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Neal 'blindsided' by trade; Panthers to broadcast in Spanish; Bailey out with broken hand (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:28:45 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

Nicklas Backstrom on Top (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:53:00 PDT)
Michael Finewax reports that Nicklas Backstrom is the first player from his class to hit the 500 point mark in 'The Week Ahead'

Capitals-Flames Preview (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:28:34 PDT)
Hopeful that Sean Monahan is back on track offensively, the Calgary Flames might have another reason to believe their early success will continue. The Flames expect their talented, young forward to build on a two-goal performance when they host the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. Monahan ranked fourth among NHL rookies with 22 goals last season, but didn't have any before snapping a six-game point drought with two scores in Calgary's 5-0 rout of Carolina on Thursday. ''Sooner or later, a guy with that skill is going to break out,'' said linemate Joe Colborne, who assisted on both goals to increase his team lead to eight.

Dose: B's Lose Big Z (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:49:00 PDT)
Friday's Dose discusses Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton's gains without Zdeno Chara, shutout streaks and much more.

NHL Three Stars: Neal tricks Blackhawks; Quick sets record (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:10:33 PDT)

Monahan, Hiller lift Flames over Hurricanes 5-0 (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:40:46 PDT)
Sean Monahan burst onto the scene as a rookie last season with the Calgary Flames, scoring six goals in his first eight games. Through eight games this season, Monahan had just two assists and no goals, despite the fact he was second on the team with 20 shots. Monahan's drought ended in a big way when he scored his first two goals of the season to lead Calgary to a 5-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. ''Obviously it's been quite a few games,'' said Monahan, named the game's first star.

NHL Fantasy Hockey: Why Tyler Seguin a Stud, Matt Moulson a Dud (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:16:10 PDT)
Dobber launched his fantasy hockey website   DobberHockey   back in 2005 and has been Puck Daddy's resident fantasy hockey 'expert' since 2009.   Most teams are about six or seven games into the season and poolies are starting to get antsy about their goaltenders. But let's not forget that on October 31, 2013 Henrik Lundqvist was 3-5-0 with a 0.908 SV%. And Jonathan Quick was 8-4-0, which was pretty good but in fantasy his 0.903 SV% wasn't quite as rewarding. Here are some struggling netminders - and how you should play them… Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes - I have been pretty tough on Ward over the years and he's giving me no reason to change that. And Anton Khudobin has been impressive for brief stints with several teams now. I said in the preseason that Ward is the Golden Boy - meaning the Hurricanes need him to be successful more than any other player short of Eric Staal. So he'll get all the opportunities early on. But eventually it will become pretty clear that Khudobin is the better option if they want to win hockey games. Well, this transition seems to be happening sooner than I thought and Ward should be traded or dropped as soon as possible - assuming for some reason you still have him. Hopefully he was only a No.4 goalie on your squad. Steve Mason, Philadelphia Flyers - Mason is also a Golden Boy. The Flyers are desperate for a young goaltender with upside to become the face of the franchise and they'll be giving Mason all the easy match-ups they possibly can. Meanwhile, Emery will get the tough opponents (look no further than Thursday night). What I'm saying is - no matter how much Mason sucks, and he'll certainly have his moments, he's still getting 30 to 34 wins. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche - Still looking for his first win, but he's on a team that has only one of them. And he's been injured for a week on top of that. Varly is expected to return Friday. Most of us projected at least a small regression for the Avalanche. But a slow start like this is too much - this is easily a playoff team so the wins will start to roll in and Varlamov will get at least 35 of them if he can stay healthy. If there was ever a time to buy low on him, that time is now. John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks - Gibson has had a slow start to his campaign, including a stint in the AHL. Regardless of the fact that he's the most highly-touted prospect goaltender in the world, or that he made a huge impression in the NHL postseason last spring, Frederik Andersen is better. Andersen has been the top goalie in the league so far and he'll continue to get the starts as long as he stays healthy. Andersen was injured twice last year, so he may not be able to handle it - but if he can play 65-plus games he will. That means Gibson is not going to help you this year. In fact this has the potential to be the next Jonathan Quick/Jonathan Bernier situation in which the younger guy is stuck warming the bench for big chunks of several seasons.  Studs... These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...  Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars (4-5-5-10, plus-6, 2 PIM, 18 SOG, 3 PPPts) - After a slow start, Seguin and buddy Jamie Benn took flight against the Blue Jackets and haven't looked back. Now they're looking like this year's version of the 2011 Getzlaf-Perry connection. Torey Krug, Boston Bruins (3-2-3-5, plus-5, 0 PIM, 8 SOG, 2 PPPts) - The 23-year-old has 55 points in his last 98 regular season and playoff games, making him one of the most prolific point producing blueliners in that span.  Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers (6-2-7-9, even, 0 PIM, 32 SOG, 3 PPPts) - This is a big difference from his craptacular start from a year ago, when it took 16 games for Giroux to score his first goal and six games to earn his first assist. With a hot start like this, a return to 90-plus points could be in the cards. 

