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(Page 214 of 259)
NHL Insider

Change in lines has Hawks playing best hockey

Wednesday, 03.02.2011 / 2:04 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Comments from around the Chicago Blackhawks dressing room suggest the reasons for their current five-game win streak range from chemistry on the new lines and defensive pairings to keeping things simple, and of course, to the ridiculously torrid scoring tear that captain Jonathan Toews is on.

"The easiest thing to say is we're just bearing down. I don't want to say you're not focused in the middle of the season or early in the season, but right now everybody realizes the importance of the situation we're in and it seems like every game is a must-win. I think we're just bearing down, more focused and more concentrated on one game at a time. That's probably been the key to the success." -- Patrick Kane

Yet the one factor that trumps all of them is the focus and wherewithal the Blackhawks have been playing with. They don't want to join the 2007 Carolina Hurricanes and 1996 New Jersey Devils as Stanley Cup champs that failed to make the playoffs the next season, so they're playing with some serious purpose right now.

"The easiest thing to say is we're just bearing down," Patrick Kane told NHL.com. "I don't want to say you're not focused in the middle of the season or early in the season, but right now everybody realizes the importance of the situation we're in and it seems like every game is a must-win. I think we're just bearing down, more focused and more concentrated on one game at a time. That's probably been the key to the success."

The Blackhawks feel they've never been better this season than they are right now. Kane said the feeling they had last season, when they would show up for a game thinking there was no way they were going to lose, almost is back.
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Steckel ready to go in new surroundings

Wednesday, 03.02.2011 / 1:38 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- It's back to school night for the newest New Jersey Devils center, David Steckel.
 
For the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Steckel, who was traded by the Washington Capitals on Monday in exchange for Jason Arnott and a 2012 second-round draft pick, there's some anxiousness and nervousness as he prepares for his first game in a Devils sweater on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Prudential Center.
 
Now in his fifth NHL season, this is the first time the 28-year-old center has been traded in his career, so there were some butterflies as he sat on the bench answering questions in front of his stall following his second practice.
 
He'll likely center a line with David Clarkson and Vladimir Zharkov to open the game. 
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B's road trip success brings back memories of '72

Wednesday, 03.02.2011 / 10:58 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"The last two games, we didn't have the same energy that we did in the first four games, but we found a way. It helps us to build that confidence in the room, that no matter who we face, or no matter what the conditions, we believe in each other." -- Milan Lucic

Winning on the road isn't supposed to be as easy as the Boston Bruins have made it look recently.

The Bruins returned home from their six-game road trip full of smiles and confidence. Well, how else would you expect them to look after they capped a six-game road sweep with a 1-0 win in Ottawa on Tuesday?

"It feels great," Milan Lucic told the Boston Globe following Tuesday's win. "The last two games, we didn't have the same energy that we did in the first four games, but we found a way. It helps us to build that confidence in the room, that no matter who we face, or no matter what the conditions, we believe in each other."
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Odd spot for Samsonov, Allen in team debuts

Tuesday, 03.01.2011 / 4:09 PM / NHL Insider

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

For a player, getting traded at any point can be an emotional experience. However, few know the emotions Bryan Allen and Sergei Samsonov will deal with Tuesday.

Surely Samsonov and Allen expected that they'd be playing Tuesday when the Florida Panthers played at the Carolina Hurricanes.

They just probably assumed they'd be wearing different uniforms.

In one of the strange quirks of the 2011 NHL trade deadline, Allen and Samsonov -- who were traded for one another Monday -- will face not just each other, but also their old teams when they make their respective debuts with their new teams Tuesday.

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Oilers moving forward without Penner

Tuesday, 03.01.2011 / 2:44 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Life without Dustin Penner begins for the Edmonton Oilers against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, and coach Tom Renney knows that's part of the business, difficult or not.

With 19 games remaining, the 30th-place Oilers have to get along without their leading goal-scorer and biggest forward in Penner, who was dealt to Los Angeles before the trade deadline Monday.

"Good to go. That's what we do," Renney said. "That's the dynamic of the game.

"Whether it's in Year 1 of a rebuild or you're in your third year and you're starting to look serious about being a contender, it doesn't matter. The bottom line is a roster is a very dynamic thing. If you get too hung up on movement here, there or anywhere, that can, as a coach, really get in your way and stifle you from doing your job.
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Arnott could hold key to Caps' playoff success

Tuesday, 03.01.2011 / 1:43 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

As soon as the reports started to surface Monday about Jason Arnott waiving his no-trade clause to go to Washington, pundits everywhere started crowing about how finally the Capitals landed their No. 2 center. A rental for sure, but Arnott's intangibles, including size, experience and skill make him the immediate plug for what has been a gaping hole in the Capitals' lineup.

Could he also be the missing piece in Washington's quest for a Stanley Cup? While it's too early to tell -- don't we have to let the guy at least play a game or two in his new uniform before we pass that kind of judgment? -- history suggests high-end center depth on your top two lines is an absolute must to win the Stanley Cup.
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Hawks scrambling at Deadline with 'D' injuries

Monday, 02.28.2011 / 9:12 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Already in the market for depth at center and on the blue line, the Chicago Blackhawks likely saw their need for another defenseman rise Sunday night.
 
Defenseman Jordan Hendry was hurt less than three minutes into the third period of Chicago's 4-3 shootout win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center, while fellow defenseman Duncan Keith finished the game despite appearing to injure his shin/ankle late in the third.
 
Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson also is ailing with an undisclosed upper-body injury that nearly kept him out of Sunday's game. Meanwhile, Nick Boynton was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers this past weekend.

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Pens, Habs, Caps and Stars help themselves

Sunday, 02.27.2011 / 1:31 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The NHL regular season ends six weeks from today, and 25 of the 30 teams are within nine points of a playoff berth.

The trade deadline is just over 24 hours away, and the outcome of Sunday's eight games will no doubt have a hand in determining which teams plan to be buyers and sellers before the deadline passes at 3 p.m. ET on Monday.

Here's a look at how the races in each conference shape up after Saturday night's games.
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Bowman looking for center, defense help

Saturday, 02.26.2011 / 4:48 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Amidst all the trading that's been done thus far, the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks are still actively looking for a partner.
 
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has already pulled off one deal this month -- acquiring forward Michael Frolik from the Florida Panthers on Feb. 9 for rookie forward Jack Skille -- but he's looking for more before Monday's 3 p.m. trade deadline.
 
"We're still talking (with teams)," Bowman said, while meeting with reporters during Saturday's Hawks practice. "There's an awful lot of activity now. It's really heightened over the last week or so. It's probably the busiest it's been. I'm having a lot of discussions, but nothing to report yet. I'm hopeful that something will get done."
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Seabrook, Blackhawks close to extension

Saturday, 02.26.2011 / 4:19 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brent Seabrook is very close to joining the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks "core group" that's signed long term with the defending Stanley Cup champions.
 
A deal has not been finalized, but likely will be in the very near future according to Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman -- who met with reporters during the team's practice Saturday.
 
A report by TSN said a deal was already reached for five years and just less than $30 million, but Bowman didn't say it was finalized and declined to get into specifics about salary or the term negotiated.
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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp