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The Hockey News Daily Dish: Oct. 16

Yesterday at

In Top Shelf, Ryan Dixon writes that the Rangers’ blueline has them sitting pretty in the Atlantic Division.

In his blog, Ryan Kennedy writes that Colorado’s goalie issues leave visions of Ray Emery dancing in their heads.

Ken Campbell writes that the league should have made an example of Ryan Hollweg after his latest suspension, in his blog.

The Top 10 counts down the best free agents you may still b able to pickup in your fantasy pool.

The Fantasy Mailbag answers questions on Andy McDonald, Frolov vs. Sullivan and undrafted defensemen.

Player News…

Nikita Filatov, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets

2008/10/16: Promising Columbus forward Nikita Filatov's time in the American League lasted just two games after the 18-year-old was recalled on Wednesday to fill the roster spot of injured Jared Boll. INTEL: In those two games with the Syracuse Crunch, the sixth-overall pick in the 2008 draft managed to pot a pair of goals. He would have likely started the season in Columbus were it not for missing time during training camp due to injury.

Fabian Brunnstrom, LW/RW, Dallas Stars

2008/10/16: Highly-touted rookie Fabian Brunnstrom was spectacular in his NHL debut for the Stars on Wednesday, potting a hat trick in a 6-4 win over the Predators. He is only the third player to ever score three goals in his first NHL contest. INTEL: It's kind of hard to believe Brunnstrom was a healthy scratch for Dallas's first two games. After Wednesday's showing, he likely won't be sitting in the press box any time soon.

Thomas Vanek, LW, Buffalo Sabres

2008/10/16: Buffalo forward Thomas Vanek was a special teams' maestro on Wednesday, scoring a power-play goal and a short-handed goal in a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. INTEL: With short-handed goals in consecutive games, Vanek has rewarded coach Lindy Ruff's decision to give him more penalty-killing ice time.

Nikolai Khabibulin, G, Chicago Blackhawks

2008/10/16: Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin helped the Blackhawks pick up their first win of the season on Wednesday, allowing a single goal on 30 shots in a 4-1 victory over the high-flying Coyotes. INTEL: Khabibulin's strong outing on Wednesday, coupled with Cristobal Huet's poor play so far this season, has all the makings of a distracting goalie controversy.

Rob Niedermayer, RW, Anaheim Ducks

2008/10/16: Ducks forward Rob Niedermayer notched his second goal of the season in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Oilers. His big brother, Scott Niedermayer, assisted on the goal for his first point of the season. INTEL: With two goals after three games, the younger Niedermayer is well ahead of his 2007-08 pace when he scored only eight goals over 78 contests.

Shawn Horcoff, C, Edmonton Oilers

2008/10/16: Edmonton forward Shawn Horcoff chipped in a goal in Wednesday's 3-2 win over Anaheim. Sheldon Souray and Lubomir Visnovsky each scored their first goals of the season in the victory. INTEL: Horcoff is looking to make up for lost time in 2008-09 after missing 29 games with a knee injury a year ago. He has scored a goal in both of the games he has played this season.

Mike Modano, C, Dallas Stars

2008/10/16: Dallas greybeard Mike Modano looked like a younger version of himself on Wednesday, scoring twice and adding an assist in a 6-4 victory over Nashville. INTEL: The 38-year-old played some wing during training camp but is now back to centering the Stars' third line.

Ryan Jones, RW, Nashville Predators

2008/10/16: Predators youngster Ryan Jones had a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Stars. The 24-year-old was acquired from Minnesota this summer, along with a second-rounder in 2009, for defenseman Marek Zidlicky. INTEL: Jones made the most of his limited opportunities on Wednesday, picking up his two points in less than nine minutes on the ice. That kind of production could earn him more shifts.

Martin Havlat, RW, Chicago Blackhawks

2008/10/15: Chicago sniper Martin Havlat chipped in a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 4-1 triumph over Phoenix. Patrick Sharp, Brian Campbell and rookie Colin Fraser also scored for the Blackhawks. INTEL: The injury-prone veteran has looked good through four games, contributing five points (2-3-5). However, it's hard to get comfortable with Havlat when it always seems another serious injury is waiting around the corner for him.

