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Five Questions: Tortorella on Johansen, his image

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 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 Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella:

He's been on the job almost six weeks, but Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella hasn't had much time to pick up his head and look around to take in his new surroundings.

Tortorella is so immersed in the job he took over on Oct. 21, after the Blue Jackets' 0-7-0 start, that his daily routine when at home is to make the short walk from his apartment to the rink so he can work for hours before going back home. That's it.

"I'm in this little apartment almost connected to the arena," he said. "We're diving in."

Tortorella's life in Columbus will change slightly next week, when his wife, Christine, arrives in town with the couple's four dogs. She is closing up their home in Stamford, Conn., to come live in Ohio for the rest of the season.

"Then we'll look to get out," Tortorella said.

Probably not too much, though. Tortorella feels he has enough work to do at the rink with the Blue Jackets to keep him occupied for more hours than there are in a day.

Eichel, Larkin set for first pro head-to-head matchup

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Dylan Larkin may have been overshadowed by Jack Eichel at their respective colleges last season, but that no longer seems to be the case as rookies in the NHL.

Larkin, selected in the first round (No. 15) of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, is the first teenager to play for the Red Wings since Jiri Hudler in 2003-04. Larkin has spent the majority of the season on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft by the Buffalo Sabres, has teamed with Larkin in the past with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program and with several United States teams at international tournaments.

On Tuesday, Larkin and Eichel will go head-to-head for the first time as professionals when the Red Wings face the Sabres at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SNO, SNP, MSG-B, BELL TV, FS-D).

AHL Notebook: Penguins affiliate finding ways to win

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / AHL Update

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

Even a 16-2-0-0 start does not mean avoiding some dicey moments along the way for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, American Hockey League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Cruising to a 3-0 second-period lead against the rival Hershey Bears at home last Saturday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton controlled the game against an opponent it had defeated 7-0 on the same ice surface two weeks earlier.

A Hershey goal with 14 seconds left in the second period made it 3-1. Then Penguins rookie goaltender Tristan Jarry allowed a soft goal 5:39 into the third. Suddenly the Bears had the home team in a bind.

Free fan festival to be part of 2016 Winter Classic

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League (NHL) and its corporate partners will extend the celebration of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the Jan. 1 outdoor game between the Boston Bruins® and the Montreal Canadiens®, with the 2016 NHL Winter Classic Spectator Plaza, a two-day free fan festival to be held in Lot 22 of Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Fans of all ages are invited to the free festival on Thursday, Dec. 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET prior to the NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game and on Friday, Jan. 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET before the Bruins and Canadiens face off in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. With support from NHL partners, the 2016 NHL Winter Classic Spectator Plaza will feature interactive hockey-themed attractions; live music; prizes and giveaways; food and beverages; and retail locations with an extensive selection of officially licensed 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® merchandise and collectibles.

2016 NHL All-Star fan vote opens December 1

Fans to select four captains for 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game

Monday, 11.30.2015 / 1:00 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Vote™ opens worldwide Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 12 p.m. ET at and hockey fans will determine the four All-Star captains for the 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 31 (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports).

As part of the new format for the 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game, the All-Stars will take part in a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, and featuring four teams representing each NHL division. Fans will cast votes online at and via a mobile ballot for one player from each Division, without regard to position. Voting concludes Friday, Jan. 1, with the top vote-getters by division – regardless of position – named All-Stars and captains. The remaining 40 NHL All-Stars will be named by the NHL Hockey Operations Department.

MacInnis family tradition stays strong with Kitchener

Monday, 11.30.2015 / 12:25 PM / NHL Insider

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

Ryan MacInnis celebrated his milestone games last weekend in fine fashion.

MacInnis, 19 and in his third season with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League, had one goal and three assists in wins against Sarnia and Sault Ste. Marie.

The games were his 157th and 158th in the OHL. They matched and surpassed his father, Hockey Hall of Fame member Al MacInnis, who played for Kitchener from 1980-83.

"I remember the first time I visited Kitchener with him," said Ryan MacInnis, recalling the banner-raising ceremony to honor his father in November 2008. "I was only 12. Of course, I didn't know I was going to play here back then. But it's been pretty cool."

Al MacInnis' banner hangs from the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium rafters alongside ones honoring other legends like Scott Stevens, Paul Coffey, Bill Barber and Larry Robinson. There are photos of the older MacInnis in action on the concourse of the building and there is the 1982-83 team photo, when he was part of Kitchener's first Memorial Cup championship team.

It's not only cool for Ryan, a 2014 second-round pick (No. 43) of the Arizona Coyotes, but for his father too. Al MacInnis, in his role as father and as senior adviser to St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, makes a couple of monthly visits to watch his son play for his old junior team.

Fantasy All-Access: Atkinson, Rask worth watching

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.

No American-born NHL player has had a point streak as long as the 19-game run Patrick Kane will bring into the Chicago Blackhawks' game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

He set the record Saturday with a first-period goal against the Los Angeles Kings, passing Eddie Olczyk (Toronto Maple Leafs, 1989-90) and Phil Kessel (Boston Bruins, 2008-09), who each had an 18-game streak. Kane also had an assist in the second period.

Kane has 11 goals and 20 assists during his streak, which began Oct. 17, and he is the runaway most valuable player of fantasy hockey so far.

Although the players included in this week’s Waiver-Wire Watch likely won't produce at Kane's level, each has been on an impressive recent run and is worth considering as a fill-in for an injured or slumping player.

Kuznetsov carrying Capitals to top spot in division

Monday, 11.30.2015 / 9:13 AM / Weekly Primer

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

The Washington Capitals just finished a stretch that saw them play seven games in 11 days. They won six of them (6-1-0).

Things are rolling for the Capitals, who have won five in a row and have moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division at 17-5-1.

Washington will face a huge test Thursday when it visits the Montreal Canadiens (18-4-3) at Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, RDS, CITYM).

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