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Features

Flames' Gaudreau ready to enjoy All-Star music scene

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville on Jan. 31 is less than a week away. In the lead-up to All-Star Weekend at Bridgestone Arena, NHL.com sat down with a host of this season's participants to talk about playing in the game. In this edition, Johnny Gaudreau discusses representing the Calgary Flames for the second time in the All-Star Game.

1. What does being an All-Star mean to you?

It's a special experience. Last year I got to participate in it, and being a younger guy and seeing some of the names that you get to participate with, it's pretty special and something you remember for the rest of your life.

2. What is your favorite memory from previous All-Star Games?

I watched a lot of All-Star Games. My favorite memory was probably being a part of it last year and having the chance to do the shootout with Jakub Voracek. It was a real funny and a pretty special memory.

Blackhawks look ahead after 12-game win streak ends

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 12:34 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- The longest winning streak in Chicago Blackhawks' history ended Thursday when they lost 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. But coach Joel Quenneville feels the defending Stanley Cup champions have put themselves in a strong position for the remainder of the season by running off 12 consecutive victories.

The Blackhawks were 13 points out of first place in the Western Conference after a 2-1 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 27. They began the streak two days later, and despite the loss to the Lightning are three points ahead of the Dallas Stars for the top spot in the Central Division and the Western Conference.

Quenneville feels the winning streak has the Blackhawks in a good position with 32 games remaining.

Price's delayed return damages Canadiens' Cup hopes

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 7:30 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

The window for the Montreal Canadiens to end the longest Stanley Cup drought in franchise history is closing more and more by the day, yet the team is currently in a holding pattern.

General manager Marc Bergevin announced Thursday that goaltender Carey Price would not be ready to return for at least another 3-4 weeks from a lower-body injury that has kept him out since Nov. 25. The news essentially guaranteed that Bergevin will not be pushing all his chips to the middle of the table to go for the Stanley Cup this season.

Price's return would come far too close to the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 29 for Bergevin to know if his most important player, one he called the best player in the world, will be on top of his game and, more important, durable enough to withstand the rigors of an extended run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

NHL announces celebrity coaches for 2016 ASG

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – NHL fans and country music stars Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Charles Kelley and Chris Young will serve as celebrity coaches for the 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Sunday, Jan. 31, the National Hockey League announced today. The 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game will broadcast live at 5 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. CT on NBCSN, CBC and TVA Sports.

Bentley, Gill, Kelley and Young will join NHL head coaches Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers, Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars, Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings and Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals behind the bench.

Fantasy goalies: Crawford's Vezina-quality season

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

The Chicago Blackhawks have been in the headlines this season because of how well they have played. While teammate Patrick Kane has garnered attention for his MVP season thus far, goaltender Corey Crawford has taken a backseat.

Crawford (99 percent owned in Yahoo Leagues) has won nine games in a row and allowed more than two goals twice. Chicago has been scoring during its 12 game winning streak, with 47 goals, but has allowed 22.

He leads all goalies in saves (1,101) and shutouts (six), and is second in shots-against (1,183). Among goalies to play at least 20 games he's ninth in goals-against average (2.14) and second in save percentage (.934). He's 27-10-2, three wins behind Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals for first.

Gostisbehere has made difference in Flyers offense

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was a bit of an unknown to general manager Ron Hextall when they recalled the 22-year-old from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Nov. 14.

But 26 games later, the rookie has invigorated the Flyers offense and moved them into the Stanley Cup Playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference going into their game Thursday at the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET; CSN-PH, ROOT).

"It's a fun ride right now and I don't have any plans of getting off it," Gostisbehere said.

Gostisbehere leads rookie defensemen with eight goals; his 17 points are second to the 19 of the St. Louis Blues' Colton Parayko, who has played 21 more games.

"[Gostisbehere] comes in, there's no question he added high skill level, mobility, speed, playmaking from the back end," Hextall said. "He's added an element, for sure."

Behind the Numbers: Lundqvist among best of era

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 AM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - NHL.com Correspondent

If Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers were to retire today, he would rank as one of the five most accomplished goalies of the past four decades.

With continued success over this and the five remaining seasons on his contract, Lundqvist could ultimately compete with Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur as the best goalie of the modern era.

There's no question Lundqvist is one of the most valuable goalies in the NHL. The 33-year-old has been named the first star of the game eight times this season, tied for second behind forward Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals (10), and has been named one of the game's three stars 18 times, tied for second behind forward Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (20), according to Sporting Charts.

Unmasked: Sabres' Johnson comfortable with coach

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

When Chad Johnson found out the Buffalo Sabres hired Andrew Allen as their goaltending coach last summer, he was prepared to put his foot down when it came to altering his playing style and positional preferences.

Johnson, 29, was open to suggested technical tweaks that might make him better. Like a lot of professional goaltenders, he spends the summer working with a private coach to stay on top of changes in a position that is constantly evolving. But after playing for several coaches with five NHL organizations during his first six seasons, Johnson also learned it is important to be able to manage and stand up for his own game.

"Over the years, I have learned this is my job and I need to stand up and say, 'I know you're the goalie coach but …,'" Johnson said, pausing. "I just wish I had in the past said, 'I am not doing this,' maybe taken a little more responsibility on my own."

Johnson didn't need to fight for his preferred playing style. He knew after one phone call from Allen, who studied video of all of the Sabres goalies before talking individually to each of them, that any changes would be made together.

"I knew right off the bat he was open to different styles," Johnson said.

Wisconsin's Kunin hopes to become complete player

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL Draft

Kristen Nelson - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday, NHL.com will look ahead to the 2016 NHL Draft with an in-depth profile on one of its top prospects.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Luke Kunin had two goals, one assist and three blocked shots during a weekend series at Penn State. One of the goals by the University of Wisconsin freshman provided a glimpse into the talent the 18-year-old forward possesses. One of the blocked shots showed what kind of player he is.

"He came back to the bench (after the blocked shot) and said 'I deserve that because I lost the faceoff so clean,'" Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said about Kunin. "That's the kind of lad he is. That's taking responsibility."

It was an impressive moment in what was a strong weekend for Kunin. He showed patience, skill and toughness throughout the back-to-back road games, often in the same sequence.

Predators' Weber credits teammates for All-Star spot

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville on Jan. 31 is less than two weeks away. In the lead-up to All-Star Weekend at Bridgestone Arena, NHL.com sat down with a host of this season's participants to talk about playing in the game. In this edition, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators discusses playing in his fifth All-Star Game.

1. What does being an All-Star mean to you personally?

Obviously it's a huge honor. But I think mostly it's a reflection of your teammates and how well your team is doing. It's a credit to them. Without them we wouldn't be able to attend it or be in this situation.

2. What is your favorite memory from previous All-Star games?

Probably the first one that I got to go to, in 2009. Just to be involved with those players. Obviously as a kid growing up you dream of it. But once you finally get to one it's almost surreal.

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