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Player Profiles

Jones a bright spot in tough season for Avs

Tuesday, 03.29.2011 / 6:03 PM / Player Profiles

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

DENVER -- Bright spots have been rare for a Colorado Avalanche team whose season turned sour two months ago. The play of David Jones has been one of them.

The 26-year-old forward is having a career year and battling Matt Duchene for the team goal-scoring lead one year after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

"I always thought I could play at a high level," Jones told "It was tough being hurt because I think I was on my way to doing that last year. It's nice to have some success this year and hopefully I can keep it going and carry it into next year."

At 6-feet-2 and 210 pounds, Jones is the classic power forward, except that he also owns deceptive speed for a player his size. So there was more than the usual concern when he suffered such a serious knee injury in a game at Minnesota on Nov. 28, 2009.

Selanne, at 40, carrying Ducks toward playoff spot

Tuesday, 03.29.2011 / 11:39 AM / Player Profiles

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Logic dictates that at some point Teemu Selanne will have to slow down.


At 40 years young, Selanne scored his 22nd career hat trick Monday, plus had 2 assists as the Ducks beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4. He is the first player 40 or older in NHL history to score 3 times and add 2 assists in one game.

The 5-point night matched his career-best single-game output (he had 3 goals and 2 assists Feb. 24, 2008), and gave him 75 points, eighth in the League. It's also the third-best season by a player 40 or over in League history. Only 40-year-olds Johnny Bucyk (83 points in 1975-76) and Gordie Howe (103 points in 1968-69) had more points than Selanne at the same age. With six games remaining, and the way Selanne is scoring -- he now has 7 goals and 4 assists in his last five games -- he could pass Bucyk's total.

Ducks' Perry focused on playoffs, not MVP race

Monday, 03.28.2011 / 10:07 AM / Player Profiles

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

Ryan Getzlaf's voice barely was audible above the whine of a nearby Zamboni, but his message still got through to Anaheim Ducks teammate Corey Perry.
Perry was answering questions from a small contingent of reporters about his remarkable season following a light practice last Friday, and Getzlaf wasn't about to let a prime opportunity to razz his top-line buddy pass.
"Come on Perrs, let's go!" he shouted. "You don't need to talk so much about your season! Just say, 'I owe it all to my linemates! I've only scored 7 goals this year … with 35 tap-ins!'"

Kunitz has elevated his game in absence of Crosby

Thursday, 03.24.2011 / 2:30 PM / Player Profiles

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Despite the loss of linemate Sidney Crosby, left wing Chris Kunitz might very well be playing his best hockey since arriving in Pittsburgh two years ago.

Don't believe it? Just ask his coach, Dan Bylsma.

"It might be some of the best games I've seen him play for the Penguins ... he's elevated his game," Bylsma said. "I think he's really setting the tone for our team in a lot of aspects through his work ethic and how we're playing the game with speed. It's a great time of the year, and I think Chris is excited about how he feels physically and it's really noticeable on the ice."

It also helps that Kunitz has found some chemistry alongside Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy on the team's second line. The Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy trio has actually produced 9 goals over the last four games. Kunitz, who is in his seventh NHL season and third with the Penguins, has led the attack with 4 goals, 8 points, 6 hits and 10 shots over that four-game stretch.

Durability, dominance reasons for Lundqvist's Vezina Trophy consideration

Wednesday, 03.23.2011 / 12:06 PM / Player Profiles

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

When it is time to talk about Vezina Trophy candidates and goaltenders who have a convincing case for the Hart Trophy, Boston's Tim Thomas and Nashville's Pekka Rinne dominate the conversation.

Thomas and Rinne have earned the distinction as front-runners for those trophies with their sparkling numbers and stellar play this season. Barring something unforeseen, both likely will be finalists for the Vezina and perhaps one or both will have a crack at the Hart.

But if there is one goaltender who is making an under-the-radar push for Vezina consideration during the season's homestretch, it is Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.

Versatile Korpikoski helping Coyotes charge

Friday, 03.18.2011 / 11:12 AM / Player Profiles

Jerry Brown - Correspondent

He can play all three forward positions and serves as a nice fit on any of the four lines. He blocks shots, scores shorthanded, checks the opposition's top skill and his stickhandling and shooting is becoming a strong compliment to his blazing speed.

To all but diehard Phoenix Coyote fans and shrewd NHL fantasy league owners, Lauri Korpikoski isn't any easier to recognize than his name is to pronounce. That is changing quickly, with the Coyotes now streaking toward another Western Conference playoff berth and the former understudy now playing a starting role.

The 24-year-old Finn, scooped up from the New York Rangers in the summer of 2009 for a player no longer in the League (Enver Lisin), is tied for the Coyotes team lead with 17 goals, has chipped in 19 assists and is doing it all for the bargain-basement price of $700,000.

Rookie season was eye-opening experience for Hall

Wednesday, 03.16.2011 / 4:03 PM / Player Profiles

Robin Brownlee - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers was putting together a season worthy of Calder Trophy consideration as NHL rookie of the year when he suffered a season-ending high-ankle sprain in a fight with Derek Dorsett of the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 3.

The 19-year-old Hall, a two-time Memorial Cup winner and MVP with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, and the first player selected in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, played 65 games with the Oilers. He had 22 goals and 42 points when his season ended. Hall's fight with Dorsett was the first of his NHL career.

Hall sat down with Wednesday for an exclusive interview and a look back at his rookie season.

Austrian-born Grabner a revelation for Islanders

Tuesday, 03.15.2011 / 5:10 PM / Player Profiles

David Kalan - Staff Writer

Austria has been a major player in central Europe for centuries, with an influential history spanning the Hapsburg dynasty to Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

But hockey is a different matter.

The NHL has had players from a wide swath of nations across three continents in recent decades, but Austria curiously has lacked a position of influence in the NHL and international hockey in general, having not won a medal in a major tournament in decades.

"Honestly, (for kids) it was mostly soccer," New York Islanders rookie forward Michael Grabner said in attempting to explain where hockey stands in his homeland. "Obviously it's an expensive sport. Every year you've got to buy new stuff, so a lot of families just didn't have the money to keep their kid going."

Holtby seizing opportunity as Caps' go-to goalie

Monday, 03.14.2011 / 3:53 PM / Player Profiles

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Braden Holtby's first stint with the Washington Capitals started out with immense promise but ended with major disappointment.

The 21-year-old rookie goaltender stopped all four shots he faced in relief of Semyon Varlamov against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 5. It wasn't exactly the greatest debut in NHL history, but it was a flawless 10:09 for the native of Lloydminster, Saskatoon. Holtby made his first career start two nights later and made 23 saves against the Philadelphia Flyers in a 3-2 overtime victory.

Arnott still hopeful of visiting White House

Saturday, 03.12.2011 / 4:59 PM / Player Profiles

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Patrick Kane stood near the President of the United States on Friday and listened to the leader of this country laud him for scoring an overtime goal to deliver the Stanley Cup to Chicago.

Jason Arnott has also scored a Cup-winning overtime goal, but he's still waiting for his date at the White House.

"We never went," said Arnott, who helped the New Jersey Devils claim the Stanley Cup in 2000 with a goal in the second overtime of Game 6 against Dallas. [General Manager] Lou [Lamoriello] wouldn't fly us special there if it didn't work with our schedule. It is one of the most disappointing things in my life. It was horrible. It was great winning the Cup, but I never got to meet the President.
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