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 Sunday, 01.22.2012 / 2:13 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Panthers finally snap road hex

WINNIPEG -- On Saturday night for the first time since early December, the Florida Panthers could leave a visiting building for the airport with two points packed away.

The Panthers' 4-3 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre finally ended an eight-game road drought for the Panthers. Florida had not won in an opponent's building since taking a 2-0 decision at Boston back on Dec. 8. That win in Boston was the Panthers' 10th road victory of the season before their long 0-4-4  tailspin unfolded.

"[Strong road play was] something that we really prided ourselves in at the start of the year," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "We had a strong road record, we played hard on the road, and it's something that we talked about before the season."

Given the circumstances, while the Florida dressing room fully acknowledged that the process lacked beauty and regretted surrendering a point to a division rival, the two points that the club carried back to South Florida were all that really mattered.

"We just needed a way to get a win, no matter how it happened," said Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen, whose 41-save evening helped the Panthers to steal a point in Winnipeg.

The Panthers are jostling with the Jets and Washington Capitals for control of the Southeast Division, which would help them avoid the dogfight for the seventh and eighth spots in the Eastern Conference playoff race that continues to unfold.

"We've got to keep pace with everyone," Clemmensen said. "We've got teams in front of us, we've got teams behind us, including [the Jets]. We had a good start to the season, but we can't just float on that."
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Sunday, 01.22.2012 / 1:09 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Just as Jets get Bogosian back, Kane goes out

WINNIPEG -- Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane passed like ships in the night for the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

The Jets welcomed Bogosian back to their blue line after he missed five games with a lower-body injury. However, the Jets lost the services of Kane, who missed Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to the visiting Florida Panthers with a concussion.

Kane's timetable remains unknown, and he will join defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and center Tim Stapleton as injured Jets. Byfuglien has not played since Dec. 23, and Winnipeg has lost 216 man-games to injury so far this season.

But coach Claude Noel wasted little time easing Bogosian back into the line-up. The 21-year-old logged a team-high 25:19 of ice time, including more than six minutes on the power play, and set a new career high with nine shots against the Panthers.

"I felt good," Bogosian said. "I got thrown right in the mix there, but, you know, it's good just to get the momentum going. You know, whenever you play a lot, you get into kind of a groove, and everything felt good out there."

While the Jets squandered an opportunity to apply further pressure in the Eastern Conference standings on the tired Panthers and Washington Capitals, Bogosian viewed the outcome with a half-full perspective.

"I think that anytime you battle back [from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits], it's kind of more of a point gained," Bogosian said. "We did show that we can battle back and we didn't give up right until the end."
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Saturday, 01.21.2012 / 1:38 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bogosian back, but Kane out with concussion for Jets

WINNIPEG – The one-step-forward, one-step-backward scenario continues to play itself out on the Winnipeg Jets’ injury front.

The Jets (22-20-5) confirmed that defenseman Zach Bogosian would return for their game tonight against the Florida Panthers at MTS Centre. Bogosian missed five games after exiting the Jets’ Jan. 10 contest at Boston with a lower-body injury.

However, the Jets received a major loss to their top forward line with the news that left wing Evander Kane has a concussion. Kane leads the Jets with 18 goals, and his prognosis remains to be seen for the immediate future.  Eric Fehr will slide into Kane’s slot on the Jets’ top line.

Center Tim Stapleton will miss the game tonight with an undisclosed injury as well. The Jets also recalled center Patrice Cormier from their American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps, and he should play tonight.

The Jets are already without defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, and his return date remains unknown. The Jets assigned defenseman Derek Meech, who has missed most of the season with a knee injury, to St. John’s this morning.

Ondrej Pavelec will face the Panthers in net tonight.

Here are the projected lines and pairings for Winnipeg:

JETS

Eric FehrBryan LittleBlake Wheeler
Andrew LaddNik AntropovKyle Wellwood
Tanner GlassJim SlaterChris Thorburn
Alexander BurmistrovPatrice CormierAntti Miettinen

Tobias EnstromRon Hainsey
Johnny OduyaZach Bogosian
Mark StuartRandy Jones

Ondrej Pavelec
Chris Mason
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Saturday, 01.21.2012 / 1:30 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Struggling Panthers hoping to end skid, hold off Jets

WINNIPEG – The Florida Panthers made it to Winnipeg after their snowy ordeal in Chicago, where they lost 3-1 to the Blackhawks.

The Panthers (21-15-10) did not hold a morning skate at MTS Centre before meeting the Jets tonight. Coach Kevin Dineen’s club arrived in Winnipeg desperately trying to fend off the Jets and the Washington Capitals for the Southeast Division’s coveted top spot.

After a strong start to their season, the Panthers have hit major turbulence during the past month and have picked up just three wins in their last 13 games. Florida’s skid has allowed the Capitals and the Jets to climb into the thick of the Southeast Division race after slow starts.

In their loss to the Blackhawks, the Panthers regained the services of forwards Sean Bergenheim, Jack Skille and Scottie Upshall, who had all been sidelined with long-term injuries. However, Florida is without defenseman Ed Jovanovski (hand) on their blue line, while goaltender Jacob Markstrom and left wing Marco Sturm are also out with injuries.

Jose Theodore is expected to start for the Panthers.

Here are the projected lines and pairings for Florida:

PANTHERS

Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg
Mikael Samuelsson - Marcel Goc - Tomas Kopecky
Scottie Upshall - John Madden - Matt Bradley
Krys Barch - Shawn Matthias - Jack Skille

Jason Garrison - Brian Campbell
Keaton Ellerby - Erik Gudbranson
Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver

Jose Theodore
Scott Clemmensen
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Friday, 01.20.2012 / 1:18 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Jets not far off division lead despite recent struggles

WINNIPEG -- Against all mathematical logic, the Winnipeg Jets are somehow within three points of third place in the Eastern Conference.

A 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night earned the Jets their third victory of the month, but a 3-6-0 skid in January has taken much of the luster off a franchise-best month in December in which the Jets spun off a 10-3-1 mark. The Jets' effort in December had them sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference at one point before they tumbled down to their current 10th-place slot.

Thursday's win pulled the Jets to 49 points, putting them just three points behind the third-place Washington Capitals and eighth-place Florida Panthers. After meeting Chicago, the Panthers will visit Winnipeg on Saturday night in a game that suddenly has major implications for the races unfolding in the Southeast Division as well as the Eastern Conference.

"It's a big game for us," Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec said of beating Buffalo, "but now every game is going to be like that. It's going to be kind [of like] playoff games."

With Buffalo behind them, the Jets now must turn their attention toward the Panthers. Saturday's game will be the Jets' last home date before a six-game road trip that will include visits with the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers. With just seven wins in 23 road outings this year, home games have taken on an even greater importance for the Jets.

"They're not too far in front us," Jets captain Andrew Ladd said of the Panthers. "So they'll definitely be in our sights. Every game is huge right now."
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Friday, 01.20.2012 / 1:15 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Sabres still seeking answers as road skid hits 12

WINNIPEG -- If the answer to their problems are found in the Buffalo Sabres' dressing room, coach Lindy Ruff's club has yet to find it.

A 4-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night hammered one more nail into the Sabres' rapidly closing playoff hopes. Buffalo now sits nine points behind the eighth-place Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference playoff race and faces a meeting with the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night that threatens to extend its road losing streak to 12 games. If the Sabres are not out of the playoff race, they are at least precariously close to seeing their season come completely undone.

If one shift summed up the Sabres' night, it was a second-period failed penalty kill on which the Jets scored the game-winning goal. On a power play set up by a puck that clipped Drew Stafford on his way to the Buffalo bench and cost the Sabres a bench minor, Patrick Kaleta took a shot off his foot moments before Tobias Enstrom fired a puck past Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller to break a 1-1 tie.

Kaleta's night ended with the goal as he hobbled to the Buffalo bench.

"Well, he couldn't play," Ruff said. "The X-rays were negative from blocking the shot, but he can't walk right now, so it doesn't look good for him."

Everything from a firesale at the trade deadline to replacing Ruff has been proposed by Buffalo media and fans, but no answers have been found so far. Just a few days after Miller shot down the idea of a trade helping the Sabres, defenseman Tyler Myers concurred.

"No," Myers said of whether a trade or a coaching change would jolt the Sabres back into contention. "That's not the problem. Everyone in this room believes in each other."

Whatever the answer may be, the Sabres need to find it fast if they are to have any chance of salvaging their season.

"It's just a matter of working through this," Myers said, "but the clock is ticking. We need to work quick."
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 2:42 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Jets return home needing to collect points

WINNIPEG -- Which Winnipeg Jets team will show up when the Buffalo Sabres visit the MTS Centre tonight remains to be seen.

Will it be the Jets club that spun off a 10-3-1 record in December, with nine of those wins coming on home ice? Or will it be the team that owns a 2-6-0 record in January, the most recent loss a dismal 5-1 showing at New Jersey on Tuesday night?

The Jets (21-20-5) sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, five points out of a playoff spot, and desperately need to collect points at home this week. After tonight's visit from the Sabres, the Florida Panthers visit Winnipeg on Friday before the Jets play eight of their next nine games on the road over the next three weeks.

