Dustin Brown, Mike Green and the Sedin twins nominated for 2011 Foundation Award

Amid scoring slumps and the occasional bit of violent play, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that hockey players do a lot of good — most of it off the ice.

The NHL will commemorate the players who make the biggest impact with their charitable work by handing out the 13th annual Foundation Award. Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown, Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green and Vancouver Canucks stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin are the finalists for the 2011 edition. Ryan Miller won the 2010 award.

Along with being honored for their work, the NHL will donate $25,000 to the winner’s charity of choice. If you would like to know a little bit more about the players’ contributions, here’s a bit of info from the league’s press release.

Dustin Brown:

The Kings’ 26-year-old captain is a finalist for the NHL Foundation Player Award for the third consecutive season in recognition of his continued tireless involvement in countless community-benefiting endeavors. This season, Brown donated $50 for each of his 300 hits to contribute a total of $15,000 to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles’ Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit. Two seasons ago, as part of the program he and his wife Nicole launched with KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America, Brown’s per-hit donation plan raised $70,000 to build a new playground in Carson, CA, that now hosts more than 100 kids per day.

Mike Green:

For several seasons, Green has been donating tickets to Capitals home games to underserved children and soldiers through the Most Valuable Kids program, the recipients sitting together as Green’s Gang at Verizon Center. This is the third season Green and local radio personality Elliot Segal have donated money, based upon Green’s scoring totals, to their So Kids Can initiative, which has raised more than $93,000 for various youth-oriented organizations such as Pediatric Prosthetics, Inc. and Dr. Bear’s Toy Closet, which refurbishes playrooms at Children’s National Medical Center. This season, Green and Segal teamed up with KaBOOM! to raise money to build a Capitals-themed playground for an underserved community in the Washington, D.C. area.

Daniel and Henrik Sedin:

The Sedins have become the faces of the annual Canucks For Kids Fund Telethon, which has raised more than $1,000,000 in donations and recognition of fundraising events throughout the year. Daniel and Henrik have joined Canucks teammates in making the Dice and Ice Benefit a signature event for the Canucks organization. It opens the doors for 700 of Vancouver’s leading philanthropists to join the Canucks for a memorable night and a great cause, having raised more than $2,884,127 to date for the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and the Canucks Autism Network. The Sedins and their teammates also participate in the Jake Milford Canucks Charity Golf Invitational, helping the tournament raise more than $180,000 for both the BC Hockey Benevolent Association and the Canucks for Kids Fund.

Vigneault: ‘After three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention’

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Alain Vigneault has maintained for much of the season that the New York Rangers needed to play better.

The head coach said it a week ago, after the Blueshirts had beaten the Predators, 3-0, despite getting outshot, 31-19.

He’d said it a couple of weeks before that, after they’d beaten the Hurricanes in very similar fashion. (Final score: 3-0. Shots: 33-23 for Carolina.)

But as long as the Rangers kept winning, it was tough, according to Vigneault, to get the message across.

“Sometimes, the results might be going your way, so when you’re pointing out certain things, it might be a little bit more challenging for them to understand because the results are so positive,” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

“But after three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention.”

Derek Stepan‘s injury — he’ll miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs — has no doubt captured their attention as well. (Oscar Lindberg will center Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast tonight at home to Carolina.)

The Rangers also play Wednesday, in Brooklyn against the Islanders (on NBCSN).

Benn, Holtby and Galchenyuk are NHL’s three stars of the week

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Stars winger Jamie Benn, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

From NHL.com:

Benn shared the League lead in goals (4) and points (6) as the Stars (19-5-0, 38 points) won two of three games to continue their best start to a season in the franchise’s 48-year history.

Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.

Galchenyuk tied for first in the NHL with four goals and added one assist to help the Canadiens (18-4-3, 39 points) earn five of a possible six points and reclaim first place in the League standings.

As much as the injuries to Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher have been frustrating for the Canadiens, those are short-term issues that should be forgotten soon enough. Galchenyuk’s play, in contrast, is reason for long-term optimism. The 21-year-old is trending towards becoming the elite No. 1 center the Habs have needed so badly. He’s not there yet, but when’s all said and done, he could turn out to be the best forward (or player, period) taken in the 2012 draft.

Stepan to miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs


Derek Stepan is out 4-6 weeks with broken ribs, the New York Rangers announced today.

Stepan was hurt Friday on a controversial hit by Boston’s Matt Beleskey. The Bruins’ forward did not receive any supplemental discipline for the check, despite admitting it was “maybe…a little bit late.”

At any rate it’s a big loss for the Rangers, who suddenly find themselves on a three-game losing streak. Considering the timeline, New York could be without one of its top centers for 12-18 games, give or take.

The Rangers host Carolina tonight.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Price to miss minimum six weeks, so no Winter Classic for him

Carey Price,
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Carey Price will miss a minimum of six weeks with a lower-body injury, the Montreal Canadiens announced today.

That means Price will miss the Winter Classic against the Bruins on New Year’s Day. The 28-year-old goalie has only appeared in 12 games this season.

On the bright side, the reigning Hart Trophy winner will not require surgery. And considering the Habs have already built up a 13-point playoff cushion in the standings, well, if something like this were going to happen during the season, now is as good a time as any.

Related: The latest on Price’s injury