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Posted On Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Penguins-Capitals could be playoff preview

We could be seeing a Stanley Cup Playoff preview Wednesday at Verizon Center.

It's always fun and unpredictable when the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals get together, as they will for the first half of this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVA, SN1). In the second game, the Los Angeles Kings host the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, SN1).

It'll be another great night for hockey.

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Posted On Friday, 01.23.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Undrafted All-Stars add shine to game

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

COLUMBUS -- This is the All-Star version of the Friday Four, starting with the negative (injuries) and moving into the positive (Mark Giordano, Tyler Johnson, Brian Elliott, Filip Forsberg and Vladimir Tarasenko).


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Posted On Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Sharks, Kings

Each Wednesday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be offering his pluses and minuses for the teams competing in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game in his Weekes on the Web blog. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

This quote from San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News is telling.

"I'm concerned about our drive right now, the life that we bring to the rink and to the games," McLellan said. "I don't know if you want to call it passion, but just that internal drive per person isn't where it needs to be right now. And these are important games."

A coach questioning his team's drive should be enough to light a fire under the players. The Sharks will need that fire to ignite them Wednesday night, when they play the Los Angeles Kings at SAP Center (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

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Posted On Friday, 01.16.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Penguins' Malkin no longer under radar

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

A Hart Trophy candidate, a team that is deeper than I initially thought, a team that continues to roll by now faces some adversity, and the curious case of a championship team is all in this week's Friday Four:

1. EVGENI MALKIN

The interesting thing for me is I think a lot of times Malkin will defer a little bit when Sidney Crosby is healthy, and go into full superhero mode when Sid is hurt because he knows he is needed. This season, I find Malkin is just playing at his elite level all the time.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Flyers, Capitals

The Washington Capitals are trying to keep pace in the race for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Philadelphia Flyers are just trying to get back on track so they maybe can think about a run to catch up in the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Confidence on one side, desperation on the other. That's the matchup NBCSN is offering in its latest edition of the Wednesday Night Rivalry series.

The Flyers are coming off a 7-3 trouncing of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, a win that should provide a measure of confidence that the club has been lacking this season. They played against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and crushed them.

The Capitals are coming off a 2-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, a win that falls in line with how they have been playing for nearly six weeks, dating back to Dec. 4, when they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 to start the 13-1-4 run they're currently on.

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Posted On Friday, 01.09.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Maple Leafs must make adjustments

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

I'm baffled by the Toronto Maple Leafs, broken-hearted for one of my favorite hockey families, impressed with one of my former teams, and blown away by two phenomenal individual performances in this week's Friday Four. 

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, Minuses for Bruins, Penguins

Fans in the United States, get ready for a healthy dose of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins will be a featured team in NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry series three times this month.

Well, yeah, of course they will be. Hello, they have Crosby and Malkin. They're a big draw. And they're a top team in the Eastern Conference, even if they have struggled of late with two wins in their past seven games (2-4-1).

The Penguins first opponent on NBCSN this month is the Boston Bruins, another team that hasn't quite been itself of late, or really this season. The Bruins have lost three in a row in extra time and are actually on the outside of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference right now.

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Posted On Friday, 01.02.2015 / 11:52 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Capitals, Rangers playing like elite teams

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

Now that the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is over, we begin the almost three-week run-up to the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. Here are four teams I'm keeping a close eye on as we get closer to Columbus:

WASHINGTON CAPITALS (Last 10: 6-1-3)

The way they're playing right now is a credit to their coaching staff with Barry Trotz, Lane Lambert, Todd Reirden, Blaine Forsythe and Mitch Korn. All of those guys have done a fantastic job with that group.

Washington's commitment to play a harder game is impressive. The Capitals are playing a more physical game than we've seen from them in the past. It's not just physical, it's disciplined physical, and they're forcing opposing players to earn their space and time to make plays.

The Capitals are learning how to win games in different ways. There is more structure. There is a great buy-in level, and everyone is starting to believe in the system and how successful it can be. Their players are believing what this staff is preaching.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Capitals, Blackhawks

Each Wednesday through the regular season, Kevin Weekes usually offers his pluses and minuses for the teams competing in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game in his Weekes on the Web blog. This week is special, though. Weekes is in Washington covering the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic for NHL Network, so his blog is focused on the game Thursday between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals at Nationals Park.

WASHINGTON -- The venue looks great, the rink is ready, the hype machine is going in full gear, and the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks finally get to see it all for themselves Wednesday when they take the ice for practice day at Nationals Park.

The stage is just about set for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Thursday. The beauty of it is each team has been playing well heading into the big game.

The Capitals lost in overtime against the New York Islanders on Monday, but they rallied from a 3-0 deficit to pick up a point. They are 8-1-3 since Dec. 4.

The Blackhawks did the opposite of the Capitals on Monday, winning 5-4 in a shootout against the Nashville Predators after falling into a 3-0 hole. They are 18-4-1 since a 3-2 loss to Washington on Nov. 7.

Here is my breakdown on what's been working, what advantages each team can have in the NHL Winter Classic, and what might be worrisome, as well as my three things to watch:


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Posted On Friday, 12.26.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Preparing for the 2015 Winter Classic

It's time to start revving up and getting pumped for some outdoor hockey, the perfect way to ring in the new year.

The 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is less than a week away. Washington Capitals. Chicago Blackhawks. Nationals Park. New Year's Day. This celebration of the sport never gets old.

Here is my primer with four things that I'm looking forward to talking about, analyzing, breaking down and watching in the upcoming Winter Classic:

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18