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(Page 134 of 162)
Features

Flames resurgence has Hartley leader for Jack Adams

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

Few if anyone outside of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, believed in the 2014-15 Calgary Flames.

The Flames were in their second full season without longtime franchise face Jarome Iginla, traded prior to the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline, and finished 27th in the League last season. A rebuilding project was in its infancy stage with a ways to go before they were to even sniff a chance at the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Or so it seemed.

Calgary responded to the skeptics by going 32-24-4 by Feb. 25, one point out of the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. But they were declared finished after captain and Norris Trophy contender Mark Giordano sustained a torn biceps muscle in the final minute of a 3-1 win against the New Jersey Devils.

Bruins' Bergeron remains favorite for Selke Trophy

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

The phrase "hard to play against" takes on many different meanings in hockey, depending on who is defining it.

Some think it means playing a physical, bruising style of hockey. Others think it means playing at a higher tempo, one that is difficult to keep up with.

Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is hard to play against because he executes every phase of the game so well. He is the best defensive forward in the NHL, makes life difficult for the top offensive forwards in the League on a nightly basis and is the favorite for the Selke Trophy.

Price's value to Canadiens makes him choice for Hart

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

With the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

There isn't a team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that relied on its goaltending more than the Montreal Canadiens did in the regular season. There wasn't a goalie better in the regular season than Montreal's Carey Price.

Do the math and it should be easy to determine who the Hart Trophy winner will be for the 2014-15 season. Price should be the first goaltender to be named the League's most valuable player since Jose Theodore did it in 2001-02 with the Canadiens.

"When he came back from the Olympics, winning that gold medal gave him the confidence to be a winner," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said last week. "Certainly he's a true leader for us, and as far as we're concerned he's the best player in the world. He's got an impact on every game with his leadership and he's calm. Our team plays with a lot of confidence when he's out there."

Canadiens goalie Price top choice for Vezina Trophy

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

The Montreal Canadiens won their final three games of the regular season and finished in first place in the Atlantic Division. Without the play of their goaltender over the past six months, there's little chance they would have finished anywhere near the top.

Carey Price completed an outstanding season with a 4-3 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. After allowing four goals in back-to-back losses on March 30 and April 2, Price responded by winning his last three starts of the season.

Price finished with the most wins (44), the best goals-against average (1.96) and best save percentage (.933). He finished tied for second in the League with nine shutouts. 

That is why Price is NHL.com's pick to win the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender. If selected, it would be the first time Price has won the award.

Panthers rookie Ekblad deserving of Calder Trophy

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

What appeared to be a one-horse race early in the season turned into anything but down the stretch in the battle for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.

In the end, it was hard to ignore the accomplishments of Aaron Ekblad, the youngest defenseman in the League. The native of Windsor, Ontario, had a one of the best rookie season by an 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history, beginning his career four months after being chosen No. 1 in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers.

Nashville Predators center Filip Forsberg was the early favorite. The 20-year-old looked to be the perfect fit for new coach Peter Laviolette, who stressed offense and puck possession. He was ultimately overtaken in the rookie scoring race by Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, 21, who defied the odds at 5-foot-9, 150 pounds.

Draft Lottery to be conducted Saturday, April 18

Winning Team to be Revealed in Televised Announcement on CBC, TVA Sports and NBC

Sunday, 04.12.2015 / 12:00 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

NHL.com

TORONTO -- The 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, a weighted system implemented and utilized to determine the order of selection in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft for the 14 Clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs (or the Clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams), will take place on Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m., ET.

The results of the Draft Lottery will be revealed live on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada and NBC in the U.S. immediately preceding the start of Game 2 of the Penguins-Rangers First Round series.

In August 2014, the NHL announced changes to the Draft Lottery format. The changes included adjusting the odds of winning the first overall selection. The 10 highest-finishing non-Playoff qualifying teams will receive higher (better) Draft Lottery odds than they received previously with the four lowest-finishing teams receiving lower (worse) odds.

Vrbata providing balance, punch to Canucks offense

Sunday, 04.12.2015 / 11:30 AM / Canucks vs Flames - 2015 SCP First Round

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins called linemate Radim Vrbata an assassin after a two-goal game late in the regular season, but he is no longer a silent assassin.

With Vrbata's 31 goals leading the Canucks, it's hard to ignore the significance of his role in their return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after missing the postseason last year. Forget unsung hero, Vrbata is the Canucks MVP in many eyes, and Higgins has noticed other teams are paying special attention to the soft-spoken sniper too.

"You look at the stat sheet and see Vrbata has 31 goals and you are going to put some good players out against him," Higgins said. "You get a little more attention playing with him for sure."

That could a good thing for the Canucks now that Vrbata is no longer playing on their top line with Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin. After a strong start to his first season in Vancouver playing to the right of Sedin twins, Vrbata is having late-season success with Higgins and Nick Bonino on the Canucks' second line.

Tarasenko, Schwartz key cogs in Blues offense

Sunday, 04.12.2015 / 11:00 AM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Their first conversations were brief, first on the floor of Staples Center in Los Angeles at the 2010 NHL Draft, and then again at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo.

A handshake was exchanged after Russia defeated Canada in the gold-medal game, with Vladimir Tarasenko telling Jaden Schwartz at the time, "See you in St. Louis."

It was the beginning of what has turned into satisfying starts to promising careers for Schwartz, 22, and Tarasenko, 23, each first-round picks by the St. Louis Blues.

"It goes by fast," Schwartz said. "It's hard to believe it's been that long. You go to college for two years, then you're with the Blues; it all just happens fast.

"When I first came in I didn't know where I'd fit in. Obviously we had a really good team when I came in and I wasn't playing as much. I had to work my way up and earn it. That's what a lot of guys have to do. Once you start playing more you realize you can play at this level. You want to contribute and be a big part of the team."

Why the Canucks will win the Stanley Cup

Sunday, 04.12.2015 / 10:43 AM / Canucks vs Flames - 2015 SCP First Round

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Vancouver Canucks are poised and ready to make a run for the ages in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Making it certain that the first Canadian team in 21 seasons wins the Stanley Cup will be those twin-engines up front in Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin, who have each topped 70 points this season.

There's the emergence of Bo Horvat, and the dependability of forwards Nick Bonino, Chris Higgins, Alexandre Burrows and Jannik Hansen.

The Canucks played meaningful games down the stretch and got it done with goaltender Eddie Lack filling in for an injured Ryan Miller.

"We were never in this position before," Henrik Sedin said. "There were a few years where we made the playoffs a few weeks before the season was over, and last year we were done a few weeks before the playoffs so it's exciting because every night every game meant something."

Question for each team in Stanley Cup Playoffs

Sunday, 04.12.2015 / 3:42 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The field is set for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but none of the 16 teams that made it are without flaws, or at least some question marks.

Here is one pertinent question for each team that if answered properly will go a long way toward that team having a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup:

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Quote of the Day

I spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been. [The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year.

— Nashville captain Shea Weber in an interview with the Predators website
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