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Lightning's Nesterov to have Player Safety hearing

Friday, 10.16.2015 / 11:21 AM / Department of Player Safety News

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov have a hearing Friday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit on Dallas Stars forward Curtis McKenzie during a game Thursday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Nesterov received a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct for the hit at 15:56 of the second period. McKenzie left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Super 16: Canadiens' impressive start has them at top

Friday, 10.16.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Take your finger off the panic button and remember two important words:

Sample size.

The early-season challenges have been obvious for four teams with high expectations: the Anaheim Ducks (0-2-1), Los Angeles Kings (0-3-0), Pittsburgh Penguins (0-3-0 going into their game Thursday) and Columbus Blue Jackets (0-4-0).

All four were ranked in the preseason Super 16, including the Ducks at No. 2 and the Penguins at No. 6. Eight of the nine people tabbed as prognosticators predicted the Ducks to win the Pacific Division; five had them representing the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final; and two had them winning the Cup.

It can still happen; the Ducks, Penguins, Blue Jackets and Kings can have good seasons and make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Three or four games do not make a season, even if these teams have looked dreadful in those three or four games.

Again, remember, sample size.

Devils forward Tootoo fined for dangerous trip

Thursday, 10.15.2015 / 12:40 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NEW YORKNew Jersey Devils forward Jordin Tootoo has been fined $2,217.74, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for a dangerous trip of Nashville Predators defenseman Seth Jones during NHL Game No. 37 in Newark on Tuesday, October 13, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 7:55 of the third period. Tootoo was assessed a minor penalty for tripping on the play.

The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Coyotes' Smith rebounding

Thursday, 10.15.2015 / 12:05 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.

A week into the season, we've already seen some surprises. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings are among the winless teams; the Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks have yet to lose in regulation.

There's been good, bad and just plain ugly. But one player who has been better than good is Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.

Three games may be a small sample size, but Smith allowed one goal in each of his first two starts, making 40 saves against the Los Angeles Kings and 27 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on back-to-back nights last week. He followed that up with a 37-save shutout against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. It was his first shutout since March 2014.

EPIX, NHL reunite for second season of 'EPIX Presents Road To The NHL Winter Classic'

New season premieres on EPIX December 16; Series follows Bruins & Canadiens; Free live stream of each episode available to U.S. audiences via,

NEW YORK -- Premium TV network EPIX and the National Hockey League (NHL) today announced that EPIX Presents Road To The NHL Winter Classic™ will be returning to the channel and will make its U.S. television premiere Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 10pm ET/PT, 9C. The weekly series, consisting of four one-hour episodes, will focus on the heated rivalry between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens as they prepare for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on New Year's Day 2016. This will be the second year that EPIX and the NHL® team up for this all-access look inside the lives of these elite professional athletes, their families and their fans. In addition, U.S. hockey fans will be able to stream each episode of EPIX Presents Road To The NHL Winter Classic™ live as it premieres on EPIX via and

Coyotes' marketing campaign attempts to reel in fans

Thursday, 10.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The Arizona Coyotes want you to know about who they are now, not who they used to be. They want you to know why jumping on their bandwagon will be worth the ride.

The Coyotes began sending those messages this month through a rebranding marketing campaign that attempts to prove they're reinventing themselves as a young and exciting team that isn't relocating and requests your attention.

Arizona has rolled out a 30-second television spot, a 96-second short film to run in Phoenix-area movie theaters, new digital experiences on its website and social media platforms, and an extensive community outreach program tying it in with the youth and amateur hockey programs in the Valley.

The campaign's focus is that the Coyotes and their fans are different, different is cool, and if you're not willing to jump on board, then it's your loss.

Changes have Canadiens on verge of early history

Thursday, 10.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Quebec -- It's not easy to make history when you play for the Montreal Canadiens.

But that's exactly what the 2015-16 Canadiens have an opportunity to do Thursday when they host the New York Rangers in their home opener at Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; SN360, MSG, RDS).

The Canadiens are 4-0-0, the fourth time they have opened a season with four wins. The three previous times (1955-56, 1970-71 and 1977-78), the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.

They have never won five in a row to start any of their previous 97 NHL seasons.

Coach Michel Therrien learned of the history being made Tuesday evening after the Canadiens ruined the Pittsburgh Penguins' home opener with a 3-2 victory, and he's trying as best he can to maintain some composure amid the hot start.

"You've got to be really humble about success and understand it's a battle every night," Therrien said after an optional practice Wednesday. "It's good for the confidence, but we have to stay really humble."

By the Numbers: Kadri fits with Babcock

Thursday, 10.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - Correspondent

Rob Vollman is a pioneer in the field of hockey analytics and the co-author of "Hockey Abstract." His innovations include Player Usage Charts on Home Plate Save Percentage. He will contribute a regular column to throughout the season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs retooled this summer, trading forward Phil Kessel and signing coach Mike Babcock to an eight-year, $50 million contract. The changes opened the door for other players to emerge.

Forward Nazem Kadri, a secondary player for the past few seasons, could be among those who thrive once the rebuild in Toronto reaches its later stages.

In 10 seasons as coach of the Detroit Red Wings, Babcock was known for demanding possession-focused play. A quick look at the NHL's enhanced statistics can provide some interesting clues that show which Maple Leafs might thrive in a similar system.

In particular, Kadri's ability to drive possession, draw penalties, and generate scoring could make him a perfect match for Babcock's philosophy.

Unmasked: Backup goalies face myriad of challenges

Thursday, 10.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

From the outside, backing up a workhorse starting goalie in the NHL might seem like a pretty easy job, and for long stretches it can certainly look like the hockey equivalent to being a bullpen catcher in baseball.

The role even comes complete with a hat to be worn while chewing gum or opening the door to the bench during the game. Sure, some teams ask their backup goalie to hold a clipboard and chart faceoffs to stay engaged during the game, and others make them throw a headset on from time to time so they can add insights from the bench to the home broadcast, but that doesn't seem like much to ask in exchange for an NHL paycheck.

If only being a backup goaltender was really that easy.

Matthew Tkachuk's game reminding many of NHL dad

Thursday, 10.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

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

Forward Matthew Tkachuk didn't hesitate when asked what he felt stood out most about his U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame father, Keith Tkachuk, during his playing days.

"His leadership and competitiveness for sure," the younger Tkachuk said. "He would have no problem whacking a guy, sticking up for a teammate or just being vocal. Throughout his career it seemed there was never a time he didn't have a letter on his jersey.

"I know [having a letter] doesn't mean everything, but he's just a great leader."

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Quote of the Day

He's been one of our top players all year. Tonight he was by far our best player. There wasn't anybody in the same universe as him.

— Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz on goalie Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 1-0
World Cup of Hockey 2016