Stars-Canadiens Preview (The Associated Press)

Jason Spezza won’t deny that his arrival in Dallas helped create expectations the Stars struggled to meet early in the season. He’s just glad the weight wasn’t enough to ruin the season before the Stars reached the All-Star break. Now, Spezza and the Stars emerge from the layoff looking to sweep the season series from the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at Bell Centre. “When you’re a team that makes the playoffs and then you add a couple of pieces, the expectations take another step,” said Spezza, who was acquired from Ottawa last summer, giving Dallas (21-18-7) more firepower to go with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.

Continue reading Stars-Canadiens Preview (The Associated Press)

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Final arguments Wednesday in civil suit pitting Guy Lafleur against Crown, cops (The Canadian Press)

Lawyers have finished presenting evidence at the civil trial of retired hockey great Guy Lafleur. Final arguments will take place Wednesday in a case that has the former Montreal Canadiens star suing the Crown and Montreal police for $2.16 million over what he deems an unjustified and exaggerated arrest. Lafleur claims his reputation was tarnished by a heavily reported arrest warrant issued by authorities and that he suffered financial losses as a result.

Continue reading Final arguments Wednesday in civil suit pitting Guy Lafleur against Crown, cops (The Canadian Press)

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Have a Hart: Time for NHL defenseman or goalie to win MVP? (The Associated Press)

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith can understand why the NHL’s Hart Trophy is traditionally awarded to offensive-minded forwards. They see the red light go on,” Keith said during the NHL All-Star festivities in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend. ”How did Lidstrom not win a Hart Trophy?” Keith asked, referring to Niklas Lidstrom. The former Detroit Red Wings blue-liner won seven Norris Trophies from 2001-11, and was the 2002 MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Continue reading Have a Hart: Time for NHL defenseman or goalie to win MVP? (The Associated Press)

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‘Hockey Wives’ on W Network reveals full cast of ‘WAGs’ (The Canadian Press)

W Network has revealed the full roster for its docu-series “Hockey Wives,” which follows the spouses of NHL stars and is set to premiere in March. They include Maripier Morin, a Montreal TV host and girlfriend of Canadiens winger Brandon Prust. Also in the cast is fashion designer Tiffany Parros, who is married to recently retired Montreal forward George Parros. They join the previously announced Nicole Brown, wife of Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown, and actress Noureen DeWulf, wife of Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller.

Continue reading ‘Hockey Wives’ on W Network reveals full cast of ‘WAGs’ (The Canadian Press)

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What the six Canadian NHL teams in contention must do to make playoffs (The Canadian Press)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four Canadian teams are in playoff positions at the NHL’s all-star break. The Montreal Canadiens are the lone Eastern Conference team, while the Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames are in the top eight in the West.

Continue reading What the six Canadian NHL teams in contention must do to make playoffs (The Canadian Press)

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NHL-National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

On the eve of the 60th All-Star Game, in Columbus, Ohio, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr announced on Saturday the return of the World Cup of Hockey. “Our goal — the NHL and the NHLPA — is to create the most complete, entertaining and comprehensive tournament possible,” Bettman said. This is just the first step.” The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be held at Toronto’s Air Canada Center, beginning on Sept. 17 and running as late as Oct. 1. – – – The NHL set its outdoor calendar for the 2015-16 season.

Continue reading NHL-National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

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Habs to visit Bruins in 2016 Winter Classic as NHL unveils outdoor game schedule (The Canadian Press)

Two years after the massive success at Michigan Stadium, the Montreal Canadiens will become the second Canadian NHL team to take part in a Winter Classic. The Canadiens will visit the Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on New Year’s Day 2016, taking hockey’s oldest rivalry outside. “It was special in 2010 just to be there with the history behind Fenway Park and all that,” Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron said.

Continue reading Habs to visit Bruins in 2016 Winter Classic as NHL unveils outdoor game schedule (The Canadian Press)

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Habs to visit Bruins in 2016 Winter Classic as NHL unveils outdoor game schedule (The Canadian Press)

Two years after the massive success at Michigan Stadium, the Montreal Canadiens will become the second Canadian NHL team to take part in a Winter Classic. The Canadiens will visit the Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on New Year’s Day 2016, taking hockey’s oldest rivalry outside. “It was special in 2010 just to be there with the history behind Fenway Park and all that,” Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron said.

