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Features

Fantasy All-Access: Cameron's impact on Senators

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

The fantasy pre-draft talk focuses on whom to take with the first pick, and that conversation usually starts with Sidney Crosby vs. Steven Stamkos. On Monday, we won't see the 15th head-to-head matchup between these two because of Crosby's illness. This will be the ninth time in this matchup that one of the superstars did not suit up. In the previous 14 head-to-head matchups the Penguins have won 10, with Crosby scoring 10 goals and 12 assists. Stamkos has been productive despite the losses to the Penguins, with eight goals and 10 assists. Yet, when Crosby misses the matchup, Stamkos only has four assists in nine games.

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers (owned in 6 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The Philadelphia Flyers are finally getting some depth scoring, and leading that charge is this fourth-year center. Couturier is on a career-high six-game point streak that has seen him score three goals and four assists with eight shots on goal, four hits and five blocked shots. The Flyers have a busy schedule this week with four games scheduled (home vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers and on the road vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets). Expect the No. 8 pick from the 2011 NHL Draft to continue his red-hot play.

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Tough calls await as U.S. opens WJC selection camp

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Jim Johannson, general manager of the United States National Junior Team, anticipates some tough decisions to be made this week when many young American hopefuls begin their push to earning roster spots for their country at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Coach Mark Osiecki will lead 30 invites at the USA Hockey selection camp that will take place on the campus of Boston University at Walter Brown Arena, Tuesday through Friday. The final 23-man roster, which will likely be revealed Dec. 24, might include 13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders, according to Johannson.

"We'll do a combination of scrimmaging and practicing at camp where we can get into our philosophy and how we want to play as a team in building our identity," Osiecki said. "But I do want to have the competitive situations where we can see these kids compete against each other. The good thing is that we have a tremendous staff of player personnel people, so we have a lot of eyes on these guys."

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Canadiens counting on Price a little too much

Saturday, 12.13.2014 / 12:43 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Carey Price
Goalie - MTL
RECORD: 16-8-1
GAA: 2.38 | SVP: .922

MONTREAL -- The Los Angeles Kings left Bell Centre on Friday like many other teams before them.

The Kings put 46 shots on goal, attempted 46 more against the Montreal Canadiens, and wound up with two goals and zero points in the standings.

"I think we came out with a good push early and didn't capitalize on chances," Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin said after a 6-2 loss they thoroughly controlled. "They got their opportunities and took advantage of it, and we were left kind of wondering, 'What's going on?'"

Carey Price was going on.

As dominant as the Kings were, the Canadiens goaltender was a bit more so. Price stopped all 28 shots through two periods, with 16 of them coming on five Kings power plays.

"We had a lot of really good chances; we totally dominated the first period," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "I think Carey Price was really, really good, wasn't he?"

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Duclair glad to get chance to play for Canada at WJC

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 9:00 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO – Some young men might be disappointed if their NHL team opted to send them back to junior hockey, even if it meant they were able to play at the World Junior Championship.

Anthony Duclair is not one of them.

The 19-year-old left wing for the New York Rangers, a Montreal native, jumped at the opportunity to join Canada for the 2015 WJC, which will be divided between his hometown and Toronto.

"I'm very happy and very excited to be here," Duclair said Friday at Canada's training camp. "(Rangers coach) Alain Vigneault asked me a couple of days after the roster came out what my thoughts were and I told him I wanted to be part of this tournament. With the tournament being in Canada and in my hometown, I really wanted to be a part of this and I'm happy I'm here."

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Blues' Stastny surging as he sets to face Avalanche

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 4:18 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The numbers may not have reflected it earlier in the season, but for St. Louis Blues center Paul Stastny, popping up on the score sheet more often recently is the reason why the Blues invested so heavily in him.

And the offensive numbers have accumulated just in time for Stastny to make his first appearance against the team he spent the first eight seasons of his NHL career with, the Colorado Avalanche.

The Blues play the Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday. Stastny missed the Blues' first game against the Avalanche on Nov. 1 after sustaining a shoulder injury, so this will be his first game against the only teammates he knew for eight years.

"You just want to get that first one out of the way, but I'm excited," said Stastny, who has seven goals and 12 points in 21 games with the Blues this season. "I think I have a lot of friends [in Denver], not just hockey-wise.

"Once the puck drops, it'll just feel like a normal game. Sometimes the anticipation takes longer than normal, but it's part of the business."

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Sharks unveil new jerseys for Stadium Series game

NHL.com

Larger numbers, a new shoulder patch and bolder, streamlined visuals are the highlights of the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series jerseys unveiled Friday by the San Jose Sharks.

Given the Sharks and Los Angeles Kings will play at Levi's Stadium, a larger venue than typically used for hockey games, Reebok worked with the Sharks to create an amplified version of the hockey jersey with the hopes of looking sharper in the football stadium environment.

San Jose's jersey for the Stadium Series game will feature a horizontal striping look of teal, white and black on the front and all teal on the back. There will be a similar effect on the sleeves.

The numbers on the backs of the jerseys are 13 inches tall instead of the standard 11.5. The numbers on the shoulders are seven inches tall instead of the typical four. The design of the numbers have been simplified to make them easier to see from a distance, and the ones on the shoulders will be higher to help people who are sitting in elevated seats to view them.

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Canadiens prospect Hudon shines in first AHL season

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 12:36 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

The Montreal Canadiens have made 50 fifth-round draft selections in their franchise history.

Mike Busniuk won a record five Calder Cups playing in the American Hockey League and a sixth as an assistant coach. Bill Nyrop won the Stanley Cup three years in a row during the Canadiens dynasty in the 1970s. Mikhail Grabovski was a member of the Hamilton Bulldogs' 2007 Calder Cup title team who has played more than 450 NHL games. And current Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher has become a rising star in the League.

Charles Hudon joined that impressively productive group as pick No. 122 in the 2012 NHL Draft, and after four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, he is quickly making a mark as a professional rookie with Hamilton.

"It's tough to really follow [players after they're drafted], especially during the season, other than going on the Internet and see how they're doing. Maybe give their coach a call once in a while," Bulldogs coach Sylvain Lefebvre said. "But I knew of Charles, and I knew what he could do on the ice."

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Hot fantasy topics: Dubinsky, shooting percentages

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Let's get right to it. Here are the five hottest topics in fantasy hockey right now.

1. Brandon Dubinsky expectations

Brandon Dubinsky returned to the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup on Tuesday and finished the game with a power-play assist in 19:09 of ice time. He played 19:31 on Thursday and was a plus-1 with two penalty minutes. Fantasy owners everywhere are wondering what to expect from the 28-year-old power forward. Dubinsky, known for his gritty, get-in-your-face, hard-working style of play, is one of the few players capable of contributing in all fantasy categories.

Brandon Dubinsky
Center - CBJ
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 3 | +/-: 0
Last season Dubinsky had 50 points and 98 penalty minutes, and only Wayne Simmonds, David Backes and Scott Hartnell had more points among players with at least 95 PIMs. He finished the season as the 81st best fantasy player. Why he's only owned in 63 percent of leagues right now points to the fact people forgot about him because of his lengthy absence. It's time to wake up. Dubinsky is capable of being a difference-maker in any league, and while it may take him some time to get reacquainted, his versatility makes him worth starting on a regular basis.
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Canada goalie Fucale eager for second crack at WJC

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 9:18 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Zach is back.

Goaltender Zachary Fucale is hoping to improve on his performance at the World Junior Championship a year ago in Sweden and hopes some of the lessons he learned will benefit his team when Canada hosts the tournament starting Dec. 26.

Canada placed fourth at the 2014 WJC.

"We learned a lot," Fucale said. "It was a tough loss, but now it's a new year and a new team, so we're looking forward to it. For me, there are a lot of things I have changed from last year. I have become better mentally, stronger physically, and technically everything has gotten better. I feel great coming to this event. It is a great opportunity, so I am just looking forward to the whole experience and living the moment."

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Reinhart brings skill, leadership to Canada WJC camp

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- When Sam Reinhart looked around the dressing room at Toronto’s MasterCard Centre on the opening night of the final training camp for the Canada’s National Junior Team, he saw a lot of familiar and friendly faces.

Reinhart is one of seven returnees vying for a spot on the roster that will represent Canada on its home ice in the IIHF World Junior Championship, to be played in Montreal and Toronto beginning Dec. 26.

He said the seven returnees have the benefit of knowing what to expect in such a high-profile event.

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Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday