Hockey Today - Nov. 21

Hockey Today - Nov. 21

Hockey Today - November 21
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Wednesday, Nov. 21

New Jersey at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m. EST). Sidney Crosby has at least one point in 19 straight games for the Penguins.

STARS Tuesday

-Tuukka Rask, Bruins, stopped 30 shots in his first NHL start as Boston defeated Toronto 4-2.

-Owen Nolan, Flames, scored twice, leading Calgary to its first win of the season over Colorado in four tries, 4-1.

-Shawn Horcoff, Oilers, scored the winning goal in a shootout to lift Edmonton out of the Western Conference basement with a 5-4 victory over Vancouver.

SWINGS

Calgary right wing Owen Nolan, who didn't score a goal until the 16th game of the season, has four in six games, including two in Tuesday night's 4-1 victory over Colorado.

STRUGGLING

Washington has lost four straight, eight of nine and 14 of 17 since starting the season 3-0. ... Colorado's 4-1 loss in Calgary on Tuesday night was its third straight on a four-game road trip. The Avalanche power play, second-worst in the NHL on the road, went 0-for-5.

MOVING UP

Toronto's Mats Sundin moved into sole possession of 27th place on the NHL career goal list with his 534th, one ahead of Frank Mahovlich, in a 4-2 loss to Boston on Tuesday night.

STICKING AROUND

Stanley Cup champion Anaheim signed center Ryan Getzlaf to a five-year contract extension worth $26.625 million that begins next season and runs through 2012-13. The 22-year-old has seven goals and 14 assists in 19 games this season.

SIDELINED

Minnesota will be without two top scorers, Pavol Demitra and Mikko Koivu, for Wednesday's game against Vancouver. Demitra will miss his eighth game in 10 due to a groin injury. Koivu, who has a cracked bone in his leg, will sit out for the second straight game and is due to be evaluated again this weekend.

SPEAKING

''It was during the biggest midsummer party in Finland. It was 2 a.m., so you can imagine how I felt when they called me. Next day I was kind of surprised and realized what happened.'' - Goalie Tuukka Rask, remembering when he was traded by Toronto to Boston in June 2006. Rask won his first NHL start Tuesday night, leading the Bruins over the Maple Leafs 4-2.

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Wednesday's NHL betting matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Montreal Canadiens at New York Islanders

The Islanders have dominated the Canadiens at Nassau Coliseum over the last 10 years, going 12-4-0 with one tie in 17 meetings since an 8-2 loss on Jan. 8, 1998.

Atlanta Thrashers at Washington Capitals


The Capitals are averaging 2.3 goals per game, 28th in the NHL, and are 1-10-1 when opponents score first.

Philadelphia Flyers at Carolina Hurricanes

Philadelphia has had three days off to recover from its most lopsided loss of the season, 6-2 to New Jersey on Saturday.

Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets


Florida has faced Columbus just six times, but Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun is 18-6-1 against them in his career.

New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins

Martin Brodeur is 1-1 against the Penguins this season, and 31-20-1 with four ties against them lifetime.

New York Rangers at Tampa Bay Lightning


Henrik Lundqvist has a 1.79 goals-against average this season, is 5-2-2 with a 1.87 GAA in nine games against the Lightning.

Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo is at the bottom of the Northeast Division, while the Senators own a seven-point lead atop the division.

St. Louis Blues at Detriot Red Wings

Detroit has lost three in a row to St. Louis dating back to last season.

Vancouver Canucks at Minnesota Wild

Vancouver scored four goals in the first 16:32 and routed its Northwest Division rivals 6-2 on Friday in the first meeting between the teams this season.

Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars

The only team to beat Anaheim in regulation this month was Dallas (9-7-4), and it also was the Ducks' most lopsided defeat in nearly four years - 5-0 on Nov. 5.

Los Angeles Kings at Phoenix Coyotes

Ilya Bryzgalov shut out the Kings 1-0 on Saturday in his debut with the Coyotes.

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Demitra, Koivu out for Wild against Canucks
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild will be without two of their top scorers, Pavol Demitra and Mikko Koivu, for Wednesday's game against the rival Vancouver Canucks.

Demitra, whose status is evaluated daily, will try to participate in the morning skatearound but will miss his eighth game in the last 10 due to a groin injury.

Koivu, who has a cracked bone in his leg, will sit out for the second straight game and is due to be evaluated again this weekend.

Because of Koivu's condition, Wednesday's game is expected to be testy. The Wild were livid about the two-handed slash Koivu took to the back of the leg from Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund last Friday.

