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NHL Insider

Nugent-Hopkins, Landeskog put friendship on pause

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 4:25 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

DENVER -- Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog became friends with Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins during the weeks leading up to the 2011 NHL Draft, but the relationship won't be the same when the 18-year-old rookies meet on the ice for the first time Friday at the Pepsi Center.

"We went through the whole process of the (NHL Scouting) Combine and the draft and going to the Stanley Cup Final together," Landeskog said after this morning's skate. "We became pretty good friends. Obviously he's in Edmonton and I'm here now, so there's not going to be any friendship out on the ice.

Four top draftees, including RNH, are sticking around

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 3:31 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Gabriel Landeskog
Left Wing - COL
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 6
SOG: 36 | +/-: 2
Gabriel Landeskog, the No. 2 pick of the 2011 Draft, will play his 10th NHL game Friday against the Edmonton Oilers.

By playing, it will start the clock on his three-year, entry-level contract. Prior to the game, the Avalanche could have returned him to junior hockey and delayed the start of that deal by a season.

However, Avs General Manager Greg Sherman told he didn't need nine games to see that Landeskog was ready for the NHL.

"Right in that first week there," Sherman said. "We had things set up for him. He would be with us."

Julien changes lines; Deals next for sinking B's?

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 2:38 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

"I think when you look at that board today and we're last in the East, it's definitely rock bottom for us. We know it can't get any worse than this and only one way to go is up. So if we put together a few good games and we get on a streak a bit here, we're going to be right back in the mix." -- Brad Marchand

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins front-office personnel, coaches and players alike all did their research during the offseason in an attempt to be the ones that could beat the dreaded "Stanley Cup hangover."

Unfortunately for them, a little more than four months removed from winning the Cup, the Bruins are making a different type of history.

After losing to Montreal on Thursday night -- a game coach Claude Julien described as "the worst-executed game from the second period on that we've played this year" -- the Bruins' record now stands at 3-6-0 and they're looking up at the rest of the Eastern Conference in the standings.

Sharks seek to continue streak, extend Wings' woes

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 2:31 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- The start of this season has taken almost exact opposite turns for both the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks.

It's still early and the recent trends for each team are taken from small sample sizes, but suddenly Friday night's first meeting between the Western Conference rivals appears to have extra importance placed on it.

The Red Wings (5-2-0), who will play host to the Sharks at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., NHL Network-U.S.), are reeling a bit after starting with a 5-0 mark. They've now suffered consecutive blowout losses on the road to the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets, and drew the ire of coach Mike Babcock for what he thought was a poor effort in Ohio on Tuesday.

Bryzgalov shoulders blame for goaltending meltdown

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 12:23 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Ilya Bryzgalov
Goalie - PHI
RECORD: 3-4-1
GAA: 3.45 | SVP: 0.870
The Philadelphia Flyers re-worked their team this summer to stabilize their goaltending position. But in the course of a week, all their hopes appear to have gone away in a blaze of red lights.

Ilya Bryzgalov, signed to a nine-year, $51 million contract in June with the hope that he could finally settle one of the more unsettled positions in the game, allowed four goals on 10 shots and suffered his fourth straight defeat in Thursday's wild 9-8 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

After starting the season 4-0-1, the Flyers are 1-4-0, and have allowed four or more goals in four of their last five games.

Nugent-Hopkins, Landeskog set for first NHL meeting

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 12:03 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Top pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a goal in his first game, recorded a hat trick in his third, and currently carries a three-game point streak.

Gabriel Landeskog, who heard his name called immediately after Nugent-Hopkins at the draft in June, waited until his third game to light the lamp and then did it again in his fourth. He had his first two-goal game last Saturday.

Friday night at Pepsi Center, Edmonton's Nugent-Hopkins and Colorado's Landeskog will go head-to-head for the first time in their NHL careers as the Oilers and Avalanche, the top two teams in the Northwest Division, meet for the first of six times this season.

When you hear people talk about a game within the game, this is the type of matchup they mean.

DiPietro gets first action of season in shootout

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 11:13 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- A strange thing happened on the way to a shootout on Thursday at Consol Energy Center -- New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano decided to replace starter Evgeni Nabokov with Rick DiPietro.
Strange because Nabokov looked sharp in turning aside 30 shots, including three tremendous stops in the overtime. But the 36-year-old goalie apparently was feeling the effects of a lingering lower-body injury suffered at some point in the opening period and decided to call it a night prior to the tiebreaker. Nabokov has a record of 19-21 in shootouts during his 11 seasons in the League.

Shero psyched to bring Draft to Pittsburgh

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 7:39 PM / NHL Insider

Ray Shero has been part of a franchise that hosted an NHL Draft before, as an assistant general manager to David Poile with the Nashville Predators in 2003.

Shero, the general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2006, will get that opportunity again this coming June, as the announcement was made Thursday that the Consol Energy Center will play host to the 2012 Draft.

Shero and team president David Morehouse appeared as guests on Thursday night's "NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman" to discuss perhaps the biggest day in Pittsburgh sports since the Penguins hosted the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field on Jan. 1.

Ducks try to see positives in lengthy road trip

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 4:15 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

"There's nothing you can really do. You just keep rolling with it. It is a good time with the guys, obviously you get to know them more. For me it is still a new team so it is good in that respect, but other than that you just keep going."
-- Andrew Cogliano

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Western Conference teams in the NHL spend a lot of time on the road -- geography dictates it more than anything else.

That said, the Anaheim Ducks are in the early stages of a journey that is quite long even for their standards -- seven games in 13 days in two different time zones against teams from four different divisions.

"Thirteen days is a long one," Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey said. "You've got to have a couple suits, and then the way I eat I've got to have a couple shirts, too. It is a little difficult, but most of the time you're in your suit so there's not a whole lot of other packing to do other than dress shirts and a couple suits. You try and pack as light as possible, especially when you're switching cities every other night."

Ex-Sharks Heatley, Setoguchi settling in with Wild

Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 3:34 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi have settled in to their new home here in the Twin Cities, but which line they will end up on for the long-term remains a work in progress.

Heatley and Setoguchi arrived with the Minnesota Wild this summer in separate trades from the San Jose Sharks, and spent the first eight games of the season on the team’s top line together with Mikko Koivu in between them.

The duo has combined for five goals in eight games, but Koivu has none and the team has only 16 total, so coach Mike Yeo will split his two ex-Sharks up Thursday night when they face the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center. Setoguchi will skate with Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, while Cal Clutterbuck will join Heatley and Koivu.

"It happens. You never know," Setoguchi said. "When things aren’t going well -- I mean our power play is 29th in the League and our line hasn’t been doing extremely well -- you just switch it up and try to find the chemistry in order to produce. It is not like [Cullen] and [Bouchard] are bad players by any means. It is going to be a process, but we have to try to find chemistry and it is not just going to happen like that. I played with the same guys [in San Jose] for four years. [Ryan] Getzlaf, [Corey] Perry and [Bobby] Ryan have played together for four years now. It takes time and once it happens, it happens."
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