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NHL Insider

Crosby's return a night to remember

Tuesday, 11.22.2011 / 12:13 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

PITTSBURGH -- There were 18,571 people that walked through the turnstiles at Consol Energy Center on Monday night. They probably ought to put their ticket stubs in safe places.

"That's not how I would have played my first game, I know that," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said while shaking his head and smiling.

Sidney Crosby's return to the NHL after a 10-and-a-half-month layoff turned into the kind of night that hockey fans everywhere will tell their grandkids about.

If someone in the future asks them where they were when Crosby came back and put up 4 points in a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders, odds are they won't hesitate to give an answer with extreme detail, no matter if they were elated or deflated.

Players tweet about Sid's return

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 8:05 PM / NHL Insider

Hockey fans aren't the only ones excited about the return of Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

Several players from around the League have expressed their amazement of Crosby, who already has a goal and an assist in Tuesday night's game against the New York Islanders.

Here's what they had to say.

Players excited about start of Gaglardi regime

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 3:52 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - Correspondent

DALLAS -- Fans of the Dallas Stars are clearly glad to see Tom Gaglardi officially introduced as the franchise's new owner at a Monday afternoon press conference at American Airlines Center.

But there is another group that is equally excited to see someone in place at the top of the Dallas organization for the first time in several years -- the Stars players.

Gaglardi met with the team for the first time as owner just before the Stars took the ice for their morning skate, and almost immediately the players were impressed with his passion for the game and the incredible amount of positive energy he exuded about taking the reins.

Bruins' Bergeron knows what Sid is going through

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 2:41 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL – If there is one player who could have some semblance of an idea of what Sidney Crosby is going through in the final hours before making his comeback from a 10-month concussion recovery, it would be Patrice Bergeron.

The Boston Bruins center was Crosby's linemate on the gold medal-winning Canadian team at the 2005 World Junior Championship, and he was his teammate on the 2010 Olympic gold medal-winning Canadian team as well.

So he was a natural person for Crosby to turn to for support, because Bergeron had his own frightening recovery from a concussion he suffered Oct. 27, 2007, costing him the rest of that season.

Teammates and foes discuss Crosby's return

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 2:20 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Penguins forward Steve Sullivan, perhaps more than any other player on the ice, knows what Sidney Crosby will be going through physically in his first NHL game in more than 10 months.
But only Crosby himself knows what will be going through Sidney Crosby's mind, according to Sullivan.

And, for Sullivan, it is how quickly Crosby adapts mentally in his return to the sport he was dominating a year ago that will likely determine how soon No. 87 plays like, well, Sidney Crosby.

DeBoer admits beating Panthers would be special

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 1:47 PM / NHL Insider

Alain Poupart - Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer had no problem admitting Monday night's game at Florida had extra meaning for him.

DeBoer, who was fired the day after the Panthers ended their 2010-11 season, will be coaching against his former team for the first time. 

Moments after the Devils won at Tampa Bay on Saturday night, DeBoer said about facing the Panthers, "I'd like to win that one for a lot of reasons."

Sidney Crosby blog

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 10:07 AM / NHL Insider Staff

Still quiet here at CEC
11.21.11 10:07 a.m. ET

PITTSBURGH -- The Zamboni is just finishing it's morning sweep of the ice and now one guy is on the ice with a squeegee. The nets are stationed near the half-walls, waiting to get put in their proper places.

Overall it's still relatively quiet here at Consol Energy Center. It won't be for long.

Sidney Crosby is expected to take the ice with his teammates for the Penguins morning skate in about 25 minutes.

New-look Wild rise to top of NHL standings

Sunday, 11.20.2011 / 11:07 PM / NHL Insider

Heading into the 2011-12 season, much of the focus in the Northwest Division was rightfully on the Vancouver Canucks, who won the Presidents’ Trophy for the 2010-11 season, sat atop the Western Conference throughout the playoffs and advanced to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last spring.

By Halloween, the focus had shifted to the young and thrilling Edmonton Oilers, who quickly erased the memory of back-to-back dead last finishes by racing to the top of the division behind recent No. 1 picks Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.

Not a whole lot was said during this time about the Minnesota Wild, apart from the occasional mention of the trades executed over the summer that brought Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi from the San Jose Sharks, or that they had a new coach in Mike Yeo. But after finishing out of the playoff picture each of the past three seasons, the Wild registered on few hockey fans’ radars.

Long playoff run is no excuse for Vancouver

Sunday, 11.20.2011 / 10:02 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

The Vancouver Canucks don't want to hear about Stanley Cup hangovers.

For starters, they never got the Stanley Cup to celebrate with. But mostly they just aren't interested in making excuses for a 9-9-1 record that is well below everyone's expectations -- from both the outside and internally within the organization.

No matter how many times they're asked about it.

"No, you're not going to get me," defenseman Kevin Bieksa said with a smile after a reporter's third attempt to tie this year's sluggish start to last year's long playoff run and disappointing finish. "I don't even remember the playoffs last year. Nobody remembers. There are no more excuses like that. We're well into our schedule right now. We're thinking about this year, and that's not even on our minds right now."

Those minds, however, seem incapable of focusing for an entire 60-minute game, which is the biggest reason the Canucks continue to tread water as their season approaches the quarter pole Sunday against Ottawa. They are outside the playoff bar and on pace for just 82 points, nowhere near good enough for a roster largely unchanged from the one that led the league in just about every significant statistic before failing to win Game 7 of the Cup Final against Boston. 

Gomez searching for previous form, faces former team

Saturday, 11.19.2011 / 2:12 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Just about any game would be an opportune time for Scott Gomez to break out of an epic goal-scoring drought, but Saturday night against his former team, the New York Rangers, would probably be more ideal than most others.

Gomez's last goal dates back to Feb. 5, 2011, against these same Rangers in this same venue, a span of 46 regular season and playoff games without one.

"Well, (if) I keep shooting, hopefully that makes it go away," Gomez said Saturday about the drought. "It's not a lack of working. I just need a bounce to go in off someone. But my job is to get my wingers the puck and have them put it in. That's not going to change."

Meanwhile, on the other side Saturday night the Bell Centre crowd will likely be watching Ryan McDonagh log around 25 minutes of ice time on the Rangers' top defense pairing with Dan Girardi.
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Quote of the Day

It's an incredible feeling just to see it go in and see the Joe go pretty crazy.  Ever since the introduction there, I was kind of feeling the nerves, and to put that one home, I started to feel comfortable and I thought my play started to pick up.

— Nineteen-year-old Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin after scoring a goal in his NHL debut
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