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(Page 209 of 311)
NHL Insider

Turris makes season debut for Coyotes

Friday, 12.02.2011 / 12:55 AM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Nearly eight weeks into the season, Kyle Turris finally took the ice for the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.

The 22-year-old center, who missed the first six weeks of the regular season in a contract dispute with Phoenix management, made his season debut with the Coyotes against the Jets nine days after agreeing to a multiyear deal.

Caps know patience is key to success under Hunter

Friday, 12.02.2011 / 12:45 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Signs of progress are an absolute must for a team attempting to learn a new system on the fly with an unfamiliar coach pushing them. The Washington Capitals felt there were some of those signs Thursday night despite a second straight 2-1 loss under Dale Hunter.

Nicklas Backstrom said they were tighter on the Pittsburgh Penguins then they were on the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week. Karl Alzner mentioned how the Capitals were able to get a cycle going against Pittsburgh's defense, and it allowed them to move the puck up to the defensemen. Hunter mentioned the quality chances the Capitals had around Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

"It just takes time," Hunter said.

Despres a winner in NHL debut

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 11:26 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Consider it a successful NHL debut for Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Simon Despres.

The 20-year-old defenseman from Laval, Que., had an assist and was on the ice for both Pittsburgh goals in a 2-1 victory Thursday night against the rival Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.

"I mean, it wasn't the nicest point in history, but I'll take it for sure," Despres said. "I just tried to keep it simple. It was fun. It was a great experience. I had a lot of fun and I'm really happy we won."

Despite losses, Hunter, Caps preach progress

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 11:07 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Signs of progress are an absolute must for a team attempting to learn a new system on the fly with an unfamiliar coach pushing them. The Washington Capitals felt there were some of those signs Thursday night despite a second straight 2-1 loss under Dale Hunter.

Nicklas Backstrom said they were tighter on the Pittsburgh Penguins than they were on the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week. Karl Alzner added that the Capitals were able to get a cycle going against Pittsburgh's defense, which allowed them to move the puck up to the defensemen. And, Hunter mentioned the quality chances the Capitals had around Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

"It just takes time," Hunter said.

Ducks' players react to coaching switch

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 10:17 PM / NHL Insider
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Most of the Anaheim Ducks had left the arena late Wednesday night, but there was a core group of veterans who remained gathered with general manager Bob Murray in the corridors of Honda Center.

The Ducks had just beaten the Montreal Canadiens to stop a seven-game losing streak and, ostensibly, allay fears of a trade or coaching change.

At least that was the mindset of a group that included Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne, who were told by Murray that he had just fired coach Randy Carlyle.

"It was shock," Getzlaf said. "We thought kind of the time had passed. We were going to stick with our group and go."

Coyotes booed but Doan cheered in return to Winnipeg

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 9:18 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG Winnipeg Jets fans long ago circled Thursday night's date with the Phoenix Coyotes on their calendars when the NHL released the 2011-12 schedule back in June.

The Coyotes played 1,338 regular-season NHL games in Winnipeg during 17 seasons before leaving for Phoenix in 1996. During the period from 1979-96, fans of the original Winnipeg Jets ranked among the loudest in the NHL, and their playoff whiteouts in the old Winnipeg Arena became part of Stanley Cup Playoff lore. The likes of Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen and Teemu Selanne became stars, and jerseys sporting their names are still plentiful across the city.

Fletcher discusses Wild's early success on 'NHL Hour'

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 8:11 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Minnesota Wild, a team that has missed the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, begins December at the top of the overall NHL standings after the best start in franchise history. GM Chuck Fletcher discussed his team's early success Thursday on "The NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman."

Fletcher, son of Hall of Fame executive Cliff Fletcher, fired coach Todd Richards after last season's disappointing finish and replaced him with Mike Yeo, who had coached the Wild's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros, to the Calder Cup Finals last spring. He also made a pair of major trades with San Jose, sending defenseman Brent Burns to the Sharks for young forward Devin Setoguchi, a top prospect taken with the eighth pick in 2005, then swapping Martin Havlat for Dany Heatley in a 1-for-1 exchange of forwards.

"We wanted a trade that would make us better now and add prospects for the future," he said of the Burns deal. "I believe it's a trade that will help both teams."

The remodeled Wild have been at their best in close games -- they've won 10 of 16 contests decided by one goal. Fletcher said that's a reflection of the way the team is structured, from the coach on down.

After wild ride, Boudreau right to work with Ducks

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 8:07 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The loyalty that Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray showed Randy Carlyle was extraordinary in the modern NHL.

The Ducks stumbled out of the gate year after year following their 2007 Stanley Cup run and even missed the playoffs in 2010. Yet Murray not only stood behind Carlyle through every crisis, he gave him a three-year contract extension in August to keep him behind the bench through 2014.

But Murray finally had to make one of the most difficult decisions of his executive career after disconcerting losses to Chicago and Toronto last week that were perhaps the worst of Carlyle's seven-year tenure.

Boudreau relieved over hiring, ready for Ducks challenge

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 7:34 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Bruce Boudreau admitted his head was still spinning as he appeared as a guest on Thursday's "NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman", but the former coach of the Washington Capitals who was fired this past Monday added his dizziness was a better feeling than if he hadn't accepted the coaching job with the Anaheim Ducks late Wednesday evening.

"Quite frankly I didn't leave myself enough chance when I did get fired to sit back and dwell on it because this happened so quick. I mean, if I had still been at home right now I'd probably be pretty miserable and sad," Boudreau said.

Capitals-Ducks meeting had major repercussions

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 7:13 PM / NHL Insider

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

The cities of Anaheim and Washington, D.C. sit just under 2,300 miles away from each other, at opposite ends of North America and opposite ends of the National Hockey League.

Given the distance, it is unusual that two places should intersect so glaringly in any situation as they did in the past 30 days of Bruce Boudreau's wild ride, but in the sport of hockey that notion is particularly true. Having always played in opposite conferences, the two teams have faced off a grand total of 25 times in the 17 seasons both have been in the NHL, they have never played more than twice in a season, and on two occasions they went nearly two calendar years without seeing each other.

As a result, the teams have almost no collective history between them whatsoever, but sometimes the quirks of fate make an unexpected crossroad, and starting on the first day of November, and ending on the last, the Capitals and Ducks crossed paths in a way that sowed seeds of change that ultimately left Boudreau tasked with a massive reclamation project that he played a very real part in creating.

"I wouldn't have laid (odds on it)," Broudreau said when he was introduced as Anaheim's coach Thursday. "If I had a crystal ball this wouldn't have been something that I would have thought was going to happen."
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I spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been. [The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year.

— Nashville captain Shea Weber in an interview with the Predators website
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