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Sharks aim to ruin Kings' special night

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Even if they wanted to try, the San Jose Sharks can't avoid it now.

High above their heads when the puck drops on the Sharks' 2014-15 season Wednesday at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN1) will be a new Stanley Cup championship banner that for all intents and purposes could have been theirs.

The Sharks would have at least had as good a shot as any team had they avoided a historical collapse.

"Any time I think of the Kings or our team thinks of the Kings we remember what happened last year," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "The memory of last year will still be pretty fresh for a lot of guys."

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Five things to watch in Sharks-Kings opener

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The bad taste has been in the mouths of the San Jose Sharks ever since they were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After building a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, the Sharks lost four straight, become the fourth team in NHL history to lose four in a row after winning the first three games of a playoff series.

Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons.

San Jose will try to take its first step toward redemption when it opens the season at Los Angeles on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1), but first the Sharks will have to watch the Kings raise their championship banner to the rafters of Staples Center.

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Fourteen questions entering 2014-15 season

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

The one question 30 NHL teams have been asking themselves since before training camps opened is the same: Can we win the Stanley Cup?

Some teams can answer that question affirmatively; others are more hopeful than sure; and a few are focused on building toward winning the Cup in a future season.

There are some other pressing questions facing teams. Here are a few of them as we look toward the start of the season:

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Super 16: Player moves make West still best

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

After a dominant season by the Western Conference in 2013-14, the reaction was swift and not subtle.

The West added more great players.

Though every team in the NHL that doesn't play home games at Staples Center or United Center spent the offseason searching for ways to inch closer to the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks at the top of the League, teams in the West in particular have created a pretty amazing arms race.

The four best players to change conferences, and seven of the best 10 or 11, traveled west. Here's a look at the disparity in players who switched conferences during the offseason, either via trades or free agency:

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Bruins host Flyers in Wednesday Night Rivalry opener

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers are set to renew their intense rivalry on the opening day of the NHL regular season in the first game of the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry (7:30 p.m. ET).

The Flyers might be looking for a little payback against the Bruins after losing all three games against them last season, including a 5-2 decision April 5 in Boston that enabled the Bruins to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have not beaten the Bruins since April 24, 2013, a 5-2 win at Wells Fargo Center.

The rivalry between the two teams has intensified in recent years. In the past 10 years the teams have met twice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and in the 2010 NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston.

"With Philly there's some history there, obviously, having played them twice in the playoffs and in the Winter Classic," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "The teams are pretty good reflections of the cities, and when they get together it's always a battle."

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Bruins' Bergeron the pick to win Selke again

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The NHL used to be defined by dynasties, at the team level and in some award categories.

The League's recent history has shifted toward parity. No team has repeated as Stanley Cup champion since 1998, and no player has successfully defended a major individual trophy (Hart, Vezina, Norris, Adams and Selke) since Pavel Datsyuk won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for a third straight year in 2010.

Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke twice in the past three years, and he is NHL.com's preseason favorite to earn the honor in 2014-15. Should he do so, Bergeron would become the fifth player in League history to win the Selke three times, joining Bob Gainey (four times), Guy Carbonneau, Jere Lehtinen and Datsyuk.

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Sharks haven't decided on starter in goal: report

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 11:32 PM / News

NHL.com

The San Jose Sharks have not announced who their starting goalie will be in the season opener at the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

Coach Todd McLellan had not revealed if it would be last season's No. 1 Antti Niemi or Alex Stalock, the San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday.

"They both have come back and worked extremely hard in training camp," McLellan told the newspaper. "Again, they'll be judged just like the rest of us on their performances moving forward. Training camp doesn't get you anything. But based on the information we have, they've worked hard, they are in excellent condition. They have supported each other."

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Blackhawks under salary cap, ready to roll

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 10:19 PM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Poise was the theme of the day for the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday and, really, for all of the preseason.

It's the reason rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk has shown surprising control with the puck on his stick. It's why coach Joel Quenneville isn't afraid to break up one of his best defense pairings, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson, for what he thinks will create better balance on the back end. It's what allowed general manager Stan Bowman to keep a calm, measured approach to the fact the Blackhawks went almost the entire offseason with a payroll hovering above the $69 million salary cap.

The trade of former defenseman Nick Leddy to the New York Islanders on Saturday barely got the Blackhawks under the cap, but nobody associated with the team even broke a sweat about it, least of all Bowman.

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Sabres name Brian Gionta captain

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 9:51 PM / News

BuffaloSabres.com

Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan today announced he has named forward Brian Gionta team captain. Nolan also announced that he has selected defenseman Josh Gorges and forward Matt Moulson as the team’s alternate captains.

Gionta, who spent the last four seasons as captain of the Montreal Canadiens, becomes the 19th full-season captain in franchise history and will be the 27th player to wear the captain’s “C” for at least a one-month period.

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Brodeur without job 'not end of the world': report

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 9:41 PM / News

NHL.com

Goaltender Martin Brodeur remains without an NHL job with the season about to begin, and the League's winningest goalie said he's prepared to enter retirement if one is not offered.

"Hopefully I'll have an opportunity but if it doesn't happen it's not the end of the world," Brodeur said, according to The Associated Press. "I've played a lot of hockey and I'm enjoying my time off right now. I've never done that in my life so it's kind of nice to do, but just coming back and playing hockey for two days I know I still have it and it's still inside of me to want to play a little more if I can."

Brodeur this week spent time working out with the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where his son Anthony Brodeur is playing this season.

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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 Kachina-style throwback jerseys in a 3-2 victory against the Canucks on Thursday