Jason Bull is a 37-year-old police officer from Perth, Australia, but this week he is a rookie at the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. Bull will be blogging about his experiences from the Gretzky camp for NHL.com throughout the week:
LAS VEGAS -- Hockey has been my passion since I was around 10 or 11 years old. I first learned of the game while living in New Zealand.
My dad took me and my brothers along to a public skating session and at the end of that session, I saw some guys coming through the doors with their hockey equipment. I thought, 'What is going on here?'
So, we stuck around and watched a bit of it. We spent about an hour at the rink and I fell in love with it straight away. I said to my dad, 'This is the game I want to play.' He took me and my brothers back to the rink and we started training. It went from there.
And, to be here now, playing alongside Wayne Gretzky, a player I have admired for years, is beyond a dream come true.
"I think he gives Calgary a chance every night," the Hall of Fame goalie from Edmonton told NHL.com Monday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. "You watch most nights and they give up a lot of scoring chances, but he gives them an opportunity every night."
Fuhr, who stays involved with the Oilers doing community relations work, also talked about four other current goalies he admires, starting with another Northwest Division rival, at least for now.
"I still like Roberto Luongo," he said. "Everybody else seems to be down on him a little bit, but I think he's a great goalie. He can be that difference. He's in a tough boat right now. It's unfortunate, but it's a tough spot to be in. But, he's a class guy and he's a great goalie. People may not think that, but he's still got all the talent in the world."
Roy has two assists in four games, but hasn't played since Jan. 24, when he sustained the injury. He'll miss his second game Monday when the Stars visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Here are the lineups the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers likely will use tonight when they meet at Rexall Place in Edmonton. The Avs lineup is in flux a bit, as the team will be without team captain Gabriel Landeskog.
Injured: Nikolai Khabibulin
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings are four games into the season and still waiting for some big guns to get going.
Anze Kopitar scored two goals in L.A.'s first win last Saturday, but captain Dustin Brown, linemate Justin Williams and second-line center Mike Richards have combined for no goals and two assists going into the game Monday against the Vancouver Canucks.
Asked about Richards, coach Darryl Sutter said, "It's been an adjustment for some of our guys in terms of getting up to pace. He's one of those guys that need to get up to pace."
"He better get used to it or it will be a totally different role," Sutter said.
The Kings have basically picked up where they left off in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an 0-for-23 drought on the power play. A lot of times it's a matter of getting that first goal out of the way.
"We've created some good chances on the power play, I think everyone can see that," Drew Doughty said. "But the bottom line is, it doesn't matter how many chances you're creating, you need to put the puck in the net. It's something that all of us on the power play are frustrated with right now. Going into tonight, we've just got to be hungry to score that goal."
The bright spot on offense is, of all players, usual fourth line wing Kyle Clifford, who leads the team with five points. Clifford emerged as a scorer two postseasons ago and played in the ECHL during the lockout.
Clifford is a Sutter-type player and Sutter naturally had no reservations putting him on the second line with Richards and Jeff Carter.
"He was so happy that he won [the Stanley Cup], he was still disappointed because he didn't get to play after he got [concussed] in the Vancouver series," Sutter said in reference to last season's Western Conference Quarterfinals.
"That was his whole purpose when he left -- to put himself in a position to play regularly."
Sutter predictably downplayed the rematch against the Canucks, who were the sixth Presidents' Trophy winner to lose in the first round. But Doughty acknowledged the subplot.
"They're a good team, so you kind of learn to hate them," Doughty said. "Tonight's going to be a full-out battle and we're all looking forward to it.
"Waking up this morning, knowing that we're playing them, everyone's so pumped to get out there and get after them. It's going to be a physical matchup -- which everyone loves -- you're getting banged, but at the same time you're giving it back. We love that, and there's nothing more rewarding than beating a team that's won the conference the last couple of years in a row, so we're really looking forward to hopefully doing that tonight."
Roberto Luongo is expected to start in goal for Vancouver. Luongo was replaced by Cory Schneider after he allowed seven goals against the Kings in the first two games of the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals.
We're now one week into the 2012-13 NHL season and it's very clear which players have risen to the occasion from a point-production standpoint. Between Patrick Marleau's historic goal-scoring start, Martin St. Louis' distributing prowess and Zach Parise's immediate splash with the Minnesota Wild, these names are widely recognized and owned throughout the fantasy landscape.
But while the players who have racked up goals and assists are integral pieces to a championship squad, it's also worth noting which players have provided noteworthy category coverage so far. Specifically, players who put forth a combination of points and PIMs can lift your fantasy team to new heights.
While most of the players mentioned below are owned in the majority of fantasy leagues, putting together a package to acquire these assets can be a worthwhile initiative.
NOTE: "Penalties in Minutes" is a default category in Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey Leagues
2012-13 production: 3 points, 37 PIMs in 5 games
- The League-leader in PIMs may only find himself in that spot after a 35-PIM outburst Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks, but his total is far from a fluke. Clowe has been a reliable points/PIMs producer in each of the past three seasons. He's played in 75-plus in each of those campaigns, racking up an average of 55 points and 109 PIMs per season during that span. Most of the Sharks' scoring has come from the likes of Marleau, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski through five games, but Clowe remains a fixture on the team's second line -- meaning he's in great position to produce points every night.
LAS VEGAS -- Since we had Mike Keenan in an interview chair for a while we couldn't let him go without asking him to give his thoughts on coaches in today's game that he admires.
To nobody's surprise, the 63-year-old Keenan immediately started talking about the veteran bench bosses. He mentioned four in particular:
"I like, and because of my age I guess, the senior guys because I know how difficult it is to stay in that job and to be on top of your game like Ken Hitchcock, like Joel Quenneville, like Darryl Sutter, like John Tortorella," Keenan told NHL.com. "These are guys that have had success, they've all won a Cup, and it's tough to stay in it.
"A lot of guys get spun out. The game doesn't call them back and they're done. That's probably the case for most people."
It's not for Hitchcock, Quenneville, Sutter and Tortorella.
LAS VEGAS -- The life and career of former NHL coach and general manager Mike Keenan will be portrayed in an upcoming documentary that is the brainchild of The Shooting Eye Corporation, a production company based out of Hamilton, Ont.
"They just approached me and asked me if I would be willing to have them do a documentary on me," Keenan told NHL.com Monday. "That was it."
"Iron Mike: The Mike Keenan Story" will take nine months to a year to produce, Keenan said.
"They're just into it three or four months now," he added. "I haven't even been interviewed that much."
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My job was to get that puck and put it on net, and his job was not letting me do it. I got the best of that, but that game's over and to be honest I already forgot about it.