Posts Tagged ‘Marc Staal’

Top Line: NHL shakes off holiday haze; Patrick Roy’s son pitches fit; more links

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Coach Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy apparently passed the firebrand gene on to his son Frederick. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

By Brian Cazeneuve 

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

• Bloated by egg nog, grog and holiday chow, 20 teams must rouse themselves to action tonight as the NHL resumes play — 10 had to hop early morning flights. Looks like the NHL’s Christmas break may not be all that beneficial to players.

• Bruce Boudreau actually likes the NHL’s extended three-day Christmas break (the new CBA mandates an extra day), but now comes the challenge of getting his Ducks to maintain their momentum after an excellent first half of the season.

• Saturday night, the Blues and the Blackhawks — old rivals — will revive a holiday tradition that’s been missing for 12 years.

• Outdoor hockey mania obviously has its limits. After sluggish ticket sales and some fan dismay about sky-high prices, passes for Anaheim’s outdoor game against the Kings at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25 will now be cheaper. Fans who have already bought tickets will get a refund for the difference in price.

• The spiced apple doesn’t fall far from the fruit cart: Patrick Roy’s son Frederick was ejected from the first game of the Spengler Cup tournament, a 5-0 loss by his Rochester Americans of the AHL, for dropping the gloves and going after Cody Almond of the Swiss Geneva-Servette squad. Some patented Roy brand fireworks ensued.

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  • Published On Dec 27, 2013
  • Corey Crawford, Dougie Hamilton, Marc Staal head to injured reserve

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    Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was helped off the ice after being injured in a game against the Florida Panthers.

    Just as he was playing his way into the Sochi discussion, Hawks goalie Corey Crawford was injured. (AP Photos)

    By Allan Muir

    Three key players are set to miss time with injuries that are more serious than was initially reported by their teams.

    The Blackhawks, losers of three-of-four, will have to break out of their slump without the help of Corey Crawford. Chicago’s No. 1 stopper needs three weeks to nurse a groin injury suffered in Sunday night’s win over Florida.

    With Nikolai Khabibulin already on the sidelines, rookie Antti Raanta, the team’s third stringer, steps into the breach, starting tonight in Dallas. He’s been solid in limited exposure this season, going 3-0-1, including a 29-save effort in relief of Crawford on Sunday. Kent Simpson, who was Raanta’s understudy with Rockford of the AHL, has been recalled by the Hawks to serve as the team’s backup.

    Week 10 Power Rankings: Blackhawks relinquish top spot

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  • Published On Dec 10, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Bruins’ fourth line key in series-clinching win over Rangers

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    Gregory Campbell

    Boston’s Gregory Campbell scored the game-winner against the Rangers in Game 5. (Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

    By Sarah Kwak

    With two physical and hardworking clubs, it was no surprise that this series between Boston and New York came down to rugged plays from fourth-liners. For the second time this week, the Bruins’ energy line came through and proved how valuable depth becomes as the spring rolls toward the summer. With the way that Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has played for most of this postseason, and how sharp he looked early in Game 5 at TD Garden on Saturday night, it was going to take extraordinary efforts to get the puck past the Vezina Trophy finalist. He stoned Milan Lucic in the first period and bailed out his team time and time again. But it wasn’t enough. The Bruins ultimately overwhelmed the Rangers, taking Game 5 by a score of 3-1, and the series, four games to one.

    Some thoughts and observations from the Bruins’ decisive victory:

    • The Bruins’ fourth line, known affectionately around Boston as the Merlot Line for the wine-colored practice jerseys they sport, continues to prove that it is the best of its kind in the NHL. Shortly after center Gregory Campbell was traded to Boston in 2010, he started skating with Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton. When they first took the ice together, there were no fireworks, no signs from heaven that they had found their on-ice soul mates, but during the last three years, that’s exactly what the trio has become. They were instrumental in Boston’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2011, and again, when the goals weren’t coming, they found a way with their industrious pursuit of the puck.

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  • Published On May 25, 2013
  • Top Line: Sidney Crosby’s clinic; Raffi Torres gets jobbed; more links

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    Sidney Crosby (center) and Evgeni Malkin were all smiles after Crosby’s third goal against the Senators. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Sidney Crosby put on a clinic with his three-goal performance against Ottawa last night. Just another night at the rink for the smartest man in hockey.

    • The Senators can only hope to find another level when they return home for Games 3 and 4 or this series could be very short.

    • Of course, if the Penguins are willing to keep feeding Ottawa Grade-A scoring opportunities then maybe the Sens have a chance after all.

    • So, do you think Ottawa has a goalie controversy heading into Game 3?

    • San Jose GM Doug Wilson offered an eloquent rebuttal to the league’s decision to suspend Raffi Torres. I’m right there with him on this one.

