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Features

Staying patient, Drouin among hot fantasy topics

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Last week I advised owners to stay patient with some players that were struggling early on. At that time, San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture had one point in four games. Fans were asking if they should look to trade or drop him (crazy, but true). I advised his owners to stay patient with the 25-year-old forward. In his next four games he went on to record four goals and three assists.

With players of Couture's caliber, you must stay patient. I typically use four weeks as my benchmark in fantasy hockey. If a player is still really struggling after four weeks, I might start considering my options. You can either sell them at their lowest point and just take anything back you can get, or you can drop them outright.

On the other hand, the same goes for a player that's exceeding expectations. If they've been a pleasant surprise for four-plus weeks, I tend to start believing in that player and think he can carry the hot start for at least most of the season. Of course it doesn't always work out, but four weeks usually gives a player about 12-15 games to prove himself.

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Super 16: Time needed to judge young goalies

Friday, 10.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Last season was a celebration of NHL hockey in California, from an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium to the three teams staging an impromptu state championship in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Los Angeles Kings became state champs and then League champs. The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks pushed the Kings to seven games, and both spent the offseason trying to process a missed opportunity.

All three teams remain among the League's elite in the early part of the 2014-15 season, but an intriguing aspect of the Ducks and Sharks is both teams are going to give a lot of starts to goaltenders who are inexperienced at this level.

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Parise gets personal in Hockey Fights Cancer video

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 7:23 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

NHL.com

Zach Parise
Left Wing - MIN
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 4
SOG: 27 | +/-: 5
When Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise found out his father had lung cancer, he said, "Hockey was probably the last thing on my mind."

But some time on the road with his dad and his teammates made him feel a little better.

Parise has shared some personal thoughts about his father, Jean-Paul Parise, in a special video presentation for Hockey Fights Cancer.

"It's tough to go through," Parise said in the video. "But now the whole Hockey Fights Cancer thing, and what they do around the League now, it just means a little something different, when someone that you're really close to is going through it and battling it."

J.P. Parise was diagnosed with lung cancer in February and was told he had two years to live. Zach's family found out while he was playing for the United States in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and he was not told until he returned to Minnesota.


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Islanders' Boychuk has fond memories of Boston

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 2:23 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have righted themselves after a 1-3-0 start and take a 4-4-0 record into their game against the New York Islanders on Thursday at TD Garden.

It was apparent during the early going that the Bruins, in addition to other problems, had difficulties adjusting to the aftermath of defenseman Johnny Boychuk's trade to the Islanders on Oct. 4, four days before the beginning of the regular season.

Boychuk, though, isn't surprised his old team has been playing better.

"They always find a way," Boychuk said Thursday, after the morning skate before his first game against his former team. "I remember after we won [the Stanley Cup in 2011] everybody was saying what a tough time we had [to start the 2011-12 season] and we turned it around in November and went undefeated [12-0-1]. So it's not out of the ordinary."

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Hot start for Ducks' Andersen

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

A month ago none of the fantasy experts doubted that a tandem of Frederik Andersen and John Gibson would be talented enough to keep the Anaheim Ducks competitive in the daunting Western Conference.

But it was anyone's guess as to which goalie would earn more starts and produce more fantasy value.

Furthermore, when two unproven or inexperienced goalies are vying to claim a starter's job in terms of workload, a tricky pendulum effect usually takes place. Minutes earned and overall fantasy value will swing back and forth between the two depending on their performance, coaching decisions and other variables, so there's no knowing how long that will last.

But with six straight wins to start the season, Andersen is proving the job is his. Behind this red-hot start, the native of Denmark has 26 wins in his first 31 decisions (26-5-0), which is a new NHL record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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Unmasked: Scorers can Reverse popular technique

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

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

It didn't take long for the goaltending world to start debating post-integration tactics.

The first goal of the NHL season came on a sharp-angle shot from just above the goal line by Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty that beat Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier under the left pad.

A few hours later, San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels scored on a similar bad-angle shot against Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who dropped into the same technique as Bernier: Reverse, or Reverse-VH.

Goaltenders and goaltending experts on Twitter already had a #ReverseVHFail hashtag ready to go.

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New-look Predators have Blackhawks' attention

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It's early, but it's starting to look like the Western Conference and Central Division need to make room for another legitimate contender.

After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs two straight seasons and parting with the only coach they'd ever known, Barry Trotz, the Nashville Predators (4-0-2) are off to their best start since 2010-11 under new coach Peter Laviolette.

The Predators are one of two teams in the West without a regulation loss, joined by the Chicago Blackhawks (4-0-1). Chicago happens to be the next opponent for Nashville, and the Blackhawks are ready to put their great start to the test Thursday at Bridgestone Arena (8 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, FS-TN).


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Six reasons for Predators' fast start under Laviolette

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Peter Laviolette understandably wants to take things slow in the first month of his first regular season as coach of the Nashville Predators. He wants to ease his foot onto the gas pedal so to speak, but with the mindset that points are already at a premium in the Central Division.

"The points are so important," Laviolette said following Nashville's 4-3 shootout win against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. "In your division you've got to keep winning, got to keep collecting points."

The Predators have been, to the tune of a 4-0-2 record through six games. They've got a chance to collect two more points Thursday against a Central Division rival, the Chicago Blackhawks, at Bridgestone Arena.

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Right place, right time for Rangers' Hunwick

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Defenders of the Ice

NHL.com

Henrik Lundqvist's 51st shutout would not have been possible without the extra effort of defenseman Matt Hunwick.

Goals from Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash four seconds apart in the closing minutes of the second period, and 33 saves by Lundqvist, sparked the New York Rangers to a 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

But the shutout, which extended Lundqvist's franchise record, also was contingent on the alert play of Hunwick at 6:18 of the first period, which prevented the Sharks from scoring the game's first goal and changed the course of the game.

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McDavid showcases his skills in Sabres' home rink

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 10:45 PM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Being in the spotlight is something Connor McDavid has gotten used to already in his career. But playing in a NHL arena in front of NHL fans is something new.

The 17-year-old Erie Otters center is one of the most anticipated prospects in years and may wind up being the first selection in the 2015 NHL Draft. McDavid's Otters defeated the Niagara IceDogs 8-4 Wednesday in an Ontario Hockey League game at First Niagara Center and he knows the attention on him is growing.

"It's a little different," McDavid said. "But I guess I've had a little bit experience in the last two years kind of growing up, [learning how] to act. It started pretty crazy in my 15-year-old year, when everyone was kind of first taking notice. So I have a little bit of experience. Obviously, this year is a little bit ramped up. Nothing really changes."

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Quote of the Day

I loved being in the jerseys again and they worked some magic for us. It was weird in warm-ups, seeing No. 22 in that jersey and thinking he’s [Mike Gartner], and No. 8 reminds you of Danny Briere … every number had me thinking back to the guys who wore them and smiling.

— Coyotes captain Shane Doan on wearing Kachina-style throwback jerseys in a 3-2 victory against the Canucks on Thursday