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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The One Who Never Won It All

01/10/2010
 Coyotes v Sabres

Arguably the best Finnish player never to win a Cup, Teppo Numminen will receive recognition for his remarkable career when the Phoenix Coyotes induct him into the “Ring of Honor” on January 30, 2010. Numminen, drafted in 1986, played fifteen seasons for the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes franchise, and continued to play an additional five years for Dallas and Buffalo.

At the time of his retirement on August 4, 2009, the stay-at-home defenseman was the last player from the 1986 draft still playing in the NHL. He was a three-time all-star, a two-time silver medalist at the Olympics (along with one bronze medal), and as of January 2010, he holds the record for most NHL games (1372 games) played without winning a Cup. The longevity of his career was largely due to his vision, his positioning, and his passing.

He never won the Norris Trophy —for the league’s best defenseman — though, Jeremy Roenick once said Numminen should be up for the award every year, but the media and market of Phoenix was not conducive to winning an award. Numminen was a great captain for the Coyotes, but not many outside of Winnipeg and Phoenix gave him the recognition he deserved. His contributions to the Coyotes were outstanding; the Coyotes have not made the playoffs since trading Numminen to the Dallas Stars in July of 2003. He was never a flashy or physical player, but he gave hope to defenseman that positioning can makeup for size and strength.

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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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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 01/06/2010

01/06/2010
Philadelphia Flyers v Florida Panthers

Here are your NHL injury updates for tonight, January 6, 2010:

Tonight’s Injuries

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Jeff Halpern, Matt Walker and Todd Fedoruk still out.

Buffalo Sabres

  • Patrick Kaleta still day-to-day.  Held out tonight. [Sabres Edge]

Dallas Stars

  • No injuries.

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