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(Page 234 of 259)
NHL Insider

Gomez, Spacek practice for Habs, hope to face Flyers

Tuesday, 12.14.2010 / 2:56 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Que. -- The banged up Montreal Canadiens had a full complement of players at Tuesday's practice, but it's not yet clear who will be available for a matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers at home Wednesday, where the Habs will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Center Scott Gomez (lower body) and defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (upper body) skated with the team for the first time since they suffered their respective injuries, while defenseman Josh Gorges also skated after missing practice a day earlier to treat some minor ailments.

Gomez has missed the last two games with a mystery injury suffered last Tuesday against Ottawa, one that was not caught by television cameras and which Gomez has been deliciously evasive on.

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Hall: No disrespect meant toward Maple Leafs

Tuesday, 12.14.2010 / 2:17 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Did Edmonton Oilers rookie Taylor Hall inadvertently provide the Toronto Maple Leafs added motivation with what he told reporters Monday heading into tonight's rematch at Rexall Place? Not intentionally, said Hall.

"Hopefully we can compete a lot harder. Because (Toronto) is a team that, if we do, it’s there for the taking," Hall told reporters the day after Edmonton played poorly in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

Given that the Oilers shut out the Maple Leafs 5-0 on Dec. 2 at the Air Canada Centre, Hall was asked by a Toronto reporter if he might have phrased what he intended to say poorly.

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Drury back for Rangers on Wednesday

Tuesday, 12.14.2010 / 1:28 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

New York Rangers captain Chris Drury will return to the lineup Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins after missing the past 29 games with a broken left index finger.

Drury didn't play in the Rangers' first two games of the season due to a different break in the same finger he suffered during a scrimmage Sept. 20. In his return from that injury, he played just 9:11 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 15 before leaving with his latest injury.

The 34-year-old took part in a full practice Tuesday and rotated skating on a line with Sean Avery, Erik Christensen and Todd White. Coach John Tortorella said either Christensen or White will go to the press box to make room for Drury.
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Around the West: No 'magic' yet for Hudler in return

Tuesday, 12.14.2010 / 10:57 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Seventy points guaranteed. Magic.

These were the words Detroit coach Mike Babcock used this summer to describe Jiri Hudler in separate interviews with NHL.com.

Well, we're 29 games into the season and Hudler is 64 points and a Houdini act away from making Babcock's predictions come true.

Hudler has been disappointing in his return to the NHL after spending last season in Russia, but Babcock is not ready to toss in the towel on the soon-to-be 27-year-old Czech just yet.

"I wouldn't say that," Babcock said. "I got him in a rotation. I told him I would have him in a rotation. When he earns his way out of that rotation then he won't be in the rotation anymore. Basically, the way I look at it, there are three 27-game segments and you have a throwaway game in there. My math works out to 82 that way, right? So, his first segment didn't go the way we want it, so let's have a good second segment."
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Avalanche hope to use home ice to big advantage

Monday, 12.13.2010 / 4:34 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

"Every day you wake up, you (can) move from third to 12th. It's a matter of one or two points. The focus for us, especially with a young team, is that you're prepared on an individual game basis, on a game-by-game basis."
-- Avs coach Joe Sacco on the tight Western Conference playoff race

DENVER -- Following a road trip that started badly but finished well, the Colorado Avalanche are looking forward to some considerable home cooking during the next several weeks.

The Avalanche will play six of the next seven games and 16 of 21 at the Pepsi Center, starting Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks, a stretch that takes the team through January.

Colorado completed a five-game, nine-day excursion through the Southeast Division with a 2-1-2 record that began with three losses -- two in overtime -- but concluded with back-to-back wins against Atlanta and Washington.

"We didn't like the start, but we were resilient and we liked the finish," Avalanche captain Adam Foote said after Monday's morning skate. "It was a great time for us to be on the road trip, to build something from it, to work on our game. We worked on a lot of things with hard practices and we bonded.
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Ovechkin still seeking spark for Caps

Monday, 12.13.2010 / 12:08 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"It was just a moment in the game. Nothing special happened." -- Alex Ovechkin on dropping the gloves with Brandon Dubinsky

NEW YORK -- With Dan Girardi still lying prone on the ice not far from him, Alex Ovechkin looked up and saw Brandon Dubinsky skating in his direction. Ovechkin didn't know if Dubinsky was coming in from the other side of the ice to spray a few choice words in his direction, for a quick twirl to check on his fallen teammate, or for some fisticuffs.
 
He didn't much care either.
 
Ovechkin had had enough. He had seen enough. He had taken enough abuse. He had reached the end of his rope.
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MacDonald explains how Hurricanes got their man

Monday, 12.13.2010 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It didn't take veteran scout Tony MacDonald very long to formulate an opinion on Jeff Skinner the first time he laid eyes on him in the fall of 2009.

MacDonald, currently in his fourth season as director of amateur scouting for the Carolina Hurricanes, was doing what he normally does that time of the year -- catching up on a few of the big names in the Canadian Hockey League before heading back to his home base in Guelph, Ont.

At the time, MacDonald began his eight-month crusade to find the best possible players available in the 2010 Entry Draft, traveling throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, he had no idea where the organization would be selecting. At that time, it made no difference.

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Canucks retire Naslund's No. 19

Saturday, 12.11.2010 / 10:25 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Vancouver Canucks raised Markus Naslund’s No. 19 to the rafters of Rogers Arena in a ceremony prior to Saturday night's game against Tampa Bay. Naslund’s number joined Stan Smyl’s No. 12 and Trevor Linden’s No. 16 as the only ones to be retired in the history of the franchise.

The event featured a tribute video highlighting Naslund’s 15-year NHL career, a video message from close friend and former teammate Todd Bertuzzi, and a video showing the Canucks new "Hall of Heroes" exhibit. The ceremony also included a special Canucks for Kids Fund presentation unveiling a new sports equipment center to be created in honor of the Naslunds. Near the conclusion of the ceremony, Naslund, who was joined by his wife Lotta, son Alex, daughters Rebecca and Isabella, and parents Sture and Ulla, addressed the fans with an emotional speech prior to his number being officially retired.
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Smarter Yandle anchors Coyotes' blue line

Saturday, 12.11.2010 / 3:13 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. – All of a sudden "the book" on Keith Yandle is in serious need of a revision.

So much for that young, unbridled, offensive defenseman of the Phoenix Coyotes who held major potential but was a major risk in a close game.

Meet Keith Yandle, 2.0.

He's logging 25-plus minutes of ice time every night. He's on the ice with close friend and partner Derek Morris to consistently combat the opposition's top line. He's taking the smart play over the high risk/reward option when his team has the momentum. He's alternating between quarterback of the power play and stalwart on his own blue line.

And in September, he turned 24 years of age.
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Jackets demote 2008 1st-round pick Filatov

Friday, 12.10.2010 / 7:50 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday assigned forward Nikita Filatov, their No. 1 pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, to the Springfield Falcons, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, and recalled forward Tom Sestito.

Filatov, 20, has 7 assists and 8 penalty minutes with a plus-3 rating in 23 games with Columbus this season.  He has 6 goals, 13 points, 16 PIM and a plus-6 rating in 44 career NHL games during the past three seasons with the Blue Jackets.  The Jackets took Filatov with the No. 6 pick in the 2008 draft. He had 16 goals and 32 points with 24 PIM with Syracuse of the AHL in 2008-09, but spent most of last season on loan to CSKA of the Kontinental Hockey League after a slow start with the Jackets.
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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp