Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Posted On Sunday, 03.11.2012 / 3:12 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected Flames-Wild lineups

ST. PAUL -- With face-off at Xcel Energy Center between Minnesota and the Calgary Flames coming a couple of hours earlier than normal, Wild coach Mike Yeo won't have to wait long on a couple of game-time decisions he will make regarding two injured players.

Injured in Thursday's game at Phoenix, goaltender Josh Harding will back-up Matt Hackett if he's able to dress. If not, the Wild will likely sign a local amateur to play behind Hackett. Earlier this season, the Wild had to sign 51-year old Paul Deutsch to an amateur contract when a personal issue kept starter Niklas Backstrom from a game and Hackett was iffy to get to the arena in time after a call up. Hackett did, and Deutsch was only used during warm-ups.

"We have a back-up plan for that," Yeo said, divulging little.

But considering the Wild's luck with injuries this season, if they must make another signing tonight, whomever gets inked better stay warm. The Wild have used a team-record 44 players this season, tops in the NHL.

Also a game-time decision is defenseman Clayton Stoner who has not played since Feb. 2 after leaving that game against Colorado following a fight. He's missed 17 games with a hip injury.

"He had a good day yesterday," Yeo said. "It was just a matter of how he felt this morning."

Despite any hope for the playoffs being virtually gone, tonight's game is big for the Wild, who have not won a game at home since Feb. 26. Although that was just three games ago, Minnesota has been blanked by both Los Angeles and Colorado in the two games since -- making it feel like much longer.

"We haven't played real well in this building," said Wild winger Dany Heatley. "I think we got back to our game against Phoenix [Thursday]."

For Calgary, defenseman T.J Brodie did not make the trip and will be replaced in the line-up by veteran Anton Babchuk, who has five assists in 18 games this season and is a plus-1.

Unlike the Wild, Calgary is still very much in the playoff chase, entering play Sunday with 74 points, good for 10th in the west, but only two points behind eighth place-Colorado. The Flames also have two games in-hand on the Avs. San Jose is in ninth with 75 points. The Kings, also have 74 points before the log jam loosens -- the Wild are in 12th with 68.


Dany Heatley - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi
Nick Palmieri - Kyle Brodziak - Nick Johnson
Matt Kassian - Erik Christensen - Darroll Powe
Jed Ortmeyer - Warren Peters - Stephane Veilleux

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Tom Gilbert - Steven Kampfer
Clayton Stoner - Nate Prosser

Matt Hackett
Josh Harding


Alex Tanguay - Matt Stajan - Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - David Moss
Tom Kostopoulos - Greg Nemisz - Sven Baertschi
Krys Kolanos - Roman Horak - Guillaume Desbiens

Jay Bouwmeester - Derek Smith
Mark Giordano - Scott Hannan
Anton Babchuk - Cory Sarich

Mikka Kiprusoff
Henrik Karlsson
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Sunday, 03.04.2012 / 1:48 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Wild, Avalanche

ST. PAUL -- Just six days after coming to the Minnesota Wild organization from the Boston Bruins, defenseman Steven Kampfer will make his debut with his new team tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.

Initially sent to Minnesota's AHL affiliate in Houston to learn the system and get his feet wet, Wild General Manager figured Kampfer's feet were wet enough when watching his team get blown out 6-0 Friday night Detroit. With a bevy of defensive breakdowns in front of goaltender Josh Harding, the Wild decided the time was now to add a seventh defenseman to the mix. Minnesota, which had been playing with seven, or even eight, for much of the season, had decided to go with six since the trade deadline last Monday.

"We've had a chance to look at some of his shifts in the NHL," said Wild coach Mike Yeo. "He moves well, passes the puck well, so we're anxious to see if he can come in and fit right in."

The Ann Arbor, Mich. native and former Michigan Wolverine was a fourth round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2007 NHL draft. He was acquired in the deadline day deal that sent veteran blueliner Greg Zanon to Boston.

"It was definitely a surprise that [the call] came this quick," Kampfer said. "I talked to Chuck yesterday and the plan was to play a couple of games [in Houston], get acclimated with the system, play in some games then come up. But I was excited to get the call and I'll be ready to go out there tonight."

Kampfer didn't play in any games with Houston, but was able to participate in two practices with the Aeros, which he said helped him learn a little bit about the systems the Wild use. And with Minnesota's playoff hopes essentially D.O.A. at this point, Kampfer has an opportunity to show Yeo and his staff what he can do in game situations.

"I think you're on tryout everyday when you're in the NHL," Kampfer said. "I don't think it really matters who you are, you have to prove yourself everyday and show that you're making the most of your opportunities. I definitely think this is an opportunity to show the coaches and management that I can play, and I can play in the NHL every night."

Kampfer will be paired tonight with another Wild newcomer, Tom Gilbert, also acquired on deadline day. Gilbert is still looking for his first win in a Wild sweater.

"Both guys move the puck well," Yeo said. "If we can get those guys executing well, it'd be nice to throw those guys out there with a [Cullen] line or a [Brodziak] line. Hopefully their execution can help those guys create a little bit more, whether it's off the rush or even just getting to the offensive zone."

Kampfer's debut is about the only thing certain for a very uncertain Wild team right now. He will take the place of veteran Kurtis Foster, who, along with being a little banged up, was on the ice for three goals against the Red Wings.

Winger Cal Clutterbuck will be a game-time decision after a hard collision with Justin Abdelkader in Detroit. Fellow wing Nick Palmieri, also injured in Detroit, is out with an upper body injury and Yeo had no timetable for his return.

If Clutterbuck does play, Yeo will have to choose between veteran Erik Christensen, who has been scratched of late, or recent call-up Chad Rau, who has scored two game-winning goals for the Wild in just seven games this season -- one coming on Hockey Day Minnesota in January and the other a couple of weeks ago on Hockey Day Across America.

No word yet on if the Wild have petitioned any local municipalities to declare a Hockey Day holiday in their city.

Even Minnesota's starting goaltender for tonight is uncertain. Harding allowed all six goals in Detroit before giving way to Matt Hackett for a large chunk of the final period. Veteran Niklas Backstrom is out 2 to 4 weeks with a groin injury.

Like most teams, it's easy to tell who the starting goaltender will be based on how they come off following the morning skate. Yeo had both goalies come off at the same time.

"We're going to keep that a surprise, we don't do that often," Yeo said.

The smart money is on Hackett making just his second career start tonight. In five games with the Wild this season, Hackett has been brilliant, posting a 2-0 record with a 0.63 goals against average while stopping 98 percent of shots faced. Viewed by many as the franchise's goaltender of the future, it would be Hackett's first career start at Xcel Energy Center.

Colorado, which lost 5-1 to Pittsburgh last night at the Pepsi Center, did not arrive until early in the morning and did not skate Sunday. Steve Downey was injured against the Penguins and the Avs called up winger Mike Connolly, a former University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldog.

Connolly led the Bulldogs to a national championship 11 months ago in this building, and if he plays tonight, will also make his NHL debut here. He was acquired in the deal that sent Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi to San Jose last Monday. In 42 games in the AHL this season, Connolly has 10 goals and 20 assists.


Nick Johnson - Kyle Brodziak - Dany Heatley
Devin Setoguchi - Matt Cullen - Darroll Powe
Matt Kassian - Chad Rau - Cal Clutterbuck
Jed Ortmeyer - Warren Peters - Stephane Veilleux

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Tom Gilbert - Steven Kampfer
Justin Falk - Nate Prosser

Matt Hackett
Josh Harding


Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Milan Hejduk
Matt Duchene - Paul Stastny - Mike Connolly
Jamie McGinn - Mark Olver - David Jones
Cody McLeod - Jay McClement - Peter Mueller

Shane O'Brien - Erik Johnson
Jan Hejda - Ryan Wilson
Matt Hunwick - Stefan Elliot

Semyon Varlamov
Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 1:42 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Kings turn to Bernier for second of back-to-backs

ST. PAUL -- Expect few changes for the Los Angeles Kings from last night's 2-1 loss in Nashville. Jonathan Bernier will get the nod in goal tonight against the Minnesota Wild.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he's been impressed with the ability Jeff Carter has brought since his acquisition from the Columbus Blue Jackets last week.

