League News

League News

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With the Vancouver Canucks having been on the sidelines for several days now, all of the attention has shifted towards the Eastern Conference finals, with Game 7 set for tonight in Boston. The entire series has been as unpredictable as it has been exciting. The Lightning have had four five goal outings in the series (Games 1, 2, 4 and 6) disrupted by 1-0 and 3-1 losses in Games 3 and 5. We'll see if Tampa Bay can produce offensive success in the seventh and deciding game and if Dwayne Roloson provides the backing necessary to make it hold...

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In another wild playoff game, the Eastern Conference final was pushed to seven games last night. Despite a David Krejci hat-trick, the Bruins just couldn't outscore the Lightning in what turned out to be a goal scorer's field day from the outset. If goaltending is essential in winning the Stanley Cup, the only evidence of that seems to be coming from the West. Either of these teams will need a much better effort over the course of their meeting with Canucks starting next Wednesday, or else they'll be steamrolled. Game seven goes tomorrow night in Boston, and you have to think...

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It's not every day that a team can acquire a true number one centre with the ability to carry a franchise. Nevermind a guy who is only 26 years old and has recorded 115 goals in his last three seasons. When online reports trickled in from Comcast in Philadelphia and mentioned on Twitter that Jeff Carter may be on the open market, Leaf fans went abuzz about a potential swap. Regardless of whether the sources reporting the deal are legitimate, there is some reason to believe the Flyers are willing to move Carter. With an overabundance of centers and a...

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Amid the speculation surrounding the Philadelphia Flyers and their cap aches, it was bound to happen that the Leafs’ name would get thrown into the mix. After all, what’s a rumor about a big name NHL player without Toronto somewhere in the headline? However, much like a few years back, the recent Jeff Carter rumors actually make a lot of sense – simply because the Flyers are in such a jam right now and have to move salary. As if the Versteeg deal hasn’t turned out good enough, it has effectively compounded the Flyers’ cap troubles even further.Ville Leino can’t be...

290

This has been anything but your typical playoffs. A historical first round followed by a somewhat quiet second, only to be blown wide open by a shellshockingly good Conference Finals. I’m quite sure that none of the four coaches (Vigneault, Boucher, McLellan or Julien) are too happy about the number of goals being scored, but this has been a really pleasant experience for your average fan. 56 goals scored in 8 games (7 per game) played, talk about a sudden rise in playoff scoring. Last night’s Vancouver – SJ matchup was slightly below this year’s Conference Finals average but...

217

Hopefully everyone survived rapture. The Tampa Bay Lightning survived yesterday and evened the series at twos by overcoming a 3-0 deficit (once again proving the most dangerous lead in hockey Boston) to win Game 4. What was most surprising to hear from members of the Lightning after the game was the calmness that head coach Guy Boucher showed during the first intermission, when he successfully refocused his team. Yes, this same guy. Anyone want to dispute the statement that the Lightning have had a major coaching advantage in this series? Backup Mike Smith put in the grunt work, stopping 21...

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The San Jose Sharks have fought back and made the Western Conference final series much more interesting. Unlike years past, the Sharks' received offensive support from top-to-bottom, most notably by Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton. Marleau was in fine form, notching two goals, including one on the power play. He is currently tied for the team lead with 7 goals in the post season. With that being said, Jumbo Joe Thornton has been the Sharks most consistent and versatile forward during the playoffs. His 14 assists (three last night) and 17 points are both team bests. It was the...

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What was interesting about Friday's late-breaking report by Stephen Brunt of a deal between the owners of the Atlanta Thrashers and True North Sports & Entertainment was less the news of a possible deal to bring hockey back to Winnipeg (the story of True North's - and particularly part-owner David Thomson's - interest in buying the Thrashers was first reported by Al Strachan on HNIC back in 2009), and more the mini-controversy that immediately followed the report. While Brunt's report claimed sources had confirmed a deal was finalized, TSN followed with a report of their own claiming their sources suggested...

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With only one win in their previous five games prior to last night, it seemed inevitable that the San Jose Sharks were bound to collapse against the high-flying Vancouver Canucks. In a game where the Canucks completely took over midway through the contest, it was clear that the Sharks were holding on for dear life. Go-to offensive leaders Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler came to play, as did blueliner Kevin Bieka, who scored his second in two games on a short side shot off a breakaway chance. Secondary scorers Raffi Torres, Chris Higgins and Mason Raymond bolstered the Canucks lead...

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They all have them. Every star player, both in the past and present, has had a coming out party. While some happen earlier than others, one Tyler Seguin was an offensive monster in the Bruins' 6-5 win last night. In only his second career playoff game, Seguin collected two goals and two assists, the best output by a teenager since Trevor Linden had a four-point effort in 1986. Although be began the post season in the press box, has Seguin found his place in the offensive ranks and asserted himself as a true goal scorer for the Bruins? It was...

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Game two of the Eastern Conference finals gets underway tonight, with Boston trying avenge their 5-2 loss on Saturday. They are hoping Patrice Bergeron returns from a concussion to provide some much needed face-off prowess and ability to shutdown Tampa's skilled forwards. With a two-day layoff between games one and two, expect a high octane, physical brand of hockey. Feel free to share your predictions for the game down below in the comment box. Now onto your links. Playoff Links: Kaberle's struggles continue with Boston Kaberle has yet to find his game as a member of the black and yellow. Bergeron practices for Bruins,...

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Conference Finals typically mean a rise in intensity of play of all the teams that are still playing hockey mid May. Teams, coaches and players feel like they are coming closer to the Grail and it’s visible in every puck battle, shot and save. Yesterday night was no different as we witnessed a very close, hard fought battle between the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks. San Jose played a solid road game until the third period, when Vancouver’s speed just took over. Once again, Roberto Luongo didn’t look like a 5 million plus goalie. His mishandling of a...

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They say 'good things come to those who wait' and that is no different for the Tampa Bay Lightning. After several years of bottoming out and falling into a downward spiral, the Lightning have established a new identity. Gone is the shaky ownership, inexperienced management and questionable coaching. No more quick fixes or patches in the lineup. Years of waiting in St. Petersburg has finally brought positive change. That change was in full movement last night as they came to play against the Boston Bruins, en route to their eighth straight win. The Lightning score a franchise record two goals...

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It's hard to believe the third round is already beginning tonight. Doesn't it feel like the post season just began and we were experiencing an opening round for the ages? As they say, time flies when your having fun. With the level of play at the highest it's been in years, there is lots of excitement leading up to the third round, which features two very interesting match ups. Out west, the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks enter the series as the one and two seeds in the regular season. Both teams play a team game and rely on...

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There have been few players criticized in the playoffs more than Sharks forward Patrick Marleau. After losing two straight games to Detroit and on the verge of being eliminate in Game 7, Marleau made his impact felt by lifting San Jose to a 3-2 win, and ultimately, a berth in the Western finals. Despite his inability to produce consistently throughout the series, Marleau compensated for his dismal play by ousting the veteran-laden Wings. The Red Wings, who have 16 former Cup winners on their current roster, battled hard and deserve credit for coming back to force a Game 7. Not...

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Since there were no games on tap last night, today's Mashup will be condensed as the Red Wings and Sharks prepare to do battle in Game 7. All the talk leading into the game is revolving around the Sharks top six up front and whether they can get the job done, which is something that have struggled with in years past. If you ask me, the Wings have all the momentum and shouldn't have any problem putting away the Sharks. They have come up large in two straight games to tie the series, and there is no reason why...

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For a team that was down and out only one week ago, the Detroit Red Wings have mounted quite the comeback to force a Game 7. With three teams already locked into the conference championships, the final spot will be up for grabs when San Jose hosts Detroit in a highly anticipated Game 7 on Thursday. Both teams were scoreless through 40 minutes before Logan Couture opened things up on his fifth goal of the post season. Less than seven minutes later, Henrik Zetterberg evened the game and jumpstarted the Wings’ third period comeback. Valteri Filppula would then add to...

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Despite a hard fought effort throughout the playoffs, and more specifically in this series, the Nashville Predators could not contain the Canucks versatile offense or solve Roberto Luongo in net. It's not the end of the world for the Preds, who finish the season knowing they achieved more than what many predicted and set a higher standard for the franchise and its fans. Who ever thought Nashville could draw such a vibrant, supportive crowd? Even without a player over the 50-point barrier, the Preds achieved their success by committee. One thing is certain. In the NHL season preview magazines...

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Another third period comeback helped the Detroit Red Wings overcome the San Jose Sharks to win Game 5 by a 3-2 score. After taking a comfortable 3-1 lead into the third period on goals from Devin Setoguchi, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture, the Red Wings stormed back with three unanswered markers to defeat the Sharks. Jonathan Ericsson opened the third period scoring, before Dan Cleary and Tomas Holmstrom added to the lead. Detroit proved once again why they are such a stellar playoff team and can never be counted out in a series. While an upset is unlikely, the...

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The Vancouver Canucks forfeited an ideal chance to put away the Nashville Predators, with wind in their sales and a heightened sense of confidence playing in front of the home fans. The Predators turned the corner in the second period when Joel Ward burst onto the scene, with two goals and an assist. While the Canucks managed to get three goals past Pekke Rinne, they did not play their best game yesterday. However, Ryan Kesler continued his second round dominance, scoring two of Vancouver's three goals on the night. The Canucks, who currently hold a 3-2 lead in the series,...