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30 in 30

Selanne's status, Hiller's health keys for Ducks

Monday, 08.01.2011 / 12:00 PM / 30 in 30

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

If hockey were basketball, where the stars regularly play the large majority of minutes, the Anaheim Ducks would be among the NHL's elite.

The Ducks' first unit can play with anyone.

The line of Ryan Getzlaf centering Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry -- the NHL's lone 50-goal scorer in 2010-11 -- and Bobby Ryan is one of the League's most dangerous. The three players combined for 103 goals and 245 points last season, and those numbers might have been higher had Getzlaf not missed 15 games with sinus fractures after taking a puck to the face. The big three were so dominant that future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne (31 goals, 80 points) was a second-liner.

A brief history: Washington Capitals

Tuesday, 08.31.2010 / 3:00 AM / 30 in 30

Michael Stainkamp - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Washington Capitals joined the NHL in 1974, along with the Kansas City Scouts, now the New Jersey Devils, as part of NHL expansion.

Their first season didn't go as planned. They finished in last place with a record of 8-67-5. The team was so bad throughout its first seven seasons, there was serious thought of relocating it out of the nation's capital. Then the Capitals brought in David Poile as general manager and made two huge moves that would wind up saving the team.

Caps begin long road back to playoff atonement

Tuesday, 08.31.2010 / 3:00 AM / 30 in 30

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"We've explained to the players that you can't let opportunities go. We had a great opportunity this year with a great season, got up 3-1 in a series and blew it. You can't do that very often."
-- Caps GM George McPhee

After a 2009-10 regular season that can only be termed a complete and total success, it's been an offseason of wondering how in the world things went so far south in the playoffs for the Washington Capitals.

The Presidents' Trophy winners with 121 points, eight more than its closest competitor, had a 3-1 lead on Montreal in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals with Game 5 in its own barn. The Capitals are still waiting for their next win after losing three straight and the series to the Habs.

"When you get up on a team 3-1 in a series you've got to win it, because you don't have many opportunities," Caps GM George McPhee told the NHL Network. "We've explained to the players that you can't let opportunities go. We had a great opportunity this year with a great season, got up 3-1 in a series and blew it. You can't do that very often."

A Brief History of the Vancouver Canucks

Monday, 08.30.2010 / 3:00 AM / 30 in 30

Michael Stainkamp - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Vancouver Canucks joined the NHL in 1970, along with the Buffalo Sabres as part of NHL expansion.

The team was placed in the strong Eastern Division and went its first four seasons without a winning record. After realignment placed the Canucks in the newly formed Smythe Division, they finished with a 38-32-10 mark in 1974-75, winning the division and making the playoffs. They would lose in the quarterfinals to the Montreal Canadiens in five games. They made the playoffs the following year as well, but were swept by the Islanders in a preliminary series.

Canucks take another crack at Stanley Cup season

Monday, 08.30.2010 / 3:00 AM / 30 in 30

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was a tremendously disappointing finish to the 2009-10 season for the Vancouver Canucks, who lost in the second round of the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. But the Canucks were closer to a deep postseason run than it seems.

In the Western Conference Semifinals, they held a 1-0 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks after a 5-1 blowout win in Game 1 at the United Center. In Game 2, the Canucks entered the third period with a one-goal lead, but they couldn't hold it and wound up losing the game and series to the eventual Stanley Cup champs.

A brief history of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Sunday, 08.29.2010 / 3:00 AM / 30 in 30

Michael Stainkamp - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Toronto Maple Leafs joined the NHL during its inaugural season in 1917 as the Toronto Arenas. In 1919-20, and for the next eight seasons, the Toronto franchise was called the St. Patricks and finally settled on the Maple Leafs in 1927.

The NHL was formed with four teams: The Arenas, the Montreal Canadiens, the Montreal Wanderers, and the Ottawa Senators. The Wanderers were forced to fold just six games into the season when their arena burnt down. The remainder of the season was played between the three remaining teams. The Arenas won the NHL's first ever Stanley Cup when they defeated the Pacific Coast Hockey League Champions, the Vancouver Millionaires. 

Burke has Leafs reloaded, ready to contend

Sunday, 08.29.2010 / 3:00 AM / 30 in 30

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Toronto General Manager Brian Burke was determined to reload on offense this offseason.

Actually, he had no choice since his only major scoring threat in 2009-10 was Phil Kessel, whose 30 goals were 14 better than the next highest scorer -- Nikolai Kulemin. The Leafs stumbled to 25th in the League in 2009-10 with a 2.56 goals-per game average after finishing among the top 11 the previous four seasons. It was an area Burke was determined to improve.

So, one day after obtaining versatile forward Kris Versteeg in a five-player trade with the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, Burke continued his upgrade along the forward line on July 1 when he agreed to a multi-year contract with another versatile performer, Colby Armstrong.

A brief history: Tampa Bay Lightning

Saturday, 08.28.2010 / 3:00 AM / 30 in 30

Michael Stainkamp - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Tampa Bay Lightning joined the NHL in 1992. The team name came from Tampa's status as the "Lightning Capital of North America."

The Lightning thrilled the home fans by routing Chicago 7-3 in the first game in franchise history, but finished their debut season with just 53 points. They finally made the playoffs in 1995-96, their fourth season, by edging out the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils for the last spot in the Eastern Conference. Even though they lost in the first round to the Flyers, their April 23, 1996, playoff game played in the Thunderdome (now Tropicana Field) drew 28,183 fans, still the largest indoor crowd in NHL history.

New regime in Tampa as Yzerman takes charge

Saturday, 08.28.2010 / 3:00 AM / 30 in 30

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"When taking the job initially (on May 25), I explained what my plan was, so to speak. What I wanted to get to and how I want to get there. It takes time. I'm not coming in and promising a Stanley Cup in two years … certainly if we're in that position, I won't refuse it. But these things take time."
-- Lightning GM, Steve Yzerman

Steve Yzerman has certainly had his share of pressure-packed moments this year.
And the weight on those shoulders won't subside anytime soon. Not when he's shedding salary and rebuilding from the goalmouth out as the newly appointed vice president and general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
First, it was the pressure of building a winner at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver as the executive director of Team Canada. He'd accomplish that, leading the entire country into a state of euphoria following the team's gold-medal-winning overtime effort over the United States on Feb. 28.

Three months later, there was Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announcing Yzerman as his new VP/GM. Since then, the 2009 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee has acquired 15 players, re-signed seven restricted free agents and one unrestricted free agent and pulled the trigger on three trades.

A brief history: Pittsburgh Penguins

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 3:00 AM / 30 in 30

Michael Stainkamp - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the National Hockey League for the 1967-68 season. The team name, Penguins, came about because the team would be playing their home games in the "Igloo," which was the nickname of the Civic Arena. The original logo, the penguin in front of a triangle, signified the "Golden Triangle" of downtown Pittsburgh.
Their first season ended without a playoff appearance, but one good thing did come out of it: they became the first expansion team to beat an "Original Six" team with a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on October 21, 1967.

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