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NHL Insider

Blackhawks beginning to feel like winners again

Friday, 01.21.2011 / 12:02 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

They've established consistency in their forward lines and defense pairs. Their goaltenders are giving them a chance in every game. Their coaches have confidence in the role players, all of them no-names to start the season.

Chicago is hoping to celebrate a conference championship in a different sport this weekend, but that Bears buzz has leaked into the Blackhawks' dressing room and the reigning champs in the Windy City, in the NHL, are starting to play like winners again.

The Blackhawks have won four of their last five games, picking up nine out of a possible 10 points during the stretch and 11 out of a possible 16 points in January.


University goalie serves as Sharks' emergency backup

Friday, 01.21.2011 / 3:12 AM / NHL Insider

Nolan Kelly - Special to NHL.com

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Jordan White is usually an avid fan of the Vancouver Canucks. Just not on Thursday night.

The 22-year-old goaltender for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds found himself on the San Jose Sharks' bench at Vancouver's Rogers Arena after signing a one-day amateur tryout contract. The Sharks needed a goaltender in a hurry when Antero Niittymaki went down with a lower-body injury during the morning skate -- too late to get a backup goaltender from their AHL farm team, the Worcester Sharks, in time for the game against the Canucks.

Enter White, the starting goaltender for UBC's Thunderbirds. He wore No. 35 in white and teal as he stepped onto the ice in front of a sellout crowd that included his parents and several friends. White took shots during the warmup, but he didn’t see any action in San Jose's 2-1 shootout victory.

Kane not thinking about Cup-winner vs. Flyers

Thursday, 01.20.2011 / 8:37 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

This may be hard to believe, but Patrick Kane actually said that when the Philadelphia Flyers come to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks this Sunday, the goal that no one in either city will ever forget will not be at the forefront of his mind.

Kane, of course, is referring to his overtime Stanley Cup-winner in Game 6 at Wells Fargo Center last June. Or, you know, just the most important goal he has ever scored in his life and maybe will score in his career.

"I really don't know if I will (think about it)," Kane modestly told NHL.com on Thursday. "I guess you think of the Flyers, the last time we played them that happened, I scored the overtime goal and we won the Stanley Cup, but I guess I'll have to see what the feeling is like. It'll definitely bring back memories from the series."

Flyers have something to prove vs. Hawks

Thursday, 01.20.2011 / 7:49 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Summer without Stanley felt the same as any other for Mike Richards.

"I have done it the last six years, so I'm used to it now, unfortunately," the Flyers' captain told NHL.com.

But never before did Richards get so close, so wonderfully close that he could actually play a game with the Stanley Cup in the building as he did on June 9, 2010.

It was Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, the night the Cinderella slippers finally slid off the Flyers' skates.

GM Holmgren talks Flyers on NHL Hour

Thursday, 01.20.2011 / 7:39 PM / NHL Insider


It took until the final day of the 2009-10 regular season for the Philadelphia Flyers to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- by winning a shootout over the rival new York Rangers, no less -- but once they got there everything came together and the magic carpet ride didn't end until an overtime loss in Game 6 of the Final.

This season the Flyers have picked right up where they left off -- entering Thursday's action, they led the NHL with 30 wins and had the most points in the Eastern Conference with 65, tying them with the Canucks for first in the League.

So it came as little surprise earlier this week when GM Paul Holmgren was given a three-year contract extension. Holmgren took over as interim GM in November 2006 and quickly got the job full-time. The Flyers finished last in the NHL in 2006-07, but he wasted little time rebuilding them into an elite team -- and completing a cycle that has seen him play, coach and work in the front office in Philadelphia.

Cumiskey excited to finally return

Thursday, 01.20.2011 / 4:22 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

"I'm excited to get back out there. It's a little boring to be sitting around for that long a time. You see your team playing and you want to be out there to help. You get down a bit and it gets really frustrating, but I tried to stay as positive as I could." -- Kyle Cumiskey

DENVER -- Kyle Cumiskey had plenty of company while recovering from a concussion that prevented him from playing for the Colorado Avalanche for nearly three months.

Half a dozen teammates also were injured when the speedy 24-year-old defenseman was on the sidelines after getting hurt in an Oct. 30 game against Columbus.

"I wasn't too lonely. There were a lot of guys keeping me company," Cumiskey said with a smile Thursday morning at the Pepsi Center.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder will play his first game since the injury Thursday night when the Avalanche take on the Nashville Predators in the teams' initial meeting of the season.

Horcoff set to return to Oilers lineup

Thursday, 01.20.2011 / 1:48 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers will have captain Shawn Horcoff back in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 7 when they face the red-hot Dallas Stars at Rexall Place on Thursday night.

Horcoff, who missed 18 games with a sprained MCL of the right knee, will play between rookie Taylor Hall, who moves back to left wing after spending six games at center, and Dustin Penner.

Ovi: Caps must show more of a nose for the net

Wednesday, 01.19.2011 / 3:49 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Alex Ovechkin is calling for his team to crash the net and play angrier, but even he admitted Wednesday that it's not easy to instinctively want to get your nose dirty in front of the blue paint when you're not accustomed to it.

"Sometimes you just think maybe there's going to be a rebound and I'm going to stay outside of the net because I don't want to go there, be in that position where I'll get hit in the neck or an elbow in the face," Ovechkin said after practice at Wells Fargo Center. "You think the puck is going to bounce right to your stick. It happens sometimes, but most of the time you have to go there and fight for that puck."

Coyotes could be thin on blue line vs. Predators

Tuesday, 01.18.2011 / 4:40 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The NHL is handing out suspensions as quickly as it can, but the Phoenix Coyotes are running out of defensemen in a hurry.

Just three days after the Coyotes lost Ed Jovanovski on a hit that cost Toronto's Mike Brown a three-game suspension, blueliner David Schlemko left Monday's 4-2 loss to San Jose with a head injury after a hit by Scott Nichol of the Sharks. Tuesday, the NHL suspended Nichol for four games.

The Coyotes aren't certain if Jovanovski or Schlemko will be available for tonight's big game with Nashville at Jobing.com Arena. And Michal Rozsival still hasn't suited up for a game with Phoenix since being acquired from the Rangers eight days ago because of a lingering pulled muscle in the ribcage area.

Goal-strapped Caps face test in East-leading Flyers

Tuesday, 01.18.2011 / 2:49 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Alex Ovechkin called it "a huge test for us," and Nicklas Backstrom nodded his head in agreement when asked if Tuesday night's game against the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers is a statement game for the Washington Capitals.

"We had a good challenge against Vancouver Friday night and this is another big game," Backstrom told NHL.com Tuesday morning. "We're playing a great team tonight and we have to be on top of our game to get two points."

He's right, but it's safe to say that the Capitals can't be on the top of their game until Ovechkin and Backstrom start scoring.

Ovechkin has 5 goals in the last 20 games and a pedestrian (by his standards) 15 in 46 games this season. Backstrom has been even quieter with no goals in the last 20 games and just 11 in the same 46 games this season.

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Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense