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NHL Insider

Blackhawks still can't find way to beat Ducks

Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 12:53 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO Niklas Hjalmarsson saw the red light flash behind goalie Ray Emery, glanced at his stick and then summed up the Chicago Blackhawks' frustrations against the Anaheim Ducks this season.

After Sheldon Souray's point blast with just 2:08 left in regulation hit the Blackhawks defenseman's stick and redirected past Emery for Anaheim's game-winning goal in the Ducks' 2-1 win on Friday night at United Center, Hjalmarsson heaved his stick at the boards in disgust. He looked like a golfer whose tee shot headed straight into a lake.

It's been that kind of season for the Blackhawks against the Ducks, the team right behind first-place Chicago of the Western Conference standings. Anaheim (23-7-4) not only ended a four-game losing skid, but also swept the three-game season series against Chicago and downed the Blackhawks at the "Madhouse on Madison Street" for the second time.

"I just tried to block it at the end there, and it bounced off my stick … nothing I can do about that," Hjalmarsson said. "I tried to block his shot as much as I could, but you've got to let it go and try to win the game."

Ducks don't want passengers undermining fast start

Friday, 03.29.2013 / 3:40 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau bluntly used the term "passengers" after a 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, his team's fourth defeat in a row.

The time for being gentle was over.

"I think I was just telling the truth, more than anything else," Boudreau said Friday morning from United Center, where his Ducks will try to snap their season-high losing streak against the Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-U.S.).

If the Ducks continue to have passengers against the Blackhawks, odds are their losing streak will balloon to five and their deficit in the Western Conference standings will widen to seven points.

Cooper follows winding, winning road to Lightning

Friday, 03.29.2013 / 3:00 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

For a man whose job was to render potentially life-altering rulings every day, it was a pretty easy decision for Judge Thomas Brennan Jr.

A circuit judge in Lansing, Mich., Brennan's son was playing hockey at Lansing Catholic Central High School when the varsity coach resigned. In his search to find a replacement, Brennan eyed a teammate on his local rec league team, the Legal Eagles. He was a young lawyer named Jon Cooper who had played in prep school, a little in college and had recently earned his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, a college founded by Brennan's father.

At the time, there was no way for Brennan to know he was kick-starting the career of a future NHL coach. Cooper will be behind the Tampa Bay Lightning bench Friday night for the first time when they host the New Jersey Devils.

Holland addresses futures of Datsyuk, Howard

Friday, 03.29.2013 / 1:00 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

Ken Holland doesn't live in a cave, without access to the Internet or television, so the Detroit Red Wings general manager is aware of the talk circulating about star center Pavel Datsyuk.

Pavel Datsyuk
Center - DET
GOALS: 11 | ASST: 24 | PTS: 35
SOG: 74 | +/-: 14
Some believe 34-year old Datsyuk might want to return to Russia and finish his career playing in the Kontinental Hockey League after his contract with the Red Wings runs out following the 2013-14 season. Datsyuk, who makes $6.7 million a year and will turn 35 on July 20, played in the KHL for CSKA Moscow during the lockout. He appeared to enjoy the experience greatly, which helped spark some of the speculation about where he'll play on his next contract.

Holland, however, said he will likely wait until the end of this season to address the situation.

"Obviously, I've heard the rumors," Holland told "I have not had any real conversation with [Datsyuk] or his agent, Gary Greenstein. Gary lives in California and I just saw him the other day. Basically we're going to sit down at the conclusion of this season, before Pav goes home. I don't know what will come out of it."

Rolston settling in, relishing challenge with Sabres

Friday, 03.29.2013 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Since taking over as interim coach of the Buffalo Sabres in February, Ron Rolston has basically been living out of a suitcase and learning on the fly.

The most enjoyable part of it all for the 46-year-old Rolston is dealing with the challenges. He's never backed down from one and isn't about to start now that he's been given such a prestigious opportunity in the National Hockey League.

"I enjoy coming to the rink on a daily basis and getting better," Rolston told "I know there will be speed bumps and we'll have ups and downs, but you deal with it and move on."

It certainly wasn't the easiest position for Rolston to walk into. Not only did he replace a legend behind the Sabres bench in Lindy Ruff, but he acquired a team that had just six victories in its opening 17 games.

Blackhawks looking to defeat Ducks for first time

Thursday, 03.28.2013 / 10:00 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- After hobnobbing and taking pictures with LeBron James from courtside seats at United Center on Wednesday, Patrick Kane watched as the Chicago Bulls took down the Miami Heat and their 27-game winning streak.

Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks right wing turned NBA fan for a night, found a lesson in the Bulls' 101-97 victory. It's one he hopes his team learns from and uses to its advantage Friday when the Anaheim Ducks come into United Center looking to defeat the Blackhawks for a third straight time this season.

"We need to try to be exactly like the Bulls [Wednesday] night," Kane said after practice Thursday. "Get out to an early lead and use the crowd to our advantage, get the place rocking."

Malkin returns for Penguins against Jets

Thursday, 03.28.2013 / 7:08 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired a former Art Ross Trophy winner via trade early Thursday morning. They got the reigning Art Ross recipient back for their game Thursday night.

After missing the past nine games because of a shoulder injury, Evgeni Malkin was activated from injured reserve and in the lineup against the Winnipeg Jets. predicts Pittsburgh Penguins lineup

Thursday, 03.28.2013 / 5:00 PM / NHL Insider

The Pittsburgh Penguins have kicked off the countdown to the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline with a bang. General manager Ray Shero has made three trades, adding a pair of captains and a rugged defenseman to a club that was already atop the Eastern Conference and is currently riding a 13-game winning streak.

Now that Shero has added Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, what should a healthy Penguins lineup look like? Coach Dan Bylsma has a lot of options, and some time before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin to tinker with different combinations.

Young Oilers trying to translate potential into points

Thursday, 03.28.2013 / 12:21 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - Correspondent

If berths in the Stanley Cup Playoffs were awarded on potential, the Edmonton Oilers would have locked one up a long ago.

Boasting the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft from each of the last three seasons -- Nail Yakupov (2012), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Taylor Hall (2010) -- the Oilers are loaded with young, high-end offensive talent. That list does not include Jordan Eberle (22nd pick in 2008), 22, Magnus Paajarvi (10th pick in ‘09), 22, Sam Gagner (sixth pick in 2007), 23, and free-agent Justin Schultz, 22, whose 15 points lead all rookie defensemen.

Alas, entering Thursday, the Oilers found themselves sitting five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. It seems all of that talent requires some seasoning.

After a 3-0-2 streak that got them back into the race, the Oilers dropped two straight before bouncing back to blank the Blues 3-0 in St. Louis on Tuesday.

Seven-game homestand could be pivotal for Sharks

Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 5:10 PM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks open a seven-game homestand Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, and no one has to tell them what's on the line during this upcoming stretch at HP Pavilion.

"It's more than important," forward Ryane Clowe said after the Sharks' morning skate. "It's probably crucial, the fact of where the standings are, where we sit and where this team wants to go. So if you're going to make a push with the amount of games we have left, it's crucial. It's probably a make-or-break home series."

The Sharks haven't missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2003, but with just 17 games remaining in their schedule, they'll undoubtedly need a strong homestand to avoid an early vacation.

With 34 points, the Sharks are tied with Nashville for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West -- San Jose has the edge, for now, based on having played two fewer games than the Predators. Dallas (33), Columbus (33), Edmonton (31), Phoenix (30) and Calgary (28) are each six or fewer points behind.

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Quote of the Day

It's a big milestone for me and I'm happy to help my team with lots of good teammates. It's fun.

— Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who on Wednesday became the ninth Russian-born player, and ninth Red Wings player, to score 300 NHL goals
World Cup of Hockey 2016