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Posted On Wednesday, 02.25.2015 / 12:25 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Devils' Jagr dealing with diminishing ice time

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr said Wednesday that he knew his role on the team would be limited after general manager Lou Lamoriello opted to go behind the bench with co-coaches Adam Oates and Scott Stevens in December.

It has led to speculation that Jagr is a prime candidate to be traded prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, which comes at 3 p.m. ET on March 2.

Jagr, who on most nights played 20-plus minutes under former coach Peter DeBoer, has played fewer than 13 minutes the past two games in victories against the Carolina Hurricanes (12:13) on Saturday and Arizona Coyotes (12:49) on Monday.

Posted On Monday, 02.23.2015 / 1:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Coyotes' Yandle ready for whatever happens

NEWARK, N.J. -- Arizona Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle said he isn't bothered by rumors of him being traded from the only team he's played for in his nine seasons before the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2 at 3 p.m. ET.

Yandle, 28, understands the business and also knows he'll close out a five-year contract at the end of 2015-16. He still has plenty to offer, plays big minutes and is considered a tremendous puck-moving defenseman; he has four goals and 40 points in 59 games this season.

"I think I've been in this situation before where my name has been thrown around over the last six or seven years and it's one of those things that if it happens, it happens," Yandle said. "I didn't pack anything extra [on this four-game road trip that ends Feb. 28 in Boston]. My mom works for Fed Ex, so if it happens she can always ship me some stuff.

"It's one of those things that's part of the business, but you just focus on the next game."

Posted On Monday, 02.23.2015 / 1:29 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Coyotes at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils will look to build on a three-game winning streak and keep alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they play against the Arizona Coyotes at Prudential Center on Monday.

The Devils will play the fourth game of a six-game homestand. Goaltender Cory Schneider, the expected starter, is 3-1-1 with two shutouts, a 0.99 goals-against average and .962 save percentage in five career games against the Coyotes.

"We've been good since we got back home and have had three good games in a row so we have to keep that mentality," Schneider said. "We can't keep our foot off the gas or think we're just going to show up and win a game. We're not a team that can overlook anyone in this League.

"Arizona is in a tough spot this year but they have some talented players and some good guys on the back end. [Goalie] Mike Smith is playing better and he's capable of stealing games so we'll have to bear down."

Posted On Monday, 02.23.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

McDavid continues point streak; Eichel seeks Beanpot

Believe it or not, there is something Erie Otters captain Connor McDavid has yet to do in his three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.

McDavid, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, is still seeking that elusive hat trick. It's pretty incredible when you consider the 6-foot-1, 195-pound left-shot center has 85 goals and 257 points in 155 career games.

Posted On Sunday, 02.22.2015 / 5:17 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Rangers

NEW YORK -- Center Brandon Dubinsky returns to Madison Square Garden for the first time this season to face his former team when the Columbus Blue Jackets play the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Dubinsky, who spent six seasons with the Rangers from 2006-07 through 2011-12 before being acquired in a multi-player trade that sent Rick Nash to New York in July 2012, has seven goals and 20 points in 30 games this season. In five previous games against the Rangers, Dubinsky has one goal and three points.

Dubinsky, who serves as an alternate captain, has 25 goals and 90 points in 135 games with the Blue Jackets. He has been playing a big role of late between Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson, producing four goals and six points in the past five games.

Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 1:03 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Coach Bill Peters doesn't hide the fact that the Carolina Hurricanes will likely be sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2.

The Hurricanes will play the New Jersey Devils, another team that could unload a few high-profile veterans at the deadline, at Prudential Center on Saturday.

"It's an unfortunate thing that we're sellers; nobody is hiding from that fact, and we put ourselves in this situation and we have to live with it," Peters said following the Hurricanes' morning skate. "You can tell the mood around the room isn't what it was. It's not as upbeat because there's a lot of uncertainty. A lot of guys are wondering what their future holds, so that's understandable and that's human nature."

Posted On Friday, 02.20.2015 / 1:19 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

No rebuild, moves possible for Devils, GM says

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello discussed the season and hinted at some possible maneuvering at the NHL Trade Deadline following the morning skate at Prudential Center on Friday.

The Devils host the Vancouver Canucks in the second game of a six-game homestand.

Lamoriello said it has long been his belief that winning low-scoring games behind solid defense is the formula for a championship season. He would know; he was the architect of three Stanley Cup titles in New Jersey (1995, 2000, 2003).

At the same time, he understands the frustration with regard to the lack of goal-scoring, particularly over the past five games. The Devils haven't scored more than one goal in a game since Feb. 7, a 6-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

"I know you have to score goals, so I don't want to be misinterpreted or misrepresent how important it is to score goals, but we know the way our teams have had success in the past: from the goalie out," Lamoriello said. "When our young defense gets more mature, it will help us create offensively."

Posted On Friday, 02.20.2015 / 12:06 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canucks at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Vancouver Canucks are using adversity as motivation in an attempt to keep pace with the top teams in the Western Conference and ultimately solidify a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The injury-depleted Canucks, who opened a five-game Eastern Conference road trip with a come-from-behind 5-4 shootout victory against the New York Rangers on Thursday, will look to make it five wins in the past six games when they visit the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Friday.

Despite the absence of top-four defensemen Alexander Edler (upper body), Christopher Tanev (upper body) and Kevin Bieksa (broken hand), second-line center Nick Bonino (lower body) and third-line center Brad Richardson (ankle), the Canucks have found a way to defeat the Rangers, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks in a span of nine days.

"I've always liked this team, liked our character," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said after the win against the Rangers. "It's tough when you're losing. But the character in our room has never changed."

Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 1:09 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canucks at Rangers

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault will lead you to believe that the game against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday is simply just another important regular-season match at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers are second in the Metropolitan Division with 34 wins and 73 points and trail the first-place New York Islanders by four points with three games in hand. The Canucks are third in the Pacific Division with 32 wins and 67 points, one point behind the second-place Calgary Flames and 10 behind the Anaheim Ducks.

Still, the memory bank will certainly be flooded when Vigneault leads his charges against the team for which he spent seven seasons as coach. From 2006-07 through 2012-13, Vigneault was Vancouver's all-time leader in games coached (540), wins (313), Stanley Cup Playoff wins (33) and playoff games coached (68), marks that will always have a place in his heart.

Posted On Tuesday, 02.17.2015 / 12:42 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Center Stephen Gionta will return to the lineup for the first time in seven weeks when the New Jersey Devils play the Buffalo Sabres at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

Gionta, who has been out with a fractured left hand, participated in the Devils full practice on Monday and was again on the ice for the morning skate on Tuesday. One incentive to returning to the lineup against the Sabres is having the opportunity to play against his older brother, Brian Gionta.

"It's been a long wait, but I'm excited to get back and the opponent we're playing tonight has extra meaning," Stephen Gionta said. "This is probably the fourth or fifth time we've played against each other and each time it's pretty special, so it's a cool thing to do and to experience. Once the game starts though, it's just another opponent, but it's something fun to experience."

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Quote of the Day

That's today's game. That's one of the things you have to deal with when you're a championship team. Guys are going to earn more money based on their performance and what they've achieved, [and] deservedly so. [Saad] falls into that category.

— Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Brandon Saad, who was traded by Chicago to the Columbus Blue Jackets this offseason