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Rivalry Night Faceoff: Krejci vs. Plekanec

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 8:32 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

To help celebrate NBC Rivalry Night, NHL.com will look at a rivalry within the rivalry of the featured game on Wednesday nights. For this week, we are trying to determine which Czech Republic countryman is the better center, David Krejci of the Boston Bruins or Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens.

In each of the past four seasons, the top-scoring Czech centers in the NHL have been David Krejci of the Boston Bruins and Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens.

Martin Hanzal of the Phoenix Coyotes is ahead of Plekanec for a top-two spot among Czech centers in 2013-14, but Plekanec and Krejci clearly have been the country's top two centers for nearly a decade. Krejci leads all Czech centers in points since he joined the Bruins for his first (mostly) full season in 2007-08, with Plekanec not far behind and Hanzal in third, significantly off the pace.

Krejci and Plekanec also have worked together as the Czech Republic's top two centers in four major international competitions, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, 2014 Sochi Olympics and IIHF World Championships in 2008 and 2012. They helped the Czechs win a bronze medal in 2012.

Plekanec helped his country win bronze in 2011 at the World Championship while Krejci was helping the Bruins return the Stanley Cup to Boston for the first time in 39 years.

Which of these talented Czech centers deserves the title of best countryman at his position?

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Day-by-day approach pays off for Bruins

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 8:07 PM / NHL Insider

MONTREAL -- The Boston Bruins bring a five-game winning streak into this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN-Habs).

The Bruins are cruising to the Atlantic Division title and battling the Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. But neither the Bruins nor coach Claude Julien appear very excited about their success.

That even-keeled approach has been a Bruins trademark since Julien took over for the 2007-08 season. It's a major reason they won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and have been among the NHL elite during the past five seasons. The Bruins' core players have been through plenty of highs and lows, and they know they're still a month away from having to be in playoff mode.

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Peverley incident validates NHL's player safety work

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 7:08 PM / News

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The incident Monday night involving Dallas Stars center Rich Peverley was not easy to hear about for NHL general managers, who were gathered together for a dinner while at the annual March GMs' meeting. But as difficult as it was to process, the incident validated the work the League has done in the past decade or so to address player safety.

Several attendees left the dinner and were updated on the proceedings in Dallas on a step-by-step basis, according to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

"I think we're much more prepared now than ever to handle serious incidents like that," Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray said after the general managers concluded their meeting Tuesday. "I think last night the little bit I saw on replay was that it was very quick to get him in position for the doctor to treat him."


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GMs discuss adjustments to faceoff procedures

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 5:58 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Though the NHL's general managers are against proposing any major rule changes at present, they agree that some minor tweaks to the overtime format and faceoff procedures could make for a better on-ice product as early as next season.

The general managers came out of the Tuesday session at the Boca Beach Club with the consensus to make three formal recommendations to the Competition Committee, which next meets in June.

The managers will recommend that the hash marks on the faceoff circle be separated by two additional feet, from three feet to five feet. They would also like to change the penalty for a faceoff violation. Instead of removing a player that commits a faceoff foul from the draw, the player will be forced to move 12-18 inches back. Finally, the GMs are expected to propose that teams should switch ends for overtime, creating the "long-change" factor.

Any rule changes have to be approved by the GMs, the Competition Committee and the NHL's Board of Governors before they can be implemented.

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Islanders sign Czuczman to entry-level contract

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 4:13 PM / News

NHL.com

The New York Islanders on Tuesday signed defenseman Kevin Czuczman to a two-year, entry-level contract. He will report directly to the Islanders.

Czuczman, 23, had career highs in goals (10) and points (21) in 36 games as a junior at Lake Superior State University, and his 10 goals led Western Collegiate Hockey Association defensemen.

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Stars teammates relieved for Peverley, ready for Blues

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 3:10 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin expressed the sentiment shared by his teammates and organization in light of the incident Monday night involving forward Rich Peverley.

"Thank God he's OK," Seguin said of Peverley after a morning skate Tuesday before the Stars play the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. "Hockey's just a game at that point. It really puts things in perspective."

Peverley, who collapsed Monday night on the bench during the first period of the Stars' home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, is resting comfortably, general manager Jim Nill said in a statement released by the team.

The NHL postponed the game Monday at 6:23 of the first period. The Stars are working with the NHL to determine scheduling arrangements for the game, according to a statement on the team's website.

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Canadiens' Price won't return against Bruins

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 3:04 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Goaltender Carey Price will not be in the Montreal Canadiens net when they face the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, coach Michel Therrien announced Tuesday.

It will be the eighth straight game Price has missed since returning from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where he helped Canada win a second straight gold medal and was named the tournament's top goaltender by the International Ice Hockey Federation directorate.

Price aggravated a lower-body injury in his second practice with Canada in Sochi and played the entire tournament with the injury. The Canadiens want him to get back to 100 percent health in the hopes he could lead them on a long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Price said last Tuesday that if it were the playoffs right now he would be able to play, but the game Wednesday will be the fourth he's missed since making those comments.

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Stars GM Nill issues statement on Peverley

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 12:57 PM / News

NHL.com

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill issued the following statement Tuesday on the condition of forward Rich Peverley, who collapsed on the bench during a game Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets:

"Rich Peverley is resting comfortably and being monitored at UT Southwestern St. Paul. He is currently undergoing testing to discover what triggered the cardiac event last night.

"The focus of all the testing and monitoring is being dedicated to finding the cause of the event and a long-term solution to rectify the problem.

"We do not have any more specifics at the moment.

"Rich has been communicating with his teammates and friends. He is extremely grateful for all of the prayers and support that he's received from fans and friends alike."

The Stars will hold a press conference Wednesday, along with the UT Southwestern doctors, to give an update on the situation.

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The Front Line: Hemsky, Moulson thrive after trades

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

In all likeliness, your league's trade deadline has passed (March 6 was the standard league trade deadline date). Hopefully you've made some moves to help your team toward winning a championship, or if you weren't in contention for the title, you made some trades to build for the future.

The NHL saw plenty of trades that will impact your league. From the Montreal Canadiens' acquisition of Thomas Vanek to the subtle Minnesota Wild trade for Matt Moulson, here's a look at how six of the top forwards have performed since joining their new team and what to expect for the remainder of the fantasy season (in order of where they fall in my updated rankings).

Martin St. Louis, New York Rangers

Games with new team: 3 (0 G, 1, minus-1, 0 PIMs, 1 PPP, 9 SOG)

St. Louis has been skating on a line with former Tampa Bay Lightning teammate and good friend Brad Richards and speedy forward Carl Hagelin. The one noticeable difference is his playing time. With the Rangers having a bit more depth than the Lightning, St. Louis has eclipsed the 20 minute mark just once in three games -- on the season St. Louis' has averaged 21:33 of ice time per game.

Expectation: He'll remain a top-15 forward and should continue to put up point-per-game numbers while getting comfortable in New York.

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Daily Primer March 11: Critical clash in Columbus

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Detroit Red Wings are vying for an invitation to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a 23rd consecutive year. A win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday would certainly help their chances.

Tied at 71 points apiece in the Eastern Conference standings, the Red Wings and Blue Jackets will clash at Nationwide Arena (7 p.m. ET, FS-D+, FS-O). Columbus is technically ahead with four more victories than Detroit.

"Biggest game, really, if I think about it right now after losing that one to the Rangers [on Sunday]," Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith told the team website. "We need to take this one, especially if there's a four-point swing."

Here's a closer look at the action Tuesday:


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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie