Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago
It’s often been said that Canada has so many players worthy of being on their national team that there could literally be a second national team made up of the snubs.
So with that, we present you with the seven final additions to the Team Canada World Cup of Hockey roster, which were announced on Friday:
G Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
G Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
G Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
D Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks *
D Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
D Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
D Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings *
D Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues *
D Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks
D Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
F Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
F Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
F Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings
F Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
F Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche *
F Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
F Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers *
F Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins *
F Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
F Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
F John Tavares, New York Islanders
F Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks *
F Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago
Team USA’s final World Cup of Hockey roster additions were announced on Friday evening and, well, they reaffirmed that John Tortorella is the head coach.
Seven players were added, highlighted below. They join the 16 previous selected to the team on March 2, as chosen by management group that includes old-school names like Dean Lombardi, Paul Holmgren, Brian Burke, Jim Johannson and John Tortorella. Please keep that in mind as you read the following:
G Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
G Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
G Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils
D Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
D John Carlson, Washington Capitals
D Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche *
D Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets *
D Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
D Matt Niskanen, Washington Capitals *
D Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
F Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings
F David Backes, St. Louis Blues *
F Ryan Callahan, Tampa Bay Lightning *
F Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus Blue Jackets *
F Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
F Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks
F T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
F Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens
F Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild
F Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago
The Lake Erie Monsters are the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets. On Thursday night, the defeated the Ontario Reign in double-overtime to advance to the Calder Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
(Hooray for some semblance of palpable optimism about the future for Blue Jackets fans!)
Along the way, the Monsters have created one of the most memorable playoff traditions we’ve come across recently. Or at least among those that involve hockey players getting the graffiti on:
Seriously, how awesome is that? In a high-school pep rally kind of way?
This is the first year the Monsters have done the spray paint bit on the boards of their home rink for the postseason. Jeff Elston, the team’s communications coordinator, said the idea was came from someone in the team’s front office, and the players embraced it. “They were never in on the idea, but each player that has done it has enjoyed it big time,” he said
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago
The next episode of SHOWTIME’s “All Access: Quest for the Stanley Cup” is Friday night at 9 p.m. ET.
The first episode was a strong entry, if you prefer your NHL reality shows to be action heavy rather than attempting to create drama out of the mundane and routine.
Some of you apparently didn’t dig the 30-minute format vs. the hour-long “24/7” and “Road To the NHL Winter Classic. But for what this was – a week in review show, capturing the fury of the Stanley Cup Playoffs – it was outstanding.
Here’s a taste of what’s in store for the next episode, as the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks got physical and nasty with each other. The Vlasic/Shattenkirk snark to start was outstanding.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the St. Louis Blues might have produced the best ratings scenario for the NHL in the U.S., but the Penguins vs. the San Jose Sharks produced the best everything else imaginable for the League.
There’s star power. There’s high-octane offense, physical defense and dynamic special teams play. There are few noticeable beards. And there are enough narratives to choke a Brontosaurus.
Here are the five things that have me most intrigued, at first blush:
As Sidney Crosby put it after Game 7: “It's going to be fast hockey.”
No kidding. The Penguins showed in their last two wins that they can skate most teams out of the building. Their puck placement in the attacking zone allows their burners to win races to the puck. Their ability to stretch their offense from blue line to blue line created countless chances for players like Phil Kessel, Carl Hagelin and Bryan Rust.
The only wrinkle here: The Sharks have looked mighty fast against a couple of plodding teams in the Kings and Blues. What happens against the Penguins, who can match or surpass their speed?
Stifling The Stars
Murray vs. Jones
A Weird Stat
PITTSBURGH – It was December. Mike Sullivan walked into the room for the first time as Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and looked at the team he had inherited near the midseason.
Sidney Crosby. Evgeni Malkin. Phil Kessel. Kris Letang. The elite of the elite.
So he acknowledged to the group that the Penguins, in fact, had great players. The challenge was to stop being a team with great players, and become a great team.
“If we can do that,” he said, “that’s how you win in this League.”
