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Canadiens get chance to show they're more than Price

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 12:45 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens set out this season to prove to the hockey world that they are more than an adequate team playing in front of an outstanding goaltender.

They're now getting a golden opportunity to do that, though not one the Canadiens necessarily welcomed.

The news Sunday that goaltender Carey Price would be out for at least one week with a lower-body injury could not possibly be spun in a positive way. But for the Canadiens who have felt slighted by the idea that they would be lost without Price, this is a chance to put that narrative to rest.

The Canadiens began making that point in an emphatic way Sunday, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-1 behind 18 saves from backup goaltender Mike Condon to kick off a four-game homestand that also includes games against the Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins.

"We know what we're capable of," center David Desharnais said. "Every team has good players. We have Carey, the Penguins have Sidney [Crosby], the Blackhawks have [Jonathan] Toews. Everyone has their kingpin. So there's no doubt he helps us, but we're able to play without him. He's an important element of the team, but he's a part of the team."

Analysis: Babcock clear-cut choice for Team Canada

Sunday, 11.01.2015 / 11:55 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey might last a couple of weeks, but it will occupy the hearts and minds of Team Canada's fans for the better part of the next year.

Canadians will passionately debate who should be the seventh defenseman, down to whether he should be a left-handed or right-handed shot.

It's often said Canada could assemble two competitive teams for a best-on-best international tournament. The same goes for Canada's coaching staff.

Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong has a deep and talented pool of candidates who could guide Canada when it attempts to continue its run of excellence on the international stage, which includes gold at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, as well as the 2015 IIHF World Championship.

There are reports Team Canada could name its coach later this month.

Senators forward Stone to have Player Safety hearing

Sunday, 11.01.2015 / 5:33 PM / Department of Player Safety News

Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone will have a hearing Monday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Landon Ferraro during a 5-3 Detroit win Saturday at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.

Stone received a minor penalty for the illegal check, which took place at 11:08 of the second period.

Ferraro later returned in the second period.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: illegal check to the head.

Movember, NHL team to spread men's health message

Sunday, 11.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Jon Lane - Staff Writer

Movember, the charity movement with the mustache as its focal point, is back and bigger than ever.

The Movember Foundation uses the month of November to challenge men to grow facial hair to inspire one another to live happier, healthier and longer lives. The foundation has raised more than $650 million and helped fund more than 1,000 breakthrough men's health programs in 21 countries.

Movember's outreach has extended through its partnership with the NHL and Hockey Fights Cancer. The annual Hockey Fights Cancer campaign, launched Oct. 19 and running until Nov. 13, is a joint initiative between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association that's raised more than $15 million since its inception in 1998.

Twenty-five NHL teams and 369 players contributed to Movember last year, according to the Movember Foundation. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Carolina Hurricanes ranked as the League's top-three fundraising teams. Every team in Canada registered and participated, and player participation grew 16 percent from 2013 with Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher emerging as the top fundraiser.

Stars satisfied with strong start to season

Friday, 10.30.2015 / 6:30 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- It has been an interesting week for the Dallas Stars.

They returned home from a four-game sweep of their Eastern Conference road trip. Then their five-game winning streak ended in their first home game, a 6-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Oct. 24.

Dallas responded with consecutive 4-3 comeback wins, on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks and Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks in overtime. The Stars end a four-game homestand Saturday against the San Jose Sharks (3 p.m. ET; FS-SW, CSN-CA).

The Stars are 8-2-0, and their 16 points were second in the NHL behind the Montreal Canadiens' 18 heading into play Friday.

"I'll use the word comfortable. I'm comfortable with our start," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Friday. "I want us to continue to get better. We've found ways to win several games and we've put a real nice road trip together, which really helped us in the start. So for me, I think the word comfortable [is fitting]."

Fantasy Friday: Analyzing Crosby, other slow starters

Matt Cubeta - Fantasy Insider

In the previous edition of Fantasy Friday, I looked at some of the biggest surprises in fantasy hockey and whether I believed they could carry their fast starts for the remainder of the season. This week, I'll look at the opposite, the biggest disappointments to this point.

However, instead of being 16 days into the season, we're now 23 days into it. Looking back at last season, players like Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames and Tomas Tatar of the Detroit Red Wings had been struggling 23 days into their seasons. Some players are able to shake off their early-season slumps, like Monahan and Tatar, while others carry those struggles throughout the season and never quite fully recover, like MacKinnon. Even Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin only had five goals and one assist through his first nine games, but we all know how his season turned out.

This season seems to have more superstars coming out of the gate slowly than in the past, but the question is, can they recover?

Here's a look at some of the most notable disappointments of the young 2015-16 season and whether I believe they can turn things around for fantasy owners.

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