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Features

Over the Boards: Bruins believe in Ferguson's ability

Wednesday, 08.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

John Ferguson Jr.'s major miscalculation eight years ago as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs has served to stabilize the Boston Bruins goaltending for what should be years to come. Now that Ferguson has joined the Bruins as executive director of player personnel, he finally can cash in on the ability of the best player he drafted in his nearly five years in Toronto.

Yes, we're talking about the trade of Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft from June 24, 2006. Maple Leafs fans can proceed with caution through the next several paragraphs.

Ferguson thought he was doing the right thing when he traded Rask to the Bruins for Raycroft. He thought Justin Pogge was the future No. 1 goalie in Toronto, meaning Rask, the No. 21 pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, was expendable, especially if the return was Raycroft, a goalie who was supposed to be entering his prime.

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Red Wings counting on 'kids' to maintain playoff run

Wednesday, 08.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Detroit Red Wings used to rely solely on their veteran stars to guide them into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and to sometimes take them on a deep run. They also used to play in the Western Conference. Those are memories now.

Change came to Hockeytown last season, when the Red Wings moved to the Eastern Conference and made the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season on the backs of young players coach Mike Babcock still calls "kids."

They struggled in the playoffs and Detroit was knocked out quickly, losing in five games to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round, but for the development of the team, how the Red Wings got there was as important as getting there.

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Healthy Zetterberg, Datsyuk keys to Red Wings lineup

Wednesday, 08.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Detroit Red Wings' move to the Eastern Conference was expected to be met with domination by a franchise that has been a stalwart among the elite in the Western Conference for years.

Detroit pushed the eventual champion Chicago Blackhawks to the limit in 2013, and the reloaded Red Wings, complete with the additions of Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss and a few younger players who played so well in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, were expected to challenge for the top spot in the conference.

It didn't go that way, in part because of an avalanche of injuries to key players. The Red Wings kept their incredible postseason streak (23 seasons) alive, but lost in the first round to the Boston Bruins.

General manager Ken Holland has been trying to upgrade the defense corps through free agency for three years but hasn't been able to. The forward group looks deep and talented, as several prospects have proven they can play at this level in the past two seasons.

Whether Detroit can be more than a fringe playoff team could depend on better health and possibly an addition on defense at some point during the season.

Here is the projected 2014-15 lineup for the Red Wings:

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Veterans' health tops Red Wings' five questions

Wednesday, 08.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told anyone who would listen last season that even with significant injuries to veteran stars his team was going to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Babcock was right. The Red Wings went to the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season.

To extend the streak to 24 seasons, and to give Babcock a jolt of confidence to add to his optimism, the Red Wings will need positive answers to the following five questions:

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Red Wings' Weiss ready to leave last season behind

Wednesday, 08.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Bring up last season during a phone conversation with Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss and as he talks you can picture him squirming on the other end, recalling the pain that used to shoot through his lower body and the multiple surgeries he had to hopefully correct it.

"I really have tried not to think about last year at all," Weiss said. "I don't really know why that happened. I try to do everything in my power to make sure those things don't happen, and when they do it's pretty frustrating."

The Red Wings signed Weiss to a five-year, $24.5 million contract last summer thinking he would be their No. 2 center, affording coach Mike Babcock the ability to play Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg together on the first line.

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Mantha leads list of Red Wings' top 10 prospects

Wednesday, 08.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

To say the Detroit Red Wings struggled with injuries last season is putting the deluge of trips to the trainer's room lightly.

However, there was a silver lining to all the ailments. It meant 12 rookies got into the lineup at some point, including nine who made their NHL debuts. It might not have been ideal, but general manager Ken Holland, coach Mike Babcock and their staffs got ample opportunity to see what the future could look like.

"It was a great learning experience about our prospects," Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer said. "We got a firsthand glimpse of what guys can really do. Thanks to so many injuries and so many voids to be filled in one season, we really got to learn about our guys, what they potentially can bring at the next level."

Here's a look at the Red Wings' top 10 prospects, according to NHL.com:

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Jordan Subban scores alley-oop on brother Malcolm

Tuesday, 08.19.2014 / 9:29 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Jordan Subban was asked to do something unique in the practice-ending shootout Tuesday.

Did he ever.

The Vancouver Canucks defenseman prospect scored an alley-oop goal against his brother Malcolm Subban, a Boston Bruins goalie prospect, at the BioSteel Camp in Toronto.

"That was the first time I tried it; we just made it up as we went along," Jordan told the Canucks website. "We were told to have fun and do something silly, like the NBA dunk contest, so I guess that was my inspiration."

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Senators lineup deep, could lack elite-level skill

Tuesday, 08.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Ottawa Senators made a big move last summer, trading three top-notch young assets for proven NHL scorer Bobby Ryan in an attempt to bolster a roster that made the Stanley Cup Playoffs two years running but failed to advance past the second round.

After a 2012-13 season in which the Senators were resilient in the face of injury woes, Ottawa was comparably quite healthy last season. The results were not as expected, though, after the Senators were a trendy pick to finish near the top of the Eastern Conference.

One issue simply was luck. Other than the New Jersey Devils, no other team that remained in playoff contention for much of the season had a bigger disparity between its Corsi-for percentage (Ottawa finished tied for seventh at even strength) and its goals-for percentage (the Senators finished 19th). That's not all luck. Some of it can be poor goaltending or bad special teams.

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Captain, goaltending among Senators' five questions

Tuesday, 08.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

After years of stability with Daniel Alfredsson as the captain, the Ottawa Senators will be looking for a new source of on-ice leadership for a second season in a row.

Who, if anyone, will take the captaincy this season is among five questions the Senators will be looking to address as they get ready to work their way back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

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Senators sure lessons learned will lead to playoffs

Tuesday, 08.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

The Ottawa Senators will be looking to move forward in 2014-15 after taking a step back last season.

A slow start and inconsistent play left Ottawa on the outside looking in at the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Senators missed the postseason for the third time in six seasons.

"I think we learned a lot from last year," center Kyle Turris said. "I think the previous two years before that was kind of a step forward, and I think last year was a step back and we really got to evaluate everything and it was a great lesson because we learned a lot, we took a lot out of it. We're a young team to begin with but having to learn from last year and having gone through some success a couple of years before that, I think that we're still a young group but I feel like we've matured a lot and we're going to have a really good team this year."

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Quote of the Day

A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery