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NHL Insider

Hartford Whalers' impact still felt in coaching circles

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Hartford Whalers of the late 1980s and early 1990s were competitive at times. That used to be the nicest thing anyone could say about them.

From 1987-88 to the 1991-92 NHL season, the Whalers made the Stanley Cup Playoffs five straight years. They did so by finishing fourth in the five-team Adams Division before bowing out in the first round each year. They posted one winning season in that time.

But years later, players from those teams have made a greater impact on the League than anyone could have expected. Nine Whalers from that time have been a coach in either the NHL, an international, minor or junior league.

Tortorella wants more from Rangers

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 12:11 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- John Tortorella isn't an optimist or a pessimist -- he's a realist.

He knows that even after a 4-1 victory against the New York Islanders on Thursday night, the reality is his New York Rangers have a long way to go before they recover the form of last year's team that came within six victories of a Stanley Cup.

"We have to find a way to get points and we did," said Tortorella, whose team is 5-5-0 through 10 games. "But I think there's a lot of sloppiness with our game, as far as on the puck. There are a lot of things that need to continue to improve. But the key thing is finding ways to get points as we try to get better as a team."

Following a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night, Tortorella made no secret about his displeasure with his players. He didn't single out anyone, but heaped praise on rookies J.T. Miller, a 19-year-old who was making his NHL debut, and Chris Kreider, who scored the team's lone goal in the loss.

Devils' Clarkson filling void left by Parise

Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 11:14 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The questions came fast and furious at New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer the minute Zach Parise departed for the Minnesota Wild in July.

David Clarkson
Right Wing - NJD
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 13
SOG: 41 | +/-: 3

Who would replace the 31 goals and 69 points that Parise posted on offense for his team in defense of its Eastern Conference championship in 2012-13?

So far, through 10 games this season, left wing David Clarkson has helped quiet the critics.

"When Parise left, that opened up a hole in our top six for a winger and David has moved to the first power-play unit, so his offensive role has increased," DeBoer said. "But he's earned that promotion and having the chance to be that guy after Zach left."

Clarkson, an undrafted player who signed with the Devils as a free agent in 2005, leads the team with seven goals and 13 points. It wasn't too long ago, two seasons in fact, that Clarkson connected for 12 goals and 18 points in 82 games.

Ovechkin on Crosby: 'I just have to catch him'

Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:44 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Adamski - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby maintains the rivalry is still the rivalry -- even if pits a first-place team against one in last place.

"Even (seven years ago) when we were 29th (in the NHL standings), it was a rivalry," Crosby said of the duels between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. "It's developed with history. There's not always clear explanations why teams are rivals, but things build -- and I don't think the standings have any effect on whether it's a rivalry or not."

The Penguins (7-3-1) have won four straight heading into Thursday night's game at Consol Energy Center against the Capitals (2-7-1), who have lost four of five.

The team's plights mirror that of their superstar players. While Pittsburgh's Crosby is tied for fourth in the NHL with 14 points in 10 games, Washington's Alex Ovechkin has been limited to merely being tied for fourth on his own team with five points.

Seven reasons the Capitals are struggling

Wednesday, 02.06.2013 / 6:36 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2011-12 season was filled with tumult for the Washington Capitals, but it ended with an admirable postseason run that fell one win shy of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Coach Dale Hunter decided not to continue his reshaping of a club once known for offensive fireworks into a defense-first team, and he returned to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. The Capitals turned to another former star for the franchise, Adam Oates, and hoped he would be the coach who could help the team transform into one that took the best attributes from the Bruce Boudreau and Hunter eras.

Ten games into Oates' tenure, little is going according to plan. The Capitals are 2-7-1 and in last place in the NHL standings. If that's not bad enough, Washington's two wins are against the Buffalo Sabres without Thomas Vanek and the Philadelphia Flyers without Scott Hartnell.

With Miller, Rangers add another WJC gold medalist

Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 11:41 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The minute rookie J.T. Miller was selected by the New York Rangers in the 2011 NHL Draft, center Derek Stepan took a vested interest.

The common thread, of course, is that both Stepan and Miller have celebrated gold medal-winning triumphs at the World Junior Championship.

"I knew he would be a guy who would have a chance to win a gold medal for the United States at the World Junior Championship," Stepan told NHL.com. "It was pretty cool to watch and definitely something you reflect back on if you had an opportunity to participate in one."

Results are few and far between for Nash

Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 11:14 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK -- While the effort and opportunities are undeniably present for New York Rangers forward Rick Nash, the results remain few and far between.

The frustration on the face of Nash following his team's 3-1 loss to the rival New Jersey Devils on Tuesday before 17,625 at Prudential Center told the story.

There were signs that, perhaps, the 28-year-old wing was about to break out of his scoring slump after connecting for his second goal of the season on Saturday in a victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Instead, Nash finished with a season-low minus-2 rating and had all three of his shots turned away by Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.

Adding insult to injury was the fact the Rangers were powerless with the man advantage, finishing the game 0-for-5 on the power-play.

Broad Street Bullies to be subject of Zombie movie

Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 6:42 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Growing up outside Boston in the 1970s, Rob Zombie was a devoted Boston Bruins fan who watched his team play the Broad Street Bullies-era Philadelphia Flyers in the 1974 Stanley Cup Final.

"I was a massive hockey fan," Zombie said. "I always played hockey, I always wanted to play hockey, always loved hockey."

He was asked if he remembered who won that 1974 Final series Tuesday during a press conference at Wells Fargo Center by one of the stars of that Flyers team, Hall of Famer Bernie Parent.

"Go see the movie," Zombie said with a laugh.

Parent and the rest of the hockey world will be able to see just how things happened for those memorable Flyers teams in the 1970s thanks to Zombie, who will be directing a feature film on the Broad Street Bullies.

B's, Habs renew rivalry with division lead at stake

Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 6:24 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – The longtime rivalry between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens has seen the two clubs engage in some heated battles in the past couple of years, even if they weren't particularly close in the standings.

But when the first round of the rivalry this season begins Wednesday night, not only will there be pride on the line, but the lead in the Northeast Division will be up for grabs as well.

Not surprisingly, the Bruins are off to an excellent start with a 6-1-1 record, but the Canadiens are nipping at their heels at 6-2-0, adding a tiny bit of spice to what was already a highly-anticipated contest.

"They're first in the East right now, and we have to take the opportunity at hand," Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty said after practice Tuesday. "I know people can say we'll only be nine games into the year, but it's only a 48-game year, so this is a huge opportunity for us and I think it will show a lot about our team in the way we prepare for this game and the way we play."

Pacioretty was one of the few members of the Canadiens who was actually willing to admit Tuesday that the game against the Bruins is perhaps a little more important than the other ones on the schedule. The vibe was similar in the Bruins' dressing room after their practice at Bell Centre later in the day.

Breaking down first battle of West heavyweights

Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 10:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Far too often we can get caught up in one regular-season game, especially one this early, and end up making a bigger deal out of it than it really warrants.

But what about taking a matchup between two teams that, at least in the current standings, are the best in the National Hockey League, and making a big deal out of that?

Fair game, you say? Let's do it.

Highlighting the 10-game NHL schedule Tuesday night is the one that will start last -- Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks.

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Quote of the Day

I would definitely love to play with him. He's a skilled player and over the years he definitely has shown that he can score a lot of goals. I think it would work out well.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk on Alexander Semin