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(Page 162 of 274)
NHL Insider

Richards takes on new challenge with Jackets

Monday, 01.09.2012 / 12:34 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

It wasn't all that long ago Todd Richards was a coach on the rise with a bright future. Less than a year after he was dismissed as coach of the Minnesota Wild, he'll get another shot as interim coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

GM Scott Howson relieved Scott Arniel of his duties not long after the Jackets lost 7-4 to the Ducks in Anaheim on Sunday night. The reins of the NHL's worst team -- the Jackets have 27 points and 8 regulation/OT wins in 41 games -- were handed to Richards, who will make his debut Tuesday night in Chicago.

"There's one emotion that's real prevalent right now, and that's just disappointment when somebody has to go and it's somebody that brought you in as a coach you're trying to support," said Richards, who was tabbed an assistant by Arniel in June. "I've been the head guy getting fired and I've been underneath the head guy getting fired. You feel more responsible as an assistant because you're there to support the head coach and help him out. You feel afterward there's more you could've done and you should've done."

At his first head-coaching job with the AHL's Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins, he went 98-49-13 in two seasons and reached the Calder Cup Final in 2008. That earned Richards an assistant-coaching job alongside Todd McLellan in San Jose for the 2008-09 season, which he parlayed into the head-coaching gig with the Minnesota Wild the following season.
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Doan changes routine before first career hat trick

Sunday, 01.08.2012 / 6:28 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. – He'd spent all day trying to figure out a way to get the monkey off his back – but Shane Doan never figured the 800-pound gorilla might go with it.

Scoreless in six games and with just one point – a Dec. 23 goal in a loss to St. Louis – in his last nine, Doan and fellow power forward Taylor Pyatt – without a goal in 14 games himself, decided enough was enough. With one win in the last seven games (1-4-2) during a brutal schedule with several players out, "It was time for the old men to play like kids," Doan said to Pyatt.

Shane Doan
Right Wing - PHX
GOALS: 12 | ASST: 13 | PTS: 25
SOG: 122 | +/-: -9
He changed his pregame route to Jobing.com Arena and his entire pregame routine. At the urging of equipment managers Stan Wilson and Tony Silva, he changed the unique, curved knob of his stick – a constant source of ribbing from teammate – and went back to a more standard knob.

By the end of the night, Doan had not only snapped his scoreless streak, he'd ended the longest personal dry spell of all with the first hat trick in his 1,161-game NHL career in a 5-1 laugher against the New York Islanders. It was exactly the kind of lift prescribed for a dragging, banged-up team that had played back-to-back games in the same city just once since Nov. 26 – and won't for another 11 days.
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Iginla joins elite club by scoring No. 500

Sunday, 01.08.2012 / 10:45 AM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Jarome Iginla has had a few nicknames over the course of his hockey career.
His latest? Mr. 500.

Jarome Iginla
Right Wing - CGY
GOALS: 16 | ASST: 17 | PTS: 33
SOG: 135 | +/-: -5
Iginla became the 42nd player in NHL history to reach 500 goals when his centering pass hit a pair of Minnesota defenders and careened into the back of the net in Calgary's 3-1 victory against the Wild at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night.

"It's something I've been very blessed in hockey to have some great moments and memories that will stick with me," Iginla said. "I've been part of different games and scoring some goals but that's one that I'll remember. When you start out you don't really think, 'get to 500' or whatever, you just play. Along the way you just keep going. I definitely have to pinch myself. You don't stop too often to look at things."

The accomplishment wasn't lost on former teammate Craig Conroy, who holds the record for most Iginla assists with 85.
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Iginla joins 500-goal club

Sunday, 01.08.2012 / 1:30 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Jarome Iginla is the latest member of the NHL's 500-goal club.

Jarome Iginla
Right Wing - CGY
GOALS: 16 | ASST: 17 | PTS: 33
SOG: 135 | +/-: -5
Calgary's captain became the 42nd player in NHL history to score 500 regular-season goals when his attempted pass caromed off a pair of Minnesota players and into the net 8:33 into the third period of the Flames' game against the Wild. It proved to be the winning goal in a 3-1 victory.

Iginla came down the right wing and tried to feed a pass in front to Curtis Glencross. Instead, the puck hit Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky, deflected off the skate of backchecking center Mikko Koivu and slid past goaltender Nicklas Backstrom to give the Flames a 2-0 lead.

There was a brief pause at the Scotiabank Saddledome as fans wondered if another player had deflected the puck in the net. Shortly after, the crowd of 19,289 – including Iginla’s parents and family – erupted into a standing ovation, and every Calgary player spilled off the bench to congratulate their captain.
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Hype builds for Cup rematch as teams surge

Friday, 01.06.2012 / 2:33 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- While most Boston Bruins players are sequestering themselves from any media hype in advance of their Stanley Cup Final rematch Saturday with Vancouver (1 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), Milan Lucic has other excited sources he can't avoid.
               
