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NHL Insider

Devils will have Volchenkov back against Flyers

Friday, 04.01.2011 / 2:11 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- While the New Jersey Devils are set to welcome back top forward Zach Parise from an injury Saturday, they will get one of their top defensemen back Friday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Anton Volchenkov has missed the past two contests with a lower-body injury, but he will be in the lineup against the first-place Flyers after completing practice Thursday and the morning skate Friday at Prudential Center.

"It is nice. He is a big guy who blocks a lot of shots," Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk said. "He's very productive on the defense side. He's good on the PK. I'm sure he will be a big plus for us."


Caps' Green no longer feeling concussion symptoms

Friday, 04.01.2011 / 2:07 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

"Anytime you're off the ice and you don't use your skating muscles, it takes time to get back into the flow of things. It only takes about four or five days to get your feel back and this is Day 1."
-- Mike Green

The Washington Capitals could be a step closer to seeing Mike Green return to the lineup.

The defenseman skated with teammates for the first time in more than a month Friday, and afterward told reporters he no longer was experiencing concussion-like symptoms.

The practice was optional and featured just 11 players, and Green did not take any contact, but according to the Washington Post, he took shots, handled the puck and skated through teammates.

"That's the most I've done in a long time here," Green told the Washington Post. "I felt good, that's the most important thing. I don't have anything going on and each day's been better and it was nice to get a good skate in."


Age nothing more than a number for four over-40 stars

Friday, 04.01.2011 / 11:09 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

From the moment a professional hockey player begins his career, time is scheming to strip away his speed, strength and skill.

The aging process is inevitable, inescapable. Take care of your body, eat right, get plenty of rest -- it doesn't matter. Ligaments lose their elasticity, muscles weaken and the body breaks down for even the most diligent and gifted of athletes who once were considered indestructible.

Yet for a select few, the laws of aging seemingly don't apply them. While others see their talents diminish, these special human beings seem immune to the deterioration of their youth.

Teemu Selanne, Nicklas Lidstrom, Dwayne Roloson and Mark Recchi are the exception to the rule, proving 40 doesn't necessarily mean the end of their careers -- far from it.

Ten April games you just can't miss

Friday, 04.01.2011 / 10:50 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

It's April Fool's Day, but the playoff races in both conferences are serious business. They still are scorching with 10 days left in 2010-11 NHL regular season as teams battle for position while others remain hopeful they can ram their way into the top eight with a sizzling finish.

Seventy-one games remain between now and April 10, and many of them have significant meaning. Here are the 10 games you simply can't miss over the next 10 days:

Preds' depth, team system has brought results

Thursday, 03.31.2011 / 5:49 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

"It's going to be tough (catching Detroit). If we put a few wins together and get on a roll, you never know, but our focus is making sure we get in (the playoffs)." -- Predators center Mike Fisher

DENVER -- There isn't a team in the NHL that more typifies the team concept than the Nashville Predators, who still have an outside chance of overtaking Detroit for first place in the Central Division.

"We don't have any big-time difference makers up front, dynamic guys where you go, ‘If you stop him, you stop that whole team,' " Predators coach Barry Trotz said Thursday morning at the Pepsi Center. "We have a lot of good players that can contribute."

With 92 points and five regular-season games remaining, the Predators are in seventh place in the Western Conference -- six points behind the division-leading Red Wings, whom they meet Saturday at what is expected to be a sold-out Bridgestone Arena.

Presidents' Trophy nice, but Canucks want more

Thursday, 03.31.2011 / 5:12 PM / NHL Insider

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- A win against Los Angeles plus a little help would clinch the Presidents' Trophy for the first time in franchise history for the Vancouver Canucks -- adding to a growing list of firsts for the club this season.

