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NHL Insider

Canadiens unimpressed by win streak to open season

Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Rogers Arena fell eerily silent Monday when a trainer rushed to the side of Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price while he lie facedown on the ice after a rising slap shot hit him in the throat.

A few moments later, after a brief, expletive-laced warning from coach Michel Therrien to keep the shots down, Price was back on his skates and in the net.

All was right again for the streaking Canadiens. Perfect, even.

Montreal is the first team in NHL history to start a season with nine straight wins in regulation, and with a victory against the slumping Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, the Canadiens would become one of three teams to start a season with 10 consecutive victories.

If the Canadiens are feeling the pressure of chasing history, you couldn't tell inside the locker room, where all dismissed their franchise-record start with the same disdain that Price swatted aside questions about the high shot that felled him in practice.

"It was a shot up high, I'm all right," Price said curtly.

Blackhawks' Panarin quickly adapting to NHL life

Monday, 10.26.2015 / 9:36 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Tikhonov sat in front of his locker stall and smiled.

He was being asked about Artemi Panarin, his friend and teammate. Questions about Panarin have been frequent for Tikhonov since he and Panarin decided to leave SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League and join the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Is Tikhonov surprised by how smoothly Panarin, a 5-foot-11, 170 pound left wing, has transitioned to the NHL?

"No," said Tikhonov, the grandson of the legendary former Russia national team coach of the same name. "You know, I hate saying, 'I told you so,' but I've been telling a lot of people the last two months that this kid's going to be really good and I guess you can kind of see the results. He's only going to get better and I think everyone should be really excited that he's here."

Flames look to build confidence on road trip

Sunday, 10.25.2015 / 12:53 PM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

The tone is decidedly different heading into their first extended road trip of the season, but the Calgary Flames aren't out of trouble yet.

The Flames (2-5-0), who ended a four-game losing streak and won for the first time in five games at home in a 3-2 win in overtime on Friday against the Detroit Red Wings, start a three-game road trip against the New York Rangers (5-2-2) on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports, SN, SN1, MSG).

"Obviously, we're frustrated that we started the season off not playing too well," forward Sean Monahan said. "I think we came together as a group and we knew we had to be better. So I think when frustration kicks in, you find a way to use that as momentum.

Undefeated Canadiens can make history on trip

Sunday, 10.25.2015 / 12:00 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Montreal Canadiens are heading west with a chance to make history.

The Canadiens play the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Center on Tuesday seeking their 10th consecutive victory from the start of the season. That would match the record set by the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs and equaled by the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres.

If the Canadiens defeat the Canucks, they can break the record with a victory at the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.

Coyotes rookie Domi becoming must-watch player

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Oliver Ekman-Larsson's phone was buzzing with text messages from friends and family members in his hometown of Karlskrona, Sweden. They all wanted to know about No. 16 for the Arizona Coyotes and what's up with that ridiculous backhanded shot?

That's Max Domi, Arizona's 20-year-old rookie forward, Ekman-Larsson told them, and that backhand is only one of the weapons in his arsenal.

"Everybody is talking about him back home," Ekman-Larsson said. "He's got a lot of speed, some sick hands and that shot. His backhanded shot is probably one of the best in this League. Unbelievable. So hard. He's got a lot of good things going on."

Canadiens chasing record with some former Sabres

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens are pursuing the record for the best start to an NHL season. To have a chance, they will have to defeat the two teams who hold it.

The unbeaten Canadiens play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, RDS, CITY, MSG-B, BELL TV) and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

If the Canadiens (7-0-0) can sweep those games, they will be in a position to tie the NHL record of 10-0-0 when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

The 1993-94 Maple Leafs and 2006-07 Sabres each won 10 straight to start a season.

Two former Sabres have integral roles for the Canadiens and will play their first game in Buffalo since they came to Montreal at the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline.

Cup Final rematch possible for Blackhawks, Lightning

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The budding rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning, born out of a Stanley Cup Final matchup last season, has a chance to be the new version of the old rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

The Penguins and Red Wings played each other in the Stanley Cup Final in 2008 and again in 2009. The veteran Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in a six-game series against the inexperienced Penguins in 2008, but the following season saw the playoff-savvy Penguins defeat the still-veteran but obviously vulnerable Red Wings in a seven-game series.

Fast forward to 2015 and the same sequence of events has a chance to repeat with the Blackhawks and Lightning, who play each other for the first time since the Cup Final on Saturday at United Center (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, SN1, SUN, WGN).

The comparisons make this too rich of a prospect to ignore, even if it requires conceding that the same two teams will meet in the Cup Final again (2008-09 was the first time it happened since 1983-84) and that the Blackhawks could lose in a Cup Final (they haven't in three trips since 2010).

Analysis: Tortorella must evolve to succeed in new job

Wednesday, 10.21.2015 / 4:00 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

It was interesting Wednesday to hear John Tortorella say getting the Columbus Blue Jackets turned around this season won't require him to reinvent the wheel, because Tortorella will have to show he has reinvented himself in order to guide his new team out of its early-season slump.

Tortorella took over for Todd Richards as Blue Jackets coach on Wednesday, a reflection of Columbus' 0-7-0 start to what was a once promising season filled with high expectations.

Tortorella said his job is to get the Blue Jackets back to playing to their identity as an aggressive, straight ahead, quick and hard team. Those are the same principles most of Tortorella's past teams have lived by and won by, but he started losing games, the team, and eventually his job when his tired philosophies and principles got in the way of his relationship with the players.

Change some of those (not all), and Tortorella has a chance to change the Blue Jackets.

Ovechkin reaches another milestone with 900th point

Wednesday, 10.21.2015 / 11:05 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Milestones and spectacular moments have become routine for Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin during his 11 NHL seasons.

He did it again Tuesday during a 6-2 victory at the Calgary Flames when he snapped a 1-1 tie 30 seconds into the second period with his fourth goal of the season and 900th NHL point.

"To be honest with you I didn't know I was close [to 900 points]; only one point," Ovechkin said. "I didn't know when I had it. It's a huge milestone. I have to thank my teammates. It's hard to do by yourself in this League. It's a special moment for me and this team. Now we just have to keep going."

Flyers' Medvedev becoming fluent in NHL game

Wednesday, 10.21.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- One of the biggest hurdles Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Evgeny Medvedev has had to clear in his adjustment to the NHL is learning to speak English.

Medvedev was taking daily English lessons during training camp but has cut back on them since the regular season started. His teammates have helped fill in some blanks. Sort of.

"He's learned a lot of bad words," forward Jakub Voracek said. "That's a good start."

Medvedev's start has been good on the ice. Heading into the game Wednesday at the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports), he has one assist and is averaging 17:46 of ice time per game in five games.
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