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Posted On Wednesday, 08.26.2015 / 11:44 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - Aug. 26, 2015

Here is the Aug. 26 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically throughout the summer. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Do you think that Tomas Tatar or Gustav Nyquist have the ability/opportunity to hit the 40-goal, 70-80-point plateau? -- @purdstheword22

It's realistic to think that one of them could do it this season, but they're going to have to shoot the puck more than they did last season. I'd want to see each of them reach 250 shots on goal, if not more. Is it realistic for them to shoot that much? Why not? Dallas Stars forwards Jamie Benn (253) and Tyler Seguin (280) each had more than 250 shots on goal last season. San Jose Sharks forwards Logan Couture (263) and Joe Pavelski (261) each had more than 260 shots. Forwards Max Pacioretty (302) and Brendan Gallagher (254) each surpassed 250 shots for the Montreal Canadiens, who got 248 from Tomas Plekanec. Zach Parise (259) and Jason Pominville (252) each had more than 250 shots for the Minnesota Wild.

Tatar had 211 shots and Nyquist had 195 last season.
Posted On Friday, 08.21.2015 / 12:57 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rangers forward Zuccarello ready for camp: Vigneault

New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello has been given a clean bill of health and should be ready to go for the start of training camp next month, coach Alain Vigneault told NHL.com Friday in a phone interview.

"I've heard he's 100 percent from our medical staff," Vigneault said. "He's been cleared to skate and have contact. He's made a full recovery, so we're very pleased about that. He's a big part of our team."

Zuccarello was injured in the first period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. He was struck in the side of the head by a slap shot from defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

Posted On Wednesday, 08.19.2015 / 4:38 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rangers' McDonagh skating at full strength again

New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh is skating at full strength and has resumed his normal training regimen roughly one month after coming out of a walking boot that he had been in for six weeks because of a broken right foot.

"It's safe to say it's getting better every day and feeling pretty much 100 percent at this point now," McDonagh told NHL.com in a phone interview from his home in Minnesota on Wednesday. "We said June 1 was the starting date, so we're more than two-and-a-half months in. I'm back skating on the ice, doing leg strength stuff in the weight room, running and jumping. I'm really trying to put it all behind me now and gear up here for the start of training camp."

Posted On Wednesday, 08.19.2015 / 2:11 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - Aug. 19, 2015

Here is the Aug. 19 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically throughout the summer. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Now that the New York Rangers have signed Jarret Stoll, have we seen the end of Tanner Glass? Why has the media not questioned him being in the lineup? -- @BFerryNYR

Stoll's signing won't push Glass out of the lineup, but a strong training camp from Viktor Stalberg could. Stoll's signing might push Kevin Hayes to right wing, but he would be taking over the spot vacated by Martin St. Louis, who retired. Carl Hagelin's spot in the lineup will likely be taken up by Emerson Etem, which is why the Rangers made that trade, Etem for Hagelin, including draft picks. Glass is still the fourth-line left wing until someone knocks him out of that spot. The only someone who can do it, in my opinion, is Stalberg.

Posted On Tuesday, 08.18.2015 / 2:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Briere recalls historic series, Game 7 against Bruins

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Daniel Briere's memories of the historic Game 7 between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals include him being almost in tears on the bench, losing it on the ice, being furious in the dressing room and ultimately feeling invincible as the game wore on.

Briere's memories of that game, vivid as they are, came pouring back Tuesday when he discussed the finest moments of his six seasons with the Flyers at the end of his retirement press conference at Virtua Flyers Skate Zone.

"Within that two-month bubble that we were in [in 2010], I think the comeback against Boston was probably the ultimate peak of that two-month stretch," Briere said. "What we did is unbelievable."

Posted On Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 1:50 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - Aug. 5, 2015

Here is the Aug. 5 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically throughout the summer. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

What place do the New York Islanders finish in the Metropolitan Division? Do we win a playoff round? -- @Fio242

The Islanders look like a playoff team on paper. I'd put them in that 3-4-5 range in the Metropolitan Division, behind the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers and in the mix with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. I couldn't tell you if they're going to win a round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs because I don't know who they'll be playing, how healthy they'll be, etc. They should have the ability to win a round or two.

