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Ducks’ Nick Bonino scores impressive backhand goal while on knees

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By Nick Stoico

Sending the puck to the net is an instinctive act for pro hockey players when they find themselves in a tough situation with seemingly no other options. Hopefully, a lucky bounce or deflection will result in a goal.

Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Bonino’s desperation play in overtime against Colorado on Sunday featured a little more razzle dazzle. He scored the game-winner by sending the puck into the twine while on his knees and gliding away from the net with his back to it.

Certainly not a bad way to score his 21st goal of the season.

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  • Published On Apr 13, 2014
  • Wild on verge of playoff berth; Rangers clinch thanks to Devils’ loss

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    The Wild are on the verge of a playoff berth after a 1-0 win over the Jets. (Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images)

    The Wild are on the verge of a wild card playoff berth after a 1-0 win over the Jets. (Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images)

    By Mike McMahon

    The NHL is one night closer to figuring out who will earn the right to gut it out for Lord Stanley’s Cup. All three games on Monday night carried playoff implications as some teams had their hopes of playing for the hardware all but confirmed, while others were officially crossed off the list of contenders.

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  • Published On Apr 08, 2014
  • Jonathan Toews, Team Canada grace Sports Illustrated cover after Olympics

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    02-25-team canada

    By Stanley Kay

    At the 2014 Sochi Games, Team Canada took home both men’s and women’s ice hockey gold medals for the second straight Olympics.

    First, the Canadian women rallied from a late two-goal deficit to top Team USA 3-2 in overtime of the final. Then the Canadian men — after a quarterfinal scare against Latvia — shut out the U.S. and Sweden, respectively, to capture the gold medal.

    In this week’s issue, Michael Farber writes about Team Canada’s gold medal triumph, calling the men’s team the “greatest Olympic squad ever assembled.”

    PHOTOS: 2014 Sports Illustrated Covers

    Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews, on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the second time, scored Canada’s first goal in a 3-0 victory over Sweden in the gold medal game.

    CAZENEUVE: Canada sings solid gold after yet another Olympic hockey triumph

  • Published On Feb 26, 2014
  • Ducks celebrate Throwback Night with 4-1 win over Bobby Ryan, Senators

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    Teemu Selanne was in the sentimental spirit as the Anaheim Ducks donned their same uniforms they wore in their inaugural 92-93 season

    Teemu Selanne had a familiar look as the Ducks donned throwback jerseys to celebrate the franchise’s first win 20 years ago during the 1993-94 season. (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Michael Blinn

    Twenty years ago to the day, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim celebrated the team’s first win as a franchise — a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers — with a 4-1 victory over Ottawa Sunday night.

    To celebrate the milestone, the team embraced the nostalgia with Throwback Night, as the Ducks (who dropped the ‘Mighty’ moniker in 2006-07) wore the same eggplant-colored uniforms with teal and white horizontal stripes and the cartoon duck goalie mask logo as they did during Anaheim’s inaugural season in 1993-94.

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  • Published On Oct 13, 2013
  • This British hockey ad might pose a problem

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    By Allan Muir

    You can’t really begrudge European hockey teams the practice of painting advertisements all over their ice surfaces. Sure it creates the occasional visual challenge for spectators, but for clubs struggling with miniscule TV revenues, smaller arenas and fewer fans drinking $12 beers, every penny counts.

    That said, the Sheffield Steelers of Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League probably should have taken a minute to think one particular ad all the way through.

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  • Published On Sep 06, 2013
  • NHL’s partnership with You Can Play a proud, watershed moment

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    Patrick Burke of the You Can Play Project

    Flyers scout Patrick Burke has been leading an historic movement for inclusion in sports. (Christopher Pasatieri/Getty)

    By Allan Muir

    Well, that didn’t take long.

    About an hour after the news broke that the NHL and NHLPA have officially partnered with the You Can Play Project, I got an email from a woman who promised never to watch hockey again as long as it “promotes the homosexual agenda.”

    Lady, you won’t be missed.

    I learned long ago there’s no arguing with someone like that. You can’t tell anyone what to believe. Just like the best intentions of the league and the PA can’t force hockey players to be accepting of a gay teammate.

    But you can try to cultivate an environment where inclusion is the stated goal and a player’s ability to contribute to a team’s success on and off the ice makes a non-issue out of his sexual orientation.

    And that’s where this partnership stands as a watershed moment. This isn’t about the “homosexual agenda,” whatever that is. YCP isn’t about gay marriage or gay adoption or gays on the international space station. It’s really about a single, simple, perfectly worded idea: If you can play, you can play.