Ohlund, who said he was retaliating for an elbow he took to the face from Koivu, got a four-game suspension from the NHL for his action. The Canucks also claimed other cheap shots came from the Wild in last week's game.

Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard complained that several Canucks were roughing up his team's stars and afraid to get physical with him. Boogaard said he might check captain Markus Naslund and top forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

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Fedoruk clears waivers, sent down to the AHL
ASSOCIATED PRESS

DALLAS -- Stars forward Todd Fedoruk cleared waivers on Tuesday and was assigned to Iowa of the AHL, leaving Dallas on the hook for his $875,000 salary this season.

The Stars signed Fedoruk in July to the one-year deal.

On Sunday, the 28-year-old left winger was placed on waivers after playing in 11 games this season, posting two assists and 33 penalty minutes.

Fedoruk, an enforcer, started last season with Stanley Cup champion Anaheim before being traded to Philadelphia. He finished with 120 penalty minutes and 14 points in 58 games.

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INSIDE THE NHL

Cold-start coaches on hot seats

Dallas joined the Thrashers as an organization willing to make a major change early in the season. On Tuesday, the Stars fired general manager Doug Armstrong and promoted Brett Hull and Les Jackson to the position of interim co-general managers.

In a league with increased parity, expectations to compete are in every city, meaning jobs are constantly in question.

"Every manager and every coach's job is on the line every day in every professional sport," Atlanta Spirit co-owner Bruce Levenson said. "That's the way it is."

So whose job is in jeopardy right now? Sluggish starts mean the hot seat is getting crowded in a few NHL cities.

Pittsburgh

Head coach Michel Therrien has a roster loaded with young talent, led by Sidney Crosby, and a balance of veterans. But inconsistent play in goal by Marc-Andre Fleury is one of the biggest reasons this team started 2-6-1 in the division. The Penguins got off to a slow start last season and were the hottest team in hockey by the start of the playoffs, so this thing can turn around quickly. But expectations are high for the Penguins, and mediocrity won't be tolerated very long. Therrien has benched his slumping young players, stuck with his veterans and has a "fragile" young franchise goalie. Sound familiar?

Toronto

Things are getting ugly in Toronto. Nude pictures of Jiri Tlusty surfaced on the Internet. Darcy Tucker went at it with the Rangers' Sean Avery in a Nov. 10 pregame altercation. Bryan McCabe has become the target of the fans' angst, and it started when McCabe redirected a puck into his own net earlier in the season against Buffalo. Remarkably, head coach Paul Maurice has held it together and the Leafs are still in the mix. But an impatient fan base will be calling for the head of Maurice or general manager John Ferguson if the drama starts to seriously affect the standings.

Washington

This team has been ravaged by injuries, which needs to be taken into consideration when evaluating the job of coach Glen Hanlon and general manger George McPhee. The Thrashers' recent surge has dropped Washington to the bottom of the division, where the Capitals have finished each of the past three seasons. The club hopes to extend the contract of Alex Ovechkin, who is a restricted free agent after this season. If this team shows no signs of serious improvement, will he want to stick around? "All of us feel guilty that we're at where we're at, because we've got a good coach, a players' coach," veteran goalie Olie Kolzig told the Washington Post. "He's preaching the right message, we're just not delivering."

Dallas

Amid the changes in Dallas, head coach Dave Tippett seems to have survived. His contract, along with those of his assistants, expires after the season, so he needs to win now. It looks like he has the support of the new co-GMs, Hull and Jackson. "It's my plan that Dave and his staff will coach the rest of the season," Jackson told the Dallas Morning News. "Could something change during the season? Of course, that's always a possibility. But we don't expect that to happen."

San Jose

The Sharks entered the weekend in first place in the Pacific Division but also had a losing record at home and were barely over .500 in their past 10 games. San Jose has been inconsistent this season in a must-win year for head coach Ron Wilson. They're winning, mostly because of the strong play of goalie Evgeni Nabokov, who played in each of San Jose's first 19 games. It might be asking too much for that workload to continue. Meanwhile, forwards Patrick Marleau (eight points in 19 games) and Jonathan Cheechoo (seven points in 19 games) have seriously underachieved.

www.ajc.com

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Ducks give Getzlaf big contract extension
November 20th, 2007

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks have signed center Ryan Getzlaf to a five-year contract extension. The deal starts next season and runs through the 2012-13 season.

Financial terms were not announced, but TSN reports the contract will pay Getzlaf nearly $26.5 million to stay long term with the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The 22-year-old Getzlaf has recorded seven goals and 14 assists for a team- leading 21 points in 19 games this season and he's on a five-game point streak.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to sign Ryan to a long-term deal," said general manager Brian Burke. "He's demonstrated great character and work ethic to complement his talent, a rare combination at such a young age."

