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NHL Insider

Devils take it a game at a time

Monday, 01.17.2011 / 8:44 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The New Jersey Devils spent the first half of the season falling into the kind of hole the franchise hasn't seen for two decades. They're going to spend the second half trying to dig their way out.
A 14th consecutive playoff berth may be more than the Devils can manage. For now, they're taking it one game at a time -- and making a little bit of headway.
Monday's 5-2 victory against the New York Islanders was the Devils' third win, along with an overtime loss, in their last four games. Not a huge spurt by any means – but it's their longest unbeaten streak in regulation this season, and a huge improvement after a dreadful first half in which they went 10-29-2, dropping them to the bottom of the overall standings.

Langenbrunner makes 1,000th appearance vs. Kings

Monday, 01.17.2011 / 6:55 PM / NHL Insider


Nearly 18 years after being drafted by the club, Dallas Stars right wing Jamie Langenbrunner will play his 1,000th career NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at the American Airlines Center on Monday night.

Langenbrunner, 35, has played 435 games for Dallas and 564 games for the New Jersey Devils. Langenbrunner won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and again with the Devils in 2003 after being traded to New Jersey in 2002. He is the 260th player to reach this milestone following San Jose's Patrick Marleau, who played his 1,000th game on Monday afternoon in Phoenix.

The Stars will hold a pre-game ceremony to recognize Jamie prior to the puck drop Monday night.

Flames still believe they can make playoffs

Monday, 01.17.2011 / 5:35 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – It would be natural for the Calgary Flames to see Monday night's visit to the Montreal Canadiens as another step in what is a long climb up a mountain toward a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

But in fact, the Flames approach this Heritage Classic preview with an eye toward clinching yet another series in what has already been a long playoff run.

Having dug themselves a 14-18-3 hole back on Dec. 21, coach Brent Sutter proposed to his players that they look at the remaining 47 games as a sequence of three-game series.

Flyers spend Saturday in the park

Saturday, 01.15.2011 / 8:49 PM / NHL Insider


It could have been just another off-day practice. Instead, the Philadelphia Flyers made Saturday's workout something special by taking it outdoors.

With the towers of Manhattan in the background, the Flyers stepped on the ice at Lasker Rink in New York's Central Park for a planned-but-unpublicized outdoor workout. Though his team didn't arrive in the Big Apple until the early hours of Saturday morning for Sunday's game against the Rangers, coach Peter Laviolette opted to have his troops take the ice at 1 p.m. for what was, by NHL standards, a casual workout -- sweatpants and shin guards were the order of the day, and the low boards and piles of snow in the background gave a distinctly non-professional look to the whole affair.

Rangers remain steamed over Subban's play

Saturday, 01.15.2011 / 3:42 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- As if a game between two Original Six rivals jostling for playoff position needed any added ingredients of intensity, the New York Rangers were still steaming Saturday over a slew foot administered by Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban on Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky four days earlier.

Subban wasn't penalized on the third-period play Tuesday night, and with the Canadiens ultimately winning at Madison Square Garden by a 2-1 score, an added Rangers power play could have had an impact on the game.

Niedermayer passing along his wisdom

Friday, 01.14.2011 / 2:37 PM / NHL Insider

Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

When Scott Niedermayer first dropped in on the Syracuse Crunch as a guest instructor earlier this season; he improbably lost a shootout drill.

That meant he had to deliver cups of sports drink to the Crunch players in their locker room. The future Hall of Famer served the spoils of victory to prospects so young they have no memory of an NHL without him in it.

"You're just kind of like, wow, how humble a man he is," said Syracuse rookie forward John Mitchell. "It's really surprising."

Earlier this week, Niedermayer was back in town to help the Crunch's blueliners some more. At the end of one practice, Syracuse coach Mark Holick ordered another shootout competition.

Around the West: Hard work, discipline define Ducks

Friday, 01.14.2011 / 11:45 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle has been talking about forging an identity as a team since training camp. Now, in the middle of January, it appears the Ducks finally have one.

They work, skate, compete, stay disciplined and rely on great goaltending.

We're not talking about anything earth shattering here, because if you ask any coach in the League, he'd want his team to have all five of those traits. But the fact that it's taken the Ducks this long to get to this point is interesting because now is when a team fighting for a playoff berth wants to start peaking, and it appears they are.

The Ducks have won six of seven since a 4-1 loss at Los Angeles on Dec. 26 and they just finished a six-game homestand with a 5-1-0 record. They entered Friday's games sixth in the Western Conference with 52 points despite not having captain Ryan Getzlaf (facial injuries) since Dec. 28.


'Canes GM excited as All-Star Game approaches

Thursday, 01.13.2011 / 7:37 PM / NHL Insider


It's an exciting time to be Jim Rutherford, the president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes.

For one thing, his team was on a 6-0-2 run heading into Thursday night's game in Buffalo, looking to close within one point of eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Then there's also the matter of the upcoming 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover, to be played Jan. 30 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. Among the representatives will be Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, goaltender Cam Ward and rookie Jeff Skinner, one of 12 first-year players who will take part in the Honda SuperSkills competition during All-Star Weekend.

Rutherford, a guest on Thursday's "NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman" addressed the Hurricanes' season to this point.

All-Star snub disappoints Coyotes

Thursday, 01.13.2011 / 7:12 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Phoenix Coyotes won 50 games and set a franchise record with 107 points last season. With 2010-11 now into the second half, the Coyotes again hold a playoff spot in the Western Conference, just a point out of fourth place heading into the start of a four-game homestand against Toronto on Thursday night.

But those achievements didn't impress the selection committee for the All-Star Game. Not one Coyote was among the 42 players invited to this year's game in Raleigh, N.C. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who will take part in the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition the night before the game, was the only Phoenix representative on the list released earlier this week.

Some of the reasons are obvious. Until last week, no one on the all-for-one Coyotes had reached the 10-goal mark and there is no room on a team currently being run by the NHL for a superstar's salary. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, a Vezina Trophy candidate last season, has been slowed by injury for the last month and his numbers are down.

Bieksa sees his team ready for Cup run

Thursday, 01.13.2011 / 10:35 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"There are a lot of selfless players on our roster ... I think, to a man, if you asked the guys, they would rather win a game 1-0 than lose a game and get a hat trick. That's the type of guys we have in our room and that's the type of player you need to be successful."
-- Kevin Bieksa

Kevin Bieksa said he believes the Vancouver Canucks deserved a better fate in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons.

Back-to-back six-game losses in the Western Conference semifinals, courtesy the Chicago Blackhawks, will do that to one's psyche. While the results haven't sat well with the defenseman, Bieksa also feels lessons learned in those losses only will strengthen the group in its pursuit of the big trophy this season.

"Losing when you think you deserve better is a tough thing," Bieksa told NHL.com.

In Bieksa's first playoff run with the Canucks, in 2007, the club defeated Dallas in seven games before suffering a five-game setback to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in the conference semifinals.
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Quote of the Day

I think I'm lucky to be here and you definitely don't take very many things for granted, if you take anything for granted. I definitely put my family and my wife and my close family in perspective, that they're the most important thing in the world. I want to do whatever I can to play hockey, but like I said, under the right circumstances.

— Stars forward Rich Peverley to "The Musers" radio show on The Ticket 1310 AM in Dallas