The Jets received some good news on Thursday with the return of Blake Wheeler to the lineup. Wheeler missed two games after taking a puck to his throat last Saturday at home against New Jersey. Defensemen Zach Bogosian, Dustin Byfuglien and Derek Meech all remain out with injuries.

Ondrej Pavelec will return to the Winnipeg net after veteran Chris Mason received consecutive starts on the Jets' two-game road trip through Ottawa and New Jersey.

Here are the projected lines and pairings for Winnipeg:

JETS
Evander Kane - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Andrew Ladd - Nik Antropov - Kyle Wellwood
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn
Antti Miettinen - Alexander Burmistrov - Eric Fehr

Tobias Enstrom - Ron Hainsey
Mark Stuart - Randy Jones
Johnny Oduya - Mark Flood

Ondrej Pavelec
Chris Mason
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 2:40 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Sabres aim to snap 10-game road losing streak

WINNIPEG -- A 10-game road losing streak has left the Buffalo Sabres' season barely clinging to life.

What has been a disastrous week for the Sabres (19-22-5) continues tonight in Winnipeg. The Sabres followed a 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings with a 6-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks before heading to Winnipeg having lost three consecutive games. With just two wins in January and in the midst of a seven-game road trip, the Sabres are nine points behind the eighth-place Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference race.

Injures have battered the Buffalo lineup. The Sabres’ blue line is missing three regulars in Christian Ehrhoff, Brayden McNabb and Robyn Regehr. Up front, Tyler Ennis and Colin Stuart both have missed 14 games.

The Sabres did not hold a morning skate in Winnipeg, but Ryan Miller is expected to return to the Buffalo net.

Here are the projected lines and pairings for Buffalo:

SABRES
Thomas Vanek - Jochen Hecht - Jason Pominville
Drew Stafford - Derek Roy - Nathan Gerbe
Luke Adam - Brad Boyes - Ville Leino
Matt Ellis - Paul Gaustad - Patrick Kaleta

Andrej Sekera - Tyler Myers
T.J. Brennan - Jordan Leopold
Mike Weber - Marc-Andre Gragnani

Ryan Miller
Jhonas Enroth
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Friday, 01.13.2012 / 1:28 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

No sophomore slump for All-Star pick Couture

WINNIPEG -- San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan will have company in Ottawa later this month.

Sharks center Logan Couture, a former standout with the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's,will join McLellan for the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star game in Ottawa on Jan. 29.

Couture's 18 goals lead all Sharks scorers this season, and he celebrated his ticket to Ottawa with a game-winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets in a 2-0 win on Thursday night. Couture set a franchise record last season for goals by a rookie with 32. On a roster packed with veteran stars like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, it is Couture who will be en route to Ottawa.

"I still find it hard to believe that he is as young as he is," McLellan said of his 22-year-old star. "Give him credit for establishing himself in the National Hockey League and maintaining it."

Couture's nomination to the event comes two days after McLellan cinched his trip to Ottawa by virtue of the Sharks having owned the Western Conference’s best points percentage as of Jan. 9.

"There's nobody in our room debating whether Logan Couture is an All-Star, not one bit," McLellan said. "He deserves to go to that game, and he will represent our organization, and even more importantly, our city."
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
POSTED ON Friday, 01.13.2012 / 1:22 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Noel waiting to see how Jets respond to adversity

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets have officially hit turbulence.

Just 1-4-0 to start 2012, the Jets followed up a third-period collapse on Tuesday night in Boston with a 2-0 home loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. With eight of their next 10 games on the road, a club with just six wins in 21 road games this season faces a difficult path over the next month that will determine whether it is a legitimate playoff contender. Last season's second-half collapse doomed a promising start by their predecessors, the Atlanta Thrashers, and that memory remains fresh in the Winnipeg dressing room this season.

"Certainly we've hit a bump in the road now," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "This is going to be interesting to see how we do. It will be a good task for us, a good test for us, because we're going to face adversity straight-square in the face.

"For me, it's going to be more about dealing with the morale of the team now," Noel continued. "The team isn't going to be feeling very good. It's one of the issues that we're going to have to deal with."

Injuries to defensemen Zach Bogosian and Dustin Byfuglien have left the Winnipeg blue line struggling to generate much in the way of offense. The Jets will also be attempting to save their season against elite competition that is digging in for the Eastern Conference race, and Noel is all too aware of that reality.

"What happens at the 40-game mark is that you can see the teams with experience, they have winning experience, and our team doesn't have that experience," Noel said. "Somehow we have to find a way to get ourselves over the hump and re-energize and re-charge ourselves. It's a tough task."
FULL STORY ›|EMAIL & SHARE OPTIONS ›|PRINT ›
First | Prev | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | Next | Last

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory