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Steven Stamkos fractures leg in collision with goal post

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By Allan Muir

Steven Stamkos had to be stretchered off the ice this afternoon after suffering what appears to be a catastrophic injury to his right leg during a game against the Boston Bruins.

The NHL’s leading goal scorer was backchecking deep in the Tampa Bay zone when a collision with Boston defenseman Dougie Hamilton sent him hard into the goal post to the left of Anders Lindback. His leg bent obscenely upon impact.

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  • Published On Nov 11, 2013
  • Alex Ovechkin’s goal output debated

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    Alex Ovechkin has preying on weak Southeast Division teams like the Carolina Hurricanes.

    When it comes to defense and goaltending, four Southeast teams rank in the NHL’s bottom 10. (Gerry Broome/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Ask any coach and he’ll tell you it’s not how you score that matters, but how many. It’s a pragmatic approach for a sport that judges a winner based on a simple tally rather than the awarding of style points.

    But does it also matter who you score against?

    That’s the argument being posed this morning on Twitter by some fans and media members who are wondering whether the value of Alex Ovechkin’s stats have to be measured with an eye on the pillowy soft competition he faces in the Southeast Division.

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  • Published On Apr 09, 2013
  • Beer leaguers no substitute for the real thing; more signs of lockout damage

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    Steven Stamkos

    Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos faces the challenge of trying to stay sharp during the endless lockout by playing in no-contact charity games like Operation Hat Trick and even his dad’s beer league. (Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    Things remain at a standstill as the owners lockout hits day 94. While the players say they are willing to talk, they have not gotten the call from the league to resume.

    Away from the CBA fray, NHL players continue to grab their sticks and do what they can to stay in shape, or at least pass the time, sometimes in rather unorthodox ways. Take Sidney Crosby. The Penguins captain picked up the big stick last Friday, playing goal on a friend’s deck hockey team not far from downtown Pittsburgh. Now, deck hockey is the same as ice hockey, just without the ice; street hockey — or road hockey as Canadians sometimes call it — but with boards instead of sidewalk curbs. There’s a photo of the playing surface on the website of the place in which Crosby played.

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  • Published On Dec 18, 2012
  • Awards races tight as season, playoffs

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    Few people get fired up about the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play and sportsmanship, however Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell will be a rare bird if he wins it. (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    The NHL hands out its annual individual player awards tonight in Las Vegas during a glitzy, star-spangled gala that’s a far cry from the afternoon luncheons in Montreal that were hosted by Clarence Campbell.

    Just as the regular season and playoffs were hard to predict as a result of the league’s parity, it’s difficult to try determining who the voters selected for some of the hardware, and there may be some controversial choices among fans who will believe that the wrong guy won. You have to keep in mind that the voting was done at the conclusion of the regular season and the award recognizes only that aspect of the players’ performances. The playoffs are not a factor.

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  • Published On Jun 20, 2012
  • Is Steven Stamkos Hart-worthy?

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    Steven Stamkos still has a legitimate chance to become only the second 60-goal scorer since 1995-96. (Scott Audette/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    Should a player whose team fails to make the playoffs get consideration for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP? That’s a question voters for the award may be faced with this season because Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning has been so valuable player to his club.

    It’s possible that the question won’t need to be asked, though, because Tampa Bay’s improved play during the last six weeks has given them a shot at the postseason. A main reason they have, however, it is Stamkos.

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  • Published On Mar 06, 2012
  • Stats the NHL ought to keep

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    Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges is leading the NHL in blocked shots (150), but which player has had the most shots blocked so far this season? (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    By its nature, hockey is not a game that is easily reducible to numbers. An entire industry has sprung up around baseball statistics, but stats can occasionally take some of the fun out of any game by reducing it to a dry abstraction.  Stats not only have their downside on the entertainment front, they can mislead about a player’s real value.

    For example, defensive defensemen and checking forwards often don’t get the credit they deserve because they don’t post gaudy point totals, and some people still find plus-minus to be more of a team stat than a reflection of an individual player’s abilities. And sometimes numbers lie.

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  • Published On Feb 08, 2012
  • A vanishing shot; Semin’s enigma

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    Alex Semin of the Washington Capitals is a supremely talented player, but maddeningly inconsistent. (Russell Lansford/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    One of hockey’s most breathtaking plays has nearly vanished from the NHL: the goal scored by a player who zips down the wing and blows a slap shot past the goaltender.

    “You can’t do that kind of shot today,” Avalanche forward Matt Duchene​ told my SI.com cohort Adrian Dater at his regular Denver Post gig. “It’s not going to work. The goalies are going to make the save, and you can’t even take the time to wind up like that off the rush. The (defenseman) is going to get to you and take away the puck or block the shot in the time it takes you to wind the stick back.”

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  • Published On Dec 22, 2011
  • Hockey has no appetite for hotdogs

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    By Stu Hackel

    If ever one needed a visual representation of what separates hockey from other sports, Thursday night’s little rumpus at Madison Square Garden could be Exhibit A. Showboating and taunting, while discouraged in other sports, is more strictly verboten in hockey. And when someone crosses the hotdog line, the game’s vigilante impulses kick in.

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  • Published On Dec 09, 2011
  • Top stars lead movement against headshots

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    Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos has called upon his fellow players to be more responsible about making dangerous head contact, whether it is deliberate or not. (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

    By Stu Hackel

    The NHL’s first preseason games will be played next Monday, just a few days after training camps open, and because preseason play tends to feature some aggression as hopefuls try to catch their coaches’ eyes, we may begin to quickly see the effects of the strengthened Rule 48. That’s the rule that last season prohibited blindside and lateral hits to the head and now applies to most — but not all — other hits that intentionally target the noggin.

    Judging by some recent comments from NHL players, these rules and their enforcement will continue to be a hot topic, and sentiment is growing to make them stronger and more consistent.

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  • Published On Sep 15, 2011
  • Tricks, tweaks and tactical skirmishes on tap for B’s and Bolts in Game 7

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    The Bruins have tried to juice their punchless power play by sending big blueliner Zdeno Chara to Tampa Bay’s net, but that creates questions for them elsewhere. (Scott Audette/NHL via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    It’s Tampa Bay at Boston tonight and the winner gets a trip to Vancouver, where the Canucks await, hoping this Game 7 goes a few overtime periods and the Bruins and Lightning beat each other’s brains out. Could happen. When it comes down to one game, anything can happen.

    Will home ice matter for the Bruins? It did when they played Montreal in Game 7 of the opening round, as B’s Coach Claude Julien has mentioned a few times since the end of Game 6 vs. Tampa Bay. On the other hand, the Lightning won a Game 7 on the road in their first round series against Pittsburgh, as their coach, Guy Boucher, has mentioned a few times as well.

    The Lightning’s victory over the Penguins is the only Game 7 triumph by a road team so far in this playoff tournament. The home teams have won four times. But last year, visitors took all four Game 7s, and in 2009, road teams won four of six. In the six playoffs since the lockout, home teams have won 11 Game 7s and road teams have won 11. So the most obvious advantage may not be an advantage at all.
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  • Published On May 27, 2011


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