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Features

Bruins' Rask leads top 30 fantasy goalie rankings

NHL.com's Justin Goldman ranks top 30 netminders, best of AHL

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

No matter where you look, most preseason goalie rankings have a similar "bell curve" construct.

There's a small collection of Tier-1 goalies that clearly belong at the top of your draft list, a much larger group of goalies that fall into the Tier-2 category, and then a group of Tier-3 goalies, which is mainly reserved for the lesser-used backups.

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Reinhart brothers hoping for memorable season

Sunday, 09.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

There's a rule in the Reinhart household: Don't hit your brother too hard playing hockey.

Paul Reinhart, who spent 11 seasons in the NHL with the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks, may have helped institute the rule. But the job of enforcing it typically falls on his wife, Theresa.

"I don't think our mom would let us back in the house," middle brother Griffin Reinhart told NHL.com. "She's definitely let us know she wouldn't like [us hitting each other]."

With three siblings following in their father's NHL footsteps, enforcing that rule is about to become difficult.

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Oshie paces Top 14 shootout specialists

Sunday, 09.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's Top 14 in '14-15

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Who are the best 14 players in the NHL at each position as teams prepare for the start of the 2014-15 season? Arpon Basu, Brian Compton, Corey Masisak and Dan Rosen have cast their votes and the result is NHL.com's "Top 14 for '14-15" project. Each first-place vote is worth 14 points and continuing in descending order to each 14th-place vote being worth one. There are two tiebreakers. First, which player appeared on more ballots? Second, which player had the highest individual ranking? If the voting was exactly the same for each player, it was declared a tie. Does NHL.com's list match your rankings for the best players in the League entering the 2014-15 campaign?

It is becoming vital for each team to have at least one player who specializes in shootouts.

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Subban, Karlsson lead fantasy defensemen rankings

Saturday, 09.06.2014 / 10:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

With the 2014-15 NHL season inching closer by the day, NHL.com has you covered with positional fantasy rankings. Based on Yahoo eligibility, projected lineups, past performance, injury history and each insider's opinion, Matt Cubeta (centers), Matt Sitkoff (left wings), Pete Jensen (right wings), Brian Metzer (defensemen) and Justin Goldman (goalies) bring you up to speed by identifying all the players worth targeting at each position in your upcoming drafts.


By nature, defensemen are designed to prevent teams from scoring goals, but a subsect of the gene pool has seen their DNA evolve. This group is just as adept at rolling up offense as it is in preventing it.

One of the evolved, Alec Martinez, scored the Stanley Cup winning goal for the Los Angeles Kings less than three months ago. The good news is that it's time to regroup and reload for another trip up the mountain towards fantasy glory. That trip gets a lot easier when properly utilizing a defenseman and this should help you gain a better understanding of who you should target.

In putting together these pre-season rankings, we looked back at goals, assists, points, power-play points, plus-minus and shots on goal over a three-season span to better assess who is on the rise and who is on the decline.

The results were interesting in that no defenseman finished in the top 10 in all six standard scoring categories; however four of them, Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators), Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets), P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens), and Keith Yandle (Arizona Coyotes) finished in the top 10 of five of them.

Of those four, Subban and Karlsson slot one and two in our rankings and should be among the first defensemen selected in your league. Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators ranked in only four of the categories, but his team improved offensively, which helped him edge Byfuglien for the No. 3 spot. But do not forget that the latter will qualify as both a defenseman and a right wing in Yahoo Standard leagues.

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Ovechkin rules Top 14 power-play specialists

Saturday, 09.06.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's Top 14 in '14-15

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Who are the best 14 players in the NHL at each position as teams prepare for the start of the 2014-15 season? Arpon Basu, Brian Compton, Corey Masisak and Dan Rosen have cast their votes and the result is NHL.com's "Top 14 for '14-15" project. Each first-place vote is worth 14 points, each second-place vote is worth 13, continuing in descending order to each 14th-place vote being worth one. There are two tiebreakers. First, which player appeared on more ballots? Second, which player had the highest individual ranking? If the voting was exactly the same for each player, it was declared a tie. Does NHL.com's list match your rankings for the best players in the League entering the 2014-15 campaign?

A good power play typically has the same characteristics, including a clean zone entry and setup, a quarterback, a go-between option from the half-wall, a triggerman and someone in front to do the dirty work.

The players who make up a good power play either perform one of those tasks at an elite level or are simply really good at a bunch of them.

For example, nobody shoots the puck from the point on the power play with the combination of accuracy and power like Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban. But they also bring the puck into the zone to serve as the quarterback.

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Krejci contract ensures Bruins' depth at center

Friday, 09.05.2014 / 3:11 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Strength down the middle is a philosophy a lot of general managers preach.

David Krejci
Center - BOS
GOALS: 19 | ASST: 50 | PTS: 69
SOG: 169 | +/-: 39
That mantra is one Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli lives by, and he's willing to devote a great deal of salary-cap space to prove it.

Chiarelli's efforts to make sure the Bruins will be among the NHL elite at center for the remainder of this decade was finalized Thursday when it was announced that center David Krejci signed a six-year contract extension that begins with the 2015-16 season. Krejci, whose salary-cap charge for this season will be $5.25 million, will count $7.25 million against the cap each season of the new contract, which runs through the 2020-21 season

Krejci, center Patrice Bergeron, defenseman Zdeno Chara and goaltender Tuukka Rask each is  signed at least through 2019.

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After trade talk, Hurricanes' Ward looks to regain form

Friday, 09.05.2014 / 11:20 AM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward is not the player he once was. He knows it, and he's not afraid to talk about it. Bluntly.

"I know I've been inconsistent," Ward said. "Inconsistency at the goaltending position is something you can't afford. These last couple years, dealing with injuries and other issues ..."

Ward rethinks his point and continues.

"But excuses are for losers, so those don't do you any favors."

Ward is opting for straight talk these days. Often reticent about his shaky play in recent seasons, he now speaks with nothing-left-to-lose candor. One reason: Early in the summer, Ward learned that the Hurricanes were looking at trade options. In his first days on the job, general manager Ron Francis phoned Ward to let him know.

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18