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NHL 13, Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer and our future

Well … I totally lied about updating regularly, sorry folks. I will be trying to get back to updating regularly starting today.

We’ve got a few things we want to update everyone about.

1. PPG will be creating a PS3 GM Connected league with Legion of the Blog, the league will go live on release day, we currently have 20+ people signed up but are hoping to get a total of 30 GMs, Feel free to email lobnhl@gmail.com saying you want to join our PS3 NHL 13 GM Connected league. Apologizes to our 360 fans, our 360 league has already been filed. As added incentive, PPG will be giving the Stanley Cup winners from season 1 a framed 8-bit NHL player of their choice. You can see our 8-bit headshots here. Once the league has launched, all PS3 related updates will be posted here, I’ll try not to overload the site with it but with no NHL hockey, we don’t have much of a choice. If you have any questions feel free to tweet me on twitter or to send me an email.

[UPDATE] ALL PS3 NHL 13 GM CONNECTED UPDATES WILL BE AT offthestanchion.wordpress.com

2. PPG is going through some restructuring, we’re trying to relaunch the site into more of what we want it to be, a place where you can come get fantasy hockey information but also play as well. We don’t know when we’ll be able to officially launch everything, but it’s in the works.

3. I am participating in ‘Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer” in Vancouver with year with PassittoBulis. As a team we’ve got a goal of $10,000.00, it would absolutely be amazing if we can reach this goal. You can donate here. I haven’t completed my registration yet ([I’m broke! :'(] but will hopefully be signed up by the end of the week, so you’ll be able to donate straight to my page. PITB already has some incentives for donations, I’ll spent the next couple days thing of some from PPG also to potentially add-on to what the guys at PITB already have up. It’s for a good cause, give whatever you want. Any amount is appreciated.

That’s it for now, until next time!

So … We’ve been a little Octopied

Photo by FilthyLurker on deviantArt

Hi,

So, listen, I know I’ve been a little neglectful over the past 2 months and I know you’re mad about it but I have a REALLY good reason why. I know it’s sounds a bit crazy but my apartment was taken over by a giant green octopus. No, seriously! I have photos! Look! What? No, those aren’t inflatable tentacles, I had to battle for my life for 2 months. I barely got out alive. You still don’t believe me? Fine, whatever, I don’t need you to believe me for it to have really happened because I lived it! Anyways, I just want to say, you know … ‘I’m sorry’ and I’ll do my best to never neglect you in the future, so we can move on?

Sincerely Yours,
Phuong & PPG

Hi Everyone, Phuong here and welcome to the “first” blog post on PPG. I know I know, “don’t you already have a bunch of blog post up? How is this the first one?” Well … yeah … but … you know … just go with me here, alright? I’ll be using this space to give everyone a weekly or bi-weekly update on the site. Well, that’s it, see you guys back here next week. Ah, just kidding, how unspectacular would it have been to end it there. Kind of like all those crappy sitcom season finales. “WHERE’S MY AWESOME CLIFFHANGER!” Sorry, I’ve gotten a bit off topic. Okay, let’s get back to what you actually want to hear about, the site.

Our main page has undergone a pretty significant change, we’ve been putting up icons that link to the rest of the site, it’s more a design thing than a function thing. Right now, there’s only 3 icons and only 2 of them are working. The large photo of NHL team captains is linked to our Playoff Tree, if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to take a look, I think it’s pretty cool. We’ve taken our existing 8-bit players, sliced them down the middle and stuck ’em together Face/off style. We’ve also linked our downloadable 2011/12 NHL Schedule, once the 2012/13 NHL Schedule is released, we’ll be sure to update the link. Sorry that we didn’t get around to releasing a Stanley Cup Playoffs calendar, we’ll make sure to release one next year. We’re hoping to create 2012/13 AHL and CHL schedules this coming season as well. The third icon, will be linked to our PPG Podcast. Unfortunately, we don’t expect to release out first podcast until the start of training camp for the 2012/13 season. So please be patient with us.

