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Stewart, Crosby, Duchene named 'Stars' of week

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 12:00 PM / News


NEW YORK – St. Louis Blues right wing Chris Stewart, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Dec. 22.


Stewart led the NHL with six goals and added an assist as the Blues (24-7-4, 52 points) earned five out of a possible eight points to maintain second place in the Central Division. He opened the week by scoring twice, his first multi-goal game of the season, in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators Dec. 16.


Midseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings

NHL.com insiders Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen rank most valuable assets

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

The official midway point of the 2013-14 NHL season (Game No. 615 of 1230) falls on Jan. 2, but NHL.com has your fantasy hockey needs covered just in time for the holiday season.

Below are updated top-200 overall player rankings, as determined by fantasy insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen. As we approach the League's three-day break from game action, fantasy owners should use these rankings as a basis for team evaluation and future transactions.

These rankings should be viewed as our experts' opinionated projections of the League's most valuable fantasy assets based on performance to this point and expectations of the season moving forward. Injured players have been included based on approximate recovery time and potential statistical impact upon their return. Other factors taken into account include Yahoo position eligibility, line combinations, category coverage, contract status and statistical performance from previous seasons.

NOTE: These rankings project value in standard fantasy hockey leagues, which include a 6x4 category scoring system: goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points, shots on goal, penalty minutes, goalie wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.


Zac Brown Band leads Winter Classic entertainment

Members of the Grammy-Award winning band to perform U.S. national anthem


NEW YORK -- The 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the New Year's Day outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at The Big House® on the University of Michigan campus (1:00 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS), will feature performances by members of the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, singer/songwriter Mayer Hawthorne and Juno Award-winning recording artists The Tenors; the announcement of the rosters for the 2014 U.S. Olympic men's and women's ice hockey teams; a flyover of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) CF-18 fighter jets and a Canada-United States color guard; and appearances by Ann Arbor and Detroit-area youth hockey players.

The entertainment for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ and 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ is being produced by RK Productions in association with Big Monkey Entertainment.


Olympic Stock Report: Keep an eye on Finland

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Finland might again be the surprise country that finds its way onto the Olympic medal stand.

The Finns are the only group that has done it three times since NHL players started participating in the Olympics in 1998, and the way some of their young -- and old -- players have been playing of late things are looking up for them as the 2014 Sochi Olympics draw closer.

A pair of teenagers, Olli Maatta and Aleksander Barkov, have stepped up their games in the past few weeks. The old superstar, Teemu Selanne, has found his offensive touch again with four points in his past three games after he went the previous 16 without a goal or an assist.

Mikko Koivu, Valtteri Filppula and Jussi Jokinen continue to play well in both ends of the rink. Olli Jokinen has had a solid season for the Winnipeg Jets.


U.S. Olympic roster taking shape

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The collection of NHL executives tasked with selecting the United States roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics still has several key players dealing with injuries, so being confident in the health of the group announced at the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 might require a leap of faith.

A silver lining might come from the difficulty of hammering out the final 25 names. There is depth at each position, and likely to be several players left off the roster who feel they deserve to be there. Should any injured player named not be ready for the trip to Sochi, there will be quality replacement options available.

It does appear as though the bulk of the United States roster has taken shape over the past couple of months, with only a couple of spots up front, on defense and likely one place among the goaltenders that will lead to some tough final decisions in the coming days.

Here's a look at three NHL.com projected lineups:


Daily Primer Dec. 23: 28 teams take the ice

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 3:00 AM / Features


It's the final day before the Christmas break, and 28 of the NHL's 30 teams will be in action.

Fourteen games are on the schedule, perhaps none bigger than the matchup between the Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (7 p.m. ET, PRIME, CSN-DC). Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau returns to Washington for the first time since being fired by the Capitals in November of 2011.

Boudreau's Ducks have won eight in a row, a franchise record.


Providence goalie Gillies ready for WJC exposure

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Providence College goalie Jon Gillies is a huge fan of Johnny Manziel.

Not so much because the Texas A&M quarterback seems to dominate the college football headlines on a regular basis, but because he marches to the beat of his own drum.

"He's a one-man show; things that go on in his life off the field don't affect him on the field and I respect that," Gillies said. "He just exudes confidence. From what I've read he seems to be an amazing guy."

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Gillies also is a pretty amazing guy. Not to mention a one-man show on occasion for the Friars. He's big, confident, energetic and passionate about getting better. Those traits have transformed him into one of college hockey's most respected goalies in a short period of time.


Canucks' Luongo leaves game with injury

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 12:57 AM / News


Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo was forced to leave the game Sunday night against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena due to a lower-body injury.

Luongo was replaced by Eddie Lack at 16:30 of the opening period.

The Canucks announced via their Twitter account that Luongo was being evaluated by the team's medical staff. Vancouver coach John Tortorella announced after a 2-1 win that Luongo sustained a lower-body injury. He is day-to-day.


Wild trying to overcome offensive woes

Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 11:45 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The mood was somber, the room quiet.

Nobody was talking when the media gained access to the Minnesota Wild's dressing room late Sunday night. The players were unstrapping their equipment and loading it into their hockey bags. Trainers were coming by to help with skate guards and really anything that would speed up the process to get the Wild out of Madison Square Garden and on the bus to Philadelphia as quickly as possible.

As for answers to questions about how the Wild are going to get out of their prolonged scoring slump, mouths were moving and words were being said, but nobody could really come up with any solutions.


Stars' Gonchar out with concussion-like symptoms

Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 5:04 PM / News


Dallas Stars defenseman Sergei Gonchar will miss the next seven-to-10 days with concussion-like symptoms, general manager Jim Nill told Stars beat reporters Sunday.

Nill is hoping Gonchar will be back after the Christmas break and said there won't be a call-up from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.

Gonchar left the Stars' game Saturday against the San Jose Sharks in the second period with what was initially called an upper-body injury.

"He's all right," Stars coach Lindy Ruff told the Dallas Morning News after the game. "He took a puck to the face and isn't feeling well, so he has to stay out for a while probably."

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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory