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Canada still hoping to add NHL talent to WJC roster

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 3:14 PM / 2016 World Junior Championship

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Every year the Canadian National Junior Team hopes to receive an early Christmas present from an NHL team in the form of a teenage player who can help the cause at the IIHF World Junior Championship.

Last year the New York Rangers were in a giving mood when they loaned forward Anthony Duclair. He scored four goals in seven games to help Canada win gold for the first time since 2009.

On Tuesday, Hockey Canada released its 30-player invite list for a selection camp to be held Dec. 10-14 in Toronto. There were no NHL players on the list, but that could change before the NHL roster freeze starts Dec. 19.

There are six teenagers in the NHL eligible to play for Canada: Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, and forwards Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, Sam Bennett of the Calgary Flames, Robby Fabbri of the St. Louis Blues, and Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann of the Vancouver Canucks.

Countdown to the 2016 Winter Classic begins

Canadiens, Bruins to renew rivalry outdoors at Gillette Stadium on New Year's Day

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – With just one month until the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the countdown to the much-anticipated rivalry game between the Boston Bruins® and Montreal Canadiens® on New Year's Day at Gillette Stadium has begun. The event will be broadcast live nationally on NBC in the U.S. and on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada at 1 p.m. ET.

Two of the NHL's storied franchises, the Bruins and Canadiens have faced off against each other more than any other two teams in NHL history. When these long-time rivals meet on Jan. 1, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime of the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will participate in the event, following the Toronto Maple Leafs' appearance in 2014.

Blackhawks' Kane looks to extend point streak to 20

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 2:45 PM / NHL Insider

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will try to become the first player in five years to have a point in 20 straight games when the Blackhawks play the Minnesota Wild at United Center on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-CH).

"It's in the back of your mind for sure," Kane said of his streak. "I was probably thinking about it a little bit more probably five games ago than I am right now. But I think the way to go about it is to not worry about it and just play your game. If you keep the streak alive, it stays alive. If not, then it's been a pretty good run."

Kane has 11 goals and 20 assists during his streak, which began Oct. 17 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He had a goal in seven straight games from Nov. 2-15.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last player with points in 20 straight games was Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who had a 25-game streak from Nov. 5 to Dec. 28, 2010. Crosby had 26 goals and 24 assists during his streak.

Karlsson, Lundqvist lead All-Star vote

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 2:20 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Fan voting for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville opened Tuesday at noon ET.

The voting format has changed this year to reflect the change in the game's format. Fans will be allowed to vote for one player from each division, and the leading vote-getter in each division will serve as the captain of his division's team.

The 2016 All-Star Game will be a 3-on-3 winner-take-all affair contested among teams from each of the four divisions.

Each division's roster will have six forwards, three defenseman and two goalies. One player from each division will be voted onto the team by the fans; the other 40 players will be selected by the NHL Hockey Operations Department. Each team will have at least one player from every team in its division.

Canada camp features three players from 2015 team

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 2:18 PM / 2016 World Junior Championship

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Canadian National Junior Team will have plenty of fresh faces when it opens its gold-medal defense at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Hockey Canada released its 30-player roster for selection camp, which will be held Dec. 10-14 in Toronto and will be the final step in picking the roster that will play for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Helsinki, Finland.

Forwards Lawson Crouse and Brayden Point, and defenseman Joe Hicketts were the only players available who were part of the gold medal-winning team last year in Toronto.

The camp roster consists of 11 defensemen, 17 forwards and two goalies: Mackenzie Blackwood, a New Jersey Devils draft pick, and Mason McDonald, a Calgary Flames prospect. The final roster for the tournament will have two goalies, seven defensemen and 13 forwards.

Fantasy top 100 forwards: Bruins' power play peaks

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top-100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen is your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

The Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals have two of the NHL's most potent power plays. Not many people will be surprised to hear that, with forwards like Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom swarming the offensive zone for those teams.

But neither the Stars nor the Capitals own the League's best power-play conversion percentage. Through one quarter of the season, that distinction belongs to the Boston Bruins.

Led by Patrice Bergeron (13 power-play points, 1st) and David Krejci (nine, T-9th), the Bruins have transformed an ordinary man-advantage unit (17.8 in 2014-15, 17th) into a League-leading juggernaut. Boston has converted on 32.4 of its power-play chances, more than five percent better than the next-best team (Dallas, 27.0).

Modano, Roenick highlight alumni game rosters

Mike Modano and Jeremy Roenick will be on opposing teams one more time at the 2016 NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game on Feb. 20 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Modano, the top U.S.-born scorer in NHL history, will lead a team of Minnesota Wild/Minnesota North Stars alumni. Roenick, third among U.S.-born NHL players in goals and points, will be part of a team of Chicago Blackhawks alumni.

The alumni game will be played one day before the Chicago Blackhawks play the Minnesota Wild in a 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game. The full rosters can be found here.

Alumni Game rosters for 2016 SS-Minnesota event

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League (NHL®), the Minnesota Wild® and Chicago Blackhawks® today jointly released the current rosters for the 2016 NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game. This special event featuring alumni from the Wild, Blackhawks and Minnesota North Stars™ will take place at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. CT, a day prior to the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.

Approximately 50 former players and coaches are scheduled to participate in the much anticipated game in this unique outdoor setting. Those returning for the North Stars/Wild include Mike Modano, Dino Ciccarelli, Andrew Brunette and more; Tom Reid and Lou Nanne will serve as Team Minnesota's coaches. Tony Esposito and Pat Foley lead the Blackhawks alumni with a roster that includes Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick, and Denis Savard among many other notable names.

Weekes: Condon, Raanta among game's best backups

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 9:20 AM / Game Savers

Kevin Weekes - NHL Network Analyst

NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes, in conjunction with the new Canada Post goaltender stamp series, provides his insight into the position he played for 11 seasons in the League.

This week, Weekes discusses the best backup goalies in the League.

How important are backup goalies? Last season Scott Darling was 3-1-0 with a 2.21 goals-against average and a. 936 save percentage in five games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and was a key contributor to the Chicago Blackhawks' championship when Corey Crawford was struggling.

And when Henrik Lundqvist missed nearly two months because of a vascular injury in his neck, Cam Talbot kept them afloat, going 16-4-3 with a 2.16 GAA, a .929 save percentage and two shutouts in 23 games and helping them win the Presidents' Trophy.

Five Questions: Tortorella on Johansen, his image

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella:

He's been on the job almost six weeks, but Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella hasn't had much time to pick up his head and look around to take in his new surroundings.

Tortorella is so immersed in the job he took over on Oct. 21, after the Blue Jackets' 0-7-0 start, that his daily routine when at home is to make the short walk from his apartment to the rink so he can work for hours before going back home. That's it.

"I'm in this little apartment almost connected to the arena," he said. "We're diving in."

Tortorella's life in Columbus will change slightly next week, when his wife, Christine, arrives in town with the couple's four dogs. She is closing up their home in Stamford, Conn., to come live in Ohio for the rest of the season.

"Then we'll look to get out," Tortorella said.

Probably not too much, though. Tortorella feels he has enough work to do at the rink with the Blue Jackets to keep him occupied for more hours than there are in a day.

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Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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