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(Page 2 of 257)
NHL Insider

Lightning coach tries to downplay expectations

Sunday, 08.03.2014 / 10:21 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Despite losing star player Steven Stamkos for four months with a broken leg and trading captain Martin St. Louis, the Tampa Bay Lightning surprised the NHL and posted the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. Now, after acquiring a group of veterans during the offseason, the Lightning enter 2014-15 among the favorites to make a prolonged run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Just don't expect their coach to say so.

"Make us seem like just a nice, humble, go-lucky Tampa Bay Lightning," Jon Cooper told NHL.com. "Not like we're going to come out and kick everybody's [behind]."

Last season, Cooper discovered a franchise goaltender, Ben Bishop, and led Tampa Bay, which played nine rookies, to the playoffs for the first time in three years. In his first full season, Cooper was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach.

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Lovejoy still feels sting of Ducks' loss to Kings

Friday, 08.01.2014 / 11:53 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy can't wait to get back on the ice and start wiping away the taste of a season-ending loss to the archrival Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We all left last season with an awful taste in our mouth, and it’s still there. We are desperate to get back on the ice and play that first game, that 40th game and that 82nd game," the 30-year-old defenseman told the Ducks website. "I want to get back in the swing of things. I’m ready to go. I love summer, but I’m over it. I’m ready for training camp and that first game. I’m ready to get competitive again."

The Ducks won the Pacific Division title, finished first in the Western Conference and led the Kings 3-2 entering Game 6 of their Western Conference Second Round series. But Los Angeles evened the series with a 2-1 victory at home, then rolled to a 6-2 win at Honda Center and went on to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons.

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Thornton eager to bring his experience to Panthers

Thursday, 07.31.2014 / 6:25 PM / NHL Insider

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

Shawn Thornton first got to know Dale Tallon more than a decade ago. Now that the two have been reunited with the Florida Panthers, the veteran forward knows exactly what his new general manager expects from him.

"At this point, I know my role and the job fairly well," Thornton told South Florida media members Thursday. "Dale didn't need to stress it too much to me. We've known each other for a long time and I think he knows how self-aware I am, if I'm self-aware at all, and what he needs to tell me. So there wasn't too much being said, except that he was excited that I was excited to come there. I was very pleased that they were as interested."

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Rangers' Talbot aims to show rookie season no fluke

Wednesday, 07.30.2014 / 3:30 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Cam Talbot came to New York Rangers training camp last September trying to prove he was an NHL-caliber goaltender. He'll be back this September trying to show his performance as Henrik Lundqvist's backup in 2013-14 was no fluke.

Talbot got his first chance to play in the NHL last October as a 26-year-old rookie after Martin Biron retired, and he made the most of it. The former Alabama-Huntsville goaltender went 12-6-1 with a 1.64 goals-against average, a save percentage of .941 and three shutouts.

He told BlueshirtsUnited.com his goal for this season is to show he's not a one-hit wonder.

"I think the last few years I've come into camp in good shape and I've been fairly ready, but they've had two pretty good goalies ahead of me and it wasn't my time," Talbot said. "This year coming up, I have to prove that last year wasn't a fluke. I think a lot of people are going to think I came in and played a little bit beyond my range last year, and it's my goal to go out and prove them wrong."

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Elliott 'ready to work' as Blues No. 1 goalie

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 6:51 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Brian Elliott
Goalie - STL
RECORD: 18-6-2
GAA: 1.96 | SVP: 0.922
The St. Louis Blues have said Brian Elliott is heading into this season as their No. 1 goaltender.

It seems no one has told Brian Elliott.

"I really haven't heard it from the horse's mouth, so to speak, but obviously my parents and friends and family have read stuff on the Internet," Elliott told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an interview published Tuesday. "It's obviously good to hear those words, that they have confidence in you, but it is all up to you and how you play. There's always somebody knocking on the door."

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Oilers' Yakupov putting rough season behind him

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 2:58 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

Nail Yakupov
Right Wing - EDM
GOALS: 11 | ASST: 13 | PTS: 24
SOG: 122 | +/-: -33
EDMONTON -- Nail Yakupov has moved on.

After spending the majority of the offseason in Russia, the Edmonton Oilers right wing has returned to prepare for the NHL season, having put a disappointing second season behind him.

"It might be a huge year for me and that's why I'm here, to work on some things and to be here and train," Yakupov said Tuesday during a visit to the Oilers summer hockey school. "I just want to be ready for the season. I'm going to be doing some different things this year. I feel more comfortable here than training at home. That's why I'm here and I will train with the Oilers prospects and the other NHL players that will come."

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Hartnell excited to get started with Blue Jackets

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 2:30 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Shortly after being traded for the second time, forward Scott Hartnell asked some of his friends what he could expect as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Scott Hartnell
Left Wing - CBJ
GOALS: 20 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 52
SOG: 207 | +/-: 11
He likes what he's heard so far.

After seven seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Hartnell was traded to Columbus on June 23 for forward R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round draft pick. A fan favorite in Philadelphia, Hartnell admitted to fighting back tears when he returned to the Flyers training facility two days later to clean out his locker.

After the initial shock subsided, Hartnell approached former Flyers teammates Steve Mason and Jakub Voracek, who each started his career in Columbus. Their feedback is one reason Hartnell has a good feeling about joining an up-and-coming Blue Jackets team. He also sought advice from Jody Shelley, a former Philadelphia teammate who played for Columbus and serves as a television analyst and team ambassador.

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Top prospect Bennett focused on making Flames

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Sam Bennett isn't about to make any guarantees.

With two months until the opening of training camp, the No. 4 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft isn't feeling entitled to a spot on the Calgary Flames roster.

"I'm not going to say I'm going to make the team," Bennett said during Calgary development camp. "But that's definitely my goal and I'm just going to go out there and try my hardest to do whatever I can to make it. Whatever happens, happens.

"Definitely, I'm going to do whatever I can."

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Trio of Flyers prospects patiently waiting their turn

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Scott Laughton experienced the thrill of making an NHL opening-night roster twice. Shayne Gostisbehere got his first taste of professional hockey last season, as did Robert Hagg, who made his North American pro debut in 2013-14.

All the experiences did was make three key members of the future of the Philadelphia Flyers hungry for more.

"Every day I think about it," Laughton said. "Just try to work toward it."

Laughton, the Flyers' first-round pick (No. 20) in the 2012 NHL Draft, could be the closest of the three to making the team. He already has NHL experience, playing five games with Philadelphia at the start of the 2012-13 season.

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Leafs' Reimer expects opportunity to claim No. 1 job

Monday, 07.28.2014 / 6:48 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

James Reimer has no intention of coming to training camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a backup goaltender.

Reimer joined The Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet's Fan 590 radio station in Toronto on Monday to talk about the two-year, $4.6 million contract he signed recently and said he expects to compete with Jonathan Bernier for the starting job.

"I was told there's a definite opportunity," Reimer said. "That's the mindset I'm coming in with, to really take advantage of the opportunity that's been given and earn the No. 1 spot."

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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season