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(Page 23 of 113)
Features

Canada dominates Slovakia in WJC opener

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 10:34 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – A year earlier, Slovakia put a serious scare into Canada in the preliminary round of the same tournament, leading by two goals late in the second period before Canada stormed back to win.

Canada returned the favor Friday, making Slovakia look like the scared team in a dominant 8-0 victory to open the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on home soil in emphatic fashion.

Robby Fabbri (St. Louis Blues) had two goals and two assists to lead a Canadian attack that got at least a point from 11 different players, none of whom were named Connor McDavid.

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Russia, Sweden open WJC with wins

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 10:00 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

NHL.com Staff

Russia erased an early two-goal deficit and scored on each of its shootout attempts to defeat Denmark 3-2 on Friday in the opening game of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

In the second game in Group B, Sweden got two goals from Adrian Kempe and defeated the Czech Republic 5-2. Sweden (1-0-0) leads the group with three points, Russia (1-0-0) has two, Denmark (0-0-1) has one and the Czech Republic (0-1-0) none.

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U.S. tops Finland in shootout to win WJC opener

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 7:15 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Jack Eichel knew the spotlight would be glaring.

As a top-two prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, one wearing the captain's "C" on his United States jersey at the IIHF 2015 World Junior Championships, the eyes of the world are going to be picking apart everything Eichel does during this high-profile tournament.

On opening day, Eichel not only gave them no reason to look away, he justified all the attention with a masterful performance to help lead the U.S. to a tournament-opening 2-1 shootout win against defending champion Finland on Friday.

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Panthers prospect Grimaldi fine-tuning game in AHL

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 12:07 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

Before Rocco Grimaldi arrived under his tutelage, San Antonio Rampage coach Tom Rowe already knew a fair amount about what exactly the 5-foot-6 wing could do on the ice.

"I watched him on video quite a bit, and I'd watch him on TV, which sometimes isn't the best way to do it, but it gives you a good idea," Rowe said. "I loved the fact that he's quick, and he moved the puck well and could beat guys one-on-one. Those were the things that stood out to me."

Finding Grimaldi wasn't hard. A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program and the University of North Dakota, the California-born 21-year-old had already won three gold medals in international play before the Florida Panthers selected him No. 33 at the 2011 NHL Draft. He added a fourth gold medal with the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, scoring twice in a 3-1 win against Sweden in the final game.

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Resilient Crawford focused ahead of Winter Classic

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It's difficult to find a word that adequately describes the season Corey Crawford is having for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Impressive, steady and dazzling could all work for the majority of his outings. In 20 games, Chicago's No.1 goalie is 12-6-2 with a 2.00 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage, and one shutout. He's playing noticeably better under the guidance of first-year Blackhawks goaltending coach Jimmy Waite, and is a big reason Chicago is leading the NHL in penalty-killing.

"Commend him on getting off to a great start," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Crawford earlier this season. "His focus has been excellent every day on the ice, the practice days as well, but he really seems like he’s concentrating on the next shots, the next situations. His preparation has been excellent."

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Super 16: Plenty to play for at the holiday break

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

If recent history is correct, the number of teams that can win the Stanley Cup is quite large. Expand "recent history" to the past 15 years, and it looks more like the pool of potential Cup winners is a little smaller.

Three times in the past five years, the eventual NHL champion was far from the top of the League standings at the holiday break. In 2012, the Los Angeles Kings had just changed coaches when everyone scattered for a few days in late December. In 2009, the Pittsburgh Penguins were still two months from hiring Dan Bylsma to replace Michel Therrien.
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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Schneider needs time

Thursday, 12.25.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top-30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

Of the items on the checklist for New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer to begin the regular season was to make sure goaltender Cory Schneider knew he was the team's starting goalie.

He's accomplished that and more. Schneider started the Devils' first 20 games of the season, a stretch that broke Martin Brodeur's New Jersey record for most consecutive starts.
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Finland faces challenge for World Juniors repeat

Thursday, 12.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Finland National Junior Team will look to become the first in seven years to win back-to-back gold medals when the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship takes center stage this week in Montreal and Toronto.

Canada was the most recent repeat champion, winning five straight golds between 2005 and 2009. They'll be one of nine other teams looking to deny the Finns a second straight gold medal at the 11-day event, which runs Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, 2015. 

The Group A field, which consists of Finland, Canada, the United States, Slovakia and Germany, will play preliminary-round games at Bell Centre in Montreal.

The schedule-makers provided quite an offering for fans on opening day with the defending champion Finns playing against the United States at 3 p.m. ET (NHLN-US, NHL.com).

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Unmasked: Canada playing catch up in goal

Thursday, 12.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

There may not be the crisis declared by some observers after Canada stretched its gold-medal drought to five years at the IIHF World Junior Championship with a non-podium finish in 2014. But as the country prepares to host the 2015 tournament after two years without any medal, there is little question Canada has lagged behind in the goaltender arms race.

The fact Hockey Canada has spent two years building a national goaltending development model, which will include the country's first goalie-coach certification program, is as strong an admission as possible.

Sweden instituted a similar national plan a decade ago and its formation is credited for its rise up the international goaltending ranks, just as Finland improved its goaltending with the introduction of their groundbreaking program almost 20 years earlier.

So it's not surprising Hockey Canada recently sent a six-person advisory group to those countries to learn more about their goaltending programs.

"This is stuff that should have been done 10 years ago but better late than never," said Corey Hirsch, a former NHL goalie and goalie coach who is now consulting for Hockey Canada and was on the trip to Scandinavia. "We recognized it and we're doing something about it."

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Group B favorite Sweden aims to reclaim WJC gold

Thursday, 12.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The journey is different but the destination remains the same for Sweden.

As the host nation for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, Sweden was counted among the favorites. And they lived up to challenge, reaching the gold-medal game for the third straight year.

But much like 2013, when Sweden lost to the United States in the championship game in Russia, Sweden this time lost to Finland 3-2 in overtime.

While the 2014 WJC didn't end the way Sweden wanted, it's something the players and coaching staff have no intention of reliving heading into the 2015 tournament, which will be held in Montreal and Toronto.

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Quote of the Day

I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive. I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever.

— New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez on former teammate Martin Brodeur, who will announce his retirement Thursday