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Price, Canadiens won't look back as they face Rangers

Friday, 10.24.2014 / 5:12 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens went home for the summer after being eliminated in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a major "what if?" hanging over their heads.

What if star goaltender Carey Price wasn't injured in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers? What if Price were able to avoid Rangers forward Chris Kreider sliding at full speed toward the Canadiens crease instead of having Kreider collide into him, straining his knee when his leg slammed into the goal post behind him?

The Canadiens lost the series in six games, and even though Dustin Tokarski came in and performed extremely well under the circumstances, it was not the same as having one of the best goaltenders in the world behind them.

What if?

The answer to that question will never be known, and it won't become any clearer Saturday when Price will be in goal for the Canadiens game against the Rangers at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET; CITY, TVA).

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Analysis: Chara loss hurts, doesn't destroy Bruins

Friday, 10.24.2014 / 5:03 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Before anyone starts planning the Boston Bruins' funeral because Zdeno Chara's knee injury will keep him out of the lineup for four to six weeks, if not more, how about a little perspective.

The Tampa Bay Lightning made the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season despite not having Steven Stamkos in the lineup for 45 games. The Detroit Red Wings made the playoffs last season even though Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk each missed 37 games.

The Lightning and Red Wings overcame those significant losses because they're deep, talented, well-coached teams. They overcame because players who formerly were considered prospects stepped up to become full-time contributors.


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Johnson effort shows these aren't same old Islanders

Friday, 10.24.2014 / 4:46 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- One could make a strong case that last season's version of the New York Islanders would have lost to the Boston Bruins on Thursday. After all, the Islanders lost 13 games in 2013-14 in which they led by two goals.

But Islanders general manager Garth Snow shored up the goaltending during the offseason and added defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk a week before the start of the season with hopes of getting his team back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Chad Johnson was one of Snow's signings when the free agent market opened July 1. The former Bruins goalie stopped 14 of 15 shots in the third period to help the Islanders hang on for a 3-2 win at TD Garden.

"It might, yeah. It might," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said when asked if it was a game the Islanders would have let slip away in years past. "But I think our guys know systematically and the framework of how we need to play, but at the same time you gotta defend hard. As I tell them, you don't want easy. Nothing easy is worth having. You just go out, you battle every day for each other and I think the hard work pays off. The one that hits the post maybe a year ago, it goes in. But the guys are working extremely hard, they're paying attention to detail and we need some puck luck along the way."

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NHL taste with Avalanche has Hishon eager to return

Friday, 10.24.2014 / 12:06 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

From the moment they first step on the ice, every kid playing hockey has, at one point, dreamed a dream of throwing on the jersey of their hometown NHL team. They can lead their youth or amateur program in goals, or post shutout after shutout, but the harsh reality is that a very small percentage of players actually make it to the pro levels of the sport. But as always, there are exceptions to every rule.

Joey Hishon is one of those exceptions.

Naming Colorado Avalanche legend Joe Sakic as one of his favorite players growing up, Hishon donned their burgundy and blue at the end of last season during an emergency recall in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It was a Wednesday, and I was told I'd be playing on Thursday in Minnesota," Hishon said. "It happened really quick, which I think was good for me because I didn't really have too much time to overthink it. I just kind of got thrown into the fire. It was a lot of fun."

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Staying patient, Drouin among hot fantasy topics

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Last week I advised owners to stay patient with some players that were struggling early on. At that time, San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture had one point in four games. Fans were asking if they should look to trade or drop him (crazy, but true). I advised his owners to stay patient with the 25-year-old forward. In his next four games he went on to record four goals and three assists.

With players of Couture's caliber, you must stay patient. I typically use four weeks as my benchmark in fantasy hockey. If a player is still really struggling after four weeks, I might start considering my options. You can either sell them at their lowest point and just take anything back you can get, or you can drop them outright.