There are plenty of people close to the veteran power forward in his native Vancouver that have had Jan. 7 circled on their calendars for a long time.

"I've had a couple buddies text me and say they're excited for this game and looking forward to it," said Lucic after he and the Bruins prepared for the Canucks with a practice Friday here at Ristuccia Arena. "More so just from they're the best in the West so far, so they want to see them play us again because they still remember what happened last year. So they're looking forward to the game, that's for sure."
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Biron proving to be ideal backup for Rangers

Friday, 01.06.2012 / 2:16 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Henrik Lundqvist wasn't a one-man show in New York during the previous five seasons, but he was the headliner of an off-Broadway production that didn't offer much of a supporting cast.

The 29-year-old took over the No. 1 goaltender job with the Rangers in 2006 and averaged 70 starts during the next five seasons. That didn't leave much playing time for the team's primary backup goaltenders.

* Kevin Weekes made 12 starts in 2006-07
* Steven Valiquette made 10 starts in 2007-08
* Valiquette made 12 starts in 2008-09
* Valiquette made 5 starts, Chad Johnson made 4 in 2009-10
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Eight reasons the Rangers are No. 1 in the League

Friday, 01.06.2012 / 12:47 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Two seasons ago, the New York Rangers weren't good enough to make the playoffs. Last season, they needed a loss by the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 82 to sneak into the postseason as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

So what has propelled the Rangers into the League's top spot in the standings this season?

There haven't been any glaring weaknesses on the club through 38 games, but there have been a lot of things going right for them. Here are eight reasons why the Rangers have compiled more points than any team in the NHL:

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Emery sees career come full-circle with Philly return

Thursday, 01.05.2012 / 2:54 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The last time Ray Emery left Philadelphia, his destination was an uncertain future that almost certainly didn't include playing professional hockey.
 
Almost two years later, he returns to the Wells Fargo Center as the starting goalie for the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
 
"I got hurt when I was in Philly," Emery told NHL.com, "and it was kind of a scary time, not knowing if I'd get a chance to play again. Being able to come back and be feeling pretty healthy is exciting."
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As Hawks visit, Cup loss still stings for Flyers

Thursday, 01.05.2012 / 2:11 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers center Claude Giroux best summed up his memories from the night of June 9, 2010.

"It was one of my worst days of my life," Giroux told NHL.com. "I remember sitting here and telling myself we're just one game away from the Stanley Cup. That's what you live for, to win that Cup, and to see that we were that close, it hurts."

That night -- Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final -- Giroux and his teammates were left to mourn how close they had gotten while the Chicago Blackhawks were on the ice, skating laps with the Cup.

For the first time since that night, the Blackhawks are back in Philadelphia on Thursday here at Wells Fargo Center, and while the talk in the visiting room was about all the fun they had -- Patrick Kane even tried to re-enact his Cup-clinching overtime goal -- the Flyers were left to deal with less pleasant memories.

"There's disappointment there," coach Peter Laviolette said. "Am I disappointed about two years ago? … Yeah, it stings. Two years ago, you'll take that with you forever -- that's part of professional sports. You get the opportunity to play for the greatest trophy in the world and your team has a chance to win a championship, it doesn't happen -- it stings. Those things you don't forget about, they don't leave you. I think they're part of the fabric of who you are as an athlete or a coach, whoever it might be."
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Return to Philly is nostalgic for Hawks' core

Wednesday, 01.04.2012 / 5:40 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews might've fired up the replays of Game 5 and Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final during the flight to Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon.

Once the Chicago Blackhawks arrive at Wells Fargo Center for Thursday's showdown against the Philadelphia Flyers, Hawks forward Patrick Kane will probably find the exact spot on the ice where he fired home a low overtime shot that ended a 49-year Cup drought in the Windy City.

The six other remaining Blackhawks who played in that game will have their own tingly feelings on Thursday, too, walking into the place formerly called the Wachovia Center for the first time in almost two years.

The last time the Hawks were in that building, they ended the Flyers' season with a 4-3 OT win on June 9, 2010, and left with Lord Stanley's Cup in their possession.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Toews, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs and hoisted the Cup first after receiving it from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "I can imagine just being at the hotel and being at the rink. All those things will bring back some pretty cool memories. It's been a long time, but just being back in that locker room … we'll have some old stories we can tell. I'm sure the new guys, the guys that weren't there … I'm sure they're sick enough of hearing about all that stuff. They'll just have a couple more days of it, I guess."
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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