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(Page 124 of 176)
Features

Over the Boards: Giroux fuels Flyers' resurgence

Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- During an interview that lasted less than six minutes Tuesday morning, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux used the word "we" 18 times and "team" 10 times.

What he wouldn't do, even when pressed, is talk about himself.

That's not surprising because Giroux has always been a team-first guy, but it is ironic considering everyone else in the Philadelphia dressing room has no problem saying Giroux is the player at the heart of the team's turnaround this season.

"When he's going, everyone is going," Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said.


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Daily Primer March 19: Central Division showdown

Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The St. Louis Blues are attempting to nail down the Central Division crown, the Presidents' Trophy -- and, ultimately, their first Stanley Cup. The Chicago Blackhawks have a chance to gain ground on the NHL standings leaders Wednesday night.

St. Louis, which has an eight-point lead atop the Central, will seek its fourth straight win when it faces the Blackhawks at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). Chicago, the defending Stanley Cup champion, managed to get a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

"We know how good they [the Blues] are as a team, they're playing well," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "It comes down to how prepared we are and how bad we want it. That's what it's all about."

Here's a closer look at the action Wednesday:

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Rivalry Night Faceoff: Miller vs. Crawford

Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 2:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

To help celebrate NBC Rivalry Night, NHL.com will look at a rivalry within the rivalry of the featured game on Wednesday nights. For this week, we are trying to determine which goaltender is better equipped to lead his team to the Stanley Cup, Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks or Ryan Miller of the St. Louis Blues.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford won the Stanley Cup last year, but he still has critics who need to see more to be convinced he's among the elite players at his position in the NHL. St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller has an Olympic silver medal from four years ago and nothing more, yet he has been referred to as the final piece to his new team's championship puzzle this season.

The comparing statements don't seem to add up, but neither is all that farfetched considering Crawford still hears about inconsistencies in his game and Miller has been almost unbeatable since joining the Blues from the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 28.

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Tale of the Tape: Blues visit Blackhawks

Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 2:00 AM / Tale of the Tape

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Chicago Blackhawks may be the defending Stanley Cup champions, but they find themselves looking up at the St. Louis Blues as the teams prepare to face off in this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2). The Blues come to Chicago leading not only the Blackhawks and the rest of the Central Division; they're on top of the overall standings as they chase the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

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Blackhawks look to 'huge game' vs. Blues

Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 12:45 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The Chicago Blackhawks bagged enough points through the first three months of the season that they haven't really had to face a true gut-check moment yet, the kind a team can look back on months later as a turning point, either positively or negatively.

That changes now.

Fresh off a 3-2 overtime loss in a physical, grinding game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, the Blackhawks return home to United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2) to face the St. Louis Blues, the NHL's best team according to the standings and, well, the Blackhawks too.

"Right now, they're the best team in the League," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said. "It's going to be a fun game, a good challenge. They've got a lot of depth on that team. It seems like they've been building that team, that same group of guys, for three or four years now, and you know they're going to be hungry."


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The Front Line: March Madness has arrived in fantasy

Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

March Madness is something we all associate with NCAA basketball, and understandably so. It's a time that captures so many people with its excitement, upsets and heroics.

But what many people don't realize is that March also signifies the end is near in fantasy hockey. If you're in head-to-head leagues your playoffs have just begun. If you're in points leagues or the traditional rotisserie league, you're likely holding on for dear life or fighting to climb in the standings despite time running out. In a way, the month of March is fantasy hockey's own March Madness.

In lieu of the NCAA tournament, let's have a college basketball-themed look at some key fantasy hockey forward storylines:

The No. 1 seed -- Florida = Sidney Crosby

The Gators earned the top overall seed in the tournament, and in fantasy hockey Crosby has been far and away the best player in the game. He consistently has contributed in all categories and he's the only player currently on pace for more than 100 points (108).

The unbeaten -- Wichita St. = Alex Ovechkin

The Shockers are 34-0 heading into the tournament and will look to see if they can stay unbeaten through March. Ovechkin looks like he's a runaway to be unbeaten for the second straight season in the goal-scoring category. With 45 goals in 65 games (nine more than Corey Perry's 36, who ranks second), Ovechkin continues to shine as the NHL's best pure goal-scorer.

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Daily Primer March 18: Roy returns to Montreal

Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

He helped the Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup in 1986 and 1993. Now, former goalie Patrick Roy will try to beat the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Roy, now the coach of the Colorado Avalanche, will face the Canadiens as a competitor for the first time since Nov. 6, 2001 when Montreal hosts Colorado (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS, ALT).

"I learned a lot from this franchise," Roy said of the Canadiens on Monday. "It helped me to become the person I am. Not only the person I am, but also the player I was."

Here's a closer look at the action Tuesday:

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Jackets' prospect Reilly making strides with Gophers

Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

MINNEAPOLIS -- University of Minnesota assistant coach Mike Guentzel has coached plenty of players who went on to become NHL defensemen in his time with the Golden Gophers.

Since becoming an assistant coach at Minnesota 20 years ago, Guentzel has seen players such as Jordan Leopold of the St. Louis BluesPaul Martin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Gologoski of the Dallas Starsand Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche come through the program en route to the NHL.

He has another potential NHL defenseman under his watch now in Mike Reilly, a fourth-round pick (No. 98) of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011.

Reilly, a sophomore, is a late-bloomer who finally is starting to add some pro size to his already elite skill.

"When I was in ninth grade I was about 5-foot-4 and about 100 pounds," Reilly said. "Ever since then I've just kept growing and getting stronger. There's still a lot of muscle I can put on. I'm just focused on putting on the correct muscle."

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Five questions: Landeskog on Roy, Avs' success

Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 1:45 AM / 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 Colorado Avalanche captain and forward Gabriel Landeskog:

Though their coach was in the press conference room at Bell Centre answering questions from a familiar bilingual media for 30 minutes on Monday, the Colorado Avalanche players were free to venture out in one of North America's finest cities for an afternoon away from hockey, away from the rink. It was a quick, but well-earned respite.

The Avalanche flew to Montreal after beating the Ottawa Senators 3-1 at Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday. The win was their third in the past four games and seventh in 10 since coming back from the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The two points they earned in Ottawa lifted Colorado back into second place in the Central Division, one point ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks.

It's amazing how quickly things have changed in Denver with Patrick Roy as coach.

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Avalanche coach Roy ready to return to Bell Centre

Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 12:34 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Patrick Roy's relationship with the Montreal Canadiens and their legion of fans is, in a word, complicated.

It could be argued Roy was the historic franchise's greatest Stanley Cup Playoff hero, playing goal behind two teams in 1986 and 1993 that had no business winning the championship, but did almost exclusively because of him.

The Stanley Cup victory in 1993 was the 24th in Canadiens history, by far the most in the NHL.

It was also the most-recent.


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Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness