Posts Tagged ‘Mike Babcock’

Top Line NHL playoff update: Martin St. Louis ready for Broadway; more links

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Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers

Little Martin St. Louis (26) may finally be ready to come up big for the Rangers. (Scott Levy/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

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

• After a slow start in New York, Martin St. Louis says he’s ready for his game to be judged.

• There could be a new man behind the mask for the Flyers when they take on the Rangers in Game 2 on Sunday.

• Maybe Wayne Simmonds was right. Maybe gingers should stick to being gingers.

• Maybe the offensive explosion we’ve seen over the first two nights of the playoffs isn’t such a surprise, considering the questions that were being asked coming into the tournament.

• Bruce Arthur argues the subtle genius of Steven Stamkos could be the difference in the series with the Canadiens.

• Poise under pressure eluded the Lightning in their Game 1 loss to the Canadiens. Sean Gordon explains how negating Montreal’s aggressive forecheck will be the key to addressing that in Game 2.

• Two months after they teamed up to lead Canada to gold in Sochi, coaches Mike Babcock and Claude Julien will match wits as the Red Wings take on the Bruins. Are there any secrets left between them?

Boston has had a fairly stout penalty kill for years now, but it’s not the Bruins penalty killers who are worrying Babcock.

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  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Top Line: NHL Coach of the year duel; Should Devils fire Lou?; more links

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    Coach Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings

    Coach Mike Babcock (center) worked a miracle while leading his Red Wings to the playoffs yet again. (Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Like the Red Wings’ season was ever in doubt …

    • Does Detroit’s Mike Babcock deserve to be named Coach of the Year for what he’s done with an injury-ravaged lineup? Or is Patrick Roy the better choice for the Adams Award?

    Pavel Datsyuk blowing up Sidney Crosby? That just happened.

    Datsyuk’s play since returning from a lengthy stint on the IR signals trouble ahead for either the Bruins or the Penguins.

    • Randy Miller wonders if the new owners in New Jersey will ask Lou Lamoriello to step down after another failed season for the Devils. That would be a bold move, but it would send a message to the team’s dwindling faithful that a new path to success must be charted.

    • Changes are afoot in Toronto. James Mirtle offers his take on who is, and who isn’t, expendable as the Maple Leafs look to start over after a disappointing season.

    • Randy Carlyle has a chance to do the right thing in Toronto’s last two games.

    • Rumors are swirling that Brendan Shanahan is being pursued by the Maple Leafs for a senior management role. But is he the right guy for the job?

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  • Published On Apr 10, 2014
  • Report: Pavel Datsyuk near return to Red Wings lineup

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    Pavel Datsyuk

    Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings has been rehabbing a knee injury. (Greg Aibel/Getty Images)

    By Amy Lilek

    The injury-riddled Red Wings were hoping to get Pavel Datsyuk back for their game against Boston on Wednesday night after NHL.com reported that he was getting close returning from the knee injury that has sidelined him since February 27. That report proved to be over-optimistic when Datsyuk declared himself not quite ready to return to action after the team’s morning skate.

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  • Published On Apr 01, 2014
  • Top Line: Caps cruise in California; Bruins make it a dozen; more links

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    Dustin Penner (center) helped the Capitals end a two-decade winless streak in San Jose. (Don Smith/Getty Images)

    Dustin Penner (center) helped the Capitals end a two-decade winless streak in San Jose. (Don Smith/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • The Capitals ended 20 years of torment in San Jose and capped off a rare feat in California with a 3-2 shootout win over the Sharks.

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  • Published On Mar 23, 2014
  • Jeff Carter earns coveted role alongside Sidney Crosby for Team Canada

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    Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings

    A veteran of the 2006 World Championships, Jeff Carter will be playing in his first Olympics. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Canadian fans have been scribbling Olympic line combinations for this year’s team on blogs and beer napkins almost since the end of the 2010 Games. Today, we finally got our first idea of how coach Mike Babcock envisions Team Canada taking shape when it debuts on Thursday against Norway.

    The team’s first practice in Sochi saw Jeff Carter in the coveted right wing spot on Canada’s top line alongside Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. It had been speculated for a couple of weeks that the Kings’ sniper would get the first look if Steven Stamkos couldn’t go, so this isn’t a big surprise. Carter is a right-handed shot and one of the game’s best scorers, so he has the tools to fill the role. How long he stays there, though, depends on whether he can develop some kind of chemistry with Crosby.

    The other two units in today’s skate saw Jonathan Toews centering Patrick Sharp and Rick Nash, while Ryan Getzlaf was between John Tavares and Corey Perry.

