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Tampa Bay Lightning honor 2004 Stanley Cup-winning squad

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By Darian Somers

Several former Lightning managers, coaches and players, including ex-captain Dave Andreychuk, returned to Tampa to celebrate the 2004 Stanley Cup championship team on Monday night.

In that epic series, the Lightning and the Calgary Flames traded wins in the first four games. After returning to Tampa for Game 5, Oleg Saprykin lifted the Flames in overtime despite the Bolts tying the score with 37 seconds left. Game 6 would go down as one of the most memorable for Tampa Bay — and painful for the Flames. Some Calgary fans, to this day, believe that Martin Gelinas scored in third period to give Calgary a lead. However, the NHL ruled the puck didn’t cross the goal line despite a somewhat convincing ABC camera angle. Later on that night, Martin St. Louis forced Game 7 with a goal 37 seconds into double OT. In Game 7, Ruslan Fedtenko played the hero, scoring twice as the Bolts edged the Flames, 2-1.

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  • Published On Mar 17, 2014
  • Henrik Sedin should listen to John Tortorella, skip Sochi Olympics

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    By Allan Muir

    Maybe Steven Stamkos was lucky.

    His Olympic dream wasn’t his own to end. When it came time to make a decision on whether his broken leg had healed sufficiently to allow him to suit up for Team Canada, his doctors stepped in and mercifully pulled the plug.

    MUIR: Stamkos ruled out of Sochi | Was St. Louis the best replacement pick?

    The decision won’t be so bloodless for Henrik Sedin.

    The Canucks announced this morning that they would shut down their captain for the team’s final two pre-Olympic games after he was was ineffective playing through a rib injury on Tuesday night against the Bruins.

    It’s the right call for the team and the player. Anyone who watched the game could tell that breathing, let alone the slightest contact, was agony for Sedin. Outside of a boatload of courage, he doesn’t bring much value to the table in the short term. It makes sense, then, for Vancouver to take the long view of his recovery.

    But can Sedin do the same?

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  • Published On Feb 06, 2014
  • John Tortorella’s suspension a fair price to pay to turn Canucks’ season around

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    John Tortorella and the Vancouver Canucks

    Fire and ice: It’s been a slow go, but John Tortorella is changing the Canucks’ culture. (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Everyone knew that John Tortorella would pay a hefty price for his shenanigans during the first intermission of Saturday night’s game against the Flames. And when he picked up the tab on Monday, it was steep: a 15-day suspension for actions the league deemed “both dangerous and an embarrassment.”

    For his breach of protocol, Tortorella will miss six games, including Tuesday night’s contest with the Oilers, and is prohibited from having contact of any kind with his Canucks. That means no access to Rogers Arena. No practices. No video sessions. No emails asking what guys are doing on Super Bowl Sunday.

    It’s a stiff sentence … but what if it’s all worth it? What if, instead of sending a rudderless team into deeper waters, this is exactly what Vancouver needs: the temporary martyrdom of its coach acting as the galvanizing moment that turns their season around?

    If it plays out that way, it couldn’t happen at a better time.

    MORE: The best (worst?) of John Tortorella’s blowups

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  • Published On Jan 21, 2014
  • The best (worst?) of volatile coach John Tortorella’s blowups in the NHL

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    By Brian Cazeneuve and John Rolfe

    The NHL was abuzz as John Tortorella, the league’s most fiery and fascinating coach, faced a disciplinary hearing for attempting to angrily barge into Calgary’s dressing room during the first intermission of a game on Saturday. The object of his ire was Flames coach Bob Hartley, with whom Tortorella had taken umbrage after Hartley sent out a lineup of fourth-line pugilists for the opening face-off. Tortorella responded in kind and a full-scale line brawl ensued, generating 152 penalty minutes and eight ejections in the game’s first two seconds. Vancouver’s bench boss was incensed — his passions undoubtedly fueled by his team’s skid of eight losses in its previous nine games, including a 9-1 demolition by the Anaheim Ducks — and he started screaming at Hartley while the melee unfolded. After the scoreless first period, Tortorella added a new chapter to his turbulent history, one that resulted in a 15-day, six-game suspension. (Hartley was fined $25,000 for his unseemly choice of on-ice personnel.)

    Here are some of the highlights — or lowlights, depending on your perspective.

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  • Published On Jan 20, 2014
  • Canucks coach John Tortorella held back from Flames’ locker room after brawl

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    By Michael Blinn

    Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella had to be restrained from going into the Calgary Flames’ locker room after a heated first period on Saturday.

    A full-scaled donnybrook ensued after Flames coach Bob Hartley submitted his starting lineup of Kevin Westgarth, Chris Butler and Brian McGrattan, a trio not necessarily known for its goal-scoring prowess. Tortorella responded by sending out Dale Weise, Tom Sestito and Kellan Lain, a threesome with a similar pugilistic skill set.

    As soon as the puck dropped to open the game, a line brawl broke out with all 10 skaters joining in the fracas, which resulted in eight ejections and 152 penalty minutes. Tortorella was leaning over his bench toward the visiting Flames, screaming at Hartley, who did not respond.

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  • Published On Jan 19, 2014
  • Fine for fuming: Notable NHL coaches who paid for their antics

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    NHL coach Jacques Demers tried to cheat by throwing coins on the ice to stop play.

