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Posted On Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 10:25 AM

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

Rosen's mailbag - Feb. 18, 2015

Here is the Feb. 18 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

David Poile is all in on the Nashville Predators for a deep postseason run, but I don't see them getting past the Chicago Blackhawks. Thoughts? -- @r0bertwaters

If Nashville and Chicago met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs today I would still pick the Blackhawks to win the series, likely in seven games, but I'm not nearly as sure of that as I was earlier this season. I'm picking the Blackhawks because of experience and their ability to rise up in significant moments, but the Predators are good. Man, the Predators are very good, and they will be significantly better with Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli. Franson will help them move the puck and play with speed. Santorelli will chip in offensively in a bottom-six depth role. Nashville has scoring options throughout its lineup, and it has arguably the best healthy goalie in the NHL today, though the Montreal Canadiens and their fans can state a great case for their guy.

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Posted On Monday, 02.16.2015 / 3:43 PM

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

Bailey a fine fit on Islanders' first line

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- John Tavares is the star and Anders Lee has become the new scoring sensation, but Josh Bailey has been the unheralded and underrated member of the New York Islanders top line regardless of which side he plays on and who plays on the opposite wing.

Bailey has 14 points in his past 15 games playing either left wing or right wing opposite all-star center John Tavares. He switched from left to right when Kyle Okposo was injured 10 games ago, but still has seven points in those 10 games, including five points on three goals and two assists on a current three-game point streak.

Bailey has 28 points on 11 goals and 17 assists in 44 games this season. He is on pace for 44 points, which would be a career high. Bailey's current career high is 38 points.

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Posted On Monday, 02.16.2015 / 1:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers head into their game Monday at Nassau Coliseum focused on trying to forget about the three regulation losses they've had against the New York Islanders this season without forgetting about what happened to lead to those results.

The Islanders are 3-0-0 against the Rangers this season with a 13-4 goal differential. They have won all three games by three goals, including 4-1 at Nassau Coliseum on Jan. 27.

"We've turned pucks over, we haven't had great starts, we've given up goals in bunches," Rangers forward Rick Nash said. "We've lost three times now, so it's definitely a bit of a test for us. If we stick to our game plan, stick to our style that works, we'll have a better chance."

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Posted On Friday, 02.13.2015 / 6:56 PM

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

Rangers' Zuccarello finds rewind button

New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault doesn't need to know that Mats Zuccarello is on a seven-game point streak to know how effective he's been in the past two weeks. For Vigneault, Zuccarello's competitiveness in one-on-one battles speaks volumes for how he's playing.

"When he's at his best he's really hungry on those loose pucks and it seems like he's winning all those foot races, and it doesn't matter the size of the opponent, the strength of the opponent," Vigneault told NHL.com during a phone interview Friday. "He seems to be able to win those one-on-one battles and from there things open up, whether it be one of his teammates or a lane to the net or a shooting lane. That's what he's been doing much better here for the last seven games."

Zuccarello has nine points on four goals and five assists in the past seven games. He had one point, an assist, in his previous seven games and 23 points on seven goals and 16 assists in his first 44 games this season.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 1:01 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Devils forward Jagr won't ask for trade

NEWARK, N.J. -- If New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr is traded before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET on March 2, it won't be because he asked to be traded.

"I didn't ask for [a] trade; I'm not going to," Jagr said following practice at Prudential Center on Wednesday. "I don't know what's going to happen. I'm pretty blessed and everything that happened to me always has been for good, so why shouldn't I believe in that now? Either way if I like it or not, I know in the long run it's going to be the best for me."

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 8:46 AM

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

Rosen's mailbag - Feb. 11, 2015

Here is the Feb. 11 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

What order will the top four teams in the Metropolitan Division finish? -- @npv708

Time for me to flip-flop yet again. Last week in this space I said the Rangers would win the Metropolitan Division. Of course, that was before we knew about Henrik Lundqvist's vascular injury. I can't fathom any way that Lundqvist returns before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline. In fact, I wonder if he'll be back before April. Cam Talbot is a quality NHL backup, but he's not Lundqvist. So it's time for me to change my tune again.

1. New York Islanders

2. Washington Capitals

3. Pittsburgh Penguins

4. New York Rangers

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 11:34 AM

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

Red Wings dominating with the long change

The long change has worked in the Detroit Red Wings favor this season.

The Red Wings have a League-best plus-21 goal-differential in the second period this season (57-36) and plus-23 with the long change when you factor in their success in overtime (4-2).

The long change happens in the second period and overtime, when the teams switch ends, creating added distance from the defensive zone to the bench.

The next best teams in the second period this season are the Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals, who each have a plus-13 goal differential. The Stars, though, are minus-5 in overtime; the Capitals are minus-3.

Detroit was plus-1 in the second period last season, when teams did not switch ends for overtime.

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Posted On Monday, 02.09.2015 / 12:21 PM

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

Stars' Klingberg quietly joins Calder discussion

NEW YORK -- Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff had some high praise for rookie defenseman John Klingberg prior to the game Sunday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

In addition to talking about how Klingberg is a big reason for the uptick in the Stars' power-play production, Ruff also had some thoughts on Klingberg's effectiveness at even strength.

"I think what he does 5-on-5 on the offensive side is really as good as any D-man in the league right now," Ruff said. "Let's say any good young D-man anyways."

Klingberg, 22, is quietly making his case to be included in the discussion for the Calder Trophy.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.08.2015 / 3:44 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Rangers

The only other time in his career that New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot started both games in a back-to-back he finished the set on a high note. He'll get the opportunity to do it again Sunday at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers play the Dallas Stars.

Talbot, who has taken over as the Rangers' No. 1 goalie for the injured Henrik Lundqvist (neck), made 20 saves in a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday that ended the Rangers' three-game winning streak.

Talbot started both games in a back-to-back shortly before Christmas last season, when Lundqvist was struggling. He won both games, including a 25-save performance in a 2-1 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second game. That was part of the only other time in his career that Talbot started as many as three consecutive games. A start Sunday will be his third in a row.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.04.2015 / 9:00 AM

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

Rosen's mailbag - Feb. 4, 2015

Here is the Feb. 4 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Evander Kane, is he on his way out of the 'Peg? -- @swandad

This is obviously an interesting and timely question, but to be honest I can't say yes or no with any certainty. He was a late scratch Tuesday and it was described by Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice as a coach's decision. Kane has not been playing well of late with no points and a minus-7 rating in his past three games, but Maurice had still been using him for 20 minutes per game until scratching him Tuesday. There have been a lot of rumors about Kane being traded in the past, but they had died down. They will undoubtedly pick up now. We'll have to see where this story goes in the next day or so, but it's definitely one to watch with the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline approaching. The fact that the Jets are in the picture for the Stanley Cup Playoffs makes it even more intriguing.

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Quote of the Day

I think everyone left it out there. Every game this season, regular season and playoffs, we played as hard as we could. We're not out of the playoffs right now because of lack of effort, and that's all that we can ask of each other.

— Predators defenseman Seth Jones after Nashville was eliminated by Chicago in Game 6 on Saturday