- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
TORONTO – For two periods, Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky single-handedly kept his team in the hunt for the World Cup.
But in the third period, Canada skated out and decided — to paraphrase another great Russian athlete — ‘We Must Break You.’
Using an overwhelming offensive barrage, Canada advanced to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey final with a 5-3 victory over Russia on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists, setting up both of linemate Brad Marchand’s two goals.
In total, Canada had 47 shots on goal and 75 shot attempts. Their goalie Carey Price, meanwhile, made 31 saves.
Crosby got the Canadians on the board by absolutely embarrassing Russian defenseman Dmitry Kulikov:
ref cam view of the goal pic.twitter.com/htS8t5hHdU
— Stephanie (@myregularface) September 24, 2016
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Restricted free agent defenseman Jacob Trouba will not attend Winnipeg Jets training camp and has requested a trade from the team.
Trouba’s agent Kurt Overhardt released a statement published by Sportsnet saying that this decision was about more than money and that Trouba needs a fresh start elsewhere.
Here is the statement:
“Our client, Jacob Trouba, will not be attending the Winnipeg Jets NHL training camp. Since May, we have been working with the Jets management in an effort to facilitate a trade of Jacob’s rights. Both parties continue to work on this matter.
There has been no negotiation regarding the terms of a contract between our client and the Jets over the course of the last several months. The situation is not about money; it is solely about our client having the opportunity to realize his potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
TORONTO – Contrary to perceptions, Canada occasionally loses international hockey tournaments. Like the 2008 IIHF world championships in Quebec City, when Alex Ovechkin and Russia defeated Jonathan Toews’s Team Canada in overtime.
“Yeah, I remember the celebration. That was not fun to watch. Especially on home ice,” said Toews. “At the same time, it was a good learning experience. I think the guys that were a part of that team were definitely ready for the opportunity in [the Vancouver Olympics]. We came out flying in that tournament. But yeah, you can’t win them all I guess.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
TORONTO – Anze Kopitar hasn’t won over Team Europe’s players as captain with any ‘rah-rah’ type speeches. That’s simply not the way he operates.
Ultimately the big Slovenian has helped the players gel with a hard work ethic and a low-key and humorous ‘no worries’ attitude that has permeated throughout the room. This has provided somewhat of a window into what his leadership style will be like when he returns to the Los Angeles Kings after this tournament where he will assume the role of captain for the first time in his NHL career.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
TORONTO – He’s faced 111 shots and only let six pucks fly by him in three games, including contests against the NHL stars of Canada and the United States. Now, as the backbone of the ragtag World Cup of Hockey squad collectively known as Team Europe, goalie Jaroslav Halak is expecting to face a few dozen more against Sweden.
Only a little earlier than he’s used to.
Sweden and Team Europe faceoff in a single-elimination semifinal, with the winner advancing to the best-of-three World Cup final against either Canada or Russia. Their game on Sunday is at 1 p.m. ET, the earliest start for any game of the two-week tournament.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
TORONTO – The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without goalie Matt Murray, who led them to the Stanley Cup championship last postseason, after he suffered a broken hand during the World Cup of Hockey.
GM Jim Rutherford said Murray, who was playing for the under-23 Team North America, will miss “three to six weeks.”
Murray was pulled from North America’s 4-3 loss against Russia on Sept. 19, playing 27 minutes and 24 seconds, giving up four goals on 19 shots. Initially, coach Todd McLellan said Murray had “jammed his thumb” but was “very capable of playing” in their next game. Murray wasn’t dressed for their game against Sweden to complete pool play on Sept. 21.
After playing 13 games in the regular season for Pittsburgh, Murray was given the crease during the Penguins’ first-round series against the New York Rangers due to an injury to goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. He won his first three appearances, and ended up with 15-6-0 record in their playoff run to the Stanley Cup championship, posting a 2.08 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
TORONTO – The atmospheric differences were stark.
At 8 p.m. on a weekday, the Air Canada Centre in Toronto would come alive for the World Cup of Hockey. Nearly every seat was filled; the ones that weren’t had their tickets lingering on the secondary market at high prices. The fans were loud and engaged. It was everything you’d expect from a tournament featuring NHL stars, held in the center of the hockey universe.
But at 3 p.m. on a weekday, the Air Canada Centre was less than two-thirds capacity, and tickets for games like Sweden vs. Finland could be had for as little as $6 on the secondary market. The atmosphere was sedate. It’s not exactly what you expected from the World Cup of Hockey, although Wednesday’s game between Connor McDavid’s Team North America and Sweden was better attended and much louder.
Was the NHL happy with the turnout for its round-robin games?
“The answer to that is that we sold the tickets exactly right: In strips,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, at a hockey technology summit held during the World Cup.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
Last Season: 47-26-9 (103 points), 1st in the Atlantic, 3rd in the East
It was the most successful season in franchise history with records set in wins (47) and points (103), and a second division title banner earned. There was also a bit of Hollywood involved with the “Spacey in Space” fun.
Jaromir Jagr remained ageless; Vincent Trocheck and Aleksander Barkov enjoyed breakout seasons; Aaron Ekblad kept on course for superstardom; and Roberto Luongo played Vezina-calibre goal. Their season may have come to an end in six games at the hands of the New York Islanders in the first round, but the Panthers are setup for sustained success.
The architect of the roster, Dale Tallon, moved upstairs in the executive offices as Tom Rowe took over at the team’s new general manager. New additions were made on the backend, promising last season as no fluke.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Last Season: 31-43-48 (70 points), 7th in the Pacific, 14th in the West
Edmonton entered the 2015-16 season with a lot of newness. They had a new coach, a shiny new superstar and a new general manager. But a lot of the issues that plagued Edmonton in the past were the same. It ended up being another rebuilding year for the Oilers.
Almost all of the questions surrounded Connor McDavid and how the No. 1 overall draft pick would perform. When healthy, he was arguably the team’s best forward with 48 points in 45 games played. Unfortunately for the Oilers, McDavid missed 37 games with a left clavicle injury.
There was a stretch in December where the Oilers won six games in a row with McDavid out and appeared to actually make some tangible progress as a hockey club. But then they lost seven of their next eight games.
Taylor Hall, who has since been traded to the New Jersey Devils, led the team with 65 points in 82 games played. Leon Draisaitl is Edmonton’s highest returning scorer and had 51 points in 72 games played in 2015-16.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
The Detroit Red Wings
After Mike Babcock followed the money all the way to Toronto, it was expected that the Detroit Red Wings would enter into a new era under head coach Jeff Blashill – a post-playoff streak era.
Think again: The Red Wings extended their playoff qualification streak to 25 seasons with a 41-30-11 (93 points) record and a third-place finish in the Atlantic Division. They were eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning, but still: playoffs! Again!
Now, the Red Wings enter yet another new era: The post-Pavel Datsyuk one, as the Russian hockey legend left for the KHL.
Can the Red Wings keep the streak going for another season?
2015-16 Season, In One Picture
Did They Get Better, Worse, Or Are They About The Same?
While it’s true that Pavel Datsyuk isn’t the player he once was, he was far from a liability. He was still a driver of possession and a quality defensive player. He’ll be an asset to the Arizona Coyotes.
Frans Nielsen, 32, is an underrated two-way forward that could thrive in the Red Wings’ system and as a linemate with Henrik Zetterberg. Five years is a bit of term for him, but in the short term, he helps.