    Bad penny: The wily Jacques Demers once tossed coins on the ice to stop play. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By John Rolfe

    Chicanery is alive and well on the sidelines these days as Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets had their wallets lightened by $100,000 and $50,000 respectively–Tomlin for slyly interfering with Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones during a kick return; Kidd for purposely spilling a soda on the court in order to gain a timeout in the waning moments of a loss to the Lakers. Their despicable acts inspired Down Goes Brown blogger Sean McIndoe to offer up a few notorious examples of NHL coaches behaving badly. The most interesting was Jacques Demers of the St. Louis Blues, who copped to tossing pennies on the ice during a 1986 playoff game against Minnesota in order to give his players a breather. Demers, believe it or not, got off with only a warning from the league.

    Other coaches have not been so lucky, as the NHL forced them to cough up some cake — though not nearly as much as Tomlin will surrender — usually for antics like running their mouths in an inappropriate manner or letting the rough stuff get out of hand. Here are 10 notable instances.

    John Tortorella, New York Rangers

    The fiery Torts has a history of throwing checks at the NHL. He was relieved of $30,000 for deeming the officiating in the 2012 Winter Classic “disgusting” and suggesting that the refs had been in cahoots with NBC in an effort to send the game into overtime. Three months later, he scribbled a one for $20,000 after impugning the character of the Penguins following a 5-2 loss. (Among his sentiments, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were “whining stars” who played for “one of the most arrogant organizations in the league.” In 2007, ripping the refs cost Tortorella $10,000, and in 2009, he was suspended for Game 6 of New York’s first round playoff series for squirting a Capitals fan with water and hitting another with the bottle after throwing it over the glass. For good measure, Torts also grabbed a stick, but was restrained by assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld, who was at the center of an infamous incident in 1988. (See below)

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  • Published On Dec 04, 2013
  • Canucks trying to end domination by Sharks as Tomas Hertl sideshow opens

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    By Allan Muir

    It’s fair to say that all eyes will be on teen sensation Tomas Hertl tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern time as his San Jose Sharks visit the Vancouver Canucks.

    Not that anyone expects the NHL’s leading scorer — let that one sink in for a moment — to repeat his four-goal performance from Tuesday night, or to attempt anything as bold and exciting as the between-the-legs move he executed for his final tally against the Rangers, but his Jagr-esque style and joyful play make it seem as though something memorable could happen at any time. And as the league’s new, shiny toy, Hertl’s the must-watch of the moment.

    MUIR: Thornton’s salty four-goal celebration remark sets off storm

    But in the big picture, there’s a more compelling angle to this contest. A glance at the standings reveals that the John Tortorella era is off to a good start in Vancouver. Yet, his team’s record is deceiving.

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  • Published On Oct 10, 2013
  • Did Henrik Lundqvist interview lead Rangers to fire coach John Tortorella?

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    John Tortorella

    After five colorful years, John Tortorella’s blunt, abrasive style seemed to lose the current Rangers. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    It wasn’t just another disappointing loss in the playoffs, the inability to adapt to a new-look lineup, his gong-show press conferences or even his benching of $60 million free agent Brad Richards that led the New York Rangers to fire coach John Tortorella today.

    It was the kiss of death from the one player he couldn’t win without.

    After much speculation, the Rangers finally dismissed the abrasive 54 year old just days after the team was eliminated from the Eastern Conference Semifinals in five games by the Boston Bruins.

    It was only a year ago that Tortorella led New York to 51 wins and a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals with a group that played like it was willing to take a bullet for him.

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  • Published On May 29, 2013
  • Sean Avery tweets “Fire John Tortorella!”

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    John Tortorella

    Former Ranger Sean Avery has called for John Tortorella to be fired. (Jonathan Kozub, Getty Images)

    When he’s not starring on E!’s Fashion Police or ripping off Charlie Sheen’s catchphrases, professional lightning rod Sean Avery sets aside some time to follow his old club, the New York Rangers.

    And like most of the team’s fans, he’s not too happy with the way things are going of late. In fact, the team’s listless 3-0 loss to Montreal tonight inspired a rather pointed suggestion for Rangers’ GM Glen Sather regarding the future employment of coach John Tortorella.

    Avery, always on the cutting edge, decided to shared it on Twitter:

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  • Published On Mar 30, 2013
  • Snap Shots: Flyers PK In Shambles; HNIC Crew Needs a Trim

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    Tyler Myers (57) scores one of three power-play goals for the Sabres on Sunday. (Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

    Tyler Myers (57, far left) scores one of three power-play goals for the Sabres on Sunday. (Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    • A couple months from now, we all may be applauding Hockey Night In Canada’s producers for the patience they showed while allowing the new five-man panel to work through some early growing pains. But hey, we might be raving about Lance Armstrong’s appointment as the head of WADA too, right?

    If the group–host Ron MacLean, and commentators Elliotte Friedman, Kevin Weekes, Glen Healy and P.J. Stock — were simply an embarrassment of riches, then it might just be a matter of letting them find their rhythm. But outside of consummate professional MacLean and Friedman, who has established himself as the game’s top studio presence, the rest of the crew came off like the unprepared guy at the meeting who feels like he has to say something, anything, to impress the boss. They were bland and noisy as they flailed to claim some space as their own. It all made for lousy TV.

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  • Published On Jan 21, 2013


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