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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Capitals' Holtby keeps rolling

Thursday, 01.07.2016 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

David Satriano - Fantasy Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, fantasy hockey staff writer David Satriano provides in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Satriano is your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals is putting together a season that looks an awful lot like one we saw last season, one of the best ever statistically by a goaltender.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price swept the NHL awards, winning the Hart, Vezina, Ted Lindsay and Jennings trophies, leading the League in wins (44), goals-against average (1.96) and save percentage (.933). This season, Holtby has 24 wins and an almost-identical 1.92 GAA and .932 save percentage.

Capitals' Holtby has evolved into top-tier goaltender

Thursday, 01.07.2016 / 9:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Braden Holtby was named to the NHL All-Star Game for the first time in his career Wednesday, an obvious decision midway through a season that has the Washington Capitals No. 1 goalie on pace to better the one that earned Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens the Hart and Vezina trophies last summer.

Unbeaten in regulation for almost two months and on pace to be the first NHL goaltender to win 50 games, Holtby was a no-brainer all-star, even if it meant not having room for Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers on the Metropolitan Division team.

The thing is, Holtby has always been good. He posted a .934 save percentage as a rookie. His .922 career average is tied with Dominik Hasek all-time among goalies that played more than 100 games, ahead of Lundqvist and behind only Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins (.925) and All-Star Game teammate Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils (.926).

Holtby has hit another level this season, however. He leads the NHL in wins with a 25-4-2 record, is on a 17-0-2 run that is the longest stretch by a goalie without a regulation loss in five years, and is tied for second with a 1.93 goals-against average while ranking fourth with a .932 save percentage.

By the Numbers: Goaltending, defense key Panthers

Thursday, 01.07.2016 / 3:00 AM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - Correspondent

The Florida Panthers are the hottest team in the NHL. After starting the season 8-9-4, they have won 16 of their past 19, including an active 10-game winning streak in which they have outscored their opponents 33-12, and have moved into first place in the Atlantic Division.

How are they doing it, and will it continue?

A look behind the numbers reveals Florida's improvement has been primarily because of a strong blue line and outstanding goaltending by Roberto Luongo. Offensively, the Panthers remain a below-average team, and are playing no better than even in terms of overall shot attempts.

Dubois drawing motivation from World Juniors cut

Thursday, 01.07.2016 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

Every Thursday, will look ahead to the 2016 NHL Draft with an in-depth profile on one of its top prospects.

When Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward Pierre-Luc Dubois, 17, a top prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft, learned he wasn't going to play for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, he turned to a rival Quebec Major Junior Hockey League assistant coach for solace.

That coach was Rimouski assistant coach Eric Dubois, who also is Pierre-Luc's father.

And the fatherly advice was for Pierre-Luc to employ the experience as motivation.

"That's exactly what I told him," Eric Dubois said. "This wasn't the first time he was disappointed in hockey and it won't be the last time. I told him there have been lots of players like Tyler Seguin who for didn't play for Canada at the World Junior Championship and turned out pretty good.

"He knows what he wants to do and I think he's already shown that he has used this disappointment in the right way."

'Road to Winter Classic' ends with lifelong memories

David Satriano - Staff Writer

Leading up to the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens were in similar situations. The Bruins had lost three straight heading into their final game before the Jan. 1 showdown at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and the Canadiens had a six-game losing streak.

That's where the fourth and final episode of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" begins.

Despite the losing streak, the Canadiens seem to be enjoying themselves playing softball in Tampa on Monday prior to their game that night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But the newest member of the Canadiens is on the ice practicing: goalie Ben Scrivens, who was acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers.

Hours later, once the softball has ended and the Canadiens get ready to hit the ice for the game, defenseman P.K. Subban fires up his teammates announcing the lineup in an expletive-filled speech.

After announcing the other four skaters in the lineup, Subban gets even more fired up.

"And then there's me, and you know we're [expletive] ready to go! Let's [expletive] go!" Subban yells before knocking over a stack of pucks and tossing a cart filled with Gatorade cups in the middle of the locker room.

His speech works; Subban and the Canadiens win 4-3 in a shootout.

Here are other highlights:

Analysis: Johansen for Jones will help each team

Wednesday, 01.06.2016 / 8:00 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The long search for a No. 1 center by the Nashville Predators and for a No. 1 defenseman by the Columbus Blue Jackets is finally over. It took one giant swing for the fences by Predators general manager David Poile to make it happen.

The Predators sent prized young defenseman Seth Jones to the Blue Jackets in a trade for prized young center Ryan Johansen on Wednesday.

Jones is a star-in-the-making, a 6-foot-4, 208-pound, 21-year-old whose next game will be his 200th in the NHL. He immediately tops the Blue Jackets' defensive depth chart, and Columbus coach John Tortorella should love him.

Capitals' Sill suspended two games for boarding

Wednesday, 01.06.2016 / 6:26 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NEW YORKWashington Capitals forward Zach Sill has been suspended for two games, without pay, for boarding Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid during NHL Game No. 588 in Boston on Tuesday, Jan. 5, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 4:43 of the second period.

New 3-on-3 divisional format intriguing to All-Stars

Wednesday, 01.06.2016 / 5:37 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene is looking forward to taking part in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game, set for Jan. 31 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, as well as the new 3-on-3 divisional format.

Just don't expect him to worry too much about the psyches of the goaltenders on his Central Division team, Pekka Rinne of the host Nashville Predators and Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild.

"I think it's going to be a good time," Duchene said. "It's none of our goalies, so if they get peppered, it's OK. It's our division, so they're teammates for a little bit, but if they get peppered I won't shed any tears for them."

Stars contingent set to shine under All-Star spotlight

Wednesday, 01.06.2016 / 5:20 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Steve Hunt - Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- At the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 31 in Nashville, Tenn., the Dallas Stars will be well represented with captain Jamie Benn and center Tyler Seguin selected to play for the Central Division team, which will be coached by Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

Benn, an All-Star for the second time, leads the NHL with 24 goals and is second in the League with 52 points. The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner previously appeared in the 2012 All-Star Game, where he won the Accuracy Shooting portion of the All-Star Skills Competition.

“Obviously, to represent Dallas in the All-Star Game, it’s going to be pretty cool and to do it alongside [Seguin] and obviously [Ruff], is going to be pretty good,” Benn said.

Devils' first-time all-star Schneider 'backbone of team'

Wednesday, 01.06.2016 / 4:30 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Goaltender Cory Schneider won't admit he's been the engine driving the New Jersey Devils to greater heights this season, his second as the unquestioned starter.

The numbers speak for themselves, however, and are the reason Schneider was named to represent the Devils in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Jan. 31.

It will be the first All-Star appearance for Schneider, 29, who will participate in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 30 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) and play for the Metropolitan Division in the 3-on-3 tournament the following day (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

"There are a couple of guys on this team who could have been considered and selected, so the fact that I've been chosen, it's exciting and it's a great honor," Schneider said. "It's a privilege, I think, so a lot of credit to my teammates and coaches. Everyone's committed to defense all year long, and I think I've been the beneficiary of that, but at the same time it's a fun time right now."

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