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Blue Jackets energized to build off successful season

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The 2014-15 season can't start soon enough for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fueled by a rare Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in which they pushed the Pittsburgh Penguins to six games in the Eastern Conference First Round while captivating Ohio's capital city, the Blue Jackets are eager to show last season was not a fluke.

"The playoffs in the past have been the exception," center Mark Letestu said. "We're trying to make that the rule here. The playoffs are the starting point. The expectations are to compete for a Stanley Cup now. Maybe that's what's changed. Maybe in the past it's been a little more unrealistic than it is now.

"We have a lot of good players, some great players. Everybody fits well. It's a good group. There's a real opportunity to make something special happen here."

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Flyers mean business heading into new season

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Craig Berube took over as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers three games into last season, giving him ample time to get his team playing the way he believes they need to play to be successful.

However, there's nothing like having a full training camp.

"It's really important," Berube said. "That's where the consistency really is going to come in, through camp and us instilling what we want to do. It started in the summertime. There was a real focus on the off-ice conditioning and what kind of shape you have to be in to be a Flyer and what we're looking for. That's a high standard. We really held it high this year. I think it's really important that they're coming into camp in great shape. And we're really working and competing and getting our guys to where they need to get to at the start of the season. That's very important.

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Blue Jackets' Bobrovsky: Team success comes first

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky certainly has a special place for the Vezina Trophy he won in 2013. However, it's helping the Blue Jackets reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season for the second time in franchise history that resonates with him.

"Most important is team success," Bobrovsky said. "Of course it's really good to win the Vezina, to have the honor of being the best goalie in the NHL. It's a great feeling. But what makes you feel really good is team success. And that is an all-around feeling; everyone feels good, feels proud about the team success."

Bobrovsky was a big reason for the Blue Jackets' success last season. In 58 games he went 32-20-5 with a 2.38 goals-against average, a save percentage of .923 and five shutouts. The Blue Jackets finished as the first wild-card team in the Eastern Conference and drew the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.

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Flyers relying on better start, defense stepping up

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Craig Berube spent 17 seasons in the NHL as a player and seven seasons as an assistant coach. But when he got a promotion to coach of the Philadelphia Flyers three games into the 2013-14 season, he saw things in an entirely new way.

"It wasn't like I got surprised by anything, but from game in and game out it's the competitiveness of the League and how tight the League really is," Berube said. "There's just no room for error. You're playing all these teams on different nights here and there, how good these teams are and how well you have to play and how consistent you have to be to be a really good team."

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Giroux growing into captain's role with Flyers

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Claude Giroux's play was a microcosm of the Philadelphia Flyers' 2013-14 season.

After 15 games, Giroux had no goals, seven assists and a minus-11 rating; the team was 4-10-1, last in the Metropolitan Division and 15th in the Eastern Conference.

From that point on, however, Giroux had 28 goals and 79 points in 67 games and was a Hart Trophy nominee, while the Flyers went 38-20-9 to finish third in the division.

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Blue Jackets' identity leads to off-ice success

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't just qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and win their first two postseason games in franchise history against the favored Pittsburgh Penguins last season. They won over the city of Columbus by cultivating a blue-collar identity.

With the 2015 NHL All-Star Game coming to Columbus on Jan. 25, and the Blue Jackets looking to make the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time, the team has been embraced by the community in a way not seen since the inaugural season of 2000-01.

"They're a hard team to play against. They beat us more than we beat them last year," forward Scott Hartnell said of the Blue Jackets after being traded to Columbus by the Philadelphia Flyers on June 23. "It was always a tough game. You were always getting checked, you were always getting hit."

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Preseason roundup: Maple Leafs shut out Flyers

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 1:01 AM / News

NHL.com

Jonathan Bernier stopped all 12 shots he faced, and Antoine Bibeau made 15 saves to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs past the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.

James van Riemsdyk, Brandon Kozun, Cody Franson and William Nylander scored for the Maple Leafs. Greg McKegg had two assists.

Steve Mason made 28 saves for Philadelphia.

To read more from the Maple Leafs website, CLICK HERE.

Canadiens 3, Bruins 2: | WATCH HIGHLIGHTS | Drayson Bowman broke a tie with 48 seconds left in the third period, and the Montreal Canadiens rallied from a two-goal deficit against the Boston Bruins at Bell Centre.

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Sharks' Couture leaves game, says he's 'OK'

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 12:12 AM / News

San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture left late in the second period of a 4-2 loss against the Vancouver Canucks in a preseason game Tuesday.

Couture was hit on the shoulder with four minutes left in the second period and did not return for the third. Couture said he was "OK" as he left Rogers Arena after the game, and Sharks coach Todd McLellan didn't seem too concerned.

"He got banged up a little bit and this time of the year we are not going to fool around with anything like that so we kept him out and we'll see how it is in the morning, but we don't think it's anything serious," McLellan said.

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Jordan Staal breaks leg in Hurricanes preseason game

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 11:21 PM / News

NHL.com

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal broke a bone in his right leg in a preseason game at the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Staal, who was hit by Buffalo defenseman Josh Gorges in the third period, sustained the injury in his lower leg, general manager Ron Francis said in a statement released Tuesday night.

Staal will return to Raleigh, N.C., with the team Wednesday and be evaluated Thursday. A recovery timetable was not revealed.

"I'm concerned for sure. He's a big piece of what we're going to do moving forward," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said before the diagnosis, according to The Associated Press.

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Red Wings' Datsyuk to have MRI on shoulder

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 8:35 PM / News

NHL.com

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk left the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night with a shoulder injury and was scheduled to have an MRI either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Datsyuk, who took a hit from Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi, doesn't believe the injury is serious. The Red Wings open the regular season on Oct. 9 against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena.

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18