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Behind the Numbers: SAT Close solid predictor

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 1:01 PM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - Correspondent

Rob Vollman is a pioneer in the field of hockey analytics and the co-author of Hockey Abstract. His innovations include Player Usage Charts on Home Plate Save Percentage. He will contribute a regular column to throughout this season.

Seven teams that missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2014 fought their way into them last season, the greatest turnover since 2005.

Typically, an average of five teams work their way into the field of 16 that weren't there the year prior. In 2011, three teams went from out to in.

So, which teams are most likely to get in this season after missing last season?

Unmasked: Third-goalie option a must in NHL today

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 11:39 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

It's popular to rank the 30 goaltending tandems heading into a new NHL season. But the increasing reality is almost all teams need more than two capable goaltenders to make it through a season.

Last season 92 goalies appeared in at least one NHL game, down slightly from 97 in 2013-14, which was the highest total in six seasons. Five teams made it through last season without needing their third-stringer to play at least one game: the Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets. Among the 25 teams that needed to go beyond their opening-day tandem, the goalies further down the depth chart averaged almost nine games played.

NHL rings in start of season at N.Y. Stock Exchange

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 11:32 AM / News

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday to celebrate the start of the 2015-16 NHL regular season.

Bettman was joined by New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias, New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey and pro scout Eric Cairns, and New York Rangers legend Rod Gilbert.

Around the League notebook for Wednesday, Oct. 7

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 9:06 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


* The road team won the four games contested Wednesday. Montreal, Vancouver and San Jose also opened the 2014-15 season with road wins in Toronto, Calgary and Los Angeles, respectively.

* Newly appointed captains Max Pacioretty (Montreal; 2-0—2) and Joe Pavelski (San Jose; 1-2—3) each recorded multiple points to guide his team to victory.

* The Rangers spoiled the Blackhawks’ banner-raising ceremony, marking the eighth time in the last 10 seasons that the defending Stanley Cup champion lost its first game of the season (Stanley Cup champions: 2-6-2).

Three talented rookies forced way on to Blues roster

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- There was a sense during the summer that the St. Louis Blues would give forward Robby Fabbri a chance to make the opening-night roster out of training camp.

Fabbri, the Blues' first-round pick (No. 21) in the 2014 NHL Draft, left a lasting impression at camp last year before a shoulder injury cut his time short.

However, the rise of defensemen Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko, two 22-year-olds, was something the Blues didn't necessarily anticipate but are happy to address.

'Real man' Benn ready to lead Stars to playoffs

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Dallas Stars president Jim Lites and general manager Jim Nill couldn't believe what they were watching during the summer, because two years ago something as small as forward Jamie Benn leading a group of men through offseason workouts seemed so unlikely, so out of character.

"He's like the pied piper now," Lites said. "You'd never think a veteran like Ales Hemsky is going to be following anybody around, but there he is, Jamie Benn leading him around like a little kid. There are probably a dozen guys who have that capability in the League."

Benn is best known for winning the Art Ross Trophy last season with 87 points, including 10 in his final three games, to edge New York Islanders captain John Tavares by one point. Lites, Nill and others know Benn differently; for who he is and what he means to the Stars.

It's in large part because of Benn's maturation into a leader that Nill, Lites and coach Lindy Ruff believe the Stars are poised to take the next step and become a legitimate contender in the Western Conference this season.

New, old important as Islanders open in Brooklyn

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Tradition has a new home.

That's the slogan Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark and his staff are using in regard to where the New York Islanders will play their home games after 43 years at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, starting with the season-opener Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, CSN-CH, MSG+).

A capacity crowd is expected for the Islanders' first-regular season game at Barclays Center, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2012. Yormark admitted he's trying to expand the fan base in Brooklyn, but he's more than pleased that 30 percent of ticket buyers reside in Nassau County or Suffolk County on Long Island. In their final season at the Coliseum, the Islanders won 47 games and had 101 points. They're primed to contend again in the Metropolitan Division this season.

Blackhawks know patience is necessary evil

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 12:57 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews understands the concept of having patience, how it can be a virtue, and why it's a particularly necessary asset for him and the Chicago Blackhawks to have at the start of this season.

That doesn't mean Toews, Chicago's captain, has to like the need for patience or wants any part of it. Haste is what Toews feels. A sense of urgency is the asset he wants his team to have. Slowly working into a season is not for him; it's not his style.

"Especially for myself, sometimes you want to go, you want things to work right away, and when they don't you can get frustrated," Toews said. "As a team I think we know how to handle that now."

Toews is hoping what he saw Wednesday is a sign of that urgency growing on the Blackhawks quickly.

Chicago's season started at United Center with a banner-raising ceremony signifying their Stanley Cup championship from last season. The night ended with the Blackhawks on the wrong end of the score in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers because of a slow start that led to a preventable goals in a poor first period and a deficit they couldn't overcome despite a strong second and third periods.

Blackhawks raise 2015 Cup championship banner

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 12:54 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- The countdown clock on the scoreboard above center ice, set at 26 minutes, started going down when the video board turned on, showing pictures of the Chicago Blackhawks' latest Stanley Cup championship run.

More videos played, displaying images of the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy and the celebration from June 15, the night the Blackhawks won the Cup on their home ice.

The show was on, banner-raising night at United Center, the third of its kind since 2010, and it was like a dance party came to the "Madhouse on Madison." The lights went off and arena staffers tossed giant, glowing balloons into the crowd. The wristlets that were on every seat started lighting up in unison.

Galchenyuk gives Canadiens boost in opener

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 12:40 AM / NHL Insider

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Montreal Canadiens received the kind of play they have been accustomed to from Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban and Carey Price in their season opener Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But to see Alex Galchenyuk score his first regular-season game-winning goal since Dec. 16, 2014 in his first game as Montreal's second-line center was a welcome sight for the Canadiens in their 3-1 win against the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

In his first three NHL seasons, Galchenyuk primarily has played the wing. Though last season was his most productive in the NHL, with 20 goals, the Montreal coaching staff wanted to see the 21-year-old become more involved and shoot more.

"There is no doubt we would like to see him taking the option of shooting the puck," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said.

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Quote of the Day

He plays the way that we want to play and he's a leader on the ice. It's those components we feel were the dynamic of what we wanted in our captain.

— Devils coach John Hynes on defenseman Andy Greene, who was named captain Thursday
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