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2011 NHL Face-Off

Partners to provide entertainment and prizes at 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off outdoor festival

Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 3:46 PM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

NEW YORK -- On October 6, NHL® corporate partners including Molson Canadian, Scotiabank, XM, Canadian Tire, Visa, Bridgestone, EA Sports and Reebok will help lead The Forks' conversion into hockey central for the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™, offering fans family-friendly and free interactive games, giveaways, live game broadcasts on giant video boards, prizes and other unique experiences, including free trips to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.

"We're excited to drop the puck of our new season in the city that signifies new and exciting things to come for the NHL with the return to the great city of Winnipeg," said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of Marketing at the NHL. "It's great to be able to provide our partners with a launchpad event to welcome back hockey as they build out consumer promotions and hockey-themed marketing campaigns for the 2011-12 NHL season."

From 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. CT, the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™ at The Forks will offer the ultimate hockey experience for fans in Winnipeg, including appearances by Jets' team captain Andrew Ladd and teammates Zach Bogosian, Tanner Glass, Ron Hainsey, Jim Slater, and Mark Stuart. There also will be performances from international rock legends Bachman & Turner, platinum-selling rockers Three Days Grace and Winnipeg-born rock band Inward Eye.

From injury to glory, quite a year for Thomas

Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 3:02 PM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

What a difference a year makes for Tim Thomas.

Twelve months ago, the Boston Bruins goaltender was recovering from major hip surgery, attempting to prove to the team that he still was capable of being the club's No. 1 goaltender. Despite being one of the highest-paid goaltenders in the NHL, Thomas watched the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs from the bench.

Fast-forward to this September, when Thomas is the League's reigning Vezina Trophy winner after going 35-11-9 with a 2.00 goals-against average, .938 save percentage and nine shutouts. He is coming off one of the greatest individual postseason performances in NHL history, one that saw him win 16 of 25 games while posting a 1.98 GAA and .940 save percentage. Those numbers ultimately led to the Conn Smythe Trophy and helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972.

Catching you up on new faces in new places

Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 2:49 PM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Perhaps you spent the hockey offseason backpacking through the rolling hills of Ireland, your cell phone turned off, ignoring the outside world in an effort to find inner peace. Eight months of the NHL season can take a toll on a person, and sometimes going off the grid is the best way to recharge your batteries.

If that's the case, let me be the first to say welcome back to the civilized world. There have been a lot of changes in the NHL (Have you heard about the job Brendan Shanahan's been doing with player safety?) and I'm here to help you catch up with the big names who found new homes while you were trekking through Europe.

Bruins ready to tackle challenge of repeating

Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 2:38 PM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Although he enjoys the type of relationship with his former college teammate Martin St. Louis that would allow such a topic to come up, Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas says that he didn't ask the Tampa Bay forward this summer about his experiences trying to defend the Stanley Cup after the Lightning's title of 2004.

However, Thomas remembers what St. Louis told him the summer after the Lightning failed to repeat in that post-lockout season of 2005-06 and were ousted in the first round of the playoffs.

"He was talking about working out and he was working out really hard," Thomas said this week as the Bruins prepared to open the season as defending champs for the first time in 39 years. "He said, 'I just learned that you've got to have that hunger, that you've got to keep that and keep trying to improve.' So I took that from what I heard from him, and I understand it from the past."

EA picks Sid, Penguins to take 2012 Stanley Cup

Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 1:36 PM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

David Kalan - Staff Writer

As the dawn of the 2011-12 NHL season approaches, no storyline has garnered more attention than the health of former Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby. While concern from Pittsburgh fans certainly is understandable, if the folks at EA SPORTS have anything to say about it, the Steel City has little reason to worry.

EA released its full simulation of the 2011-12 season Wednesday, and not only does Crosby return to the ice to put up impressive numbers, he winds up lifting a pretty big piece of silver over his head this June -- and a Conn Smythe Trophy to go with it, as the Penguins are projected to win their fourth Stanley Cup, in a six-game Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The simulation was performed using the EA SPORTS' NHL 12 simulation engine.

In reality, Crosby's return to the ice remains uncertain, as concussion issues have sidelined him since Jan. 5. That fact wasn't lost on EA, as according to the full results of their simulation, Crosby only will play 65 games this season, a total that has him returning to the ice in early December, possibly for the Pens' matchup with the defending-champion Bruins on Dec. 5. However, once Crosby returns, he gets back in a big way. In those 65 games, Crosby racks up an astonishing 30 goals and 62 assists, a total that ends up leading Pittsburgh in points and putting him seventh in the League scoring race.

Blackhawks' Saad looks prepared for NHL debut

Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 12:39 PM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brandon Saad says "awesome" a lot and mentions "hard work" nearly as often.

At times, you can see how wide his eyes are just to be standing inside the Chicago Blackhawks locker room -- let alone wearing a Hawks uniform with his name on it, answering rapid-fire questions from reporters about his impressive preseason performance.

The 18-year old Saad, Chicago's second round pick (No. 43) in the 2011 Entry Draft, will continue wearing that uniform for at least a little longer. Chicago signed him to a three-year, entry-level contract Tuesday and he'll be on the ice when the Hawks open their season against the Stars on Friday in Dallas.

Nine 2011 draft picks could start season in NHL

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 6:30 PM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

As the NHL continues to see younger and younger players grab the spotlight, 2011 draftees are poised to seize their own time in the limelight.

With the start of the regular season just days away, eight of the 30 players selected in the first round this past June remain with their teams, as well as one second-round pick.

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad could be the surprise of the preseason. The 43rd pick of the draft, Saad likely will become just the second player picked outside of the first round to play in the NHL in his draft year since the 2003-04 season.

Motivated Malkin determined to rebound

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 4:26 PM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

Alan Robinson - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- If anything illustrates how well Evgeni Malkin's comeback is going, perhaps it's this: The Pittsburgh Penguins star is now on Twitter … in English.
Malkin is tweeting jokes, his insights into the Penguins -- even pictures, such as sideline shots from the South Florida-Pitt football game last week. He posts messages in his native Russian, but mostly they're in his newfound language -- one that Malkin was painfully shy to speak publicly until he had spent nearly three years in the NHL.
Here's one example from his account @malkin71_ -- on Sunday, a day off for the Penguins, he tweeted, "Off the whole day in bed ))))". Not long before, he sent good-luck wishes to the Steelers before their loss in Houston.

Bachman & Turner, Three Days Grace and Inward Eye to perform at 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Thursday, 09.29.2011 / 9:05 AM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

NEW YORK – International rock legends Bachman & Turner, platinum-selling rockers Three Days Grace and Winnipeg-born rock band Inward Eye will perform as part of the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™ season-opening hockey and entertainment festival at "The Forks" in Winnipeg, October 6, the National Hockey League announced today.  Portions of the musical performances will air on CBC, VERSUS and NHL Network, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.

CBC's pre-game show, Scotiabank Hockey Tonight, hosted by Ron MacLean and broadcast live nationally starting at 6:30 p.m. ET, will open with a performance from Bachman & Turner. Three Days Grace (@threedaysgrace) will perform a set at the top of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Montreal Canadiens game. Winnipeg's own Inward Eye (@inwardeyemusic) will open the musical portion of the day's festivities with a performance of songs from their 2009 self-titled debut. All three acts will be introduced by George Stroumboulopoulos (@strombo), host of CBC Television's flagship late-night program, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, who will serve as the event's emcee.

NHL to host Face-Off Festival in Winnipeg

Thursday, 09.22.2011 / 9:25 AM / 2011 NHL Face-Off

The National Hockey League will celebrate the opening of the 2011-12 NHL season and the League's return to Winnipeg with the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off festival in Winnipeg on Oct. 6.

The NHL will transform "The Forks," Winnipeg's iconic downtown gathering point, for the season-opening hockey and entertainment event. Fans will be treated to live musical performances, interactive hockey attractions, a live broadcast of the opening night game between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and guest appearances from George Stroumboulopoulos, CBC late-night host, among others. 
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