Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Benn’

NHL Playoffs: Ducks survive comeback scare against resilient Stars

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Tyler Seguin (left) and the Stars battled back before falling short against Anaheim. (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

Tyler Seguin (91) and the Stars battled back before falling short against the Ducks. (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

If ever there was a playoff game where both teams could say they got what they needed, the Ducks’ 4-3 win over the Stars was it. Anaheim dominated early and held serve at home to take a 1-0 series lead, but Dallas shook off some early jitters and nearly clawed back from a four-goal deficit. The Stars are still in a 1-0 hole, but by establishing their game over the final 25 minutes they proved that they can hang with the higher-seeded Ducks in this series.

Some observations after the opener:

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  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs preview: Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars

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    Goalie Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks against the Dallas Stars

    The struggles of goalie Jonas Hiller (1) and the Ducks’ lack of a reliable No. 1 may prove fatal. (Tim Sharp/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Regular season recaps

    Oct. 20: Ducks 6, Stars 3

    Nov. 26: Stars 6, Ducks 3

    Feb. 1: Stars 2, Ducks 0

    Notable injuries

    Ducks: RW Tim Jackman (broken right hand, out indefinitely)

    Stars: RW Rich Peverley (heart surgery, out for season), LW Ray Whitney (lower body, day-to-day), D Brenden Dillon (lower body, day-to-day)

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  • Published On Apr 15, 2014
  • Top Line: Stars win for Rich Peverley; Torts loses the room; more links

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    Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars vs. the St. Louis Blues

    After promising that the Stars would play for their fallen teammate, Jamie Benn was Dallas’s hero. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • The Stars honored ailing teammate Rich Peverley with a gritty overtime win in St. Louis on Tuesday night. Dallas fan or not, you had to be rooting for the Stars to pull the game out.

    • Jiri Fischer knows better than anyone that Peverley’s life will never be the same after he suffered a cardiac event on Monday night. Here’s what actually happened to the Dallas forward’s heart and how it could affect his future.

    • Peverley’s collapse put his teammates through an emotional wringer. Good to hear that Alex Chiasson is feeling better.

    • The question has to be asked in Vancouver: Has coach John Tortorella lost the room? Another effort by the Canucks like the one in the third period of their 7-4 loss to the Islanders on Monday night and he might not get to finish the season.

    • So much for all the talk about the potential for radical rules changes coming out of this week’s general managers meetings in Florida. Although there may be some minor tweaks, it doesn’t appear that any significant tinkering is in the cards.

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  • Published On Mar 12, 2014
  • Takeaways from the Sochi Olympics for the NHL stretch drive and beyond

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    Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens

    Goalie Carey Price now has to contend with Montreal’s not-so-golden corps of blueliners. (Gerry Broome/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Some closing thoughts as the world’s best hockey players return from Sochi for the closing stretch of the NHL season:

    High Price

    Is anyone due for a bigger shock upon returning to the NHL than Canadiens goalie Carey Price? After two weeks of playing behind Team Canada defensemen Shea Weber, Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty, he now has to deliver with Josh Gorges, Alexei Emelin and Douglas Murray butchering the puck in front of him. Still, he might be the one player who benefits the most from his Olympic experience and, by extension, so might Montreal. Price wasn’t the reason Canada won gold, but he was a reason. He was sensational in Sochi, where he literally made every single stop he was supposed to make and weathered early challenges in both medal round games on the way to shutting out the U.S. and Finland. Price left the tournament with a GAA of 0.59, a save percentage of .972 and the confidence that comes from measuring yourself against the best in the world and finding out that you belong in that club. He’ll be a beast down the stretch.

    Grand Granlund

    Everyone was happy to see 43-year-old Teemu Selanne named the MVP of the Olympic hockey tournament, but he’s not in the mix for that honor without the playmaking skills of the breakout star of the Sochi Games: Mikael Granlund. “This is his business card for the world to show that he is hungry and can’t wait to get out there,” Selanne said after Granlund ladled out the sauce twice while leading the Finns to their bronze-medal clinching 5-0 win over Team USA. The Wild’s young star stepped up to fill a void on Finland’s top line and powered the team’s offense (3 goals, 4 assists) with his quick reads and creativity. One NHL team exec told SI.com that a younger Selanne would have scored 10 goals thanks to the way Granlund was feeding him the puck. The same exec also said that Granlund might benefit from “calling his own number more often,” but Minnesota will likely be happy if he keeps working the same magic that he did with Zach Parise and Jason Pominville in the weeks leading up to the break.

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  • Published On Feb 24, 2014
  • SI.com NHL fan misery rankings: No. 9 Dallas Stars

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    A Dallas Stars fan wears a horsehead.

    In recent years, rooting for the transplanted North Stars can make a fan feel like a jackass. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Sometimes it’s just plain awful to be a fan.

    We’re not talking about the occasional emotional bump and bruise, the kind fans get from a devastating last-second loss or a disastrous season-ending injury — or even when they watch their favorite team bow out in the conference finals, one round shy of a shot at the Stanley Cup. We mean years of suffering at the hands of a club that almost seems to delight in tormenting those who freely give to it their hearts, minds, time and money.

    This is the second in our series on the 10 NHL franchises that take an ongoing toll on their fans, the teams that suggest that their devoted followers are either bottomless wells of hope or certified masochists — or perhaps just a touch crazy. Today we look at the Stars, once the shining example of Gary Bettman’s Southern plan, but now a franchise trying to regain its footing and relevance in a fickle market.

    TEAM 10: Winnipeg Jets | 8: Columbus Blue Jackets | 7: Vancouver Canucks
    6: Florida Panthers
    | 5. Edmonton Oilers | 4. Washington Capitals | 3. Buffalo Sabres
    2. New York Islanders | 1. Toronto Maple Leafs

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  • Published On Jan 22, 2014
  • Heartbreak and joy: Players (and others) react to Team Canada roster

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    Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning

    Martin St. Louis was just one of the players controversially left off of the Team Canada roster. (Marko Ditkun/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    A sampling of some online reaction to Tuesday’s announcement of Team Canada’s roster for the Sochi Olympics:

    MUIR: Yzerman got it right | Team Canada roster Canada’s All-Snubbed Team

    MUIR: USA’s roster shows depth | USA’s All-Snubbed

    MORE: Team Russia | Sweden | Finland | Slovakia | Czech Republic | Swiss


    “I’m hopeful we can get through this and continue. He is a guy who I want to finish his career [in Tampa Bay] and I’m hopeful that somehow we can be fortunate enough to win a Stanley Cup. There’s not much I can say. I can’t apologize. We’ve got to make these decisions.”
    Steve Yzerman on not selecting Martin St. Louis

    “It was a little emotional when he got the news. It’s tough. I don’t know what more you can do or expect from him to be able to make this team. For me it’s tough to see Marty as upset as he was. He may not admit it, but he’s worked extremely hard to try to get an opportunity to get himself in the mix.”
    Steven Stamkos on St. Louis’ reaction

    “It’s tough today. It’s obviously disappointing. It was one of my dreams to be playing for Team Canada. I did the best I could and I didn’t make it.”
    Claude Giroux, on being passed over for Team Canada

    “He was ecstatic. When you make calls like that, it’s fun to be part of it.”
    Peter Chiarelli on breaking the news to Matt Duchene

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  • Published On Jan 07, 2014
  • Top Line: More ugly cheap shots; Martin Jones of Kings still perfect; more links

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    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Adam Oates thought this was a good hit. George McPhee loved it. I suspect their feelings might be somewhat different if the player on the receiving end in the video above had been Alex Ovechkin instead of Brayden Schenn. Gotta believe there’s supplemental discipline coming for this one. Schenn turns slightly just before contact is made, and that might mitigate the actual sentence, but this is a nasty, reckless hit that was all about causing maximum damage rather than separating a player from the puck. My guess is that we won’t see Wilson again until well after Christmas.

    • Give the Red Wings credit: you didn’t hear anyone step up to defend this Kyle Quincey hit on Ryan Getzlaf. It was less vicious, but no less dangerous. Have to believe that Brendan Shanahan will want to talk with the Detroit defender after this one.

    • Steve Simmons writes that the latest injury suffered by Montreal enforcer George Parros illustrates the continuing human tragedy that results from allowing fighting to continue in hockey. Even as a pro-fighting advocate, I’ll admit that Simmons makes the case against fighting as eloquently as anyone.

    • Jarome Iginla says that the gruesome finger injury he suffered on Saturday night kinda freaked him out, but “it looked worse than it was.” From this, I surmise that Iginla has a different standard for gauging the severity of injuries than I do.

    • Martin Jones earned his third shutout in six starts as his record in the NHL remained perfect. He’s got his eyes set now on Bob Froese’s record of eight consecutive wins to start a career.

    • Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said Tuesday that he won’t make changes simply to silence his critics. That makes sense. What he might want to consider, though, is making changes because his team can’t hold a third-period lead against the Sabres. Patience, faith, trust … these are all necessary qualities for a general manager, but a functioning nose is important, too. If his can’t detect the stench coming off his team this season, he might want to get his schnozz checked out.

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  • Published On Dec 18, 2013
  • Top Line: Seguin keeps it clean; Oilers set to deal first pick; more links

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    Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars

    Tyler Seguin’s four-goal night against the Flames was suitable for family viewing. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • On the night when Loui Eriksson scored his third goal of the season for the Boston Bruins, Tyler Seguin netted four in one game against the Flames. Two thoughts: first, I’m glad it was Seguin, and not Joe Thornton, who had the big night. Second: This must be the hockey gods’ way of compensating Stars’ fans for the anguish over the James Neal trade. Neal, a good player with Dallas, became a goal-scoring machine when he was fitted with the proper opportunity in Pittsburgh. Seguin, buried behind David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron in Boston, wouldn’t be scoring like this for the B’s. But given the chance to be the go-to guy with first line/power play minutes and a star linemate in Jamie Benn, he’s taking steps toward superstardom. Funny how things work out.

    • Must have been a pretty easy night for Kari Lehtonen.

    • The Oilers are ready to up the ante in order to acquire an impact player for their struggling blueline. The team has reportedly put its 2014 first rounder in play–no small piece considering it could easily become the first-overall pick the way their season is going.

    • The league had no option but to suspend Toronto’s Nazem Kadri for a reckless hit to the head of Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom. But hey, if he has to be out of the lineup for three games, he probably couldn’t have picked a softer part of the schedule to do it.

    • Two nights after a frustrating loss to the Coyotes, the Blues put it all together in a blowout win over the Avs.

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  • Published On Nov 15, 2013
  • NHL’s new rules, emphasis on offense should ignite these 12 players

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    By Allan Muir

    The storylines are the same almost everywhere you look around the league. The Rangers need more scoring. Blue Jackets hope to increase offense. Bruins need to improve power play.

    That desire to light the lamp with greater frequency isn’t an isolated issue. Scoring has steadily decreased since the 2004-05 lockout, and while there’s little that can be done about the root causes — stringent attention to defense and goalies who are bigger and better trained than ever — that hasn’t stopped the NHL from trying to solve the problem anyway.

    In his cover story for this week’s NHL preview issue of SI magazine, Michael Farber visits with Kay Whitmore, the NHL’s “goalie cop” who is spearheading the effort to cut netminders down to size. The league has imposed a new series of restrictions on the size of goalie equipment for this season,  shortening leg pads by about two inches (depending on the height of the goalie). This, in theory, creates a five-hole that’s about four inches wider when a keeper drops to his knees in the butterfly position. Most will quickly close it, but even a split-second opening could lead to some pucks slipping through that would easily have been blocked in the past.

    There’s also a reformatted net that’s shallower — creating more space behind the net for playmaking and allowing for quicker wraparound opportunities — and with different corners that create new angles for shooters to exploit.

    They’re both good ideas, and should pay off with bigger numbers for traditional sharpshooters like Steven Stamkos, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.

    But those guys were always going to put up their share of points. That means teams will be looking within for something extra from players who are ready to step up and handle a bigger share of the load.

    Here are some of the guys who could  be up to the task.

    GALLERY: NHL’s greatest offensive performances

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  • Published On Sep 26, 2013
  • Top Line: Henrik Lundqvist style tips; new outdoor game; more links

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    Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers

    Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist recently gave ESPN’s Barry Melrose a makeover. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • We all could benefit from a little style advice from Henrik Lundqvist, hockey’s own Beau Brummel, but there’s one guy who needs it more than most.

    • While rumors are circulating that Washington’s big announcement on Saturday could involve an upcoming Winter Classic, plans already are afoot for another outdoor game for the Penguins and Flyers, this time at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium.

    • With the Pens in Chicago for a preseason tilt on Thursday, the league cranked up the hype machine for their March 1 rematch at Soldier Field.

    • For once, Gary Bettman was able to speak without having to shout over the boos.

    • Jamie Benn’s not much of a talker, which might be why he’s exactly the right man to wear the C for the Dallas Stars.

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  • Published On Sep 20, 2013


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