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Posted On Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 11:39 AM

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

Capitals' Trotz finding less is more with Mike Green

Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz might have found the magic formula with defenseman Mike Green.

Less might very well be more.

Green enters the game Wednesday night against the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVA, SN360) with eight points in seven games despite averaging approximately three fewer minutes of ice time than he played last season (19:50 vs. 22:43). He has played more than 20 minutes in two games.

That has as much to do with the additions of Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik as it does with Trotz's desire to get the most out of Green, who had 38 points in 70 games last season.

"We use our three sets so you don't find guys playing 28 or 29 minutes," Trotz said. "What I do see is Mike Green playing 28 minutes like he did last year, or 27, and now 20 minutes this year, he's got a lot more juice to do what he does best and that is deliver the puck and be a part of the offense."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 10:00 AM

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

Rosen's mailbag - Oct. 29, 2014

Here is the Oct. 29 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:

Do you think Dany Heatley will make an immediate impact with the Anaheim Ducks now that he is finally healthy? -- @TheKidBigKip

Not immediate, but he could make an impact. Heatley is being given a great opportunity in Anaheim to play with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. He has to skate and create some room, but Perry and Getzlaf are so big that they will create room for Heatley too. He couldn't ask for a better opportunity considering he wasn't all that hot of a commodity this past summer.

As soon as Heatley signed his one-year, $1 million contract several people in the media, myself included, thought he could become the biggest bargain signing of the 2014 offseason. But several people in the media, myself included, also said they wouldn't be surprised if he busted out in Anaheim. It's not as if Perry and Getzlaf are speed burners, but they're straight line players and they get up and down the ice well. Heatley has to keep up with them. If he does, he'll be fine.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 4:09 PM

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

Capitals' Trotz on 'analytics death,' power play

Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz isn't against analytics in hockey as a useful evaluation tool, but he's against his team playing what he calls an analytics game.

Trotz said he saw the Capitals do too much of that on their recent three-game road trip into Western Canada, when they went 1-2 with a win against the Calgary Flames and losses to the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.

We'll let Trotz explain:

"Teams were really clogging us up and when we needed to chip pucks and have self-retrieval we we're trying to dangle," Trotz said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. "I call it analytics death. There's a time to carry and there's a time to self chip it. You've got all the speed so self chip it, get on the other side of the guy, and hang onto it. We were trying to dangle guys."

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 10:35 AM

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

Wild's Koivu staying optimistic despite slow start

NEW YORK -- Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu is trying to remain calm, confident and somewhat optimistic even though he has one goal and no assists through seven games this season.

He had 54 points on 11 goals and 43 assists in 65 games last season.

"Individually I feel good. As a line we've been playing good," Koivu said Monday prior to the Wild's 5-4 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden where he and his linemates, Charlie Coyle and Thomas Vanek, were shut out again.

Koivu's line has combined for three goals and six assists in seven games. Coyle has two goals and four points. Vanek has four assists, but he's still trying to score his first goal in a Wild uniform. Koivu has one goal on 16 shots.

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Posted On Monday, 10.27.2014 / 1:38 PM

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

At the Rink: Wild at Rangers

NEW YORK -- The power play has been the biggest problem area for the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild so far this season. They'll try to solve it against one another Monday at Madison Square Garden.

"We'll figure it out," Wild left wing Zach Parise said. "We know it needs to be better, but I think the amount of shots and the amount of chances that we've gotten, it's there."

The goals haven't been. The Wild are 0-for-20 with one shorthanded goal against through six games. The Buffalo Sabres are the only other team in the League that hasn't scored a power play goal (0-for-30).

However, the Wild seem optimistic about their power play despite being shut out. They like the chances they're getting and the momentum they're generating. They also like the fact they haven't let their frustration over not scoring carry over into their 5-on-5 play.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.25.2014 / 12:00 AM

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

Stars' duo adjusting at different speeds after extended offseason

NEWARK, N.J. -- Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin hasn't missed a game this season, but he also hasn't been quite himself either, at least not according to coach Lindy Ruff.

"I think Cody has been behind," Ruff said. "He started off exactly the way I thought he would with a big bang, but then there was a dropoff from missing all of camp."

