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(Page 257 of 279)
NHL Insider

Honesty indeed best policy for concussions

Friday, 12.03.2010 / 4:30 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The number of concussions NHL players have suffered at this point of this season is exactly the same as reported the same point last season, according to Dr. Ruben Echemendia, who oversees the League's concussion testing program and is the chairman of the NHL/NHLPA Concussion Working Group.

Echemendia said Friday on a conference call with several media members that 33 concussions have been reported as of Dec. 1. Fewer concussions were reported as of Dec. 1 two season ago, but Echemendia said he is hopeful the uptick in concussions is a result of NHL players being more honest when discussing their symptoms with team doctors and trainers. Echemendia also said it is too early for any data to be viewed as a reflection of the effectiveness of a new rule enacted last March -- and reinforced with an on-ice penalty this season -- that bans blind side or lateral hits where the principal point of contact is the head.

History sets stage Friday for Canucks, Hawks

Friday, 12.03.2010 / 4:11 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Almost half the roster that helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the 2010 Stanley Cup is gone; but their heated rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks is still running red hot.
Despite the departure of former Hawks Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager and Adam Burish -- all of whom played a big role in fueling the rivalry originally -- the Canucks are no less motivated to face Chicago on Friday night at the United Center.
The Hawks have already taken the first two meetings of this season between the teams, after ousting Vancouver from the Stanley Cup Playoffs during each of the past two seasons.
"Their top guys are all still here," Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "Their best players are obviously the guys we see the most on the ice. Those are the guys you want to beat. The other guys (who are gone) you just want to beat up."


With new faces, Avs are looking forward to road trip

Friday, 12.03.2010 / 12:48 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

With Tomas Fleischmann and Matt Hunwick coming on board this week, Colorado coach Joe Sacco sees this as a fantastic time for his team to hit the road.

The Avalanche begin a five-game trip through the Southeast Division in Raleigh, N.C. on Friday. They play the Lightning on Saturday and then the Panthers on Tuesday. They'll head to Atlanta and then up to Washington before heading home.

"It's actually good timing because it allows the new guys we have, Hunwick and Fleischmann, to get to know the guys better, because as you know it's easier to do that on the road," Sacco told "If we were at home, guys would go their separate ways."

Sacco plans to use Fleischmann in a top-six forward role and on one of the Avs' two power-play units. He said the organization traded defenseman Scott Hannan to the Capitals for Fleischmann because they view him as someone with big-goal potential. He had only 10 points in 23 games with the Capitals and was a healthy scratch twice, but had 51 points last season.


Penguins' PK to receive stiff test from Thrashers

Thursday, 12.02.2010 / 2:07 PM / NHL Insider

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh's penalty-killing unit has been flawless for the past nine games, killing off 30-straight shorthanded situations.

But if the Penguins plan to extend their run at perfection to a franchise-best 10 games -- as well as extend their winning streak to eight games -- Thursday night at the Consol Energy Center, they'll have to be better than ever. Their opponents, the red-hot Atlanta Thrashers, walk into the Steel City with a six-game winning streak that has been fueled, in large part, by a clinically effective power play.

The Thrashers rank third in the League in power-play efficiency, scoring 24 goals in 101 opportunities (23.8 percent). Amazingly, they have been even more effective on the road, scoring 12 goals in 46 opportunities.

Gionta brothers to battle on the ice for first time

Thursday, 12.02.2010 / 1:21 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

"The only time that we've skated together competitively was in training camp here in Jersey, but there is a first time for everything. When he was here I was hoping to get into a game with him, but now that he's moved on the next best thing is playing against him and hopefully it'll be a good one tonight."
-- Stephen Gionta

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner never doubted he was going to return to the lineup Thursday for the first time in nine games, but he still needed coach John MacLean's blessing. Stephen Gionta wasn't so sure if he would be in, but he was hoping MacLean would point in his direction Thursday.

He did, so Langenbrunner and Gionta will play for New Jersey against Montreal at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET, RDS), and the Devils, winners of three of their last four games, hope to get a jump from both players for completely different reasons.

Thursday's game will mark the first time Gionta will square off against his brother, Canadiens captain Brian Gionta, in any organized hockey game. Brian is four years older and far more accomplished in the NHL, but Stephen, who was called up by the Devils on Nov. 4, has earned his spot in the lineup.


Ordeal finally nears end for Anaheim's Lupul

Thursday, 12.02.2010 / 10:31 AM / NHL Insider

Lindsay Kramer - Correspondent

The low point wasn't the pain in Anaheim forward Joffrey Lupul's back as much as it was the anguish on the face of his father, Craig.

Craig Lupul was one of the family members and friends who gathered in Joffrey's house in Newport Beach, Calif., last June as Joffrey tried to recover from two back surgeries. Six weeks of antibiotics was thought to have cured a subsequent infection, but another one was attacking him hard and his family could only watch as Joffrey struggled to get well.

Lupul could manage the physical discomfort. But reading the worry on Craig's face was a sobering tip-off to a real career threat at hand.

"I literally couldn't leave the house. I was in a lot of pain. It wasn't the pain I was concerned about. It was six months after the surgery," Lupul said. "Those thoughts (that he might be done playing) stick into your head. You want to block them out."


Heatley ready for rough reception in Ottawa return

Thursday, 12.02.2010 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dany Heatley understands what probably lies in store for him Thursday night, and the San Jose Sharks forward is fine with it.

"I think there will probably be some booing, but fans are entitled to do what they want," Heatley told assembled media following Thursday's morning skate in Ottawa, according to the Toronto Sun.

"I'm not nervous. I've been through this before. This is just another game. I've moved on, I'm happy in San Jose and I want to win the game," said Heatley, who will be facing the Senators in Ottawa for the first time since asking to be traded during the summer of 2009.

"I've played a lot of games in here. It was nice to see some of the guys on the team here for sure."

Heatley spent four seasons in Ottawa, where he had the only two 50-goal seasons of his career and helped the Senators to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. His desire to be traded was granted three weeks before the start of the 2009-10 season, as the Senators dealt him to the Sharks in exchange for Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and a second-round draft pick.


Isles have healthy MacDonald back on blue line

Thursday, 12.02.2010 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- When Andrew MacDonald injured his hand in Tampa Bay on Oct. 21, never in a million years did he think he'd sit and watch his team lose the next 14 games without him.

But that was exactly what happened to the New York Islanders, who suffered through an 0-11-3 skid before beating the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum last Friday. The Isles will look to make it two in a row on Thursday night, when they begin a home-and-home series with the New York Rangers at the Coliseum.
"It's bad enough sitting out for six weeks, but if the team's winning, you're happy," MacDonald told "You come in and we lose the amount of games that we lost, everyone's kind of down. It really was tough to watch. But we got a big win our last game. We're just building off that and going forward."
Going forward, the Islanders will finally have MacDonald back in the lineup. The solid two-way defenseman practiced with the team on Wednesday at the Coliseum and will be in the lineup against the Blueshirts.

Fleischmann practices, eager to start Avs career

Wednesday, 12.01.2010 / 6:26 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Tomas Fleischmann was huffing and puffing a little more than usual Wednesday following his first practice with the Colorado Avalanche.

It was a longer session than usual -- about 90 minutes -- and the 26-year-old forward was dealing with the mile-high altitude on top of jet leg after Tuesday's cross-country flight following his acquisition from the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenseman Scott Hannan.

"Today was a pretty hard practice, I would say," Fleischmann said. "I was kind of winded, but it's good."

After being told of the trade by Capitals general manager George McPhee and coach Bruce Boudreau around noon EST Tuesday, Fleischmann hopped on a plane at 5:30 p.m. and landed in Denver at 8 MST. He arrived at the Pepsi Center in time to watch the last two periods of the Avalanche's 3-2 overtime loss to Atlanta, met his new teammates after the game and was taken to a hotel to get some much-needed rest.

Memories of last spring run gamut for Flyers, B's

Wednesday, 12.01.2010 / 2:39 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

"We haven't forgotten. It was a tough way to end the season and they were the team to do it, so the emotion is there for this game. It's a game we need to get back on track with the way things have been going the past couple of games. Yeah, we remember what happened last year." -- Patrice Bergeron

PHILADELPHIA -- The Boston Bruins would like to treat their first regular-season meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers like any other game on the schedule.
Unfortunately, however, the team was reminded of their epic seven-game setback against the resilient Flyers on more than one occasion as they made final preparations for Wednesday's game here at the Wells Fargo Center.
It marks the first clash between the Eastern Conference rivals since May 14, 2010 -- the night Philadelphia put the finishing touches on their remarkable comeback in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Not only did the Flyers become the first team in 35 years to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games, but they also rallied from a 3-0 first-period deficit to win the decisive Game 7 showdown in Boston.

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Quote of the Day

The fans love it, and it looked like they were having fun. It was great to see this city [Columbus]. They had been waiting a couple years for this game. They did it right.

— Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos after the 2015 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday