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(Page 160 of 257)
NHL Insider

Michalek brothers get post-Thanksgiving matchup

Friday, 11.25.2011 / 2:22 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- There’s a brother vs. brother matchup in the NHL during the Thanksgiving weekend, too -- the latest meeting of the Michalek brothers.
 
One that, to satisfy their parents back in the Czech Republic, must go to overtime so that each team -- and each brother -- gains at least a point in the standings.
 
It’s quite likely that Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek will be on the ice at the same time as his brother, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek, on Friday night at Consol Energy Center.
 
Zbynek Michalek and partner Paul Martin often oppose a team’s top line, and right wing Milan Michalek teams with left wing Colin Greening and center Jason Spezza on the Senators’ productive No. 1 line.
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Plenty of surprising players, teams in first quarter

Thursday, 11.24.2011 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

Given the competition Florida faces in its division and the franchise's track record in the past decade, there is no team or player that is a more unlikely candidate to be where it currently is. The Panthers, however, aren't alone on the list of surprises through the first quarter of the season, with many teams and players far exceeding -- or falling short -- of preseason expectations.

Here are a few other surprising developments from the season's first quarter.
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Plenty of surprises surround Panthers' fast start

Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 10:33 PM / NHL Insider

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Not even Dale Tallon could see this coming.

No question, the Florida Panthers general manager was confident he had taken a positive step in his rebuilding project this summer by adding almost a dozen new veterans to his roster.

But having his team near the top of the standings at the quarter mark of the regular season? That’s been a pleasant surprise.

There was no doubt Florida had improved its talent level after finishing the 2010-11 season last in the Eastern Conference. But even under the most optimistic projection, it figured to take a while before the team came together with all the new players -- the roster features 13 newcomers, including veterans Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson, who arrived this October in a trade with Vancouver for David Booth, and 2010 first-round pick Erik Gudbranson.
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As leader, Hitchcock sees Sid in class of his own

Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 2:57 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

"He's such a good player, such a good person. There's leaders, and then there's leaders of players. He gets along with the guys good. It's not surprising. Everything he does has got class to it. I just like the way he leads the guys."
-- Ken Hitchcock on Sidney Crosby

PITTSBURGH -- St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock was offering the highest possible praise for a visiting player on Wednesday when Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby -- the subject of Hitchcock's monologue -- came walking by the Blues' dressing room.
 
Hitchcock immediately halted his speech. There was old business to conduct.
 
"Hey, you owe me $40!" Hitchcock said, and not seriously, as Crosby strolled by with father Troy Crosby at his side.
 
"Why," Crosby said, more than suspiciously, as Hitchcock lobbied the Penguins star for some new footwear.
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Showdown game is Thanksgiving treat for goalies

Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Thanksgiving has always been a time for families and friends to come together,and for Michigan-born goaltender Tim Thomas,that usually means a trip to Detroit.

This holiday season,Thomas will spend Thanksgiving in Boston -- and the next day his Bruins will face the Detroit Red Wings in the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown on NBC. Thomas is quite all right with the location.

"For me to play against Detroit is always a big deal for me because I'm from Michigan," Thomas said during a teleconference Tuesday. "So it's something like -- I don't really look too far ahead on the schedule ever,hardly ever.  I just try to keep it small,keep it focused,but I always know when the Red Wings game is because my family makes me aware of it,basically.

"And I'm happy to be playing in Boston this time because it was a lot cheaper than playing in Detroit."
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Sutter lays into sputtering Flames

Tuesday, 11.22.2011 / 10:07 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Some might've called it a diatribe. Others may have described it as a long, slow burn.

In reality, Calgary Flames coach Brent Sutter's impassioned 20-minute post-practice media session on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena was both of those things -- and then some. In fact, fictitious sports agent Jerry Maguire might even call it a "mission statement," because a sizeable part of it was that, too.

It consisted of about 3,500 words, sounded at times like a self-empowerment speech and likely included the word "team" at least a couple hundred times. It also included a definitive statement that illustrated Sutter's – and the Flames' front office – frustration with the lingering struggle against complacency that has Calgary (8-10-1) sitting 13th in the Western Conference with nearly a quarter of the season gone.

"You have to sacrifice a little bit for the betterment of (the team), and that's what we're asking the whole group to do and that's what we need to do," said Sutter, a full 13 minutes into his "greater good" mantra. "To be quite honest, I'm not asking them to do it anymore. I'm demanding it has to be done. And that's just the bottom line, because it's been something that has been ongoing. Since Day One coming here I noticed it and I told (reporters) that (Monday) night – and we have to cure it. It's the only way that we cure that."
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Crosby motivated by desire to return to previous level

Tuesday, 11.22.2011 / 4:41 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- On the day after his awe-inspiring return to the NHL, Sidney Crosby found himself involved in a friendly practice day argument over a stack of magazines.
 
Don't think Sid the Kid isn't Sid the Competitor, too?
 
Barely 12 hours removed from a beyond-dazzling comeback that provided an adrenaline rush-like jolt of excitement around the League, Crosby lost the Penguins' end-of-practice shootout drill on Tuesday.

Or so coach Dan Bylsma ruled. Crosby argued that James Neal shot out of turn and that he deserved another shot. Crosby didn't get it, despite his argument to the contrary.
 
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's take on the matter: You lost, now pay up.
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Crosby's return a night to remember

Tuesday, 11.22.2011 / 12:13 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PITTSBURGH -- There were 18,571 people that walked through the turnstiles at Consol Energy Center on Monday night. They probably ought to put their ticket stubs in safe places.

"That's not how I would have played my first game, I know that," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said while shaking his head and smiling.

Sidney Crosby's return to the NHL after a 10-and-a-half-month layoff turned into the kind of night that hockey fans everywhere will tell their grandkids about.

If someone in the future asks them where they were when Crosby came back and put up 4 points in a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders, odds are they won't hesitate to give an answer with extreme detail, no matter if they were elated or deflated.
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Players tweet about Sid's return

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 8:05 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Hockey fans aren't the only ones excited about the return of Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

Several players from around the League have expressed their amazement of Crosby, who already has a goal and an assist in Tuesday night's game against the New York Islanders.

Here's what they had to say.
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Players excited about start of Gaglardi regime

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 3:52 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- Fans of the Dallas Stars are clearly glad to see Tom Gaglardi officially introduced as the franchise's new owner at a Monday afternoon press conference at American Airlines Center.

But there is another group that is equally excited to see someone in place at the top of the Dallas organization for the first time in several years -- the Stars players.

Gaglardi met with the team for the first time as owner just before the Stars took the ice for their morning skate, and almost immediately the players were impressed with his passion for the game and the incredible amount of positive energy he exuded about taking the reins.
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Quote of the Day

I'm hoping Bob [Murray] didn't go out and get Dany Heatley just to get someone. I'm sure he's excited and motivated.

— Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on general manager Bob Murray's decision to sign Dany Heatley