Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
 
SHARE
Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Friday, 10.21.2011 / 11:43 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

More minutes OK for Kovalchuk

NEWARK, N.J. -- It's only a four-game snapshot, but Ilya Kovalchuk is looking good and feeling good despite logging ice time befitting a No. 1 defenseman, not a first- or second-line left wing.

Kovalchuk enters Friday's game against San Jose fourth in the NHL in ice time per game at 27:01.

Last season, he was 45th in the NHL -- although first among forwards -- at 22:33 per game.

"The season just started, so it's too early to say anything, but it works," Kovalchuk, who has 4 points through four games, told NHL.com. "The team played well and the coach decided to play me a lot of minutes. I was ready for it and I like to play a lot."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Thursday that the minutes Kovalchuk are playing are more a result of a favorable early-season schedule. New Jersey played its first four games over an eight-day span, and hasn't played since last Saturday.

Also pumping up Kovalchuk's minutes is the fact that the Devils have averaged over four power plays per game this season, and he rarely, if ever, comes off the ice when the team has the man-advantage. Kovalchuk also is playing some on the penalty kill.

"Obviously he's not going to play that much as the season goes on, but we've had a favorable schedule early here that we can give out some bigger minutes to some guys because of the way it's set up," DeBoer said. "It's not going to continue at that amount, but he's gotten my confidence that he's a big-minute guy. He has that type of engine and he's that type of skater that you can play him and it's not going to have an adverse effect on him the next day."

Kovalchuk agreed, saying his body feels fine after he plays a lot of minutes, especially when it comes during a Devils win.

"It's the worst when the team didn't play well and you played a lot of minutes," Kovalchuk said. "If nothing comes of it, that's when you get tired. But I'm used to playing a lot and it never bothers me. I want to play a lot and I feel much better when I play a lot of minutes."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Friday, 10.21.2011 / 10:34 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Likely lineup for Devils, Sharks

NEWARK, N.J. -- Here are the likely lineups for the Devils and Sharks based on this morning's practices. Tonight's game also will be Sharks captain Joe Thornton's 1,000th NHL game.

DEVILS
Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Ilya Kovalchuk - Jacob Josefson - Nick Palmieri
Mattias Tedenby - Petr Sykora - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Rod Pelley - Brad Mills
 
Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov
Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne
 
Johan Hedberg will start in net. Keith Kinkaid will be his backup.
 
Martin Brodeur (bruised shoulder) remains out of the lineup. Cam Janssen, who took rushes with the fourth line, likely will be a healthy scratch.

SHARKS
Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Martin Havlat
Ben Ferriero - Michal Handzus - Torrey Mitchell
Brad Winchester - Andrew Murray - Jamie McGinn

Douglas Murray - Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brent Burns
Colin White - Jason Demers

Antti Niemi will start in goal, with Thomas Greiss the backup.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
 
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.18.2011 / 12:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bobrovsky looks to be Flyers starter in Ottawa

Sergei Bobrovsky was the first goalie off the ice for the Flyers this morning in Ottawa, meaning he will be getting his first start of the season tonight against the Senators.

Ilya Bryzgalov started the first four games for the Flyers and went 3-0-1 including a shutout, posting a 1.99 goals-against average and .927 save percentage along the way.

Bobrovsky went 28-13-8 over 54 appearances as a rookie last season. He had a .915 save percentage and 2.59 GAA.

FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.18.2011 / 10:44 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Penguins recall Strait for possible blue-line insurance

Facing the possibility of not having Kris Letang available for Tuesday night's game in Minnesota, the Penguins have recalled defenseman Brian Strait from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the American Hockey League.

Letang has a disciplinary hearing set for Tuesday with NHL Senior V.P. of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan for his boarding penalty in the third period of Monday's game in Winnipeg.

Strait leads all WBS defensemen with 3 assists and 4 points through the first five games of the season. His plus-6 rating leads the Baby Penguins and is second in the AHL.

The 23-year-old Strait played three games for the Penguins last season.
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.18.2011 / 10:36 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Pens cancel morning skate in Minney

After playing Monday night in Winnipeg, the Penguins chose not to hold a morning skate in Minnesota today prior to tonight's game against the Wild, which can be seen on Versus and TSN2 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Pittsburgh is winless in its last three games (0-2-1).

The Penguins fell, 2-1, to the Jets at MTS Centre and defenseman Kris Letang faces a hearing today with NHL Senior V.P. of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan for a boarding penalty he received in the third period.

While not known yet, it is possible that Letang won't be available for the game tonight against the Wild. The Penguins are already playing without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Kennedy, Dustin Jeffrey and Brooks Orpik (back).

Kennedy missed his first game of the season Monday. Malkin, who is with the team on the trip, is still bothered by soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. Kennedy missed his first game of the season Monday with a conccusion.

