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(Page 163 of 176)
Features

Lundqvist tops goalie rankings at Sochi Olympics

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 10:48 AM / 2014 Olympics

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

It's not hard to find a lot of hockey people to agree that goaltending will play a huge role in deciding who leaves the 2014 Sochi Olympics with a medal.

Nor is it too tough to get some of the NHL's great goaltending minds to break down puck-stopping performances so far this season.

But getting a consensus on how those goaltenders and their varying styles will be affected by a short-notice transition to wider ice, different team systems and increased expectations at these Olympics? That proved a lot harder.

Though common themes emerged, opinions varied among the half-dozen active League goalie coaches and two goalies now playing professionally overseas that were consulted to come with a ranking of goalies going to the Olympics.

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Starting goalies dominate pre-tournament questions

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The NHL is officially on break, but more than 100 of its players and several coaches will board flights Sunday bound for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where a medal stand awaits.

The men's hockey tournament begins Wednesday. All the questions people across the hockey world have been asking since, oh, about four years ago, will be answered within the next two weeks.

Here are the 12 of the biggest questions that need to be answered as NHL players begin their journey to Sochi:


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NBC broadcast team looking forward to Sochi

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Mike "Doc" Emrick will never forget the feeling he had 22 years ago when he was in Albertville, France, to call the Olympic men's hockey tournament for the first time.

"Intoxicating" is perhaps the best adjective he could use to describe the experience.

"I realized I wasn't sleeping that much and it wasn't out of fatigue and it wasn't out of fear; it was more out of the thrill. And that's seeing the best guys ever available from Finland, and the best guys from Czech Republic coming off the ice and coming on were the best guys possible from the United States and the best guys possible from Slovakia," Emrick said. "You go back to the hotel and you're still kind of charged up and so you kind of sleep fast if you can, and look forward to what you're going to see the next day.

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Finland, U.S. boast top goalies at Sochi Olympics

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2014 Sochi Olympics could be the deepest collection of talent for a hockey tournament in the sport's history.

Some of this generation's top players like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin are at the peak of their powers in the NHL. And some of the previous generation's greats like Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne are getting one last chance at Olympic glory.

For years, international hockey has been led by a group of medal contenders known as the "big seven." But Switzerland continues to progress and could make it a "big eight" sooner rather than later.

So how does each of these eight medal contenders stack up against each other at each position? NHL.com ranks the Olympic teams at forward, on defense and in goal, beginning Sunday with the goalies.


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Rask eager to make his mark in Sochi

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins had just beaten the Edmonton Oilers earlier this month when coach Claude Julien began to explain his decision to play backup goaltender Chad Johnson two days after he had pulled starter Tuukka Rask during a loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

First Julien described Johnson's play in recent starts as "really, really good." He then explained the benefit of granting Rask a breather.

"My goal is to give him some rest before going to the Olympics," Julien said. "He's got a big job to do there and I don't want to be the guy responsible for burning him out."

If Julien were merely Rask's NHL coach, that statement probably wouldn't have raised any eyebrows. But for the next couple of weeks, Julien will be Rask's opponent as an assistant coach for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Rask will be one of three goaltenders for Finland, which is competing in Group B against Canada, Austria and Norway during the preliminary round.

Rask, who entered Saturday ranked first in shutouts (five), fifth in save percentage (.928) and eighth in goals-against average (2.11), hopes a little extra rest will help him play his best when he gets to Russia.

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An oral history of the 2010 gold-medal game

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Dan Rosen and Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writers

The conversations across Canada, the NHL, even across the world, were focused on an 18-year-old phenom who already was a household name.

It was 2006, the Olympics in Turin, Italy, quickly were approaching and Sidney Crosby was an NHL rookie. A certainty to one day represent Canada in the Olympics, provided NHL players continued to participate, was he ready as a teenager to play for the defending gold medalists in the world's finest best-on-best tournament?

Not yet, Wayne Gretzky determined. Not now, decided The Great One, then the executive director for the Canadian men's Olympic hockey team.

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Group A: U.S., Russia to battle for top spot

Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 10:55 PM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Two gold-medal contenders will battle for an automatic trip to the quarterfinal round with one of the surprise contenders from four years ago and a national team making its first trip to the Olympics in Group A.

The United States and Russia will play one of the most anticipated games in the preliminary round of the 2014 Sochi Olympics men's ice hockey tournament on Saturday. The Americans open the tournament Thursday against Slovakia, the losers in the bronze-medal game four years ago. The Russians play Olympic rookie Slovenia at the same time.

Group play concludes Feb. 16 when the United States plays Slovenia and the Russians play the Slovaks.

Here is a preview of Group A:

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With Poile in mind, Predators prepare for Ducks

Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 2:16 PM / Features

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE – With general manager David Poile recovering and under observation in a Minnesota hospital two days after he was hit by an errant puck at a morning skate, the Nashville Predators were proceeding with business as usual Saturday. But Poile, the only general manager in the organization's history, is very much in their minds.

Poile, who also is serving as the general manager of the United States team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, underwent two facial procedures on Thursday, one on his orbital bone and one on his nose, while also receiving stitches for lacerations. A team spokesman said Saturday morning that the organization had no update on Poile's condition.

Predators coach Barry Trotz has worked with Poile for more than two decades, as their relationship dates back to their time when Poile managed the Washington Capitals and Trotz was a scout and minor-league coach for that franchise. Trotz said he has not spoken to Poile but he has spoken to his son Brian, Nashville's director of hockey operations, who remains in Minnesota with his father.

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Daily Primer Feb. 8: Canucks look for answers

Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 2:19 AM / Features

NHL.com

The Vancouver Canucks hope the answer to their six-game losing streak will be found against a team that hasn't beaten them in more than a decade.

The Canucks finish the pre-Olympic portion of their schedule Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team they've beaten 11 times in a row. They need to make it 12 straight if they hope to reach the break in possession of a Stanley Cup Playoff berth. The Canucks saw their hold on the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference disappear when the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Friday night.

The Canucks haven't lost to Toronto since Nov. 24, 2003, when the Maple Leafs won 2-1.

Here's a look at all of the action on Saturday, the final day of play before the League breaks for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

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Canadiens' Emelin fined $5,000 for butt-ending

Friday, 02.07.2014 / 8:10 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin has been fined $5,000 for butt-ending Vancouver Canucks forward Pascal Pelletier during NHL Game No. 860 in Montreal on Thursday, Feb. 6, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 11:35 of the second period. No penalty was assessed on the play.

The fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis