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Features

Sweden tops Denmark in WJC behind de la Rose

Saturday, 12.27.2014 / 3:37 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

NHL.com

Captain Jacob de la Rose had one goal and two assists Saturday to lead Sweden to a 5-1 win against Denmark at Air Canada Centre in a Group B preliminary-round game of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

De la Rose (Montreal Canadiens) scored 13 seconds into the second period to give Sweden (2-0-0-0) a commanding 4-0 lead. With the win, Sweden sits atop Group B with six points.

Denmark (0-0-1-1) remains in third place in Group B with one point.

William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs) scored his second goal of the tournament with 33 seconds left in the first to cap a three-goal period for Sweden.

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Big events, venues made up 2014 hockey

Saturday, 12.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Outdoor games and the Olympic Games made 2014 the year of the big event in the NHL.

Before the hockey world turns its full attention toward Washington, D.C. for the next big event, the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day, a trip down memory lane of the year that is soon to be takes us to The Big House, Chavez Ravine, the Bronx, a resort city on the coast of the Black Sea, Vancity, and a venerable football stadium along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Beyond the big events, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs featured historic comebacks, emotional lifts, and overtime heroics. A modernized approach to evaluation became popular. Legends were lost, and others retired or moved on. Coaches and general managers were hired and fired.

Here is an overview of what 2014 was to the NHL:

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Canada dominates Slovakia in WJC opener

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 10:34 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – A year earlier, Slovakia put a serious scare into Canada in the preliminary round of the same tournament, leading by two goals late in the second period before Canada stormed back to win.

Canada returned the favor Friday, making Slovakia look like the scared team in a dominant 8-0 victory to open the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on home soil in emphatic fashion.

Robby Fabbri (St. Louis Blues) had two goals and two assists to lead a Canadian attack that got at least a point from 11 different players, none of whom were named Connor McDavid.

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Russia, Sweden open WJC with wins

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 10:00 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

NHL.com Staff

Russia erased an early two-goal deficit and scored on each of its shootout attempts to defeat Denmark 3-2 on Friday in the opening game of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

In the second game in Group B, Sweden got two goals from Adrian Kempe and defeated the Czech Republic 5-2. Sweden (1-0-0) leads the group with three points, Russia (1-0-0) has two, Denmark (0-0-1) has one and the Czech Republic (0-1-0) none.

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U.S. tops Finland in shootout to win WJC opener

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 7:15 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Jack Eichel knew the spotlight would be glaring.

As a top-two prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, one wearing the captain's "C" on his United States jersey at the IIHF 2015 World Junior Championships, the eyes of the world are going to be picking apart everything Eichel does during this high-profile tournament.

On opening day, Eichel not only gave them no reason to look away, he justified all the attention with a masterful performance to help lead the U.S. to a tournament-opening 2-1 shootout win against defending champion Finland on Friday.

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Panthers prospect Grimaldi fine-tuning game in AHL

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 12:07 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

Before Rocco Grimaldi arrived under his tutelage, San Antonio Rampage coach Tom Rowe already knew a fair amount about what exactly the 5-foot-6 wing could do on the ice.

"I watched him on video quite a bit, and I'd watch him on TV, which sometimes isn't the best way to do it, but it gives you a good idea," Rowe said. "I loved the fact that he's quick, and he moved the puck well and could beat guys one-on-one. Those were the things that stood out to me."

Finding Grimaldi wasn't hard. A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program and the University of North Dakota, the California-born 21-year-old had already won three gold medals in international play before the Florida Panthers selected him No. 33 at the 2011 NHL Draft. He added a fourth gold medal with the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, scoring twice in a 3-1 win against Sweden in the final game.

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Resilient Crawford focused ahead of Winter Classic

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It's difficult to find a word that adequately describes the season Corey Crawford is having for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Impressive, steady and dazzling could all work for the majority of his outings. In 20 games, Chicago's No.1 goalie is 12-6-2 with a 2.00 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage, and one shutout. He's playing noticeably better under the guidance of first-year Blackhawks goaltending coach Jimmy Waite, and is a big reason Chicago is leading the NHL in penalty-killing.

"Commend him on getting off to a great start," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Crawford earlier this season. "His focus has been excellent every day on the ice, the practice days as well, but he really seems like he’s concentrating on the next shots, the next situations. His preparation has been excellent."

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Super 16: Plenty to play for at the holiday break

Friday, 12.26.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

If recent history is correct, the number of teams that can win the Stanley Cup is quite large. Expand "recent history" to the past 15 years, and it looks more like the pool of potential Cup winners is a little smaller.

Three times in the past five years, the eventual NHL champion was far from the top of the League standings at the holiday break. In 2012, the Los Angeles Kings had just changed coaches when everyone scattered for a few days in late December. In 2009, the Pittsburgh Penguins were still two months from hiring Dan Bylsma to replace Michel Therrien.
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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Schneider needs time

Thursday, 12.25.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top-30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

Of the items on the checklist for New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer to begin the regular season was to make sure goaltender Cory Schneider knew he was the team's starting goalie.

He's accomplished that and more. Schneider started the Devils' first 20 games of the season, a stretch that broke Martin Brodeur's New Jersey record for most consecutive starts.
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Finland faces challenge for World Juniors repeat

Thursday, 12.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Finland National Junior Team will look to become the first in seven years to win back-to-back gold medals when the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship takes center stage this week in Montreal and Toronto.

Canada was the most recent repeat champion, winning five straight golds between 2005 and 2009. They'll be one of nine other teams looking to deny the Finns a second straight gold medal at the 11-day event, which runs Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, 2015. 

The Group A field, which consists of Finland, Canada, the United States, Slovakia and Germany, will play preliminary-round games at Bell Centre in Montreal.

The schedule-makers provided quite an offering for fans on opening day with the defending champion Finns playing against the United States at 3 p.m. ET (NHLN-US, NHL.com).

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic