By David Kerans NEWARK-PHILADELPHIA-WASHINGTON (VR)— Actions speak louder than words, as the saying goes, and had you been standing in a broad corridor outside the visitors’ locker room in Newark’s Prudential Center on January 9, you would have witnessed a moment worth a thousand words.
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VR)— Dallas Stars fans won't be happy to hear it, but teen phenom and prospected world-class superstar Valeri Nichushkin has not been happy with the club's handling of him, to the point where his future in “victory green” cannot be guaranteed.
By David Kerans Everyone doubted Adam Henrique just 10 weeks ago. The New Jersey Devils were counting on the third-year center to chip in some extra scoring to help fill the void superstar Ilya Kovalchuk left when he bolted for the KHL in July 2013, but over the first half of the season Henrique’s scoring was down, not up.
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VR)— Centerman Marcel Goc has come in from the wasteland. PIT’s aggressive GM Ray Shero rescued Goc from the serially imploding FLA roster on March 5th for one 3rd and one 5th round draft pick, and gave him to coach Dan Byslma as a potentially pivotal piece in his Stanley Cup playoff puzzle.
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VR)-- Hockey fans should give thanks to Mike Ribeiro. Not because he is the most valuable player, or the highest scorer, or a Stanley Cup winner--he is none of the above. But because he is an artist.
By David Kerans “Undersized” is a four-letter word to a hockey prospect. It comes with finality, with no right of appeal. Coaches favoring big players are inflexible: “Fast guys get slow; big guys don’t get small.” San Jose defenseman and 14 year veteran Dan Boyle should know. Boyle stands just 5’10” (the team lists him at 5’11”, but…), which is well below the norm for an NHL blueliner. His road to the top was much tougher on account of that than it would have been otherwise. But Boyle reached the top: All-Star game selections, a Stanley Cup ring in 2004, and Olympic Gold with Canada in Vancouver in 2010.
By David Kerans NEWARK, WASHINGTON (VR)— As any Junior player can tell you, forwards don't get to the NHL by playing well off the puck. On the other hand, as any NHLer can tell you, forwards don't stay in the NHL unless they reach a high standard of defensive play. This is especially true nowadays, given the shrinking rate of scoring in the game.
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VR)— To our mind, the biggest mid-season move in the NHL this year was the New York Rangers’ trade of young defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators for veteran defenseman Kevin Klein. Del Zotto has a much higher ceiling than Klein, and has demonstrated ample potency at generating goals, which are at such a high premium in today’s NHL. The Rangers tried to justify the trade by reference to their need for a right-shooting defenseman (Klein is a righty and plays the right side, Del Zotto is a lefty and prefers the left), but it seems obvious that new coach Alain Vigneault was not seeing eye-to-eye with Del Zotto, and wanted him moved. We suspect not only that Nashville fleeced New York in the deal, but foresee that the defense corps now taking shape in Nashville could soon be the best in hockey. The rest of the league should take immediate notice.
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VR)— “Super.” That was recently-appointed Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice’s response when we asked him his opinion of winger Michael Frolik after Thursday’s WPG-WSH game, and inquired if he had a wish list of things for Frolik to improve on, or had been expecting more from him. The nearly 26 year-old Frolik is not an elite scorer, and has never been an NHL All-Star. But he has a well-rounded game, and is steadily carving out the reputation of a high quality NHLer. Coach Maurice certainly appears convinced of that.
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VR)– In all likelihood, Lubomir Visnovsky is the most exciting defenseman you have never closely watched.
By David KeransWASHINGTON (VR)— “NJ Devils will choose between keeping Cory Murphy or Andy Greene” sang a September 2009 headline.
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VR)— Sometimes a number is worth a thousand pictures.
By David Kerans NEWARK, New Jersey (VR)-- “How many NHL teams have a lasting identity?” Colorado Avalanche color commentator and NHL veteran Peter McNab asked play-by-play man Mike Haynes during a game Thursday night.
By David Kerans NEW YORK (VR)— An 18 year-old will play hockey for Russia at the Olympics.
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VR)— Opinion among NHL observers has congealed lately around the notion of five teams being definite Stanley Cup contenders: CHI, ANA, PIT, STL, and one more: the San Jose Sharks.
By David Kerans LOS ANGELES (VOR)— “I think (Nichushkin) can be one of the best in the league because he played that kind of style — strong on the boards, beat guys one on one. When you’re strong, they cannot do anything about it. He was so strong. … He’s got the tools to be the best player in the world, that kid.”
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VOR)— To say that Adam Henrique burst on the hockey scene in 2012 would not do him justice.
By David Kerans PHILADELPHIA (VOR)— The long arm of the NHL law strangled the Montreal Canadiens last night.
By David Kerans WASHINGTON (VOR)-- The Washington Capitals' victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday offered NHL fans glimpses of the brightest spotlight and the darkest corners of the NHL.