Peter Mueller, RW/C, Phoenix Coyotes

2008/10/15: Phoenix forward Peter Mueller scored his second goal of the season in Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Chicago. In his second season with the Coyotes, much is expected from the 20-year-old Mueller, who notched 54 points (22-32-54) as a rookie last year.

Saku Koivu, C, Montreal Canadiens

2008/10/15: Montreal captain Saku Koivu tallied his first goal of the season in Wednesday's 4-3 shootout victory over Boston. Alexei Kovalev and Maxim Lapierre also scored in regulation for Montreal with Alex Tanguay delivering the winner during the shootout. INTEL: Koivu is on a three-game points streak during which he has one goal and four helpers.

Georges Laraque, RW, Montreal Canadiens

2008/10/15: The reigning heavyweight champion among NHL enforcers, Montreal's Georges Laraque, made his debut with his new team on Wednesday night against Boston. Not surprisingly, he dropped his gloves during his first shift to take on Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton. INTEL: A groin injury kept the off-season acquisition sidelined through training camp and the Habs' first three regular season games. Steve Begin was bumped to the press box to open up a spot for Laraque.

Marc Savard, C, Boston Bruins

2008/10/15: Bruins sniper Marc Savard scored twice in Wednesday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Canadiens. He was not among the three Bruins selected to participate in the shootout. INTEL: Savard has scored in all three games he's played this year, including back-to-back two-goal efforts in his two most recent games.

Alex Tanguay, LW/RW, Montreal Canadiens

2008/10/15: Montreal forward Alex Tanguay scored the only shootout goal in Wednesday's 4-3 win over Boston. INTEL: Despite being slowed by a sore hip during the preseason, Tanguay has made an instant impact with his new team in 2008-09, notching a four-point night (1-3-4) in last Saturday's 6-1 win over the Maple Leafs.

Injury News…

Pierre-Marc Bouchard, RW/LW, Minnesota Wild

2008/10/15: Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard will reportedly miss the two remaining games on Columbus's current road trip due to a sore back. INTEL: The wonky back gave the 24-year-old trouble during the preseason as well. A home date against Buffalo on October 23 could be the next time he sees any game action.

Marek Zidlicky, D, Minnesota Wild

2008/10/15: Minnesota officially placed defenseman Marek Zidlicky on injured reserve on Wednesday, reports the Canadian Press. The veteran rearguard originally injured his right ankle on September 26 and had not managed to get into a game with his new club. INTEL: Seventh defenseman Erik Reitz will continue to get a regular shift while Zidlicky remains sidelined.

Jason Arnott, C, Nashville Predators

2008/10/15: Nashville Predators captain Jason Arnott will miss the next three games because of a finger injury. INTEL: The Preds' No. 1 center should be replaced in the lineup by rookie winger Ryan Jones, who had been a healthy scratch the last two games.

Viktor Kozlov, RW/C, Washington Capitals

2008/10/15: The Washington Capitals will be without winger Viktor Kozlov for an indefinite period of time due to a knee injury. INTEL: This may lead Caps coach Bruce Boudreau to return veteran Sergei Fedorov to his natural center position. Fedorov played Monday against Vancouver as a defenseman. Washington plays in Pittsburgh Thursday night.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard, RW/LW, Minnesota Wild

2008/10/15: Minnesota Wild winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard missed Tuesday's road win at Atlanta because of a back injury. INTEL: The news doesn't sound too good in Bouchard's case, since he headed back to Minnesota to receive more tests. Bouchard had been skating alongside Eric Belanger and Owen Nolan in the early going.

Owen Nolan, RW, Minnesota Wild

2008/10/15: Minnesota Wild veteran forward Owen Nolan left Tuesday night's road win at Atlanta early due to a lower body injury. INTEL: The grizzled Nolan skated with Eric Belanger and rookie Colton Gillies against the Thrashers but is now considered day-to-day.

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