The Wild, playing some of their best hockey under second-year coach Mike Yeo, have won a franchise-best six straight games.
The Coyotes kick off a three-game road trip having lost six games in a row. Phoenix, which sat in sixth place in the West on March 14, one point out of fourth, has tumbled seven spots as a result of the skid and now sits four points back of the San Jose Sharks for the eighth and final spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Sean Monahan, NHL Central Scouting's No. 4-rated skater among the top draft-eligible prospects in North America, is a center for the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 186-pound forward led his team with 31 goals, 47 assists, 15 power-play goals and 78 points in 58 games this season for the 67's. Monahan, who was voted among the top three players in four separate categories during the OHL Eastern Conference Coaches Poll in March, has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.
It was a challenging season this year and with that brings a lot of positives and negatives.
I guess the biggest negative was losing many games (16-46-6), but then there were positives. We still have our loyal fans in Ottawa cheering and always supporting our team. I believe that playing on a rebuilding team at some point in your career is part of being a professional. I learned how to control my emotions better during a game, and that allowed me to focus and play my game.
I was also able to build on my leadership skills and was able to react differently at different times during the season. The one downfall was not really having a home rink, although that's not an excuse to lose games. It just didn't feel like we really ever had a home game. Personally, I definitely had more positives than negatives this past season. I can't thank everyone enough who was a part of it, especially all my teammates.
It's Wednesday, and so it's Rivalry Night in the NHL! Cisco NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek will get you ready for one of the most storied rivalries in hockey when the Montreal Canadiens face off against the Boston Bruins. We'll talk to NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire, who will be Inside the Glass for the fierce division battle, and we'll get the X-Factor from NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose.
The Ottawa Senators continue to add points despite missing their Norris Trophy Winner, Erik Karlsson. Coach Paul MacLean will join the show to talk about how his team has overcome the odds. Nashville Predators forward Martin Erat, who has enjoyed three-straight multi-point games, will also stop by. And don't forget, the NHL Trade Deadline is a week away. NHL Network insider Darren Dreger will give the latest on rumors from around the League. Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford will also make an appearance.
Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, play a game of plus-minus, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks the winners of all four games tonight.
BOSTON – With first place in the Northeast Division on the line for the Boston Bruins when they play the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night at TD Garden, Bruins coach Claude Julien probably will return his first line to its usual form after separating Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton for two periods Monday in a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Lucic, Krejci and Horton skated together during the morning skate at TD Garden. Lucic snapped a 15-game goal drought against the Maple Leafs.
Johnny Boychuk skated with the team, but Julien said the defenseman’s status was uncertain. Boychuk was injured during practice last Friday and he has missed two games.
The Canadiens, who lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night, did not hold a full skate.
Here are the projected lineups for the Bruins and Canadiens:
At 17:53 of the second period in the Rangers/Flyers game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Wayne Simmonds' right skate and into the net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good Goal Philadelphia.
At 16:39 of the second period in the Jets/Hurricanes game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Alexander Burmistrov's stick below the crossbar and into the net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 60.5 "The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick. If the puck makes contact with the stick below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed". Good Goal Winnipeg.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported via Twitter on Tuesday that Kiprusoff won’t report to any team he’s dealt to due to family reasons. The 36-year-old does not have a no-trade clause.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t hold an official morning skate on Tuesday at United Center, but they did get some good news.
Injured star right wing Marian Hossa returned to the ice for conditioning work for the first time since leaving a game against the Colorado Avalanche on March 18 late in the first period after a hit from defenseman Ryan O’Byrne.
Hossa, who’s missed two games with the ailment, appeared to be holding his shoulder on the bench in that game, and the Blackhawks have called it an upper-body injury. Tuesday morning he joined teammates Patrick Sharp, Daniel Carcillo, Sheldon Brookbank and goalies Ray Emery and Corey Crawford on Tuesday for a series of drills.
“He skated today, so he’s progressing” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Hossa, prior to Chicago facing the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night (8:30 p.m. ET). “He’s kind of comparable with [Sharp], so we’ll see how they do. But he’s not playing [against Calgary].”
VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler will be back in the lineup Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets after serving a two-game suspension for hitting Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith behind the net.
Edler may get some unsolicited advice from fellow defenseman Keith Ballard, who will again play up front on a team missing six injured forwards.
"As soon as I switched to wing I turned my brain off and started complaining to the D-men," Ballard said with a smile. "That's what forwards do, right?"
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I always feel the pressure to produce offensively. It's disappointing and frustrating when you can't help out your team the way you're supposed to.