Hurricanes-Flames Preview (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:56:31 PDT)
Following some solid play during a six-game trip, the Calgary Flames stumbled with an overtime loss to open a long-awaited homestand. Now the Flames will try to bounce back Thursday night with their sixth consecutive home win against the injury-ravaged Carolina Hurricanes, who are looking to avoid a club-record six straight losses to open the season. Calgary (4-3-1) allowed just 13 goals while winning four games on its recent road swing, including impressive victories over Nashville and Chicago on back-to-back nights. The Flames, though, fell to 0-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome with Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay in the opener of a five-game homestand.

Fantasy Top 60 'D': Flames' Brodie heating up (NHL)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:00:00 PDT)
Every Wednesday during the season, fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

NHL Three Stars: Night of the OT thrillers (and goalie interference) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:17:53 PDT)
No. 1 Star: Kevin Klein, New York Rangers Klein needed to do his goalie Henrik Lundqvist a solid after a few pucks had gone in off the defenseman this season, including one against the New Jersey Devils. So he gave Lundqvist the win with the third game-winner of his eight-season career, scoring at 2:18 of overtime to complete a Rangers rally for the 4-3 win. No. 2 Star: Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs Phil The Thrill led the Leafs’ rally on Long Island, scoring two goals and assisting on one by James van Riemsdyk as Toronto blew past the New York Islanders, 5-2. No. 3 Star: Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning Palat’s sweet backhand goal on a point blast from Anton Stralman gave the Bolts a 2-1 overtime victory against the Calgary Flames, as Evgeni Nabokov outdueled Karri Ramo. Honorable Mention: Antti Raata made 32 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks scored three first-period goals in a 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Patrick Kane had two goals. … It wasn’t pretty, but the Boston Bruins defeated the San Jose Sharks, 5-3. Seth Griffith scored his first NHL goal. Torey Krug and Milan Lucic had 3-point nights. Logan Couture had two goals. … David Desharnais was the OT hero for the Montreal Canadiens, as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1. The Nashville Predators won again, this time in a shootout over the Arizona Coyotes. Ryan Ellis scored a goal in regulation and the eventual winner in the shootout. … Adam Lowery scored his first NHL goal and Dustin Byfuglien added the back-breaker in the second as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 21 of 22 shots. … The Dallas Stars got two goals from Erik Cole and a slew of other multi-point games in doubling the Vancouver Canucks. … Rick Nash scored his eighth for the Rangers. … Brad Boyes’ OT goal at 2:23 gave the Florida Panthers a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche, who rallied from three goals down.   Did You Know? The Devils and Rangers were a combined 5-for-8 on the power play. Dishonorable Mention: Thomas Hickey and Travis Hamonic were a minus-3. … Ryan Miller was pulled after giving up five goals on 13 shots. … Nick Bonino, Alex Burrows and Chris Higgins were minus-3; Kevin Bieksa was a minus-4. … This goalie interference penalty was bad. … This goalie interference penalty was terrible.  ... In fact, the overall officiating in the Panthers/Avs game was terrible. 

Fantasy Nuggets (Rotoworld)
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:54:00 PDT)
Kevin Brown's weekly installment of the Fantasy Nuggets highlights a number of unheralded defensemen making a name for themselves in fantasy circles.

Palat scores winner to lead Lightning over Flames (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:23:40 PDT)
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- After a costly giveaway the night before that cost his team the game, Tampa Bay left-winger Ondrej Palat felt he owed the Lightning one. He didn't wait long to make good on it.

Dose: Hockey for Everyone (Rotoworld)
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:54:00 PDT)
Sometimes progress comes down to "better late than never." More on that - and thoughts on Victor Hedman's injury - in Tuesday's Hockey Dose.

Flames sign T.J. Brodie to 5-year extension (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:37:42 PDT)
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- The Calgary Flames have signed defenseman T.J. Brodie to a five-year contract extension.

Hurricanes-Jets Preview (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:26:54 PDT)
With some reinforcements on the way, the Carolina Hurricanes can confidently focus on earning their first victory.

What We Learned: An etiquette guide to throwing your NHL jersey in protest (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:38:01 PDT)

It's Trevor Daley time! (Rotoworld)
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:57:00 PDT)
It may be hard to believe but the Stars Trevor Daley is tied for the NHL lead with three power play goals.

NHL Three Stars: Ducks blank Blues; Quick goes wild (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 19 Oct 2014 22:05:51 PDT)
No. 1 Star: Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks   The Anaheim defenseman had his first multi-goal game in the NHL, propping up the Ducks’ struggling power play with two goals in their 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues. Fredrik Andersen made 28 saves to move to 25-5-0. No. 2 Star: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings Quick made 40 saves as the Kings defeated the Minnesota Wild, 2-1. Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson had the goals. No. 3 Star: Mason Raymond, Calgary Flames Raymond had a goal and two assists at the Flames closed out a successful road trip with a 4-1 win at the Winnipeg Jets. Honorable Mention: Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves at the New York Rangers blanked the San Jose Sharks, 4-0. Rick Nash scored his seventh and Carl Hagelin scored his first. … Jonas Hiller had 34 saves for the Flames; Kris Russell was a plus-3. … Mark Scheifele scored his first for the Jets. Did You Know? Andersen joined Ross Brooks of the Boston Bruins in 1972-74 as the only goalies in NHL history to win 25 or more of their first 30 decisions. (AP) Dishonorable Mention: Mirco Mueller, Chris Tierney, Eriah Hayes and Brent Burns were a minus-2 for the Sharks.    

Raymond has 3 points to lead Flames past Jets 4-1 (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:49:13 PDT)
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) -- Mason Raymond and the Calgary Flames finished their successful road trip on a high note.

T.J. Brodie to sign 5-year deal with Flames (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:53:11 PDT)
T.J. Brodie’s going to get paid, and rightfully so. Elliotte Friedman reports that Brodie, 24, is going to ink a 5-year, $23.25-million contract extension with the Calgary Flames. He had six points in his first six games for the Flames this season, after getting 31 in 81 games in 2013-14. He averaged 24:04 last season on average, up nearly four minutes per game over the previous lockout-shortened season.  That $4.65 million cap beginning in 2015-16 slots him right below Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers ($4.7 million). Hopefully he buys Mark Giordano a steak dinner or something, considering that veteran’s impact on Brodie, who was second to Gio in Corsi relative to quality of competition last season.

National Hockey League roundup
(Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:50:38 PDT)
(The Sports Xchange) - The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled left winger Jonathan Drouin and defenseman Luke Witkowski from their AHL affiliate in Syracuse on Sunday. Drouin, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, was assigned to Syracuse for conditioning Thursday after suffering a minor fracture on his right thumb, causing him to miss the Lightning's training camp. In two games in the AHL, he scored a goal while adding two assists with a plus-4 rating. ...

Toews scores in OT as Blackhawks beat Predators (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 18 Oct 2014 21:22:02 PDT)
CHICAGO (AP) -- For the second straight game, the Chicago Blackhawks took lots of shots, but didn't have much to show for it.

Flames-Jets Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 18 Oct 2014 16:08:27 PDT)
The Winnipeg Jets scored six goals in their first game this season. They have scored just once in the three games since.

NHL Three Stars: Zetterberg's big night; goalies draw blanks (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 17 Oct 2014 23:08:22 PDT)

Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets hold off Flames 3-2 (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:47:03 PDT)
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A three-goal lead turned into bedlam for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Edmonton Oilers can't possibly be this bad, can they? (Trending Topics) (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:38:49 PDT)
Just about everyone predicted that the Oilers wouldn't be very good this year. They'd have been picked to finish last in their division were it not for the existence of the Calgary Flames, and these days even their southern provincial rivals are doing much better than the Oilers are.   Regardless of those low expectations, Edmonton is even worse through four games than many expected, winning just one point (in a shootout loss to Vancouver), scoring just 11 goals (2.75 per), and allowing a whopping 22 (5.5 per, dead last by a mile). The reasons why this is the case should be more than a little obvious, but even here the Oilers are going above and beyond to blow up the holes in their roster — of which there are several — into bigger problems than they need to be. Right off the hop, any observer would have to acknowledge that the NHL is a league driven by two things: Goaltending first, and center depth second. If you don't have a goalie, you essentially don't have a team, and if you don't have at least two quality centers, you might have a team but you don't have a very good shot at winning most nights. Especially in the Western Conference, where teams hoard centers like so much precious treasure. It's also important to note here that it's dangerous to draw too many conclusions about a team after they've played just under 5 percent of their full league schedule has been played, but these two issues in particular are those that many, many people cited as some huge question marks for the Oilers coming into the year. The Oilers' goaltending problems are obvious; the 22 goals (all but one into an empty net) they've allowed in regulation have come on just 124 shots, giving Viktor Fasth and Ben Scrivens a combined save percentage of .831 to start the year. This is, of course, no way to win a hockey game but Scrivens, the team's presumptive starter, has gotten off to a nightmarish beginning to the season. You could say, “Oh, well, after three appearances, even one bad game can torpedo your save percentage.” And you'd be right, except Scrivens has had three phenomenally bad starts. He stopped 21 of 26 against Calgary (.808), 12 of 15 before after relieving Viktor Fasth against Los Angeles (.800), and 23 of 29 Wednesday night in Phoenix (.793). This from a guy who came in with pretty good career numbers, and who went a respectable .916 in 21 contests for the Oilers last season, even as he faced a ludicrous number of shots. The goalies, obviously, have been an issue in Edmonton, but they're also running at about 70 or 80 points below where one could reasonably expect them to be. People had their doubts that Scrivens could carry the water for a full season, but no one is this bad forever, or even over 10 games. It's just about impossible for an NHL goalie to stop less than 89 percent of the shots he faces over any reasonably long period of time, and given Scrivens' career numbers one might be safe to bet on a pretty hefty rebound — not dissimilar to the kind he's been kicking out to every opposing forward within 30 feet of him for the past three games — in the next week or two at the very latest. The Oilers really don't have any other options, and thus they're going to have to be content with riding the storm out with Scrivens. He will be fine. The center problem is a more persistent and worrisome one. They entered the year with their depth chart going “Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Boyd Gordon, (shrug emoticon), (sad face emoticon).” The two other centers they've rolled out for significant minutes to this point are Mark Arcobello and Leon Draisaitl, but “significant” is being kind to both their actual time on ice, and the situations in which they were deployed. The only one being used in any kind of defensive situation (i.e. when the Oilers start in their own zone) is Gordon, because all three other centers have offensive zone starts approaching or exceeding 80 percent