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  • Published On May 18, 2013
  • Top Line: Bruins crash Toronto’s party, Marc Staal returns, more links

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    Toronto Maple Leafs fans

    Maple Leafs fans came to party, but what they saw on the ice probably made them wish they’d kept the blindfolds on. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Someone forgot to tell the Bruins that Monday night was supposed to be Toronto’s party.

    • Leafs Nation did its part last night. The Leafs? Not so much.

    • It’s not often that the goalie is the story in a win as decisive as Boston’s, but Tuukka Rask and his 46 saves carried the day for the Bruins.

    The return of Marc Staal after two months on IR provided a huge emotional boost to the Rangers.

    • The key to winning a close game for the Rangers? Shutting down Alex Ovechkin. AO threw 11 shots at New York’s net, but only two found the target. That’s how you minimize the damage.

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  • Published On May 07, 2013
  • Youngest Staal set for NHL debut

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    Jared Staal will make his NHL debut with brothers Jordan and Eric on the Hurricanes.

    Of the four Staal brothers, Jared’s NHL career is most likely to be the shortest. (Dave Reginek/Gettty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Jared Staal hasn’t made much of an impact this season with the AHL Charlotte Checkers, scoring just four goals and seven points in 52 games. In fact, he probably hasn’t done enough to earn a new deal with the Carolina Hurricanes after his three-year entry level contract expires at the end of this season.

    But if that’s the way it plays out, the organization is giving him a pretty sweet parting gift: a chance to make his NHL debut on Thursday night when the ‘Canes host the New York Rangers at PNC Arena.

    No word yet on where the 22-year-old winger will slot into the lineup, but there’s a good chance he’ll see some time with his brothers Eric and Jordan. It’s just too bad his other brother, Rangers’ defenseman Marc, is still recuperating from an eye injury suffered earlier this season and won’t be able to make it a family affair.

    The Hurricanes acquired Jared Staal for a fifth-round pick in 2010 from the Coyotes, who’d drafted him 49th overall two years earlier. Despite good size (6′-4″, 200) and impeccable genes, he’s never been able to make his mark at the pro level, scoring just 18 points in 119 AHL games.

    So why did he get the call?

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  • Published On Apr 24, 2013
  • Top Line: Bryzgalov “doesn’t care” if he’s bought out, Kovalchuk back soon, more links

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    Ilya Bryzgalov's latest comments won't still well with Flyers fans.

    Ilya Bryzgalov’s comments to the Courier-Post on Tuesday may not sit well in Philadelphia, but they were misconstrued. (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Ilya Bryzgalov says he has no control over the future and isn’t giving a lot of thought to remaining with the Flyers after this season. Note: this initially drew heavily on the Courier-Post headline, which suggested that Bryz “didn’t care” about staying in Philly. Read the story and you’ll see why that wasn’t a fair characterization.

    • The Devils are 0-3-4 and have scored just 12 goals since Ilya Kovalchuk went on IR, so the news that he’s skating and will be back soon gives a boost to their sagging playoff hopes.

    • Remember that pic of Rihanna rocking a Senators jersey like it was a Betsey Johnson mini? Yeah, apparently that’s a thing now in Ottawa. It would be a lot less disturbing if it weren’t leading to the revelation of so many pasty man-thighs.

    • The Penguins clinched the Atlantic Division title with a 5-3 win over Carolina. They also got word that All-Star defenseman Kris Letang could return to the lineup later this week.

    • The return of Justin Faulk couldn’t stop the Hurricanes from dropping to 1-8 since signing Alex Semin to a long-term deal.

    • Ben Bishop stuck it to his former teammates, but let’s be honest: the big story out of the Lightning’s win was the first NHL goal for the wildly-coiffed enforcer Pierre-Cedric Labrie, right?

    • The Isles earned a gut-check win over the Flyers. This looks like a playoff team, doesn’t it?

    • They also announced plans for a preseason game in Brooklyn next fall against the Devils.

    • Sergei Bobrovsky posted his fourth shutout in his last 15 starts and the Blue Jackets snapped a two-game skid with a 4-0 win over the Sharks that puts them right back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

    • The Washington Capitals continued their late-season surge with a 3-2 win over the Habs. That’s five straight for the Caps and nine in their last 11, but here’s a reality check for the team’s fans: this was the first regulation win for Washington against a team currently in a playoff position. Wow.

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  • Published On Apr 10, 2013
  • Staal brothers see the light, don visors

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    Eric and Jordan Staal

    Eric and Jordan: the eyes have it. (Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Funny how people’s opinions can change about something when it suddenly affects someone they love.

    Take Senator Rob Portman, for instance. Or a little closer to home, Eric and Jordan Staal.

