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(Page 167 of 259)
NHL Insider

League's six new coaches seeing positive results

Wednesday, 11.09.2011 / 12:34 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

There were six new coaches hired this offseason, and their new bosses have to be happy with what they've seen so far.

Three of the six have guided their new teams into the top eight in their respective conference, led by Glen Gulutzan, who has the Stars first in the NHL with 22 points. The others are all within three points of a playoff spot. Considering all six teams that changed coaches missed the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the starts bode well for future performance.

NHL.com takes a look at the six new coaches to see just how they are faring with the ups and downs of the first six weeks of the 2011-12 season.
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Gulutzan doing as much teaching as coaching

Wednesday, 11.09.2011 / 10:32 AM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

When the Dallas Stars brought Glen Gulutzan aboard as coach in June, one question surrounding the hiring of the veteran minor-league coach was how he would handle the transition, since he had no coaching experience in the National Hockey League.

But what Gulutzan didn't have in NHL experience, he more than made up for in enthusiasm, organization and a knack for teaching the game. The 40-year-old grew up in a teaching background and holds a Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Saskatchewan.

That organization and attention to detail has served him well throughout a successful minor-league coaching career, including the previous two seasons with the Stars' American Hockey League affiliate, the Texas Stars. He twice led Texas to the Calder Cup Playoffs, including a run to the 2010 finals.
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Jagr received good advice from close friend

Wednesday, 11.09.2011 / 1:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"He was the only one that knew (what teams) I was talking to beside my agent. And he knew I was talking to probably five or six teams, coaches and GMs, but the Flyers were not involved. Every time I talked to the GM, what they told me I told my friend. Then two days before free agency I was talking to the Flyers. After that I talked to my friend, and he said, 'That's it.' I don't know what he knew, but he said, 'You're talking to me about them differently than other teams.'" -- Jaromir Jagr

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Jaromir Jagr's impact in Philadelphia has been felt inside the dressing room, on the ice, and up and down the Flyers' lineup.

Claude Giroux is off to the best start of his young career. Scott Hartnell is redefining his role as a power forward. Jakub Voracek's dream of playing with his boyhood idol is coming true. Peter Laviolette is thrilled to have a veteran with Jagr's status to point to as an example of how a strong work ethic can pay off in goals and wins.

Jagr has 6 goals and 9 assists through 14 games, including 11 points over his current seven-game point-scoring streak. He's serving as the right wing on the Flyers' top line with Giroux and Hartnell. They quickly have formed one of the NHL's most dominant lines this season.

"He's an elite player, he really is," Laviolette said of Jagr.

But according to Jagr, the only reason he brought his elite talent to Philadelphia is because his closest friend of more than 30 years told him that's what he should do.
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Blues to honor Demitra, Korolev

Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 3:01 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

"I know there's so many guys around here who have been touched by them. I think it's going to be great to give them the right honor that they deserve."
-- Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

ST. LOUIS -- Not only will it be a special night for the St. Louis Blues, who will unveil their fourth coach in the last six years (Ken Hitchcock), but it also will be an emotional night for those that had connections with Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev.

The team will honor the former Blues players prior to Tuesday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Demitra and Korolev were among the 45 victims of the tragic plane crash in Russia that was carrying the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv KHL hockey team to their season opening game. The plane crashed upon takeoff, with one member of the flight crew being the only survivor.
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Experience, adaptation spell success for older goalies

Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 11:05 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

National Hockey League goaltenders don't all get old.

Some just get more experienced.

How else to explain the ascension of the aged between the pipes, a geriatric charge up the statistical puck-stopping leaderboard led by Boston's 37-year-old record-setter Tim Thomas last season, and Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin this year? The Bulin Wall turns 39 in January, and with a miniscule 0.98 goals-against average and .963 save percentage shows no signs of crumbling.

For both, the feats are all the more remarkable coming off debilitating injuries that contributed to poor seasons before the renaissance. A serious hip problem cost the Bruins' goalie his starting job in 2009-10, and Khabibulin underwent back surgery in 2010, explaining, in part, a dismal showing last season.
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Coaching change a reminder to Blues more expected

Monday, 11.07.2011 / 5:44 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- When veteran defenseman Barret Jackman laces up his skates Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, he'll be playing for the fifth coach in his National Hockey League career.