in score-close situations, which is amazing. However, that was before Nugent-Hopkins injured himself in a fight in the second game of the season. (Oh, excuse me, the Oilers say it was on the hit before the fight. Which makes the fight okay, apparently.) In his stead, they've used Matt Hendricks (meh), Will Acton (hoo boy), and Bogdan Yakimov (???) at center. And again, “used” is a pretty liberal definition for centers who have taken eight, seven, and five draws, respectively. Of those guys, only Arcobello has faced anywhere near the quality of competition the departed Nugent-Hopkins has. This is a huge point of concern. The Oilers were already vulnerable in that position, and so all those people who spent the summer asking, “Yes, but what happens when, not if, Nugent-Hopkins gets hurt?” are now able to say, “Yeah, exactly.” It's unquestionably an untenable situation, and the fact that a number of borderline centers went through waivers over the last few weeks un-grabbed by Edmonton is frankly bizarre. Maybe they're a team that wants to get into that rumored Eric Staal sweepstakes or something, but dude has a no-trade and even the most desperate player isn't going to approve a swap that would send him to this Edmonton team as it's currently constituted. But as with the goaltending conundrum, Dallas Eakins' hands are tied. The solemn and sad faces he makes on the bench every time his team concedes belie the fact that he can't really do anything to prevent his team's faceoff percentage staying well below 50 percent. These patchwork not-really-NHL-level center schemes lead to his team getting punished up the middle and in transition. You can't underrate the importance of a competent center at jamming up things in the neutral zone and keeping things flowing in the right direction for your club, and the Oilers just don't have that. Edmonton's TOI among quote-unquote centers last night had Mark Arcobello as the clear No. 1 — a condition in which you never ever ever ever ever ever ever want to find yourself — with 22:53 in all situations. Gordon was a distant second at 16:32, Draisaitl came in at 11:36, and Hendricks got just 9:36. Nothing to be done about it, but that's not helping. And with all that having been said, Eakins is managing at least one part of his bench like an amateur, and it's totally avoidable. Have a look at the average shift chart at even strength for the Oilers' defensemen and see if you can explain any sort of reasoning for it, in a manner that makes sense. Your Nos. 1-3 defensemen in terms of ice time per game are Justin Schultz (18-plus minutes), Nikita Nikitin (nearly 17) and Andrew Ference (a little more than 16). In the Coyotes game alone, Schultz got 27 minutes in all situations. Let's get one thing straight about Schultz. He was brought in as a tantalizing offensive prospect first and foremost and has somehow — without proving anything with his actual on-ice performance — become a guy who, in the view of the Oilers brain trust, could some day win a Norris Trophy. The problem, however, is that Schultz is not very good at all at defending, no matter how much everyone wants to believe he is. Go watch the highlights (using that term loosely as well) of any Oilers game, and you'll see Schultz or Ference in the thick of things as the team gets scored upon again and again. Nikitin, meanwhile, is a guy who couldn't even hack it respectably getting third-pairing minutes with Columbus, and he's now facing some of the toughest competition in the West every night. Relying on him is always going to be a recipe for disaster. Snicker at all the screenshots of 14 Oilers on the left side of the ice while Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr sit in acres of space on the right. Draw little arrows all over your telestrator. Blame Dallas Eakins' system for all these breakdowns. It's not totally undeserved. But at some point you have to say that the players he's given aren't good enough to begin with — it's not like he has Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie and he's giving them both eight minutes a night; his best option by far is Jeff Petry, which isn't saying much — but it's only compounded by the fact he's using them wrong. Now, as for Petry, he's clearly done something to end up in Eakins' doghouse, not only this year, but last season as well. The numbers suggest that he's a pretty decent defenseman if used correctly. Certainly better than Schultz, Nikitin, and Ference. And he's only playing soft competition as a result of his apparent misdeeds, but he's destroying them to the tune of 61.54 percent score-close possession. He only got 14:49 against the Coyotes, and ended up a team-worst minus-3 (bad look there), but if the numbers show he's that much more effective than Schultz or Nikitin, and the games are already this lopsided, why not run him out The point is that it can't be a “systems” problem. It can't be. No coach who's been as successful at the AHL level