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Fantasy All-Access: Start eyeing Devils on waiver wire

Sean McCullen - Staff Writer

Every Monday, staff writer Sean McCullen identifies potential waiver-wire pickups and points out lineup moves and schedule impacts for fantasy hockey.

Fantasy owners apparently have not taken notice of the New Jersey Devils, who have won six of their past seven games, including a 3-2 shootout win against the John Tavares-less New York Islanders on Saturday.

Goalie Cory Schneider has been good (6-2-1, 2.17 goals-against average, .919 save percentage), as expected, but he's not the only reason behind New Jersey's recent success.

Since their 0-3-1 start under first-year coach John Hynes, the Devils have been scoring goals. Yes, the New Jersey Devils. They have 20 non-shootout goals in their past seven games; that 2.86 per-game average would be 10th in the NHL for the season. Veteran forward Mike Cammalleri (C/LW, owned in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues), a known fantasy commodity for the past decade, has three goals and a Devils-high 11 points.

Blackhawks goalie Crawford learns to ignore critics

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 10:49 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The slights used to be taken as personal attacks by Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, who would use them as motivation.

Now a 30-year-old veteran, Crawford has learned to block out the noise and focus on winning championships. His two Stanley Cup rings are all the validation he needs.

But it wasn't always that way for Crawford. Prior to helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015, he said he was aware of his critics and what they would say.

"I took some stuff personally, when [media] would bash on me," said Crawford, who will start for the Blackhawks at United Center on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNW, FS-W, CSN-CH) looking to end the Los Angeles Kings' seven-game winning streak. "My [rookie] year, I just came in and it was great. I started playing a lot of games and I was winning. In the second year it's a different story when you're declared a No. 1 guy. I didn't play as well."

Top prospect Matthews already 'class of the league'

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 9:16 AM / 2016 NHL Draft

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

Until last week, 18-year-old Auston Matthews' first season of professional hockey with Zurich in National League A, Switzerland's top professional league, was ticking along as efficiently as one of the country's finest timepieces.

But Matthews' smooth season hit a bump in the road during a game Oct. 23 when he fell and crashed into the boards, sustaining a back injury.

He finished that game and played in the next two. But the Zurich medical staff decided it was best to hold Matthews out of a game last Friday, especially since the league now is on a two-week break.

While the injury will prevent Matthews from playing for the United States at the Deutschland Cup, which will be held Nov. 6-8 in Augsburg, Germany, Matthews hopes to be ready when Zurich resumes its schedule Nov. 12.

Kings go for eighth straight; Crosby vs. McDavid

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 3:00 AM / Weekly Primer

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

The Los Angeles Kings got off to a rough start this season, losing their first three games. That has become a distant memory.

The Kings will be seeking their eighth straight victory when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNW, FS-W, CSN-CH).

After scoring two goals in their first three games, the Kings offense has come alive over the past two weeks. Los Angeles has outscored its opponents 22-9 over the course of its seven-game winning streak.

"We're playing with a lot of confidence," defenseman Drew Doughty said, according to LA Kings Insider. "Obviously, we can't let it get too far up into our heads, because when we're playing confident like this and at the same time still trying to do all the right things, we're winning games, and we need to continue winning."

Around the League notebook: Sunday, Nov. 1

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 1:57 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Tomas Fleischmann (2-1—3) and David Desharnais (1-2—3) each had three points to lead the Canadiens to the win and an 11-2-0 record.

* Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Canadiens have 22 or more standings points through the first 13 games of a season for the fourth time in franchise history and the first time since 1972-73 (9-0-4, 22 standings points). Montreal's best start to a season through the first 13 games was in 1943-44 (10-0-3, 23 standings points).

* The Canadiens improved to 5-0-0 at home this season (all regulation wins). Per Elias, the Canadiens won their first five home games to start a season for the first time since 1979-80 (6-0-0), which were also all regulation wins.

Canadiens get chance to show they're more than Price

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 12:45 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens set out this season to prove to the hockey world that they are more than an adequate team playing in front of an outstanding goaltender.

They're now getting a golden opportunity to do that, though not one the Canadiens necessarily welcomed.

The news Sunday that goaltender Carey Price would be out for at least one week with a lower-body injury could not possibly be spun in a positive way. But for the Canadiens who have felt slighted by the idea that they would be lost without Price, this is a chance to put that narrative to rest.

The Canadiens began making that point in an emphatic way Sunday, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-1 behind 18 saves from backup goaltender Mike Condon to kick off a four-game homestand that also includes games against the Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins.

"We know what we're capable of," center David Desharnais said. "Every team has good players. We have Carey, the Penguins have Sidney [Crosby], the Blackhawks have [Jonathan] Toews. Everyone has their kingpin. So there's no doubt he helps us, but we're able to play without him. He's an important element of the team, but he's a part of the team."

Analysis: Babcock clear-cut choice for Team Canada

Sunday, 11.01.2015 / 11:55 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey might last a couple of weeks, but it will occupy the hearts and minds of Team Canada's fans for the better part of the next year.

Canadians will passionately debate who should be the seventh defenseman, down to whether he should be a left-handed or right-handed shot.

It's often said Canada could assemble two competitive teams for a best-on-best international tournament. The same goes for Canada's coaching staff.

Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong has a deep and talented pool of candidates who could guide Canada when it attempts to continue its run of excellence on the international stage, which includes gold at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, as well as the 2015 IIHF World Championship.

There are reports Team Canada could name its coach later this month.

Canucks to keep rookies McCann, Virtanen in NHL

Sunday, 11.01.2015 / 9:10 PM / News

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen will stay in the NHL for now, the Vancouver Canucks said Sunday.

The Canucks made the two 19-year-old rookie forwards sweat a bit before letting each know he would not be sent back to his junior team before playing his 10th game in the League.

McCann felt pretty good about his chances of staying in the NHL after scoring his fifth goal, the most on Vancouver, in his ninth game Friday, but after the Canucks watched video clips Sunday highlighting all the mistakes he and Virtanen have made, he wasn't so sure.

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