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McDavid-Eichel buzz similar to Crosby-Ovechkin

Tuesday, 11.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

George McPhee won't forget the electricity generated by Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby when they entered the NHL as rookies in 2005-06.

McPhee, general manager of the Capitals at the time, had a front-row seat to one of the more memorable races for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. Ovechkin won after he had 52 goals and 106 points in 81 games. Crosby, who had 39 goals and 102 points in 81 games, was second.

Now a special adviser to New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow, McPhee sees similarities between the rookie seasons for Ovechkin and Crosby and the performances this season of Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.

"It turns out to be great for the game because the entire League and hockey world is watching, and there's this instant competition between the two guys," McPhee said.

Hall honors Karmanos for efforts to grow game

Tuesday, 11.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor takes a look at each of the seven individuals who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Nov. 9.

When Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. stands at the podium Monday as part of the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015, there will be emotions he hasn't experienced since the final seconds of Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final were counted down at RBC Center.

"Nervous as hell," Karmanos said. "I was telling [Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis] how nervous I was, and he [was inducted in 2007]. He said, 'You're not alone.' It's going to be interesting. I'm going to have fun."

AHL notebook: Coach's job more than coaching

Tuesday, 11.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / AHL Update

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

Manning an American Hockey League bench means being part-coach, part-career counselor, part-psychologist, part-father figure and juggling those roles constantly.

Manitoba Moose coach Keith McCambridge's to-do list this season is especially busy as he works to introduce nine rookies into pro hockey. Helping his players handle the transition to the pro game is McCambridge's job.

"You wear many different caps as a coach in this league," said McCambridge, 41, who is in his fifth season as coach of the Winnipeg Jets' AHL affiliate.

Five Questions: Schneider on Devils' surprising start

Tuesday, 11.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer'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 New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider:

NEWARK, N.J. -- The preseason predictions weren't kind to the New Jersey Devils. Is it possible that they also were wrong?

Instead of being thought of as a potential Stanley Cup Playoff team, the Devils were picked to be a potential NHL Draft Lottery team. They've missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past three seasons, and there was a general consensus among the prognosticators, regardless of newspaper, website or blog, that the Devils would make it four in a row.

Maybe not.

The Devils have won six of their past seven games after starting the season with four consecutive losses, including the first three in regulation. They are 4-1-0 on the road and 4-1 in games decided after regulation, including 2-0 in overtime.

They're playing teams close and finding ways to win, which typically is what teams on the rise that are trying to become contenders do.

Oilers' McDavid more confident after solid first month

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 4:27 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- After a slow start, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid had a productive first month in the NHL, and on Monday he was named NHL Rookie of the Month for October.

Entering play Monday he leads all first-year players with 12 points, and his five goals are tied for the lead.

McDavid led a deep class of rookie performers in the first month of the season. Arizona Coyotes left wing Max Domi matched McDavid with five goals and is second among rookies with 11 points. Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin had 10 points in 11 games and Winnipeg Jets right wing Nikolaj Ehlers had four goals and eight points in 11 games. The St. Louis Blues' Colton Parayko leads rookie defensemen with four goals and seven points in 11 games. His four goals are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes' Justin Faulk for the lead among all NHL defenders.

Jets' Byfuglien to have Player Safety hearing

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 4:02 PM / Department of Player Safety News

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will have a hearing Tuesday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head of Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher during a 5-1 Montreal win Sunday at Bell Centre in Montreal.

Byfuglien received a minor penalty for elbowing at 18:36 of the first period.

Senators forward Stone suspended two games

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 2:06 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NEW YORK – Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone has been suspended for two games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Landon Ferraro during NHL Game No. 158 in Ottawa on Saturday, October 31, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 11:08 of the second period. Stone was assessed a minor penalty for illegal check to the head.

Fantasy All-Access: Start eyeing Devils on waiver wire

Sean McCullen - Staff Writer

Every Monday, staff writer Sean McCullen identifies potential waiver-wire pickups and points out lineup moves and schedule impacts for fantasy hockey.

Fantasy owners apparently have not taken notice of the New Jersey Devils, who have won six of their past seven games, including a 3-2 shootout win against the John Tavares-less New York Islanders on Saturday.

Goalie Cory Schneider has been good (6-2-1, 2.17 goals-against average, .919 save percentage), as expected, but he's not the only reason behind New Jersey's recent success.

Since their 0-3-1 start under first-year coach John Hynes, the Devils have been scoring goals. Yes, the New Jersey Devils. They have 20 non-shootout goals in their past seven games; that 2.86 per-game average would be 10th in the NHL for the season. Veteran forward Mike Cammalleri (C/LW, owned in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues), a known fantasy commodity for the past decade, has three goals and a Devils-high 11 points.

Blackhawks goalie Crawford learns to ignore critics

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 10:49 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The slights used to be taken as personal attacks by Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, who would use them as motivation.

Now a 30-year-old veteran, Crawford has learned to block out the noise and focus on winning championships. His two Stanley Cup rings are all the validation he needs.

But it wasn't always that way for Crawford. Prior to helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015, he said he was aware of his critics and what they would say.

"I took some stuff personally, when [media] would bash on me," said Crawford, who will start for the Blackhawks at United Center on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNW, FS-W, CSN-CH) looking to end the Los Angeles Kings' seven-game winning streak. "My [rookie] year, I just came in and it was great. I started playing a lot of games and I was winning. In the second year it's a different story when you're declared a No. 1 guy. I didn't play as well."

Top prospect Matthews already 'class of the league'

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 9:16 AM / 2016 NHL Draft

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

Until last week, 18-year-old Auston Matthews' first season of professional hockey with Zurich in National League A, Switzerland's top professional league, was ticking along as efficiently as one of the country's finest timepieces.

But Matthews' smooth season hit a bump in the road during a game Oct. 23 when he fell and crashed into the boards, sustaining a back injury.

He finished that game and played in the next two. But the Zurich medical staff decided it was best to hold Matthews out of a game last Friday, especially since the league now is on a two-week break.

While the injury will prevent Matthews from playing for the United States at the Deutschland Cup, which will be held Nov. 6-8 in Augsburg, Germany, Matthews hopes to be ready when Zurich resumes its schedule Nov. 12.

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Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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