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NHL Insider

Canadiens' belief in themselves being put to the test

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 10:08 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Brendan Gallagher's voice can light up a room at times, his enthusiasm for the game and life in general shining through whenever he speaks.

This was not one of those times.

The Montreal Canadiens right wing and alternate captain was standing at his stall Tuesday attempting to answer question after question on how his team could lose on back-to-back nights to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who entered the home-and-home series with the worst record in the NHL.

Jets' Ehlers fourth rookie with hat trick in January

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 10:05 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The kids are all right.

When the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Tuesday, not only did forward Nikolaj Ehlers record his first NHL hat trick, he became the sixth rookie this season and the fourth in January with a three-goal game.

Ehlers' hat trick had some historical significance. He became the second teenager in Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history with a three-goal game. Ehlers (19 years, 347 days), who turns 20 on Feb. 14, is slightly older than Ilya Kovalchuk was when he had a hat trick at age 19 years, 235 days, in a Dec. 6, 2002 game against the Washington Capitals.

Sabres' Eichel, Reinhart seeing progress in games

Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma is set for the foreseeable future with twin-bill centers Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart in the fold.

Not only is each beginning to find his niche within the structure of how Bylsma would like to operate on a daily basis, but they're making major contributions for a team five wins from exceeding its 2014-15 win total (23).

"Where will Jack and Sam be four years from now? That's a good question," Bylsma told NHL.com. "I think you can't quite look at them and say they're grown men and they're the best that they're going to be right now. They're playing a grown man's game and being effective at it, and I look forward to the future. I think they are both going to get better and it's going to be fun to watch."

Hilary Knight leads all-stars of new women's league

Sunday, 01.24.2016 / 8:15 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Getting a professional league off the ground is difficult, but for the National Women's Hockey League, having a player like Boston Pride forward Hilary Knight has made it a little easier.

Knight joined the NWHL after winning a silver medal with the United States at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Knight being part of the Pride has helped put the spotlight on her team and given the NWHL the star power it needed to attract fans in its first season.

"It's been quite a whirlwind," Knight said Saturday, one day before the first NWHL All-Star Game. "I think I spent the first few months leading into the season trying to grab people to come into the league, and that was really stressful. And once we finally got into the league, we were just figuring out our bearings and how to really calm things down, but also appreciate things at the same time and understand that this is a first for everybody and we really are building the plane as we're taking off, so to speak."

Keon, Horton, Broda join Maple Leafs' Legends Row

Saturday, 01.23.2016 / 9:07 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Dave Keon is officially a Toronto Maple Leafs legend.

Keon, 75, was among the latest group of former Maple Leafs stars to join Legends Row, a collection of statues located outside Air Canada Centre in Maple Leafs Square. Also honored prior to Toronto's game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday were goaltender Turk Broda and defenseman Tim Horton.

"I'm very pleased to be here tonight; to be part of the next group of Legends Row with Turk and Tim," Keon said. "It's a great honor and I'm very happy."

Keon was a fan favorite during his time with the Maple Leafs, and many consider him to be one of the greatest players in franchise history. Keon was part of the Maple Leafs' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1962-64 and 1967, and he served as captain from 1969-70 through 1974-75.

Blue Jackets, fans soak in scene at outdoor practice

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 4:20 PM / NHL Insider

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets players, despite an injury to coach John Tortorella, were having such a good time skating outside it was hard for many to leave.

Tortorella sustained two broken ribs after a collision with forward Rene Bourque about 20 minutes into the Blue Jackets' first outdoor skate, held Friday morning at Winter Park in McFerson Commons, across from Nationwide Arena. Tortorella left the ice and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. He did not travel with the Blue Jackets to Boston on Friday afternoon and it's unlikely he will coach the Blue Jackets on Saturday against the Boston Bruins.

The practice essentially ended after that, so the players did shootout drills for a while before leaving the ice a few at a time. Some stayed more than 45 minutes after the accident to soak up the atmosphere.

"It brings you back to the days of your childhood, lacing them up in the snow bank and going out there and whacking the puck around," said forward Scott Hartnell, who played in the NHL Winter Classic twice with the Philadelphia Flyers. "You know how cold it is and you want to stay out there at all hours of the night finishing your best-of-7 series for the Stanley Cup when you're 9 years old, 8 years old."

Penguins' Malkin: 'I believe we will make the playoffs'

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 2:59 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Center Evgeni Malkin is confident the Pittsburgh Penguins will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 10th straight season.

"Now we are starting to believe that we can win every game," Malkin told the Penguins website Friday. "We have a great team. We started playing better. I believe that we will make the playoffs."

The Penguins have 51 points, two behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference, but they have two games in hand on the Devils. Pittsburgh is three points behind the New York Islanders for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Penguins are 5-2-3 in their past 10 games, including a 4-3 come-from-behind victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. But they haven't won consecutive games since Dec. 31 at the Detroit Red Wings and Jan. 2 against the New York Islanders.

Canadiens' Gallagher breaks down NFL title games

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 2:24 PM / NHL Insider

Brendan Gallagher - Special to NHL.com

Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher showed the hockey world during "EPIX presents Road to the Winter Classic" how big of a football fan he is, and more specifically how devoted he is to the Cincinnati Bengals. With his beloved Bengals out of the NFL playoffs, Gallagher has agreed to share his thoughts and his picks on NHL.com for the remaining playoff games and the Feb. 7 Super Bowl.

Gallagher's second installment explains how he went a perfect 4-0 in his debut as an NFL prognosticator last week.

Confidence is at an all-time high right now.

Last week's 4-0 record was a nice entrance to my new role as an NFL Insider, but I took all the home teams, all the favorites. This week I took two road teams, so we'll see how it goes.

A few of the guys have been giving it to me since my picks came out last week. I talk like this all the time, throughout the year, and I like to talk as if I know exactly what I'm talking about. So maybe it's gone to my head, and they're keeping me level.

That's what good friends do; they keep you humble.

But I'm still confident. After going 4-0, I see the analysts on TV and most of them were not at the level I was at.

Ron Burgundy inspires 'classy' AHL goalie mask

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 12:24 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Goalie Ryan Faragher of the San Diego Gulls, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, used the Will Ferrell blockbuster movie "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," as inspiration for his new goalie mask.

The mask features a portrait of Burgundy, the lead character from the 2004 movie. Burgundy, played by Ferrell, is the anchor of fictional San Diego TV station KVWN Channel 4. The Channel 4 logo from the movie is portrayed prominently on the mask, as is a picture of the main characters in the movie: Burgundy along with David Koechner, who played sports anchor Champ Kind; Paul Rudd, who played reporter Brian Fantana; and Steve Carell, who played weatherman Brick Tamland.

CM Punk mixes love for hockey with UFC training

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 9:16 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson didn't know what to think when CM Punk hopped on the ice wearing a pair of skates and a clutching hockey stick in his bare hands after an off-ice strength and conditioning session at Prudential Center on Wednesday.

Punk, born Phil Brooks, was one of five mixed martial arts fighters, all representing the Ultimate Fighting Championship, invited to participate with Devils strength and conditioning coaches Joe Lorincz and Jaime Rodriguez on Wednesday and Thursday as part of the UFC's cross-training program.

"When CM Punk skated onto the ice with no gloves, people were saying it was going to be an MMA match on the ice so I wanted no part of that," Severson said. "The only advantage I had was that he said he hadn't been on skates in 20 years, so maybe he was a little rusty. But I wouldn't want to get in the ring with any of those guys."

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