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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NHL Players in the Olympics

01/07/2010
2010 Bridgestone Winter Classic - Philadelphia Flyers v Boston Bruins

The title says it all.  This article will be no more than a comprehensive list of NHL (and some other players owned by NHL teams) players set to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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Weekly Fantasy 3 Stars – Week Ending 01/03/2010

01/04/2010
Calgary Flames v Dallas Stars

Similar to our Daily 3 Stars, this section will break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every week 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 therefore omit salaries.

THIRD STAR: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (0-0-1) –  Toews receives this honor following his name drawn for Team Canada.  In four games last week, the 21-year-old managed a steady five points in four games, with two goals and three assists.  The youngest captain in Hawks history also fired 16 shots on goal, added seven penalty minutes and posted a reasonable plus-one rating.  Of his five points, two came on the man advantage giving him a slight margin over teammate Patrick Kane for our third star.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 01/02/2010

01/03/2010
Washington Capitals v Atlanta Thrashers

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.

Big night with most teams back in action following a New Years layoff.  Twelve games and 24 teams in action total.  Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:

THIRD STAR: Maxim Afinogenov, Atlanta Thrashers (0-0-1) –  Afinogenov contributed in a large way, helping the Thrashers stay in the game until overtime, where they eventually fell to the Islanders 6-5.  The 30-year-old and first-year Thrasher scored two and assisted on two more, including a 3rd period powerplay tally from captain Kovalchuk to tie the game at five.  In addition, Afinogenov fired three shots on net and sat two minutes in the box good enough to earn third star honors.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 12/18/2009

12/19/2009
Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins

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.

Certainly a slower night in hockey with one bigger hockey match-up.  The offense deserves its fame as only three of twelve teams scored two goals or fewer.  Certainly a big night for the forward/defense portion of your fantasy team.  Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:

THIRD STAR: Radek Dvorak, Florida Panthers (0-0-1) –  Dvorak turned back the clock to almost ten years ago, when he was a consistent scoring threat.  Now a 32-year-old veteran who mostly dons a checking line, the Panthers rely on him to bring solid two-way play while chipping in goals.  Last night, he did just that — chipping in a goal and assisting on two more giving him a three point night.  Now on a season high five-game point streak the native of Tabor, Czechoslovakia posted an impressive plus five while firing three shots on net.  Back with his original team, Dvorak will help the Panthers win games.  However, I cannot say the same thing with confidence about your fantasy team.

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Injury Updates 12/02/2009

12/02/2009
New Jersey Devils v Pittsburgh Penguins

This thread will be updated all day, so keep refreshing it as the day goes along.  Here are your wounded bodies for tonight:

Injuries Tonight

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • No updates reported.

Boston Bruins

Vancouver Canucks

  • Shane O’Brien returns to the lineup tonight.  Not an injury, but he is/was fantasy relevant. [Jason Botchford]

New Jersey Devils

  • Jamie Langenbrunner and Rob Niedermayer play tonight.  Jay Pandolfo will not. [Fire & Ice]

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Injury Updates 12/01/2009

12/01/2009
Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs

This thread will be updated all day, so keep refreshing it as the day goes along.  Here are your wounded bodies for tonight:

Injuries Tonight

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Jeff Finger in for the injured Carl Gunnarson. [Jonas Siegel]

Montreal Canadiens

  • Andrei Kostitsyn skated with the team yesterday but his still out indefinitely.  AK46 has been out since blocking a shot last Tuesday against the Blue Jackets.  [Habs Inside/Out]
  • Scott Gomez and Matt D’Agostini will return tonight while Hal Gill and Andrei Kostitsyn practiced with the team.  [Habs Inside/Out]

Columbus Blue Jackets

Chicago Blackhawks

  • Only injured players are Adam Burish and Dave Bolland, both of which not close to returning.

Ottawa Senators

San Jose Sharks

  • No lineup changes

Los Angeles Kings

Anaheim Ducks

  • Coming Soon

Last Night’s Wounded

Florida Panthers

  • Tomas Vokoun set to meet back with the team, he should dress in Wednesday’s game.  If you missed what happenned last night, click here. [Sun Sentinel]

Carolina Hurricanes

Washington Capitals

Around the League

New Jersey Devils

  • Johnny Oduya practicing with the team.  Rob Niedermayer expected to play on Wednesday.  Jamie Langenbrunner not at practice.  [Fire & Ice]
  • Oduya won’t play, Langenbrunner questionable [NJ.com]

Edmonton Oilers

  • Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff and Nikolai Khabibulin not practicing.  Ryan Stone and Robert Nilsson cleared to practice and play. [Oilers Country]

Boston Bruins

  • Matt Hunwick and Patrice Bergeron practicing with the team. [John Bishop]

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-Alexander Monaghan
NHLHS Founder
thehotstove@gmail.com