Since Marc-Andre Fleury started Monday night, it's possible Brent Johnson gets the nod for the Penguins against the Wild. It wouldn't be a bad call by coach Dan Bylsma considering Johnson has a 3-3-2 career record against the Wild with a 1.60 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.

Wild coach Mike Yeo was an assistant with the Penguins from 2005-10.
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 6:52 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Woywitka arrives, eager to be a Ranger

STOCKHOLM -- Jeff Woywitka was wide awake and excited Saturday morning. Nothing could wipe the smile off his face, not even the jet lag he had to be feeling or the thought that he'll be back on a plane after the game against the Ducks, heading to another hotel bed.

The Rangers claimed Woywitka off waivers from Montreal on Thursday. He didn't play Friday and he won't play tonight either, but he's here and he's excited to be a Ranger despite his whirlwind last two days.

"It's been interesting and also exciting," Woywitka told NHL.com after taking part in his first optional skate as a Ranger. "I was put on waivers the other day, and you never know what can happen. If you clear you can end up going down, but obviously your main goal is to stay in the NHL. To get picked up and have another opportunity to play it's exciting for me, especially with an organization like the Rangers. I know a few of the guys here, and things are good."

Since Woywitka was in Toronto with the Canadiens, he left from there on an 8:50 p.m. ET flight to Copenhagen. After an hour and a half layover, he flew to Stockholm and got here around 1 p.m. local time Friday.

Woywitka didn't walk into the Rangers team hotel here until 2:30.

"Most of the guys were already in their pregame naps," said Woywitka, who played the last two seasons in Dallas with Brad Richards. "I got to the hotel and saw Brendan Bell, a guy I played World Juniors with. I hung out in the lobby, talked to him, met a few of the guys -- it was good. I came to the game, saw a good one, and Stockholm looks like a very historic, unique city. It's nice to get a chance to experience that and see a new part of the world."

Woywitka experienced his first team meeting with Rangers coach John Tortorella on Saturday. He was also one of 12 guys to skate after the meeting.

He'll get a better crash course in the Rangers ways when the team gets back on its routine in New York next week. For now, though, he couldn't stop raving about how well he is being treated.

"Everything was set up perfectly," he said about his travel here. "Everything was straightforward, lined up. You can just tell these guys do it first class here. That's all you can ask for. It makes you feel comfortable."

It also makes him feel confident that once he gets to New York, Woywitka will have some help setting up his life there. He's a single guy so he doesn't have to worry about moving a family, but the adjustment is still taxing.

"That's part of the NHL," Woywitka said. "There are a lot of movements here and there, but I'm excited about it. The way I've been treated here already, I'm sure it's not going to be a big issue getting settled. Obviously there is going to be a change, but I'm looking forward to it."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 6:29 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

A new challenge from the Ducks

STOCKHOLM -- After getting beaten all over the ice by Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams and Simon Gagne in the first period Friday night, the Rangers tightened up against the Kings top line and managed to keep them in check.

The difference was in their forecheck. Or, better yet, the difference was that they actually forechecked starting in the second period.

"We knew the ice was bad so the times when you don't want to forecheck or stretch yourself out too much, we decided we were going to go and get two guys on (the Kings) D," Brian Boyle told NHL.com. "Once we started doing that we got the puck back more. When they got the puck back after that we were closer to them to have some contact. Earlier we were giving them too much room to skate."

The Rangers can't wait to do the same Saturday night against the Ducks leading trio of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan. As good as the Kopitar line is, Anaheim's first line might be the best in the NHL.

"They're very dangerous," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan told NHL.com. "They have a lot of talent up front and the more time we spend in their zone below the dots it'll be for the better. That's a big thing for us, getting pucks deep behind their D."

The more the Rangers have the puck, the better their chances are to draw penalties. They only drew one Friday night, but they took five and the fifth one burned them.

"That's the biggest thing for us, we have to hold on to pucks, especially when you're up against top lines," Callahan said. "If you have the puck, they don't."

Slight advantage: The Rangers went back to their hotel Friday night, had a quick meal and were off to bed. They woke up Saturday and took what has become a familiar route to Ericsson Globe Arena, the arena they've called home since Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Ducks played in Helsinki Friday night, had a quick team meal, and then went to the airport, where they sat for a while before finally taking off to fly to Stockholm. They didn't get to the team hotel until close to 3 o'clock in the morning, and then woke up Saturday in an unfamiliar place and took an unfamiliar route to an arena they've never been in.

Advantage Rangers.

"Yeah, that might be," Boyle said. "It's easier when you don't have to travel, but we lost last night so I'm sure a lot of guys were up late trying to get to sleep. I know I was. It was tough. At this point, you could argue that we have a little bit of an advantage, but it's minimal. We know they're going to come hard and we've got to do the same."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Friday, 10.07.2011 / 6:55 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Erixon, Rupp and Tortorella's gems

STOCKHOLM -- Swedish journalists are quickly learning what not to ask Rangers coach John Tortorella.

For instance, someone asked him if he ever played in Sweden?

"Oh, don't ask me questions about me," was Tortorella's response.

The next question was from another Swedish journalist who wanted to know how Tortorella felt about what he's seen from Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards.

"They haven't started yet," Tortorella said. "You can come back to the States in a couple weeks and ask me that."

His comment drew some laughs and Tortorella smiled. He said it somewhat in jest, but everyone got the picture.

The Rangers coach was interested in one thing Friday morning, and that was talking about Friday night's game.

"I thought we created an identity of how we wanted to play and what we were last year and we want to go right back to it and keep building," Tortorella said.

Tortorella confirmed that Tim Erixon will be in the lineup for his NHL debut in his home country. Erixon's father, Jan Erixon, a former Ranger, is expected to be in the building Friday night.

Mike Rupp will also play after sitting out Thursday's practice with a sore knee. Rupp told NHL.com his knee had been acting up so he was given a day off to rest it and ice it.

"I'm ready to go now," he said.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Friday, 10.07.2011 / 6:40 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers ready to win without Staal

STOCKHOLM -- They can't replace him, but the Rangers say they can still win without star defenseman Marc Staal, who remains back in New York dealing with post-concussion symptoms.

Their first test comes Friday night here against the Los Angeles Kings in the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere.

"You're to have injuries and you just have to accept it. You can't see it as a great problem for your club," Henrik Lundqvist told NHL.com Friday morning. "Whatever we have here now is going to work for us. That's the way you have to think. Whenever he comes, he's going to be welcomed here, but right now it's up to us and I think we're going to do well."

There is no timetable on when Staal will return.

Rangers GM and President Glen Sather told the New York Post that he could be out a month, but if the headaches go away he'll be back sooner. If the headaches persist, Staal's absence could linger beyond November.

It's impossible to predict.

"He's not here with us right now so we have to get going without him," Dan Girardi, who takes over as the team's No. 1 blue-liner in Staal's absence, told NHL.com. "We have a bunch of D here right now that can play and we're all going to step up our game in his absence and hopefully bring a little extra to fill the hole."

Ryan McDonagh said the Rangers five-man defensive system should help minimize the effect of losing Staal.

"We play a whole five-man unit defensive system in our D zone so not everything relies on the D-men," McDonagh told NHL.com. "If you play defense as a team it helps solidify everything."

McDonagh, who played 40 games as a rookie last season, will start Friday's game with Girardi on the top pair. Michael Del Zotto, who entered camp just trying to make it through all the cuts, will play on the second pair with Michael Sauer. Tim Erixon will be making his NHL debut Friday night on the third pair with Steve Eminger.

New addition Jeff Woywitka, who arrived here Friday morning, and Brendan Bell are the scratches for Friday's game.

"I don't think anyone is going to be playing out of their comfort zone and trying to do too much," Girardi told NHL.com. "I'm still going to play my game and the other guys are going to play their game. Just because Marc is not here doesn't mean we're going to step out of our roles."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 1:38 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers claim Woywitka off waivers from Canadiens

STOCKHOLM -- The Rangers picked up some defensive insurance Thursday by claiming Jeff Woywitka off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.

Woywitka was due to fly from Montreal to Stockholm, where the Rangers open the season Friday against the Los Angeles Kings. It wasn't immediately known if Woywitka would arrive in time for the morning skate, or who will be assigned to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL to make room for him on the roster.

Defensemen Stu Bickel has been assigned back to Connecticut.

Woywitka signed a one-year, two-way contract with Montreal on July 1 that pays him $650,000 at the NHL level.

"It's too bad we lost him, but it's a nice opportunity for him in New York," Montreal coach Jacques Martin said. "I think the fact we signed players like (Alexei) Emelin and (Rafael) Diaz, they're two players with a lot of potential who have played professional hockey before and who bring different elements. So I think we have good depth on defense."

The Rangers were looking for a veteran defenseman to help them with Marc Staal going on injured reserve due to post-concussion symptoms. The club recalled Erixon from Connecticut on Wednesday and brought him back across the Atlantic to potentially make his NHL debut Friday against the Kings in the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere.

However, coach John Tortorella would prefer that Erixon learn the North American game in the AHL for a while.

Woywitka played the last two seasons in Dallas, compiling 14 points over 99 games. He has played in 251 NHL games since making his debut with St. Louis in 2005-06. His best season was 2008-09, when he had 18 points in 65 games with the Blues.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
First | Prev | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51-56 | Next | Last

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1