Continue reading Habs to visit Bruins in 2016 Winter Classic as NHL unveils outdoor game schedule (The Canadian Press)

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NHL-Bruins to host Canadiens in 2016 Winter Classic (Reuters)

Jan 24 (Reuters) – The Boston Bruins will host longtime rivals the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced on Saturday. The Bruins will become the first team to host the showpiece outdoor contest for a second time, having beaten the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at Fenway Park in 2010. Two other outdoor games will be played during the 2015-16 NHL regular season as part of the popular stadium series. …

Continue reading NHL-Bruins to host Canadiens in 2016 Winter Classic (Reuters)

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NHL announces 2016 outdoor games in Boston, Minnesota and Denver (Puck Daddy)

The NHL formally announced their slate of outdoor games for the 2015-16 season, confirming what had leaked over the last few weeks.  The Boston Bruins will host the Montreal Canadiens at Foxboro Stadium in the 2016 Winter Classic on Jan. 1. The Minnesota Wild will host the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21 in the Stadium Series. The Colorado Avalanche will face the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 27 at Coors Field. Coors is also the title sponsor of the Stadium Series. It’s the first outdoor game for both the Wild and the Avalanche. The Boston Bruins are making their second appearance and first since the Fenway Park game in 2010. The Canadiens will be making their third appearance, having appeared in the 2003 and the 2011 Heritage Classics. The Red Wings last appeared in the 2013 Winter Classic at the University of Michigan, and are making their third appearance overall. The Blackhawks will be making their fourth appearance in the outdoor games, and their third in three years. Is it unfair to have one franchise play in so many outdoor games? “Some teams are more comfortable playing in these games than others. We’re happy to have them. They’re a national draw,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Bettman said that the League “very much wanted” to play an outdoor game in Winnipeg next season, but couldn’t settle on a date with the Blue Bombers, the city’s Canadian Football League team. He also said that the number of outdoor games isn’t overkill. “I know some of these games have a dilutive effect. If you’ve been to one, you know that’s not the case.” MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :

Continue reading NHL announces 2016 outdoor games in Boston, Minnesota and Denver (Puck Daddy)

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NHL All-Star Skills Competition players announced; who wins? (Puck Daddy)

Team Foligno and Team Toews have selected their competitors for the Saturday night Skills Competition, scheduled for 7 p.m. ET at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Who wins? Check out the field. Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater Event description: Four players from each team will test their speed,  facing off against an opponent in a two-skater race. The race track is the  entire outside border of the ice. Timing devices will record each skater to  determine who is the fastest. If a race ends in a tie, each of the teams  will be awarded one point. If, at the completion of the event, the skaters  who tied have the fastest overall time, the skaters will race again to  determine which team receives the bonus point. Five team points are  available. The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the  fastest skater scores one bonus point. Team Foligno Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning Jiri Sekac, Montreal Canadiens Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo Sabres Team Toews Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars Mike Hoffman, Ottawa Senators Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers Vladamir Taresenko, St. Louis Blues Favorite: Seguin can flat-out fly. Darkhorse: This event favors young legs; it wouldn’t be a shock to see Drouin skate away with it. *** Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge Event description: A test of creativity a player can insert into a  breakaway, three shooters and one goaltender from each team will  participate. Columbus’ Ryan Johansen was selected by fans to participate in  this event in an online vote. Each skater will attempt three shots. NHL  penalty shot rules do not apply. Fans in-arena and watching on television  will be able to vote for their favorite player on Twitter by casting their  vote using the hashtag that corresponds to the player of their choice. The  shooter with the highest fan vote will score one point for his team. Team Foligno Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues (goalie) Team Toews Vladimir Taresenko, St. Louis Blues Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks (goalie) Favorite: The fan vote favors local boy Johansen, Ovechkin and Taresenko. Darkhorse: NHL leading scorer Voracek will still get lots of local love. *** DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting Event description: Four players from each team will compete, with two  additional players serving as passers. This event will consist of four  head-to-head match-ups, one shooter from each team per round. The goal is  to hit four 15-inch diameter targets located in each corner of the net. The  teams will be situated at opposite ends of the rink, and will alternate  shot attempts. The first shooter to hit all four targets wins. Five team  points are available. The winner of each match-up scores one point; the  player who hits all four targets in the fastest time scores the bonus  point. Team Foligno Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets Radim Vrbata, Vancouver Canucks Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers (passer) Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings (passer) Team Toews   Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins John Tavares, New York Islanders Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks Rick Nash, New York Rangers (passer) Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils (passer) Favorite: Team Toews has some great snipers, including the captain, who is still seeking to win the even for the first time. *** Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay Event description: This timed relay event – involving 14 skaters and one  goalie from each team – will consist of five challenges: One-Timers, with  three shooters and one passer per team; Passing, with one passer per team;  Puck Control, with one skater per team; Stick-Handling, with one skater per  team; and Goalie Goals, with one goalie per team. Each challenge must be  completed before moving on to the next one. The goal is to finish all five  challenges faster than the opponent. Three team points are available. The  team with the fastest time in each heat scores one point; the team with the  fastest overall time scores one bonus point.

Continue reading NHL All-Star Skills Competition players announced; who wins? (Puck Daddy)

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The Great Outdoors

MONTREAL – In 2016, the Montreal Canadiens will ring in the New Year on the NHL’s biggest stage.

The National Hockey League confirmed on Saturday that the Habs will take part in next year’s 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, facing off against the Boston Bruins on January 1, 2016.

Continue reading The Great Outdoors

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NHL all-star weekend missing some stars as Crosby, Malkin are out with injuries (The Canadian Press)

One thing Tyler Seguin was looking forward to at the NHL’s all-star weekend was meeting Sidney Crosby. In five seasons in the league, the Dallas Stars centre has never had a conversation with the Pittsburgh Penguins captain. Crosby is the biggest name of the injured to pull out, a list that includes teammate Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Bobrovsky of the host Columbus Blue Jackets, MVP candidate Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators, Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings and Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche.

Continue reading NHL all-star weekend missing some stars as Crosby, Malkin are out with injuries (The Canadian Press)

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Sidney Crosby’s regrettable All-Star Game snub (Puck Daddy)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sidney Crosby’s absence from the 2015 NHL All-Star Game is no doubt a disappointment to many fans. That includes one he’s currently chasing in the scoring race.  “I actually, to this day, still have never met Crosby,” said Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars. “Never really had a conversation with him. I was looking forward to that, but obviously that’s not going to happen.” Crosby pulled out of the All-Star Game on Thursday evening due to a lower-body injury, after his Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin did the same earlier in the day. That left goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as the team’s lone rep in Columbus.  “I know they talked about they wanted to be here. Obviously they’re taking that time to heal up. A little disappointed to not have my teammates with me, but I’m trying to make the best out of it,” Fleury said. Hey, we all are, MAF. Even if it royally sucks that your teammate skipped the All-Star Game because of a minor injury. The Penguins announced Crosby has a lower body injury and would miss a week, including a game against Winnipeg both he and Malkin were mandated to miss for pulling out of the All-Star Game so late in the process. Perhaps to confront the criticism over his absence, the Penguins clarified that Crosby had been struggling with the injury since a Jan. 10 game against the Montreal Canadiens, and took an injection to deal with it recently. “Crosby had attempted to play through the injury the past two weeks. He is expected to resume skating on Tuesday and could return to the lineup either Wednesday at Washington or Friday at New Jersey,” said the team. Which is to say that he opted not to play through that injury at the All-Star Game in Columbus. Or appear in Columbus to be part of the festivities even though he’s injured, as he did in 2009 when the game was held in Montreal, because Canada is not Ohio, at last check. “For the All-Star Game, it’s important to get everyone on board, especially the players,” Crosby said in January 2009 . “I was planning on being here anyway, [so] it wasn’t a huge issue.” It’s kind of a huge issue when the best hockey player on the planet and the face of your league – he literally looms large on the side of Nationwide Arena – has missed five straight All-Star Games and has only played in one during his 10-year NHL career. Some of this was out of Crosby’s hands. His high ankle sprain in 2008, keeping him out of the Atlanta All-Star Game, sidelined him for 6-8 weeks. In 2009, it was a left knee bruise, missing a game immediately before the All-Star break. In 2010, there were Olympics. He missed 2011 and 2012 with concussion symptoms, with talk that he was going to “boycott” the 2011 game in Raleigh. (A well-time media leak for effect.) Then another lockout. Then the Sochi Games. And now he misses the Columbus All-Star Game because of a minor injury. Minor to the point where the team says they expect him back next week, potentially missing two games but nothing more. Should Crosby be here? Of course. If only to do what he did in Montreal or, depending on the injury, at least take part in some non-strenuous skills competition fun. To put it in high-school terms: The other absences had doctor’s notes. This one feels like Sid took some vegetable soup, poured it into the toilet and told his parents he had the stomach flu. (I know this works. I tried it, to great effect.) I can’t recall another All-Star Game absence that had fans turn so negatively on Crosby, or had his peers gritting their teeth over his absence from the game. Said Alex Ovechkin, who has never missed an All-Star Game, on whether Crosby’s absence is disappointing. “Yeah, of course. For fans it’s kind of a disappointing moment. I’m pretty sure lots of great players didn’t make. It’s kind of sad, but it is what it is.” ( Ed. Note: He did miss one in 2012 .) Said Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks, on stars showing up for the game: “I think it is important. As much as some guys need the break, it is important that you be here. This is a big event for the League and you want to have all the superstars here at the same time.” But Crosby’s going to also get some sympathy. From fans who think the All-Star Game is a three-day joke and only the NHL’s sponsors get the punchline; and from some star players that give everything they have to promote the League and sympathize with a competitor needed a break. Like when Jonathan Toews, who could play in his fourth outdoor game next season, was asked if he’s ever thought about getting an “injury” and hitting the beach during the All-Star break. “Aw, c’mon, you expect me to answer that straight up?” he said, smiling. “I’m only kidding. For anyone to have break like that, and we don’t play until next Wednesday, it is a good break for your body.” It helps Crosby and, in turn, helps the Penguins. But it doesn’t help the fans. It doesn’t help the League. And it doesn’t help when players like Nick Foligno and Brian Elliott — who left a vacation in Turks and Caicos to fill in as an injury replacement in the game — exhibit the kind of enthusiasm for this even that we all wish the League’s biggest star showed an iota of having.  Being the best player on the planet means having the biggest set of responsibilities, from keeping your nose clean off the ice to promoting the game across the globe. There is no question Sidney Crosby does his part; but when you’re the NHL’s biggest name and you have as many appearances in the All-Star Game as Eric Brewer, there’s something wrong. It’s not like Crosby would be the only guy here wishing he could sit out and heal up for a week. But the point is that they’re here, and he isn’t. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

Continue reading Sidney Crosby’s regrettable All-Star Game snub (Puck Daddy)

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Sidney Crosby’s regrettable All-Star Game snub (Puck Daddy)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sidney Crosby’s absence from the 2015 NHL All-Star Game is no doubt a disappointment to many fans. That includes one he’s currently chasing in the scoring race.  “I actually, to this day, still have never met Crosby,” said Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars. “Never really had a conversation with him. I was looking forward to that, but obviously that’s not going to happen.” Crosby pulled out of the All-Star Game on Thursday evening due to a lower-body injury, after his Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin did the same earlier in the day. That left goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as the team’s lone rep in Columbus.  “I know they talked about they wanted to be here. Obviously they’re taking that time to heal up. A little disappointed to not have my teammates with me, but I’m trying to make the best out of it,” Fleury said. Hey, we all are, MAF. Even if it royally sucks that your teammate skipped the All-Star Game because of a minor injury. The Penguins announced Crosby has a lower body injury and would miss a week, including a game against Winnipeg both he and Malkin were mandated to miss for pulling out of the All-Star Game so late in the process. Perhaps to confront the criticism over his absence, the Penguins clarified that Crosby had been struggling with the injury since a Jan. 10 game against the Montreal Canadiens, and took an injection to deal with it recently. “Crosby had attempted to play through the injury the past two weeks. He is expected to resume skating on Tuesday and could return to the lineup either Wednesday at Washington or Friday at New Jersey,” said the team. Which is to say that he opted not to play through that injury at the All-Star Game in Columbus. Or appear in Columbus to be part of the festivities even though he’s injured, as he did in 2009 when the game was held in Montreal, because Canada is not Ohio, at last check. “For the All-Star Game, it’s important to get everyone on board, especially the players,” Crosby said in January 2009 . “I was planning on being here anyway, [so] it wasn’t a huge issue.” It’s kind of a huge issue when the best hockey player on the planet and the face of your league – he literally looms large on the side of Nationwide Arena – has missed five straight All-Star Games and has only played in one during his 10-year NHL career. Some of this was out of Crosby’s hands. His high ankle sprain in 2008, keeping him out of the Atlanta All-Star Game, sidelined him for 6-8 weeks. In 2009, it was a left knee bruise, missing a game immediately before the All-Star break. In 2010, there were Olympics. He missed 2011 and 2012 with concussion symptoms, with talk that he was going to “boycott” the 2011 game in Raleigh. (A well-time media leak for effect.) Then another lockout. Then the Sochi Games. And now he misses the Columbus All-Star Game because of a minor injury. Minor to the point where the team says they expect him back next week, potentially missing two games but nothing more. Should Crosby be here? Of course. If only to do what he did in Montreal or, depending on the injury, at least take part in some non-strenuous skills competition fun. To put it in high-school terms: The other absences had doctor’s notes. This one feels like Sid took some vegetable soup, poured it into the toilet and told his parents he had the stomach flu. (I know this works. I tried it, to great effect.) I can’t recall another All-Star Game absence that had fans turn so negatively on Crosby, or had his peers gritting their teeth over his absence from the game. Said Alex Ovechkin, who has never missed an All-Star Game, on whether Crosby’s absence is disappointing. “Yeah, of course. For fans it’s kind of a disappointing moment. I’m pretty sure lots of great players didn’t make. It’s kind of sad, but it is what it is.” ( Ed. Note: He did miss one in 2012 .) Said Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks, on stars showing up for the game: “I think it is important. As much as some guys need the break, it is important that you be here. This is a big event for the League and you want to have all the superstars here at the same time.” But Crosby’s going to also get some sympathy. From fans who think the All-Star Game is a three-day joke and only the NHL’s sponsors get the punchline; and from some star players that give everything they have to promote the League and sympathize with a competitor needed a break. Like when Jonathan Toews, who could play in his fourth outdoor game next season, was asked if he’s ever thought about getting an “injury” and hitting the beach during the All-Star break. “Aw, c’mon, you expect me to answer that straight up?” he said, smiling. “I’m only kidding. For anyone to have break like that, and we don’t play until next Wednesday, it is a good break for your body.” It helps Crosby and, in turn, helps the Penguins. But it doesn’t help the fans. It doesn’t help the League. And it doesn’t help when players like Nick Foligno and Brian Elliott — who left a vacation in Turks and Caicos to fill in as an injury replacement in the game — exhibit the kind of enthusiasm for this even that we all wish the League’s biggest star showed an iota of having.  Being the best player on the planet means having the biggest set of responsibilities, from keeping your nose clean off the ice to promoting the game across the globe. There is no question Sidney Crosby does his part; but when you’re the NHL’s biggest name and you have as many appearances in the All-Star Game as Eric Brewer, there’s something wrong. It’s not like Crosby would be the only guy here wishing he could sit out and heal up for a week. But the point is that they’re here, and he isn’t. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

Continue reading Sidney Crosby’s regrettable All-Star Game snub (Puck Daddy)

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Pens’ Crosby takes injection to treat lower-body injury (Reuters)

(Reuters) – Sidney Crosby has taken an injection for a lower-body injury that will keep him out of this weekend’s National Hockey League All-Star Game, the team said on Friday. The Penguins said Crosby, the NHL’s reigning most valuable player and face of the league, is expected to resume skating on Tuesday in hopes of returning either Wednesday at Washington or Friday at New Jersey. According to the Penguins, Crosby was hurt during a game against the Montreal Canadiens and has attempted to play through the injury the past two weeks.

Continue reading Pens’ Crosby takes injection to treat lower-body injury (Reuters)

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NHL-Pens’ Crosby takes injection to treat lower-body injury (Reuters)

Sidney Crosby has taken an injection for a lower-body injury that will keep him out of this weekend’s National Hockey League All-Star Game, the team said on Friday. The Penguins said Crosby, the NHL’s reigning most valuable player and face of the league, is expected to resume skating on Tuesday in hopes of returning either Wednesday at Washington or Friday at New Jersey. According to the Penguins, Crosby was hurt during a game against the Montreal Canadiens and has attempted to play through the injury the past two weeks.

Continue reading NHL-Pens’ Crosby takes injection to treat lower-body injury (Reuters)

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The 10 NHL stars you assumed were All-Stars but never actually were (Puck Daddy)

The NHL All-Star Game is this weekend in Columbus, and thanks to changing dynamics in the League and some significant injuries, there are a number of players who are making their first appearances in the midseason classic.  They should embrace it. They should cherish it. Because not every big name player gets their shot to be an NHL All-Star. Here are 10 players that you might assume had been NHL All-Stars but, alas, never were during their storied NHL careers. Please keep in mind we went with retired players or players that are near the end of their run; while there are some current players that have been snubbed mightily, they also still have a chance to make the cut. These guys never did … Bob Essensa, G NHL Games Played: 446 A good goalie on some bad Winnipeg Jets teams, Essensa didn’t get the same all-star chance that his fellow second-tier NHL netminders in that era (Darren Puppa, Arturs Irbe) received. Not even a pity pick. Sigh.  Kelly Hrudey, G NHL Games Played: 677 How many standout players who spend over a decade playing in New York and Los Angeles fail to make the all-star cut at least once? Better yet: How can a player make the cut for Team Canada in the 1987 Canada Cup but fail to be an NHL All-Star? Nutty. Chris Drury, F NHL Games Played: 892 A consistent goal scorer, including two great years for the Buffalo Sabres from 2005-07. But he was overshadowed by bigger stars with the Colorado Avalanche, was screwed over by there not being an all-star game right after the 2005 lockout and, in 2007, the NHL picked his teammate Daniel Briere instead. Well, at least he got paid. A lot. Brenden Morrow, F NHL Games Played: 921, through Jan. 22 Look, Morrow is a spare part player at this point, so we’re comfortable in saying he’ll not have an all-star season in him. Which means he’ll retire having never been one despite some strong seasons with the Dallas Stars. His best one, 2007-08, saw his teammate Mike Ribeiro get the nod instead. Morrow did appear in the All-Star Young Stars Game in his rookie season, but never in the Big Game.  Petr Nedved, F NHL Games Played: 982 This one was a surprise. One figured Nedved was the type of player the NHL craves for its spotlight on skill, but despite a 38-goal season in 1992-93, a 45-goal season in 1995-96 and some other strong campaigns, he never made it. His best season came in a year when Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux all made the all-star team. So that’s understandable. Ed Olczyk, F NHL Games Played: 1,031 The NBC announcer broke 30 goals three times and 40 goals in 1987-88 for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Wales Conference all-star forwards that season? Well, check the list and you’ll see why he missed the cut. Geoff Courtnall, F NHL Games Played: 1,049 He had a few seasons of genuine offensive stardom, including 42- and 35-goal campaigns for the Washington Capitals in the late 1980s, as well as 31-goals seasons for the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues. But never got his All-Star Game invite. Insult to injury: His brother, Russ, was a 1994 All-Star for the Western Conference while with the Dallas Stars. Mike Ricci, F NHL Games Played: 1,099 Perhaps best known as a one of the preeminent pests in hockey history, Ricci was also a pretty dependable offensive player, scoring over 20 goals in his first four seasons and then doing it twice more with the San Jose Sharks. But his best offensive season (78 points) happened on a team with some dudes named Sundin and Sakic. Claude Lemieux, F NHL Games Played: 1,215 Granted, most of Lemieux’s best exploits were in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but he hit 30 goals four times and netted 41 in 1991-92 for the New Jersey Devils. But Scott Stevens was enough for the NHL from the Devils, and Claude missed the cut. Four Stanley Cups, no all-star games … maybe they were just worried about locker room chemistry. Guy Carbonneau, C NHL Games Played: 1,318 Look, incredible defensive players aren’t exactly known for making the NHL All-Star Game, which is why we didn’t blink when we saw guys like Adam Foote having never made it. But he was one of the most popular players in Montreal Canadiens history, and a legit star in his day. So while we understand the dynamic – 3-time Selke winner, never an all-star – it was still a little surprising.  

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Three Periods: All-star spotlight on Columbus; Vanek’s vow; NHL notes (Yahoo Sports)

Three Periods: Columbus has come a long way as a hockey market; Thomas Vanek knows he needs to shoot and score more for the Wild; NHL news and notes.

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WHL Roundup: Eisenschmid, Sanford, Hunt lead Tigers in 8-4 romp over Giants (The Canadian Press)

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – Markus Eisenschmid, Cole Sanford and Dryden Hunt scored two goals apiece as the Medicine Hat Tigers charged past the Vancouver Giants with an 8-4 victory in Western Hockey League action on Wednesday.

Continue reading WHL Roundup: Eisenschmid, Sanford, Hunt lead Tigers in 8-4 romp over Giants (The Canadian Press)

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Wild, Avalanche getting NHL outdoor games in 2015-16: Report (Puck Daddy)

The NHL is expected to announce its next slate of outdoor hockey games at this weekend’s All-Star Game in Columbus, and it’s going to be good news for two markets that have been craving them. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Minnesota Wild are expected to host the Chicago Blackhawks and the Colorado Avalanche will host the Detroit Red Wings in 2016 outdoor games. The venues have yet to be determined, although Target Field and Coors Field are the expected hosts for the Stadium Series games. The 2016 Winter Classic, in hockey’s worst-kept secret, will be held at Foxboro Stadium between the host Boston Bruins and the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 1. McKenzie believes that means the New England Patriots are likely on the road for the last two weeks of the NFL season, although perhaps there could be a Thursday night game in the mix. The Stadium Series games should bring a sense of relief to those markets who have felt they have all you need for a successful outdoor game – the venues, the markets and the weather – but weren’t deemed Winter Classic worthy. I guess the only drawback is that Blackhawks are once again a featured player in an outdoor game for the fourth time, which is getting a little stale. But lord knows there’s a better rivalry between the Wild and Blackhawks than there was between Chicago and D.C. It’s just … well … shoulda been you, Dallas (North) Stars As for the Avs and Red Wings … well, we assume Claude Lemieux and Kris Draper are both dropping the ceremonial first puck, right? So the only U.S. market that has the right weather, venue and fans to not get an outdoor game remains the St. Louis Blues. Maybe if Busch was an NHL sponsor rather than Coors. I wish I was kidding. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :

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Crown defends issuing arrest warrant for hockey great Guy Lafleur in 2008 (The Canadian Press)

The Crown maintains the warrant issued for the arrest of former hockey great Guy Lafleur in 2008 was justified considering the seriousness of the crime. Prosecutor Lise Archambault told Lafleur’s civil trial Wednesday the warrant was also issued to ensure Lafleur would tell the truth in the future. The Montreal Canadiens legend is seeking $2.16 million in a civil suit against the Crown and Montreal police for an arrest he calls unjustified and exaggerated. While there have not been many criminal cases involving contradictory testimony, Archambault said she felt it was a very serious criminal offence.

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Crown defends issuing arrest warrant for hockey great Guy Lafleur in 2008 (The Canadian Press)

The Crown maintains the warrant issued for the arrest of former hockey great Guy Lafleur in 2008 was justified considering the seriousness of the crime. Prosecutor Lise Archambault told Lafleur’s civil trial Wednesday the warrant was also issued to ensure Lafleur would tell the truth in the future. The Montreal Canadiens legend is seeking $2.16 million in a civil suit against the Crown and Montreal police for an arrest he calls unjustified and exaggerated. While there have not been many criminal cases involving contradictory testimony, Archambault said she felt it was a very serious criminal offence.

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Helping out, one step at a time

MONTREAL – Lars isn’t the only member of the Eller family with quick feet.

In conjunction with a fundraising campaign to benefit the Just For Kids Foundation of the Montreal’s Children’s Hospital, his wife, Julie, will be taking part in the Dancing With The Stars gala at Théâtre Telus on St. Denis St. on February 3.

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NHL Three Stars: Overtime heroes and Ovechkin breaks camera (Puck Daddy)

No. 1 Star: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens   The Habs goalie made 36 saves in their 2-1 overtime win over the Nashville Predators , on a P.K. Subban power-play goal. That includes 27 saves in the first two periods as Montreal was limited to 13 shots. No. 2 Star:  Carl Hagelin, New York Rangers Hagelin’s deflection of a Derek Stepan puck directed at Craig Anderson gave the Rangers a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators . He also assisted on Kevin Hayes’ second-period goal.   No. 3 Star: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers Giroux potted the power-play game-winner for the Flyers at 3:57 of overtime, converting a Jakub Voracek rebounded shot (and strange missing puck moment in Thomas Greiss’s gear) for a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins . Giroux also led the Flyers with 10 shots. Honorable Mention: Nice rally from the Edmonton Oilers, who scored two goals in the last 4:11 of the game to send it to a shootout vs. the Washington Capitals. Goals by Derek Roy and Teddy Purcell won it there, 5-4 . Alex Ovechkin had two goals. … Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist scored in the shootout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild . Teemu Pulkkinen scored his first NHL goal. Zach Parise had two for the Wild. … Valtteri Flippula scored a goal and assisted on another in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks . … Andrew Shaw had two goals and Patrick Kane had a goal (No. 200) and two assists in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-1 rout of the Arizona Coyotes . … Loui Eriksson scored against his former mates while Dougie Hamilton had a goal and an assist in the Boston Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars . Did You Know? Alex Ovechkin broke a camera. Dishonorable Mention: Zac Rinaldo was ejected for a hit from behind on Kris Letang. He’ll have an in-person hearing with the NHL. … Zach Sill and Michael Raffl, Jakub Voracek and Rob Scuderi, Steven Downie and Luke Schenn, and Pierre-Edouard Bellmare and Bobby Farnham all dropped the gloves. … The Red Wings blew a 4-1 lead in the third period. … Vancouver and Tampa Bay were a combined 0-fo-12 on the power play. … Daniel Sedin was a minus-4, and Henrik Sedin was a minus-3. … David Moss, Brandon McMillian and Kyle Chipchura were minus-3. … Tyler Seguin vs. the Bruins: Nine shots, no points and a minus-1.                                                                                                                                                 

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NHL: 4 stories from Tuesday night (CBC)

The Montreal Canadiens didn’t waste Carey Price’s effort in his return to the lineup, while the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators found themselves on the opposite ends of late-game rallies and the Canucks fell in Tampa Bay. The Montreal Canadiens have been pretty convincing in their last two games before the all-star break, taking down two of the strongest teams in the league. They followed up Saturday’s 6-4 win over the New York Islanders with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators.

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P.K. Subban scores in overtime, Canadiens beat Predators 2-1 (The Associated Press)

Goaltender Carey Price produced a 36-save gem in his return from an injury for the Montreal Canadiens. Price, who is headed to the All-Star game this week, saw his team outshot 25-4 through the first 30 minutes only to bounce back with a strong second half and pull out a 2-1 overtime win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. I think we grabbed more momentum after that.” Alex Galchenyuk tied the game in the third period and P.K. Subban got the winner 4:09 into overtime, both on the power play, as Montreal (29-13-3) won a second game in a row and third in its last four. Mike Ribeiro finally beat Price on Nashville’s 26th shot at 12:10 of the second period, but Montreal turned the tables.

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P.K. Subban scores in overtime as Canadiens get past Predators 2-1 (The Canadian Press)

Goaltender Carey Price produced a 36-save gem in his return from an injury for the Montreal Canadiens. Price, who is headed to the all-star game this week in Columbus, saw his team outshot 25-4 through the first 30 minutes only to bounce back with a strong second half and pull out a 2-1 overtime win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. Alex Galchenyuk tied the game in the third period and P.K. Subban got the winner 4:09 into overtime, both on the power play, as Montreal (29-13-3) won a second game in a row and a third in its last four. Mike Ribeiro finally beat Price on Nashville’s 26th shot of the game at 12:10 of the second period, but Montreal then turned the tables to get the win.

Continue reading P.K. Subban scores in overtime as Canadiens get past Predators 2-1 (The Canadian Press)

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NHL-Highlights of Tuesday’s NHL games (Reuters)

Jan 20 (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Tuesday’s National Hockey League games: – – – Red Wings 5, Wild 4 (SO) Detroit squandered a three-goal lead in the third period before center Pavel Datsyuk and right winger Gustav Nyquist scored in the shootout to give the Red Wings a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild. The Red Wings won their fourth consecutive game to remain in third place in the Eastern Conference. – – – Lightning 4, Canucks 1 Center Alex Killorn scored two of Tampa Bay’s three third-period goals as the Lightning surged to a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. …

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Stunning turnaround has Predators confident they can stay on top (The Canadian Press)

After two years out of the NHL playoffs, there is new optimism among the Nashville Predators. A stunning turnaround aided by a coaching change, the addition of veteran forwards James Neal and Mike Ribeiro and the emergence of 20-year-old forward Filip Forsberg have put Nashville in first place in the Central Division going into the all-star break. “Absolutely,” veteran centre Mike Fisher said Tuesday. The Predators had not lost twice in a row this season going into a game Tuesday night against the Canadiens in Montreal, where they were without star goalie Pekka Rinne for a third game due to an injury expected to last three weeks.

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Stunning turnaround has Predators confident they can stay on top (The Canadian Press)

After two years out of the NHL playoffs, there is new optimism among the Nashville Predators. A stunning turnaround aided by a coaching change, the addition of veteran forwards James Neal and Mike Ribeiro and the emergence of 20-year-old forward Filip Forsberg have put Nashville in first place in the Central Division going into the all-star break. “Absolutely,” veteran centre Mike Fisher said Tuesday. The Predators had not lost twice in a row this season going into a game Tuesday night against the Canadiens in Montreal, where they were without star goalie Pekka Rinne for a third game due to an injury expected to last three weeks.

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