Sharks’ Starting Goalie Job Up For Grabs –

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The advance of hockey stats: Analytics continue to grow, evolve in NHL – Yahoo Sports

Oilers winger Taylor Hall says he talked analytics with coach Dallas Eakins last season. (USA Today)

That may happen quicker this year,” McLellan said, indicating his goalie won’t get as much time as before to play through a rough patch. Stalock, too, played down anything unusual about the setup, noting it’s something Niemi has gone through twice already — his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks, when he took the job from Cristobal Huet, as well as his first year in San Jose, when he won out over Antero Niittymaki. “He’s a guy who’s earned his time in the net,” Stalock said. That time now totals 277 regular-season games for Niemi — 10 times as many has Stalock has played — and 62 more in the playoffs, where he won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010. Still this is a season where the Sharks say everyone starts out with a clean slate and no equity. Stalock outperformed Niemi statistically last season. In 24 games, the backup was 12-5-2 with a 1.87 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. A Vezina Trophy finalist in 2012-13, Niemi saw his goals against average rise to 2.39 and his save percentage drop to .913, though he still finished with 39 wins — tied for second most in the NHL. In the playoffs, Stalock, also had the better numbers, but he came up short in Game 6, his lone start, after a disputed Kings goal sparked Los Angeles to a 4-1 victory. Niemi, who said he focused on strengthening his legs during the summer, cites a lack of consistency as his biggest problem last season. “Too many up and downs maybe, more than the year before,” he said. Goalie coach Wayne Thomas seconds that idea, then notes that Niemi was “brilliant” at the start — a 9-1-1 record with a 1.53 goals against average and .933 save percentage — before his game fell off. source:

But men in suits have made trips to Seattle, while Quebec City, Toronto and Las Vegas have also been mentioned as a potential expansion site. At some point, expansionists will get to poach talented players from established teams’ rosters. According to previous expansion practiceswhich could change in the future teams got to protect one goalie, five defensemen and nine forwards. With those parameters in mind, here’s a look at five players the Chicago Blackhawks are likely to make available for future NHL expansion teams. USA TODAY Sports 2013-14 stats (with Blackhawks): 63 games, 10 goals, 19 assists, plus-9 Why he’s available: Kris Versteeg would seem to be an obvious expansion candidate. The Blackhawks reacquired him from the Florida Panthers early in the 2013-14 season, and he had the versatility to take a spot on the third line or fill in anywhere that head coach Joel Quenneville wanted him to skate. Versteeg had injury problems last season, and those issues did not help him establish himself during his second go-round with the Blackhawks. However, even when he was healthy, Versteeg did not have the kind of consistent production Quenneville wanted. “I thought he was fine the first three games,” Quenneville told’s Scott Powers . “[In Game 4], I didn’t think he had the pace. source:

Ken Hitchcock Isn’t Concerned About Playoffs Right Now – Yahoo Sports

He will tell you they use something similar but different. Thats about all he will tell you. I think its better, but I guess its a matter of opinion, said Bowman to the Chicago Sun-Times. Its also a competitive advantage. Once you decide what data to use, you must figure out how to turn the data into knowledge. What is meaningful? What isnt? What applies to your particular team? Even among the analytics champions, there is more than one way to build. The Blackhawks are known for speed and skill; the Kings are known for size and relentlessness. Both are great possession teams. Lombardi has identified possession players, but he also has identified character players which might explain why this team trusted the process through three come-from-behind, seven-game playoff series and went on to win the Cup. source:–analytics-continue-to-grow–evolve-in-nhl-161117956-nhl.html

Chicago Blackhawks open training camp at Notre Dame | FOX Sports

Were not there. Come write that Winter Hitch story in a few weeks. I hope you dont write it.” Strauss also asked what the Blues were focused on this year. The players got a challenge to beef themselves up over the off-season, to get more physical. Hitch’s goal is this: The Blues were adept last season at playing position defense. Hitchcock insisted Thursday its time to get nastier and quicker. “When its on the line, theres a difference between checking and defending. And were going to check,” Hitch promised. Oh, good. I guess this explains why the team brought known physical guy Paul Bissonette into the fold for this camp. Checking. source:

5 Players the Chicago Blackhawks Would Make Available in an NHL Expansion Draft | Bleacher Report

”Sure, I think about it,” Keith said Thursday. ”But it’s not something that’s a topic of conversation every day amongst us players. We all kind of know the business and obviously, management has to make some decisions. Trades are always part of the game and part of the business.” The Blackhawks’ big splash in offseason free agency came in the signing of 34-year old center Brad Richards , a key component in the New York Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season. Coach Joel Quenneville said Richards, who was signed to a one-year, $2 million deal, will start camp alongside second line wingers Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad. The bigger news from the summer came a week after the Richards signing, when Chicago announced identical eight-year, $84 million contract extensions for stars Toews and Kane. FOX SPORTS DAILY SUBSCRIBE The Hawks also traded Brandon Bollig to Calgary for a draft pick, but the roster paring is not done. Emerging players could help facilitate a trade, and several rookies will try to emulate what Saad did last season when he forced his way into the lineup based on strong play. That will be tough this year, given what little latitude the team has with its packed roster, but one player who could make that happen is 20-year old top prospect Teuvo Teravainen. General manager Stan Bowman did his best to tamp down expectations on when Teravainen might contribute in Chicago, saying ”It doesn’t make sense to try and make predictions” of which players could blossom in the preseason. ”Players kind of sort that out for us by the way they play,” Bowman said. source:


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