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NHL Insider

Hawks scrambling at Deadline with 'D' injuries

Monday, 02.28.2011 / 9:12 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Already in the market for depth at center and on the blue line, the Chicago Blackhawks likely saw their need for another defenseman rise Sunday night.
Defenseman Jordan Hendry was hurt less than three minutes into the third period of Chicago's 4-3 shootout win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center, while fellow defenseman Duncan Keith finished the game despite appearing to injure his shin/ankle late in the third.
Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson also is ailing with an undisclosed upper-body injury that nearly kept him out of Sunday's game. Meanwhile, Nick Boynton was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers this past weekend.


Pens, Habs, Caps and Stars help themselves

Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 1:31 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The NHL regular season ends six weeks from today, and 25 of the 30 teams are within nine points of a playoff berth.

The trade deadline is just over 24 hours away, and the outcome of Sunday's eight games will no doubt have a hand in determining which teams plan to be buyers and sellers before the deadline passes at 3 p.m. ET on Monday.

Here's a look at how the races in each conference shape up after Saturday night's games.

Bowman looking for center, defense help

Saturday, 02.26.2011 / 4:48 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Amidst all the trading that's been done thus far, the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks are still actively looking for a partner.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has already pulled off one deal this month -- acquiring forward Michael Frolik from the Florida Panthers on Feb. 9 for rookie forward Jack Skille -- but he's looking for more before Monday's 3 p.m. trade deadline.
"We're still talking (with teams)," Bowman said, while meeting with reporters during Saturday's Hawks practice. "There's an awful lot of activity now. It's really heightened over the last week or so. It's probably the busiest it's been. I'm having a lot of discussions, but nothing to report yet. I'm hopeful that something will get done."

Seabrook, Blackhawks close to extension

Saturday, 02.26.2011 / 4:19 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brent Seabrook is very close to joining the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks "core group" that's signed long term with the defending Stanley Cup champions.
A deal has not been finalized, but likely will be in the very near future according to Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman -- who met with reporters during the team's practice Saturday.
A report by TSN said a deal was already reached for five years and just less than $30 million, but Bowman didn't say it was finalized and declined to get into specifics about salary or the term negotiated.

Sopel hopes to boost Montreal PK against Carolina

Saturday, 02.26.2011 / 1:48 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens will be welcoming a much-needed addition while the Carolina Hurricanes adjust without their star player when the two teams collide Saturday night in a key Eastern Conference matchup.

The game will be the Canadiens debut for defenseman Brent Sopel, a penalty-killing and shot-blocking specialist acquired Thursday from the Atlanta Thrashers.

Tambellini's words have had big effect on Oilers

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 2:38 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - NHL.com Correspondent

"People really don't know how painful it is to lose games." -- Andrew Cogliano

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini told his players to forget about big-picture issues such as lottery picks and the like 10 days ago and concentrate on winning hockey games.

The Oilers appear to have taken that to heart as they prepare to face the St. Louis Blues at Rexall Place on Friday. Edmonton has won 4 of its last 5 games following Wednesday's 5-1 win in Colorado.

Playoffs now possible for Devils

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

The New Jersey Devils were dead and buried on Jan. 8. They had been eulogized and lowered into the ground as they sat in last place in the League standings, 27 points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Six weeks later, there may be signs of a resurrection.

The Devils may have had barely discernible vital signs during the first half of the season, but now they are showing signs of life as the season hits the three-quarter pole.

To put that 27-point deficit at the halfway point in perspective, it's the equivalent of a baseball team sitting about 26 games out of the playoffs after 81 games. Teams just don't come back from that.

West playoff race among top storylines

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

All season long, the Western Conference standings have been packed tighter than the crepes rolled by the Cubans who were actually Dominicans on that episode of Seinfeld.

As of Thursday morning, eight points separated third and 11th in the standings. It's essentially nine teams fighting for six spots, with the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings all but locks for postseason berths.

So who will capture those remaining playoff spots and who will fall short?

Two teams that appear to be in the deepest trouble are the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars.

Races get tighter at three-quarters mark

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 1:43 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The NHL season reaches the three-quarters pole today -- with all but four teams either in the top eight in their conference or within nine points of the top eight. We're at the point where a hot week can send any team flying up the standings, while a bad week will have the opposite effect.

Here's a look at how the races in each conference shape up after Thursday night's games:

Eastern Conference:

Division leaders:

Philadelphia (86 points after Thursday's 4-3 overtime win against to the Islanders) blew a 3-1 third-period lead and allowed the pesky Islanders to force overtime, but beat New York for the 12th consecutive time at the Wells Fargo Center when Andrej Meszaros scored with 17.6 seconds left in OT. The Flyers lead Pittsburgh by eight points in the Atlantic Division race and are nine up on the Lightning for first place in the conference.

Pegula's goal: Build a classy champion in Buffalo

Thursday, 02.24.2011 / 7:39 PM / NHL Insider


The Terry Pegula Era in Buffalo is off to a flying start.

After the sale of the Sabres was completed and Pegula became the new owner, the team went out and recorded a 4-1 win Wednesday over the Thrashers, one of the teams they're battling with as they chase a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"It feels good," Pegula said on Thursday's "NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman" when asked about his first official game as an NHL owner. "I just hope it lasts a long time."
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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis