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(Page 247 of 252)
NHL Insider

Talented Devils not putting it together on the ice

Saturday, 10.16.2010 / 11:34 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- What is wrong with the New Jersey Devils? Much like a book's prologue and epilogue, they are not even close to being on the same page.

After another disjointed performance in a 4-1 home loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, the Devils sit at 1-4-1 and last in the Eastern Conference. The Devils' three points in six games marks their worst six-game start to a season since 1983-84, when they opened 1-5 (and eventually 1-12) in their second season in New Jersey.

But this is no longer a young franchise just trying to gain traction in the League. These Devils are perennial playoff participants who have a future Hall-of-Fame goaltender in Martin Brodeur and two world-class offensive threats in Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. There's scoring depth with the likes of Travis Zajac and Patrik Elias lurking on different lines. There's leadership with Jason Arnott and captain Jamie Langenbrunner. There's defensive experience with Colin White and Henrik Tallinder.

There's enough talent in the Devils' locker room to make most teams turn green with envy. But that talent is still figuring out how to work together.
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Habs ready for date with Senators

Saturday, 10.16.2010 / 6:36 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – Both the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators are feeling good about themselves coming off one-goal wins as the two teams prepare to meet Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

But while the Canadiens are benefitting from some splendid play by Carey Price in goal, the Senators are once again dealing with an injury to starting goalie Pascal Leclaire.

The Senators called up 19-year-old prospect Robin Lehner from AHL Binghamton on Saturday morning, and he will back up Brian Elliot against the Canadiens.

For Leclaire, the groin injury that has him listed as day to day for the time being is just the latest in a long line of physical setbacks that have plagued his career, a list that includes injuries to his ankle, hamstring (twice), knee, back, neck (twice), thumb, cheek and a concussion.

"I feel bad for him," Senators center Jason Spezza said. "He's had such a great start to the season, he worked hard this summer. He's had a couple of years where he's had a lot of injuries, so you feel for him. As a team we have to move on while he's out, but personally you feel for him."
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Coyotes ready for rematch with Wings

Saturday, 10.16.2010 / 10:43 AM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

"In a lot of ways, this feels like the first game of the season. Those first two games counted and we took them seriously, but it felt almost like a tournament. But being home and having Detroit in the building … it's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work."
-- Phoenix center Vernon Fiddler

GLENDALE, Ariz.  – It's only the third game of the 2010 regular season, not Game 8 of the 2010 Playoffs. But the Red Wings are back in Arizona on Saturday and the Phoenix Coyotes remember all too well the blowout Game 7 loss at the hands of Detroit last April that brought the best season in franchise history to a screeching halt.

A sellout crowd is expected for the Coyotes home opener -- a game that's been highly anticipated after a week of rest following a two-game split with Boston in their Compuware NHL Premiere series in Prague.

"In a lot of ways, this feels like the first game of the season," Phoenix center Vernon Fiddler said. "Those first two games counted and we took them seriously, but it felt almost like a tournament. But being home and having Detroit in the building … it's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work."
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Remodeled Leafs look like winners

Friday, 10.15.2010 / 11:45 PM / NHL Insider

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- A year ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs started the season by finding ways to lose. Close games, overtime games, games in which they couldn't hold leads -- the Leafs lost them all in an 0-7-1 start that effectively doomed their season before Halloween.

But as they showed Friday night, this is a new season.

The Leafs led the New York Rangers 3-1 after two periods of the Blueshirts' home opener, and only Henrik Lundqvist's heroics kept the home side within hailing distance. But the play completely turned around in the third period -- the Rangers got two goals by Brian Boyle to pull even and pressured Jean-Sebastien Giguere unsuccessfully before the game went to overtime.

A year ago, the Leafs probably would have found a way to lose in overtime, take their point and go home. Instead, Phil Kessel's power-play goal gave them a 4-3 victory and a 4-0-0 start -- their best in 17 years.
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New additions bring immediate impact to Maple Leafs

Friday, 10.15.2010 / 1:35 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- These aren't your father's Toronto Maple Leafs. Heck, they aren't even the Maple Leafs of your brother who was born a year before you.

Fourteen players who opened the 2009-10 season with the Leafs are nowhere to be found on this year's roster.

After defenseman Tomas Kaberle -- who is starting his 12th season with the team -- forwards Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski and defenseman Luke Schenn are the second-longest tenured Leafs as they start their third season with the club.

The sweeping change brought about by General Manager Brian Burke has resulted in an influx of new faces, and many of them have had a hand in the team's 3-0-0 start this season. It's a welcome change from last season's 0-7-1 beginning that submarined the team's playoff hopes before Halloween.

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Devils again able to ice a full team

Friday, 10.15.2010 / 12:52 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Zach Parise could look around the ice at Prudential Center and breathe a little sigh of relief.

The New Jersey Devils will have a full complement of skaters for Friday's game against Colorado, a welcome sign to Parise and his teammates after the team played shorthanded Monday against Pittsburgh and Wednesday in Buffalo due to salary-cap constraints and injuries.

The Devils dressed only 15 skaters against the Penguins and lost, 3-1. They had 16 against Buffalo and managed to outplay the Sabres in a 1-0 overtime victory. It was their first win after a pair of regulation losses and one in a shootout to start the season.

"We have to deal with (the salary-cap problems) and we can't do anything about it, but now that we will get some more forwards in there, it will be nice," Parise told NHL.com. "It gets pretty tiring, especially early in the game, so it'll be nice to have four lines and balance things out a little more."

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Brotherly influence got Stewart back on the ice

Friday, 10.15.2010 / 10:36 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

""I'm from Toronto, and from definitely a more multi-cultural, urban neighborhood, and football was the thing. I was bigger at the time too, and it just made more sense. Financially it was costing my parents a lot of money (to play hockey), and football is a lot cheaper. I have five younger sisters that I had to worry about, too. They were getting to the age where they wanted to do stuff, and I thought it made more sense to lean toward football at the time."
-- Chris Stewart

It's not hard to envision Chris Stewart grabbing passes from Kyle Orton, rather than Paul Stastny. At 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, the Colorado Avalanche power forward is built like the Denver Broncos' 6-3, 257-pound tight end, Daniel Graham.

While Stewart looks like a natural on skates -- especially after his 28-goal season in 2009-10 -- for a while, his future looked more frozen tundra than frozen water.

Stewart walked away from hockey at the age of 16. He shifted his focus to football and track, and trying to earning a college scholarship rather than an Ontario Hockey League draft spot.

"I'm from Toronto, and from definitely a more multi-cultural, urban neighborhood, and football was the thing," Stewart told NHL.com. "I was bigger at the time too, and it just made more sense. Financially it was costing my parents a lot of money (to play hockey), and football is a lot cheaper. I have five younger sisters that I had to worry about, too. They were getting to the age where they wanted to do stuff, and I thought it made more sense to lean toward football at the time."
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Despite outstanding season, Anderson wants more

Friday, 10.15.2010 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Craig Anderson remembers stopping the puck 51 times and the roaring, seemingly endless ovation that came shortly after Ryan O'Reilly was credited with a goal that Dan Boyle actually scored for the Colorado Avalanche.

Everything in between is dark.

On the night of April 18, 2010, in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks, Anderson discovered what being in the zone feels like.

He made 51 saves in a career-defining game and every single one of them mattered as the Avalanche didn't score until Boyle inadvertently beat his own goalie, Evgeni Nabokov, with a failed pass behind the goal 51 seconds into overtime to hand Colorado a 1-0 win and a 2-1 lead in the series.

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Being back in Philly emotional for Gagne

Thursday, 10.14.2010 / 11:10 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Simon Gagne stared at his phone, refusing to look out the window of the bus taking the Tampa Bay Lightning from Philadelphia International Airport to their team hotel in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

"It was weird," Gagne said Thursday afternoon. "I was trying not to think too much that I was back here."

But, Gagne was back in the city he called home for 10 seasons, the city where his professional career was born and blossomed, the city where he became a star in orange and black. Only, this time he was back in Philadelphia as a visitor, flying in to a familiar airport only to take a very unfamiliar bus ride to a hotel he had never once had a reason to stay in.
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Dallas isn't looking for new face to replace Modano

Thursday, 10.14.2010 / 4:11 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

DALLAS -- While the return of Mike Modano in a Detroit Red Wings jersey certainly provided local writers and historians an opportunity to reflect on the past, the other question being asked is, "Who is the future face of the Dallas Stars?"
 
Many feel that's a role best suited for current captain Brenden Morrow. Morrow, however, begs to differ.
 
"I don't know if I'm really that guy to step in and take that role," Morrow told reporters following his team's morning skate at American Airlines Center on Thursday in preparation for their showdown against the Red Wings (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).
 
"Right now, we're pushing team first," he said. "We like to have a group of guys fill in and have that face. No one guy is expected to take on that role. Also, there's no guy in this room as good looking as Mike Modano, so there's no other face of the franchise."

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Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp