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(Page 159 of 163)
Features

Avalanche's Roy deserves Jack Adams Award

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With the 2013-14 regular season rapidly coming to a close, NHL.com looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

After finishing with the second-fewest points in the NHL in 2012-13, the Colorado Avalanche experienced major changes in the front office and, ultimately, behind the bench last summer.

Two of the greatest players in the history of the franchise were placed in roles that would help change the culture. Joe Sakic, the former captain and all-time leading scorer, was named executive vice president of hockey operations last May.

Less than two weeks later, Sakic named Patrick Roy, the former goaltender who led them to two Stanley Cup championships, as the sixth coach in Avalanche history. He replaced Joe Sacco after the Avalanche missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a third straight season.

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Playoff Countdown: Questions abound in final week

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 12:35 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The conclusion to 2013-14 NHL regular season is fast approaching. After game play Sunday, the League is down to 55 games remaining on the schedule, with three to be played Monday. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff qualification, playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the seven-day countdown to the end of the season April 13 and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16, NHL.com will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

The 2013-14 regular season ends Sunday, but there are still plenty of questions that need answers in the final week of games before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16.

We know the Boston Bruins are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but the St. Louis Blues have not secured that spot in the West. The Anaheim Ducks, who led the Pacific Division for much of the season, could still finish second in the division and be faced with the task of playing their heated rival, the Los Angeles Kings, in the first round.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who were in prime position to make the playoffs for much of the season, are in serious danger of seeing their season end Saturday night.

Here are seven questions to be answered in the final week of the regular season:

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Daily Primer April 7: Devils out for key points

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 12:02 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

The New Jersey Devils were hoping the New York Islanders could do them a favor and knock off the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday, but they had no such luck. Instead, the Devils woke up Monday morning three points behind the Blue Jackets for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Playoff race.

New Jersey (34-28-16) will play the first of its four remaining games Monday night when it hosts the Calgary Flames at Prudential Center. A victory would pull the Devils back within a point of the Blue Jackets, who are idle. New Jersey has won back-to-back games and has earned points in eight of its past 10 (5-2-3).

The Minnesota Wild (40-26-12) continues its pursuit of the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to get the start Monday; he is 5-0-3 with a 1.87 goals-against average since joining Minnesota prior to the NHL Trade Deadline.

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Sylvan Lake, Alberta wins Kraft Hockeyville 2014

Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 11:16 AM / Kraft Hockeyville 2014

NHL.com

TORONTO - Forty days of nominations, millions of votes and countless rallying cries for support in communities across the country has culminated in the announcement made by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that Sylvan Lake, Alberta is Kraft Hockeyville 2014. In a live spot last night on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, representatives from Sylvan Lake cheered as they received the news that their local arena will benefit from $100,000 in upgrades, the opportunity to host an NHL® pre-season game between the Calgary Flames and the Phoenix Coyotes, and a visit from CBC. To mark its eighth season, Kraft Hockeyville came back bigger than ever, awarding a total of $1 million in prizing to 16 different hockey loving communities from coast-to-coast.

"Everyone at Kraft Canada sincerely congratulates Sylvan Lake on winning the title of Kraft Hockeyville 2014," said Jack Hewitt, Vice-President, Consumer Insights & Portfolio Marketing, Kraft Canada. "The passion Canada has, not only for its national sport, but for the communities across this great country is astounding. Sixteen amazing communities now have the funds to upgrade their local rinks – and that means there are 16 rinks that will continue to be the heart of their communities."

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No clinching scenarios in Sunday games

Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 10:56 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens are the Eastern Conference teams that have clinched a postseason spot. The Bruins have clinched the Eastern Conference's No. 1 overall seed, while the Penguins have clinched the Metropolitan Division championship. The St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings are in from the Western Conference.

There are no clinching scenarios for games on Sunday.

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Playoff Countdown: Conn Smythe possibilities

Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 3:00 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The conclusion to 2013-14 NHL regular season is fast approaching. After game play Saturday, the League is down to 54 games remaining on the schedule, with six to be played Sunday. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff qualification, playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the eight-day countdown to the end of the season April 13 and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16, NHL.com will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

It takes contributions from a full roster to win a Stanley Cup, but through the grind of the two-month process, there is always one player who elevates his game to another level and not only hoists the most prestigious trophy in sports, but also the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Last season, it was Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane who won the award after scoring 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 23 games to help the franchise win its second Stanley Cup in four seasons.

As the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs fast approach, NHL.com presents some of the early candidates, based on their performance in the 2013-14 regular season and/or past playoffs, to raise the MVP trophy in mid-June.

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Sunday Long Read: Trip by Canucks lifted Curtain

Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 2:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Vancouver Canucks needed answers and weren't shy about looking for them in unusual places.

Not even a trip to the 1982 Stanley Cup Final, where they were swept by the New York Islanders, could put a brave front on what the organization felt was a lost decade.

The Canucks owner, Arthur Griffiths, believed the change would come from harnessing the talents of Eastern European players who, to that point, had been excluded from the NHL.

Throughout the 1980s, the Canucks had a losing record every season, finishing last in the Smythe Division three times in four seasons between 1984-85 and 1987-88.

In that atmosphere, no idea was off-limits. This allowed the organization to turn to a potentially unorthodox avenue for help: Looking into acquiring players from Eastern Europe, particularly those behind the Iron Curtain.

No Eastern Bloc players had made the jump to the NHL. Most were banned from doing so by the communist governments that ruled their countries.

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Daily Primer April 6: Blackhawks host rival Blues

Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 1:45 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The Chicago Blackhawks could head to dinner Sunday night one point out of second place in the Central Division. First, the defending Stanley Cup champions will have to beat one of their longtime rivals, the St. Louis Blues, in a matinee at United Center (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN2) without stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

The Blackhawks could go to bed Sunday night right back where they started the day though. That's because the Colorado Avalanche, who are three points ahead of them for second place entering Sunday, welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to Pepsi Center at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday (RDS2, ROOT, ALT).

Colorado, which has won six in a row, and Chicago are fighting for home-ice advantage in a likely Western Conference First Round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Blues' Oshie thankful for infant daughter's progress

Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 10:56 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- It's been quite a year for T.J. Oshie.

The St. Louis Blues right wing became an instant sensation after his shootout exhibition for the United States against Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in which he scored four of six times during a 3-2 shootout victory. He became engaged to girlfriend Lauren Cosgrove and was soon a first-time father, when Cosgrove delivered the couple's first child, a girl named Lyla Grace, on March 17.

Those are moments people treasure for the rest of their lives, and Oshie will continue to make more memories with his daughter. There was a major obstacle at the beginning of her young life though.

While there were no complications with the actual birth of their firstborn child, Oshie and Cosgrove were immediately faced with a big challenge as parents - one that required surgery for their daughter.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios: April 5

Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 4:38 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

BOSTON BRUINS

The Boston Bruins clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.


NEW YORK RANGERS

The New York Rangers would clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they get at least one point against the Senators OR if both the Maple Leafs and Devils lose in any fashion to the Jets and Hurricanes, respectively.

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Quote of the Day

Fifty-five? That's shorts weather.

— New Anaheim Ducks forward, and Michigan native, Ryan Kesler on locals in Southern California considering 55 degrees to be cold
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