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(Page 87 of 113)
Features

Sharks aim to ruin Kings' special night

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Even if they wanted to try, the San Jose Sharks can't avoid it now.

High above their heads when the puck drops on the Sharks' 2014-15 season Wednesday at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN1) will be a new Stanley Cup championship banner that for all intents and purposes could have been theirs.

The Sharks would have at least had as good a shot as any team had they avoided a historical collapse.

"Any time I think of the Kings or our team thinks of the Kings we remember what happened last year," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "The memory of last year will still be pretty fresh for a lot of guys."

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Five things to watch in Sharks-Kings opener

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The bad taste has been in the mouths of the San Jose Sharks ever since they were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After building a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, the Sharks lost four straight, become the fourth team in NHL history to lose four in a row after winning the first three games of a playoff series.

Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons.

San Jose will try to take its first step toward redemption when it opens the season at Los Angeles on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1), but first the Sharks will have to watch the Kings raise their championship banner to the rafters of Staples Center.

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Fourteen questions entering 2014-15 season

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

The one question 30 NHL teams have been asking themselves since before training camps opened is the same: Can we win the Stanley Cup?

Some teams can answer that question affirmatively; others are more hopeful than sure; and a few are focused on building toward winning the Cup in a future season.

There are some other pressing questions facing teams. Here are a few of them as we look toward the start of the season:

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Super 16: Player moves make West still best

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

After a dominant season by the Western Conference in 2013-14, the reaction was swift and not subtle.

The West added more great players.

Though every team in the NHL that doesn't play home games at Staples Center or United Center spent the offseason searching for ways to inch closer to the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks at the top of the League, teams in the West in particular have created a pretty amazing arms race.

The four best players to change conferences, and seven of the best 10 or 11, traveled west. Here's a look at the disparity in players who switched conferences during the offseason, either via trades or free agency:

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Bruins host Flyers in Wednesday Night Rivalry opener

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers are set to renew their intense rivalry on the opening day of the NHL regular season in the first game of the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry (7:30 p.m. ET).

The Flyers might be looking for a little payback against the Bruins after losing all three games against them last season, including a 5-2 decision April 5 in Boston that enabled the Bruins to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have not beaten the Bruins since April 24, 2013, a 5-2 win at Wells Fargo Center.

The rivalry between the two teams has intensified in recent years. In the past 10 years the teams have met twice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and in the 2010 NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston.

"With Philly there's some history there, obviously, having played them twice in the playoffs and in the Winter Classic," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "The teams are pretty good reflections of the cities, and when they get together it's always a battle."

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Bruins' Bergeron the pick to win Selke again

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The NHL used to be defined by dynasties, at the team level and in some award categories.

The League's recent history has shifted toward parity. No team has repeated as Stanley Cup champion since 1998, and no player has successfully defended a major individual trophy (Hart, Vezina, Norris, Adams and Selke) since Pavel Datsyuk won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for a third straight year in 2010.

Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke twice in the past three years, and he is NHL.com's preseason favorite to earn the honor in 2014-15. Should he do so, Bergeron would become the fifth player in League history to win the Selke three times, joining Bob Gainey (four times), Guy Carbonneau, Jere Lehtinen and Datsyuk.

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Blackhawks under salary cap, ready to roll

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 10:19 PM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Poise was the theme of the day for the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday and, really, for all of the preseason.

It's the reason rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk has shown surprising control with the puck on his stick. It's why coach Joel Quenneville isn't afraid to break up one of his best defense pairings, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson, for what he thinks will create better balance on the back end. It's what allowed general manager Stan Bowman to keep a calm, measured approach to the fact the Blackhawks went almost the entire offseason with a payroll hovering above the $69 million salary cap.

The trade of former defenseman Nick Leddy to the New York Islanders on Saturday barely got the Blackhawks under the cap, but nobody associated with the team even broke a sweat about it, least of all Bowman.

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Kings begin quest of third Cup in four seasons

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 9:39 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings have what the other 29 teams in the NHL want, but they'll be motivated and driven this season by the same emotion that everyone else in the NHL feels toward them.

"Jealousy," Kings forward Justin Williams said Tuesday.

Come again? Jealousy?

It's definitely fair to wonder how it is that the Kings, the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the team that will raise its second championship banner in three seasons Wednesday before their season-opener against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN1), can be jealous of anything or anybody?

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Bruins' expectations high despite uncertainty, change

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 4:56 PM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have stared down perceived disasters before and triumphed.

Shortly after defenseman Dennis Seidenberg left their game against the Ottawa Senators with an injury last December, the Bruins learned he was lost for the season and needed surgery to repair the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his knee. Less than a month later, a couple of injuries ended defenseman Adam McQuaid's season.

The Bruins still won the Presidents' Trophy with 117 points despite missing two of their most important defensemen.

With their regular season opening against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN), the Bruins again are dealing with the loss of one of their reliable veterans on the blue line, but this time on a permanent basis.

Defenseman Johnny Boychuk was traded to the New York Islanders on Saturday for draft picks. The trade was made for salary-cap reasons; general manager Peter Chiarelli said, "Arguably this doesn't make us better now."


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McDonagh welcomes challenge as Rangers captain

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 4:00 PM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

NHL.com Staff

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh considers it quite an honor to be named the 27th captain in franchise history.

McDonagh met the media Tuesday for the first time since he was named captain Monday.

"This is an Original Six team, so it means a lot," McDonagh said according to NorthJersey.com. "The expectation that this organization expects from its players and obviously its leaders, you're expected to carry yourself very well on and off the ice.

"It's something I'm very aware of and something that I'm going to continue to work at, and I'm very fortunate to have a great group of leaders around me."

The Rangers on Monday also named four alternate captains, defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi and forwards Martin St. Louis and Derek Stepan.

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Quote of the Day

I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday
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