    It took nearly a month after watching their visorless brother Marc almost lose an eye when he took the full force of a slap shot in the face, but the two Carolina-based Staals finally decided it was time to protect their own futures.

    Eric and Jordan hit the practice ice in Raleigh with a new look Friday morning, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer.

    Here’s Eric Staal, explaining the decision:

    “It’s been brewing for a little while. At this point I just feel like the risk [of injury] isn’t worth it right now, because of the injuries I’ve seen to other people in this organization, family.

    “Sometimes you feel like you’re invincible, but as many guys have seen, you’re not. Unfortunately, injuries can happen. It’s just being smarter. As we’ve seen in the past when anybody has had an eye injury, they put [a visor] on. So why am I going to wait until that happens to me? Why not put one on now?”

    “I wasn’t like we talked long. We kind of looked at each other like, ‘We’re got to start wearing one,’” Jordan Staal said. “It was just one of those moments like, ‘That’s it.’”

    You watch the replay of the Marc Staal incident and it’s miraculous he didn’t lose an eye.

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  • Published On Mar 22, 2013
  • NHLPA finally willing to discuss mandatory visors

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    Marc Staal’s injury was the latest in a string of scary incidents involving players who declined to wear visors. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    It sounds like the NHLPA is coming around on the idea of mandatory visors. Well, maybe.

    Mathieu Schneider, the special assistant to PA executive director Don Fehr, was quoted today as saying, “We’re definitely going to look at talking to the guys about grandfathering them in.”

    On the commitment scale, that comes a lot closer to “we’ll take it under advisement” than “had it, stamped it, no erasing,” but it’s a step in the right direction for a group that stubbornly opposed the concept as recently as two weeks ago, even after Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal was nearly blinded after taking a slap shot directly above the eye.

    There’s no timetable for action, but Schneider said there could be “some type of poll” in the future.

    A similar poll conducted four years ago saw the players overwhelmingly reject the concept, but times are changing. Between 70 and 75 percent of players wear shields on any given night, a higher number than any time in history, and players coming in from every other league have already worn some kind of facial protection. If forcing current PA members to don a shield is out of the question, asking the next generation to keep one on at least moves us closer to a time when common sense is embraced over comfort.

    The key to the vote will be in the presentation. Chris Pronger recently said that he supported the concept of mandatory visors, but would oppose it becoming law because he saw it as being something that was being pushed unilaterally by the league and accepting it would set a bad precedent.

    Getting past that mistrust, and the long-standing internal resistance to mandatory visors, won’t be easy. But someone within the PA–I’d guess Fehr himself–has chipped away at that log jam. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • Published On Mar 20, 2013
  • Top Line: Chris Pronger update, Hawks’ streak hits two dozen, more links

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    Chris Pronger's NHL career is almost certainly over.

    Besides concussion symptoms, Chris Pronger is dealing with bad vision caused by a stick to the eye. (Lou Capozzola/SI)

    By Allan Muir

    A notated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Love him or hate him, it’s really tough to read just how bad things are for Chris Pronger as he tries to get his life back in order after suffering a concussion back in 2011.

    • Despite another horrific injury, the NHLPA continues to fight the call for mandatory visor use. Gotta love a union that’s always looking out for the best interests of its members.

    • Marc Staal is expected to make a full recovery after being struck near the eye by a slapshot Tuesday night, but he remains out of the Rangers’ lineup indefinitely.

    • The Rangers picked up Roman Hamrlik on waivers to help fill the hole left by Staal. Interestingly, the move makes it unlikely New York will re-sign Mats Zuccarello when his Russian season ends.

    • The Avs were just the fourth team to take a lead into the third period on the Hawks, but a shorty from Captain Serious (note: stop typing Captain Sensible) and a last-minute tally from Daniel Carcillo extended Chicago’s point streak to 24 games. Some thoughts from coach Joel Quenneville on the cliffhanger, the streak, Car Bomb’s comeback and more.

    • The win moves the Hawks closer to another NHL record: 35 consecutive games with at least a point. It sounds like the members of the 1979-80 Flyers are okay with that…under one condition.

    • Maintaining their composure will be critical for the Penguins in their highly anticipated match tonight against the Flyers.

    • Carey Price was smashing sticks in frustration during practice ahead of tonight’s game against the Canes. No guarantee he gets the start, but if he does, he needs a bounceback effort in the worst way.

    • Name a potentially available player ahead of the deadline and chances are the Bruins have been mentioned in a rumor involving his acquisition. But for all the talk of big names, a smaller deal to improve their third-line depth makes the most sense. Ryane Clowe makes a lot of sense.

    • The next two or three weeks will determine whether the Red Wings will be buyers or sellers at the deadline. Pro hint: they’ll be buyers.

    Read More…

  • Published On Mar 07, 2013