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(Page 152 of 167)
Features

Flyers' Emery savored chance after hip surgery

Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Five years ago, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ray Emery received what was supposed to be a hockey death sentence. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in his right hip. Not only was his hockey career over, walking normally again was in question.

Today, as Emery prepares for a game against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports), he has a Stanley Cup ring (won with the Blackhawks), is in the second season of his second stint with the Flyers, and has no intention of putting his pads away any time soon.

Emery said early in the 2009-10 season with the Flyers, he felt pain in his hip, groin and pelvis. Surgery in December 2009 to repair torn abdominal muscles kept him out six weeks. But on Feb. 1, 2010 in a game at the Calgary Flames, the pain returned worse.

"That game in Calgary I said, 'Something's not right,'" Emery said. "Feels like my leg is going to fall off."

LaFontaine returns to Islanders roots at Coliseum

Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 2:26 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Pat LaFontaine arrived at Nassau Coliseum in 1984 and was asked to help the New York Islanders win the Stanley Cup for a fifth consecutive year.

They nearly pulled it off, reaching the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Edmonton Oilers in five games. LaFontaine, who was 19 at the time and New York's first-round pick (No. 3) a year prior, had three goals and six assists in 19 playoff games.

"We went on an unbelievable run," LaFontaine said. "If not for a few injuries and a few guys named [Mark] Messier and [Wayne] Gretzky, we might have won."

LaFontaine was back at the Coliseum on Tuesday, when he will be honored prior to the Islanders game against the Minnesota Wild. Nearly a decade passed between visits to what has been the Islanders' only home, but owner Charles Wang and general Garth Snow each reached out to LaFontaine with hopes of luring him back for what promises to be a special night.

Fantasy top 100 forwards: Depth saving Jets' season

Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

With Bryan Little, Dustin Byfuglien and Mathieu Perreault injured, the Winnipeg Jets appeared to be the team to write off in the jam-packed Western Conference postseason race.

But the moves the Jets made to address their forward depth leading up to the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline have allowed them to be adaptable in the face of adversity. Recent acquisition Drew Stafford has revitalized his career, center Mark Scheifele has thrived in an elevated role, and Blake Wheeler has been as consistent as ever through the adjustment period.

Hammond's historic run has Senators in playoff spot

Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 11:14 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Andrew Hammond
Goalie - OTT
RECORD: 14-0-1
GAA: 1.67 | SVP: .946
The transaction line came and went Jan. 29, like so many others do during the course of an 82-game NHL season.

The Ottawa Senators summoned a goaltender from the Binghamton Senators, their American Hockey League team to hold down the backup spot behind Robin Lehner while starter Craig Anderson recovered from a hand injury.

Lehner started nine straight games; then came Feb. 16 at home against the Carolina Hurricanes. Late in the second period Lehner and forward Clarke MacArthur collided and Lehner sustained a concussion. That pressed into action the unknown minor-league goaltender; an undrafted 27-year-old with an .898 save percentage and 3.51 goals-against average in 25 AHL games. A goaltender who hadn't seen a puck in a competitive environment since allowing four goals on 37 shots in a 5-2 loss to the St. John's Ice Caps on Jan. 23.

The Senators were nine points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and were trending toward missing the postseason for a second straight season.

So expectations were pretty low when Andrew Hammond entered the net at Canadian Tire Centre.

Five weeks later, Hammond has Hamburglered his way into one of the most remarkable seasons in NHL history.

Confident Kings face season-defining road trip

Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 9:33 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- This is the regular season and that was the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Los Angeles Kings have to re-create or at least re-enact how they played with zero room for error in winning the Stanley Cup last season if they're going to have a chance to defend it this season.

They expect they will be able to do it. Confidence remains high even though consistency has been lacking.

"We know we can do it," Kings center Anze Kopitar said. "We're confident that we will do it. There's no hope involved in that."

The Kings head into their game Tuesday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN) trailing the contenders in the Western Conference playoff race with 10 games remaining. They are two points behind the Calgary Flames for third in the Pacific Division and four points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

Five Questions: Kesler on Ducks' success, depth

Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com'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 Olympic silver medalist and NHL All-Star Ryan Kesler:

Ryan Kesler's first season with the Anaheim Ducks has been rejuvenating for the 30-year-old center.

After a decade with the Vancouver Canucks, including 655 regular-season games, two Presidents' Trophy-winning seasons and a trip to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, Kesler feels his game is where it needs to be, his balance off the ice is better than ever, and his belief in the Ducks as Stanley Cup contenders is strong.

Kesler has 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) in 74 games heading into Anaheim's game Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Ducks lead the Pacific Division and are in the race for the Presidents' Trophy with 99 points.

Fantasy All-Access: Available options on waiver wire

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver-wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

The fantasy playoffs are upon us, and if you are one of the lucky ones still playing for fantasy glory, one reason you're there could be bounce-back players you stole in the later rounds or on the waiver wire.

Schneider thriving with heavy workload for Devils

Monday, 03.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider would gladly trade his eye-catching statistics if it meant having an opportunity to participate in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this spring.

Cory Schneider
Goalie - NJD
RECORD: 26-26-7
GAA: 2.16 | SVP: .929
Schneider's numbers in his first season as a No. 1 goalie appear good enough to have the Devils heading to the postseason. But even a 2.16 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage aren't good enough to overcome New Jersey's 2.21 goals-for average.

There are five goalies with a save percentage of .927 or higher at this point in the season, and four are playing for teams in the postseason hunt: Carey Price (.938) of the Montreal Canadiens, Cam Talbot (.929) of the New York Rangers, Devan Dubnyk (.927) of the Minnesota Wild and Pekka Rinne (.927) of the Nashville Predators.

Schneider, meanwhile, is on the outside looking in. He'll likely start his 62nd game Monday when the Devils play the Los Angeles Kings at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US).

Monahan leading Flames' push to end playoff drought

Sunday, 03.22.2015 / 11:18 PM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- One by one, a young Sean Monahan would stand in the backyard of his Brampton, Ontario home and pick off fence board after fence board.
 
One by one, his father, John, would replace the damage to his fence.
 
"Probably eight or nine a week," Monahan said, flashing a sly, almost bashful smile. "Between throwing the lacrosse ball around and shooting pucks, all the time, the fence boards would be cracked in half or knocked out.
 
“I don't think anything drove me to do it. I just wanted to do it. I enjoyed shooting pucks. I think it was just the passion for the game. I always wanted to hold a hockey stick or lacrosse stick and it was something I enjoyed doing.
 

Predators' Smith fined for high-sticking

Sunday, 03.22.2015 / 4:20 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKNashville Predators forward Craig Smith has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for high-sticking Buffalo Sabres forward Jerry D'Amigo during NHL Game No. 1075 in Nashville on Saturday, March 21, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 17:50 of the first period. Smith was assessed a double-minor penalty for high-sticking on the play.

The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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I'm a hockey player and that's what I love to do. That is what I am here for. Everything else is just a side note.

— Oilers forward Connor McDavid on moving beyond the anticipation of his long-awaited arrival in the NHL
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