2015 NHL Draft
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NHL Insider

Penguins begin season with familiar offensive woes

Monday, 10.12.2015 / 2:30 PM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins know they must be better.

Through two games, the Penguins have looked eerily similar to the team that struggled through the final month of the 2014-15 regular season before getting eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the New York Rangers in five games of Eastern Conference First Round. After failing to get any of their 37 shots past Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi in a 3-0 loss Thursday, the Penguins scored once in a 2-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes Saturday.

Pittsburgh faced similar issues last spring, when it averaged 1.78 regulation goals over its final 18 games of the regular season. It's early, but that lack of production has at least temporarily seeped into this October, and the task won't get any easier in the home opener against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; CITYM, RDS, ROOT).

Carey Price and the Canadiens come to Pittsburgh after winning their first three games while scoring 10 goals, tied for second in the NHL behind the Rangers. Price has made 55 saves on 58 shots through two starts, which doesn't seem to bode well for a Penguins team in need of a confidence boost.

Kings add Jack Jablonski as communications intern

Saturday, 10.10.2015 / 2:25 PM / NHL Insider


Jack Jablonski has made it to the NHL.

The 20-year-old hoped to do so as a player, but a spinal-cord injury sustained in a high school game in 2011 left him paralyzed from the chest down. This season, the Los Angeles Kings hired him to work as an intern in their communications department. Jablonski is a student at the University of Southern California studying journalism and communications.

"I definitely wanted to keep pursuing a career in hockey and that hockey lifestyle, and I’m super interested in PR and communications, so I hoped I could find an area that was a good fit," Jablonski told the Orange County Register in an article published Saturday.

Capitals D-man Orlov back in NHL after 18 months

Saturday, 10.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Katie Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- After the Washington Capitals' first preseason game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sept. 21, coach Barry Trotz stopped defenseman Dmitry Orlov as he was leaving the ice.

"He had a big ol' smile when he was coming off the ice against Carolina," Trotz said. "He had a grin from ear to ear. I said, 'Hey, finally back.'"

It was the first NHL game in almost 18 months for Orlov, who missed last season following wrist surgery. He'll play his first regular-season game Saturday when the Capitals host the new Jersey Devils in their season-opener.

Healthy Krejci eager to lead Bruins back to playoffs

Saturday, 10.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center David Krejci endured an injury-riddled season after signing a six-year, $43.5 million contract extension last September. The Bruins went 16-13-6 while Krejci missed 20 games with an undisclosed injury and 15 more with a knee injury.

Krejci embarked on a workout regimen this summer to make sure his injury troubles don't come back.

"I've been working out for a long time," Krejci said before the Bruins opened their regular season Thursday, a 6-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. "I changed my workouts a little bit this year. I've been skating a little bit longer before training camp. So I came into training camp in good shape, feeling good with my body. And so far here the games and practices have been pretty good. It's a big training camp for me and for the team. So far I'm pretty happy how things are going."

Krejci and the Bruins play the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports, NESN).

Canadiens long to prove they're more than Price

Saturday, 10.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- All summer long, people were saying the Montreal Canadiens are a team that relies too much on goaltender Carey Price to win games for them.

In their first chance to prove those people wrong, Wednesday in the season-opener at the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canadiens did the opposite.

They proved them right, allowing the Maple Leafs to control long stretches of the game but coming out with a 3-1 win based largely on 36 saves made by Price.

It was remarkably similar to what the Canadiens did last season.

"Obviously we'd like to score more, but as long as we're winning the games, that's what matters," Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec said Sept. 8 at the NHL Player Media Tour in Toronto. "A big part of that was [Price], which is the one thing honestly we want to get better at and play better in front of him."

Asked Friday about reverting to that problem to start this season, Plekanec got annoyed.

Islanders' traditions right at home in Brooklyn

Saturday, 10.10.2015 / 12:06 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The venue might be different and state of the art, but the New York Islanders aren't kidding when they say tradition has a new home.

Everything that once brightened up Nassau Coliseum -- the energetic fans, the lively chants, and, yes, even the goal horn -- made the move to Brooklyn with the Islanders.

That much was obvious Friday when the Islanders played their first regular-season game at Barclays Center, a 3-2 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The people who grew up Islanders fans, in one arena, partying in the parking lot and loving their 43-year-old building like it was an old friend, streamed off the subways and Long Island Rail Road and began treating their new home with the same reverence and respect.

"The atmosphere was great," said Islanders captain John Tavares, who scored the first goal for the home team in its new building 5:22 into the second period. "Our fans were into it, behind us like they always are. Certainly they brought that tradition over from the Coliseum.

"Everything was really similar, as much as it could be."

Babcock: Red Wings made right choice with Blashill

Friday, 10.09.2015 / 2:33 PM / NHL Insider

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- When Mike Babcock left as coach of the Detroit Red Wings to become coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he felt Jeff Blashill was the right person to replace him.

Now, as Blashill prepares to make his NHL coaching debut with the Red Wings against Babcock's Maple Leafs on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SN1), his opinion hasn't changed.

"He's the Detroit Red Wings coach and he should be the Detroit Red Wings coach," Babcock said. "He's done a lot of things to get to where he is. … He's a smart guy, presents well and he has been taught well."

McDavid impressive if not spectacular in NHL debut

Friday, 10.09.2015 / 12:47 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Good but not great, with flashes of the brilliance that's to come, warning signs of areas that need improvement, and a slow and steady rise in his level of impact.

That description of Connor McDavid's performance in his NHL debut Thursday at Scottrade Center against the St. Louis Blues might not be what people envisioned hearing or reading considering the hype that accompanied the Edmonton Oilers rookie center into the League, but honest evaluation is the first and necessary step for McDavid toward living up to the incredibly high expectations already placed on him.

He may only be cracking the surface of his potential in the NHL, but he at least deserves time to lay his foundation, especially when he's attempting to do it with a target on his back as the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft and arguably the most hyped player to enter the League since Sidney Crosby a decade ago.

"I thought he held his own," Oilers left wing Taylor Hall said following St. Louis' 3-1 win in the season opener for each team. "When you're 18 years old, you're playing against guys sometimes twice your age and not every play, not every game, is going to be easy. Tonight was no different, but I think you saw a lot of pushback from him and that's great to see."

'Real man' Benn ready to lead Stars to playoffs

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Dallas Stars president Jim Lites and general manager Jim Nill couldn't believe what they were watching during the summer, because two years ago something as small as forward Jamie Benn leading a group of men through offseason workouts seemed so unlikely, so out of character.

"He's like the pied piper now," Lites said. "You'd never think a veteran like Ales Hemsky is going to be following anybody around, but there he is, Jamie Benn leading him around like a little kid. There are probably a dozen guys who have that capability in the League."

Benn is best known for winning the Art Ross Trophy last season with 87 points, including 10 in his final three games, to edge New York Islanders captain John Tavares by one point. Lites, Nill and others know Benn differently; for who he is and what he means to the Stars.

It's in large part because of Benn's maturation into a leader that Nill, Lites and coach Lindy Ruff believe the Stars are poised to take the next step and become a legitimate contender in the Western Conference this season.

Three talented rookies forced way on to Blues roster

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- There was a sense during the summer that the St. Louis Blues would give forward Robby Fabbri a chance to make the opening-night roster out of training camp.

Fabbri, the Blues' first-round pick (No. 21) in the 2014 NHL Draft, left a lasting impression at camp last year before a shoulder injury cut his time short.

However, the rise of defensemen Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko, two 22-year-olds, was something the Blues didn't necessarily anticipate but are happy to address.

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