The Penguins were already wise to this philosophy. Along with ungodly standards of excellence, it was the driving force behind the firing of GM Ray Shero and coach Dan Bylsma in the Great Purge of 2014. The former lost his job because the roster lacked the quality depth to augment the great players. The latter lost his job because management felt his coaching system wasn’t suited to win in the playoffs.
The other reason Sullivan’s hiring was advantageous was that he was familiar with many of the depth players who would, in fact, help turn the Penguins into a great team.
His faith in the young players was rewarded. His veteran players’ faith in Sullivan was as well.
But it does start there.
PITTSBURGH – You don’t touch the trophy.
The San Jose Sharks didn’t, avoiding the Clarence Campbell Bowl like it was radioactive after winning the Western Conference title on Wednesday night.
But after the Pittsburgh Penguins outlasted the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final 24 hours later, there was captain Sidney Crosby, holding the Prince of Wales Trophy during a photo op with Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin.
Ummmm … jinx much?
But there was a reason behind Crosby’s flouting of hockey hexes – it’s tradition for the Penguins.
In 1991, captain Mario Lemieux not only touched the Wales Trophy but actually skated around in celebration with it. The Penguins would win their first Stanley Cup in team history in the following round against the Minnesota North Stars.
Sidney Patrick Crosby. Are you serious? pic.twitter.com/6umHN40ss0
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PITTSBURGH – Steven Stamkos has three scars from his surgery two months ago to correct an issue with a blood clot. Two on his neck, and one on his shoulder. Reminders of what coach Jon Cooper referred to as a “catastrophic” injury to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s captain. Reminders of what Stamkos had to work back from to play in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday night.
The storybook was there to be written: Superstar returns from injury to inspire his team to victory in a championship game. A superstar in what might be his last season with the only franchise he's known as a professional.
The Pittsburgh Penguins spoiled the ending.
“They had that step. We couldn’t match it. When you’re getting outshot that badly … that’s tough. They had an extra gear tonight,” said Stamkos after the 2-1 loss to the Penguins on Thursday night, eliminating the Lightning and ending Stamkos’s final season before unrestricted free agency.
“I felt I beat him. It went through and out the other side. It was close,” said Stamkos.
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PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins are now four wins away from their first Stanley Cup title since 2009.
Despite the emotional return of Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, the Penguins defeated Tampa Bay, 2-1, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday night, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final to play the San Jose Sharks in a series that begins on Monday night in Pittsburgh.
It’s the first Game 7 they’ve won at home since 1995, breaking a four-game losing streak.
Rookie Bryan Rust, who had a breakaway goal in the Penguins’ Game 6 win in Tampa, scored two goals to give him five for the playoffs. Rookie goalie Matt Murray, the team's backbone yet again, made 16 saves, including a few key stops in the third period.
But it was a total team effort from the Penguins as they dominated puck possession for most of the game and stifled the Lightning attack for the second straight contest.
But the Penguins proved too much for the defending Eastern Conference champs.
Bryan Rust put the Penguins on the board first with a wrister from the high slot.
The tie lasted 30 seconds.
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PITTSBURGH – Steven Stamkos is back for the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.
The captain hasn’t played since March 31, out after surgery to correct a blood clot. He’s skated regularly throughout the postseason. He's waited for medical clearance and his coach’s decision to insert him back in the lineup.
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Times:
Stamkos' surgeon, Karl Illig, told the Times, his risks are "very, very low," decision up to Stamkos. "I think he's doing the right thing."
Illig said he cleared Stamkos a while ago, issue was blood thinners. Stamkos received several opinions and made decision to return tonight
Jon Cooper sat down for his customary pregame press conference 90 minutes before the puck drops on Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“Before we get going, don’t ask about the lineup. At all. Because I don’t know,” said the Tampa Bay Lightning coach. “OK, we’ve set that straight: Questions about Game 7?”
Sure. What’s Steven Stamkos’s status for Game 7?
“Questions about Game 7. Let’s go,” said Cooper.
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