- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy56 mins ago
The KHL is floundering. In spite of talks of a move of teams into China, the collapse of the Ruble and other factors has put the league, which at one point dreamed of challenging the NHL for hockey supremacy, into financial problems.
And now an important former Soviet NHL face has said he believes Russian players shouldn’t be allowed to come to North America until they’re older.
Via the Associated Press:
Fetisov, who is now a senator in Russia, tells Russia's R-Sport news agency that federal law should be used to stop Russian players from moving to North America before they turn 28.
The aim is to keep "our most talented guys, the ones who the people come to see."
He also wants to see foreigners fall under that rule, as well:
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at .
• If Mike Babcock is looking for a place of worship, here's one sympathetic to his upcoming plight. [SimonDingleyCBC]
• The NHL salary cap is looking like it will be set at around $71-million next season. [AP]Fri, May 228:00 PM EDTNY Rangers at Tampa BayPreview Game
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
We all know what kind of damage the “Triplets” line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov have done for the Lightning in these playoffs. But as the Tampa offense has come alive in their last two games against the New York Rangers, a different line is starting to heat up.
There was a time this postseason when the speculation was that Steven Stamkos was injured. He went goalless over nine games from the end of the regular season until Game 2 against Montreal in the second round, but along with Valtteri Filppula and Alex Killorn, the Lightning’s top line is producing, and that’s a scary thing for the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist, who have allowed 12 goals in two games after holding Tampa to a single tally in Game 1.
Stamkos has scored four times in the last five games, while Killorn has three goals and five points in Tampa’s last two games. Filppula, meanwhile, only has two assists in the series, but has won 62-percent of his face-offs.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
It's a (gettin' down on) Friday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record on Rangers/Lightning! Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News on Mike Babcock!
• The Conference Final coverage!
• Game Show Friday!
• Hockey News and Views
Question of the Day: How much trouble are the Blackhawks in? Email email@example.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Welcome to the first edition of our Conn Smythe Watch, which chronicles the ever-changing race for playoff MVP. This one is a just a glimpse at the current picture; we’ll make it a daily feature when Round 2 begins. Keep in mind that we factor in the probability of a long playoff run into these choices. Who are the current favorites for playoff MVP? Glad you asked.
1. Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning (3)
The Triplets Line has taken over the Lightning’s series against the Rangers, led by Johnson and his 12 goals in the playoffs. He’s the postseason leader in goals and points (18), and tied for the lead with seven power-play points.
2. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (7)
The heart, soul and muscle of the Ducks. He had two assists in their Game 3 win, including a great pass to set up Simon Despres for the game winner. He now has 16 points, with 14 assists.
3. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (4)
Kane’s whirling back-hander in Game 3 was his eighth goal of the playoffs and his 14th point in 13 games. He’s credited with two game-winners.
4. Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks (2)
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
Gary Bettman met reporters in Chicago on Thursday night for Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, which meant he was going to get the Steve Montador question.
Bettman is fending off a few lawsuits related to concussions and players whose deaths were allegedly linked to brain injuries. One that’s in the works: The family of Steve Montador, the former Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres defenseman who died in February, who was working with the same law firm handling Derek Boogaard’s wrongful death case against the NHL.
“The finding of widespread CTE in Steven's brain helps us all better understand that his brain was ravaged by disease and he was unable to control it,” they said in a statement. “We always knew that there might be black eyes, broken bones and soft tissue injuries -- but he never anticipated that playing the game he loved would result in such devastating impairment of his brain function. CTE changed everything."
What did Bettman have to say about this?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
Mike Babcock made no secret that leaving the Detroit Red Wings was an emotional decision. He’s spoken about needing to crack open a box of Kleenex when discussing it with friend and general manager Ken Holland, and we’ll go ahead and assume he’s not talking about his allergies (but oy vey, that ragweed these days).
So the 10-year coach of the Red Wings decided to make one last gesture of appreciation to the Detroit fans as he embarks on the new chapter of his life as Toronto Maple Leafs head coach/savior.
Babcock and his family took out an ad on Page 6B of the Detroit Free Press on Friday, featuring a photo of the Babcocks hoisting the Stanley Cup and what appars to be a photo of an Easter Island statue.
The ad reads:
"Detroit Red Wings fans,
Thank you for an amazing 10 years!
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks captain came up big in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, notching two assists in 21:33 of action in the Ducks’ 2-1 win. Getzlaf also won 57 percent of his face-offs. His second assist was a beautiful feed to Simon Despres for the one-timer game-winner. Getzlaf has four points in the three games, all assists.
No. 2 Star, Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks goaltender is having quite the series for himself. He stopped 26 of 27 Chicago shots on goal in Anaheim’s Game 2 win. Andersen currently has a .957 save percentage against the powerful Blackhawks in the three games. For the playoffs he has a 1.75 goals against average and .935 save percentage.
No. 3. Star: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
The scoring winger finally got himself on the scoresheet with the below beautiful spinning blind backhand goal. Kane also had a glorious chance at the end of regulation of Game 3, but just couldn’t convert. A score would have sent the game into overtime.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
The Anaheim Ducks showed no let-down or exhaustion in their 2-1 Game 3 Western Conference Final win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Ducks punched early, got the first goal of the game to settle them down and scored late in the second to pick up the win and a 2-1 series lead.
The previous game went almost the entirety of three overtimes before Chicago’s victory and there were questions about whether Anaheim could come back and produce with a win at Chicago in Game 3.
"This was a character win," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I thought a very good checking game for us, road game. I think, I mean, they're going to get some chances. There's no way you can stop them from getting chances. But I thought we limited their chances on the road. For a tired group, it was a really good game for us."
After the loss Tuesday in Anaheim, the Ducks needed to score first, and they did on a Patrick Maroon tip-in at the 12:55 mark of the opening period.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
Patrick Kane, we were waiting for you to finally score a goal or at very least get a point this Western Conference Final.
Kane’s lack of production had become a sort of big deal heading into Game 3. And it didn’t take long for him to finally get on the board against the Ducks. Behold the no-look backhand score by the Buffalo native, which knotted the game at 1-1 late in the first period at the United Center.
As we noted before the game, Kane hadn’t notched a point this series and wasn’t really all that effective 5-on-5. Unless Kane was nursing some sort of injury we didn’t know about, you knew he’d at least score ‘a’ goal or ‘a’ point this series.
Kane’s home goals create quite a festive atmosphere in the United Center. He throws up his arms and “Chelsea Dagger” blares from the loudspeaker. The crowd goes crazy. At this stage of Kane’s career and the Blackhawks’ recent run of success, it feels like a spring ritual.
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