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(Page 239 of 280)
NHL Insider

Stars try to find a way out of slump

Thursday, 02.17.2011 / 2:24 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

CALGARY, Alta. -- The Dallas Stars spent the majority of this season leading the Pacific Division. If they don't get things figured out in a hurry, they may end up missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That seemed unfathomable after the Stars got off to a 29-13-5 start. They're still 10 games above .500 -- but a combination of injuries, struggles at both ends of the ice and a losing streak on the road that reached six games after Wednesday night's 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames has dropped them into a pack of teams that sit just a single point ahead of ninth-place Los Angeles in the Western Conference standings.

Life doesn't get any easier with a date against NHL-leading Vancouver on tap for Saturday to complete a three-game road trip through Western Canada that started with a 4-1 loss in Edmonton on Tuesday. Dallas captain Brenden Morrow was succinct in summing up what his team must do to shake out of the doldrums.
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Montoya thankful for chance with Isles

Wednesday, 02.16.2011 / 9:13 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- He won 86 games in three seasons at the college level with the University of Michigan, prompting the New York Rangers to grab him with the sixth overall pick at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Nearly seven years later, Al Montoya won just his fourth NHL game on Sunday.

What a long, strange trip it's been for the Chicago native, who also turned 26 on the day his new team beat the Buffalo Sabres in a wild 7-6 overtime victory at HSBC Arena. It came just four days after Montoya was acquired by the New York Islanders in a deal that sent a sixth-round pick to the Phoenix Coyotes.
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Granato has fond memories of Colorado

Wednesday, 02.16.2011 / 8:54 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER Tony Granato remains a popular figure in Colorado nearly two years after he was fired as Avalanche coach in his second stint on the job.

Now in his second season as a Pittsburgh Penguins assistant, Granato was surrounded by media members Wednesday morning as he discussed his first visit to the Pepsi Center since the Avalanche cleaned house following the team's last-place finish in the Western Conference in 2008-09.

"I was here for seven years and I loved every second of it," said Granato, 46, who served as the Avs' bench boss for parts of three seasons and was an assistant under Bob Hartley and Joel Quenneville. "I met great friends and people back here, and my family loved it here. It was a wonderful seven years of my life and being a part of the Avalanche organization was a tremendous honor and I enjoyed every second of it."
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Parise eager to get back into the lineup

Tuesday, 02.15.2011 / 11:10 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"All of a sudden we're finding ourselves hopefully crawling back into the playoff scene. I sure hope that when I do come back that they will be meaningful games, and by the way we're playing we've got a chance to do that." -- Zach Parise

As the games pass and the New Jersey Devils' belief in a miracle grows stronger, injured star left wing Zach Parise is holding out hope that he, too, has some life left in his season.

Parise, who tore the meniscus in his right knee on Oct. 30, is long into his rehab and hoping to get back on the ice early next month. He's watched the Devils' 12-1-2 run and still thinks there's a chance that he'll play in some meaningful games before the 2010-11 season is over.

"The plan the whole time has been to rehab as best I can and as quick as I can and try to get back and play some games," Parise told NHL.com in a phone interview Tuesday night. "All of a sudden we're finding ourselves hopefully crawling back into the playoff scene. I sure hope that when I do come back that they will be meaningful games, and by the way we're playing we've got a chance to do that."
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Avs looking for answers in search to snap skid

Tuesday, 02.15.2011 / 6:17 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

CENTENNIAL, Colo. –- The free-falling Colorado Avalanche practiced for about 90 minutes Tuesday while awaiting word on the health of Matt Duchene, who suffered a hand injury in Monday's 9-1 shellacking against Calgary.

"He injured his hand and he's being examined," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said following the workout at the South Suburban Family Sports Center. "He's being examined as we speak right now. I'll know more in the morning, but right now we'll just list him as day to day."

The Avalanche can ill afford to lose the 20-year-old center for any length of time as the team battles for its playoff life. Duchene, who leads Colorado in scoring with 21 goals and 47 points in 57 games, was struck by a shot late in the second period.
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Oilers' lack of compete level angers Tambellini

Tuesday, 02.15.2011 / 3:03 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- With Sunday's 4-0 loss to the Ducks pushing their home winless skid to seven games, the Edmonton Oilers have been called out by GM Steve Tambellini heading into tonight's game against the Dallas Stars.

"He made it clear he wants us to start winning games and really bring a more competitive attitude, especially after the last game. We didn't have that in our game at all." -- Andrew Cogliano

Tambellini met with his players behind closed doors Monday before practice and said he expects them to concentrate on doing what it takes to win and to forget bigger-picture issues -- namely, the likelihood the Oilers will miss the playoffs for a fifth-straight season and finish with the fewest points in the League for a second season in a row.

"When he came in, he made it obvious," said Andrew Cogliano. "Whatever is on the outside, about whatever place we're in, the first-overall pick, that's got to stop now.

"He made it clear he wants us to start winning games and really bring a more competitive attitude, especially after the last game. We didn't have that in our game at all."
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Enroth gets Sabres nod; Miller's streak snapped

Tuesday, 02.15.2011 / 2:55 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Buffalo Sabres will be practically unrecognizable Tuesday night when they face the Montreal Canadiens as a perfectly healthy Ryan Miller will not be in uniform.

After starting each of the last 31 games, Miller will watch from the press box and minor-league call-up Jhonas Enroth will leapfrog regular backup Patrick Lalime to grab the start in goal, the first of his young career in Montreal.

"I'm very excited for tonight, it's going to be fun," said Enroth, 22. "Montreal is always Montreal, and hockey's a big thing. Just seeing the arena and practicing in this rink is pretty exciting."

Enroth has played 5 games for the Sabres this season, going 2-2-1 with a 2.89 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage. Lalime, meanwhile, has an 0-5-0 record thus far, which explains head coach Lundy Ruff's reluctance to give him the start in his home province of Quebec.

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Yzerman ready to take on Wings for first time

Tuesday, 02.15.2011 / 12:36 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"Right now, I want to clinch a playoff spot. Our goal at the start of the year was to make the playoffs, that's our No. 1 priority." -- Steve Yzerman

Steve Yzerman said he's going to treat Thursday's game just like any of the other 81 his Tampa Bay Lightning will play this season.

"Honestly I'm trying to look at it as I want to watch the game and analyze it, take all the emotion out of it, and just think how does our team match against some of the best players in the game," Yzerman said during a conference call Monday. "I'm trying not to spend a lot of time thinking about the obvious."

The obvious is who his Lightning will be facing Thursday -- the visiting Detroit Red Wings. It will be the first time in 27 years -- since Yzerman was the fourth pick of the 1983 Entry Draft by the Wings -- that he'll be sitting in the opposite corner from the team for which he played and worked for most of the past three decades.
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Rangers need Sunday's win to be start of strong play

Tuesday, 02.15.2011 / 12:12 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Marc Staal made sure to temper the high he and the Rangers felt after beating Pittsburgh on Sunday by taking a realistic stance.

"It's good to get back in the win column," Staal told NHL.com following the Rangers' 5-3 come-from-behind win. "We'll see where it goes from here."

Where it goes is entirely up to the Rangers, who are out of excuses. Save for Chris Drury, who had knee surgery last week, the Rangers are healthy and in the middle of a fight to the finish line in the Eastern Conference.
   
If they learned anything from last season, it's not to let this thing go down to the final weekend of the season because a crapshoot is the last thing the Rangers want or need.


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Foot problems bring end to Forsberg's comeback

Tuesday, 02.15.2011 / 9:56 AM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

"One thing's for sure, I won't second-guess myself. I really tried and I tried and I tried. I'm really sure about the decision. I'm done, period. I can't do it." -- Peter Forsberg

Citing problems with his troublesome right foot, the 37-year-old forward announced his retirement Monday afternoon as a member of the Colorado Avalanche during a press conference at the Ridgeline Restaurant inside the Pepsi Center, ending his latest comeback attempt after just two games.

The Avalanche announced that it would retire Forsberg's No. 21 jersey during a ceremony next season, with details to be disclosed at a later date.

"The time has finally come," said an emotional Forsberg, who spoke with his fiancée, Nicole Nordin, next to him. "I'm retiring from the game of ice hockey. I've played hockey all my life, but I've come to the decision that I've played my final game. It's perfect for me to announce my retirement in Denver, as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.

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Quote of the Day

This is a great day for me. This is something I've been thinking about for a long time. This is a great opportunity that the St. Louis Blues organization, (owner) Tom Stillman and Doug Armstrong are giving me and trusting me in doing...This is going to be a great challenge for me.

— Martin Brodeur, after announcing his retirement as an NHL player and becoming a senior adviser with the Blues on Thursday