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Features

Unmasked: Miller adjusts with Canucks, coach

Thursday, 10.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Ryan Miller
Goalie - VAN
RECORD: 2-0-0
GAA: 2.88 | SVP: .889

Unmasked is a weekly column by Kevin Woodley exploring the personalities, the trends and the analytics which define NHL goaltending.

VANCOUVER -- On the eve of the first season of his NHL career somewhere other than Buffalo, Ryan Miller, the new No. 1 with the Vancouver Canucks, was bluntly asked if he still sees himself as capable of being one of the best goaltenders in the world.

"I think I've got game to play," Miller said.

Miller's game, though, is not quite the same one most other NHL goalies are playing these days.

For all the focus on whether Miller can play to the level which earned him the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie in 2010, or live up to the three-year, $18 million contract he signed with the Canucks this summer, the bigger question in Vancouver was how his more aggressive, sometimes old-school, puck-stopping style would fit with the conservative preferences of Roland Melanson, goaltending coach for the Canucks.

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Nelson at center of Islanders' quick start to season

Wednesday, 10.15.2014 / 8:49 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- One week into the season, nobody should be surprised to see the New York Islanders' top center, John Tavares, among the NHL scoring leaders.

But their No. 2 center, Brock Nelson, is right there with him.

Nelson, a first-round pick (No. 30) in the 2010 NHL Draft, scored his third goal Tuesday in a 6-3 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It was Nelson's seventh point, tying him with Tavares and three others for the most in the League.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Lightning's Hedman among elite

Wednesday, 10.15.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

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Fantasy owners have been waiting a long time for Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman to show he should be mentioned in the same sentence as players like P.K. Subban, Erik Karlsson, and Duncan Keith. That patience was finally rewarded with a breakout performance last season and things look to be getting even better.

Hedman rolled up career highs in goals (13), assists (42), points (55), plus-minus (plus-5), shots (170), power-play goals (three) and game-winning goals (two) in 75 games. Those numbers were good enough to place him fourth in the defensive scoring race.

Hedman, who stands 6-foot-6, 229 pounds, picked up just five points through 12 October games. One can only wonder what his totals would have looked like had he clicked at the rate that saw him produce 50 points over his next 63 games.

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Five things to watch as Red Wings face Bruins

Wednesday, 10.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Frustrated and optimistic are two words that aptly describe how the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings are feeling as they head into their NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET).

The Bruins felt they played well enough Monday against the Colorado Avalanche to win, or at least salvage a point. They did neither as Daniel Briere took it away with a buzzer-beating game-winning goal, handing the Bruins their third straight regulation loss since a season-opening win.

The Red Wings felt they played well enough to win, or at least earn a point, this past Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks. It didn't happen as Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf scored the winning goal with 24 seconds remaining in regulation.

"We outchanced them," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said during a phone interview after practice Tuesday. "We gave up 12 chances in the game. I thought we did lots of good things in the game. So to me that's positive; let's just keep building on it."

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Nyquist showing scoring touch again for Red Wings

Wednesday, 10.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist seems to be back where he was during a two-and-a-half month stretch last season.

The 25-year-old right wing from Halmstad, Sweden, has goals in each of the Red Wings' first two games this season, which Detroit split. That comes following a season in which he led the Red Wings with 28 goals; he also had 20 assists in 57 games.

Nyquist and the Red Wings host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game at 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN, TVA, SN1).

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Line combinations crucial

Tuesday, 10.14.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forwards all season long.

When it comes to fantasy forwards at this time of year, it starts and ends with line combinations.

Early-season formations may or may not stick for the full 82-game schedule, but these trials lay the groundwork for the games ahead.

Let's kick things off with lineup developments that could impact the fantasy forward landscape:

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Five Questions: Blue Jackets' Richards on big picture

Tuesday, 10.14.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards:

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards won't get carried away. Not after two games, even though the Blue Jackets mostly were dominant in winning both. Not with the Dallas Stars in town looking for their first win Tuesday at Nationwide Arena.

"Right now we're only two games into an 82-game schedule so there's still obviously a lot ahead of us and we've got to continue to get better," Richards said. "Buffalo was a better 60-minute game; the Rangers at times were better than us in that game Saturday. We have to get better."

Richards, though, isn't shying away from Columbus' early success as a talking point for his team and what it might be capable of this season.

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Avs forward Iginla enjoys quiet return to Boston

Monday, 10.13.2014 / 5:43 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Although forward Jarome Iginla and the Colorado Avalanche left TD Garden on Monday with two points in the standings, the veteran right wing found out that he's not much of a villain in the eyes of Boston Bruins fans.

Former Bruins Phil Kessel, Tim Thomas and Tyler Seguin have returned to the Garden in recent years and heard jeers from the crowd. Iginla, who left the Bruins as an unrestricted free agent over the summer after one season wearing black and gold, received a light cheer when the starting lineups were announced before the Avalanche's 2-1 victory. He barely heard a peep the rest of the night.

The win and the reception made Iginla's first game against the Bruins since he shared the Boston team lead with 30 goals last season a success.

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Buffalo Sabres to host 2016 NHL Draft

Monday, 10.13.2014 / 2:38 PM / NHL Draft

NHL.com

NEW YORK – The Buffalo Sabres® will host the 2016 NHL Draft™ at the First Niagara Center, the Buffalo Sabres and the National Hockey League announced today. The Draft will be held over two days, Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, 2016. NHL® club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor while more than 15,000 fans and hundreds of print, television and radio media are expected to attend.

The 2016 event will mark the third time the Sabres and the city of Buffalo host the NHL Draft, and the second time the event will be at the First Niagara Center. The Draft was held at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium in 1991, when Eric Lindros was selected first overall. The last time the Draft was in Buffalo, in 1998, Vincent Lecavalier was selected first overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Fantasy All-Access: Another NHL season underway

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

The new fantasy season has just begun and owners already are overloaded with big decisions. On Saturday we saw all 30 teams play on the same night for the sixth time in League history.

In the 919 minutes played there were 86 goals scored (5.73 per game), with 25 of those goals being scored on the man-advantage. There were 911 shots on goal (60.7 per game), 465 penalty minutes (31.0 per game), 767 hits (51.1 per game) and 910 faceoffs (60.7 per game).

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Montreal Canadiens defenseman, Andrei Markov led all scorers with three points. Carolina Hurricanes forward Jiri Tlusty had a hat trick and his teammate, Jay Harrison, tied the Colorado Avalanche’s Erik Johnson for the most penalty minutes with 17.

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils (owned in 22 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The surprising offensive juggernaut of the first five days of the season has been the Devils, with 11 goals in two games. They have been led by the line of Henrique, Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe, who have combined for nine points. Henrique, who scored a career-high 25 goals last season, has three points in two games and we expect the scoring to continue in the Devils' three games this week, at the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals, and home against the San Jose Sharks.

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It was pretty unbelievable...I think (my family in France) is pretty much in front of the TV right now. I don't think I have to wake them up.

— 29-year-old Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare after scoring his first NHL goal
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