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(Page 251 of 263)
NHL Insider

Flyers' Giroux establishing himself as an elite player

Monday, 11.01.2010 / 11:50 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA - It was sometime during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs when Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette began to realize just how special a player forward Claude Giroux really was.
 
In only his second playoff season, Giroux finished third on the team with 21 points, including 10 goals, in 23 games. An eye-opening display for sure and, in Laviolette's mind, a performance that probably catapulted him into elite company.
 
"I would say that he's not among those second-tier players anymore," Laviolette said when asked where Giroux stood in the mix of elite and second-tier players in the League.
 
"He's somebody we count on to play in every situation and he's proving himself to be a clutch player," he continued. "He's had big games in playoffs and big games when you need a performance out of somebody. He's seems to be stepping up."
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Inconsistency plagues Blackhawks again

Monday, 11.01.2010 / 11:09 PM / NHL Insider

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Just when the Chicago Blackhawks thought they were out of their up-and-down, inconsistent play in which consecutive victories have been hard to come by, they pulled themselves back in and squandered any hope of feeling better about themselves after a strong performance Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild.

That 3-1 victory seems like a year ago.

On Monday night against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, the Blackhawks jumped out to the kind of start any road team hopes for, battling for every loose puck, playing in the opposing team's zone, outshooting the home team and, most importantly, scoring the game's first goal.
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Hawks hope November brings health, consistency

Monday, 11.01.2010 / 2:52 PM / NHL Insider

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

After one month of regular-season hockey, the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks find themselves sitting atop the Western Conference's Central Division and tied for the second-most points in the National Hockey League.

Left wing Patrick Sharp leads the NHL with 10 goals and is tied for third in points with 15.

On the surface, it looks like all is well in the Windy City. However, a look deeper shows something else.

The Blackhawks have played more games than any other team, so their 7-5-1 record diminishes the grand total of 15 points. Perhaps the grind that was October has contributed to Chicago's average start.

"We've had a lot of games, been pretty busy," forward Patrick Kane said. "Overall, I think we probably had a little bit of a slow start to the season, but it seems like we've been playing a little bit better as of late."

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Canes opt for backup goalie Peters vs. Flyers

Monday, 11.01.2010 / 2:33 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice admitted his decision to start backup goalie Justin Peters against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday was determined a long time ago.
 
It's a significant decision, however, when you consider the last three losses for the Flyers have come against backup goalies -- Mathieu Garon of Columbus, Curtis McElhinney of Anaheim and Brent Johnson of Pittsburgh.
 
Monday will be Peters' second game this season -- he yielded four goals in a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Oct. 20.

"I had this one on the schedule for quite some time, based on where we're at -- our seventh game in 14 days," Maurice told the media following the team's morning skate here at Wells Fargo Center. "He has to play a game and he'll see plenty of big shots from the point and guys going around the net. His size (6-foot-1, 205) will give him the best opportunity to shine. It also gives us a chance to keep Cam (Ward) from playing 82 games."
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For Burke, helping USA Hockey is equally important

Monday, 11.01.2010 / 9:40 AM / NHL Insider

Harry Thompson - USA Hockey Magazine

"Sometimes my work schedule can get in the way of my hunting. But to put it into the proper context, you have to remember that I have the greatest job in the world as the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs." -- Brian Burke

Cruising down a dirt road in eastern South Dakota, Brian Burke surveys the dashboard digital clock that reads "5:41."
 
"We should be just taking the ice for pregame warm-ups," said Burke, who has just concluded a grueling, seven-hour day of pheasant hunting as part of the Pro Hockey Celebrity Hunt in Mitchell, S.D.
 
For the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, missing a home game against the New York Rangers is akin to skipping a child's birthday party for a business trip.
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Five from Class of 2010 stay with NHL teams

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 5:28 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Seven games into his NHL career, Taylor Hall had just 1 point and sparked heated talk about whether the first pick of the 2010 Entry Draft was ready to play in the League.

Two games later, Hall has put an affirmative end to the debate.

The Edmonton Oilers left wing scored his first NHL goal and added an assist Thursday in Columbus, and repeated the feat a night later in Chicago.

Hall's performance has earned him a full-time NHL spot, and four players from his draft class will join him as 18-year-olds in the NHL this season.

Bruins center Tyler Seguin (No. 2 pick), Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner (No. 7) and Thrashers center Alexander Burmistrov (No. 8) all have been told to find permanent housing. Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (No. 12) is recovering from a broken nose and sore neck suffered Oct. 17, but likely did enough in his six games to earn a permanent spot.
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First month has all five Central teams in playoffs

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 5:21 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Seeing as Halloween loomed just a few days away, Predators coach Barry Trotz's use of metaphor could not have been any more appropriate.

Trotz was discussing how his team had gotten off to a hot start and how useful that would be in trying to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, especially since, in his words, "I mean, the Central Division's going to be a horror show in terms of the number of tough teams."

Trotz's words could not have proved more prophetic. The Predators went from having the best record in the NHL entering Thursday's game against divisional foe St. Louis to ranking fourth in the division following the completion of Saturday's games.

"If you have a bad week in the West, especially in the Central Division," Trotz said, "you could fall right out."
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Flyers head into November playing best hockey of season

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 12:29 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Philadelphia Flyers would prefer not to have their playoff hopes tied to a shootout on the final game of the regular season this season.

Not that they don't have the experience -- see Game 82 against Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers last season. But having matters settled a few games earlier would relieve some of the built-up tension within the locker room.

One month into the 2010-11 campaign, the defending Eastern Conference champion is making that wish a reality.
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Pens' Letestu a surprise at top of rookie scoring race

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 12:15 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

It's a pretty easy assumption to make that any list of preseason Calder candidates did not include Pittsburgh Penguins forward Mark Letestu.

But one month into the season, the 25-year-old is No.2 in the rookie scoring list with 4 goals and 7 points. Only Edmonton's hot-shot youngster, Jordan Eberle (8 points) is better. It's a spot even Letestu can't even believe he's in.

"No. Never. Ever," said Letestu when NHL.com asked him if he expected to have this much of an early offensive impact.

Letestu didn't expect a whole lot going into the season, but he got a chance when Jordan Staal's surgically repaired foot wasn't ready to go when training camp opened.
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Liles, Parenteau, Morrison top first-month surprises

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every season, we are reminded with the force of a Deryk Engelland overhand right that no one knows anything about hockey. Players who are so far off the map that Tom Hanks could've spent four years living on them appear out of nowhere to have sensational seasons to the surprise of everyone.

The following is a list of seven skaters who had the most surprising Octobers of anyone in the League. A lot of these players on this list were cast away (Is the Tom Hanks reference starting to make sense now?) by other teams as recently as last season and are showing a potential breakout season could be in the making.
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