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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Injury Updates 01/09/2010

01/09/2010
Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Team Practices

Here are your NHL injury updates for tonight, January 9, 2010:

Tonight’s Injuries

New York Rangers

  • Vinny Prospal skating, not expected to play today. [Steve Zipay]

Boston Bruins

  • Marc Savard out 3-4 weeks. [The Boston Globe]
  • Andrew Ference, Byron Bitz, Mark Stuart and Patrice Bergeron still out.

Florida Panthers

  • David Booth, Kenndal McArdle and Dmitry Kulikov out.

Ottawa Senators

  • Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson still out.
  • Milan Michalek out with an undisclosed injury.

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Goalie Starters 01/09/2010

01/09/2010
New York Rangers v Ottawa Senators

Here are your expected starting goalies for tonight, January 9, 2010:

UPDATED @ 11:41 AM

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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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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 01/07/2010

01/08/2010
Nashville Predators v Dallas Stars

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.

Really big night for hockey, as there were 10 games and 20 teams playing.  A ton of great efforts as you will see from our extensive honorable mention section.  Here are our standout fantasy stars for January 7, 2009:

THIRD STAR:  Matt Carle, Philadelphia Flyers (0-0-1) –  Carle stood out in Philadelphia, posting three of the Flyers seven points.  The 25-year-old scored a powerplay goal and assisted on both a powerplay goal and even strength goal.  Now with his third team, the 2006 Hobey Baker Award winner seems to be settling down once again.  He also managed a plus three rating and two shots on goal in over 23 minutes of ice time.

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Odd Man IN? A Story of Three Goaltenders in Philly.

01/08/2010
Brian Boucher leading the Flyers out in the 2010 NHL Winter Classic

The term ‘odd man out’ could be used to describe a three headed goalie tandem, but not in the case of the goaltending carousel in Philadelphia.

The Flyers, with Ray Emery ready to return, boast three goaltenders with NHL experience with no defined starter and backup role . These next week games should make the next week in Philly quite interesting.  But for now, we have an odd man in.

Who stays, who goes?  Who starts and who sits?

The team brought Emery in during the off-season to be the number one goaltender. In his first NHL game in over a year, he shut out the Carolina Hurricanes, putting faith in the controversial starter.  At a reasonable 1.5 million cap hit, GM Paul Holmgren played a high risk, high reward gamble with his available space.

That gamble seemed to pay off, until Emery’s 14th start, where he suddenly fell into a massive slump.  The slump would later reveal itself as a torn muscle in his abdomen region, an injury which actually occurred three weeks prior to its announcement.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 01/06/2010

01/07/2010
Dallas Stars v New York Rangers

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 too busy of a night with six games and 12 teams in action.  Complete tie between the offense and defense as six teams scored two or less and six three or more.  Here are our standout fantasy stars for January 6, 2009:

THIRD STAR:  James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers (0-0-1) –  van Riemsdyk played a large role in the Flyers 6-2 route of the Leafs.  In under 14 minutes of ice time, the 20-year-old scored a powerplay goal and assisted on another. In addition, the former 2nd overall pick fired three shots on goal while finishing the game a modest plus-two.  Even though his scoring pace slowed down from a point-per-game clip at the quarter mark, this top prospect should finish with respectable numbers and eventually break out.

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