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(Page 156 of 254)
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In the Cage: Final goalie ranks and a look ahead

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

This fantasy hockey season was truly the Year of the Goalie.

When the Winnipeg Jets' Michael Hutchinson and the Anaheim Ducks' John Gibson made their NHL debuts Monday night, they became the 91st and 92nd goalies to appear in a game this season. On Thursday night, John Curry will become the fifth goalie to suit up for the Wild this season, extending the total to 93. That's an impressive number, because only once since the 1999-2000 campaign has there been more than 92 goalies to appear in a season (94 in the 2003-04 season).

With so many unknown fantasy goalie assets weaving their way in and out of starting lineups this season, the only thing more impressive than the number 92 would be the play of the class of 22 rookies. After Gibson's 5-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night, rookies have a combined 103-81-25 record. Their 2.52 goals-against average and .912 save percentage (5,658 saves on 6,206 shots) also includes 15 shutouts.

It's hard to believe we're wrapping up the third year of "In the Cage" articles, but in doing so, let's look back at some of the best fantasy goalies from the regular season.

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No Stanley Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios Thursday

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 11:25 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

No team can clinch a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth Thursday, but much remains at stake for several clubs. Below are some playoff implications for games Thursday:

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Prospector Files: Like father, like son for Reinharts

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospector Files

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart has a pretty good idea what it takes to reach the next level.

He spent 11 seasons in the League with the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks and is the father of three successful hockey-playing sons: Max, Griffin and Sam.

Max was a third-round pick (No. 64) of the Flames in 2010 and Griffin was selected No. 4 by the New York Islanders in 2012. Sam's turn will come at the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

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Bruins' Rask should take home Vezina Trophy

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the 2013-14 regular season rapidly coming to a close, NHL.com looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

Until last season, the Vezina Trophy belonged to the veterans of the goaltending position for much of the past two decades.

Starting with Dominik Hasek's first victory in 1994, there was an 18-season period where only twice did someone younger than 29 win the Vezina (Jim Carrey was 21 in 1996 and Jose Theodore was 25 in 2002). Sergei Bobrovsky won in his age-24 season in 2013, and it's likely someone is going to make it two in a row for the 28-and-under crowd this season.

Entering play Tuesday, the top six goaltenders in save percentage with at least 42 starts all are 27 years old or younger.

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Red Deer prospect Fleury has NHL role model

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

As a toddler Red Deer Rebels defenseman Haydn Fleury had his first brush with the NHL. He just might not have known it at the time.

At age 3 Fleury's babysitter in his hometown of Carlyle, Saskatchewan, was current St. Louis Blues forward Brenden Morrow, then a star with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League and a 1997 first-round pick of the Dallas Stars.

The impact of having Morrow around was immediate.

"Growing up I always wanted to be the same number he was," said Fleury, a potential first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. "He was a good role model for me. I know being from a small town he had to move away at a young age to go to Portland. It kind of set me up to want to go the same route he was. He was just a good role model for me as a young kid."

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Playoff Countdown: West playoff spot up for grabs

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 2:00 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The conclusion to 2013-14 NHL regular season is fast approaching. After game play Wednesday, the League is down to 37 games remaining on the schedule, with 11 to be played Thursday. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff qualification, playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the four-day countdown to the end of the season April 13 and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16, NHL.com will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

The eight teams that will represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Playoffs have been decided, with the final two punching their tickets Wednesday night.

For the 23rd consecutive postseason, the Detroit Red Wings will have an opportunity to play for the championship. Detroit clinched a playoff berth Wednesday by earning a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, meanwhile, will compete in the playoffs for the second time in franchise history. Columbus clinched a spot with a 3-1 win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

There is still much to be determined, however. Playoff matchups still need to be determined in each conference, and one postseason spot is still available in the Western Conference.

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Blue Jackets in playoffs, ready to take 'next step'

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 1:00 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- The atmosphere in the visitors' locker room at American Airlines Center following the Columbus Blue Jackets' playoff-clinching 3-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night would best be described as festive yet subdued.

Sure, the Blue Jackets were ecstatic about making the playoffs for the second time in their history, but Columbus, which still has games remaining at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and the Florida Panthers on Sunday, knows that clinching a spot in the postseason is only the beginning.

For starters, with 91 points, Columbus is tied with the Philadelphia Flyers in the race for third place in the Metropolitan Division; the Flyers have a game in hand. The Blue Jackets are focused on improving their playoff positioning over their final two regular-season games.

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Penguins' Letang 'darn good' in return from stroke

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 12:05 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang noticed some areas he could improve in his first game back after having a stroke but was pleased with his performance Wednesday.

Letang finished with one assist and two shots in 22:30 of ice time in Pittsburgh's 4-3 shootout win against the Detroit Red Wings. He said he didn't feel any lingering effects of his stroke after the game.

"There are some things I felt good about, some things I have to get my timing back," Letang said. "Hockey is about timing and, I don't know, maybe it's going to take a week, maybe it's going to take two weeks."

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Call-ups reason Red Wings are back in playoffs

Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 11:55 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

There was talk coming out of the Olympic break that the Detroit Red Wings' quest for a 23rd consecutive appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was far from a sure thing.

Now we know the fifth-longest playoff streak in NHL history and longest active streak among the four main professional sports leagues is alive and well.

The last time the Red Wings failed to qualify for the postseason was 1990, when George H.W. Bush was president. The Boston Bruins own the NHL record at 29 seasons (1968-96), followed by the Chicago Blackhawks (28 seasons; 1970-1997), St. Louis Blues (25; 1980-2004) and Montreal Canadiens (24; 1971-1994).

Since the start of the 1997-98 season, the Red Wings have won more regular-season games than any team in the NHL. The team's 113 playoff wins, which includes four Stanley Cup championships, also are tops in the League in that span.

Here are five reasons why the Red Wings are heading back to the playoffs:

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Forward depth, physical play help Jackets to playoffs

Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 11:30 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Columbus Blue Jackets are back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in five seasons. They clinched the berth Wednesday night with a 3-1 win against the Dallas Stars.

It's been a long haul to get to this point, particularly after losing out on a tiebreaker to the Minnesota Wild for the eighth seed in the Western Conference at the close of the 2012-13 regular season. But the Blue Jackets are a better team this season with depth at forward and a world-class goalie itching to make his mark in the postseason.

In addition, there are several young players in significant roles this season under third-year coach Todd Richards, including forwards Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner and defenseman Ryan Murray.

If the regular-season home finale Tuesday night was any indication, Nationwide Arena will be rocking when the team returns to Columbus to open the playoffs. It was a memorable night too, when Johansen continued his torrid offensive pace with an unbelievable wrist shot to defeat the Phoenix Coyotes in overtime.

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Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com