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NHL Insider

Red Wings seek better effort for home fans

Saturday, 02.12.2011 / 4:43 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- After losing 6-1 to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, the Boston Bruins should have ample motivation for the second half of a home-and-home series Sunday.
Considering how the Red Wings have left the ice in their most recent home game, they too should have plenty of fire at Joe Louis Arena for the NBC NHL "Game of the Week."
Detroit was not only soundly defeated 4-1 by the Nashville Predators in its previous home tilt but in a rare occurrence, Red Wings fans booed them off the ice. The Red Wings aren't lashing back at fans for expressing themselves so vehemently -- just the opposite, actually.

Forsberg expected to play for Colorado

Saturday, 02.12.2011 / 3:59 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- A night after making his season debut for the Colorado Avalanche, Peter Forsberg was expected to play for the second time in as many days Saturday against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

The Avalanche did not hold a morning skate and Forsberg, who is being followed by a sizable contingent of Swedish media, was not scheduled to speak to the media until after Saturday's game.
The 37-year-old Forsberg played 17:38 and was minus-2 with one shot in Friday's 3-1 loss at Columbus.

Familiarity should make Fisher's move smooth

Saturday, 02.12.2011 / 3:49 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Usually when the Nashville Predators acquire a new player, coach Barry Trotz takes the personal approach of picking up that player at the airport.

When Mike Fisher arrived Friday night from Ottawa, Trotz deferred to someone else.

"I'm sure someone he knows a lot better than me picked him up," Trotz quipped after the team's morning skate Saturday.

"And a lot prettier, too," interjected Predators television analyst Terry Crisp.

Leafs continue playoff push against rival Habs

Saturday, 02.12.2011 / 2:20 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- With four wins in their last six games plus an overtime loss to New Jersey the last time out, the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing well enough to start thinking about a potential playoff berth.

Heading into their game Saturday night against the archrival Montreal Canadiens, the Leafs were sitting 8 points out of eighth spot with three teams between them and the Atlanta Thrashers.

"We're trying to just close the gap and see where we can get," said goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who will get the start instead of rookie James Reimer against his hometown Canadiens. "Our goal at the beginning of the year was to make the playoffs. Obviously, we haven't chosen the easiest route. But I firmly believe if we keep playing like this, we'll give ourselves a chance."

Savard still sees Blackhawks as a Cup contender

Friday, 02.11.2011 / 6:16 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- Denis Savard believes in his Chicago Blackhawks enough to call them a serious contender if they get into the playoffs.

The "if," of course, is the most essential part of the equation because entering the weekend the reigning Stanley Cup champs are 11th in the Western Conference with 60 points, three back of the eighth-place Flames with Minnesota and Los Angeles wedged in the middle.

"I'm going to tell you this," Savard told "I can tell you that any team that's also in there won't want to play them in the first round.

Fuhr amused by goalie fights

Friday, 02.11.2011 / 6:09 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- Amused and entertained is how Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr would describe his reaction to seeing the recent spate of goalie fights in the NHL.

"You have no full-scale brawls any more, so how goalies end up mad at each other and end up going down the ice is a little bit hard to fathom, but it obviously happens," Fuhr told on Friday from Wayne Gretzky's Fantasy Camp. "I think teams have animosity against each other and it creates a little bit of it, but goalies are probably not the ones that should be fighting.

"We never had to worry about it. We had enough big guys that could fight."

Gretzky talks hockey -- yesterday and today

Friday, 02.11.2011 / 6:09 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- The Great One still has a great passion for hockey and follows the NHL as closely as ever, watching as a fan from his home in Southern California. Wayne Gretzky may not be directly involved in the NHL at the moment, but his ties are still everywhere, his hooks still very much connected and his words still magnified more than most, if not all.

This week, at his ninth annual Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas, we had the opportunity to chat with Gretzky about a number of different hot topics inside the game today. Our discussions ranged from concussions and head hits to the trade deadline, playoffs, the upcoming Tim Horton's Heritage Classic and why he thinks there may never be another dynasty like the 1980s Edmonton Oilers.

Gretzky, gracious as always, offered his opinions on all of these topics for's State of the Game Q&A with 99.

Oilers willingly donate hair to raise money for charity

Friday, 02.11.2011 / 5:13 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Having already been thrust into the spotlight in their first season with the Edmonton Oilers, rookies Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi took on a new shine when they put their heads where their hearts are in the name of charity Friday.

Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi, along with Theo Peckham, Jeff Petry, Linus Omark and Steve MacIntyre, endured scissors and shears as part of the Hair Massacure, a fund-raiser supporting The Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation, Make-a-Wish Northern Alberta and Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta.

High and tight doesn't begin to describe it.

Sharks having fun on their trip east

Friday, 02.11.2011 / 2:45 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Hockey players can be notoriously light travelers.
For short road trips it is not uncommon for NHL players to pack very little, and for a one-day trip a bag might not even be involved. That wasn't the case for the San Jose Sharks on their current seven-game trek to the eastern United States that will span nearly two weeks.
"Yeah, we've got the extra bag this time," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "We usually pack pretty light, but you need the extra bag on this one."
The Sharks will face the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Friday and then fly to South Florida for a game Sunday against the Panthers. Friday's game is the fourth on a trip that has included stops in Boston, Washington and Columbus and will finish with contests against Florida and Nashville before heading back to California.


Around the West: Feaster's approach good for Sutter

Friday, 02.11.2011 / 10:08 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The list of reasons for Calgary's turnaround from bottom feeder to playoff contender over the last month and a half is long. Their team defense has improved, their goaltending is much better and their offense has more continuity and balance, so as a result the Flames have gone from last in the conference to eighth entering the weekend.

But as NHL Network analyst Craig Button notes, the change in the Flames' front office from former GM Darryl Sutter to acting GM Jay Feaster should not be undersold, either. Button, himself a former Flames' GM who still lives in the city, told that Feaster has brought a different perspective that may very well be helping coach Brent Sutter.

Feaster took over for the fired Sutter on Dec. 28 and the Flames are 12-3-4 since. They're 8-0-1 over their last nine games.

"Darryl was a darn good coach, but as a GM I think he looked at the game through a coaching lens," said Button. "Jay has not been a coach and doesn't have to enter the discussion with Brent looking through that lens. He can bring different perspectives and it allows Brent to perhaps take those and apply them. Sometimes the same things seen different and expressed from a very different perspective can have a very positive result. I believe that has occurred in Calgary."

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Quote of the Day

I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive. I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever.

— New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez on former teammate Martin Brodeur, who will announce his retirement Thursday