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(Page 12 of 274)
NHL Insider

New-look Predators have Blackhawks' attention

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It's early, but it's starting to look like the Western Conference and Central Division need to make room for another legitimate contender.

After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs two straight seasons and parting with the only coach they'd ever known, Barry Trotz, the Nashville Predators (4-0-2) are off to their best start since 2010-11 under new coach Peter Laviolette.

The Predators are one of two teams in the West without a regulation loss, joined by the Chicago Blackhawks (4-0-1). Chicago happens to be the next opponent for Nashville, and the Blackhawks are ready to put their great start to the test Thursday at Bridgestone Arena (8 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, FS-TN).


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Capitals defenseman Niskanen enjoying extra ice time

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Matt Niskanen
Defense - WSH
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 2
SOG: 5 | +/-: 3
Matt Niskanen learned the nuances of handling a heavier workload last season, when he was unexpectedly elevated on the Pittsburgh Penguins defensive depth chart because of a rash of injuries.

Niskanen went on to have the best season of his career and this past summer he cashed in with a seven-year, $40.25 million contract from the Washington Capitals. Now it's the Capitals reaping the rewards from the experience Niskanen gained while playing for their biggest rival.

"I'm realizing he's a pretty outstanding player," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.

Niskanen's ice time reflects Trotz's praise.


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Penguins' Hornqvist has found chemistry with Crosby

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Four years ago the Pittsburgh Penguins traded for a forward with unproven potential and put him in position to become one of the NHL's more dangerous scorers.

Pittsburgh might have done it again.

The Penguins acquired forward Patric Hornqvist, along with forward Nick Spaling, from the Nashville Predators for forward James Neal during the first day of the 2014 NHL Draft. In much the same way Neal was brought in from the Dallas Stars during the 2010-11 season, Pittsburgh banked on its ability to put Hornqvist in the right position to improve his career-high 53 points from last season.

Through four games entering Tuesday, Hornqvist was tied for third in League scoring with eight points, one point behind linemate Sidney Crosby and New York Islanders forward John Tavares, and is tied with Crosby for the team lead in goals with four.

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Ducks goalie Andersen took untraveled path to NHL

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Frederik Andersen first got the urge to get in goal at about 10 years old. Before practice got underway he would get between the goal posts, challenging his teammates to get a puck past him.

He might have done better had he been wearing goalie equipment.

"I ended up with a lot of bruises because you didn't have too much protection. As a goalie you get hit here all the time," Andersen said as he pointed to his arms.

Andersen's father, Ernst, is a former goalie but he didn't really want his son to follow his path. Andersen was doing fine as a forward; center, to be specific. Or, as Frederik puts it, "As much as you can call that at 10 years old."

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Five things to watch as Penguins host Flyers

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Welcome to the rivalry, Mike Johnston. Are you ready for your first taste of Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers hockey?

"I'm excited," Johnston, Pittsburgh's first-year coach, told the Penguins website Tuesday in advance of the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Flyers at Consol Energy Center (8 p.m. ET).

Johnston has coached in some bitter rivalries before. For example, in the Western Hockey League, where he was coach and general manager of the Portland Winterhawks for the previous six seasons, games against the Seattle Thunderbirds were circled on the schedule.

Johnston's history in the NHL includes stops as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks (1999-06) and Los Angeles Kings (2006-08). He said Flyers-Penguins is one that jumps off the schedule page at him.

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Galchenyuk has huge role in Canadiens' early success

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 12:36 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- As Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin went about changing the look of his team in the offseason, he had a keen observer in Alex Galchenyuk.

Alex Galchenyuk
Center - MTL
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 7
SOG: 17 | +/-: 4
Bergevin traded away defenseman Josh Gorges and allowed a number of older veterans to leave as free agents, including captain Brian Gionta, in an effort to turn the Canadiens over to the younger players that make up their core talent.

Most people took that to mean players like P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty, established stars in the NHL, would be given more important roles with the Canadiens this season.

But Galchenyuk saw it differently.

He decided, at age 20, he would need to become a player the Canadiens could lean on. It is seven games in to the season, but the early returns are that Galchenyuk has become just that.

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Howe, Gretzky conduct 20 questions on Howe's career

Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 12:51 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

"Mr. Hockey: My Story," the new memoir by all-time hockey great Gordie Howe, hit the shelves Oct. 14. Howe, 86, has a form of dementia and is not doing media interviews to promote the book. However, the Canadian publisher of "Mr. Hockey" has provided the text of a Q & A between Howe and Wayne Gretzky, which was conducted by email in September. Gretzky, a close friend of the Howe family, wanted to be involved in the book's release. Gretzky and an editor worked together to come up with the questions for the interview, the only one Howe will do to promote the book. Marty Howe, Gordie's son, transcribed his father's answers. This interview first appeared in several Canadian outlets earlier this month.

Order the book now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

WAYNE GRETZKY: In your memoir you write about participating in the puck-drop ceremony for the 2014 Winter Classic alumni game at Comerica Park. Could you tell me a little bit about playing outdoors as a child? What was your local rink like? What's your fondest memory of playing outside?

GORDIE HOWE: I loved playing hockey and looked forward to getting on the ice. If I wasn't home eating I was on the ice skating all winter. The rink was just boards and ice. In the Depression there was no money to do much — I think we were lucky there was man-made ice to skate on. I don't know that any memory stands out as the fondest, but I always liked to score and loved to win. That was what I lived for.

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Hagelin uses speed to his advantage in Rangers' win

Sunday, 10.19.2014 / 9:14 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Carl Hagelin
Left Wing - NYR
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 13 | +/-: -4
NEW YORK -- In the process of adjusting to a new role, Carl Hagelin relied on his greatest asset Sunday to help the New York Rangers defeat the San Jose Sharks.

After five games to the start the season without a point, Hagelin scored at 13:01 of the first period, the opening salvo in a 4-0 victory for the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The play began in a familiar place for Hagelin this season, with a faceoff in the defensive zone. After Dominic Moore won the draw to the left of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, defenseman John Moore sent an outlet pass to Hagelin beyond the blue line in the neutral zone.

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Avalanche shrug off doubters, slow start to season

Saturday, 10.18.2014 / 3:07 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Colorado Avalanche came into this season with many in the hockey world doubting their ability to build off their surprising performance in 2013-14.

The percentages simply didn't add up to long-term success.

So when the Avalanche came out of the gates with back-to-back losses by a combined score of 8-0 to the Minnesota Wild, the team that eliminated them from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference First Round, it appeared as though those predictions of regression were not so off base.

Those whispers were heard by the Avalanche in the offseason, and they're still being heard now. But the only affect it has had on Colorado is to strengthen the resolve to prove those people wrong.

"We certainly know that there are doubters out there. They're always going to be there," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said Saturday prior to facing the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, TVA, CITY) to close out a four-game Atlantic Division road trip. "As long as we in this group, in this room, believe in ourselves, we know what we can do, we know that we can accomplish a lot of good things. Sometimes, that only motivates you when people start doubting you, saying last year was a fluke and all those things. But we know what we can do in this room, that's what's most important."

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Devils take mostly positives from four-game road trip

Friday, 10.17.2014 / 4:08 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- When the 2014-15 schedule came out in June, New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer immediately noticed a major challenge his team would have to overcome.

DeBoer looked down the schedule to mid-December and counted 21 road games in 17 buildings. He counted 11 games at Prudential Center.

He knew right then that if the Devils were going to give themselves a fighting chance to break a two-year Stanley Cup Playoff drought, the longest the franchise has had in 27 years, they were going to have to pick up points in a lot of unfriendly buildings, including 11 in the Eastern Conference, in the first two-plus months of the season.

They're off to a good start.

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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins