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NHL Insider

Pavelec back at practice, condition 'nothing serious'

Tuesday, 10.19.2010 / 2:35 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

DULUTH, Ga. -- Speaking to a throng of reporters for the first time since he fainted during the Atlanta Thrashers' season opener on Oct. 8 and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher, goalie Ondrej Pavelec talked about how excited he was to practice with the team again and how his medical condition was "nothing serious."
"They said (there are) so many reasons why it happens and they couldn't find it," he said. "But they said a lot of times it never happen again. Hopefully, it will never happen again."
Pavelec was taken to the hospital for observation and stayed two nights while undergoing testing. Upon his release, he returned the next day. His tests included a four-hour MRI and testing on his brain and heart but everything came up negative.


Julien opts for Thomas against Capitals

Tuesday, 10.19.2010 / 1:12 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Boston coach Claude Julien has decided to walk through the door with the hot handle, so he'll start Tim Thomas in goal Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN2, RIS) against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.

Thomas has won both of his starts this season, stopping 60 of 61 shots in the process (0.50 goals-against average, .984 save percentage). He's the hot goalie, so Julien is going to ride him at least through the first half of this home-and-home set with the Capitals.

Tuukka Rask will have to wait at least one more game before getting back in the net. He hasn't played since Oct. 9 against Phoenix in Prague, where he gave up four goals on 36 shots.


Patrick a Sharp-shooter for Hawks

Monday, 10.18.2010 / 2:21 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

"He's got a great stick. He's a goal scorer, but he seems to know that area around the net and gets rewarded around there. That was a nice play by (Kopecky) on the winning goal, but (Sharp) was in the right spot."
-- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Patrick Sharp

CHICAGO -- His nickname is "Shooter" and Patrick Sharp has a dog by the same name.
There is a reason for both, namely that Sharp has never met a shot he doesn't like. The Chicago Blackhawks would like him to keep shooting, too, especially considering how often the puck's been going in for Sharp of late.
He's netted 2 goals in each of the last two games and has 5 for the season -- which has him tied with three other players, including teammate Marian Hossa, for the NHL lead as the Hawks prepare to play Central Division rival St. Louis tonight.
What's his secret?

Late-game heroics dominate early season contests

Monday, 10.18.2010 / 9:50 AM / NHL Insider


High drama appears to be the flavor of the day so far in this very young 2010-11 season.
After Sunday's games, there have been 68 games played this season. Amazingly, 25 of those games have been tied with 10 minutes left in regulation. Last season, through the same number of games, it was just 15 tied contests with 10 minutes remaining.

To make things even more exciting, NHL teams have seemed intent on breaking the preponderance of last-game ties.

Almost a quarter of the 25 games (six) have seen a go-ahead goal in the final five minutes of regulation, compared to just four at the same point last season. In half of those six games, the go-ahead goal has come in the final 180 seconds of regulation, a feat that happened just one time in the season's first 68 games last season.

Montreal already has done the trick twice this season. On Nov. 9, Scott Gomez scored with 1:48 left to break a tie and give the Canadiens a 3-2 win against Pittsburgh. Ironically, Michael Cammalleri had scored 24 seconds before Gomez to tie that game. Saturday, Tomas Plekanec scored with 3:59 remaining to give Montreal a 4-3 win against rival Ottawa.


Stars, Leafs are NHL's only unbeaten teams

Sunday, 10.17.2010 / 10:57 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Does it make any sense?

That has to be what fans in Toronto and Dallas are asking themselves now as they look at the NHL standings 11 days into the regular season and see their teams, the Maple Leafs and Stars, with 4-0 records.

They are the most prolific teams in the NHL right now.

Does it make any sense at all?

"Guys want to be around each other and hang out," Leafs third-year defenseman Luke Schenn said. "This is the closest group since I've been here for sure."

OK, fair point Mr. Schenn. What about the Stars?

Bailey making a name for himself with Isles

Sunday, 10.17.2010 / 8:15 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Never before has Josh Bailey played at the NHL level with this much confidence since he entered the League with the New York Islanders in the fall of 2008.

Sure, Bailey always knew what he was capable of doing. But the maturity and the experience gained over the past two seasons are clearly visible now in every facet of Bailey's game. Five games into the season, the former first-round pick (No. 9, 2008) already has 3 goals and 4 assists.

"I'm definitely a lot stronger," Bailey said after tallying a goal and an assist in the Isles' 5-2 win against Colorado at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night. "I think I've got more confidence and speed to fight off checks. When the puck gets down low, I feel like guys can't really push me around, which is something I really wanted to improve after last year. So far, it's been good."

Jordan Caron savors first NHL goal

Sunday, 10.17.2010 / 2:52 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- There aren't many players who can admit to scoring their first NHL goal against a future Hall of Fame goaltender.
Unless, of course, you're Boston Bruins rookie forward Jordan Caron.
Caron's first career NHL goal not only came against New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, but gave his team just the lift it needed on the way to a 4-1 triumph on Saturday at Prudential Center.
"It's a great feeling to get my first NHL goal against Brodeur," the 19-year-old said. "He's a great goalie … maybe one of the best ever so I think it's a bonus to score against him. Being from Montreal, I watched him play and saw him win those Stanley Cups. It's pretty special scoring against him."

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.

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."

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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Quote of the Day

Philadelphia is where I started my NHL career and this is where I want to be so I am really happy. This definitely gives me a lot of confidence by the Flyers showing that they have confidence in me. I know they want to see me get better as a player and this is the place to do it.

— Zac Rinaldo to the Flyers website on signing a two-year contract extension with Philadelphia