as Eakins has is telling his players, “Everyone go to the puck carrier's side of the ice. Leave everyone behind. We play an aggressive zone defense in Edmonton.” The average fan doesn't know a thing about coaching actual NHL players, and even they know not to do that much. Maybe it's an issue of getting players to stick to systems — I don't know because I'm not at Oilers practice, presumably hearing Eakins scream at everyone all the time for being so consistently terrible at defending — and only having so many guys from which to choose, but this can't be acceptable. Please don't construe this as defending Eakins. He's doing a lot of things wrong, but there's no way a coach makes it to the NHL and is this plainly incompetent at teaching defense. You just have to feel like something else is at play that we can't see. And here's where things get a little iffy, and frankly confusing: The Oilers embraced analytics this summer, bringing in stats darlings Benoit Pouliot and Mark Fayne, hiring Tyler Dellow to consult with the coaching staff (though I can't imagine, based on what we've seen here, that he has too much input in the player usage sphere), and so on. And from an analytic point of view, the Oilers really haven't been bad at all. They have, in fact, been great. Score-close corsi numbers have Edmonton fourth in the league in terms of possession (58.33, behind the Wild, Pittsburgh, and Detroit ahead of Thursday night's games). And you could attribute that to the fact that they've trailed pretty consistently throughout their four games, except that “close” wipes out score effects to a certain extent, and even when taking sample size into account, the numbers should ensure that they're not this bad. But here's where the eye test comes in. Oilers forwards are flying the zone the second a defenseman even kind of looks like he has the puck. And when the blueliners are as typically poor with the puck on their sticks as Edmonton's have been, that leads to a lot of turnovers, and a lot of guys getting missed in coverage. No one has been particularly “hard on the stick” around the net and not-great players are scoring easy goals against them. They're also getting tormented away from home (46.88 percent score-close corsi, albeit because they played at Vancouver and at San Jose, which would hurt anyone), suggesting that their one home match — the opening-night loss to the Flames in which the Oil out-attempted their archrivals 47-21 — was so out-of-control in their favor that the rest of it can't really be viewed fairly. Again, sample size has these kinds of effects. But also when it comes to sample size, and circling back to the unsustainably low save percentage, you also have to say this: “Holy [expletive] the Oilers have been suuuuuuper unlucky, haven't they?” All things being equal, these losses shouldn't be nearly as bad as they have been, nor should they have lost at all to Calgary. Obviously, overly simplistic pedants will say that's why they play the game on the ice and not spreadsheets before calling you a nerd and trying to give you a wedgie, but no one is this bad. It's impossible. Through Wednesday night, Oilers somehow didn't even have the worst even-strength save percentage in the league. Being 28th at .851 is still pretty bad, though. And it's not helped by the fact that their shooting percentage, also 28th, is 3.57 percent. It's crazy that either number should be as low as it is, and yet here we are. Again, it's four games. You don't keep up one of the best possession shares in the league and also maintain one of the lowest PDOs. The math just doesn't work. If the question is, “Are the Oilers good?” then the answer is no. Given the roster makeup and everything else, they weren't likely to make the playoffs to begin with. If the question is, “Are the Oilers this bad?” the answer is also no, but you certainly have to say that while nothing has really gone their way this season, they've also done nothing to help their own cause. Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here .

Islanders, Hedman among burning fantasy questions (NHL)
(Fri, 17 Oct 2014 08:50:00 PDT)
It's been 10 days since the season began. Ten. Don't start panicking if your fantasy team isn't in first place as you expected them to be. Don't go dropping San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture because he has one point in four games. And no, New York Islanders sensation Brock Nelson isn't going to lead the NHL in points.

It's too early to panic (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 17 Oct 2014 07:59:00 PDT)
Michael Finewax informs you that it is way to early to panic in fantasy hockey pools even if you have poor goaltending thus far in The Week Ahead.

Flames-Blue Jackets Preview (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:50:07 PDT)
Calgary Flames goaltenders have been mostly up to the task while facing plenty of shots.

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