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Scandella grateful to Wild for time with ailing father

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 5:40 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Marco Scandella spoke Tuesday of the time he spent away from the Minnesota Wild to be with his ailing father.

"My dad doesn't have much time left, so I'm really happy that the organization let me go back home to see him and say goodbye to him," the defenseman told the Wild website after the morning skate prior to playing at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I owe it to him to play my best hockey, and that's what I'm going to do when I come out every shift. I just have to keep growing as a player and growing as a person."

Fantasy top 100 forwards: MacKinnon, Duchene ignite

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top-100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen is your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

The Colorado Avalanche are at the bottom of the Central Division, the toughest in the NHL, and don't exactly have the deepest, most complete roster to fall back on in their quest to get return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Luckily they do have Nathan MacKinnon, a top-15 fantasy forward in Yahoo leagues this season, who continues to prove his sophomore slump was a fluke. He has at least a point in 11 of his 17 games this season with five multipoint outings (T-9th in NHL) and 19 points on the season (seventh in NHL). His shooting percentage woes are no more after an unlucky and underachieving 2014-15 season of 14 goals on 192 shots on goal in 64 games (7.3 percent) prior to his season-ending injury.

This season, MacKinnon ranks tied for 14th or better in goals (eight on 61 SOG; 13.1 percent), points, plus-minus and SOG. But the crafty playmaker has also done his part to revitalize the Avalanche's other franchise cornerstone, Matt Duchene.

Weekes: Hasek's 70-save performance best ever

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 10:00 AM / Game Savers

Kevin Weekes - NHL Network Analyst

NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes, in conjunction with the new Canada Post goaltender stamp series, provides his insight into the position he played for 11 seasons in the League.

This week, Weekes discusses the best individual goaltending performances.

There have been many great performances by goaltenders during the regular season and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that would classify them as Game Savers. Although I can't include them all here, after much thought, here are what I believe to be the five best goalie performances of all time:

AHL Notebook: Blues talent pipeline powering Wolves

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / AHL Update

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

The American Hockey League has evolved into an operation where player development is the undisputed priority for its 30 member teams.

Even the old-school Chicago Wolves have made the transition, though the evolution has not harmed the on-ice bottom line for the St. Louis Blues' AHL affiliate.

Since moving into the AHL from the former International Hockey League in 2001, the Wolves carved out a reputation as something of an independent operation. Their Chicago location, financial clout and win-now approach made it a very attractive destination for AHL veterans. Success followed as well; Chicago won the Calder Cup in 2002 and 2008, and reached the Cup final in 2005.

But the AHL has changed and the Wolves have had to change along with it. After affiliations with the former Atlanta Thrashers and the Vancouver Canucks, the Wolves partnered with St. Louis before the 2013-14 season.

"We like to mirror our game after the Blues," Wolves captain Pat Cannone said.

Travis Roy following progress of Eichel, McDavid

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Travis Roy has a hard time imagining just how good Buffalo Sabres rookie center Jack Eichel can be playing top minutes with even more NHL mentoring and coaching.

"Jack is as strong as can be, but there is a difference between the boy body and the man body," Roy said. "It'll be interesting when he gets to be 23, 24 years old, and he's a little broader. I can't imagine what Jack's going to do when he gets into that body."

Roy watched how impressive Eichel looked in his Hobey Baker-winning season at Boston University in 2014-15. He's always taken advantage of any opportunity to watch the Terriers, his alma mater.

Five Questions: Maple Leafs' Rielly on change in focus

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly:

NEW YORK -- Coach Mike Babcock's plan for Morgan Rielly is in motion and it's even resulting in some unintended production from the Toronto Maple Leafs' developing No. 1 defenseman.

Rielly is tied with fellow defenseman Dion Phaneuf for the Maple Leafs lead with 11 points through 18 games. It's not a number that jumps off the screen, but it's still a lot of points considering Babcock's plan for Rielly this season is to play him against the opposition's top lines and give him more time on the penalty kill than the power play in order to keep his focus on improving his play without the puck.

Gagne was destined to make his mark with Flyers

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Simon Gagne didn't know it, but he was destined to be with the Philadelphia Flyers.

On Tuesday, the Flyers will honor Gagne, who announced his retirement Sept. 15, before their game against the Los Angeles Kings (7 p.m. ET; FS-W, CSN-PH).

Gagne played 11 of his 14 NHL seasons with the Flyers, and his 264 goals, 535 points and 691 games played rank in the Flyers' top 10. He had seven 20-goal seasons, topped by back-to-back seasons of 47 goals in 2005-06 and 41 in 2006-07.

However, Gagne was surprised to hear the Flyers select him with the 22nd pick of the 1998 NHL Draft. Only later did he learn of his family's connection to the organization.

Pierre Gagne, Simon's father, and Flyers amateur scout Simon Nolet were longtime friends and minor hockey teammates. Decades later, Nolet, who has scouted Quebec-based prospects for the Flyers since 1990, was instrumental in his friend's son being drafted.

Around the League notebook: Monday, Nov. 16

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 12:28 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Aaron Ekblad scored the lone goal with 20.2 seconds remaining in regulation, and Roberto Luongo made saves on all 39 shots he faced to help the Florida Panthers sweep their home-and-home series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

* Ekblad also scored the tying goal at 19:22 of the third period Saturday at Tampa Bay in an eventual 5-4 win for the Panthers. Via the Elias Sports Bureau, the last player to score a tying or go-ahead goal in the final minute of regulation in consecutive team games was Dany Heatley on March 17 and 19, 2003 (w/ ATL) – he broke a 2-2 tie in a 3-2 W vs. CBJ and two nights later evened the score in an eventual 5-4 OT loss vs. DAL.

* Ekblad has 3-1—4 in his past four games after beginning with 1-2—3 in his first 14 games this season.

Capitals reunite Ovechkin, Backstrom at practice

Monday, 11.16.2015 / 4:22 PM / News

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin might have a familiar center riding shotgun with him when he gets his next chance at scoring his record-breaking goal.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz reunited Washington's captain and leading scorer with Nicklas Backstrom for practice Monday, but offered no guarantees they would play together against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports), when Ovechkin will again try to break Sergei Fedorov's record for the most goals scored in the NHL by a Russian player.

Ovechkin is currently tied with Fedorov with 483 goals. He has played all season with Evgeny Kuznetsov as his center, but he hasn't scored in three straight games and has only five shots on goal in the past two after getting 15 shots against the Red Wings last Tuesday.

"I don't even know if that's how we will be, I just wanted to change it up, change the thought process a little bit," Trotz told the Capitals website after practice Monday. "I think we can be better in some areas. I haven't put [Backstrom], Osh [T.J. Oshie] and Ovi together to see how that looks."

Oilers' McDavid staying positive, playing waiting game

Monday, 11.16.2015 / 3:42 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid said he is trying to stay positive while he recovers from a fractured clavicle sustained when he crashed into the end boards Nov. 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

McDavid spoke to the media Monday for the first time since the injury occurred.

The No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft had surgery the following day and is expected to be out for months, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said.

"I think the main part is just getting back to 100 percent," McDavid said. "If there is any positive to it, it's a bone and it can heal. It's not like it's a separated shoulder or torn labrum or anything like that. Bones heal, and I just have to wait for it to get 100 percent."

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Quote of the Day

Guys were making fun of him a little bit after his breakaway that he shot right in [Jake Allen's] chest, but after that he turned it up to beast mode and buried a couple there.

— Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo on teammate Derek MacKenzie, who scored twice in a 3-1 victory against the Blues on Tuesday
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