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Features

MacLean not consistent enough with young Senators

Monday, 12.08.2014 / 10:48 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Paul MacLean lost faith in the Ottawa Senators.

Not the organization, but the players wearing the uniform.

He admitted as much, even if he was joking, when he said that he was scared to death of who he was putting in his own lineup during a session with reporters in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

But even before MacLean uttered those ultimately fateful words, his lack of faith was clear.

No Senators player this season, with the exceptions of captain Erik Karlsson and top forwards Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur, had a clearly defined role. As was suggested by general manager Bryan Murray in explaining his decision to fire MacLean on Monday, this lack of consistency in usage was most striking among the Senators' young players.

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Canadiens' Therrien splits up Pacioretty, Desharnais

Monday, 12.08.2014 / 6:48 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens are going through their worst stretch of the season, with one win in their past seven games, and coach Michel Therrien is attempting something drastic to help get them out of it.

Since taking over as Canadiens coach prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, Therrien has relied on Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais to form two-thirds of his top forward line.

Over the past three seasons Pacioretty has been one of the best goal-scorers in the NHL, and there was a belief that his chemistry with Desharnais dating to their time together in the American Hockey League was one of the reasons why he has had so much success.

Under Therrien, Pacioretty has played 84 percent of his even-strength minutes with Desharnais, according to HockeyAnalysis.com.

That, however, is about to change, with Therrien intending to split up his go-to offensive pairing when the Canadiens host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

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Jets' Kane suspended two games for boarding

Monday, 12.08.2014 / 5:20 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane has been suspended for two games, without pay, for boarding Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner during NHL Game No. 402 in Winnipeg on Sunday, December 7, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 19:49 of the second period. Kane was assessed a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct.

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Senators' Cameron built strong resume in juniors

Monday, 12.08.2014 / 3:50 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Long before Dave Cameron was hired as assistant coach of the Ottawa Senators three years ago, he was already building a reputable coaching resume in the Canadian Hockey League and internationally.

Cameron was promoted to coach of the Senators on Monday when general manager Bryan Murray fired Paul MacLean. In making the change, Murray cited an "obligation for a lot of people to perform better."

He's hoping Cameron can ignite the spark his team needs.

"He'll be a good teacher," Murray said. "We don't have a lot of older players, so the [younger ones] will certainly like Dave."

Cameron, 56, spent four seasons as the coach and general manager of the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors in the Ontario Hockey League before being hired by the Senators on June 23, 2011. In four seasons with the Majors, Cameron went 165-91-16 in 272 regular-season games. In 2010-11, he led the Majors to the OHL championship series and the championship game of the Memorial Cup.

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Islanders forward Lee faces Player Safety hearing

Monday, 12.08.2014 / 2:59 PM / NHL Department of Player Safety

NHL.com

New York Islanders forward Anders Lee will have a hearing Monday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head on St. Louis Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson during a game Saturday at Nassau Coliseum.

Lee hit Gunnarsson along the boards at 7:15 of the second period. No penalty was assessed on the play. Gunnarsson left the game and did not return.

St. Louis won the game 6-4.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: illegal check to the head/elbowing. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

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EPIX crew begins filming with Capitals

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- A usual scene unfolded prior to the Washington Capitals practice Monday morning when goaltending coach Mitch Korn huddled together Braden Holtby and Justin Peters, preparing them for a 30-minute workout.

As defensemen Jack Hillen and Nate Schmidt made D-to-D passes while the goaltenders cradled medicine balls and cut side-to-side, a cameraman kneeled behind at each point, filming the entire drill and turning an ordinary occurrence into a potential television segment.

That is the Capitals lives for the next several weeks as a 15-person crew from EPIX has arrived to chronicle their preparation for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 1.

"They're doing a pretty good job of being sneaky," forward Eric Fehr said. "They've caught us a few times where we don't even know they're there and they've got you mic'd."

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Fantasy All-Access: Wingels, Ramo deserve an add

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

The Edmonton Oilers won a game Sunday for the first time since they beat the New York Rangers on Nov. 9. Their record since that day is 1-7-4, but that does not mean there aren't players with fantasy value in Edmonton. Taylor Hall has continued to produce with seven points in the 10 games he played during the winless streak. Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have seven points in the past 12 games, while David Perron has three goals and four assists. Their fantasy owners could be clouded by the Oilers' slump and ready to deal these talented players, making them perfect buy-low candidates.

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Jets' Evander Kane faces Player Safety hearing

Monday, 12.08.2014 / 9:17 AM / NHL Department of Player Safety

NHL.com

Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane will have a hearing Monday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a check from behind on Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner during a game Sunday at MTS Centre.

Kane hit Stoner from behind at 19:49 of the second period. He was assessed a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct. Stoner was not injured on the play.

Anaheim won the game 4-3 in overtime.

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Panthers' Bjugstad building career on character

Sunday, 12.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Jim Johannson had limited expectations prior to getting his first extended look at Nick Bjugstad in the summer of 2011.

To this day, Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is amazed at how Bjugstad can transform into a competitive beast when he steps on the ice.

"He was a great kid to be around, almost too nice a guy," Johannson said. "You start to ask yourself, 'How can this guy be such a competitor?' He's the first guy opening doors for people, saying 'Please' and 'Thank you.'"

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Brodeur records first win with Blues in relief

Saturday, 12.06.2014 / 7:18 PM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Among many platitudes, Martin Brodeur is often lauded for his calm demeanor. But even a veteran of 21 seasons and a three-time winner of the Stanley Cup, four-time winner of the Vezina Trophy and owner of NHL records in games played, minutes played and shutouts still gets nervous before every game.

Once he was tapped on the shoulder by St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, his team trailing by three goals to the New York Islanders after one period of play at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday, there were no nerves, only the mission of keeping his team in the game and hoping to provide a spark.

"It seems that when you're preparing yourself you're nervousness comes from what if, what if. … When you get into the momentum of a game, I think that's what probably what players saw in me in New Jersey through the years, how composed I am when I play the game," Brodeur said. "It doesn't mean I'm not excited or nervous in between periods or before games."


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