Brayden Schenn

Murray praises Brayden Schenn: “He’s the kind of ‘big-game’ player that coaches love”


Three years ago, Terry Murray was coaching Brayden Schenn in Los Angeles.

Today, the pair are back together — in AHL Adirondack — and the reunion has been a positive one for Murray, who gushes about how much Schenn has grown as a player.

“Since I saw him in LA, every part of his game has come along tremendously,” Murray told the Philadelphia Daily News. “He’s physically more mature, mentally more mature. He’s starting to really identify with what his niche is in the game.

“He’s becoming a more complete player.”

Schenn, 21, is having a remarkable season. He leads Adirondack in scoring (22 points in 18 games) and sits third overall in the league. He’s also emerged as Murray’s go-to guy in clutch situations.

Schenn leads the Phantoms in both power-play and shorthanded goals and his recent scoring binge — 11 points in his last seven games — has translated to wins.

Adirondack is 4-3 over those seven games, not bad for a team that only mustered two wins in its first six contests of the season.

“He’s the kind of ‘big-game’ player that coaches love,” Murray said. “I can put him out on the ice in critical situations and know what I’m going to get out of him. He knows when he needs to step up; he knows the critical times and critical situations.

“Not all players recognize that. I’ve always believed the toughest thing in pro sports is to win when you’re supposed to.”

Schenn’s ascension has to be exciting for Flyers fans.

Along with Sean Couturier, he represents the future of Philly’s dynamic young forward group, one that also includes Claude Giroux (24 years old), Wayne Simmonds (23), Matt Read (26) and, eventually, 2012 first-rounder Scott Laughton, who is currently tearing it up with OHL Oshawa.

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

Alain Vigneault
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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.


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