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(Page 247 of 257)
NHL Insider

Hall's struggles nothing new for hyped prospect

Friday, 10.29.2010 / 9:30 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Taylor Hall, the first pick of the 2010 Entry Draft, is part of an exclusive club -- one that features a couple players with some pretty strong resumes.

He had just 1 point in his first seven games, and scored his first goal in his eighth. That may not sound good, but it actually puts Hall in some pretty good company. Steven Stamkos, Eric Staal, Vincent Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Joe Thornton, Chris Pronger and Owen Nolan are just some of the players who entered the NHL at 18 with a ton of hype and failed to deliver on it early, but eventually developed into solid, and some cases outstanding, NHL players.

"I don't think judging him on the first year or the second year is probably fair," Thornton told the San Jose Mercury News after playing against Hall for the first time Oct. 23. "He's going to be a great player and play a long time in this League."
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Predators' fast start a full team effort

Thursday, 10.28.2010 / 4:45 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Getting eliminated in the playoffs by the eventual Stanley Cup champion -- especially in the first round -- is no reason to be ashamed.

But for the Nashville Predators, losing last spring in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks has been a tough memory to shake. For those who may have forgotten, Nashville was no mere speed bump on the Blackhawks' path to glory.

They were seconds away from returning home for Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead when they surrendered a shorthanded goal to Patrick Kane, who tied it with 13.6 seconds left in regulation and his goaltender pulled. The Preds then failed to score in overtime on the continuing major power play, and Marian Hossa, the player penalized for boarding Nashville's Dan Hamhuis, came out of the box and scored the game-winner. Chicago finished the series in a wild Game 6 with a 5-3 win that included an empty-net goal.

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Kessel, Seguin downplay first head-to-head meeting

Thursday, 10.28.2010 / 3:52 PM / NHL Insider

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

Boston forward Tyler Seguin forever will be linked with Phil Kessel, the biggest piece of plunder to date in the blockbuster trade last season that sent the high-scoring Kessel to Toronto for a bounty of draft picks.

Seguin was the first of those picks, taken at No. 2 in the 2010 Entry Draft.

Thursday, the two players meet on the ice at TD Garden for the first of what should be many Northeast Division encounters between the two young stars. Finally, the hypothetical comparisons that have been bandied about since it became clear Seguin would fall to Boston at No. 2 this past spring can begin to give way to empirical facts from on-ice comparisons.

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Hudler still looking to click in return to Wings

Thursday, 10.28.2010 / 3:33 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- This is not the way Jiri Hudler envisioned his return to the National Hockey League.
 
Hudler came back to the Detroit Red Wings this season after opting to play in Russia last season. Most -- including Hudler -- figured he'd be a big point-producing addition to an already-stacked Detroit lineup.
 
It hasn't worked out that way through seven games, however, with the Wings poised to host Phoenix on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.
 
Hudler still is searching for his first goal and has just 2 points and a minus-6 rating. His center on the Wings' third line, Mike Modano, also is minus-6, while the line's third member, Danny Cleary, is minus-4. Despite the Wings' current two-game win streak, that line has finished with minus ratings in each of the past two games.
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Thomas' early success a 'positive' in Boston

Thursday, 10.28.2010 / 11:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Claude Julien sees the difference in Tim Thomas' game. He sees the Bruins goalie attacking more, challenging the shooter.

"He's played more like he did a couple of years ago," the Bruins' coach said.

Thomas feels the difference in his game. The nagging hip injury that bothered him last season is gone and he's free to flail and flop around his crease in the way only he can.

"That's my style," the goalie said.

And with the puck requiring the world's greatest GPS to find the back of the Bruins' net, Boston's opponents have figured out that the old goalie, 36 now and coming off a forgettable 2009-10 season, still has plenty of life left in his game -- enough to create the most fabulous of goalie controversies in Beantown.
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Rangers' rally isn't enough to overcome mistakes

Wednesday, 10.27.2010 / 11:23 PM / NHL Insider

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- For the New York Rangers, it was a case of too little, too late.

The Rangers started just fine, scoring a goal 38 seconds after the opening faceoff. And they made it a game in the third period by scoring twice to cut a three-goal deficit to one.

It was what happened in between that ended the Rangers' three-game winning streak, as the Atlanta Thrashers left Madison Square Garden with a 6-4 victory.

"All around it wasn't a great game for us," said forward Ryan Callahan, who set the Garden rocking by putting the Rangers in front before some of the crowd could sit down following the National Anthem. "When you play a game like that, you can't expect to have a good 10 minutes and win it."
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Thrashers' black players earned way to Atlanta

Wednesday, 10.27.2010 / 4:10 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Johnny Oduya has had at least two black teammates since 2007, so seeing players around the dressing room that have the same skin color as him is becoming old hat to the Thrashers' defenseman.

"It's starting to get normal," Oduya told NHL.com. "I like that."

He likes it even more right now because in Atlanta he's part of a ground-breaking quartet.

Oduya, Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane and Anthony Stewart represent the largest black population on any one team in the NHL today. They started with five, but Nigel Dawes was waived after six games and subsequently re-assigned to the AHL Chicago Wolves.

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Quenneville shakes up Blackhawks' lines

Wednesday, 10.27.2010 / 4:04 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- After losing two straight close games, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was not pleased with his team's defensive effort.
 
First he talked about players needing to take pride in keeping pucks out of the net. Then after two days off, the Hawks returned to practice sporting a completely new look heading into tonight's game at the United Center against Los Angeles.
 
Patrick Kane, whose minus-7 rating is worst on the team, was bumped from the top line to the third line with center Dave Bolland and Viktor Stalberg -- who was promoted from the fourth line. Patrick Sharp, whose 8 goals lead the team, was then moved from second line center to left wing on the top line with center Jonathan Toews and Jack Skille -- who was also moved up from the fourth line to replace Kane.

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Tavares-Subban friendship adds something extra

Wednesday, 10.27.2010 / 3:32 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- If New York Islanders center John Tavares ever was wondering when he would get his first opportunity to face his best friend in an NHL game, he only needed to take one look at his cell phone.

On it he would find a series of text messages from Montreal Canadiens rookie defenseman P.K. Subban, some friendly and others a little less so, talking some trash about Wednesday's game against the Islanders at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS).

"Mostly it's him, he's always been like that," Tavares said of the mobile taunting. "I usually try to stay quiet and let my play on the ice speak for itself."

This is not the first opportunity Tavares has had to put that into practice, because he and Subban have grown up together as hockey players.

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Ladd credits increased ice time for scoring run

Wednesday, 10.27.2010 / 3:19 PM / NHL Insider

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

"I think I'm getting a lot of opportunities to play in different situations like the power play and penalty kill. It's been fun to play a lot and be involved all the time. I think that's translated into feeling better out there." -- Andrew Ladd

NEW YORK -- Andrew Ladd has no immediate plans to compete for an Art Ross Trophy or be labeled the League's best player.

Tallying 157 points in 329 NHL games will contribute to that reservation.

But the fourth pick of the 2004 Entry Draft is a two-time Stanley Cup champion and current offensive machine. On a team with more notable names such as Evander Kane, Nik Antropov, Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom, it is Ladd who sits atop the Thrashers' scoring list with 8 points in eight games.
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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players