If you follow us on twitter, you probably notice the link we tweeted linking you to our 2012 NHL Draft Results page, you may have noticed there is no navigation from the main page to this page, well that’s because we’re still putting some finish touches on. It should be live, including links from the main page, shortly after the Stanley Cup Final. We also have a main NHL Draft Page up with information about details about the NHL Entry Draft for anyone with any questions with how it works.

Now for some more exciting news, once the Stanley Cup playoffs are over, we’ll be doing a FULL 2012 NHL Mock Draft. That’s right, we’re going to go through and draft for all 211 picks! We’ll also be doing some type of live draft coverage on June 22nd and 23rd, we haven’t decided if this will be on twitter, Facebook or on the site itself. Once we sort it out, we’ll make sure to make an announcement so EVERYONE knows. Also during the draft, we’ll be releasing 8-bit images of all first round draftees! Speaking of 8-bit images, we’ll be updating our NHL rosters to accurately reflect teams as they enter the 2012/13 NHL season. We’re also hoping to release AHL rosters in 8-bit next season too. There’ll be lots fantasy hockey articles over the summer to help you gear up for next season, so be ready for them!

Also for those wondering, our apparel store has been temporarily shut down because we felt we were producing anything of quality so until we do, we won’t open up the store.

If there’s anything you’d like to see on the site and we mean ANYTHING, we’re open to any and all ideas, let us know via twitter, Facebook, e-mail or via the comments below!

See you all next week,

-Phuong

Fantasy Six Pack: The Trade Deadline Part 2

Welcome to this week’s edition of Fantasy Six Pack. In Week 20 we’ll take a look at likely traded players that could benefit your fantasy team down the stretch. We hope you find these articles useful and gain a competitive advantage over your opponents. Feel free to discuss omissions and critique our selections in the comments section. We love discussion here at PuckPuckGoose.com.

Cody Hodgson, Center/Right Wing, Buffalo Sabres

I imagine he slots into the top line between Vanek and Pominville pushing Roy to a second line role and allow Ennis to shift back to the win. Luke Adam found a lot of success early in the season playing with Vanek and Pominville, so it’s not far fetched to think Hodgson could catch fire with them. Vancouver fans and media have been clamoring about Hodgson’s ice time, we’re about to find out if they were right and he produces more with more ice time.

Jamie McGinn, Left Wing, Colorado Avalanche

McGinn goes from playing third line minutes in San Jose to playing third maybe even fourth line minutes in Colorado if Mueller is healthy. This value increase will depend on how healthy Mueller stays and how often Mueller gets into the lineup.

Andrei Kostitsyn, Left/Right Wing, Nashville Predators

Andrei join his brother in Sergei, if Nashville can do half of what they did with Sergei they’ve got an absolute offensive steal on their hands. Andrei will slot into a top 6 role, liking pushing Wilson, Bourque or Hornqvist out.

Johnny Oduya, Defense, Chicago Blackhawks

A depth defender who can move up in the lineup if Leddy struggles. Doesn’t produce offensively on a regular basis but that could change playing with the offensively power Blackhawks.

Ben Bishop, Goaltender, Ottawa Senators

Anderson cut himself in the kitchen and Lehner is currently in net, it doesn’t mean the Senators will solely rely on him. Currently in Binghamton, he could very well get a call up if Lehner struggles.

Zack Kassian, Right Wing, Vancouver Canucks

Where will he play? He could end up playing with the Sedins at even-strength to give the top line more grit and a toughness they don’t have right now. He could also play with Kesler or end up playing on the third line. It’s worth keeping an eye on where he plays. He’ll be in the Canucks lineup tomorrow vs Phoenix.

Fantasy Six Pack: The Trade Deadline Part 1

Welcome to this week’s edition of Fantasy Six Pack. In Week 19 and 20 we’ll take a look at likely trade candidates that could benefit from a change of scenery therefore benefiting your fantasy team down the stretch. We hope you find these articles useful and gain a competitive advantage over your opponents. Feel free to discuss omissions and critique our selections in the comments section. We love discussion here at PuckPuckGoose.com.

Antoine Vermette, Center/Left Wing, Columbus Blue Jackets

Rumoured Destination: Chicago Blackhawks

If Vermette is traded to Chicago, he’ll start as the second line center flanked by a combination of Viktor Stalberg, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp and should see plenty of time on the second power play unit. Vermette is very capable of production 50-plus points with the right line mates and the right system.

Andrei Kostitsyn, Left/Right Wing, Montreal Canadiens

Rumoured Destination: No rumoured destinations at this time

A proven 20 goal scorer who’s been stuck on the third line for most of this season. He brings a lot of skill but the compete level he brings in every night is questionable. Maybe he just need a change of scenery and a coach who he can trust and who trust in him. Obviously he’ll be moved to a playoff team if he’s moved at the deadline but who would want him? Will teams like the Pens and Kings need some scoring wingers and the Red Wings are always more about skill then grit. His value post-trade deadline will depend on where he lands and on what line.

Ales Hemsky, Right Wing, Edmonton Oilers

Rumoured Destination: Detroit Red Wings

Arguably the most skilled player available at the trade deadline. It’s been mentioned that Detroit and Pittsburgh are interested in acquiring Hemsky but the Oilers are asking for a lot and hoping for a similar return that they got for Penner last year (Colten Teubert, a first round pick and a conditional pick), which may be too rich for the Pens blood as Shero has already said he’s not willing to move any of his top prospects. If Hemsky does move to either Detroit or Pittsburgh, poolies better watch out because his value will likely explode. In Detroit, he could end up playing with either Datsyuk or Zetterberg, huge upgrades over playing with Horcoff and Paajarvi. In Pittsburgh, he could end up with Malkin and Neal or on a line with Staal and potential Crosby if he returns this year. Either outcome would be great for Hemsky’s fantasy value.

Marek Zidlicky, Defense, Minnesota Wild

Rumoured Destination: New Jersey Devils

 Apparently, Zidlicky is not a team player. At the age of 35, the perennial 40 point rearguard has been asked to change his creative offensive game into a boring defensive game. I just have one thing to say about that, HE’S 35 WHY SHOULD HE CHANGE THE WAY HE PLAYS. If he get’s moved to Jersey, he’s going to be a beast down the stretch. Brodeur has started to find his game again and the Devils, especially Kovalchuk are scoring. Make sure to keep your eye on Zidlicky in the coming days, if he gets traded to Jersey, he should be grabbed immediately.

Evgeni Nabokov, Goaltender, New York Islanders

Rumoured Destination: Chicago Blackhawks

Nabokov has played really well this season, often keeping the Islanders in on every game they play. The Islanders are only 6 points out of the playoff picture and may not be willing to move Nabokov, although I think they should move him because even if they make the playoffs they won’t make it very deep and end up losing Nabokov for nothing at the end of the season. Nabokov’s season as pretty much dispelled any thoughts that he was only a good goaltender because of the defense in front of him in San Jose. Yeah, I definitely don’t think anyone thinks that anymore. Back to the point, Chicago’s goaltending as been very suspect as of late, though I think Crawford will pull it together in time for the playoffs, the Blackhawks could look for an upgrade in net. If Nabokov moves, he’ll end up playing behind a defense that boast Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Not bad.

Dustin Penner, Left Wing, Los Angeles Kings

Rumoured Destination: No rumoured destination at this time

Okay, who wants Dustin Penner and his huge contract? For what it’s worth, it is the last year of his contract.

Penner will be an interesting player to watch coming into the trade deadline. He’s already in Sutter’s doghouse and isn’t play much. He also hasn’t produced much of that last two season in LA but he’s shown that he can be a productive player and better yet, he’s shown that he can produce in the playoffs with 19 points in 40 games. Much like Kostitsyn, Penner will need to play under a coach that he can trust and that trust him. Penner will be a HUGE dark horse acquistion for any team that does grab him. A move may be unlikely though as the Kings were asking for a similar package to the one they gave up last year (Colten Teubert, a first round pick and a conditional pick). If he isn’t traded expect him to see a lot of ice from the press box.

Top 10 Hockey Stories of 2011-12

10. NHL All-Concussion Team

Below is a list of NHL players who are still suffering or have suffered a concussion, post-concussion and concussion-like symptoms this season. The list may not include every NHL player that suffered a concussion this season.

Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux, Milan Michalek, Jeff Skinner, Mike Richards, Nathan Gerbe, Peter Mueller, Brayden Schenn, Andy McDonald, Jay Beagle, Marcel Goc, Nino Niederreiter, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, MarcSavard, Evander Kane, Nathan Horton, Jochen Hecht, Colby Armstrong, Guillaume Latendresse, Nicklas Backstrom, Jesse Winchester, Ian Laperriere, James van Riemsdyk, Alex Steen

Chris Pronger, Kris Letang, Zbynek Michalek, Marc Staal, Joni Pitkanen, Marek Zidlickey , Shea Weber, Sami Salo, Keith Ballard, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Radek Martinek, Mike Mottau, Michael Sauer, Kurt Sauer

Ryan Miller, James Reimer, Dwayne Roloson

9. The New Sheriff, Brendan Shanahan

Shanahan’s rookie season as the NHL’s chief player disciplinarian has been pretty parallel to that of first overall Ryan Nugent-Hopkins rookie season. Both came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, Shanny was handing out suspensions left, right and center, and had everyone loving him with his NHL videos explaining suspensions and non-suspensions. Then they both cooled off, RNH with an injury, Shanny put the ‘shanaban’ hammer away only handing out fines. RNH cooled off because of an injury, what’s your excuse Shanny?

8. Mr. Humongous Big, Ilya Bryzgalov

Let’s go over what’s happened to Mr. Humongous Big this season. Bryzgalov signed a 10 year $51 M contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, starred in the HBO 24/7 series, got benched during the Winter Classic, got lost in the woods, became the most quotable NHL goalie currently in the league and has allowed 4 goals or more in 14 of his 37 starts. He’s currently looking for inner peace so he may play in Philadelphia.

7. “Mid-season” Coaching changes

Hired: Bruce Boudreau, Kirk Mueller, Ken Hitchcock, Randy Cunneyworth(Interim), Todd Richards(Interim), Darryl Sutter and Dale Hunter

Fired: Randy Carlye, Paul Maurice, Davis Payne, Jacques Martin, Scott Arniel, Terry Murray and Bruce Boudreau

The only two coach to make a significant impact with their teams are Ken Hitchcock with the St. Louis Blues and Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks. Columbus,  Carolina and Montreal are still horrible and won’t be making the playoffs this year and Washington has tons of talent but are destined to lose. LA couldn’t score when they were under Terry Murray and they still can’t score under Darryl Sutter.

6. Calgary still “going for it”

GM Jay Feaster made it official that the Flames are “going for it” after making a trade for Mike Cammalleri. Which makes no sense to anyone in the hockey world. They have valuable veterans that could net them some very good prospects and high draft picks. Iginla himself would fetch a Rick Nash-like ransom. Teams looking for a second line center would be willing to pay high on Olli Jokinen given the season he’s had and teams would love to have Mark Giordano’s physicality for a deep playoff run. They need to blow it up, they should blow it up, why they don’t is ridiculous. I guess they are waiting for Edmonton to become a contender again then they’ll start their rebuild.

5. Expensive off-season pays little dividends

With an increase salary cap, teams were driving up the price on all free agents. Players like Joel Ward, Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff were gifted contracts above their value and their play this season has shown that. Brad Richards, the big off-season prize, failed to generate any chemistry with Marian Gaborik and has been relegated to be a second line center behind sophomore center, Derek Stepan. While James Wisneiwski in Columbus fails to step up as a number one defender. and of course, the biggest flop of them all, Ilya Bryzgalov is either out lost in the woods or looking for inner peace.

4. Stanley Cup hangovers

The 4 teams to reach the Stanley Cup Conference Finals last year started slow out of the gate, 3 of those 4 teams started turning their seasons around in November. Only Tampa Bay failed to turn their season around and that’s why their in a position for a lottery pick.

3. The rise and fall of Minnesota

At the 1/3 mark of the season, Minnesota was the best team in the ENTIRE NHL. By Christmas break, they were one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks for the Northwest lead. They now trail the Canucks by 21 for the divisional lead and are 12th in the West. I will admit, the Wild fooled me, I thought they were the real deal and would be in the playoff picture all season long but then they imploded after Mikko Koivu and PM Bouchard went down with injuries.

2. Columbus still horrible

Columbus acquired Jeff Carter from Philadelphia for Jakub Voracek and a 1st round pick, which turned out to be Sean Couturier and signed James Wisniewski to a huge contract. Not addressing their need for a number 1 goaltender and to no ones surprise they are the worst time in the league. They are so bad this season, that the Blue Jackets are having a liquidation sale, everything must go, including Rick Nash. The apparent asking price is James van Riemsdyk, Sergei Bobrovsky, Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier, if they didn’t trade for Carter, they would already have Couturier. Is Howson going to be fired at the end of this season? He REALLY needs to be.

1. Emergence of the St.Louis Blues

The Blues were playing .500 hockey and since hiring Ken Hitchcock have been one of the best teams in the NHL. They have no star players and no 60 point scorer yet they are 4th in the league in points and wins, and 5th in goal differential. So how are they doing it? Well, first and foremost, the Blues have a really talented and young team that boast the likes of Oshie, Pietrangelo, Backes and Perron, on top of their core of young players they’ve added veterans who know how to win in Jason Arnott and Jamie Lagenbrunner and are getting other-worldly goaltending from Halak and Elliott. The Blues just needed someone to put it all together and that came in the form of Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock has been the perfect coach for the Blues, a team that needed some guidance and direction. The Blues emergence has made the Central division, the toughest division in the NHL.

Fantasy Six Pack: Power From Above

Welcome to this week’s edition of Fantasy Six Pack. In Week 18 we take a look at each position and suggest five players you might want to add to your team. We then pick a sixth player that we don’t see paying poolies immediate dividends but we expect will be helpful down the road. We hope you find these articles useful and gain a competitive advantage over your opponents. Feel free to discuss omissions and critique our selections in the comments section. We love discussion here at PuckPuckGoose.com.

Derek Stepan, Center, New York Rangers

I don’t get how the number one center on the league’s best team is only owned in 32% of Yahoo! leagues, less than half the ownership of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (66%). He’s got 37 points on the season, is a +22, 9 power play points and 89 hits on the season. He’s been extremely consistent for fantasy owners as he’s never gone no more than 4 games without collecting a point this season and has only failed to produce any offense points in one “fantasy week”, Week 15*.

*I’m pretty sure he only failed to collect any points during Week 15, he may have also failed to collect any points in Week 1. 

Honourable Mentions: Martin Hanzal (PHX), Mike Fisher (NAS) and Ryan O’Reilly (COL)

David Perron, Left Wing, St. Louis Blues

Who knew that shooting some pucks at a local hockey shop in Ottawa would help Perron re-discover his scoring touch. In his last 4 games, he’s tallied 6 goals and now has 10 goals in only 30 games this season. Not bad for a guy who missed a full year due to concussion symptoms.

When Steen and Arnott return from injuries, the Blues could become 3 lines deep offensively, forcing teams to pick their matches careful, likely leading to the occasional mismatch that could work in Perron’s favour.

Honourable Mentions: Gabriel Landeskog (COL), Sergei Kostisyn (NAS) and Marcel Goc (FLA)

David Jones, Right Wing, Colorado Avalanche

Jones was expected to build on a 27 goal season and become an offensive threat for the Avs but thus far this season has been a fantasy disappointment. A disappointment is a bit of a stretch though, yes, last year prior to the All-Star break Jones scored 16 goals and he only scored 9 goals prior to the break this year but he’s playing close to 2.5 minutes less a night. He’s also using his ice time more efficiently this year, scoring at a better percentage than he did last year. Last year he was scoring 1.175% of the time he was out on the ice, this year he’s scoring 1.268% of the time he’s on the ice. Why do I bring this up? Because Jones’ ice time has been increasing as of late and with it so has his production.

*Jones on-ice efficiency was calculated using TOI/G. While not an accurate way to calculate and project a player’s production, it does allow for insight.

