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Features

Playing experience guided Shapiro in 'Hockey Saint'

Friday, 10.31.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

Playing three years of high school hockey, Howard Shapiro discovered a few things about himself and what he wanted to become. Although Shapiro said he wasn't very good, hockey taught him lessons that he applied to his life and opened creative doors to what would be a series of books on how the game brings people closer together.

"Those three years of being a really bad player, the game itself taught me so much, things I was able to learn from playing that I applied in school and in my professional life. And friendships that last to this day," Shapiro said.

Since playing professional hockey was out of the question, Shapiro became an accountant and author. His latest release is his first hockey graphic novel, "The Hockey Saint." It's the story of 21-year-old Jeremiah Jacobson, the world's best hockey player but unprepared for the scrutiny of stardom, and his evolving friendship with college player Tom Leonard, an average sophomore trying to find his place in the world.

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Super 16: Wild on rise as elite puck possession team

Friday, 10.31.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Minnesota Wild began the 2013-14 season with a spike in their possession statistics, as a team long considered one of the most passive in the NHL tried to change its identity.

As the season wore on, the Wild slipped back to the middle of the pack in puck possession, but a dominating performance against the Colorado Avalanche and a strong showing against the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs was a nice way to finish with the arrow pointing upward.

The Wild appear to have consolidated those postseason gains and built from the success. Minnesota has arguably been the most impressive team of the 2014-15 season, and are a late goal at Honda Center and a crazy third-period collapse at Madison Square Garden from probably being considered the best team in the League to this point.

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New season sees Rangers' Nash an elite scorer again

Friday, 10.31.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The puck dropped in front of Rick Nash as if it arrived gift-wrapped with a card on it that read, "Open for a goal."

It dropped at the feet of the New York Rangers forward, which were positioned perfectly in front of the crease. The bounce was timed perfectly with the blade of his swinging stick.

Forgive Nash for getting a chuckle out of his good fortune. Forgive him for feeling that he deserves some.

"Last year during the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs I would go to the net and that puck would never drop on my stick like that," Nash said.

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Unmasked: Oilers' Scrivens has mask with a message

Thursday, 10.30.2014 / 2:26 PM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Simply stopping pucks isn't enough for Ben Scrivens.

Scrivens sees his position as a goaltender for the Edmonton Oilers as an opportunity and an obligation to do more. So he is lending his name and his mask to raise awareness and funds for mental health in general, and the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta in particular.

Scrivens has started Ben's Netminders, a program that will turn his mask into a canvas for four Edmonton-area artists diagnosed with schizophrenia. Scrivens is raising awareness by wearing the first mask, based on a painting by Richard Boulet. The fundraising will come when the game-worn masks are put up for auction, but more important is giving a voice to those who often are marginalized.

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Smith's hustle, goal sparked Predators to victory

Thursday, 10.30.2014 / 12:24 PM / Defenders of the Ice

NHL.com

Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith did more than score two goals Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers. His extra effort on defense helped spark the Predators to a 4-1 win to begin a six-game road trip.

With the game scoreless in the second period, Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry connected with Jesse Joensuu, who found Matt Hendricks cutting toward the net. Smith put his body in front of Hendricks to deflect the puck and the Predators started a rush toward Edmonton's end.

Predators defenseman Roman Josi's shot was stopped by Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens. The rebound came to Derek Roy, and after Roy couldn't control it, Smith was in the right spot and put the puck past Scrivens at 6:23 of the second.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Scrivens, Lehner solid adds

Thursday, 10.30.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens allowed 14 goals on 70 shots in his first three games of the season, against the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes.

Since then he has allowed 12 goals on 181 shots in his past six games (4-2-0), for a .934 save percentage. That includes a 29-save shutout against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, one day after being named the NHL Second Star of the Week.

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Carter and the kids: Inside Kings dynamic line

Thursday, 10.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

At 29 years old and with fewer than 650 games played in the NHL, Jeff Carter isn't the ideal for a veteran mentor.

But for young linemates Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson, Carter has served as a role model and a motivator as the three forwards have formed the most offensively explosive line in the first month of the NHL season for the Los Angeles Kings.

Entering their game Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SN360, TVA SPORTS2), Pearson (seven goals), Carter (five) and Toffoli (five) have combined for 17 of the Kings' 23 goals this season.

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Blackhawks' Hossa on brink of 1,000-point milestone

Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 5:34 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- He'll turn 36 in January, but Marian Hossa still puts fear into opponents whenever he enters a game for the Chicago Blackhawks.

"He scares you every time he gets on the ice," said Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau this week before his team managed to keep Hossa and the Blackhawks at bay in a 1-0 Ducks victory at United Center. "He's got a tremendous release of his shot. He's really fast, deceptively fast and strong, and he really plays the [right wing] position well."

Hossa is creeping up on 1,000 points in his 17th NHL season (465 goals and 533 assists in 1,099 games) but Boudreau wasn't just paying him lip service. He still views Hossa as a dominant two-way presence and he's not alone.

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Moore suspended five games for check to the head

Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 5:08 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman John Moore has been suspended for five games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head of Minnesota Wild forward Erik Haula during NHL Game No. 122 in New York on Monday, October 27, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

Moore is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $51,859.75. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Tallon thinks Ekblad has goods to stick with Panthers

Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 2:16 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It appears Florida Panthers rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad, the first pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, has done more than enough to prove he belongs in the NHL.

"Unless he really collapses, I don't see him going anywhere," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon told NHL.com. "I've been very impressed with his composure and maturity. Once the regular season started, he was a different guy; it was like game on and almost as if he's been around for a long time."

Tallon has until the 10th game to determine if Ekblad has what it takes to remain with the team over an 82-game schedule. He could be returned to the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League without his three-year entry-level contract kicking in at any point before his 10th game, which will likely occur Nov. 4 at TD Garden in Boston.

"He's improving and playing well, playing lots of minutes, and has some good mentors here in Willie Mitchell and Brian Campbell," Tallon said.

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Quote of the Day

I watched many times this year the series between the Russians and Canada in 1972, and he was a dominating player there. After I watched the tapes, I respect him a lot more because he turned the series around. He was the guy. In that time, he was the best in the world. It’s a big honor for me to tie him.

— Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr on scoring the 717th goal of his career to tie Phil Esposito for fifth on the NHL's all-time goals list after a 4-3 win vs. the Lightning on Sunday
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series GigaPixel