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All Hockey News, Pacific, Phoenix Coyotes

Peter Laviolette keeps it ‘pretty professional’ as Nashville blasts Philly (Puck Daddy)

Posted on 28 December 2014

NASHVILLE – There were apparently no extra fiery speeches from Predators coach Peter Laviolette or anything out of the norm in advance of Nashville’s Saturday 4-1 win over Philadelphia. Or at least that’s what his players said.  “I’m sure inside he wanted this one a little bit more but he’s pretty professional. I don’t think he was coming in making sure we did it for him,” forward Colin Wilson said. “I think he wanted the win no matter what. I’m sure it’s a little more special for him, but certainly not on the outside.” On this evening of epic attempted trolling  that included a bobblehead doll for Nashville captain Shea Weber  (Yes ... against the very team that tried to sign him away from Nashville) and multiple Bridgestone Arena video montages explaining why all things Philadelphia were horrible , the former Flyers bench boss played it straight.  Said Laviolette, “We were focused on what we had to do. We knew it was a big game for us coming off the break and a chance to move up in the standings. That’s mostly what we talk about in our room, it’s never anything personal for anybody.” Sure, and elephants fly.  If Laviolette looked calm on the outside in his first game against his former team, he had every reason to burn on the inside. Being fired after three games of the previous season after an emotional four-plus season stint with Philly will do that. Having personal relationships with the players on the other side, a group that still has some pieces he took to a 2010 Stanley Cup Final adds to the emotional bond. “We know it’s obviously a little more important for him,” Predators defenseman Seth Jones said. “He didn’t really show it before the game but obviously we have a sense.” The game exemplified why Laviolette is in a better spot now than he was with Philadelphia. Beyond the fact that Nashville has 48 points to Philly’s 34, it was just so clear the Predators are a better team. Nashville dominated the Flyers, out-shooting them 38-27 and out-Corsi-ing them 57-45. The Predators also beat the Flyers in many other advanced-stat categories. Beyond these numbers, there’s the eyeball test, and the Predators scored higher. Nashville had multiple pieces up and down its lineup it used to activate its attack and defend its net. From super rookie Filip Forsberg (one goal and one assist), the 25-year-old Wilson (two goals), Weber (one assist in 25:01 of action) and goaltender Pekka Rinne (26 saves on 27 shots on goal), the Predators had more weapons a team needs to win a hockey game. Beyond Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux, Philadelphia didn’t show much. Granted, goaltender Steve Mason is injured, but defensemen Mark Streit, Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald don’t exactly make a goaltender’s life easy, regardless of who is in net. Plus, as owner Ed Snider so eloquently put it, where is the secondary scoring? In a weird way, the Flyers are one Weber away from being a solid team. They sort of had him two summers ago with a 14-year $110 million offer sheet . Then Nashville matched it. Now the Predators have Weber locked up forever, Philadelphia’s former coach, and a shiny new system that continues to confound opponents and produce wins. One loss in the first game out of the holiday break – which is always tough on a road team that has to travel that day – shouldn’t be a major barometer. But on this night, it was obvious that Nashville's present and future look brighter this season.  The Flyers were stuck in neutral, missing a few pieces to make them playoff-worthy. The Predators are probably one player away (cough, first line center, cough) from being a top-flight contender And because of this, it was more than just a victory for Laviolette, which at very least should make him feel good. Even if he will never admit it. - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper   MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY     Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Pacific, Phoenix Coyotes

World Junior 2015: Slovakia’s Godla gives defending champ Finns an early tournament wake-up call; Day 2’s 3 Stars (Buzzing The Net)

Posted on 28 December 2014

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All Hockey News, Los Angeles Kings, Pacific

Gaudreau scores two more as Flames beat Oilers 4-1 (The Associated Press)

Posted on 28 December 2014

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- When Johnny Gaudreau scores a goal on home ice, the Calgary Flames play Chuck Berry's song Johnny B. Goode. Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Atlantic, Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers winning streak snapped by Predators

Posted on 28 December 2014

NASHVILLE - The momentum the Flyers built with three straight road wins was halted by the three-day holiday break and the Nashville Predators on Saturday night. Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Buffalo Sabres, Northeast

Dose: Stepan up for Rangers (Rotoworld)

Posted on 28 December 2014

The NHL returned Saturday night as the Rangers extended their streak, Holtby and Kopitar continued to thrive in December and much more. Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Pacific, Phoenix Coyotes

Canucks-Ducks Preview (The Associated Press)

Posted on 28 December 2014

The Vancouver Canucks entered a long layoff with their most dominant victory in years. Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Los Angeles Kings, Pacific

NHL Three Stars: Stepan rules Jersey; Holtby halts Penguins (Puck Daddy)

Posted on 28 December 2014

  No. 1 Star: Derek Stepan, New York Rangers His hat trick was the second straight game a Rangers player scored three goals – Rick Nash on Tuesday was the other. This scoring spree propelled New York to its eighth straight win, a 3-1 victory over New Jersey. It was New Jersey's first game with its new coaching arrangement No. 2. Star: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals The Washington netminder silenced the likes of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby to pick up his second shutout in a week in a 3-0 blanking of the Penguins. In his last four games, Holtby has allowed just five goals. Holtby made 31 saves in the win. No. 3 Star: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks The star winger has now picked up 10 points in his last five games after scoring two goals and adding an assist in a 5-2 win over Colorado. Honorable Mention: Winnipeg’s Evander Kane notched two assists in a win over Minnesota. Teammate Andrew Ladd scored one goal (OT winner) and added one assist … Wild forward Jason Pominville scored one goal and added one assist ... Mikael Granlund scored on goal and added a helper … Rangers forward Martin St. Louis notched two assists in New York’s victory … Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop picked up his 17th win by stopping 25 of 26 Carolina shots on goal … Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg scored a goal and added an assist in Detroit’s win over Ottawa. Teammate Gustav Nyquist picked up the OT winner … Islander forward John Tavares scored two goals in a shootout loss to Buffalo … Sabres forward Tyler Ennis scored the breakaway contest winner … Nicolas Deslauriers scored a goal and added an assist … Predators forward Filip Forsberg scored one goal and added an assist in Nashville’s win over Philadelphia … Shea Weber had a bobblehead night and an assist … Columbus forward Scott Hartnell scored two goals in a win over Boston … Blue Jackets defenseman Kevin Connauton scored a goal and added two assists. Teammate Brandon Dubinsky notched two assists … Washington’s Eric Fehr scored two goals in the victory over Pittsburgh … Anaheim’s Rene Bourque picked up his second goal of the season … Arizona’s Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves on 36 Ducks shots on goal  … Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau scored two goals in a win over the Oilers … Chicago’s Jonathan Toews notched two assists … Blue Jackets forward Scott Hartnell scored two goals … Kings forward Anze Kopitar scored a goal and added an assist in a win over San Jose … Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 21 of 22 Sharks shots on goal Did You Know?: With a win over St. Louis, the Dallas Stars picked up their first divisional victory of the season , and sit at 1-7-3 in the Central.  Dishonorable Mention: Devils forward Scott Gomez was a minus-2 in a loss to the Rangers … Buffalo’s Matt Moulson was a minus-2 … Boston’s Niklas Svedberg was yanked after allowing three goals on 15 Columbus shots on goal. Tuukka Rask wasn’t much better in relief with the same stat line … Crosby was a minus-3 as was Pittsburgh teammate Scott Harrington … Edmonton’s Viktor Fasth was yanked after allowing three goals in 8:48 … Oilers defenseman Brad Hunt was a minus-3.   MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY   Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Atlantic, Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers Notes: Mason hopes to play Monday

Posted on 28 December 2014

NASHVILLE - Flyers goalie Steve Mason, who has missed the last four games with an apparent back injury, returned to practice Saturday and said he felt "close to 100 percent." Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Atlantic, Philadelphia Flyers

Inside the Flyers: Being physical without an enforcer

Posted on 28 December 2014

NASHVILLE - The situation is deliciously ironic. Flyers coach Craig Berube, a one-time NHL bad boy who finished his career with the seventh-highest penalty-minutes total in league history, steadfastly insists his team does not need an enforcer. Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Pacific, Phoenix Coyotes

Anze Kopitar leads LA Kings past Sharks, 3-1 (The Associated Press)

Posted on 28 December 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- When Joe Pavelski scored on the Sharks' first shot, he evoked memories of San Jose's banner-ceremony-spoiling win at Staples Center on opening night. Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Central, St. Louis Blues

Kane helps Blackhawks to 5-2 win over Avs (The Associated Press)

Posted on 28 December 2014

DENVER (AP) -- Brent Seabrook has never played better defense than he is right now. And that's powering his recent offensive surge. Continue Reading

All Hockey News, Colorado Avalanche, Northwest

Johnson Having Himself A Season

Posted on 28 December 2014

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is having himself a season. Just 35 games into the campaign and he’s already tied his career high goal total with 10, thanks to a first period rocket from the faceoff circle on Saturday night. He le... Continue Reading

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