Honourable Mentions: Martin Erat (NAS), Michael Ryder (DAL) and Devin Setoguchi (MIN)

Jeff Petry, Defense, Edmonton Oilers

Petry’s 15 points in 48 games don’t exactly ooze with fantasy relevancy, especially when 4 of those points came in the last 3 games and a -10 on the season is a big deterrent for a lot of owners and his 0% ownership reflects that. But look at Ryan Whitney who has 8 points in 24 games this season, Whitney is producing the same amount of offense as Petry, has the same plus-minus but shots the puck a lot less, takes less penalties, doesn’t block as many shots and doesn’t lay as many hits yet, he’s owned in 42% of leagues. He’s not an offensive dynamo but he is a solid two-way defender that is capable of putting up 25 points this season with 100+ blocked shots and hits.

Honourable Mentions: Mark Giordano (CGY), Luca Sbisa (ANA) and Zach Bogosian (WPG)

Joey MacDonald, Goaltender, Detroit Red Wings

Detroit’s starting goaltender while Howard is out with a broken finger. Grab him and play him, he may give up a few soft goals but with the skill, veteran knowledge and coach the Red Wings have, it’s hard to imagine they’ll lose a game. Especially with the home record they have going right now.

Honourable Mentions: Brent Johnson (PIT), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (COL) and Jonathan Bernier (LAK)

Andy McDonald, Center/Left Wing, St. Louis Blues

It’s hard to come by a top 6 forward on a contending team, like for you, McDonald returned from a concussion last night and chipped in a power play assist. His production and dual eligibility make him a desirable player. He’ll play the first few games on adrenaline and will likely drop off a bit but it won’t take him long to get his production back up to where it is consistently year in and year out.

When Steen and Arnott return from injuries, the Blues could become 3 lines deep offensively, forcing teams to pick their matches careful, likely leading to the occasional mismatch that could work in McDonald’s favour.

Honourable Mentions: Ryan Malone (TBL), Martin Havlat (SJS) and Chris Higgins (VAN)

Top 10 NHL Rookies of 2011-12

10. Jared Cowen, Ottawa Senators

Cowen is a big, physical defender, who skates well. He’s fourth among all rookie defensemen scoring and is part of the reason Ottawa is in a playoff picture this year. He’s emerged as a rock on the back end for the Sens.

9. Matt Read, Philadelphia Flyers

There’s probably a few Flyers’ fans not to happy with Read being so high up on my list. He currently leads all rookies in goals with 16 and is 3 in the rookie scoring race, so why is he lower on this list? Because of his age. Read is 25 years old entering his rookie season, he had four full years of college hockey to develop his body and his game. If he wasn’t producing at the rate he is currently, he’d be considered a rather disappointing free agent signing.

8. Luke Adam, Buffalo Sabres

Adam sits 9th in rookie scoring with 10 goals and 10 assists but has not registered a point in nearly 2 months and 16 of his 20 points came in the first two months of play when he was centering Pominville and Vanek. He’s been a healthy scratch lately.

7. Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche

Landeskog hits everything that moves and will shoot the puck from anywhere and he likes to do it often. Has been consistent and noticeable all season, he currently sits 6th in rookie scoring with 30 points. He’s offensively production should be a bit higher considering he’s spent all season on the top 2 lines with the likes of Hedjuk and Stastny.

6. Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs

You don’t notice Gardiner much on the ice, which is a good thing for a rookie defenseman but when you do, you’re usually blown away by his skating ability and his positional play. He forced his way onto an NHL team that had boasted a defense of Phaneuf, Franson, Komisarek, Schenn and Liles. He now leads all rookie defensemen in scoring with 17 points.

You would have never guessed he’s only been a defenseman for 4 years. He converted in his senior year of high school.

5. Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils

Henrique gets to center Parise and Kovalchuk on the top line, centers the second power play unit and even kills penalties. He does everything you want your top line center to do and even produces like one. Currently tied for first in rookie scoring with RNH, only 1 point behind the likes of Ryan Getzlaf and Mike Riberio and 1 point ahead of players like Tyler Bozak and Mikko Koivu. The only reason Henrique comes in at number 5 on my list is because of the elite linemates he gets to playing with. His production could have easily gone the way of Luke Adam if he was ever moved off the top line.

4. Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes

Faulk plays 22:39 a game and leads all rookies in time on ice. He’s consistently used in shutting down players like Malkin and Ovechkin, and does the job well. Hasn’t done a lot of scoring this year but has emerged as the Hurricanes number one all-round defenseman.

3. Ryan-Nugent Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers

He’s tied for first in rookie scoring and will likely take over the lead once he gets back from his shoulder injury. RNH is not in my top 2 for a few reason: he gets tons of ice time and he plays with very dynamic players in Hall and Eberle. I also don’t think RNH would be able to produce at the same level, offensively or defensively, if he was on any other team.

2. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers

I still can’t believe Columbus traded away their first round pick for Jeff Carter. Granted the trade was made before the draft, it doesn’t make it any better. The Flyer’s were given a gift when Couturier was still available after 7 picks. Couturier centers the Flyers’ fourth line and is one of the teams main penalty killers. While his contributions don’t always show up on the scoreboard, his play allows the likes of Giroux and Briere to excel in their offensive roles.

1. Cody Hodgson, Vancouver Canucks

No rookie does more offensively with less than Cody Hodgson. Hodgson sees the least amount of ice time among the top 5 rookie scoring leaders and has lower quality linemates. While RNH gets Eberle and Hall, Henrique gets Parise and Kovalchuk, Hodgson gets Raymond and Hansen or Lapierre and Duco. Players that don’t exactly light the lamp very often. Hodgson is second in rookie goal scoring, sits tied for 4th in points and has been a clutch goal scorer for the Canucks. Many of his goals this season have been game-winning goals, game-tying goals or momentum changing goals. Unless Hodgson finishes in the top 2 in rookie scoring, I doubt he will get much Calder consideration, which is a shame because he does deserve it.

Fantasy Six Pack: Flashes of Greatness

Welcome to this week’s edition of Fantasy Six Pack. In Week 17 we take a look at each position and suggest five players you might want add to your team. We then pick a sixth player that we don’t see paying poolies immediate dividends but we expect will be helpful down the road. We hope you find these articles useful and gain a competitive advantage over your opponents. Feel free to discuss omissions and critique our selections in the comments section. We love discussion here at PuckPuckGoose.com.

Sam Gagner, Center/Right Wing, Edmonton Oilers

Like Kyle Turris, I’ve always liked Gagner and I’ve always felt he was rushed into the league to soon and his development was stunted.

This past week, Gagner exploded offensively. Gagner produced 12 points in his last 3 games, 11 points in 3 periods of play over 2 games and had an 8 points night vs Chicago, tying a franchise record for most points in a game with Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey. He’s the hottest player in the NHL right now and is worth riding during his hot streak. He’s had a 3, 4 and 5-game point streak this season and they way he’s trended this season, this could end up being a 6-game point streak. Nothing is certain with Gagner as he’s also gone on a 6 and 7-game point drought this season. Be patient with Gagner during his cold streaks and he’ll reward you nicely during his hot streaks. Don’t expect another outburst like this past week but expect the confidence he’s gained to help him produce more down the stretch.

Honourable Mentions: Brooks Laich (WAS), Brayden Schenn (PHI) and Derick Brassard (CBJ)

Jamie McGinn, Left Wing, San Jose Sharks

McGinn is riding a modest 3 game point streak (2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts) and is on pace to finish the season with 33 points and 190 hits. A streaky point producer but a consistent physical presence, a nice pick up to contribute the odd point and lots of hits.

Honourable Mentions: Dan Cleary (DET), Sean Bergenheim (FLA) and Clarke MacArthur (TOR)

Mikael Samuelsson, Right Wing, Florida Panthers

5 points (4 G, 1 A) in his last 4 games and has 12 points in 18 games with the Panthers. He could turn out to be an offensive fantasy steal if he’s available in your league.

Since Samuelsson was traded to the Panthers, he’s only been a minus player in 2 games, while he was the Canucks, he was a minus player in 3 of his 6 games played.

