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NHL Insider

Booth finally gets chance to play at Joe Louis Arena

Wednesday, 02.22.2012 / 2:36 PM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

There will be a lot of focus on streaks and Joe Louis Arena heading into Thursday's first-place showdown between the Canucks and the Red Wings. Vancouver forward and Detroit native David Booth has both in mind, but in a much different way.

For Booth, a Detroit native who grew up watching the Red Wings and saw them clinch the 1997 Stanley Cup from ice-level seats, it will his first game at The Joe in six NHL seasons.

"The Joe is the only arena I have never played in my career," Booth, who was 12 years old when he saw that Stanley Cup victory in person, told "I grew up watching the Wings with my family, even when I was in college, going to the games for the longest time. It was always special when we went down to The Joe and watched the Wings play. They have a great organization and it was great growing up with them."

That it took until career game No. 344 for Booth to experience Joe Louis Arena from the other side of the glass is a function of scheduling and bad luck – during five-plus seasons in Florida, the Panthers only visited twice and both times he got hurt shortly before the games. 

Comebacks, goaltending keep Detroit's streak alive

Wednesday, 02.22.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider Staff

1. Nov. 5 -- Red Wings 5, Ducks 0 | Recap
The start of the home winning streak was the end of a six-game slide. Nicklas Lidstrom scored twice and Jimmy Howard made 22 saves.

2. Nov. 8 -- Red Wings 5, Avalanche 2 | Recap
Johan Franzen had a hat trick as Detroit jumped to a 3-0 lead and never looked back.

3. Nov. 11 -- Red Wings 3, Oilers 0 | Recap
Jimmy Howard's third shutout of the season was supported by goals from Drew Miller, Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula.

4. Nov. 12 -- Red Wings 5, Stars 2 | Recap
It was 2-2 entering the third period, but Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Brad Stuart scored for the Red Wings.

5. Nov. 23 -- Red Wings 5, Flames 3 | Recap
The difference was three-power play goals, two from Tomas Holmstrom and one from Pavel Datsyuk.

Capitals regroup after 'embarrassing effort'

Tuesday, 02.21.2012 / 11:07 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

It's tough to find the words to describe just how poorly the Washington Capitals performed in their 5-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night, so perhaps it's best to let the owner do the talking.

"That was the worst game of the season; we came up small when we needed to come up big and win a game on the road," Ted Leonsis wrote Tuesday in his blog ( "Another wasted opportunity to get two points and move up in the standings. An unacceptable performance."

To a man, his players shared in that sentiment.

MacKenzie finds his niche in Columbus

Monday, 02.20.2012 / 5:37 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - Correspondent

Derek MacKenzie
Center - CBJ
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 11
SOG: 54 | +/-: 3
Derek MacKenzie said that like a lot of things that come out of the mouth of former Stanley Cup-winning coach Bob Hartley, the words were not easy to hear.

As a young player trying to break into the League with Atlanta, MacKenzie was often called up and then sent quickly back to the Chicago Wolves of American Hockey League. Between 2001-02 and 2006-07, he played 28 games with the Thrashers spread out over four seasons.

During one discussion after a demotion, Hartley questioned MacKenzie's identity as a player.

Habs honor Gary Carter in pregame tribute

Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 6:22 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- "The Kid" would have loved it.

The memory of the late Gary Carter was honored by the Montreal Canadiens prior to their game Sunday evening against the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre.

The Habs came out for their pre-game warmup wearing jerseys with Carter's No. 8 on their backs, while house organist Diane Bibeau played the old Montreal Expos fight song that rang through Olympic Stadium back when the Hall of Fame catcher was winning over the hearts of this city in the 1970s and 80s.

Those jerseys will be signed by the Canadiens and sold at auction, with all proceeds going to the Gary Carter Foundation. The foundation's mission is to "better the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of children," according to its web site.

A somber mood as Kubina leaves Tampa Bay

Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 5:23 PM / NHL Insider

Lonnie Herman - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Once Pavel Kubina was held out of practice and scratched from both Tampa Bay Lightning games this week, it was just a matter of time until the defenseman was gone.

On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning pulled the trigger and traded the defenseman to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for two draft picks and minor-league forward Jon Kalinski.

Sunday, an emotional Kubina cleaned out his locker at Tampa Bay Times Forum for the last time.

"Steve (Yzerman) brought me to the office a couple of days ago and asked me for a list of five teams," Kubina said. "He said, 'We would like to move you,' and after that he sent me home."

Kubina never supplied the list, but the trade came about quickly anyway.

"I was just sitting home, waiting for what was going to happen. I could have come up with a list of five teams but I didn't do it," Kubina said.  "I could have waited another seven days to do that, but when I spoke to Steve (Yzerman) about Philly, I thought it was the right thing to do.

Rocker Alice Cooper is a hockey buff too

Saturday, 02.18.2012 / 8:21 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- To Alice Cooper, no sport resembles rock n' roll more than hockey – which is why it's been his favorite sport since he was a young boy in Detroit and remains so as a long-time resident of Arizona.

"Baseball is slow, basketball is slow. Football is better on TV," Cooper said. "But hockey never stops, just like rock n' roll. It's very similar. It's relentless."

One of the state's most recognizable stars, Cooper comes to see the Coyotes about 20 times a year, but Saturday he was at Arena for "Alice Cooper Bobblehead Night" -- he is depicted in full stage makeup with a snake wrapped around his shoulders, but wearing a Coyotes sweater inside his leather jacket.

Crosby joins non-contact practice, still hopes to play

Friday, 02.17.2012 / 3:14 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby remains hopeful of returning this season, although he still is experiencing concussion-like symptoms that vary from day to day.
For only the second time since he last practiced Dec. 7, Crosby skated with the Penguins on Friday at their suburban Iceoplex at Southpointe rink. Crosby did so because he couldn't find available ice time elsewhere.
All of the drills were contact-free -- Crosby has not yet been cleared to practice fully or to experience contact -- but they gave Crosby an idea of where he is at in his recovery.
"I'm trying to get back," the 24-year-old Crosby said. "I'm hoping to get back as soon as possible. I'm not going to pretend I know when that is. I won't say I'll be ready in a month or two weeks or a week. I wouldn't be going through of all of this if I didn't want to play as soon as possible. That's all I'm worried about."

Craig Patrick reveling in new role with Blue Jackets

Friday, 02.17.2012 / 1:35 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Hall of Famer Craig Patrick is smiling a lot these days.

And with a new job that fits his lifestyle perfectly, why wouldn't he be happy?

Patrick was hired as a senior advisor by Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson on Dec. 7, and has enjoyed his first taste of life back in the NHL since being fired as GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006.

"It's great," Patrick told during a stop in Philadelphia on a scouting trip. "It's great to be back in the game. I missed it a lot. It's good to be back doing what I like to do."

Wings 'grind'-ing way to another successful season

Friday, 02.17.2012 / 11:17 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

"You always see guys working out, before or after practice and sometimes after games. That's just part of what we do. It's the approach we've had for a long period of time, not just this season but going back to the 1990s." -- Nicklas Lidstrom

DETROIT -- It went virtually unnoticed, just as it does after every game at Joe Louis Arena.

Not far from where a contingent of media and others milled about in a victorious home locker room, a number of Detroit Red Wings grinded through tough, post-game workouts. If you'd just walked in without seeing the game they'd just won or knowing its historical significance, you probably would have thought it was just like any other victory for Red Wings -- winners of four Stanley Cups in the past 15 years.

It wasn't.

This time, they'd beaten the Dallas Stars to set an NHL record with 21 straight home victories in one season. The previous high of 20 games, which the Wings had tied two days prior, had been set by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and matched only by 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers.

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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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