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NHL Insider

Hull sees similarities between himself and Stamkos

Thursday, 02.10.2011 / 6:21 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- The whip you see in his stick, the accuracy and power with which he shoots, and the uncanny way Steven Stamkos always seems to find the open patch of ice reminds us of what we used to see from Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull.

Hull agrees. He sees the similarities and buys into the comparisons, too.

"Absolutely," Hull told Thursday morning from Wayne Gretzky's Fantasy Camp. "He goes to the same areas of the ice. He's very patient. He's really developed that aspect of the game. I think in that aspect he's the best in the League by far."

Hull used to be. His one-timer was regarded as a lethal weapon -- and it helped him score 741 goals in 1,269 NHL games.

Isles will look to play physical against Habs

Thursday, 02.10.2011 / 2:19 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

"When you prepare for a team, you want to look at every avenue that you can exploit. When you go against Montreal, it's no secret you want to get physical with them." -- Zenon Kenopka

MONTREAL -- The battered and bruised Montreal Canadiens have little time to lick their wounds after the 8-6 beating they took at the hands of the Bruins in Boston, getting right back on the ice Thursday night against the well-rested New York Islanders.

Benoit Pouliot was probably the only member of the Canadiens that came out on the winning end of the six fights Wednesday in Boston. He was pretty frank when it came to Montreal's chances in games where toughness is a bigger factor than speed or skill.


Crosby confident he'll play again this season

Thursday, 02.10.2011 / 1:55 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Yes, it's scary, Sidney Crosby said, and how could it not be? A concussion is sidelining him from the game he loves, and neither Crosby nor his doctors know exactly when he'll be able to play again.

During a 10-minute session with reporters, the Pittsburgh Penguins star said Thursday there is no timetable for his return -- either to practice or games. He only can wait, rest and hope he gets better sooner rather than later.

Crosby is confident he'll be able to return to the Penguins at some point this season -- "Geez, I hope so," he said -- although he acknowledges there is a chance he won't.

The uncertainty, Crosby said, is one of the most difficult aspects of his injury.

Bruins to sit down Seguin against Canadiens

Wednesday, 02.09.2011 / 2:55 PM / NHL Insider

Boston Bruins rookie forward Tyler Seguin, the second pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, will be a healthy scratch on Wednesday night when the Bruins play host to the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed the report to James Murphy of following the team's practice. Seguin, who has 8 goals and 17 points in 51 games this season, has connected just once in his last 11 contests.

"I don't think we can overanalyze this, guys," Julien told Murphy. "We have to sit somebody out and I know who he is, I know where he was drafted and I know all that stuff. I think right now we've got (Jordan) Caron, who we feel is a good fit on that fourth line, and (Zach) Hamill is here to have a look at. Here's a guy who's a third-year pro and he needs to have a look, too. Right now that's the choice we've made."

Habs hope Wisniewski's return invigorates power play

Tuesday, 02.08.2011 / 8:25 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Que. -- The Montreal Canadiens are starting to get healthy -- or at least healthier.

Defensemen Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges remain out for the season with knee injuries, but power-play quarterback James Wisniewski was at practice Tuesday after missing two games with a bout of strep throat and he'll be in uniform against the rival Boston Bruins on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS).

Coach Jacques Martin also announced that injured sniper Michael Cammalleri -- out since Jan. 18 with a shoulder injury -- should be back practicing with the club by the end of the week.

Their returns can't come too soon for the Canadiens as both are key members of a Montreal power play mired in an 0-for-22 drought over the past five games.

Just bringing Wisniewski and his booming shot from the point back for Wednesday's key divisional matchup in Boston should help.

Emery excited to have a chance to play again

Tuesday, 02.08.2011 / 2:19 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

"I'm just excited to be back playing again. I realize I had a tough operation and have been away from the game for a while. I felt Anaheim and heir organization was a good spot for me to come back. They seemed interested. I'm just lucky to be back and to be able to play some games in the American League and go from there."
-- Ray Emery

No one has looked forward to spending February in Syracuse, N.Y. more than Ray Emery.

The goaltender, who signed a two-way contract with the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, cleared waivers Tuesday and was sent to the Syracuse Crunch, the Ducks' American Hockey League affiliate, where he'll attempt to come back from a major hip injury.

Emery had surgery in April to repair avascular necrosis in his right hip, a condition which saw the near-complete degradation of the top of the ball in his hip joint. It's the same condition that led to the end of the athletic career of two-sport star Bo Jackson.

"I'm just excited to be back playing again," said Emery. "I realize I had a tough operation and have been away from the game for a while. I felt Anaheim and their organization was a good spot for me to come back. They seemed interested. I'm just lucky to be back and to be able to play some games in the American League and go from there."


Isles not worried about Tavares' drought

Tuesday, 02.08.2011 / 1:01 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - Columnist

The high point of John Tavares' season came Jan. 15, when he scored a natural hat trick in the second period of the New York Islanders' 5-3 win against Buffalo. Tavares made it look easy -- he needed just 5:46 to beat Vezina Trophy-winner Ryan Miller three times.

The hat trick gave the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft 18 goals in the 40 games he'd played, putting him on pace for well over 30 in his second season.

But just like that, Tavares' hot stick has gone cold. He enters the Isles' game against Toronto at the Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night without a goal in his previous nine games. Not coincidentally, the Islanders have gone 3-6-0 in that stretch.


Emery clears waivers, on way to AHL

Tuesday, 02.08.2011 / 12:34 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

"Ray Emery has been a solid NHL netminder for several years and is only 28 years old. We are going to give him a chance to go to Syracuse and establish himself again. He's worked hard to get back into shape and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do."
-- Anaheim Ducks Executive Vice President/GM Bob Murray

Ray Emery, signed Monday by the Anaheim Ducks, has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

The waiver period ended at noon ET on Tuesday.

Emery is attempting to come back from avascular necrosis, a condition which saw the near-complete degradation of the top of the ball in his hip joint. It's the same condition that led to the end of the athletic career of two-sport star Bo Jackson.

Emery had surgery in April, and began on-ice workouts in October. He hasn't played an organized hockey game since Feb. 1, 2010, when he made 18 saves for the Philadelphia Flyers in a shutout victory against the Calgary Flames.

AHL call-ups helping keep Pens in Eastern race

Tuesday, 02.08.2011 / 10:53 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Dustin Jeffrey never will be Sidney Crosby, but he can mimic him for at least a little while. Eric Tangradi can't be Evgeni Malkin on his best day, but at 6-foot-4 and 221 pounds he does have the size to fill a power-forward role for the Pittsburgh Penguins for now.

This is how the Penguins are going to have to roll for the next couple of weeks as GM Ray Shero works on finding a team willing to trade with him in light of the season-ending knee injury to Malkin and Crosby's concussion. Names like Jason Arnott, Ales Hemsky and ex-Penguin Alexei Kovalev have been associated with rumors involving Pittsburgh, but for now coach Dan Bylsma has Jeffrey and Tangradi, a pair of AHL call-ups, filling major roles.

He's fine with it because what Jeffrey, Tangradi and even Tim Wallace, who played his first game of the season Sunday in Washington and fought David Steckel, lack in experience they more than make up for in energy, desire and knowledge of the Penguins' system.


Work visa all that's keeping Forsberg off ice now

Monday, 02.07.2011 / 4:36 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - Correspondent

"Once he's squared away, it will be Peter's and my decision. Once that (the paperwork) is cleared up, he'll be available. I think it will give us a spark emotionally, and it will certainly boost our lineup." -- Joe Sacco

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The good news is Peter Forsberg said he's feeling so good on the ice that he conceivably could have played against the Phoenix Coyotes here Monday.

The bad news is, even if he wanted to, he couldn't.

After signing a contract to play for the Colorado Avalanche over the weekend, Forsberg now has to enter the United States as a worker rather that a visitor. That means he has to leave -- perhaps as early as Monday -- and obtain the proper immigration and work-visa paperwork before resuming his NHL career with the Avalanche.

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Quote of the Day

He scores 50 goals, they go in, they go in, and they go in. And I think, 'Why can't I do that?'

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on teammate Alex Ovechkin, who scored his 50th goal of the season Tuesday in a 4-2 win vs. the Hurricanes