The Man Behind the Mask: Jon Quick

01/09/2010
USA Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Orientation Camp

The second installment of “The Man Behind the Mask” takes a look at the road to the National Hockey League for Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. We hope you enjoy this weekly installment only on NHL Hot Stove.

Jonathan Quick rose quickly through the ranks on his road to the National Hockey League.  Born in Hamden, Connecticut on January 21st, 1986, this east coast native now shoulders the load for the youngest team in the League.

Selected in the third round (72nd overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Quick emerged as one of the leagues young, up-and-coming netminders in the game today. So much so that  Team USA selected the 23-year-old with hopes of him getting his feet wet in international competition.

His journey began on his high school team in Hamden where they named him to the New Haven Register All-Area Ice Hockey team.  He then starred in the famed Avon Old Farms hockey, similar to another famous USA Hockey Hall of Famer, Brian Leetch.

While at Old Farms,  Quick led the team to two straight New England Prep Championships holding the all time New England prep school record for most shutouts in a season (9) during his senior year.  His stay there showed signs of things to come.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 01/04/2010

01/05/2010
Phoenix Coyotes v Los Angeles Kings

In this section, I break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every night and cite why I chose them in particular. In addition, I will track the amount of times the players have received this honor and tally them at the end of the season. For the sake of clarity, I will be using Yahoo! standard categories (Forwards – G,A,+/-, PP, PIM, SOG; Goalies – W, GAA, SV%, SHO) and thus exclude player’s salaries.

Only two games last night, and four teams in action so not too much to discuss.  Our betting expert Anthony Curatolo did well, going a perfect 2-2 and sticking by his sure bet of the night in a slumping New York Rangers team.   Here are our standout fantasy stars for January 4, 2009:

THIRD STAR: Blake Wheeler, Boston Bruins (0-0-1) –  Wheeler made last night’ s contest interesting with a game-tying goal with four minutes left in regulation time.  Even though his Bruins eventually fell to the the Rangers 3-2, the 23-year-old scored a goal and an assist in over 16 minutes of ice time.  In addition, the former 5th overall pick finished a perfect plus two on the evening while firing two shots on goal.

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Here's to a New Year Without Head Shots

01/02/2010
New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five

I am certain that an opinion piece of this nature will upset each team’s fans but these head shots have got to stop.  Of course, we are all hockey fans and love the big hit, some live for it but there needs to be a line drawn with the increasing speed to the game.  These hits need to stop or else hockey becomes a survival of the fittest in which young players stand little chance of establishing a career due to playing scared due to footage from the last gruesome head shot.

While the League’s general managers mull over a rule change, I would like to propose a rule change of my own.  Repeat dirty hits will lead to a permanent suspension from the League.  The OHL instilled a similar rule when they banned Michael Liambas, a notoriously dirty player, from playing in their League following a career ending hit against Ben Fanelli.  This instance marked just another time Liambas made a questionable hit, you cam see another one on first overall pick John Tavares here.  The NHL made a similar move with former NHL pugilist Ryan Hollweg, essentially calling any hit remotely borderline until he played his way out of the league.

The moral of my rant will be that these types of players simply do not deserve a paycheck in the National Hockey League.  A League where the rest of the world comes to play and play for the sport’s greatest trophies.  What kind of message does it send when careers start to end due to these injuries? Do we need Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin seriously injured before we start to see lifetime bans?

My nominees for a lifetime ban…

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 12/09/2009

12/10/2009
Edmonton Oilers v New York Islanders

In this section, I break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every night and cite why I chose them in particular. In addition, I will track the amount of times the players have received this honor and tally them at the end of the season. For the sake of clarity, I will be using Yahoo! standard categories (Forwards – G,A,+/-, PP, PIM, SOG; Goalies – W, GAA, SV%, SHO) and thus exclude player’s salaries.

Quiet night on the offensive front.  Out of our 10 games and 20 teams in action, four goaltenders registered shutouts.  In addition 60 percent of the teams in action (12/20) registered two goals or less.  Regardless our diligence enables us to find a few standout players on the offensive side.

THIRD STAR: Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings (0-0-1) – Most Kings fans screamed “FINALLY!” when their captain helped lead the team to victory.  In fact, Helene Elliot of the LA Times found it necessary to write a similar sentiment.  Prior to last night, Brown produced 22 points in his first 31 games putting him on pace for 58 points.  Last night the 25-year-old scored a goal and assisted on another, leading his team to a 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks.  The Ithaca, New York native registered four shots on goal while sitting two minutes in the box and finishing a solid plus one.  Excellent effort for the power forward who is now on pace for 62 points.  What a difference a day makes!

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NHLHS Endorsed Pickups

11/26/2009
Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Rangers

Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.  Here are today’s picks:

D: Brad Stuart, Detroit Red Wings – The 30-year-old is first in line to take Niklas Kronwall’s PP time.  Although scoreless in his last two, Stuart did score a goal on the PP against Montreal.  The former 3rd overall pick can assume most roles and has scored 9+ goals three times in his career.

Prognosis: Stream him for the points, as mentioned in the most recent ‘Keeper Watch’ Derek Meech of Jonathan Ericsson could replace him.

D: Joe Corvo, Carolina Hurricanes -The veteran defenseman showed life recently with three points in his last three games.  Injuries have taken over a strong Hurricanes team that made it to the Conference Finals but things can only go better with Eric Staal returning.  The departure of Anton Babchuk opened up a spot for Corvo and if this team gets going so should he.

Prognosis:  See if the offense turns itself around.  If it does, Corvo would be a suitable #3 or #4 d-man.

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Quarterly Review: Projected NHL Trophies

11/23/2009
NHL Awards Presentation

With Atlanta playing their 20th game last night, the first quarter of the 2009-2010 season is officially over.  Seeing as this is a milestone within the season we thought it would be a good idea to discuss the trends emerging around the NHL.

The article’s intent is to show who would win the NHL awards if the season finished today.  Of course these players will most likely NOT win the awards, NHLHS just likes having fun with small sample sizes and hot streaks.

Whether it be injury or inability there are plenty of surprises when compared to preseason predictions.  Teams such as the Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings and the Buffalo Sabres find themselves at the top of the standings, surprising most pundits.

We will outline the NHL trophies and why we think these players as of right now are deserving of them.  In addition, we will include the projected nominees so you can see our train of thought.  We hope you enjoy this mini-series which should continue throughout the NHL season.

Click the link below to see our award winners and tell us what you think in the comments section!

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Cost Efficiency: Rich Peverley, best player in hockey?

11/22/2009
Atlanta Thrashers v Pittsburgh Penguins

Well maybe our headline is taking it a bit too far, but you can’t get a better player for your money.  Claimed off waivers last year from the Predators the 27-year-old now has 59 points in 58 games for the Thrashers. The undrafted free agent recently signed a 2 year contract worth a total of 2.6 million a modest raise from his current 487,500 cap hit.

Since he makes 487,500 this year, as a technicality we can put his stats over his salary to determine his cost-per-point production.  Prior to joining Nashville, Pevs was a point-per-game player in the AHL showing glimpses of his potential.  If the graduate from St. Lawrence University continues his pace, he may be one of the greatest bargains of all time.

He averages a goal for every 61K he makes, a small value in comparison to Dany Heatley’s 441K per goal.  The center assists on a goal for every 33K paid, making Joe Thornton’s 300K per assist look like a king’s ransom. Peverley’s 22K per point is 15K less than the next player James Neal, who is coming off an entry level contract himself.  Nobody can compare to his proverbial bang for the buck.

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