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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 2:20 PM

By Emily Kaplan -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Players impressed by '24/7' -- and agree Bryz a star

NEW YORK -- Most of the talk at Madison Square Garden this afternoon is focused on what's at stake in tonight's game.

A regulation win by the Rangers and they would take an Atlantic Division lead into the two-day holiday break. The loser of the game will take a chip on its shoulder to the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 2.

But it's hard not to ignore the elephant in the room -- or rather, the big, clunky cameras. After the morning skates, both the Flyers and Rangers were asked their opinions of the HBO crews following them around and the first two episodes of 24/7.

"I think a few guys have watched it here and there," Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk said. "But we've been on the road each time, one time in Western Canada, so it hasn't been an option to watch it."

Van Riemsdyk said he hasn't seen an episode, but plans on catching up later when he has time. He has received feedback, though.

"I heard Bryz is the star of the show," van Riesmdyk said, smiling as goalie Ilya Bryzgalov walked by his locker. "That's been the overwhelming critiques on the show that I've gotten."

Bryzgalov, who usually doesn't talk to reporters on game days, didn't comment. However, he did tell reporters he was stopped in New York yesterday by fans who recognized him from the show.

Rangers forward Erik Christensen hasn't watched yet, either. He doesn't have HBO at home and figures he'll catch up on the show later. But Christensen has heard rumblings in the locker room "every now and then about what has gone on."

"But mostly everyone's just talking about Bryzgalov," Christensen said. "And how funny he was."

Flyers forward Scott Hartnell, meanwhile, has seen snippets of the first two episodes -- and he's impressed with what he saw.

"It's incredible what they do and all the footage they take all day long and how they piece it together," Hartnell said. "It's really neat."

His teammate, Jaromir Jagr, agrees that the show is a unique inside perspective from inside the locker room. Jagr isn't particularly fond of the cameras following him all the time -- "When I was 20, I probably did. But I'm 40 and I like my privacy," he said -- however, he understands that it's part of the business. Jagr said he hasn't watched the show yet, but likes the concept.

"Let the fans know what type of players [we] are, what [we're] doing before the game, what [we're] doing during the off days," Jagr said. "It's good for hockey."
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Posted On Wednesday, 06.15.2011 / 12:00 PM

By Emily Kaplan -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Total eclipse of the Cup?

The stars might be aligned just right for Boston to win Game 7 tonight.

As the Canucks and Bruins prepare take the ice in Vancouver for the decisive game in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, people in parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia will be staring up at the sky to see the first total lunar eclipse of 2011.

The more than 100-minute event -- the longest lunar eclipse in nearly 11 years -- will feature the moon passing behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the sun's rays from striking the moon.

It won't be visible at all in North America -- but that doesn't mean Bostonians aren't paying attention.

In 2004, when the Boston Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series, a lunar eclipse occurred on the night of the Game 4 clincher.

The World Series victory snapped an 86-year championship drought for the Red Sox as they broke the "Curse of the Bambino." The Bruins haven't won a Stanley Cup since 1972.

However, the Earth and moon aligning isn't the only superstition going on in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The Canucks have a good luck omen of their own.

Vancouver was the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Prior to that, each time the Olympics were held in Canada, the host city's NHL team won the Stanley Cup the next year. The list includes the 1977 Canadiens after the 1976 Montreal Games, and the 1989 Flames after the 1988 Calgary Games.

So which superstition wins out, the bizarre galactic coincidence or the simple Olympic tradition? Tune in to Game 7 to find out.


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Posted On Tuesday, 06.07.2011 / 1:20 AM

By Emily Kaplan -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Bruins regret taunting Canucks in Game 3

While the Bruins walked away from Game 3 with an 8-1 victory, some Boston players expressed remorse about their behavior throughout the game.
 
Bruins forwards Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic were both caught taunting the Canucks, waving their fingers in the faces of Vancouver players during scrums.

The actions came hours after Boston coach Claude Julien told the media that Vancouver's Maxim Lapierre was "making a mockery" of the game with a similar taunt in Game 2.

The origin of the taunting exchange was in Game 1 of the series, when Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows apparently bit Boston's Patrice Bergeron's finger during a scrum. In Game 2, Lapierre teased Bergeron by waving his finger in front of his mouth.

"I said this morning that I wouldn't accept it on our team,'' Julien said. "It happened a couple of times [Monday night]. They've been told that I don't want any of that stuff. You've got to live by your words. It was disappointing for me to see that happen after what I said this morning, but part of it is my fault for not bringing it up [enough] to the guys. They did it. Emotions got the better of them.''

When Recchi was asked about giving Lapierre a taste of his own medicine, the forward laughed.

"I got in trouble for that," Recchi said. "Coach gave me heck for that.  We didn't know this morning that he said something.  You know, it's emotional out there.  But it won't happen again.  You know, it's an emotional game.  You get involved.  Obviously when it happens to one of your teammates, they kind of mock you a little bit, when it happened in Game 1, it was a little bit -- you know, it's a little bit of frustration on our part.  It is what it is, and we'll forget about it and get ready for the next game."

Lucic, meanwhile, said he "for sure" regrets taunting Burrows.

"It's something this team isn't about and that I'm not about," Lucic said. "It's definitely a classless move. Claude talked about it. He definitely gave me some heat after the game about it. You regret doing it but, heat of the moment type of thing, things like that will happen."
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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis