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Devils GM: ‘I believe in these players and this coaching staff’

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The New Jersey Devils haven’t won a single game in six tries (0-3-3), but GM Lou Lamoriello told the Newark Star-Ledger that he hasn’t lost faith.

“Right now we have to be very careful. There is such a fine line. I believe in these players and I believe in this coaching staff,” Lamoriello said Monday. “Right now we just have to concentrate a little more. Our best players have to be our best players at the right time.”

With a team full of veterans such as Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias, critics might point to a lack of speed as one of the squad’s biggest issues. Lamoriello doesn’t think it’s that big of a problem, though.

“When you see an (Evander) Kane skate the way he did and (Michael) Grabner, they’re exceptional skaters and they can’t be allowed to use their assets,” Lamoriello said. “Overall, our people who can skate have to skate. It’s as simple as that. I do not feel we’re a slow team. We’re certainly not an overly fast team.”

Depending upon which numbers you consult, the Devils could be a mediocre team with bad luck or a bad team with mediocre luck.

Either way, they need to fire more shots on goal (they’re losing that battle by about four per game), get more of them to connect and stop a greater number of them from hitting the net.

Lamoriello seems to believe that his team will find the answers to what’s riddling them so far.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)