On the other hand, the same goes for a player that's exceeding expectations. If they've been a pleasant surprise for four-plus weeks, I tend to start believing in that player and think he can carry the hot start for at least most of the season. Of course it doesn't always work out, but four weeks usually gives a player about 12-15 games to prove himself.

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Super 16: Time needed to judge young goalies

Friday, 10.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Last season was a celebration of NHL hockey in California, from an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium to the three teams staging an impromptu state championship in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Los Angeles Kings became state champs and then League champs. The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks pushed the Kings to seven games, and both spent the offseason trying to process a missed opportunity.

All three teams remain among the League's elite in the early part of the 2014-15 season, but an intriguing aspect of the Ducks and Sharks is both teams are going to give a lot of starts to goaltenders who are inexperienced at this level.

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Parise gets personal in Hockey Fights Cancer video

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 7:23 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

NHL.com

Zach Parise
Left Wing - MIN
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 4
SOG: 27 | +/-: 5
When Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise found out his father had lung cancer, he said, "Hockey was probably the last thing on my mind."

But some time on the road with his dad and his teammates made him feel a little better.

Parise has shared some personal thoughts about his father, Jean-Paul Parise, in a special video presentation for Hockey Fights Cancer.

"It's tough to go through," Parise said in the video. "But now the whole Hockey Fights Cancer thing, and what they do around the League now, it just means a little something different, when someone that you're really close to is going through it and battling it."

J.P. Parise was diagnosed with lung cancer in February and was told he had two years to live. Zach's family found out while he was playing for the United States in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and he was not told until he returned to Minnesota.


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Islanders' Boychuk has fond memories of Boston

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 2:23 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have righted themselves after a 1-3-0 start and take a 4-4-0 record into their game against the New York Islanders on Thursday at TD Garden.

It was apparent during the early going that the Bruins, in addition to other problems, had difficulties adjusting to the aftermath of defenseman Johnny Boychuk's trade to the Islanders on Oct. 4, four days before the beginning of the regular season.

Boychuk, though, isn't surprised his old team has been playing better.

"They always find a way," Boychuk said Thursday, after the morning skate before his first game against his former team. "I remember after we won [the Stanley Cup in 2011] everybody was saying what a tough time we had [to start the 2011-12 season] and we turned it around in November and went undefeated [12-0-1]. So it's not out of the ordinary."

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Hot start for Ducks' Andersen

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 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.

A month ago none of the fantasy experts doubted that a tandem of Frederik Andersen and John Gibson would be talented enough to keep the Anaheim Ducks competitive in the daunting Western Conference.

But it was anyone's guess as to which goalie would earn more starts and produce more fantasy value.

Furthermore, when two unproven or inexperienced goalies are vying to claim a starter's job in terms of workload, a tricky pendulum effect usually takes place. Minutes earned and overall fantasy value will swing back and forth between the two depending on their performance, coaching decisions and other variables, so there's no knowing how long that will last.

But with six straight wins to start the season, Andersen is proving the job is his. Behind this red-hot start, the native of Denmark has 26 wins in his first 31 decisions (26-5-0), which is a new NHL record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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Unmasked: Scorers can Reverse popular technique

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Unmasked is a weekly column by Kevin Woodley exploring the personalities, the trends and the analytics which define NHL goaltending.

It didn't take long for the goaltending world to start debating post-integration tactics.

The first goal of the NHL season came on a sharp-angle shot from just above the goal line by Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty that beat Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier under the left pad.

A few hours later, San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels scored on a similar bad-angle shot against Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who dropped into the same technique as Bernier: Reverse, or Reverse-VH.

Goaltenders and goaltending experts on Twitter already had a #ReverseVHFail hashtag ready to go.

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Quote of the Day

The last time I did it was 1994 and surprise, 20 years later it’s still working. I don’t do it very much, though. I don’t think I had it. I’m kind of surprised. It was probably because I went to church before the game.

Panthers veteran forward Jaromir Jagr on the move that produced his second goal in a 4-2 victory against the Senators on Sunday
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