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(Page 93 of 109)

Blue Jackets' identity leads to off-ice success

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't just qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and win their first two postseason games in franchise history against the favored Pittsburgh Penguins last season. They won over the city of Columbus by cultivating a blue-collar identity.

With the 2015 NHL All-Star Game coming to Columbus on Jan. 25, and the Blue Jackets looking to make the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time, the team has been embraced by the community in a way not seen since the inaugural season of 2000-01.

"They're a hard team to play against. They beat us more than we beat them last year," forward Scott Hartnell said of the Blue Jackets after being traded to Columbus by the Philadelphia Flyers on June 23. "It was always a tough game. You were always getting checked, you were always getting hit."


NHL, EPIX envision new level of all-access program

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Ross Greenburg has made a career out of taking hours of footage and turning it into award-winning television programming. His next challenge will be to re-invent what he already has done to make it new and compelling for a broader audience.

Greenburg, a 52-time Emmy Award winner formerly of HBO Sports who has partnered with the NHL on three previous all-access documentary series, will be the lead producer on the League's latest behind-the-scenes endeavor, this time with premium TV network Epix.

Epix and the NHL announced a partnership to produce and distribute a two-part, eight-episode, original all-access series debuting in December during a press conference Tuesday at Nationals Park, the home of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Epix is available in 54 million homes and on 450 digital devices, creating a greater opportunity for distribution than the NHL has had in any of its previous all-access endeavors. Sportsnet will air the series in Canada.


Capitals preview what NHL Winter Classic will be like

Adam Vingan - Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Clad in the Washington Capitals' vintage deep red jerseys for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby emerged from the visitors dugout at Nationals Park.

A sun-splashed, temperate day in southeast Washington provided the players with a picturesque preview of what awaits them Jan. 1, 2015, against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Banners outlined where the rink would be constructed; new uniforms were unveiled; and tens of thousands of navy blue seats awaited cheering fans.

One hundred days from puck drop felt like an eternity.


Capitals excited to bring NHL Winter Classic to D.C.

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Simultaneous to the moment when the NHL first showed the sports world that a regular-season hockey game can be made into a major event in the United States, Washington Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis raced to send an email to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that can only be characterized as a plea for his team and his city.

It was Jan. 1, 2008. The Buffalo Sabres were playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in a blizzard at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Leonsis was at home watching the game with his family with zero expectations or ideas for what the NHL Winter Classic would eventually turn into.

"I said, 'This is the greatest thing I've ever seen and I want one of these for our fans,'" Leonsis said, detailing what he wrote in his email to Commissioner Bettman. "It just had this big-event, big-game vibe about it, and I loved every minute of it."


Capitals' NHL Winter Classic uniform honors past

The uniform the Washington Capitals will wear for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will serve as a tribute to their past and the history of professional hockey in Washington.

The Capitals on Tuesday unveiled the uniform they will wear at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals baseball team and the site of the 2015 NHL Winter Classic.

"We wanted to create a uniform that not only celebrates the history of the Capitals but also gives the team a unique, new look," Capitals president Dick Patrick said. "We feel our fans will really embrace this uniform."


EPIX teams with NHL for two-part original series

NEW YORK – Premium TV network EPIX and the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today that they have formed a partnership to produce and distribute a two-part original series, debuting on EPIX in December 2014, that will bring hockey fans onto the ice and behind-the-scenes with the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals as they prepare to compete in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on their road to the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.

Produced by 52-time Emmy award winner Ross Greenburg, the series will offer viewers an exclusive look inside the world of the NHL, with strategically placed cameras and microphones providing an all-access pass to players' homes, locker rooms, training rooms, and the arena.

A pioneer in "TV Everywhere" multi-platform availability, EPIX's television, on-demand, and digital offerings will provide fans intimate looks at these athletes in professional and personal settings, capturing all the action, drama, heartaches, and triumphs as they unfold.


MacKinnon, Schneider top Jensen's fantasy breakouts

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

Last season, forwards Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars, Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks and Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers went from reliable fantasy producers to elite-level assets. On the defenseman and goalie fronts, fantasy owners witnessed Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames and Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche joining the likes of stardom at their respective positions.

These were players who made their mark on the fantasy landscape before, but never to the degree of statistical prowess that they put forth this past season. Sleepers are under-the-radar players who are drafted much later than they should be. Breakout players are players we respect from a fantasy standpoint that elevate their level of production to new heights.

Targeting breakout candidates in your fantasy draft can go a long way in building a championship-caliber roster. Here are five players I believe will take the jump from household name to superstar in 2014-15. Matt Cubeta's five breakout candidates can be found here.


McDavid, Eichel top Central Scouting watch list

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 11:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

If you didn't know by now, Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel will dominate the headlines leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft.

They are projected to be franchise-type players capable of having immediate impacts for the teams drafting them. They also have taken two different paths to this point, making their race to No. 1 that much more intriguing.

Both players were identified as A-rated prospects in their respective leagues on the NHL Central Scouting preliminary players to watch list for September that was released Tuesday.

McDavid has been a star since arriving in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old in 2012 with "exceptional player" status. Eichel, after two standout seasons with the United States National Team Development Program, will start play as a freshman in Hockey East this season.


Five Q's: Orpik's insight on new chapter with Capitals

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 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 Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik:

ARLINGTON, Va. -- As a stay-at-home defenseman for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brooks Orpik would be challenged to put his physical strength and mental wits to the test in a battle against Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on almost every shift in every game between two Metropolitan Division rivals.

There would be hip checks and body bumps that left both players bruised and wondering if there was ever a chance they'd be able to get away from each other.

They never seemed to find a way to do that.

"If there is one guy who can hit hard, it's him," Ovechkin said. "It's good to have him on our team now. It was hard to play against him."


With new additions, Stars eye more than just playoffs

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill and coach Lindy Ruff are determined to do a lot more than just have their team qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs each season.

That feat was accomplished last season, their first together in Dallas, and snapped a streak of five straight non-playoff appearances. However, the two have bigger goals in mind.

The Stars earned the second Western Conference wild-card spot last season with 40 wins and 91 points. Nill's acquisition of Tyler Seguin in a trade with the Boston Bruins played a big part in that; Seguin led the Stars in goals (37), assists (47), points (84), power-play goals (11) and game-winning goals (eight) while playing top minutes at center.

"There were some battles during the year," Nill said. "It looked like they were going the wrong way at times and they fought through that and I think that prepared them for the run to get into the playoffs. Then they got in the playoffs and realized how close they were to advancing; how close, but how far. We were one overtime from going to a Game 7 [against the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference First Round] and maybe moving on.

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Quote of the Day

I had one really not-good game. I came back to the hotel and he [his father] was on Skype. My mother called first and said, 'Your father wants to talk to you.' So he moved my mother away, and he yelled at me for like 30 seconds. I understood him, and then he said, 'I'm done.' And he was gone. The next game I got my first shutout.

— Anton Khudobin recalls a fond memory, explains why he was so sharp in the Hurricanes' 3-0 win against the Capitals on Friday
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series GigaPixel