Last season, his second in the NHL, Getzlaf notched 25 goals and 33 assists in 82 games. He was one of eight Ducks to play in every regular season game. Not only that, but he led the Ducks in postseason scoring with seven goals and 10 assists, establishing a team record for most points in a single playoff season.

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McCormick recalled by Avalanche, Skrastins off injured list
November 20, 2007

DENVER (AP) -Defenseman Karlis Skrastins was taken off the injured list and Cody McCormick recalled from the Colorado Avalanche AHL affiliate in time for Tuesday's game against Calgary.

Skrastins missed 12 games after hurting a shoulder during an Oct. 19 game in Chicago.

McCormick, meanwhile, has been with the Lake Erie Monsters since the season began, tallying six points in 13 games. A fifth-round draft pick in the 2001 entry draft, McCormick has played in 95 NHL games for the Avalanche.

Defenseman Jeff Jillson, who was recalled Oct. 27 but did not dress for the Avalanche, was sent down to Lake Erie.

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Minnesota Wild get their shot at revenge against Vancouver tonight

NHL is on alert entering rematch against Canucks

Wild forward Derek Boogaard smiled Tuesday in anticipation of tonight's rematch against the Vancouver Canucks, who disassembled the Wild and left them growling like a wounded bear in a 6-2 rout Friday night in Vancouver.

"Be ready for anything," the 6-foot-7, 258-pound Boogaard said.

Asked about comments in the Vancouver Province by the Canucks' Ryan Kesler, who said after Friday's game that Boogaard "is not much of a hockey player, so I guess he has to be a tough guy," Boogaard tried not to appear hurt.

"I don't think they'll tell me that on the ice," he said. "They'll say it when they're 50 feet away and there are cement walls in between us in the dressing rooms."

When tempers flare between hockey teams, eyes automatically shift to Boogaard, who operates a hockey fight school during the summer and owns two goals and five assists in 131 NHL games. However, those crowding into ringside seats at the X tonight shouldn't get their hopes up for a heavyweight bout.

NHL officials will be watching.

And, Wild coach Jacques Lemaire pointed out Tuesday, this is not your father's NHL.

These days, the NHL frowns on the kind of confrontations waged by Jack Carlson of the North Stars and Al Secord of the Chicago Blackhawks in the early 1980s to resolve differences.

In the aftermath of Friday's stick-swinging incident by the Canucks' Mattias Ohlund, who sent Wild center Mikko Koivu to the sideline with a broken bone in his leg, league spokesman Gary Meagher said people from hockey operations "speak to the clubs involved." Meagher added: "We're aware of the situation. The game is monitored, like 1,229 other games are monitored. We do have a heightened awareness, and we are paying attention."

In another era, Lemaire noted, a two-fisted payback would have been called for.

"It's not like the old days," he said. "Somebody would do this, and in the old days somebody would go and get him. Now, with what the NHL is doing, there's no revenge.

"Revenge will be a hit.

"You won't break your stick over his head, because you'll be suspended for life. But in the old days, they could spear him and break his jaw or jump on him and kick the hmmm (Lemaire's word) out of him, and it was OK. But not anymore because of the rules. So when these incidents happen, you've got to forget them. You've got no choice. The league will take care of it ... hopefully."

The NHL issued a four-game suspension to Ohlund, and the Canucks responded by bringing in tough guy Mike Brown from Manitoba of the American Hockey League.

Matt Foy of the Wild is familiar with Brown, who received a two-game suspension last season after breaking Foy's nose with a check when Foy was playing for the Houston Aeros.

"Different leagues, different teams. It's not like I'm looking for revenge," said Foy, who was sidelined for two games because of the injury.

Boogaard remembered observations by Canucks coach Alain Vigneault last season and commented: "I think it's funny. I think last year the coach said they don't need a tough guy. Them having to call somebody up, it's a good thing."

The Wild might counter with a hard-nosed addition of their own in defenseman Sean Hill, who has finished serving a 20-game suspension for steroids.

"He's an intense player," Lemaire said of Hill. "He plays aggressive; he moves the puck well. He knows the game and understands what to look for. I'm excited to see him play."

Hill, a 37-year-old from Duluth, Minn., said the buildup to the Canucks-Wild rematch has been overblown, adding that he's not expecting one fracas after another tonight because officials are ready to blow their whistles quickly.

"The game has changed; that's for sure," he said. "Sometimes it's for the better, sometimes not. Sometimes it's called too close. It's still a contact sport."

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