Honourable Mentions: David Clarkson (NYD), Wayne Simmonds (PHI) and Jakub Voracek (PHI)

Victor Hedman, Defense, Tampa Bay Lightning

Since Hedman has returned to the line up, the Lightning are starting to heat up. He has 2 points (1 G, 1 A) in his last 3 games and has produced in all fantasy categories expect powerplay points; +1, 2 PIM, 9 Hits, 9 Bks, 7 SOG. He’s only on pace for 20 points this season but he’s becoming a dependable two-way player who contributes in all categories.

Honourable Mentions: Ryan Whitney (EDM), Kurtis Foster (NJD) and Jake Gardiner (TOR)

James Reimer, Goaltender, Toronto Maple Leafs

Two shutouts in two consecutive starts. Looks like Reimer’s found his game and may have just taken his starting job back.

Honourable Mentions: Evgeni Nabakov (NYI), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (COL) and Ray Emery (CHI)

Marek Zidlicky, Defense, Minnesota Wild

The newest member to this year’s on-going trade rumours expressed his emotions regarding being scratched in 5-consecutive games. He didn’t like it.

Honourable Mentions: Anton Stralman (NYR), Artem Anisimov (NYR) and Brandon Sutter (CAR)

Top 10 Ways to “Improve” NHL Officiating

10. Fine and suspend referees

Players, coaches, general managers and everyone apart of a NHL organization can be fined and suspended for on-ice activity and off-ice comments. Why not fine and suspend referees for blown calls or “game management.” If they are already being fined and suspended then make it know to the public so that we know.

9. Instant replay

So you know, the strips can get the call right. It’s already done for goal reviews, why not for penalties? Not all penalties, just the ones that should have a second look, like delay of games, double minors for highsticking, 5 minute majors. Just to make absolutely sure the call on the ice is the correct one.

8. Off-ice linesmen

Move linesmen off the ice. Have two referees on ice and two linesmen off ice. A linesman main duty is to call icings and offsides, all things they can do from behind the boards, off the ice. Why bother doing something like this? To create more offense and less “incidental” player-linesmen and puck-linesmen contact.

You can read more about linesmens duties here.

7. In-game consistency

If you’re going to call a weak slashing call in the first 5 minutes of the first period against the home team, call that weak slashing call in the final 5 minutes of the third period on the away team.

6. Get out of the way!

Get out of the way of the players and the puck. You’re in the way. If it weren’t for the rule that players couldn’t bowl over referees and linesmen you’d all be concussed by now. Too many referees get in the way of players making plays, scoring chances, puck chases and battles.

5. Whistles on goalie freezings

If refs can see the goalie has the puck covered up or can’t see the puck on the ice, blow the whistle. Don’t blow the whistle if you’re on the other side of the net and you THINK the goalie as the puck covered up.

4. Intent to whistle down the play

Play should go on until the whistle if blow, no exceptions. Play shouldn’t stop because a referee plans to blow the whistle. Quickest way to remedy this if you don’t want to change the rule, make it mandatory that referee’s has their whistle in their mouth at all times or create some mouth guard-whistle hybrid, you could call it the whistle-guard.

3. Call the Stanley Cup Playoffs like a regular season game

There’s this idea/opinion that playoff games need to be called differently, that more things don’t get called because it’s “playoff hockey” and they are called that way because that’s how it’s always been? I’m sorry but the way the playoffs are officiated now echos back to “old time” hockey when all games, regular season or playoffs were more intense and a lot was not called. The game adapted, improved and changed, the regular season officiating reflected this change but playoff officiating has not, if anything playoff officiate is still a decade behind. Why is one game being officiated two different ways because of the time of year?

2. Make referees available to media

Players, coaches, general managers, practically everyone involved in the hockey game are available for comment pre, during and post game so why not take it a step further and have referees available for comment? Allow media to ask referee’s about missed calls or penalty explanations. I mean referees already explain these to players and coaches so why not to media so they can report it to fans? At the very least, it will give fans a new reason to hate refs.

1. Regulating body

This one might sound a few of the above items but the NHL really needs a regulating body (or a better one than what they have now). NHL refs are by far the biggest laughing stock of all major sports, until they sort out the officiating the game will never get as big in the US as Football does.