Eakin missed the first 13 days of training camp because of a contract dispute. He signed a two-year, $3.8 million contract on Sept. 30 but didn't participate in a practice until Oct. 2. He had to extend his training camp into the regular season and he's felt the pain in doing so.

"The first little while my groins were screaming at me," Eakin said. "One game it was one hip flexor, the next game it was the other hip flexor, then it was back to the groin. You work and your body is not used to it. It was tough. I was ready, but I was only as ready as well as I could be."

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Posted On Friday, 10.24.2014 / 5:26 PM

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

At the Rink: Stars at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Jason Spezza, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn did line rushes together Friday morning at Prudential Center, but Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff said it's unlikely he will start the game against the New Jersey Devils with his three star forwards on the same line despite their success during the past seven periods.

Ruff is looking for more balance in his top two forward lines because the Stars are on the road and do not have the last change. Ruff, though, said he will go back to the Benn-Spezza-Seguin line during the game.

"It's a great option to have," Ruff said.

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Posted On Friday, 10.24.2014 / 10:22 AM

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

Throwback night at Prudential Center for Devils-Stars

It'll be a throwback night at Prudential Center on Friday when the New Jersey Devils honor longtime television analyst Glenn "Chico" Resch prior to the game against the Dallas Stars.

Resch retired after last season after 17 years as an analyst on Devils games for MSG Network.

The Devils will honor Resch with an on-ice pregame ceremony before he goes up to the broadcast booth to join his longtime partner, Mike "Doc" Emrick on the game broadcast. "Doc" and "Chico" called Devils games together for 14 years before Emrick left to join NBC full-time after the 2010-11 season.

Emrick will host the on-ice ceremony honoring Resch; it will be shown live on MSG-Plus in the New York area.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 11:20 AM

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

Rosen's mailbag - Oct. 22, 2014

Here is the Oct. 22 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:

Is it time to panic as a Colorado Avalanche fan or what? -- @jlwillert15

Panic is a strong emotion made even stronger when it's still October and the team you want to panic over has played seven games. Don't panic yet. There are 75 games to play.

But -- and you knew there had to be a but coming -- you might want to be concerned, or at least curious about what is happening with the Avalanche. Then again, if you monitored how the Avalanche won games last season and listened to the pundits in the offseason, you shouldn't be all that surprised Colorado is off to a rocky start (pun intended) this season.

Fact: The Avalanche allow far too many shots on goal per game. They did last season (32.7 per game) and they are doing it again this season (35.7 per game). It puts too much pressure on their goalies.

Fact: The Avalanche do not have the puck enough. They didn't last season, when they were minus-629 in shot attempts for and against, according to war-on-ice.com. They haven't this season as they are minus-94.

The Avalanche survived last season to win the Central Division because Semyon Varlamov was superb, good enough to be a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, and because they were opportunistic.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 3:18 PM

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

Fast starts not uncommon for Sharks forward Marleau

San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau is off to another strong start. This is not a surprise.

Marleau enters the Sharks' game Tuesday at the Boston Bruins with four goals and three assists for seven points in six games. Two of his goals and three of his points have come on the power play.

It's his most productive first six games of the season since last season, when he had six goals and three assists in the first six. That was his best start since, you guessed it, the season before, when he shot out of the lockout with nine goals and five assists in the first six games.

"There is no 'Wow, look what he's doing' factor because that's what we expect from him day in and day out," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "He showed up in camp in real good condition, like he always does. His mindset was very good, very determined. He's playing with a couple good players right now that help him out. It's not a surprise to anyone in the locker room that he's playing the way he is."

Marleau has been playing with Logan Couture and Matt Nieto, neither of whom are off to a hot start. Couture has one goal and three assists; Nieto has one goal and two assists, but he hasn't had a point in the past three games.

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Quote of the Day

You get more opportunity, and at the end of the day those are the times you've got to step up and show what you're made of. Together as a team, that's how you win games. I think we stuck together. That's kind of our philosophy here. We have good leadership and good guys to lean on.

— Calgary Flames forward Sean Monahan after a win against the Nashville Predators on Friday
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