    I usually steer clear of canned quotes, but this one from Ron Hainsey really hits the mark.

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  • Published On Apr 11, 2013
  • Boston’s Chris Kelly out indefinitely with fractured tibia

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    By Allan Muir

    I ran into a member of a Western Conference coaching staff at a pee-wee hockey game last summer. While watching his kid’s team whip mine, we got to talking about unrestricted free agents his team might be interested in. “I’ll tell you who I really would have liked to get,” he said. “Chris Kelly. The guy plays the game the right way.”

    The Bruins understood that as well and re-signed the versatile forward before he hit the market. Kelly might not get a lot of press (alright, he doesn’t get any press), but he has been a glue guy for that team ever since arriving from Ottawa. He competes, he wins faceoffs, he’s great on the PK and he can chip in offensively. Guy does it all.

    That’s why the news today that he was lost indefinitely after fracturing his shinbone in a violent but accidental collision with good friend Chris Neil of the Senators signifies a major loss to the B’s. Best-case estimates suggest he could be back in six weeks, which would be just ahead of the playoffs, but there’s no guarantee. And being off skates that long? He’s going to be a step slow for a bit.

    For now, Boston will call on Rich Peverley to center the third line. He performed well in the loss to the Pens last night, winning 10 of 13 draws. Carl Soderberg could help. He’ll arrive as soon as his team is eliminated from the Swedish Elite League playoffs. Top prospect Ryan Spooner will also get a look–he was recalled on an emergency basis today.

    But just in case they falter, you have to think GM Peter Chiarelli is already looking for some insurance for a line that only recently was rounding into form after a slow start.

  • Published On Mar 13, 2013
  • Sabres coach Lindy Ruff fuels rivalry

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    Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff angered the Boston Bruins.

    Bufflao Sabres coach Lindy Ruff: Just trying to keep the peace. (Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Lindy Ruff’s decision to call a timeout with 14 seconds left and a 7-4 lead on Thursday night didn’t go over well with the Boston Bruins.

    “Yeah, [Ruff] wants to be a big shot, and that’s not the best play to do,” a fired-up Brad Marchand told NESN. “That’s pretty disrespectful. If he wants to be like that, that’s fine.”

    In most cases, Marchand would have every right to be redlining. Calling a late timeout, especially in a blowout, especially in the other team’s barn, is a serious breach of the code.

    At least, it would be if Boston coach Claude Julien hadn’t forced Ruff’s hand.

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  • Published On Feb 01, 2013
  • Short NHL season may save coaches who are on the hot seat

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    Coach Joe Sacco of the Colorado Avalanche is under fire

    It would probably take a miracle to revive coach Joe Sacco’s depleted Colorado Avalanche. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Less than two weeks into this exceptional season and already the wolves are circling.

    In Pittsburgh, Dan Bylsma is being pilloried for his in-game management. In Colorado, Joe Sacco’s toughness is questioned. In Dallas, fans are grumbling about Glen Gulutzan’s lack of bench presence. In Florida…in Carolina…

    Anywhere teams are losing, panic buttons are being mashed by fans who are only too aware of the playoff implications of a slow start. Car pools are being organized to help ex-coaching staffs get to the airport. Wish lists of possible bench bosses are being drawn up on cocktail napkins.

    Change needs to happen, and it needs to happen now, before it’s too late. Right? Right?

    If it was up to the fans, half a dozen bench bosses would be looking over their severance packages right now.

    But general managers, the men who actually have to make these decisions, tend to be a little more judicious, a little more big-picture oriented. They want results, but they grasp that these are unique circumstances. Which makes me wonder: Could this actually be the safest year in NHL history to be a coach? A season in which not one single coach gets fired?

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  • Published On Jan 31, 2013
  • USA Hockey confirms All-American Prospects Game for Pittsburgh

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    USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game

    Phil Housley (far right), who led Team USA to the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championships, coached a team at the 2012 All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo last September. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The 2013 NHL Entry Draft is still five months away, but the stage already is being set for a bumper crop of American talent in 2014.

    USA Hockey announced today that the All-American Prospects Game would be held at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center on Sept. 26.

    The game will showcase 40 of the top American-born players who are eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, drawn from the U.S. National Team Development Program, the CHL, USHL, NCAA and U.S. high schools.

    The inaugural edition of the event was held last September in Buffalo and featured players such as Seth Jones and Ryan Hartman, both members of the 2013 World Junior Champions and certain first-round picks this June.

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  • Published On Jan 29, 2013