That may be not viewed as out of the ordinary, but considering this is Jackman's 10th NHL season, the defenseman hasn't had much of a chance to get comfortable with anyone.

It's often a shock when a player gets traded or a coach gets fired, as was the case Sunday night when the Blues made their fourth coaching change in six seasons with the firing of Davis Payne, who was replaced by 59-year-old Ken Hitchcock.

With lofty expectations being tempered by a 6-7-0 start, Payne's dismissal let the players know the accountability lies within the locker room doors. Payne just happened to be the fall guy.
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Eric Staal speaks about hit on brother Marc

Monday, 11.07.2011 / 3:58 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Carolina captain Eric Staal talks to his brother Marc a couple of times each week, hoping one day soon the New York Rangers defenseman will tell him the headaches are gone and his hockey career can resume.

"If I could take it back I probably wouldn't hit him knowing where we've gone and what has gone on since then. But it was one of those plays, bang-bang, happens so quickly, and I hit him hard." -- Eric Staal

The concern is more than just brotherly compassion. It was Eric's hit on Marc during a game at RBC Center in Raleigh on Feb. 22 that is the reason why the Rangers' No. 1 defenseman remains out indefinitely. Marc still is suffering from concussion symptoms believed to be a result of Eric's hit that day.

"I wouldn't say it has kept me awake at night, but it's tough," Eric Staal told NHL.com. "If I could take it back I probably wouldn't hit him knowing where we've gone and what has gone on since then. But it was one of those plays, bang-bang, happens so quickly, and I hit him hard."

Carolina will visit the Rangers on Friday after facing the Devils in New Jersey on Tuesday. 
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Hitchcock determined to build Blues into winner

Monday, 11.07.2011 / 2:44 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

"I just felt that I wanted a certainty of a head coach with a proven track record, a winner, to push these young players and push this organization to the next level. I think it was very important that we didn't wait around. I had that feeling." -- Blues Doug Armstrong

ST. LOUIS -- It became quite clear that the St. Louis Blues wanted someone experienced to guide a ship that seemed to be veering going off-course.

After the firing of Davis Payne on Sunday night, the Blues introduced Ken Hitchcock on Monday as the 24th coach in team history.

The Blues, who enter the week 6-7-0 and in 14th place in the Western Conference, have not gotten off to the start that people within the franchise had hoped. There was much hype about the Blues making that jump into the upper echelon of the Western Conference teams, but it hasn't quite worked out that way, and received the blessing from ownership and team president John Davidson to make a change.
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Sid won't rule out Friday return, but nothing imminent

Monday, 11.07.2011 / 1:44 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

CANONSBURG, Pa. -- For the first time since he was cleared for full-contact practice last month, Sidney Crosby isn't ruling himself out of a Pittsburgh Penguins game.
 
He also isn't penciling himself in for Friday’s home game against Dallas, saying that his status remains day to day as he mends from the concussion that has sidelined him for 10 months.
 
Only it appears the day of his return is growing closer.
 
Crosby went shoulder-to-shoulder and skated stride for stride with his teammates during an off-day practice Monday here at the Iceoplex at Southpointe rink, but said nothing has changed concerning his return.
 
Except that -- and this was a change -- he acknowledged there was a chance he could play this week.
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Hawks want revenge, Canucks a win as rivalry returns

Sunday, 11.06.2011 / 2:55 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO – Plenty of faces have changed the past couple of seasons for both the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks, but a few things remain the same.

All of the main stars are still around and they pretty much hate each other's guts.

Think that's a bit of an overstatement?

Players from both sides would disagree, even though the Canucks are officially taking a "winning means more than the rivalry" approach  in the Sunday showdown against the Hawks at United Center. 
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Quote of the Day

He's able to play now, we just want to see other guys. We know what he can do.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on not rushing Steven Stamkos onto the ice