They didn't do much in the offseason except bring in Thomas Greiss as the backup to Jaroslav Halak. They are likely going to rely on Ryan Pulock to be a regular defenseman for them. He has a lot of potential, a great deal of upside. The top of the defense looks good with Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan. My big question is if this defense is deep enough that it can withstand an injury or two? I'm not sure that it can.

The offense is strong so they should be able to score goals, as they did last season. I'm very curious to see if Ryan Strome can build on his 50-point season and if Anders Lee, who has a new four year contract, can build on his 25-goal season.

Posted On Monday, 08.03.2015 / 4:32 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

van Riemsdyk encouraged by Maple Leafs' changes

Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk was 15 years old when he met his new general manager, Lou Lamoriello, for the first time.

It was in December of 2004 and van Riemsdyk was being honored at a luncheon as a New Jersey High School Hockey Player of the Month, an award created and presented by the New Jersey Devils.

Lamoriello, formerly the GM and president of the Devils, was at the luncheon.

"It's kind of cool how it comes full circle," van Riemsdyk said last week in Brick, N.J., where he was tagging along with his brother, Trevor, a defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks, on his day with the Stanley Cup. "Here we go, fast forward almost 12 years later, and he's one of my bosses. That's pretty cool.

Posted On Monday, 08.03.2015 / 11:48 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Capitals could mix and match at third-line center

It appears to be by design that the Washington Capitals don't, at this point, have a defined No. 3 center going into this season.

Instead of slotting someone into the role to play behind top two centers Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said coach Barry Trotz could, at least at the start of the season, decide on his third center based on opponent and strategy for that particular game.

For example, if the Capitals want to use more of a traditional checking line, he would likely choose from Brooks Laich or Jay Beagle to be the No. 3 center. The one who isn't could center the fourth line, or move to the wing.

Posted On Thursday, 07.30.2015 / 5:05 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2015 Summer with Stanley blog

Blackhawks' van Riemsdyk takes Cup to Jersey Shore

BRICK, N.J. -- Trevor van Riemsdyk had been smiling and taking pictures for 90 minutes Thursday morning when he and the Stanley Cup finally got a break. This should have been the time when van Riemsdyk, the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman celebrating his day with the Cup, got a coffee, sat down, basically took a load off for a few minutes.

No way. Not on this day.

Van Riemsdyk went back into the Zamboni area at the Ocean Ice Palace around 10:45 a.m., near a garage that opened to a back lot, where his dad, Frans, was running the air conditioner in the black Chevy Suburban that would take him to his next stop, his high school, Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, N.J.

He was still smiling after taking pictures and sharing the Cup with members of Brick Stars Challenger Hockey, a program for developmentally challenged kids that he and his family support, as he stood and conducted the first of his two interviews while Frans was trying to get the traveling party on the road.

"It's all good," van Riemsdyk said to NHL.com. "I've been smiling all summer."

Posted On Friday, 07.24.2015 / 1:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Robinson, Niedermayer understand Lamoriello's move

Larry Robinson thought he would be with the Montreal Canadiens for the rest of his life, until he went to play for the Los Angeles Kings in 1989. Scott Niedermayer never envisioned leaving the New Jersey Devils, until he signed with the Anaheim Ducks in 2005.

Robinson and Niedermayer each thought of the shock to the system he experienced when changing teams upon hearing the news that friend and former boss Lou Lamoriello left the Devils after 28 years on Thursday to become the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"It just goes to show you that nothing is forever, especially in the business that we're in," Robinson told NHL.com in a phone interview. "Who would have ever thought that I would have ended up in L.A.? I thought I would have been a Canadien all my life. Next thing you know, you go somewhere else and you realize there is something somewhere else. Actually, it turned out great for me, and I hope it turns out great for Lou as well."

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Quote of the Day

I first met him when I was 19 years old and he coached me for 13 consecutive years. I don't know how many athletes who have had that pleasure. Al Arbour was a man that left us not only feeling like champions, but left us with a lot of great memories that we can carry on through life.

— Islanders Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin on former coach Al Arbour, who passed away Friday at the age of 82