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(Page 163 of 264)
NHL Insider

Contract extension comes as relief to Krejci

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 3:11 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- It turns out it wasn't the recent trade rumors that motivated Boston Bruins center David Krejci to break a nine-game goal drought and lead his team past the Toronto Maple Leafs into first place in the Northeast Division Wednesday night.

It was actually his celebratory mood that inspired Krejci's 1-goal, 2-assist performance in the Bruins' 12th win in their last 13 games.

The 25-year-old native of the Czech Republic had signed a three-year contract extension with the team in general manager Peter Chiarelli's hotel room prior to the game, it was revealed during a Thursday press conference at the TD Garden. Any distractions his uncertain status was causing Krejci during his recent scoring slump were wiped away with one stroke of the pen.

"Well, I know that my agent and Peter talked in the summer. I didn't know what was going on," said Krejci, who was scheduled to be a restricted free agent next summer but will now make $5.25 million annually beginning next season. "Obviously, it was on my mind a little bit, especially when things weren't going my way at the beginning of the season. And it got me thinking, you know. But then we got a deal done and I'm happy to be here for more years and now I can just focus on hockey."
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Despite sizzling start, Crosby looks to get better

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 3:08 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- He has 11 points in five games after spending 10 and a half months on the shelf recovering from a concussion, and yet nobody around the Pittsburgh Penguins is surprised with how quickly Sidney Crosby has raced back onto the scene and into the NHL scoring race.

"Not really. Not really at all," linemate Pascal Dupuis told NHL.com. "He was with us in practice and we could see his speed and everything was still there. He was the best guy in practice for the last couple of weeks before he got back. We kind of had that feeling that he was going to come back on top of his game. But to come back like this and look the same as he did before is probably what surprises other people."

"He's played some awesome hockey," added Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. "The way he's prepared for months coming into playing these games has been at a high level, so you expected to see him at that high level speed-wise and skill-wise."

If Crosby stays at his current pace of 2.2 points per game and doesn't miss another game, he would finish with 136 points this season. That would give him the most points for any NHL player since 1995-96, when Mario Lemieux put up 161 points and Jaromir Jagr had 149.

Even if you think it's unrealistic for him to continue at such a torrid pace, Crosby has at least landed himself in the discussion for this season's Art Ross Trophy. He has 57 games to make up the 21 points that current leader Phil Kessel has on him right now.
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New set of challenges face Boudreau in Anaheim

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 2:45 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

That didn't take long.
 
A little less than 72 hours after being released from his duties in Washington, Bruce Boudreau resurfaced as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night when general manager Bob Murray fired Randy Carlyle with the team 14th in the Western Conference despite a 4-1 win over the Canadiens.
 
So now that Boudreau becomes the fastest coach in League history to go from fired to hired, the big question is can he turn around a team that has been entrenched in a six-week free-fall. After opening the season 4-1-0, the Ducks have suffered several bad stretches, including losing streaks of six and seven games.
 
While many would agree that the 56-year-old Boudeau has a proven track record in the regular season, the 2008 Jack Adams Award winner has suffered miserably in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boudreau sported an impressive 201-88-40 regular-season record in four-plus seasons with the Caps, but was never able to guide the club past the second round of the playoffs.
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Stars look to resuscitate power play

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 2:08 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- As the Dallas Stars start the month of December, they do so on one streak they'd rather not have. Glen Gulutzan's club is on an 0-for-21 run on the power play and hasn't scored with the extra man since the second period of a loss at Detroit on Nov. 12, a span of eight games.

Of course, the Stars have lost key personnel off that unit in the past month, guys like point man Alex Goligoski, captain Brenden Morrow and Trevor Daley. And having a rotating cast of personnel has definitely contributed to their current lack of scoring with the man advantage.

When Dallas hosts Ottawa on Thursday at American Airlines Center, the Stars will look to put their lack of punch on the power play to a quick end.

"We have to start creating those second chances. We have to shoot the puck and make sure we have guys at the net," Gulutzan said. "Ottawa's a fairly aggressive penalty kill, so I think it comes down to work. I think tonight's a different animal. We watched their PK and they're very aggressive."
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Boudreau latest NHL coach to land on feet quickly

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 12:58 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL coaches: 2 teams, 1 season

Season Head coach Teams
2011-12 Bruce Boudreau WSH, ANA
2006-07 Ken Hitchcock PHI, CBJ
2002-03 Bob Hartley COL, ATL
2002-03 Darryl Sutter SJS, CGY
1986-87 Ted Sator NYR, BUF
1983-84 Roger Neilson VAN, LOS
1971-72 Fred Glover CAL, LOS
It was a whirlwind three days for Bruce Boudreau.

Fired by the Washington Capitals as coach early Monday morning, he was hired to replace Randy Carlyle as coach of the Anaheim Ducks late Wednesday night. According to the time stamps on the press releases, Boudreau was unemployed for a total of 65 hours, 25 minutes.

Boudreau was on the ice with his new team Thursday afternoon, and he'll be back behind the bench Friday night, when the Ducks host the Philadelphia Flyers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the six-day span between games coached with two teams (Boudreau last coached for the Capitals on Saturday in Buffalo) is the fastest in NHL history.

He'll also become the seventh man to coach two NHL teams in one season, and the first since Ken Hitchcock in the 2006-07 season. 
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B's looked like champs again in amazing November

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 12:49 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Boston Bruins didn't have a perfect November, but they came about as close as a team can without pulling it off.

A 3-2 loss at home to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday was the only blemish on the otherwise flawless face of the Bruins' past 30 days. But it was a shootout loss with backup goaltender Tuukka Rask coming up short in the unenviable task of stopping Pavel Datsyuk in the 1-on-1 competition.

That doesn't count, does it?

A loss in the shootout is still a loss, but it shouldn't diminish what was a historic 12-0-1 month for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The Bruins left October with a 3-7-0 record, facing incessant questions about a hangover from last season's high of winning it all. They sat in 29th place in the NHL standings, one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The fire was gone, the passion sporadic at best and the drive that carried them through four rounds of mostly grueling hockey was nowhere to be seen.
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Fired on Monday, Boudreau gets right back to work

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 2:47 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman and John Kreiser - NHL.com Staff Writers

Bruce Boudreau's "vacation" didn’t last long -- and just as he did four years ago, he'll try to pump some life into a struggling team.

When Boudreau first arrived in Washington in November 2007, he was best known for his effusive personality and a small role in the hockey classic "Slap Shot." Just over four years later, he left Washington as one of the most successful coaches in League history -- but one who seemingly had lost the ability to motivate his players.

That didn't deter the Anaheim Ducks, who fired Randy Carlyle and hired Boudreau Wednesday night -- less than 72 hours after he was fired by the Capitals during a dismal 3-7-1 stretch, capped by a 5-1 loss Saturday in Buffalo to a Sabres team missing nine regulars and dressing six players who started the season in the AHL.
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Sid, moustaches, new coaches marked month's best

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 1:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Sidney Crosby
Center - PIT
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 11
SOG: 16 | +/-: 7
As far as Novembers go, this one will go down as one of the more memorable months in NHL history.

There was a triumphant return from injury by the game's top player, a nearly perfect run by the defending Stanley Cup champions and facial hair of varying degrees of quality designed to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

Coaches who have had great success in the NHL were asked to clean out their desks, trade rumors swirled around a pair of players who could turn a championship contender into a favorite and an American-born goaltender is threatening to steal the job away from a gold-medal winner in Vancouver.
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Injury gives Raymond new perspective on life

Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 7:29 PM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Lying in a Boston hospital with a broken back and uncertain future last June, Vancouver Canucks forward Mason Raymond could only think of one thing: the Stanley Cup.

Knowing his team still had a chance to win it helped lift Raymond out of that hospital bed and onto a plane and back to Vancouver, where he stood rinkside in a body brace to salute the home crowd on the big screen at Rogers Arena during Game 7.

“Something was terribly, terribly wrong, as much pain as I’ve been in my entire life,” he said of that first night. “I had something that was serious and maybe career long, but at the end of the day we had a chance to win the Cup and that’s all I could think about.”

It wasn’t until a while later, after that opportunity for the franchise’s first championship had passed, that Raymond began to think about other things -- mostly the ones that he could no longer do.
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Capitals work on getting Hunter's system down

Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 4:35 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- This has already been quite a week for the Washington Capitals, and it isn't going to get any easier Thursday night.

To recap, the Capitals welcomed a new head coach Monday, played their first game with him Tuesday and welcomed a new assistant coach Wednesday. Now all that's left for Thursday is welcoming the rival Pittsburgh Penguins to Verizon Center to face Sidney Crosby for the first time since the Winter Classic last Jan. 1 when he sustained the first of two hard hits in consecutive games that led to his concussion.
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Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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