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Penticton's Jost, Fabbro not vying for draft position

Thursday, 11.26.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

Every Thursday, will look ahead to the 2016 NHL Draft with an in-depth profile on one of its top prospects.

There's no competition between teammates, Penticton Vees forward Tyson Jost declared.

Not even amongst roommates, either.

Bragging rights aren't on the line in whether he or Vees defenseman Dante Fabbro is first to hear his name called in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The pair, who share the same billet and have been attached at the hip the past couple years, isn't about the tongue-in-cheek rivalry.

"No, no, not at all," said Jost, who captains the Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League. "People probably wonder who's going to go higher and whatnot, and I went higher in the [Western Hockey League] Draft than he did by one spot. Honestly, we don't care at all. If Dante goes higher than me, I'm going to be really happy for him. He's one of my best buddies. I'll be just as happy if he gets drafted higher than if I do. It's a cool experience to have a buddy with you. We're not really focused on who goes higher."

By the Numbers: First quarter interesting picture

Thursday, 11.26.2015 / 3:00 AM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - Correspondent

A quarter of the 2015-16 NHL regular season is complete, and a look at the numbers reveals some rather interesting statistics at the individual, team and League levels.

Here are a dozen of the most compelling:

Unmasked: Backup role readied Mason for new career

Thursday, 11.26.2015 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Chris Mason may be new to broadcasting, but the recently retired NHL goaltender-turned-radio analyst got a chance to prepare for his second career while playing out his first.

During his two stints with the Nashville Predators, it was common for the backup goalie to put on a headset during a break in the action and take questions from the broadcast crew. Now, after calling it a career this past summer following two seasons in Europe and trading in his pads for a headset, all those interviews from the bench are paying off for Mason as a Predators analyst.

"I played behind Tomas Vokoun in his heyday, so there was a lot of games where I was on the bench for those interviews," Mason, who played 317 NHL games over 13 seasons with the Predators, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets, said with a laugh. "I looked forward to doing it actually. I love talking about hockey. I love watching hockey. I love playing hockey. It's a passion of mine, so to be able to have that small sample of experience, it did help and it does make a difference feeling comfortable being on air and talking about hockey and not making a fool of yourself. I probably still did, but it makes you not so scared to make a fool of yourself."

Fast start has Rangers' Lundqvist leading Vezina race

Thursday, 11.26.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault challenged his No. 1 goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, to get off to a better start this season after struggling early the past few years, and "The King" has responded by restaking his claim as the NHL's best.

After adjusting his preseason approach to focus more on technique and position-specific drills with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire, Lundqvist has emerged as the early favorite to win his second Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender by backstopping the Rangers to the top spot in the Eastern Conference after a 31-save shutout of the Nashville Predators on Monday.

Following a 5-1 loss against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, Lundqvist sits atop the NHL in goals-against average (1.94) and save percentage (.939); his 12 wins are second to the Washington Capitals' Braden Holtby, who has 13.

For those wondering if Lundqvist is sheltered behind a good team playing well defensively, he also leads NHL starters with an adjusted 5-on-5 save percentage of .954, according to, a measurement that weighs shot quality based on the distance of the shots a goalie faces.

"He's our best player, there's no doubt," Vigneault recently told The New York Times.

Bruins' Chara believes in more good times to come

Thursday, 11.26.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

After Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz recently announced the 2016 season would be his last, the revelation was met with celebratory commentary about his career, which included three World Series championships.

Someday before the end of this decade Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara might make a similar declaration and most likely will do it in a Bruins jersey. We know Chara will have at least one Stanley Cup championship and one Norris Trophy on his resume when his career concludes. But will his stint in Boston inspire the same adulation as Ortiz's?

"The city's been great. I've been really honored and humbled to be playing in this town and giving it my all," said Chara, who's in his 10th season with the Bruins and has two more after this one on his contract, according to "These are hardworking people and it's a pleasure to be playing for these kinds of people. So if I'm going to be celebrated, I don't know. Certainly everybody would want to be. When you play that many years and games and you win championships, hopefully people will remember and have good memories. But that's not what I'm looking right now at."

Chara, 38, is focused on on-ice matters. One season ago a ligament tear in his left knee cost him 19 games and made him look like a shell of the dominant defenseman who had been one of the most feared players to face for a decade. This season has been a comeback tour for Chara, who will be in the thick of the battle Friday when the Bruins host the New York Rangers at TD Garden in the Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown (1 p.m. ET, NBC, SN).

Fantasy top 60 defensemen: Thankful for Burns, Faulk

Wednesday, 11.25.2015 / 12:05 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.

Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States as a day of being grateful for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. We in the United States will celebrate this holiday on Thursday, but today the NHL's defensemen join me as we come together for our third annual defensive fantasy feast.

You are all probably used to attending gatherings that feature things like turkey, potatoes and roasted vegetables, as well as plenty of scrumptious desserts. Sadly, you'll have to wait until tomorrow for all of that, but the defensemen and I have tons of goals, assists and shots on goal, as well as secondary delights such as blocked shots and hits, to fill whet your fantasy palette!

The main course in this feast always comes in the form of goals, and since even the most lethal offensive defensemen tend to top out around 20, they are very valuable. This year Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks) and Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes) were nice enough to arrive at our feast with eight goals apiece. Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets) and Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) brought six each, and Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators) and Colton Parayko (St. Louis Blues) brought us five.

Howe family reflects on legacy as holidays near

Wednesday, 11.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Rarely has there been a dull moment on Thanksgiving Day in the home of Gordie Howe.

With four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Howe certainly has a lot to be thankful for. His children, Marty, Mark, Murray and Cathy, are just grateful their father will be able to celebrate another Thanksgiving Day with the family.

Despite sustaining a series of strokes in 2014, Gordie Howe, 87, is in good spirits after two rounds of stem cell treatments in Tijuana, Mexico. He had his first treatment in December 2014, and a second round last June. He is now living with Murray and Murray's wife in Sylvania, Ohio.

The Howe family is considered hockey royalty, and they will be treated as such on Thursday during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when Marty and Mark ride atop a float, "Frozen Fall Fun," presented by Discover.

Wild's Koivu making early case for Selke Trophy

Wednesday, 11.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

David Satriano - Fantasy Staff Writer

A quarter of the way through the season there have been many surprises, whether it has been players or teams. One of those surprises is center Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild, who is the pick to win the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward.

When analyzing advanced stats, which play a big factor in determining the Selke Trophy finalists and winner, Koivu has excelled. He ranks eighth in shot attempts percentage at 5-on-5 (SAT%), and is tied for first in SAT Relative, a ratio of on-ice SAT% vs. off-ice SAT% (13.6). Koivu has won 54.6 percent of his faceoffs (253 of 463) and has been equally as impressive in defensive-zone faceoffs. He's taken 154 defensive-zone faceoffs and has won 50.7 percent.

His SAT percentage in close games (tied or one-goal difference) is 63.05 (third among forwards) and in tie games he ranks first (65.17).

Twelve surprises in first quarter of 2015-16 season

Wednesday, 11.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

The most exciting part of any season is the unexpected twists and turns.

Some teams that were projected to have success inexplicably hit roadblocks. Others that were expected to struggle scratch and claw to remain competitive.

And then there are the individual struggles and success stories. Young players work their way into the spotlight, while some veterans can't seem to get going.

Here are the 12 biggest surprises in the season's first quarter, in no particular order:

Analysis: Gallagher injury will severely test Canadiens

Tuesday, 11.24.2015 / 3:57 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Quebec – The Montreal Canadiens have already overcome what many considered would be their worst-case scenario this season.

The loss of goaltender Carey Price for three weeks would have been disastrous for the Canadiens a season ago, but they came out of it with a 5-2-2 record and a newfound confidence in how they play as a team in front of Price.

Now that Price is back the Canadiens face a new, entirely different challenge with top-line right wing Brendan Gallagher out a minimum of six weeks following surgery to repair two fractured fingers on his left hand.

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Quote of the Day

It's a big milestone for me and I'm happy to help my team with lots of good teammates. It's fun.

— Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who on Wednesday became the ninth Russian-born player, and ninth Red Wings player, to score 300 NHL goals
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