Power Rankings Week Through 01/09/2010

01/10/2010

NHL Power Rankings presented by The Hockey Guys. These rankings will be released every Sunday directly following the show and summarize the thinking of Anthony Curatolo, Brandon Augienello and Dustin Leed.

IL: Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks
Legend: Rank – Team – Record – (Last Week) Position Change

1. Chicago Blackhawks 31-10-4 (2) +1 When you are the best you simply are the best.
2. San Jose Sharks 28-10-7 (1) -1 A few losses have shifted gears in the power rankings for the Sharks.
3. New Jersey Devils 31-10-1 (3) N/C Although the lights went out in New Jersey, the Devils haven’t lost a step in their standings.
4. Buffalo Sabres 28-11-5 (6) +2 Good teams prove that winning comes more often then not.
5. Washington Capitals 27-11-6 (9) +4 Captain Ovechking leads the charge and Washington climbs back into the top five.
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Goalie Starters and Injury Updates 01/10/2010

01/10/2010
Ottawa Senators v Pittsburgh Penguins

Here are your NHL injury updates and goalie starters for tonight, January 10, 2010:

Ottawa Senators

  • Milan Michalek, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza expected out.
  • Jesse Winchester out a month. [Ian Mendes]
  • Filip Kuba left yesterday’s game due to injury, he is day-to-day.
  • Pascal Leclaire should be in goal after watching backup Brian Elliot lose last night.  Confirmed by Ian Mendes of Sportsnet

Carolina Hurricanes

  • Tuomo Ruutu will miss a few weeks with an upper body injury. [Canes Now]
  • Erik Cole and Sergei Samsonov skated and should return next week.
  • Eric Staal expected back tonight. [Mike Maniscalco]
  • Joe Corvo, Scott Walker and Chad LaRose still out.
  • Cam Ward as always expected to start, will get a confirmation later.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 01/08/2010

01/09/2010
Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs

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.

Not a big night in hockey with only 5 games and 10 teams in action.  Actually it was more like 4 games and 8 teams when considering the postponed game between the Devils and Tampa Bay.  Here are our standout fantasy stars for January 8, 2010:

THIRD STAR:  Raffi Torres, Columbus Blue Jackets (0-0-1) – Torres scored a goal and assisted on another leading his team to a much needed 3-2 victory over the Flames.  The 28-year-old seems poised to come near his career high of 27 goals, set with the Oilers in 2005-2006.  In under 15 minutes of ice time, he managed a plus three to go along with two shots on goal making him our third star of the game.

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The Ken Hitchcock Effect

01/08/2010
Florida Panthers v Philadelphia Flyers

If the words of Nikita Filatov are not enough to describe how much of an effect Ken Hitchcock has on his young players, then you will definitely want to read this.

The young Russian said in a recent interview, when questioned on his decision to return to the NHL, “I highly doubt it. But [moving] Ken Hitchcock can really help it.”

There is a pattern and we will show you it.

On January 8, 1996, the Dallas Stars appointed Hitchcock’ as their head coach. This team displayed a nice mix of veterans and youth with promising players like Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen, Jamie Langenbrunner, Richard Matvichuck (acquired via trade), Trent Klatt and Darryl Sydor.  This same team found chemistry together eventually leading them to a Stanley Cup Championship just three short years later.

However, in his first season, the kids barely saw the ice. Outside of Modano and Matvichuck, forwards Lehtinen, Langenbrunner and Klatt played a defensive checking role. Lehtinen was not drafted to be a defensive type player. Yes, he developed into a very good two-way player but a lot of his offensive potential lied to rot with Hitchcock not using him in a more offensive role or in a more offensive system.

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Injury Updates 01/08/2010

01/08/2010
Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils

Here are your NHL injury updates for tonight, January 8, 2010:

Tonight’s Injuries

Colorado Avalanche

  • Brett Clark, David Jones and Ruslan Salei expected to miss tonight’s game.
  • JM Liles out, due to illness. [Denver Post]

Carolina Hurricanes

  • Sergei Samsonov, Scott Walker, Erik Cole, Chad LaRose and Joe Corvo still out.

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Matt Walker back in, he replaces Andrej Meszaros. [Lightning Twitter]
  • Jeff Halpern and Todd Fedoruk remain out.

New Jersey Devils

  • David Clarkson, Dainius Zubrus and Paul Martin remain out.

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Goalie Starters 01/08/2010

01/08/2010
Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils

Here are your expected starting goalies for tonight, January 8, 2010:

UPDATED @ 1:43 PM

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Injury Updates 01/07/2010

01/07/2010
Anaheim Ducks v New Jersey Devils

Here are your NHL injury updates for tonight, January 7, 2010:

Tonight’s Injuries

New York Rangers

  • Vaclav Prospal remains out.

Atlanta Thrashers

  • Kari Lehtonen and Mark Popovic still out.

Chicago Blackhawks

  • Cam Barker still out of the lineup. [Blackhawks]
  • Adam Burish and Dave Bolland still out.

Boston Bruins

  • Milan Lucic to return Saturday. [Boston Globe]
  • Andrew Ference out six weeks. [Boston Globe]
  • Mark Stuart and Patrice Bergeron still out.

Ottawa Senators

  • Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza still out.

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