yegor Chinakov
Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports

One positive that can be taken from Tuesday night's loss to the Penguins was the line of Yegor Chinakov, Cole Sillinger, and Kirill Marchenko.

The 22-year-old Marchenko made his NHL debut Tuesday and played on a line with 19-year-old Cole Sillinger and 21-year-old Yegor Chinakov. While they only played 3:15 together at five-on-five per, they were fantastic.

Their 100% five-on-five on-ice expected goals for percentage (xGF%) cannot be any better, they had five shot attempts for and zero against, and their 0.09 xG differential was the best of any Blue Jackets forward line. 

Individually they were great, as well, boasting the top-three five-on-five xGF% among Columbus forwards with Sillinger at 93%, Chinakov at 90.9%, and Marchenko at 70.7%. 

Before I crown them as the best line in hockey, they only played 3:15, and it was only one game. It will be interesting to see if this line sticks together over the next few games or so and see how they perform. Is it a situation where Brad Larsen just lets them play together through potential rough patches? Or will he change it up if it stops working? Either way, from a game that was pretty much all Pittsburgh after the Jackets opened the scoring one minute into the game, this should be something fans can be excited about. 

If this line receives a larger chunk of ice time over a decent stretch of games and continues to produce, that's a massive victory in a season that hasn't had many of those so far.