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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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Around the League notebook for Wednesday, Oct. 22

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 2:20 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

WEDNESDAY RESULTS

Home Team in CAPS

Toronto, OTTAWA - PPD

Philadelphia 5, PITTSBURGH 3

EDMONTON 3, Washington 2

ANAHEIM 4, Buffalo 1

ANDERSEN, PERRY HELP DUCKS SOAR PAST SABRES

Frederik Andersen stopped 22 of 23 shots and Corey Perry netted his second hat trick of the season (WATCH ) and Anaheim defeated Buffalo 4-1 for its sixth straight victory. At 6-1-0, the Ducks have matched the franchise’s best start to a season by wins (6-1-0, 2013-14) and by points (12; also 2013-14, 2006-07).

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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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Coyle agrees to contract extension with Wild

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 5:27 PM / News

MinnesotaWild.com

The Wild has agreed to terms with forward Charlie Coyle on a five-year contract extension.

"We're very excited to get Charlie Coyle signed through the 2019-20 season," said Fletcher. "Charlie's size, overall skill set, and character give him a chance to emerge as a top power forward in the game and we're happy he will be doing that in the State of Hockey for years to come."

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Incoming Islanders owners to continue Wang's vision

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 5:04 PM / News

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky will spend the next two years getting a hands-on course on how to run the New York Islanders. Their teacher: current owner Charles Wang.

Malkin and Ledecky were introduced Wednesday as the incoming owners of the Islanders. They will hold a minority interest in the team for two seasons before taking over as majority owners, with Wang retaining a minority interest.

"Life has its moments of opportunity, and you have to decide whether you're going to step forward," Malkin said when asked why he and Ledecky wanted to buy a franchise that has made the Stanley Cup Playoffs once since 2007 and hasn't won a series since 1993. "Charles gave us that opportunity. For us, we saw this as a moment that we could embrace things that we believed in and embrace the Islanders and what they stand for.

"The vision that Charles has created of the team, the new arena, the strength on which to build, those were very important to us."

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Capitals defenseman Erskine out after neck surgery

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 4:51 PM / News

NHL.com

Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine underwent surgery Wednesday at Bethesda Surgical Center in Bethesda, Md. to repair a disc in his neck, the Capitals said.

Erskine is scheduled to begin what the Capitals categorized as an "intensive rehab program" within the next few weeks. There was no timetable listed for his return.

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Quote of the Day

I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday
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