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Bruins' Bergeron off to start deserving of Selke

Thursday, 11.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

As Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter noted last season, teams that spend a lot of time playing in their own zone in this era of the NHL say they're playing defense but are typically just getting scored or on relying their goaltender to bail them out.

The best defensive players in the NHL are the ones who avoid having to play it a lot. There is a desire to possess the puck, and a player's ability to keep the puck and win it back have become incredibly valuable commodities.

Forwards, particularly centers, who are strong in all areas of the ice help drive the offense and support the defense. Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins has earned a reputation for being one of the best in the sport at this, and he is the favorite to win the Selke Trophy at the three-quarter pole of the 2014-15 season.

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Novak lurking on edge of center pool in 2015 Draft

Thursday, 11.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO – With the attention being paid to center prospects in the 2015 NHL Draft, it might be easy to lose track of a player like Thomas Novak.

Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, and Dylan Strome have all taken turns in the spotlight already this season, but now Novak is starting to make his mark amongst draft hopefuls and drawing rave reviews from those who have watched him closely.

Novak's road to notoriety is a bit different than many his contemporaries.

He's playing in the United States Hockey League for Waterloo after a three-year stint with St. Thomas Academy in Minnesota.

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Flyers' Giroux launching more shots than ever

Thursday, 11.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux knows he's the centerpiece of opposition game plans. He sees the best checking forwards and toughest defensemen on the other team 82 games a season.

Despite that he's developed into one of the game's best playmakers during his six full NHL seasons. He's scored 20 goals three times, finished in the top three in the League in points twice and was a Hart Trophy finalist last season.

Most of Giroux's success has come because of his elite-level vision and passing skills.

"I love passing," Giroux said. "I love passing way too much to shoot."

But in order to remain among the game's best, and to continue to confound opponents, Giroux has found a different weapon for his arsenal. As much as he might not like it, Giroux is shooting. A lot.

Giroux is tied with Alex Ovechkin for the League lead with 97 shots on goal.

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Around the League notebook for Wednesday, Nov. 26

Thursday, 11.27.2014 / 2:54 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

EASTERN CONFERENCE JOCKEYING

The Penguins, Islanders and Lightning each won Wednesday to move within one point of the Canadiens (16-6-1, 33 points) for top spot in the Eastern Conference:

* The Penguins (15-4-2, 32 points) maintain their spot atop the Metropolitan Division and have two games in hand on the Canadiens.

* At 16-6-0 (32 points), the Islanders are off to the best 22-game start in franchise history and remain tied with the Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh holds one game in hand.

* The Lightning (15-6-2, 32 points) have set new franchise records for wins and points through 23 games and have more regulation and overtime wins than any team in the NHL (ROW = 14).

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Panthers goalie Luongo leaves game with injury

Thursday, 11.27.2014 / 12:21 AM / News

Cristina Ledra - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo left the game Wednesday against the Carolina Hurricanes with an upper-body injury with 9:38 remaining in the second period and did not return.

Al Montoya made 22 saves in relief for a 1-0 win.

Luongo left the game 10:22 into the period. He did not appear to be injured on a specific play but skated to the Panthers bench during a timeout and spoke with coaches before going into the locker room.

Florida coach Gerard Gallant said after the game Luongo’s injury wasn’t serious, based on what the trainers told him, though they would know more about the extent on Thursday.

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Blues' Elliott week-to-week; Brodeur in as tryout

Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 7:09 PM / News

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- With goalie Brian Elliott week-to-week because of a lower-body injury he sustained Tuesday, the St. Louis Blues have announced they will bring in Martin Brodeur on a tryout basis.

Elliott's injury will not require surgery, according to the Blues. With Elliott for an undetermined time frame, St. Louis might turn to Brodeur to help rookie Jake Allen handle the workload.

Brodeur, 42, will join the Blues on Friday for a morning skate prior to their game against the Edmonton Oilers at Scottrade Center. He will continue to practice for at least a week before St. Louis decides whether to offer him a contract.

The Blues also recalled goalie Jordan Binnington from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

"I think we looked at our schedule and we're playing four games a week," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told NHL.com. "We have [Binnington] in the American Hockey League who's just getting his career started. We've got [Niklas Lundstrom with the Alaska Aces] in the East Coast Hockey League who's just getting his career started, and we've got [Allen] in the NHL who's getting his career started.

"In fairness to all three goalies, they need to have some support. Marty offers, depending on how he looks, he offers organizational support. I have a background with him, so we know each other."

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Martin Brodeur to practice with Blues as tryout

Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 6:50 PM / News

Goaltender Martin Brodeur will join the St. Louis Blues for practice on a tryout basis, the team said Wednesday.

General manager Doug Armstrong announced Brodeur will begin practicing with the Blues on Friday. Earlier Wednesday, St. Louis said goaltender Brian Elliott is out week-to-week with a leg injury but will not need surgery after leaving the game Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.

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Stars' Garbutt to have Player Safety hearing

Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 3:05 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Dallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt will have a hearing Thursday afternoon with the Department of Player Safety after an incident with Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall in a game Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

Garbutt was assessed a two-minute penalty for tripping Hall near center ice. Hall remained in the game.

The Stars won the game 3-2.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: kneeing. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

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Former Canadien Gilles Tremblay dies at 75

Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 2:50 PM / News

NHL.com

Gilles Tremblay, who played nine NHL seasons for the Montreal Canadiens and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, died early Wednesday at the age of 75.

Tremblay, a native of Montmorency, Quebec, was a member of four Stanley Cup championship teams with the Canadiens. He had 168 goals and 330 points in 509 regular-season games and was considered a strong two-way player.

His obituary on the Canadiens website states that in Tremblay's first NHL game, Nov. 12, 1960 at the Montreal Forum, he skated on a line with legends Bernie Geoffrion and Jean Beliveau. The Canadiens faced the Detroit Red Wings and Tremblay's job duties that night included keeping an all-time great, Gordie Howe, in check.

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Rangers' St. Louis could hit milestone in Tampa return

Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 12:36 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA – New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis has a knack for big games on special nights.

On Nov. 25, 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning honored their former captain upon his return home after playing in his 1000th game earlier in the week. He scored two goals and had an assist against the New York Rangers for the Lightning that night.

On Wednesday the team will honor St. Louis with a pre-game video ceremony in his first game at Amalie Arena since he was traded to the Rangers in March. St. Louis needs two points to reach 1,000 for his career. He scored 953 points (365 goals, 588 assists) with the Lightning over 13 seasons.

"I'd love to do it here," St. Louis said. "I'm hoping for it. With the game in Buffalo being canceled [last week] it seems to have worked out."

The fact that the game falls on the 26th, his number, wasn't lost on St. Louis either.

"I thought that was great," St. Louis said. "Everything seems to be lining up."

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Quote of the Day

I loved being in the jerseys again and they worked some magic for us. It was weird in warm-ups, seeing No. 22 in that jersey and thinking he’s [Mike Gartner], and No. 8 reminds you of Danny Briere … every number had me thinking back to the guys who wore them and smiling.

— Coyotes captain Shane Doan on wearing the kachina-style jersey he and his team wore from 1996-2003, after their 3-2 victory against the Canucks on Thursday