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NHL Insider

Holland discusses Wings' streak on 'NHL Hour'

Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 8:03 PM / NHL Insider

February is shaping up to be an eventful month for the Detroit Red Wings.

A franchise accustomed to playing deep into the spring and competing for the Stanley Cup has given its fan base plenty of thrills already with the recent announcement of the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the setting of a new League record for consecutive home wins. On top of that, Detroit is prepared to be active as the Feb. 27 trade deadline approaches.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland appeared as a guest on Thursday's "NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman" to talk about all the excitement, including the 21-game run at Joe Louis Arena that the team will take into Friday night's Central Division matchup with the Nashville Predators.

Blackhawks try to stay positive through winless skid

Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 4:47 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Soon after finishing his media responsibilities Wednesday afternoon at Chelsea Piers, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp went down the long row of benches looking for John Scott's shoes.

"Something's got to give. Something's got to go our way eventually. They say if you keep doing the right things the hockey gods are going to reward you and we're hoping that's going to happen soon." -- Jonathan Toews

It was time for a practical joke.

Sharp, smiling like a mischievous prankster, found the big guy's footwear, snagged them from off the rubber-matted floor, walked back down the row of benches, and placed them in an equipment bag. He then had a good laugh with captain Jonathan Toews as the rest of the Blackhawks started to come off the ice at Sky Rink and prepare for the bus ride back to Madison Square Garden, where they would change.

"Scott's going back without shoes on," Sharp quietly quipped as he dropped the pair of Reebok sneakers in the bag.

The Blackhawks are winless in nine straight (0-8-1), including seven in a row on the road, heading into Thursday's showdown at the Garden against the League-best Rangers. They've fallen to sixth in the Western Conference after being in first three and a half weeks ago, when they last won a game.

Back in NHL, turning 40, Jagr remains a force

Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

When Jaromir Jagr burst on the NHL scene at age 18, he skated like the wind, scored at will and seemed like 80 percent of his body weight was contained in his lustrous, jet-black mullet.

Twenty-two years later, the mullet is long gone, the hair is thinner and tinged with a few stray grays, and there's 240 pounds packed onto his 6-foot-3 frame.

But what hasn't changed is the joy and sublime skills he brings to the rink every day.

"I don't act like I'm 40 years old," Jagr, who celebrates his 40th birthday on Feb. 15, told "Sometimes I can act like them (the young guys)."

Clean living and hard work secrets to Jagr's success

Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

What's allowed Philadelphia Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr to remain an effective player in the NHL as he reaches his 40th birthday?

Clean living, he says -- no smoking or drinking alcohol -- but he does admit to one vice.

"I like Diet Coke," he says with a laugh. "I even drink it during a game. I like Diet Coke. No vitamins, nothing ... Diet Coke."

Oh, if it were only that easy.

40 for 40: Memories of Jagr as he turns 40 years old

Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Growing up in the Czech Republic in the 1990s, Jakub Voracek was like most of the kids he knew. They were all big hockey fans, and they almost all shared the same favorite player -- Jaromir Jagr.

"He was the best player in the world, from the Czech Republic, from my hometown (Kladno), so every young kid had his poster on the wall," Voracek told

Voracek doesn't keep the posters on the wall now, considering he can look across the Philadelphia Flyers locker room every day and see the real Jagr as his teammate.

As the future Hall of Fame member prepares to celebrate his 40th birthday on Feb. 15, talked to 40 players, coaches, broadcasters and media members who have chronicled Jagr's career for their favorite moments of a career that eventually will end with a Hall of Fame ceremony in Toronto:

Rangers think they can be even better

Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 11:11 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Here's a scary thought for teams around the League -- the New York Rangers, who are the NHL's top team based on points percentage, have the potential to be better than they were against the Bruins on Tuesday night.

That's the stance coach John Tortorella and some players took following the team's 3-0 victory, a win that gave the Rangers a nine-point lead on Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

"I wouldn't pay for the start of that game," said Tortorella, whose team scored twice in the first period. "I thought we played better in the second half of the first period, but then on, we end up with a 2-0 lead, but I don't think we mounted much from there. I thought we defended really well, but that's all we did."

Keenan hoping for one more chance behind bench

Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 2:39 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Mike Keenan works three part-time television jobs in order to stay abreast of what is going on in the National Hockey League today. The coach known as "Iron Mike" would give them all up for a chance to emulate what Ken Hitchcock is doing in St. Louis.

Keenan, who spoke to in Las Vegas during Wayne Gretzky's Fantasy Camp, wants to coach again in the NHL. He remains hopeful that the opportunity still exists for him despite his age (62), his reputation as being hard-driving and relentless on his players, and the fact he hasn't coached since the 2008-09 season.

"I have enough energy and I've been exposed enough to stay on top of the game," said Keenan, who is an analyst for the NBC Sports Network, MSG Network, and Sportsnet. "The energy factor is a big thing. You have to be youthful thinking, enthusiastic and energetic about what you're doing. That was probably best exhibited in the National Football League (on Super Bowl Sunday)."

Keenan's motivation to coach again soared by watching the New York Giants' Tom Coughlin, 65, go head-to-head against the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick in Super Bowl XLVI.

Coughlin became the oldest NFL coach to win a Super Bowl when his Giants beat Belichick's Patriots 21-17 on Feb. 5. Belichick, by the way, is a few months shy of his 60th birthday.

How do East leaders measure up? Rangers vs. Bruins

Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 12:46 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- In one respect, it's just another regular-season game between two of the League's better teams. On the other hand, the Rangers and Bruins meeting at TD Garden on Tuesday could decide if the Eastern Conference race will be a runaway or go down to the wire.

When these teams met here Jan. 21, the Rangers emerged with a 3-2 overtime victory to cement their status as the East's top team. The Rangers held a two-point lead on the Bruins for the top spot, but had played one more game.

Now, the gap is wider. The Bruins still hold a game in hand, but they trail the Rangers by seven points in the race for the East's top spot. A regulation win Tuesday for the Rangers would give them a massive nine-point edge.

Penner a purveyor of pancakes to benefit charity

Monday, 02.13.2012 / 3:38 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Dustin Penner normally would have been tucked away in bed the day after returning from a six-game road trip.

But on Monday morning the Los Angeles Kings winger was making rounds at a local International House of Pancakes.

Bleary-eyed and wearing a red apron, jeans, flip flops and a jack-o'-lantern smile, the 6-foot-4, 242-pound Penner wasn't exactly your typical IHOP waiter. Yet there he was signing autographs, posing for pictures, and, yes, serving flapjacks in the name of self-deprecating fun and charity.

Canes starting to thrive as Muller returns to Montreal

Monday, 02.13.2012 / 3:07 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- As a former Canadiens captain who raised the Stanley Cup here and as an assistant coach that many in this area credit for playing a large role in Montreal's run to the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago, Kirk Muller's return to the city Monday night behind the bench of the visiting Carolina Hurricanes will be the overriding storyline.

But that's exactly what Muller doesn't want.

"I don't want it to be about me, it's about them," Muller said of his Hurricanes players, a group that has collected points in 10 of its last 12 games (6-2-4). "We have a lot of things going right now as far as how we're playing, the style we're playing, the identity of our group, our top players are playing really well. So it shouldn't be about me, it's their time. It's a fun place to play, visiting teams love coming in here to play for a reason, it's a great hockey town. I just hope they play tonight the way they've been playing the last 15 games."
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Quote of the Day

He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft