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NHL Insider

Hurricanes rookie Hanifin sees game like a veteran

Sunday, 11.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin doesn't sound like a rookie when he begins breaking down the game he loves.

The fifth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft is a rookie on paper, but his performance on the ice is proving otherwise. Hanifin is also mature enough to realize his limits in the locker room among those who have been there and done that.

"You can tell by the conversations you have with him that he's a very mature boy for an 18-year-old," Hurricanes assistant coach Steve Smith said. "He asks all the right questions and goes through the exercises on the ice on a daily basis without any resistance at all.

Canucks' Miller to face Sabres in Buffalo for first time

Friday, 11.06.2015 / 5:48 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller will make his return to the city where his NHL career started in 2002.

The Canucks play the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN, MSG-B) the first time Miller will play here since he was traded by the Sabres to the St. Louis Blues in 2014.

"I've been away a lot longer than I thought I'd be, just last year getting interrupted by injury," Miller said Friday. "I thought I'd be back sooner, so it's a little delayed, but it's still a little bit emotional. But it is fun. It's fun to see how things have changed. Maybe staying away is little bit of a shock to the system, to come down here and see so much has changed. I'm really excited for the city in that regard. There's some really nice things happening. People seem to be responding really well to that. I'm hearing lots of good things. It's nice to come back here and know everything's going well."

Blues discover inadvertent rally cry in 'Roar Bacon'

Friday, 11.06.2015 / 4:08 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- What started out as an iPhone autocorrect has turned into a rallying cry for the St. Louis Blues.

The St. Louis Cardinals have their "Rally Squirrel"; the Blues have "Roar Bacon."

It all began Wednesday when the Blues were at United Center playing the Chicago Blackhawks. They had rallied from trailing 5-2 in the second period to tie the game 5-5. The Blues' Instagram account wrote, "Well that was something. #OurBlues roar bacon with three second-period goals to tie the game 5-5."

Roar bacon was supposed to say roar back, but as has befallen many with their not-so-smart smart phones at times, autocorrect changed the original message. It's turned into a team phenomenon and become a rallying cry in light of the Blues' comeback 6-5 overtime victory.

Sharks forward Marleau on verge of 1,000 points

Thursday, 11.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Patrick Marleau has spent much of his 18-season career with the San Jose Sharks rewriting their record book.

Marleau has played more games (1,341), scored more goals (459), scored more game-winning goals (88) and amassed more points (996) for the Sharks than any player.

Now Marleau is closing in on another milestone: He needs four points to become the first player with 1,000 for the Sharks.

"As a kid, you grow up, you want to be one of those players," Marleau said. "You dream about doing things like that. So it's nice to be able to say that you're one of those guys."

Bure built experience in Russia before starring in NHL

Thursday, 11.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Vassili Ossipov - NHL.com Staff Writer

It didn't take long after Pavel Bure's NHL debut for it to become clear he was a special talent, not only because of his extremely high hockey IQ, explosiveness and speed, but because of the experience he already had.

Bure debuted with the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 5, 1991, coming to North America after winning two World Junior Championship gold medals and one World Championship with the Soviet national team. Bure also played three seasons with the juggernaut Red Army, which dominated Soviet club hockey by recruiting all the best talent in the country. In his last season with the Red Army, at age 19, Bure scored 35 goals in 44 games.

"I was named the best forward at the WJC tournament in 1989," Bure said. "I thought to myself that if I could be successful against NHL players at this level, I would do well playing in the NHL."

Blues forward Tarasenko thriving in clutch situations

Wednesday, 11.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Ken Hitchcock just threw the number out there off the top of his head.

Of course, the St. Louis Blues coach has so much information packed into that head, maybe it shouldn't be that surprising.

But when talking recently about his offensive leader, right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, Hitchcock made an observation about Tarasenko's scoring tendencies that appeared to be an estimate.

It wasn't.

"Those goals he scores, even if there's just 30 or whatever, I guarantee you two-thirds of them will be important goals again," Hitchcock said. "That's critical for us."

And that's bad news for the Chicago Blackhawks, who will host the Blues in this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

Red Wings captain Zetterberg one goal shy of 300

Tuesday, 11.03.2015 / 9:30 AM / NHL Insider

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg is set to join select company.

With two assists in Detroit's 5-3 win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday, Zetterberg reached 800 points in his NHL career.

The previous night, during a 3-1 loss to the Senators at Joe Louis Arena, Zetterberg scored his 299th goal.

He is the ninth Swedish player with 800 points in the NHL.

The others are Mats Sundin, Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund and Tomas Sandstrom.

Zetterberg's next goal will make him the seventh Swede to score 300 and the fifth player in Red Wings history to have 300 goals and 800 points, joining Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Alex Delvecchio and Sergei Fedorov.

The Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-D).

McDavid-Eichel buzz similar to Crosby-Ovechkin

Tuesday, 11.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

George McPhee won't forget the electricity generated by Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby when they entered the NHL as rookies in 2005-06.

McPhee, general manager of the Capitals at the time, had a front-row seat to one of the more memorable races for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. Ovechkin won after he had 52 goals and 106 points in 81 games. Crosby, who had 39 goals and 102 points in 81 games, was second.

Now a special adviser to New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow, McPhee sees similarities between the rookie seasons for Ovechkin and Crosby and the performances this season of Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.

"It turns out to be great for the game because the entire League and hockey world is watching, and there's this instant competition between the two guys," McPhee said.

Oilers' McDavid more confident after solid first month

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 4:27 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- After a slow start, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid had a productive first month in the NHL, and on Monday he was named NHL Rookie of the Month for October.

Entering play Monday he leads all first-year players with 12 points, and his five goals are tied for the lead.

McDavid led a deep class of rookie performers in the first month of the season. Arizona Coyotes left wing Max Domi matched McDavid with five goals and is second among rookies with 11 points. Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin had 10 points in 11 games and Winnipeg Jets right wing Nikolaj Ehlers had four goals and eight points in 11 games. The St. Louis Blues' Colton Parayko leads rookie defensemen with four goals and seven points in 11 games. His four goals are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes' Justin Faulk for the lead among all NHL defenders.

Blackhawks goalie Crawford learns to ignore critics

Monday, 11.02.2015 / 10:49 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The slights used to be taken as personal attacks by Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, who would use them as motivation.

Now a 30-year-old veteran, Crawford has learned to block out the noise and focus on winning championships. His two Stanley Cup rings are all the validation he needs.

But it wasn't always that way for Crawford. Prior to helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015, he said he was aware of his critics and what they would say.

"I took some stuff personally, when [media] would bash on me," said Crawford, who will start for the Blackhawks at United Center on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNW, FS-W, CSN-CH) looking to end the Los Angeles Kings' seven-game winning streak. "My [rookie] year, I just came in and it was great. I started playing a lot of games and I was winning. In the second year it's a different story when you're declared a No. 1 guy. I didn't play as well."

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