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Features

Analysis: Capitals' Ovechkin set to join elite company

Saturday, 01.31.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Alex Ovechkin has reached the point in his career when comparisons and context on a generational level can give way to a much bigger range of time.

Ovechkin's next goal, which he could score as soon as Saturday afternoon, when he and the Washington Capitals visit the Montreal Canadiens (1 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, SN, RDS, CSN-DC), will be his 30th this season. It will also be the 10th time he's reached 30 goals in his first 10 NHL seasons.

Four players in the history of the NHL have accomplished that: Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri and Mike Gartner. It is a feat of ability, consistency, durability and longevity. It is also an accomplishment that will buttress the case for Ovechkin in any discussion about the greatest goal-scorers of all time.

"I saw an Ovechkin goal [Wednesday] against Pittsburgh, and it seems to me that every goal or highlight of his I see is him scoring the same goal," Bossy said. "So he's scored a lot of those this year. I don't know how hard that shot was back then, but [Ovechkin's] was a lot harder than my one-timers back then. The equipment has changed; I don't care how big the goalies' equipment is, when you're taking a shot like Ovechkin took [Wednesday], it's going to go in."

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Containing Ovechkin unique challenge for Canadiens

Saturday, 01.31.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- When facing an elite scorer, a common last-gasp tactic is to hit him early, hit him hard, and hit him often.

Assuming you can catch him, the strategy should bear fruit as the star player will begin to wear down, and ultimately, or hopefully, become a little tentative to go to the areas of the ice where he can hurt you.

As the Montreal Canadiens prepare to face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at Bell Centre on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, SN), they know that is not an approach that will slow down the hottest goal scorer in the NHL.

The problem with hitting Ovechkin is not catching him; it's avoiding hurting yourself while doing it.

"I've lined up beside him a few times," Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher said after practice Friday. "I actually tried to hit him a couple of times. That didn't go well."

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Brodeur made early impression on Penguins' Crosby

Friday, 01.30.2015 / 2:14 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby can recall like it was yesterday his NHL debut against one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the game.

It was Oct. 5, 2005 at what was then known as Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., against New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. Crosby would finish his rookie season with 39 goals and 102 points, but Brodeur had his number on this day in a 5-1 win for the Devils.

"I had a great chance on my first shift and he made the save; that will always be a big memory for me," Crosby said. "When I look back on that moment, it's the only time I can remember smiling or laughing at missing a scoring chance. It was my first NHL game, my first shift and you get robbed by Martin Brodeur.

"It could be a lot worse."

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Perron, Faulk pushing for must-own fantasy status

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

In this week's edition of fantasy hockey's "Hot Topics," I'll be suggesting five players that need to be owned in far more leagues for the remainder of this season. Let's jump right into the discussion.

1. David Perron, Pittsburgh Penguins, LW/RW -- owned in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues

Why isn't Perron's ownership higher? Do people realize he got traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Penguins? That he's playing on the top line with Sidney Crosby? And receiving tons of ice time on one of the NHL's top power-play units? Perron needs to be owned in just about every fantasy league. In 10 games with the Penguins he has six goals, three assists, 10 penalty minutes, three power-play points and 44 shots on goal (4.4 per game). While his minus-5 rating has been a disappointment since joining his new team, he's been a fantasy force in every other category.

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Canucks goalie Miller eager to face Sabres

Friday, 01.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller will be extra cautious facing the Buffalo Sabres for the first time Friday.

Buffalo picked Miller in the fifth round (No. 138) in the 1999 NHL Draft, and he played his first 12 seasons in the Sabres organization before he was traded to the St. Louis Blues late last season. The 34-year-old goaltender expects to feel awkward playing against his former team.

"It's going to be a little bit strange," said Miller, who signed a three-year contract with Vancouver last summer. "I will pay special attention not to pass the puck towards the Buffalo symbol."

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Super 16: Class of 2003 further solidifying its status

Friday, 01.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend doubled as a class reunion.

Eleven members of the NHL Draft Class of 2003 were in Columbus, and a 12th was originally selected but could not participate because of injury. That's more than double any other draft class, and another example of the exemplary talent that extraordinary draft cycle produced.

"We actually talked about that on the bus," Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter said on All-Star media day. "Guys were asking what draft other guys were in and who was in that draft, and we've got a lot of good players from that draft. It is pretty cool."

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Former Devils remember Brodeur 'as a winner'

Thursday, 01.29.2015 / 4:53 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Retired New Jersey Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko, affectionately called "Mr. Devil" by many fans, watched with interest the retirement announcement by good friend and former teammate Martin Brodeur at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday.

One thing immediately struck him.

"I didn't see the New Jersey Devils logo in the background," Daneyko said with a grin. "It was a little awkward, I'm not going to lie. I guess I'm a little selfish. I would have liked to have seen the big Devils logo back there.

"Maybe down the road we will see Marty in front of the Devils logo because this was a subdued press conference [in St. Louis]. We're going to have, more sooner than later, the retirement night and jersey raising to the rafters. Maybe then we'll be able to soak in a little more about what Marty meant to the New Jersey Devils and the career he had."

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Finding the next Brodeur

Thursday, 01.29.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top-30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

It wasn't just the individual records. It wasn't just the Stanley Cups. It wasn't just the international accolades, the sprawling saves in the crease or his ability to handle the puck outside of the blue paint.

Part of what made Martin Brodeur so great was that he was great consistently. From his rookie season, which he capped by winning the Calder Trophy in 1994, to around 2010, you knew what you were going to get from Brodeur: consistent excellence.

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Brodeur's career timeline full of milestones, memories

Thursday, 01.29.2015 / 11:50 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

There are plenty of superlatives to describe the career of Martin Brodeur, but one word that seems to stick out is longevity.

Brodeur was around professional hockey for parts of three decades and two centuries, leaving his footprint on the game again and again. His tour of the professional hockey world lasted 24 years in total, and here are some of the most important dates and moments from that journey.

June 16, 1990: The New Jersey Devils select Brodeur with the 20th pick in the NHL Draft, held at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.

March 26, 1992: Brodeur makes his NHL debut and picks up his first victory in a 4-2 win against the Boston Bruins. Brodeur saved 24 of the 26 shots he faced.

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Unmasked: Old-school style helped Brodeur stand out

Thursday, 01.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Martin Brodeur's place among the top NHL goaltenders of all-time may be up for debate, but most in the goal-preventing world agree there will probably never be another like Brodeur, who retired Thursday after 21 NHL seasons.

It's not just the staggering numbers and accolades Brodeur amassed during a career spent almost entirely with the New Jersey Devils, a list that includes the most wins (691) and shutouts (125) in NHL history, as well winning the Stanley Cup three times and four Vezina Trophies.

Records are made to be broken, after all. It isn't likely, however, that these will fall to another goalie using the old-style technique employed by Brodeur during his two-decade stay with the Devils and a short stint this season with the St. Louis Blues.

Brodeur rejected the butterfly revolution at a time when his peers were starting to embrace it. He remained on his skates when everyone else was learning to play from their knees. Brodeur did add some butterfly elements late in his career but never fully adopted them.

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Quote of the Day

I've been so fortunate, blessed, to play a long time with some great players and be on power plays, play in some great cities and stuff. It's been fun.

— Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla on tying Dino Ciccarelli for 46th place on the NHL's all-time list with his 1,200th career point after their win vs. the Predators on Friday