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Over the Boards
(Page 1 of 6)
Over the Boards

Predators' Jones has help navigating life in Nashville

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NOTE TO READERS: Over the Boards is undergoing a format change for the 2014-15 season and transitioning into a blog that will be updated several times per week by Dan Rosen. It will feature news and information, quotes and anecdotes similar to what you have been able to find here in the weekly notebook. Rosen's Mailbag will still appear in the Over the Boards blog every Wednesday.

If Nashville Predators defenseman Seth Jones gets into an argument with his roommate about cleaning up, doing the dishes or taking out the trash, he can count on one thing being true:

He won't win.

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Over the Boards: Red Wings add 'coach concierge'

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

One of the Detroit Red Wings' new assistant coaches found his niche in hockey by chance seven years ago when as a business student at the University of New Brunswick, he made a motivational video to celebrate the school's 2007 CIS University Cup championship.

Andrew Brewer was hired by Mike Babcock in late July. He's 28 years old.

"So, I've kind of given up on guessing what I'm going to be doing in five or 10 years," Brewer said during a recent phone interview.

Brewer never played at a high level. He was, as he said, usually the last guy cut from the team. His father, Perley, was a goalie coach in the American Hockey League, but Brewer said he would have had to become a fighter if he wanted to continue playing beyond the age of 16.

"I had no desire to do that, so I kind of gave it up," Brewer said.

But Brewer, who said he has always admired coaches more than players because of his father, made a video for a school project that has led him down a career path that was once just a pipe dream and into a relationship with Babcock that has to be one of the most unique in the NHL.

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Over the Boards: Bruins believe in Ferguson's ability

Wednesday, 08.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

John Ferguson Jr.'s major miscalculation eight years ago as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs has served to stabilize the Boston Bruins goaltending for what should be years to come. Now that Ferguson has joined the Bruins as executive director of player personnel, he finally can cash in on the ability of the best player he drafted in his nearly five years in Toronto.

Yes, we're talking about the trade of Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft from June 24, 2006. Maple Leafs fans can proceed with caution through the next several paragraphs.

Ferguson thought he was doing the right thing when he traded Rask to the Bruins for Raycroft. He thought Justin Pogge was the future No. 1 goalie in Toronto, meaning Rask, the No. 21 pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, was expendable, especially if the return was Raycroft, a goalie who was supposed to be entering his prime.

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Over the Boards: Laich assesses Capitals' struggles

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

A look in the mirror can expose the face of failure. It can also lead to change.

Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich is hoping the mirror has been as brutally revealing to his teammates as it has been to him and executives in the organization this summer.

If it hasn't been, there's a bigger problem in Washington than a new coach (Barry Trotz) and a new general manager (Brian MacLellan) can fix.

"My honest opinion is not making the playoffs last year might have been the greatest day going forward for our organization, because I really think it made us all take a look in the mirror and at our failures and why we are failing," Laich told NHL.com. "If we would have made the playoffs and lost in the first or second round it would have been the same old story, but you wouldn't have had that hard, brutally honest look at yourselves to realize why you are failing."

The Capitals didn't make the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season for the first time since 2006-07. Their failure cost former general manager George McPhee and former coach Adam Oates their jobs.

But changes on the bench with Trotz and in the front office with MacLellan can only do so much. Laich said it's up to the players to change too.

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Over the Boards: Playoffs taught Avalanche lessons

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov still sighs and struggles to speak about the pain he felt the night of April 30, the agony he and his teammates took into the offseason after their heartbreaking exit from the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It was a nightmare for all of us, especially for me," Varlamov said.

Leading by a goal against the Minnesota Wild with less than three minutes left in regulation of Game 7 in the Western Conference First Round series, it was right there for the taking for the Avalanche. They had played at a surprisingly high level all season and needed to keep it up for a few more minutes to advance in the playoffs for the first time in six years and face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

It didn't happen, and maybe -- as coach Patrick Roy has rationalized over and over, in public and one can only assume in private as well -- it didn't happen for a reason.

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Over the Boards: Expectations rise for Lightning

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Jon Cooper walked right into the question. And he knew it too.

Cooper, the coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was talking about going through the stages in his career that led him to the 2014 NHL Awards as a finalist for the Jack Adams Award. He was talking about doubting himself at each stage, overcoming the insecurity and realizing he can deliver the goods and hang with the best coaches in the business, because right now he is one of them.

"In the big picture this year I feel confident that I belong," Cooper said.

As soon as he stopped talking, the following question came at him fast. It was about the next stage, which has to be winning in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Cooper smiled and laughed, and then he agreed.

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Over the Boards: Alzner assesses Capitals' struggles

Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner believes honesty in the face of adversity is the best policy a player and a team can have. Alzner's problem is he doesn't think his team has fully bought into that policy.

"We don't always admit to our mistakes, own up to them and fix them," Alzner told NHL.com from Prudential Center last Friday. "We just push them under the rug and worry about it later."

The Capitals won't be able to push away their problems anymore.

After heading into the season thinking they could compete with the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Metropolitan Division, the Capitals are now longshots to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs; they staved off elimination with a 4-1 win Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues and are four points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second and final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with three games left for each team.

The Washington organization has questions to answer as it nears the end of a disappointing regular season and what will likely be a longer-than-anticipated offseason.

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Over the Boards: Boudreau reflects on historic rally

Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 2:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said his team's historic come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win Monday against the Winnipeg Jets reminds him of Game 4 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.

"We were down [3-0] in Game 4 to the Rangers in New York," said Boudreau, who was Capitals coach from 2007-2011. "We scored three in the third, [Jason] Chimera scored in [double] overtime, and we won."

On Monday, the Ducks trailed 4-0 before Nick Bonino scored with 2:16 remaining in the second period. Anaheim scored three times in the third, including Corey Perry's game-tying goal with 22.7 seconds left, to force overtime. Stephane Robidas' goal 16 seconds into overtime capped the Ducks' largest comeback victory in franchise history.


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Over the Boards: Three trades, three winners

Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- More than two years later, the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings have no complaints about the returns they got in what amounted to three blockbuster deals involving star forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. If the Columbus Blue Jackets become a perennial Stanley Cup Playoff contender with Jack Johnson as their cornerstone defensemen, they won't have any reason to gripe either.

All three teams could be in the playoffs this season.

"If you look at [the trades], it's worked out well for everybody," Philadelphia assistant general manager Ron Hextall told NHL.com before watching the Kings beat the Flyers 3-2 on Monday.


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Over the Boards: Giroux fuels Flyers' resurgence

Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- During an interview that lasted less than six minutes Tuesday morning, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux used the word "we" 18 times and "team" 10 times.

What he wouldn't do, even when pressed, is talk about himself.

That's not surprising because Giroux has always been a team-first guy, but it is ironic considering everyone else in the Philadelphia dressing room has no problem saying Giroux is the player at the heart of the team's turnaround this season.

"When he's going, everyone is going," Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said.


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Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff