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2010 NHL Face-Off

Hawks and Penguins featured on Versus tonight

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 5:04 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

The two most recent Stanley Cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks, will be featured Thursday night as Versus completes its coverage of the opening day of the 2010-11 NHL regular season by televising a pair of games.

The Penguins, who won the Cup in 2009, will be the hosts of the first half of the evening doubleheader when they open the new Consol Energy Center against the Philadelphia Flyers at 7 p.m. ET. The Penguins dominated the regular-season series between the teams last season, winning five of the six games. But the Flyers, not the Penguins, were the Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup Final -- they beat Montreal in the Eastern Finals after the Canadiens had knocked off Pittsburgh in the conference semifinals.

Jackets doing best to learn Arniel's systems

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 3:52 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Risto Pakarinen - Correspondent

STOCKHOLM -- On the eve of a new season, most teams are bursting with optimism and faith in their new players, new coaches and new systems. The Columbus Blue Jackets are no exception. The players, as well as new coach Scott Arniel, keep referring to the benefits of their new system -- a system they believe will make them a playoff team again.

"Our style of play is up-tempo, up on our toes, tag team," said Arniel. "Working on pressure. My big phrase is 'time and space.' Take time and space away from good players, and don't let them do what they want. We've done a good job -- we've been very aggressive and that's a good sign."

They'll get to use those new systems when they open the season Friday against the San Jose Sharks (3 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN) as part of the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere series here at the Ericsson Globe Arena.

Pronger unlikely to skate in opener

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 3:47 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- It appears as though the Philadelphia Flyers will play their season opener against Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS) without defenseman Chris Pronger.
Pronger was one of the last players off the ice following the team's afternoon skate at Consol Energy Center, a signal that his surgically repaired right knee remains a bit bothersome.

"I guess we'll see how it feels tonight, but I think it needs to get stronger to play in an NHL-caliber game," Pronger told the media after his skate. "I've only had two good practices and I'll need a little more of that. Obviously, I'll gauge how it feels. Some days I'll rest and do strength training and other days we're going to practice and try to get out there as much as I can."

Top pick Hall ready to make NHL debut

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 3:40 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Robin Brownlee - Correspondent

"We have to win in our equipment room and our medical room and the dressing room and the coaches room. That's the idea behind it, to bring that winning approach to your day."
-- Oilers coach Tom Renney on his slogan 'Win From Within'

EDMONTON -- Taylor Hall has handled all the hype pretty well since the Edmonton Oilers drafted him with the No. 1 pick in June, and he showed more of the same maturity as he was mobbed by reporters at Rexall Place before his NHL debut against the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

After answering the obligatory questions about the pressure of playing his first game, of fulfilling a dream to make it to the NHL and the like, the 18-year-old rookie summed up his feelings after the scrum broke up.

"It is very special," he said. "In saying that, I still have to go out there and perform. That's the biggest thing. If I go out there and (don't play well), it's not going to be very good."

Avalanche's first Cup celebrates 15 years of memories

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 3:23 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

DENVER -- Many of them are a little grayer and carrying a bit more weight, but it is just like old times for members of the Colorado Avalanche's 1996 Stanley Cup championship team.

With the exception of Sandis Ozolinsh and Chris Simon, who are playing in Russia, and Craig Wolanin and Scott Young (both family reasons), every coach and player who brought the first major professional sports championship to the state of Colorado are back in Denver to take part in the Avalanche's 15-year reunion.

They met for a team dinner Wednesday at the Denver Chop House and Brewery -- dining along with this season's team -- after entering the restaurant on a red carpet surrounded by eager picture-taking and autograph-seeking fans.

Russian rookie Bobrovsky gets nod in Flyers' net

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 2:42 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

"It's not just based on one day or two. From the time he's been here, he's been sharp every game, every situation, every practice, every scrimmage. He's looked really good and I think Boosh (Boucher) came in and played well. It's nice to have two goaltenders and you'll see both of them early in the season. But we had to have a starting point somewhere and I really liked (Bobrovsky's) body of work the last month … he's been sharp every day."
-- Flyers coach Peter Laviolette

PITTSBURGH -- Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has no intention of easing rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky into mix.
Bobrovsky, the talk of Flyers training camp due to his fantastic play and poise between the pipes, will get the nod in Philadelphia's season opener Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS) at a sold-out Consol Energy Center. Veteran Brian Boucher, who admitted being a tad shocked by the decision, will serve as Bobrovsky's backup.
"I'm a bit shocked, surprised," Boucher said. "I know Sergei had a great camp and it came down to a coach's decision and that's the way it goes. We'll move forward and take it day-by-day. As far as I'm concerned, I felt good about my training camp. I don't think this is a reflection on that. I just feel Sergei also had a great camp and (Laviolette) went with his gut."

Price is a go as Canadiens open against Leafs

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 2:34 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

"He's getting his strength back, so I felt he was ready to go."
-- Jacques Martin on playing Carey Price

TORONTO -- After being held out of practice a day earlier because of a virus, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price will be in net when his team faces the Toronto Maple Leafs to begin the 2010-11 NHL season Thursday night.

Price did not address the media after the morning skate, but he looked sharp on the ice.

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said the decision on whether or not Price could go ultimately fell on his shoulders. After speaking with his No. 1 goalie, Martin decided Price was fit enough to play.

Fans had major role in Consol Energy amenities

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 2:10 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- When the Civic Arena opened its doors in the fall of 1961, the Pittsburgh Penguins weren't even a blip on the radar.

Now, almost 50 years later, the Penguins are the most popular tenant occupying the brand-new, state-of-the-art facility right across the street -- the $321 million Consol Energy Center.
And while the building officially opened its doors Aug. 18 with the help of Paul McCartney, Thursday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS) will mark the beginning of an even stronger bond between this sports-crazed city and their 44-year-old NHL franchise.

Seguin remains humble as Bruins note progress

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 12:53 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

PRAGUE -- Despite his unquestioned hockey pedigree and above-average on-ice performance throughout training camp, Boston rookie forward Tyler Seguin refuses to take anything for granted.

Yes, he was the No. 2 pick this past June. Yes, he was dominant last year in the Ontario Hockey League. And yes, he has been everything the Bruins could hope for this preseason, playing both wing and center in a productive and effective manner.

So it shouldn't be surprising that Seguin has broken his first pro camp with the Bruins and is slated to play top-six minutes this weekend when the Bruins face the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere series here at 02 Arena.

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