"It's not our main goal, but it's a goal along the way. It was good to clinch the Western Conference and to win the Presidents' Trophy, it's never been done (by the franchise). It would be a good thing for this franchise." -- Ryan Kesler

A Canucks win, coupled with a Philadelphia Flyers regulation loss to the Atlanta Thrashers, and Vancouver clinches the best record in the League. Making the accomplishment more impressive is that heading into Thursday’s games no other team had clinched a playoff berth in the Western Conference.

"It's not our main goal, but it's a goal along the way," Ryan Kesler said of the Presidents' Trophy. "It was good to clinch the Western Conference and to win the Presidents' Trophy, it's never been done (by the franchise). It would be a good thing for this franchise."

Vancouver returns to Rogers Arena in search of its fifth consecutive win. The Canucks have just two losses in their past 14 games and have three wins in their last five on home ice. 

Quick credits ice and luck with mysterious save

Thursday, 03.31.2011 / 2:24 PM / NHL Insider

It had been suspected Jonathan Quick had supernatural powers after his inexplicable save against the Calgary Flames last week, where the puck mysteriously changed direction and bounced away from an open net.

Quick finally admitted it Wednesday in Vancouver.

"It's no secret that I have mind control," Quick told the Vancouver Sun.

The Los Angeles Kings goaltender was just having fun with the save he made against Jarome Iginla, where the puck squeezed through his pads, skipped on the ice and made a hard right turn. It looked as if the puck hit an invisible wall.


Penguins-Lightning a likely first-round preview

Thursday, 03.31.2011 / 1:41 PM / NHL Insider

"It's pretty close to playoff time and I'm sure it's going to be a pretty intense game. But we aren't trying to send any kind of a message. We just want to play hard and play the way we play, and I think the results will come." -- Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier

There is plenty to be decided in the final weeks of the NHL season, but there will be a preview of a likely first-round series of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at St. Pete Times Forum on Thursday night.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, are in Tampa Bay to face the fifth-place Lightning.

"We know that we have a good chance of playing each other, so you definitely learn about each other," captain Vinny Lecavalier told Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune. "It's pretty close to playoff time and I'm sure it's going to be a pretty intense game. But we aren't trying to send any kind of a message. We just want to play hard and play the way we play, and I think the results will come."

Flyers looking to build on Tuesday's win

Thursday, 03.31.2011 / 1:30 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers didn't sit back Tuesday in Pittsburgh the way they had been this month. Instead, they created a three-goal margin between themselves and the Penguins by skating hard, playing physical and keeping up their intensity for 60 minutes.

The complete effort earned them one of their most important wins of the season, but perhaps of greater value than the two points gained and the four-point cushion in the Atlantic Division was the lesson the Flyers learned in that 5-2 victory.

"It reminds us what we're capable of when we get going," Flyers defenseman Matt Carle told Thursday here at the Wells Fargo Center. "I think we had gotten away from that, and it was a friendly reminder that we needed. It was a huge boost for our confidence. We'll see how it plays forward (Thursday)."

The Flyers' challenge is to carry the momentum they gained Tuesday into the playoffs. They have six regular-season games remaining, starting here Thursday against the Atlanta Thrashers, who are one point away from being mathematically eliminated from the playoff race. The Flyers also play in New Jersey on Friday and at home against the Rangers on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN).

Bayside's Ghanbarian a true Ranger supporter

Thursday, 03.31.2011 / 1:29 PM / NHL Insider

Chris DiSanto - Contributor

As a teen, Nick Ghanbarian found himself drawn to a growing punk rock music scene. Green Day was his gateway to punk, which led him to discover bands like the Bouncing Souls and Bad Religion. Ghanbarian appreciated their do-it-yourself attitude and their devotion to the nitty-gritty work required to be a touring band. So, it's no surprise that now, working as a full-time touring musician, what Nick Ghanbarian likes most about hockey is the strong work ethic put forth by the grittier players in the game.
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Quote of the Day

I mean, any of those 14 teams (in the lottery) it would have been an absolute honor. If I am selected by Edmonton it will be amazing, a dream come true. They have a lot of amazing young players there.

— Likely No. 1 pick Connor McDavid after the Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday