Posts Tagged ‘Jaromir Jagr’

Top Line: Sidney Crosby dazzles; Lousy Leafs appeal to Shanahan; more links

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Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins

The runaway scoring champ, Sidney Crosby will likely add another Hart Trophy to his collection. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

By Allan Muir

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

• Dejan Kovacevic reminds us to take a moment to appreciate just how amazing Sidney Crosby has been this season. Even his detractors have to tip their caps after this one.

• The hiring of Brendan Shanahan is the first of many changes coming for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

• Eric Duhatschek explains why taking over the hapless Leafs would appeal to Shanahan.

• The misguided optimism — or perhaps it’s sports naivete — of Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is being called out in Washington. It’s forced him to take a couple bites of crow and promise a thorough review of all team operations. Yeah, we’ll see about that. From this vantage point, Leonsis has made the fatal error of falling in love with players who don’t deserve it.

• So, what exactly did Colorado accomplish with its win over the Vancouver Canucks last night? They’re guaranteed to finish ahead of Chicago in the Central, goalie Semyon Varlamov set a franchise record with his 41st win of the season, and they tied the franchise mark with their 52nd win. And now they have a chance to actually go from worst to first with a win in their finale. Not bad.

• Nothing like making a good impression on the new boss, eh Vancouver?

• Is it time to start worrying about the St. Louis Blues? Yes. Yes it is.

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  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • Top Line: Trouble Bruin in Boston?; Detroit looks dangerous, more links

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    Torey Krug of the Boston Bruins

    Will Torey Krug and the rest of the Bruins’ young backliners hold up under playoff pounding? (Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • The Bruins’ loss was their first in regulation in more than a month, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons for concern ahead of the playoffs. Veteran scribe Kevin Dupont puts on his worryin’ hat and spells them out.

    • Boston has traded away two of the NHL’s top-five scorers during the past couple of seasons. That sort of talent drain would hobble some franchises, but the core of the Bruins’ succcess is prioritizing more important things than the scoring race.

    • The Detroit Red Wings reminded everyone that they’ll be a dangerous playoff opponent with an opportunistic win over Boston last night. The Wings were outplayed most of the night by the red-hot B’s, but used a terrific performance from Jimmy Howard and some timely offense to seal the victory late. When Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Alfredsson are back to the mix, this team will look like a pit of vipers.

    • The Rangers are breathing easier after learning that Ryan McDonagh suffered no serious damage from that Alex Burrows hit. The only question now: when can he return to action?

    • The last thing Pittsburgh Penguins fans need to worry about is an apparent lack of passion as the season winds down, writes Joe Starkey.

    • If the stumbling Chicago Blackhawks needed a rallying cry ahead of the playoffs, they have one now.

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  • Published On Apr 03, 2014
  • New Jersey Devils lose another shootout, winless in last 15 attempts

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    Sabres and Devils

    The Devils remain winless in the shootout this season, with their loss to Buffalo bringing the total to 11. (Gary Wiepert/AP)

    By Amy Lilek

    The New Jersey Devils could only wish it was an April Fool’s Day joke.

    But the reality is they dropped yet another shootout on Tuesday night, this time in nine rounds to the woeful Buffalo Sabres. New Jersey is now 0-11 in so-called skills competitions this season and their latest failure extended their NHL-record winless streak in shootouts to 15 games, dating back to last season.

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  • Published On Apr 02, 2014
  • SI.com NHL fan misery rankings: No. 4 Washington Capitals

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    Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals

    Alex Ovechkin remains a cornerstone, but is he right for the Capitals’ future? (Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via 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 seventh 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 Washington Capitals, who have mastered the dark art of inflating great hopes and cruelly crushing them.

    TEAM 10: Winnipeg Jets | 9: Dallas Stars | 8: Columbus Blue Jackets | 7: Vancouver Canucks
    6:
    Florida Panthers | 5. Edmonton Oilers | 3. Buffalo Sabres | 2. New York Islanders1. Toronto Maple Leafs

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  • Published On Mar 19, 2014
  • Top Line: Small rules change, big impact; Cup pretenders; more links

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    Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Chicago Blackhawks face-off

    Breaking face-off rules could become a lot more costly next season. (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Stephen Whyno explains how small changes in the face-off circle could have big implications for the game next season.

    • As long as management is free of accountability in New York and Philadelphia, the Rangers and the Flyers will continue to be outliers in the race for the Stanley Cup.

    • Whatever hopes the Canucks had of cashing in big on Ryan Kesler took a serious hit when the veteran center injured his knee this week. With just 14 games left, there’s a chance that he won’t get back on the ice this season, and that crushes his trade value ahead of the draft.

    • Maple Leafs netminders Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer combined to rob the Kings’ Anze Kopitar three times last night. However, the first theft could be devastating to Toronto’s playoff chances.

    • Rich Peverley was swarmed by his teammates when he made a surprise visit to the Stars’ practice yesterday. No one was happier to see him than Alex Chiasson.

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  • Published On Mar 14, 2014
  • Top Line: Overtime rules changes?; Hockey Night’s new host; more links

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    Goalie Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings

    With 13 percent of all games decided by shootout, some GMs are in favor of expanding overtime. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Altering overtime to lessen the impact of shootouts will be at the top of a list of 40 proposed rules changes discussed by the league’s general managers in meetings set to begin today in Boca Raton, Fla. I doubt we’ll get anything as drastic as a five-minute three-on-three tacked on at the end of the current four-on-four phase, but there is change coming. Look for baby steps rather than a massive leap.

    • The reported hiring of George Stroumboulopoulos as the new ringmaster for Hockey Night In Canada is exactly the sort of shake-up that the stuffy old show needs, writes Rosie DiManno. Word is that Don Cherry will remain on board for two more years while Ron MacLean will stick with the show in a reduced role — likely as Cherry’s straight man on Coach’s Corner only.

    • It was a milestone afternoon for Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who picked up his 300th career win and franchise-record tying 49th shutout at the expense of the Red Wings.

    • The Devils are playing with confidence … and with fire … as they’ve opened up their game in search of more scoring.

    • Maybe it’s the fire wagon hockey talking, but Jaromir Jagr wants an extension to stay in New Jersey for another year or two.

    • If nothing else, Alex Ovechkin will be in better shape as a result of sharing his home with new teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov.

    • There’s been plenty of concern that Marian Gaborik might be a bad fit for the Kings, but Jim Matheson argues that the winger is exactly the gun that L.A. needs in its holster.

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  • Published On Mar 10, 2014
  • Top Line: Don Cherry tells Luongo to shut up; Modano’s big night; more links

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    (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

    Mike Modano was honored in a ceremony at Saturday’s Stars game. (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Don Cherry used part of Saturday’s Coach’s Corner to rip Roberto Luongo for his tweets during Vancouver’s 6-1 loss to Dallas on Thursday night. Clearly there was a higher road for Lu to take here, but c’mon Grapes. You can’t really blame the guy for having some fun with his former team, can you?

    • Nice job by the Stars with their lavish banner-raising ceremony honoring Mike Modano last night in Dallas. And nice job by Mo keeping his emotions in check…for the most part.

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  • Published On Mar 09, 2014
  • Top Line: Latest on Kesler, St. Louis trade buzz; hits gone wrong; more links

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    Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks is the subject of NHL trade rumors.

    Being stripped of his A is one reason that Ryan Kesler wants out of Vancouver. (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • There were reports, counter-reports and no-comments galore once word of Ryan Kesler’s trade request went public late last night. Jason Botchford examines some of the reasons why the big center wants out of Vancouver.

    • Tony Gallagher says that a Kesler deal might be just the start for a Canucks team that’s in need of a serious overhaul.

    • Martin St. Louis needs to let go of his bruised feelings and focus on his obligations to team and teammates, says the very sensible Gary Shelton. Meanwhile, the buzz suggests that the Lightning’s captain will accept a trade to only one team: the Rangers.

    • With trade rumors swirling internally as well as externally, the Blueshirts are trying to maintain their focus for the stretch run. Hey, good luck with that during the next week.

    A little truth is going a long way in Buffalo. No matter how this trade deadline plays out, writes Bucky Gleason, new GM Tim Murray has earned the trust of the Sabres faithful with his forthright appraisal of where the team is and what has to be done.

    • I’m guessing that this hip check didn’t go quite as well as Alex Edler planned. Jordan Nolan had a bit of trouble with his timing as well.

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  • Published On Feb 27, 2014
  • Top Line: Power shift in Sochi; Subban, Duchene in for Canada; more links

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    P.K> Subban and John Tavares of Team Canada

    Will Team Canada turn swift defender P.K. Subban (left) loose now that he’s in the lineup? (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • And the bodies keep falling for Sweden. Henrik Zetterberg’s bad back has him “in a great deal of discomfort,” forcing him to pull out of the Olympics. It’s another tough break for the Swedes, whose forward corps is now thinner than Mats Sundin’s hair. No telling yet how this could impact Zetterberg’s ability to return to action for the Red Wings when the Olympic break ends.

    • Corey Masisak says that Zetterberg’s absence shifts the balance of power in the Sochi tournament.

    • USA Hockey has announced  its starting goalie for tomorrow’s key game against Russia.

    • It was pretty much a given that P.K. Subban and Matt Duchene, Canada’s Game 1 scratches, would draw in for Friday’s contest against Austria. The question was, who would come out after the 3-1 win over Norway? No real surprise that Dan Hamhuis was scratched on the back end, but the decision to send Patrick Sharp to the press box is a bit of a head scratcher. Rick Nash would have been the obvious choice after his uninspired effort, but with Subban ready to assume Sharp’s power play spot on the point, the Blackhawks forward might have been the easiest to excise.

    • Will we see Subban get the green light for Canada the way Erik Karlsson has for Sweden? The mobility of Canada’s D was key to yesterday’s victory, and that style is right in Norris Trophy winner’s wheelhouse.

    • Ken Campbell lists five things we learned from Canada’s first game of its gold medal defense.

    Read More…


  • Published On Feb 14, 2014
  • Top Line: Avs gambling on Varlamov; Ovechkin struggles; more links

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    Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche

    With his fat new deal, the spotlight on Semyon Varlamov in Colorado just got brighter. (Barry Gutierrez/AP)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • The Avalanche hitched their wagon to Semyon Varlamov on Thursday night, signing the goaltender to a five-year extension worth an average of $5.9 million per year. He’s been dynamite this season, but his thin postseason track record makes me leery — this deal might be too much, too soon for a still unproven player.

    • After watching another truly sorry performance by the Capitals on Thursday night, Adam Proteau says that there’s no reason for continued patience with this roster.

    • Alex Ovechkin was a brutal minus-5 in the game, a 5-2 loss to the Blue Jackets. Could be that he’s feeling the weight of a nation starting to bear down on his shoulders.

    • But hey, no pressure on Washington. After all, the Capitals play in a division in which the general managers appear to have no accountability for their teams’ performances.

    • Ryan Johansen is just gross:

    Read More…


  • Published On Jan 31, 2014


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