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Jets prospect Copp proving mature beyond years

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 12:15 PM / On Campus

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

Speaking with Andrew Copp, you would be forgiven for assuming he's a grizzled NHL veteran or at the very least a longtime coach. He speaks with a confidence and assuredness well beyond his 19 years, tossing out hard-won aphorisms -- "Consistency will come if your effort where it needs to be" -- as if they were afterthoughts.

With this maturity in mind, it's easy to see why University of Michigan coach Red Berenson named Copp, a sophomore, an alternate captain over the summer. Berenson described his sophomore center as a "gamer," a "team player" and, appropriately, someone with a "coach-type mentality."

Copp (6-foot-1, 201 pounds) has spent the fall earning his 'A' with nine goals and five assists on a Wolverines team that is 10-4-2 and ranked third in the nation. Copp also has two overtime winners, and his leadership has helped Michigan prevail in seven of nine one-goal games despite playing eight freshmen on a regular basis.


Olympic Stock Report: Ice size in Sochi a factor

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 9:39 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The big ice is making for some big decisions for the Canadian and American executives because the style of play in the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be different than what they're used to in North America.

The rink in Sochi will be the international standard 200-feet long by 100-feet wide. That's 15-feet wider than the NHL-size rink, which means there will be an extra 3,000 square feet of ice to cover.

"Size isn't as relevant as it would be in a small game," Canada associate coach Ken Hitchcock told NHL.com. "We're going to play against quicker players than we ever have played against before. We're going to play against players that have great agility, great one-on-one skills. We're going to see lineups that are different than we would play in North America.


Daily Primer Dec. 30: Last tune-up for Red Wings

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider


The Detroit Red Wings are looking forward to playing in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day. But there's still the matter of one more indoor game to deal with first.

The Red Wings play their final game of 2013 when they visit the Nashville Predators on Monday night. Detroit is 1-6-0 this month at home, but the Red Wings have earned at least a point in all six of their December road games, and their 4-0-2 record includes a 4-3 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

The Predators are coming off a 3-2 home victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Here's a look at all of the games Monday:


Windsor tops Saginaw in first OHL outdoor game

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Montreal Canadiens prospect Brady Vail and 2014 NHL Draft top prospect Josh Ho-Sang helped the Windsor Spitfires defeat the Saginaw Spirit in a wild 6-5 victory at Comerica Park on Sunday in the first outdoor regular-season game in Ontario Hockey League history.

Vail had assists on three straight Windsor goals, and Ho-Sang added two assists during a four-goal period as the Spitfires roared back from a two-goal deficit early in the second, but then needed a late shorthanded winner from Steven Janes after taking five consecutive penalties, including a pair of double-minors, in the final period.

The game was the first of an OHL doubleheader as part of the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival, a five-day showcase in Detroit as part of the lead-up to the Bridgestone 2014 NHL Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium.


Canadiens prospect Vail leads OHL team in Detroit

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Brady Vail had a bit of an unconventional path to get here, but he certainly enjoyed his first experience playing hockey outdoors at Comerica Park.

Vail, a fourth-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft (No. 94), had assists on three straight goals to help the Windsor Spitfires rally from an early deficit before hanging on for a 6-5 victory against the Saginaw Spirit in the first game of an Ontario Hockey League doubleheader Sunday at the home of the Detroit Tigers.

"Our power play has been firing well, and it was good to get us back in the game," Vail said. "I didn't know until after the game that I had [three assists]. I don't know what was going on towards the end, but we found a way to score the winner."


Winter Classic a big undertaking at Big House

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Three years ago, when the University of Michigan hosted "The Big Chill at the Big House," the school operated the event as they do on a normal football Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

The staff was the same. Parking rules were the same. Catering was the same. The only real difference was the sport the spectators showed up to watch.

The event provided Michigan officials insight into what it takes to pull off a unique winter event at Michigan Stadium, but to say it prepared them for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic would be wrong.

No event in the history of Michigan Stadium will be quite like the one the NHL is putting on Wednesday, when the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs ring in 2014 with the sixth edition of the Winter Classic (1 p.m.., NBC, CBC).

"The difference with this game is the NHL has come in and they're taking it to a whole other level," said Rob Rademacher, Michigan's associate athletic director of facilities and operations. "They've described it as their Super Bowl. We took some entertainment for the Big Chill, fireworks and other things, to another level that we hadn't done before here at Michigan; but from everything I've seen that we're going to do on Wednesday with the NHL, it's going the next step."


Ducks find multiple ways to win during streak

Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 1:26 PM / NHL Insider


Anaheim Ducks center Saku Koivu was humble in victory Saturday night, even after the triumph stretched his team's winning streak to 10 games.

Koivu tipped Ben Lovejoy's shot past Thomas Greiss 51 seconds into overtime to gave the Ducks 3-2 win against the Phoenix Coyotes. Koivu, though, said the result was "more luck than anything else." Yet the Ducks have proven their place atop the NHL standings (Anaheim and the Chicago Blackhawks have 61 points) is due to sheer talent and a will to win by creating their own breaks.

Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks, the Ducks have an opportunity to extend their run to 11 games. Already riding an 11-0-2 stretch, three shy of a club record, in which it hasn't lost in regulation, Anaheim takes a six-game road winning streak and League-high 14 road victories into SAP Center, where the Sharks are 13-1-3, in a battle of Western Conference goliaths.


Daily Primer Dec. 29: Ducks go for 11 in a row

Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 10:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Anaheim Ducks have been able to win anywhere. To extend their franchise-record streak to 11 victories, they'll have to do it at one of the NHL's toughest stops for visiting teams.

One night after beating the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in overtime at home, the League-leading Ducks head to the Bay Area for a game against the San Jose Sharks, who've been terrific in their own building. San Jose is 13-1-3 at SAP Center; the Ducks (14-0-2) are the only team with fewer regulation losses at home. But Anaheim is also tops in the NHL with 14 road victories, though the Ducks had to settle for one point in their previous trip to San Jose, a 4-3 shootout loss Nov. 30.

Here's a look at all of the action on one of the busiest Sundays of the NHL season:


Coyotes will vouch for Yandle's Olympic credentials

Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has stated his case for a spot on the United States roster at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Since the previous NHL Olympic season in 2009-10, Yandle has 154 points in 166 regular-season games and 14 points in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Between the 2009-10 season and the current one he was a combined plus-32. He has played in two NHL All-Star Games and is a main reason the Coyotes reached the Western Conference Final in 2012.

Yandle stands fifth among active American-born NHL defensemen with 57 goals and 182 assists in 449 games. Only four American defensemen -- Paul Martin, Ryan Whitney (not currently on an NHL roster), Dustin Byfuglien and Ryan Suter, who leads all active American-born blueliners with 292 points in 629 games -- are ahead of Yandle.


Sunday Long Read: Discovering joys of outdoors

Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

A fresh sheet of ice covering a lake. The powdery snow shoveled off to the sides. A sharp chill hanging in the air. If you're lucky, a warm drink waiting for you at the end of the day.

These are the elements that made outdoor hockey so special for a generation of players. As the game began to move indoors, they became symbols of a bygone era. But with a little help from the massive annual spectacle that is the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, many modern players are discovering the joy of the outdoor game.

And a generation of Hockey Hall of Fame members who grew up playing on the local pond couldn't be happier.

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I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round