"He's had lots of good opportunities, hit a post last night, had two or three good ones the night before," Sutter said. "I think the big adjustment for him is going to be pace of play."

Tonight's contest features two of the League's lowest-scoring teams. All of which means tonight's game will likely be a high-scoring shootout -- that's typically how it turns out anyways, especially this time of year when expectations can change on a nightly basis.

"We had enough chances last night, that's for sure," Sutter said. "Probably had more chances last night than we did in the Chicago game (a 4-0 Kings win last Saturday)."

On the injury front, the Kings came out of the game last night fine and are expected to put out the same lineup.

"Playing last night, we have some bumps and bruises but nothing holding anyone out," Sutter said.

Here's tonight's projected lineup for the Kings:

Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford - Colin Fraser - Jordan Nolan

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez - Matt Greene

Jonathan Bernier
Jonathan Quick
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 1:38 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Minnesota product Gilbert set to make Wild debut

ST. PAUL -- It's possible the smile hasn't left Tom Gilbert's face since it was announced he was traded yesterday in a deadline deal from Edmonton to Minnesota.

Gilbert, born and raised in the Twin Cities, will make his Wild debut this evening on national television against the Los Angeles Kings. And while the story is definitely of the feel-good variety, none of that will matter once the puck hits the ice. The Wild, winners of three of their last four games, trail the Kings by three points in the ever-tightening Western Conference playoff race, where just six points separate six teams for the final two playoff spots.

But for Gilbert, hitting the ice tonight will probably be the most relaxed he's been over the last 24 hours. After learning of the trade, Gilbert said he spent a couple of hours answering emails and texts before packing and hoping on a plane to get to St. Paul. He arrived early this morning, skated with his new teammates and will now try and glean as much as he can about a new system in the eight hours or so before faceoff.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet," Gilbert said. "I think after this first game, once I get settled, it'll be more of a reality."

Perhaps the only people more excited than Gilbert are his parents Kelly and Mary, who still live in Gilbert's hometown of Bloomington, Minn. -- a short 15-minute drive south of Xcel Energy Center.

"I had called my parents before and warned them that my name was out there and that Minnesota was brought up," Gilbert said. "Obviously, my mom and dad were pretty excited. It took me about an hour and a half after the trade to get a hold of them. I'm sure they were dying to hear from me."

From a hockey standpoint, moving Gilbert for franchise mainstay Nick Schultz -- someone Kings defenseman and former Wild teammate Willie Mitchell said he thought would be a "lifer," -- should help jumpstart Minnesota's lackluster offensive production from the blueline.

"It's a big reason why Tom is here," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "The way we want to play the game, a huge part of that is how our defensemen execute and transition the puck out of our defensive zone and deliver it up to our forwards quickly.

"It's a tough game to play if your defensemen aren't moving the puck well. We defend well, but we spend too much time defending."

Here's tonight's projected lineup for the Wild:

Devin Setoguchi - Kyle Brodziak - Dany Heatley
Cal Clutterbuck - Matt Cullen - Nick Palmieri
Darroll Powe - Erik Christensen - Nick Johnson
Jed Ortmeyer - Warren Peters - Stephane Veilleux

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Tom Gilbert - Justin Falk
Kurtis Foster - Nate Prosser

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Sunday, 02.26.2012 / 1:17 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Sharks-Wild

ST. PAUL -- With its season potentially on the line tonight against San Jose, Minnesota will have to make a go of it without captain Mikko Koivu, still out with an undisclosed injury.

Koivu, who was not on Minnesota's brief two-game road trip to Florida and Dallas this week, has missed the last four games.

The Wild will also be without defenseman Mike Lundin, who has also missed the last four games with a lower body injury. Both guys skated on their own before the team session this morning, but there is no timetable on either of their returns.

"I know he's getting better, getting closer," said Wild coach Mike Yeo on Koivu.

Niklas Backstrom will start in goal for Minnesota. Defenseman Nate Prosser and forward Matt Kassian are expected to be healthy scratches.

San Jose will be without Douglas Murray (fractured Adam's apple) and Martin Havlat (hamstring), but should otherwise be healthy. The Sharks are playing the final game of a nine-game road trip which has seen San Jose go 2-5-1 and drop out of the top spot in the Pacific Division.

The Sharks, who lost 6-2 in Nashville last night, arrived early this morning and did not skate. With the early face-off tonight and the end of a long road trip in sight, it will be interesting to see how much energy the Sharks have left in the tank.


Devin Setoguchi - Kyle Brodziak - Dany Heatley
Cal Clutterbuck - Matt Cullen - Nick Palmieri
Darroll Powe - Erik Christensen - Nick Johnson
Jed Ortmeyer - Warren Peters - Stephane Veilleux

Nick Schultz - Greg Zanon
Kurtis Foster - Justin Falk
Jared Spurgeon - Marco Scandella

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding


Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Ryan Clowe - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
Jamie McGinn - Michal Handzus - Torrey Mitchell
Brad Winchester - Andrew Desjardins - Jim Vandermeer

Dan Boyle - Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Jason Demers - Brent Burns
Colin White - Justin Braun

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Sunday, 02.26.2012 / 1:15 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Familiar faces Foster, Veilleux excited to be back

ST. PAUL -- Defenseman Kurtis Foster and forward Stephane Veilleux both established themselves as NHL players with the Minnesota Wild.

Following Friday's trade that brought both of them back to the Wild in exchange for defensemen Marek Zidlicky, both say they are excited to be back in a familiar spot and are looking forward to helping Minnesota make one final playoff push.

For Foster, a fan-favorite during his first stint with the Wild, his stop in Minnesota will be his third team this season. After starting the year in Anaheim, the Ducks traded him to New Jersey. He played just nine games on the west coast and only 28 with the Devils.

"You never like being traded," Foster said. "But when you come to a team like this… I've been here, know a lot of the guys, know the city, know how great the fans are, it definitely makes it a lot easier."

Foster and his booming shot will immediately step into Zidlicky's role on the No. 1 power play and will pair with Justin Falk, providing the Wild with a couple of big bodies on the blueline.

"A steady, reliable puck mover, someone who is going to help out our power play," said Wild coach Mike Yeo. "You look at the amount of offense we've been able to generate from the back end this year and certainly he will be a welcome addition."

For Veilleux, his return to the Twin Cities is more personal. His wife is from the area, so he has tried on a couple of occasions to return to Minnesota, but it hasn't worked out. Now 30 years old, Veilleux has spent all but one game with Albany in the AHL this season after playing overseas last year and looks at the move back to the Wild as a chance to get his career back on track.

"Couldn't be happier," Veilleux said. "When I got the call yesterday, it was just a great feeling."

Veilleux scored a career-high 13 goals in 2008-09 with the Wild, his final season in Minnesota, but his role here now isn't to score goals in bunches… although as one of the lowest scoring teams in the NHL, the Wild would take it.

"He is full of energy," Yeo said. "His speed is going to be a factor. I'm really anxious to get his energy and his life into our lineup."
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 2:26 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

As trade rumors swirl, Zidlicky sits for Wild

ST. PAUL -- The Marek Zidlicky watch is in full effect today at Xcel Energy Center.

The disgruntled defenseman, subject of trade rumors for much of the last 24 hours, skated this morning for the Wild, but will be a healthy scratch tonight against Winnipeg.

It's not to say a trade is imminent, or is even going to happen at this point. But the trade talk has been so thick in the Twin Cities of late that Wild coach Mike Yeo made the decision to sit Zidlicky down tonight -- the fifth time this season he will be scratched.

"All coaching decision," Yeo said. "I don't know what's going on. I don't know what is going to happen. But what I can say is, it's quite obvious that focus-wise, it'd be a tough game for him to go out and perform the way we need him to."

Zidlicky's desire to leave Minnesota became obvious last month when he told Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune of his displeasure about being scratched three games in January. On Wednesday, TSN's Darren Dreger reported Zidlicky had waived his no-trade clause in order to facilitate a trade to New Jersey. Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said he had not approached Zidlicky about a trade to the Devils, or anywhere else for that matter.

It is believed Fletcher is working on something, but as of early Thursday afternoon, there was nothing new to report.

Zidlicky's teammates say it's business as usual, especially for a team desperate to break a five-game losing skid. The Wild have also lost four games in a row at Xcel Energy Center, the first time that's ever happened.

"Everybody reads the papers and is aware of what's in the papers. There's no secrets anymore," Wild forward Matt Cullen said. "That sort of thing, you can't allow to creep in. You just have to leave it alone, and let that take care of itself. Guys are aware of what's going on, but to be honest, there's really nothing we can do about it.

"As a player, you've got plenty to worry about, getting yourself to play and trying to find a way to win a game here."

In that regard, both the Wild and Jets have plenty on their plates. Minnesota has lost 21 of 26 games, a stretch that began Dec. 13 in Winnipeg. At the time, the Wild had won seven straight games and were the best team in the National Hockey League.

"And do you want me to cry or what?" said Jets coach Claude Noel when asked about the quirky statistic. "It's funny, because some teams, when you're hot like they were when they came in, some teams springboard off of a game like that. We've springboarded off that game and had a pretty good month. We've used that to build confidence.

"When you watch them play at that time and then now, you can see the magnitude of what confidence does with a team, both good and bad."

The Jets pounded on the Wild physically that night, including a Zach Bogosian check-from-behind on Pierre-Marc Bouchard that some feel is the main reason why Bouchard has missed several weeks, and could perhaps miss the rest of season, with yet another concussion. Bouchard missed a couple of games after that because of a broken nose and facial lacerations, but returned for a spell shortly after. On injured reserve since Jan. 7, the Bogosian hit is believed to be the incident that set the wheels in motion on yet another head injury for Bouchard.

Bogosian is not in St. Paul because of a lower-body injury. Noel said he will be re-evaluated tomorrow and will be a game-time decision against Boston on Friday.

Both Minnesota and Winnipeg are both struggling to score of late, with the Wild 29th in the NHL in goals per game and the Jets 25th. Winnipeg took the first game by a score of 2-1, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see a similar score tonight.

"Just the way both teams play, I see it being a low-scoring game," Noel said. "I think it has the makings of a good game, a really good game. Both teams are going to have some urgency."

On the lineup front, Chris Mason will start in goal for the Jets. He's lost three straight starts, but has allowed just two goals in each of his last two. He hasn't played since a 2-1 loss at Florida on Feb. 3.

For Minnesota, Yeo said winger Cal Clutterbuck looked good this morning and will skate before the game. He's missed two games with a charley horse and is a game-time decision tonight. If Clutterbuck can't go, Jeff Taffe, called up Wednesday from AHL Houston, will take his place. Cody Almond, also just called up, will play, taking the place of Carson McMillan, who was placed on injured reserve following Minnesota's 2-1 loss to Anaheim Tuesday.

Niklas Backstrom will get the nod in goal.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 2:24 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Wild, Jets

Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game between the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

Dany Heatley - Mikko Koivu - Devin Setoguchi
Matt Cullen - Kyle Brodziak - Nick Johnson
Cal Clutterbuck - Erik Christensen - Cody Almond
Darroll Powe - Warren Peters - Matt Kassian

Nick Schultz - Nate Prosser
Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Justin Falk - Greg Zanon

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

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

Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
Ron Hainsey - Randy Jones
Johnny Oduya - Mark Stuart

Chris Mason
Ondrej Pavelec
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 1:28 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Wild call up two, search for extra offense

ST. PAUL -- Talk about two teams headed in opposite directions: Tonight's contest in the State of Hockey features perhaps the league's hottest team (Anaheim) and its coldest (Minnesota).

The Wild, in the midst of a four-game homestand, have slid from the top spot in the NHL all the way to 12th in the Western Conference, five points behind eighth-place Phoenix. After losing twice to League-worst Columbus in a five-day span, including a 3-1 loss here Saturday night, the Wild have juggled their lines and called up two more players -- one familiar and one who will make his NHL debut this evening.

First, defenseman Marco Scandella will make his return to the big club after a stint with AHL Houston. When the Wild were going well earlier in the season, Scandella was a major reason why. He was sent down to Houston a month ago after a rough stretch, to work on his game and regain his confidence.

"It feels good to be back," Scandella said. "I went down there with a positive attitude. If you think about [getting called back up] too much, it'll make you crazy. I just played hockey and had fun."

Scandella said he worked on "being sharp" and "having confidence on the ice in making plays." He'll have that opportunity tonight paired with Jared Spurgeon, perhaps the Wild's most willing shooter from the blue line.

"It's always fun to play with him because you always know what he's going to do on the ice," Scandella said. "He's predicable for a d-partner and that's what you need."

Making his NHL debut tonight will be Calgary-native Kris Foucault. A fourth-round pick of the Wild in 2009, Foucault has 10 goals and 13 assists in 47 games in Houston, his first in the American Hockey League. He scored 47 goals in two seasons in the Western Hockey League from 2009-11, and was called up to Minnesota for one reason.

"We need goals, and he is a guy that has a chance to make a play," Wild coach Mike Yeo said.

Yeo has also shifted center Matt Cullen to the wing with Kyle Brodziak and Nick Johnson. Brodziak and Johnson did wonders to jump-start Dany Heatley's game a couple of weeks back, and Yeo said he's hoping the duo can do the same for Cullen.

"Culley's been playing well, the numbers haven't been there for him," Yeo said. "But he's doing a lot of good things. It's about surrounding him with guys who are capable of helping him to take advantage of his skill and what he can do out there.

"We saw what Heater was able to do with Brodzy and Johnny, so I think it gives Brodzy and Johnny someone who is a real threat on that line. On top of that, it gives Culley someone who's done a lot of good things for us, some really quality players that give him something more to work with."

In goal, Yeo said he is turning to Josh Harding tonight. The start will be Harding's first since a disastrous third period Jan. 31 against Nashville where the Wild blew a 4-1 lead over the game's final 10 minutes. The Predators scored three goals over the game's final three minutes, including the game-winner with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

"We haven't won, so we have to switch it up," Yeo said.

The challenge tonight for Harding will be if has put the Nashville collapse in the rear-view mirror.

"He has to," Yeo said. "It's been a little while now. I know Hards has the ability to be a starting goalie in the NHL. He's proven it this year. But in order for that to happen, these are the kind of things you have to deal with."

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 1:24 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Ducks feeling confident, looking to continue roll

ST. PAUL -- Down the hall from the home team at the Xcel Energy Center, the Anaheim Ducks have been a picture of stability. Tonight's contest against the Minnesota Wild is the Ducks' third in a string of eight straight road games -- a franchise record. Anaheim lost in a shootout to Detroit on Feb. 10, but bounced back nicely Sunday with a 5-3 win at Columbus.

After an abysmal start -- one which cost Randy Carlyle his job -- new coach Bruce Boudreau has the Ducks firing on all cylinders. At 12-3-3 since the first of the year, the Ducks have climbed to within 10 points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Their 27 points in that span is third-best in the League.

"It's all about confidence, having everybody on the same page," Ducks forward Teemu Selanne said. "We're trying to enjoy the moment right now and hopeful we can stay hot."

Selanne, playing in his 20th NHL season, is on the verge of climbing the League's career scoring charts. With his next goal, Selanne will tie Brendan Shanahan for 12th on the all-time list. He's also three points shy of matching Luc Robitaille for 20th on the all-time scoring chart and two power-play goals short of Robitaille for fourth on that list.

Selanne has 5 points, all assists, against the Wild in three games this season. Minnesota has won two of the three previous matchups.

And while Minnesota has struggled to score of late, the Ducks boast two lines that can seemingly score at will. Corey Perry netted a hat trick and fired a career-high 11 shots on goal in Sunday's win at Columbus. Ryan Getzlaf has 12 points over his last 13 games.

"Our first two lines, if they are playing their best, can be the best in the League," Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller said. "We have a good third and fourth line right now, too. Everybody's working together.

"Before, we had lots of ups and downs. Some nights, some guys were playing and some were not. Now, most nights, everybody is here 100 percent. Guys are willing to work and give everything. That's been the difference."

Hiller has been rock-solid himself, stopping shots at almost a 93-percent clip and allowing less than two goals per over his last 16 games. He is 10-2-3 over that stretch with one no-decision. 
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
First | Prev | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | Next | Last
Quote of the Day

We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.

— U.S. goalie Brandon Halverson after a 6-0 win against Germany in the World Junior Championship on Sunday