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Five Questions: Tortorella on Johansen, his image

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella:

He's been on the job almost six weeks, but Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella hasn't had much time to pick up his head and look around to take in his new surroundings.

Tortorella is so immersed in the job he took over on Oct. 21, after the Blue Jackets' 0-7-0 start, that his daily routine when at home is to make the short walk from his apartment to the rink so he can work for hours before going back home. That's it.

"I'm in this little apartment almost connected to the arena," he said. "We're diving in."

Tortorella's life in Columbus will change slightly next week, when his wife, Christine, arrives in town with the couple's four dogs. She is closing up their home in Stamford, Conn., to come live in Ohio for the rest of the season.

"Then we'll look to get out," Tortorella said.

Probably not too much, though. Tortorella feels he has enough work to do at the rink with the Blue Jackets to keep him occupied for more hours than there are in a day.

Eichel, Larkin set for first pro head-to-head matchup

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Dylan Larkin may have been overshadowed by Jack Eichel at their respective colleges last season, but that no longer seems to be the case as rookies in the NHL.

Larkin, selected in the first round (No. 15) of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, is the first teenager to play for the Red Wings since Jiri Hudler in 2003-04. Larkin has spent the majority of the season on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft by the Buffalo Sabres, has teamed with Larkin in the past with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program and with several United States teams at international tournaments.

On Tuesday, Larkin and Eichel will go head-to-head for the first time as professionals when the Red Wings face the Sabres at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SNO, SNP, MSG-B, BELL TV, FS-D).

AHL Notebook: Penguins affiliate finding ways to win

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / AHL Update

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

Even a 16-2-0-0 start does not mean avoiding some dicey moments along the way for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, American Hockey League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Cruising to a 3-0 second-period lead against the rival Hershey Bears at home last Saturday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton controlled the game against an opponent it had defeated 7-0 on the same ice surface two weeks earlier.

A Hershey goal with 14 seconds left in the second period made it 3-1. Then Penguins rookie goaltender Tristan Jarry allowed a soft goal 5:39 into the third. Suddenly the Bears had the home team in a bind.

Around the League notebook: Monday, Nov. 30

Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 1:24 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Garret Sparks turned aside all 24 shots he faced to post a shutout in his NHL debut and lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-0 victory against the Edmonton Oilers.

Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau:

* Sparks became the first goaltender in Maple Leafs history to post a shutout in his NHL debut.

* Sparks is the 25th goaltender in NHL history to post a shutout in his League debut. The most-recent: Troy Grosenick (45 saves) w/ San Jose Sharks on Nov. 16, 2014 at Carolina Hurricanes (2-0 W).

Canadiens goalie Price to miss at least six weeks

Monday, 11.30.2015 / 5:32 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Quebec – The Montreal Canadiens are facing a stiff test and general manager Marc Bergevinis very eager to see the results.

Goaltender Carey Price will miss at least the next six weeks because of a lower-body injury that will not require surgery, the Canadiens announced Monday.

That six-week timeline ends Jan. 11, or 18 games from now on the Canadiens' schedule after Price already missed nine games while recovering from the same injury from Oct. 29-Nov. 22.

"What he needs is rest and treatment," Bergevin said. "It will take as long as it takes, but it's a minimum of six weeks."

Bergevin has no intention to acquire some goaltending help for the Canadiens, choosing to ride rookie Mike Condon as the starter. Instead, Bergevin wants to see how his team reacts to the adversity of missing Price and forward Brendan Gallagher, out at least another five weeks with two fractured fingers on his left hand.

The Canadiens had no injuries of major significance a season ago. They do now.

"We'll see what the character of this team is," Bergevin said. "I believe in our character, and every team in the NHL goes through periods without key players. Last season we were very lucky, but this year it will be a part of the evaluation of our character as a team. There's no need for us to panic over this."

Free fan festival to be part of 2016 Winter Classic

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League (NHL) and its corporate partners will extend the celebration of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the Jan. 1 outdoor game between the Boston Bruins® and the Montreal Canadiens®, with the 2016 NHL Winter Classic Spectator Plaza, a two-day free fan festival to be held in Lot 22 of Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Fans of all ages are invited to the free festival on Thursday, Dec. 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET prior to the NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game and on Friday, Jan. 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET before the Bruins and Canadiens face off in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. With support from NHL partners, the 2016 NHL Winter Classic Spectator Plaza will feature interactive hockey-themed attractions; live music; prizes and giveaways; food and beverages; and retail locations with an extensive selection of officially licensed 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® merchandise and collectibles.

Rangers' Stepan to miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs

Monday, 11.30.2015 / 1:04 PM / News

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers center Derek Stepan will be out of the lineup for four to six weeks because of two broken ribs, coach Alain Vigneault said Monday.

Stepan was injured on a hit from Boston Bruins forward Matt Beleskey during the Rangers' 4-3 loss at TD Garden on Friday. He will miss his second consecutive game Monday, when the Rangers play the Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, MSG).

2016 NHL All-Star fan vote opens December 1

Fans to select four captains for 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game

Monday, 11.30.2015 / 1:00 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Vote™ opens worldwide Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 12 p.m. ET at and hockey fans will determine the four All-Star captains for the 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 31 (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports).

As part of the new format for the 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game, the All-Stars will take part in a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, and featuring four teams representing each NHL division. Fans will cast votes online at and via a mobile ballot for one player from each Division, without regard to position. Voting concludes Friday, Jan. 1, with the top vote-getters by division – regardless of position – named All-Stars and captains. The remaining 40 NHL All-Stars will be named by the NHL Hockey Operations Department.

Oilers' McDavid recovering but no timetable for return

Monday, 11.30.2015 / 12:40 PM / News

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Edmonton Oilers rookie center Connor McDavid said he is recovering better than expected from a broken left clavicle but is not sure when he'll be able to return to the ice.

McDavid said he no longer feels pain from the injury, which occurred when he crashed into the end boards Nov. 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He was expected to miss four months.

"Obviously it is healing well and I feel like it is a little ahead of schedule," McDavid said. "It feels good and I'm going to start doing everything, but at the end of the day I've got to let it heal."

McDavid said he is not skating yet and does not know when he'll be able to play again.

MacInnis family tradition stays strong with Kitchener

Monday, 11.30.2015 / 12:25 PM / NHL Insider

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

Ryan MacInnis celebrated his milestone games last weekend in fine fashion.

MacInnis, 19 and in his third season with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League, had one goal and three assists in wins against Sarnia and Sault Ste. Marie.

The games were his 157th and 158th in the OHL. They matched and surpassed his father, Hockey Hall of Fame member Al MacInnis, who played for Kitchener from 1980-83.

"I remember the first time I visited Kitchener with him," said Ryan MacInnis, recalling the banner-raising ceremony to honor his father in November 2008. "I was only 12. Of course, I didn't know I was going to play here back then. But it's been pretty cool."

Al MacInnis' banner hangs from the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium rafters alongside ones honoring other legends like Scott Stevens, Paul Coffey, Bill Barber and Larry Robinson. There are photos of the older MacInnis in action on the concourse of the building and there is the 1982-83 team photo, when he was part of Kitchener's first Memorial Cup championship team.

It's not only cool for Ryan, a 2014 second-round pick (No. 43) of the Arizona Coyotes, but for his father too. Al MacInnis, in his role as father and as senior adviser to St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, makes a couple of monthly visits to watch his son play for his old junior team.

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Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
World Cup of Hockey 2016