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Features

Five Questions: Jimmy Howard still working hard

Monday, 12.09.2013 / 12:00 PM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's weekly Q&A feature called "Five Questions With ..." runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard:

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has played goalie Jonas Gustavsson ahead of Jimmy Howard in three out of the four games the team has played this month. It's hard to blame him.

The one time Howard was in he allowed five goals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Red Wings went 2-1-0 and yielded five goals in total in Gustavsson's three starts.

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Top NHL prospects dot Finland's WJC camp roster

Monday, 12.09.2013 / 10:43 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Finnish National Junior Team on Monday announced the selection camp roster of players hoping to represent their country at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden.

Finland, which placed seventh at the 2013 WJC, is seeking its first medal since winning bronze in 2006. The camp features 27 players, including six who participated in last year's tournament -- goalie Janne Juvonen of Pelicans Lahti in Finland, defensemen Ville Pokka of Karpat Oulu (FIN), Rasmus Ristolainen of the Rochester Americans (AHL) and Juuso Vainio of HPK (FIN) and forwards Artturi Lehkonen of KalPa (FIN) and Teuvo Teravainen of Jokerit (FIN).

There also are 10 players on the roster drafted by NHL teams, including Ristolainen, taken by the Buffalo Sabres with the eighth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, and Teravainen selected the by Chicago Blackhawks with the 18th pick of the 2012 draft.

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Who's rising and falling in quest for Olympic spot

Monday, 12.09.2013 / 10:18 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Determining where Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban fits as it relates to Canada's Olympic plans is near impossible at this juncture.

Is his stock on the rise? Is his stock falling?

On one side you've got Canadiens coach Michel Therrien talking up Subban, saying he's never been better defensively and it hasn't taken away from his obvious offensive skill. On the other hand you've got media reports coming out of Canada suggesting the executives picking the Olympic team are not enamored with Subban and may decide to leave the country's best offensive defenseman and the reigning Norris Trophy winner off the roster.

To his credit Subban is trying to block out the noise. Prior to a game at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. last week, Subban said he doesn't have to prove himself or what he can do to anybody, that his focus is on doing his job and letting other people do the talking.

"It's not my job to give my opinion on anything," Subban said. "It's my job to just go out and do my job. That's all I'm going to do, just keep playing and let my play do the talking."

While Subban may be an impossible study among Olympic hopefuls right now, there are others who are making clear cases for and against their candidacy. Here are five players whose Olympic stock is up, and another five whose stock is falling:

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Toronto's Phaneuf to have hearing for hit

Monday, 12.09.2013 / 6:33 AM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf will have a hearing Tuesday morning with the NHL's Department of Player safety for a hit on Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller during a game Sunday night at Air Canada Centre.

The incident occurred at the 17:39 mark of the third period when Phaneuf struck Miller in the back near the end boards in the Boston end. Miller left the game and did not return.

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Daily Primer Dec. 9: Hurricanes, Canucks streaking

Monday, 12.09.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

The Carolina Hurricanes and Vancouver Canucks have had some success of late, and each team will put a winning streak on the line at Rogers Arena on Monday night.

Behind two goals from Mike Santorelli, the Canucks made it four in a row with a 3-1 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night. On Monday, they'll host the Hurricanes (10 p.m. ET, FS-CR, SNET-P), who begin a four-game road trip armed with a three-game winning streak.

Here's a look at the action Monday:


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Pure scorer Barber building off freshman heroics

Monday, 12.09.2013 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

After becoming the first player in the storied history of the men's ice hockey program at Miami University to earn league rookie of the year honors, forward Riley Barber knew nothing would come easy as a sophomore.

"Nobody really knew who I was as a freshman so it was easy for me to go out there and play against certain guys, but this year it's definitely changed," Barber told NHL.com. "I'm usually out there against the best defensive pairing of every team and the best shutdown line."

Barber's game has improved as a result.

"It's helped me become a better player because you always have to give it 100 percent; I'm more confident in my ability to make plays and am not in panic mode," Barber said.

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Bruins' Lucic competing for Canada Olympic spot

Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 10:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic isn't the type of player to duck any questions about wanting to represent Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics this February.

"I've been doing the best I can for the team here. And I've had some personal success and we've had some team success along the way," Lucic said after the morning skate in preparation for a showdown Saturday with the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden. "And I think that's the most important thing is having that team success. And I think when you have that team success, the individuals look a lot better. And so I'm just trying to play the right way and the way that they expect you to play here. And I've tried everything I can, I guess, to put forth the best audition for Team Canada."

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Daily Primer Dec. 8: Rangers try to bounce back

Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The New York Rangers' nine-game homestand didn't get off to the start they were hoping for Saturday, but they don't have much time to dwell on it.

After a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will host the Washington Capitals in a Metropolitan Division matchup (7 p.m. ET, CSN-DC, MSG). The Rangers blanked the Capitals 2-0 on Oct. 16 in their first game since a 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff first-round series that New York won by shutting out Washington in Games 6 and 7.

"We kind of know what the Rangers are about," Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said Saturday after a 5-2 home victory against the Nashville Predators. "We know it's going to be a hard-fought game. It always is. Low-scoring mostly, which we have to be ready for, but at the same time, you've got to expect the unexpected at times."

Here's a closer look at the action Sunday:

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Sunday Long Read: Ducks back H.S. champion

Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Dusseldorf, Germany is a long way from the NHL, figuratively and literally.

Yet, after playing 10 seasons in the NHL, the majority of which spent with the Los Angeles Kings, Dusseldorf is exactly where Craig Johnson found himself in 2005. He went to Germany a year previously to play for the Hamburg Freezers during the NHL work stoppage. He expected it to be a one-off adventure, but an abdominal injury and complications from the surgery to correct it left Johnson out of hockey for close to a year and without a NHL contract offer.

By the time he was healthy, NHL teams had settled their rosters, so Johnson stayed in Dusseldorf for a two-year run with the DEG MetroStars of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany's top professional circuit.

After 30 goals and 51 points in 75 games, Johnson was again at a crossroads and opted to return to Southern California, where he had set up roots after playing parts of eight seasons with the Kings and a portion of the 2003-04 season with the Anaheim Ducks. While considering his next move, Johnson took some time to coach his son, Eric, who was playing with the Anaheim Junior Ducks, a youth program established in 1994, not long after the NHL came to Orange County.

There was no way for Johnson to know it at the time, but the decision paved the road for a high school hockey program in California to make history a few years later.

As the varsity hockey coach at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Johnson has spearheaded a program that, like the interscholastic league in which it competes, has seen an unlikely and meteoric rise, one which has gained praise across the hockey world.

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Penguins' Neal to have hearing Monday

Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 11:00 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins left wing James Neal will have a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday for a hit on Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand on Saturday night at TD Garden.

At 11:06 of the first period, Neal struck Marchand with his knee when Marchand was down on the ice. Marchand remained in the game. Neal was assessed a two-minute minor for kneeing on the play.

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It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery