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NHL Insider

Wang, Snow talk Isles on 'NHL Hour'

Thursday, 12.23.2010 / 8:36 PM / NHL Insider

In spite of their struggles in the standings this season, interest in the New York Islanders has hardly waned if phone calls to the "NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman" are any indication.

Virtually all season long, Islanders fans have been clamoring as to when Bettman would get either owner Charles Wang or GM Garth Snow as a guest on his show. On Thursday night, the fans got both.

Wang and Snow addressed issues regarding the team's future on Long Island and attempts to rebuild the team, first with Bettman and then nine callers who waited patiently through the show to have their questions answered and concerns heard.

Wang, who has owned the Islanders for the past decade, said he felt it was his "civic responsibility," as someone who moved to New York at the age of 8 to buy the team and attempt to make it successful in Nassau County.

Avs look for offense, switching lines

Thursday, 12.23.2010 / 4:52 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

"When you lose 5-0 you kind of go back to the drawing board. Our team has been really good at rebounding off a bad game and I don't think tonight is going to be any different." -- Avalanche forward T.J. Galiardi

DENVER -- The fact that Colorado Avalanche coach Joe Sacco is planning to tweak his top two lines for Thursday's game against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center shouldn't come as a surprise.

Not in the wake of Tuesday's 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings.

"When you lose 5-0 you kind of go back to the drawing board," Avs forward T.J. Galiardi said Thursday. "Our team has been really good at rebounding off a bad game and I don't think tonight is going to be any different."

Galiardi, who has skated with center Paul Stastny and left wing Kevin Porter since returning from a broken wrist, will switch lines with David Jones, who has been skating with center Matt Duchene and left wing Tomas Fleischmann.

Caps see Pens as measuring stick for elite status

Thursday, 12.23.2010 / 1:08 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

"I think it is a great barometer because they are playing the best hockey arguably of any team in the NHL right now, so when you play against the best you find where you have to go and where you have to be." -- Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau

WASHINGTON -- Two consecutive wins have helped the Washington Capitals move past the team's longest stretch of losing since Bruce Boudreau became coach more than three years ago.

Now the Capitals are about to take a big step up in weight class with their next opponent.

The Pittsburgh Penguins come to Verizon Center on Thursday (7 p.m., NHLN-US) and bring with them one of the best records in the NHL.

Not only has Penguins-Capitals become one of the best rivalries in sports, but this particular meeting could prove to be a litmus test for where the Capitals are as they try to climb back among the League's elite this season.

Neuvirth stops the bleeding for slumping Caps

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 4:23 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Goaltending was not one of the leading reasons for the Washington Capitals' recent eight-game losing streak, but both Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov struggled at times during the slump.

Considering how fragile the team's collective psyche appeared to be at times during the stretch -- something coach Bruce Boudreau talked about at length -- one more goal allowed Sunday night against the Ottawa Senators might have been a disaster.

Instead the Capitals were able to maintain a one-goal lead for the final 33 minutes and scratch out a 3-2 victory against the Senators to end nearly three weeks of torment. Neuvirth, who made 17 saves in the final two periods and helped the Capitals kill off three third-period power plays for Ottawa, proved to be the guy in net who was able to help end the slide.

Playoff loss to Blackhawks sticks with Predators

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 3:41 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Some might think enough time has passed for the Nashville Predators to finally let go of their first-round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks last season.
Evidently, that's not the case.
In fact, listening to Nashville forward Steve Sullivan talk on Wednesday, it might take a lot longer for the Predators to forgive and forget what happened in that series -- including a gut-wrenching, shocking overtime loss in Game 5.
"There's a lot of factors that go into it," Sullivan said, hours before the Preds tried to beat Chicago for a third time this season tonight at the United Center. "But let's not forget the playoffs are not that far removed and it hurt. You don't forget about something like that very quickly. It's still something that everyone thinks about every time we see these guys. That's definitely in the back of our minds for sure."


First goal on Brodeur puts Gordon in exclusive club

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 2:51 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Now in his 18th NHL season, Martin Brodeur has allowed 2,401 goals, making it impossible for him to remember all of them.

Forty-seven of those goals, however, will forever leave a memory burned into the minds of the players who scored them. That's because only 47 players -- including Washington Capitals rookie Andrew Gordon on Tuesday -- can say they scored their first NHL goal against arguably the greatest goaltender in NHL history.

"I got more messages about that than about scoring in general," Gordon told NHL Live! on Wednesday. "Everyone's so surprised that I beat Marty more than the fact that I scored in general. I'll take it."


Bailey's back with Islanders -- and staying put

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 1:07 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

Some players would sulk after being demoted to the American Hockey League. Josh Bailey, however, did not.
And now, he's back for good.
The New York Islanders recalled their first-round pick from the 2008 Entry Draft on Wednesday morning after watching Bailey tally 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 11 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Bailey will be in the lineup Wednesday night when the Isles host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.


Hawks surprise Marine's family

Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 8:44 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The bank of television cameras in the back of the Chicago Blackhawks locker room had to be a dead giveaway that something was up.
The Blackhawks had told the Handley family of Aurora, Ill., they were being granted an all-access tour of the Hawks' practice facility on Tuesday because their son, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. George Handley, wouldn't be home for Christmas.
What they didn't know was that he was already home, courtesy of the Blackhawks -- who with help from the Illinois USO arranged for a surprise reunion with his family on Tuesday at Johnny's Ice House West after practice.
Unbeknownst to the Handleys, who thought George was still in Okinawa, Japan, George was hidden away in a back room. After being led into the Hawks' locker room by captain Jonathan Toews and forward Patrick Kane, the Handleys saw the large media contingent -- which probably gave something away. 

Hawks hope to return to full health after holiday

Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 4:03 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Slowly but surely, the Chicago Blackhawks are getting their injured players back on the ice.
The only one who didn't skate during Tuesday's practice was forward Patrick Kane, who seemed to aggravate his lower-body injury this past weekend during a practice. Otherwise, forwards Marian Hossa (lower body) and Viktor Stalberg (upper body) both went through a full practice session -- which was held in front of fans at Johnny's Ice House West.
Hossa also skated for about 30 minutes after the regular practice session concluded, but neither he nor Kane will play on Wednesday night at home against the Nashville Predators. Stalberg might return, but Hawks coach Joel Quenneville will make the final call after Wednesday's morning skate.

Getting a win helps Hannan settle in with Caps

Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 2:14 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- This has been a long month for all of the Washington Capitals, but probably more so for Scott Hannan than any of his new teammates.

Hannan waived a no-trade clause to join Washington on the final day of November and watched his new team defeat the St. Louis Blues the next day. After that, Hannan was inserted into the lineup at quite the unfortunate time – the onset of an eight-game losing streak.

Now the Capitals have won a game with Hannan -- a 3-2 victory Sunday in Ottawa -- and he is nearing the end of sorting out everything away from the rink as well. Normalcy is rapidly approaching, and he can't wait.
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