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2013-2014 Season Preview

30 in 15: Goaltending dominates Penguins' questions

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Marc-Andre Fleury was already guaranteed to be the guy with the most pressure on him for the Pittsburgh Penguins this season, but Tomas Vokoun's absence could magnify it.

After back-to-back postseason flops, the goaltender who helped the Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 2009 returned to Pittsburgh for training camp despite the protestations of fans and critics who felt the team should go in a different direction.

General manager Ray Shero, coach Dan Bylsma and captain Sidney Crosby were all consistent in their support for Fleury, refusing to believe that he can't regain the form he has produced during the regular season the past three seasons.

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30 in 15: Penguins must prove Cup credentials again

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a prohibitive favorite to win the Stanley Cup as each of the past two postseasons began.

They did not win, and the different but equally stunning ways they were ousted from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012 and 2013 has left lingering questions about the prospects for the Penguins in 2013-14.

Pittsburgh is certainly expected to be among the top teams in the League during the regular season, though what happens in net could determine if the Penguins challenge for a division title and a Presidents' Trophy. The failures of the past two postseasons though could make people stop short of considering the Penguins a favorite to claim the Stanley Cup.

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30 in 15: Bennett could add to Penguins' depth

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

If there was a list of the most enviable positions that were open for competition during this training camp, the place on the wing next to James Neal and Evgeni Malkin for the Pittsburgh Penguins had to be at or near the top of the list.

With apologies to the opening at center in Chicago between Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane and the spot next to Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in Anaheim, the chance to play with Malkin and Neal could represent a career-defining opportunity for either Jussi Jokinen or Beau Bennett.

Bennett was a slight favorite entering camp. Jokinen has been one of the Penguins' top performers during the preseason with a team-high four goals in only three games.

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Seven things we learned during the preseason

Sunday, 09.29.2013 / 11:15 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Training camp and the preseason schedule give coaches ample time to figure out what type of teams they have, prospects a chance to impress and veterans a chance to work out the kinks.

That's all over now. The games start counting Tuesday night, but before they do try to decipher some of the knowledge we gained in the preseason.

Here are seven things we learned during the preseason:

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30 in 15: Ducks look to fly higher

Sunday, 09.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Having won the Stanley Cup in 2007, watching his Anaheim Ducks lose to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs certainly wasn't the ideal situation for general manager Bob Murray.

However, he was able to find positives in a season that saw the team return to the postseason after a one-season hiatus, and win its first division title since the 2007 Cup season.

"Our younger players, while it would have been nice to have another round, got some really quality playoff time and played very, very well for us," Murray told NHL.com. "That's a giant plus for us, that they were there and they got to experience playing a great team like the Detroit Red Wings.

"I don't look at any negatives from that -- except we lost."

This season the team will do its best to eliminate any negatives.

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30 in 15: Ducks' concerns include Penner, defense

Sunday, 09.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The Anaheim Ducks made sure last season that their 13th place finish in the Western Conference in 2011-12 was just a bump in the road, as they rode a 7-1-1 start to a Pacific Division title and a second-place finish in the Western Conference.

However, the season didn't have the ending anyone wanted, as they lost in the Western Conference Quarterfinals to the seventh-seeded Detroit Red Wings, losing in Game 7 at Honda Center.

The Ducks opted to bring back most of last season's roster, including future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne, who will play one final season.

However, there are questions the Ducks must answer to make sure they're able to sustain the same level of play that got them so high in the standings last season.

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30 in 15: Getzlaf grows into captaincy, results follow

Sunday, 09.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

It's been quite the rollercoaster ride for Ryan Getzlaf the past two seasons.

In 2011-12 he slumped to a career-low 11 goals and totaled 57 points, the fewest he's scored in a full NHL season. He also had a minus-11 rating and the Ducks fired coach Randy Carlyle, the only NHL coach Getzlaf had played for, while plummeting to 13th in the Western Conference standings.

With low expectations heading into the 2012-13 season, Getzlaf looked a new man -- actually, more like the player fans were used to seeing. His 15 goals tied linemate Corey Perry for the team lead, his 49 points were tops on the club and 10th in the League, he led the Ducks with 34 assists and his plus-14 rating topped the team's forwards. While he scored just four power-play goals, his three shorthanded goals led the team and set a personal best.

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30 in 15: Ducks plan to replace Ryan with depth

Sunday, 09.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – When Kyle Palmieri was beginning his offseason routine on the East Coast this summer, he received a phone call from Anaheim Ducks equipment manager Doug "Sluggo" Shearer.

Shearer asked Palmieri if he wanted to change from the jersey No. 51 he had worn since he arrived in Anaheim. Palmieri chose his old No. 21 and didn't think much of it until he was asked about it later.

"People make a bigger deal out of it than it is," Palmieri joked.

Palmieri referred to those who see the symbolism, because Anaheim typically gives a young player a lower number when it feels that player is established - Bobby Ryan started out wearing No. 54 with the Ducks.

The next step is now for Palmieri and Anaheim's other young forwards to build off the offensive balance it achieved last season, especially after the trade of 30-goal scorer Ryan to the Ottawa Senators.

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30 in 15: Stability, depth keys to Canadiens' season

Sunday, 09.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

When viewed from the outside, it would be difficult for anyone to consider the 2012-13 season as anything but a rousing success for the Montreal Canadiens.

Coming off a season in which they finished last in the Eastern Conference, leading to a complete overhaul of management and the coaching staff, the Canadiens won the Northeast Division and finished second in the conference.

Montreal finished tied for fourth in the NHL in goals per game, was sixth in 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio, fifth in power-play efficiency and fifth in shots against per game, all signs that the team had made a serious turnaround from the nightmare season that preceded it.

But on the inside, all of those positives were wiped out in the span of one week in May, when the Canadiens were ousted in five games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the seventh-seeded Ottawa Senators.

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30 in 15: Goal prevention tops Canadiens' storylines

Sunday, 09.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The overriding question facing the Montreal Canadiens as they enter the new season is whether their second-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2012-13 is a true indicator of their quality as a team.

The Canadiens had seven regulation losses in their first 35 games last season, then had seven over their final 13 of the regular season before losing four of five games against the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Quote of the Day

We're understanding what's bringing us success. We have a talented hockey club when everyone's committed to doing the right things and doing their job.

— Islanders captain John Tavares after a 4-1 win against the Penguins tied the teams atop the Metropolitan Division standings
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