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Fantasy top 60 defensemen: What to make of Letang

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 12:17 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, fantasy hockey contributor Brian Metzer provides in-depth defenseman analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer is your go-to guy for fantasy D-men advice all season long.

If fantasy owners could believe in anything from season to season it was getting solid production from a number of Pittsburgh Penguins, and 2015-16 was supposed to be even better.

General manager Jim Rutherford acquired Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs and all of the so-called-experts, including this one, predicted otherworldly production for Kessel, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

Penguins D-man Maatta sustained upper-body injury

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 11:40 AM / News

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta sustained an upper-body injury against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday and spent the night in the hospital, the Penguins said Wednesday.

Maatta remained in the hospital Wednesday and was to be re-examined later in the day. The Penguins said Maatta's injury was not related to any injuries he has sustained in the past.

Maatta did not sustain any internal injuries, TSN reported, but had soft tissue and muscle damage to his midsection, the result of being checked into the boards near the Minnesota bench with its door open by Wild forward Nino Niederreiter.

Callahan day-to-day as Lightning injury list grows

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 11:22 AM / News

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, the Lightning announced Wednesday.

The Lightning, already without forward Ondrej Palat for 3-5 weeks because of a lower-body injury, were also missing forwards Tyler Johnson, Jonathan Drouin and Cedric Paquette when they lost 1-0 to the Florida Panthers on Monday. Johnson and Paquette have upper-body injuries; the injury to Drouin was undisclosed.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper ruled Johnson and Paquette out for the game Thursday against the New York Rangers. Drouin and Callahan are most likely out, Cooper said.

Capitals visit Red Wings for Wednesday Night Rivalry

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / Tale of the Tape

John Kreiser - Managing Editor

Alex Ovechkin will try again to become the NHL's all-time leading goal-scorer among Russian-born players when he and the Washington Capitals visit the Detroit Red Wings in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

Ovechkin and the Capitals are making their second trip to Joe Louis Arena in eight days. He had 15 shots on goal in a 1-0 loss on Nov. 10. Despite coming up empty last week, Ovechkin has nine goals and 17 points in 15 career games against the Red Wings.

Ovechkin tied Sergei Fedorov's record when he scored his 483rd career goal in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 7; since then, he’s put the puck in the net twice only to have each goal negated after a coach’s challenge.

Datsyuk's return adds dimension to Red Wings' game

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is three games into his season and still looking for his first point. It'll come soon, perhaps as early as Wednesday, when the Red Wings play the Washington Capitals at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

Datsyuk is still getting up to speed after missing the first 15 games recovering from ankle surgery.

More importantly, the Red Wings, with Datsyuk's help, finally showed signs of breaking out of a prolonged scoring slump in a 4-3 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators on Monday. They snapped a streak of six consecutive games in which they scored two or fewer goals.

Detroit had a season-high 37 shots on goal against the Senators. It was the first time the Red Wings had more than 30 shots in a game this season.

Around the League notebook: Tuesday, Nov. 17

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 12:49 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Jason Spezza scored the eventual game-winning goal at 7:35 of the third period to help the Dallas Stars earn their third consecutive victory and continue their record-setting start to the season.

* At 15-4-0 (30 points), the Stars are off to their best 19-game start (in terms of wins and points) in the franchise's 48-year history. Their 15 wins lead the NHL and their 30 points share top spot with the New York Rangers (14-2-2, 30 points) and Montreal Canadiens (14-3-2, 30 points).

* The Stars also improved to 8-2-0 (16 points) away from American Airlines Center this season, the most road wins and road points in the League.

Blues forward Lehtera leaves game, taken to hospital

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 11:25 PM / News

St. Louis Blues forward Jori Lehtera was taken to the hospital Tuesday after being hit in the throat area during a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock did not have an update on Lehtera's condition and said there would be one Wednesday.

Islanders working to put down roots in Brooklyn

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 9:00 PM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark's credo is to be happy but never satisfied. For all the work he's done to help lifelong New York Islanders fans get to their new arena, Yormark must add some Brooklyn flavor to a marketing recipe designed to create a foothold in the borough.

"I'm excited about the early returns, but we have more work to do," Yormark said. "I'm happy with the move, the team is off to a great start, the fans have been supporting the team, but we can do more. We can grow the base and we will."

The Islanders took a big step in their grassroots effort to grow their brand in Brooklyn on Tuesday when defenseman Nick Leddy became their first player to appear at a community event since they relocated from Long Island to begin the 2015-16 NHL season.

Scandella grateful to Wild for time with ailing father

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 5:40 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Marco Scandella spoke Tuesday of the time he spent away from the Minnesota Wild to be with his ailing father.

"My dad doesn't have much time left, so I'm really happy that the organization let me go back home to see him and say goodbye to him," the defenseman told the Wild website after the morning skate prior to playing at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I owe it to him to play my best hockey, and that's what I'm going to do when I come out every shift. I just have to keep growing as a player and growing as a person."

Fantasy top 100 forwards: MacKinnon, Duchene ignite

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top-100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen is your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

The Colorado Avalanche are at the bottom of the Central Division, the toughest in the NHL, and don't exactly have the deepest, most complete roster to fall back on in their quest to get return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Luckily they do have Nathan MacKinnon, a top-15 fantasy forward in Yahoo leagues this season, who continues to prove his sophomore slump was a fluke. He has at least a point in 11 of his 17 games this season with five multipoint outings (T-9th in NHL) and 19 points on the season (seventh in NHL). His shooting percentage woes are no more after an unlucky and underachieving 2014-15 season of 14 goals on 192 shots on goal in 64 games (7.3 percent) prior to his season-ending injury.

This season, MacKinnon ranks tied for 14th or better in goals (eight on 61 SOG; 13.1 percent), points, plus-minus and SOG. But the crafty playmaker has also done his part to revitalize the Avalanche's other franchise cornerstone, Matt Duchene.

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