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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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Toews to travel with Blackhawks, who face Islanders

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 11:24 AM / News

NHL.com

BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews has an upper-body injury, according to the Blackhawks website. He will travel with the team to Long Island, where they face the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Toews left near the midway point of the second period against the Boston Bruins on Thursday and did not return to the game.

"Yeah, he seemed all right," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the game Thursday. "We'll see how he is tomorrow. It looks like he’s going to be all right."

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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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Around the League notebook for Thursday, Dec. 11

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

BLACKHAWKS RECORD EIGHTH STRAIGHT WIN

Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 13th goal and both Ben Smith (1-1—2) and Marcus Kruger (0-2—2) had two points as the Chicago Blackhawks opened a 3-0 lead en route to their eighth consecutive victory, 3-2 against the Boston Bruins. Chicago's winning streak is the longest in the NHL this season and the club's best stretch since it won 11 straight from Feb. 15 to March 6, 2013. The Blackhawks also have posted five straight road wins for the first time since a six-game stretch from Nov. 21-30, 2013.

* The Blackhawks are the first team to reach 20 wins this season. They sit alone atop the Central Division standings with 41 points (20-8-1) and are within two of the Anaheim Ducks (19-6-5, 43 points) for first place in the entire NHL, with a game in hand.

* Kane picked up his fourth game-winning goal of the season to move into a share of the League lead. He has tallied 5-4—9 during Chicago's winning streak and leads the club with 27 points (13-14—27) in 29 games.

* Making his third consecutive shot, rookie goaltender Scott Darling stopped 32 shots to improve to 5-1-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .939 save percentage in his career.

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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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Super 16: Analytics challenge Flames' feel-good story

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

One of the most fascinating stories of the 2014-15 season has been the surprising play of the Calgary Flames.

Thought to be in rebuilding mode, the Flames made a couple of modest additions during the offseason, but nothing that swayed most prognosticators to believe they were ready to compete in the rugged Western Conference. Here they are though, sitting in third place in the Pacific Division and sixth in the West with a 17-10-2 record and maybe most impressively a division-best plus-14 goal differential.

"The preseason predictions that we were going to be in the 'Connor McDavid Derby,' I didn't believe that at all," president Brian Burke said at the NHL Board of Governors meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. "In fact, I called a couple people in the media and complained about it. I thought that we would be better than that.

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Stars recall Morin, assign Oleksiak to Texas

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 5:44 PM / News

DallasStars.com

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill announced Thursday that forward Travis Morin has been recalled from the Texas Stars, Dallas' affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Morin, 30, leads the Texas Stars and is tied for fourth overall in the AHL with 24 points (10-14-24) in 23 games this season. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound native of Brooklyn Park, Minn., has skated in seven career NHL contests, posting one assist and six shots.

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Panthers recall defenseman O'Brien from AHL

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 5:32 PM / News

FloridaPanthers.com

Florida Panthers Executive Vice-President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has recalled D Shane O’Brien from San Antonio (AHL).

O’Brien, 31, has played in 528 career National Hockey League games for Calgary (2013-2014), Colorado (2011-2013), Nashville (2010-11), Vancouver (2008-2010), Tampa Bay (2007-08) and Anaheim (2006-2007) scoring 13 goals with 78 assists and 911 penalty minutes. He has played in 40 post-season games, registering five points (2-3-5).

The Port Hope, Ontario native has appeared in 19 games with San Antonio this year, recording five goals and eight assists (5-8-13)

An eight-year NHL veteran, O’Brien came to Florida’s training camp on a professional try out, before being signed on Oct. 6.

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Ducks send Heatley to AHL for conditioning stint

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 4:05 PM / News

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks on Thursday sent forward Dany Heatley to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League on a conditioning stint and activated goaltender Jason LaBarbera off injured reserve, the team announced via its Twitter account.

Heatley has not played for Anaheim since Nov. 9, and has been out with a groin injury. LaBarbera last played for the Ducks on Oct. 29 in a 6-4 loss against the San Jose Sharks in which he relieved teammate Frederik Andersen.

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Ice truck to arrive at Nationals Park on Monday

NHL.com

The 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Ice Plant Presented by York will arrive at Nationals Park on Monday to begin the ice-making process for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

The 53-foot trailer, the world's largest mobile refrigeration unit, houses the state-of-the-art ice-making and ice-monitoring equipment used to create the sheet of ice which will be used by the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA). It will arrive at the home of Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The truck departed Toronto on Dec. 10 to make the 480-mile journey to Washington, DC.

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Quote of the Day

For us it's a little bit different. I've never been in front of this much media. This is more than we've ever had to deal with in Tampa. I guess we're on a little bit bigger stage now. It's nice, you have to enjoy it. This doesn't happen too often.

— Lightning forward J.T. Brown after his first Media Day experience on Tuesday in preparation of Game 1 on Wednesday