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NHL Insider

Depleted Canadiens set for showdown with Capitals

Thursday, 12.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- It could have been the ultimate Eastern Conference showdown.

The Montreal Canadiens are hoping it still will be.

When the Canadiens host the Washington Capitals at Bell Centre on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, RDS, CITYM), it will be the first game between the two Eastern powers and a potential preview of the Eastern Conference Final.

"That's probably going to be our toughest challenge of the season, in my opinion anyway," Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban said.

Except these Canadiens are already in the midst of their toughest challenge not only of the season, but perhaps of the past three seasons.

Roenick goes deeper into career, life in book sequel

Wednesday, 12.02.2015 / 3:49 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Retired NHL all-star Jeremy Roenick dives deeper into his controversial and successful career in hockey as a player and celebrity now turned broadcaster in his latest autobiography, "Shoot First, Pass Later: My Life, No Filter."

The book comes on the heels of his first autobiography, released in 2012, "J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey."

Roenick said he wrote the second book because there so much of his story was left out of the first book.

"The first book was such a hit from people loving the stories, loving the interaction, loving the candidness, that publishers were like, 'There is enough that we didn't put in the first book that we can put in the second,'" Roenick told NHL.com. "But, also my transition from playing the game to now covering the game, now my opinion has become different so it's almost like I've become a big boy. You can tell that in the text because it's not locker room talk, it's more professionalism."

Analysis: Rangers must improve puck possession

Wednesday, 12.02.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Henrik Lundqvist and a cushion in the Metropolitan Division standings are the two things the New York Rangers have going for them entering December.

Each is a positive, but they can't act as a deterrent for the ongoing defensive-zone breakdowns and puck-possession issues that have been persistent in the Rangers' overall game since the start of the season.

Lundqvist has enabled them to mask those issues and post a 17-6-2 record through 25 games. The longer they persist, the more likely they become a bigger problem that will affect the Rangers' cushion in the division, which is six points between them and the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.

It was 11 points before the problems caught up to the Rangers in a three-game losing streak that unlocked their hold on first place until they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

The Rangers are expected to be tested again Wednesday against the Islanders at Barclays Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

Blackhawks' Kane looks to extend point streak to 20

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 2:45 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will try to become the first player in five years to have a point in 20 straight games when the Blackhawks play the Minnesota Wild at United Center on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-CH).

"It's in the back of your mind for sure," Kane said of his streak. "I was probably thinking about it a little bit more probably five games ago than I am right now. But I think the way to go about it is to not worry about it and just play your game. If you keep the streak alive, it stays alive. If not, then it's been a pretty good run."

Kane has 11 goals and 20 assists during his streak, which began Oct. 17 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He had a goal in seven straight games from Nov. 2-15.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last player with points in 20 straight games was Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who had a 25-game streak from Nov. 5 to Dec. 28, 2010. Crosby had 26 goals and 24 assists during his streak.

Eichel, Larkin set for first pro head-to-head matchup

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Dylan Larkin may have been overshadowed by Jack Eichel at their respective colleges last season, but that no longer seems to be the case as rookies in the NHL.

Larkin, selected in the first round (No. 15) of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, is the first teenager to play for the Red Wings since Jiri Hudler in 2003-04. Larkin has spent the majority of the season on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft by the Buffalo Sabres, has teamed with Larkin in the past with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program and with several United States teams at international tournaments.

On Tuesday, Larkin and Eichel will go head-to-head for the first time as professionals when the Red Wings face the Sabres at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SNO, SNP, MSG-B, BELL TV, FS-D).

MacInnis family tradition stays strong with Kitchener

Monday, 11.30.2015 / 12:25 PM / NHL Insider

Tim Wharnsby - NHL.com Correspondent

Ryan MacInnis celebrated his milestone games last weekend in fine fashion.

MacInnis, 19 and in his third season with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League, had one goal and three assists in wins against Sarnia and Sault Ste. Marie.

The games were his 157th and 158th in the OHL. They matched and surpassed his father, Hockey Hall of Fame member Al MacInnis, who played for Kitchener from 1980-83.

"I remember the first time I visited Kitchener with him," said Ryan MacInnis, recalling the banner-raising ceremony to honor his father in November 2008. "I was only 12. Of course, I didn't know I was going to play here back then. But it's been pretty cool."

Al MacInnis' banner hangs from the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium rafters alongside ones honoring other legends like Scott Stevens, Paul Coffey, Bill Barber and Larry Robinson. There are photos of the older MacInnis in action on the concourse of the building and there is the 1982-83 team photo, when he was part of Kitchener's first Memorial Cup championship team.

It's not only cool for Ryan, a 2014 second-round pick (No. 43) of the Arizona Coyotes, but for his father too. Al MacInnis, in his role as father and as senior adviser to St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, makes a couple of monthly visits to watch his son play for his old junior team.

Twelve predictions for second quarter of season

Friday, 11.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

As the 2015-16 NHL season enters its second quarter, some may feel trends have been firmly established.

Not so.

A short 20-game sample can fool many into thinking what they are seeing is reality, whereas oftentimes it is simply an indication of a team or player either needing some time to warm up, or some time to come back to earth.

Here, then, are 12 bold predictions of what is absolutely guaranteed to happen in the second quarter of this season. You can take these to the bank. They are guaranteed.

Bruins' Chara believes in more good times to come

Thursday, 11.26.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

After Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz recently announced the 2016 season would be his last, the revelation was met with celebratory commentary about his career, which included three World Series championships.

Someday before the end of this decade Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara might make a similar declaration and most likely will do it in a Bruins jersey. We know Chara will have at least one Stanley Cup championship and one Norris Trophy on his resume when his career concludes. But will his stint in Boston inspire the same adulation as Ortiz's?

"The city's been great. I've been really honored and humbled to be playing in this town and giving it my all," said Chara, who's in his 10th season with the Bruins and has two more after this one on his contract, according to war-on-ice.com. "These are hardworking people and it's a pleasure to be playing for these kinds of people. So if I'm going to be celebrated, I don't know. Certainly everybody would want to be. When you play that many years and games and you win championships, hopefully people will remember and have good memories. But that's not what I'm looking right now at."

Chara, 38, is focused on on-ice matters. One season ago a ligament tear in his left knee cost him 19 games and made him look like a shell of the dominant defenseman who had been one of the most feared players to face for a decade. This season has been a comeback tour for Chara, who will be in the thick of the battle Friday when the Bruins host the New York Rangers at TD Garden in the Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown (1 p.m. ET, NBC, SN).

Twelve surprises in first quarter of 2015-16 season

Wednesday, 11.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The most exciting part of any season is the unexpected twists and turns.

Some teams that were projected to have success inexplicably hit roadblocks. Others that were expected to struggle scratch and claw to remain competitive.

And then there are the individual struggles and success stories. Young players work their way into the spotlight, while some veterans can't seem to get going.

Here are the 12 biggest surprises in the season's first quarter, in no particular order:

Howe family reflects on legacy during holidays

Wednesday, 11.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Rarely has there been a dull moment on Thanksgiving Day in the home of Gordie Howe.

With four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Howe certainly has a lot to be thankful for. His children, Marty, Mark, Murray and Cathy, are just grateful their father will be able to celebrate another Thanksgiving Day with the family.

Despite sustaining a series of strokes in 2014, Gordie Howe, 87, is in good spirits after two rounds of stem cell treatments in Tijuana, Mexico. He had his first treatment in December 2014, and a second round last June. He is now living with Murray and Murray's wife in Sylvania, Ohio.

The Howe family is considered hockey royalty, and they will be treated as such on Thursday during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when Marty and Mark ride atop a float, "Frozen Fall Fun," presented by Discover.

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