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  • Published On Feb 10, 2014
  • Sidney Crosby named captain for Team Canada at Sochi Olympics

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    Sidney Crosby will try and lead Team Canada to its second consecutive gold medal. (Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

    Sidney Crosby will try and lead Team Canada to its second consecutive gold medal. (Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Hockey Canada confirmed Sunday morning what hockey fans had suspected for months: Sidney Crosby wear the C in Sochi.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins star was the obvious choice for the honor. Crosby scored the overtime goal against the United States to clinch the gold medal in Vancouver in 2010, cementing his status as one of Canada’s greatest hockey heroes. He currently leads the NHL in scoring and is the most recognizable face in the game.

    Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber will wear the alternate’s A.

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  • Published On Jan 19, 2014
  • Is Steven Stamkos back in the Sochi Olympics picture for Team Canada?

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    By Allan Muir

    Memo to Team Canada: You might get to use that Olympic roster spot for Steven Stamkos after all.

    Two weeks after having surgery to repair his fractured tibia, the Tampa Bay Lightning star walked into a press conference today…without crutches or a walking boot.

    Miraculous? Stamkos seems to think so.

    “I didn’t think I’d be walking,” Stamkos said, adding that he’d been getting around without crutches for the past two days.

    He also confirmed that he still has his sights set firmly on the Sochi Winter Olympics.

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  • Published On Nov 25, 2013
  • Top Line: Patrick Kane the face of Team USA?; Staal health updates; more links

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    Patrick Kane of Team USA

    Patrick Kane has two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe Trophy and an Olympic silver medal on his resume. (Susan Walsh/AP)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Has Patrick Kane become the face of American hockey? And if he has . . . is that a good thing?

    • Not sure that Herb Brooks would have liked this angle, but 14 players at Team USA’s camp were from Minnesota. And apparently, the guys were pretty proud of that fact.

    • No one has forgotten what Ryan Miller did in Vancouver, but history doesn’t count for much now, so the 2010 Olympic hero desperately needs a hot start this season to ensure that he isn’t the odd goalie out when the U.S. roster is finalized.

    • USA Hockey is well aware of its failure to medal when the Games have been held outside North America. A new approach to team building has the Americans liking their chances this time around.

    • Kyle Okposo talks about his Olympic chances and the Stanley Cup aspirations of the Islanders in this interview with Arthur Staple.

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  • Published On Aug 28, 2013
  • Top Line: USA expecting gold in Sochi; Canadian kids’ dream; more links

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    Patrick Kane, Jack Johnson and Ryan Suter of Team USA

    Patrick Kane, Jack Johnson, Ryan Suter and friends like Team USA’s prospects in Sochi. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • “This time it’s different,” said Patrick Kane, who insists that Team USA is heading to Sochi expecting to win the gold medal. Hey, it’s not being cocky if you can back it up. Just ask Seth Jones.

    • Phil Kessel was a bit player when the Americans won silver in 2010. This time around, he’s ready to be a difference maker.

    • “We can’t take all six of ‘em over there,” Kane said, referencing the biggest (and nicest) problem facing the Team USA staff: figuring out which three goalies to take to Sochi.

    • “Sometimes it’s hard to dream as big as this,” said Blake Wheeler, one of four Jets players in camp with Team USA.

    “It’s been the toughest thing to get over in my career,” said Paul Martin, who missed the 2010 Games with a broken arm. The 32-year-old defenseman knows that this is his last shot to make the U.S. team, and the pressure is clearly weighing on him.

    • One of the heroes of the U.S.’s 1996 World Cup triumph says that the 2014 version of Team USA will be the best ever. Not sure I’d agree. The team will be deeper for sure, but it will also lack the depth at center (with such players as Pat LaFontaineMike Modano and Doug Weight) that the ’96 team had.

    • Eight years removed from the debacle in Turin, Canadian officials won’t overlook the impact of that big ice will have on the game.

    • Team Canada coach Mike Babcock came up with the idea for the world’s most intensively covered ball hockey game after getting some advice from an unexpected source.

    • Could Alex Pietrangelo’s contract situation with the Blues damage his Olympic aspirations? The defenseman is one of those players that’s in virtually everybody’s top-six, but if he misses camp because of a holdout, all bets on him making the roster for Sochi will be off.

    • Graying, but not slowing down, Martin St. Louis is in prime position to snare a spot with Team Canada. One of the few natural wingers in camp, and still plenty quick, he’s a good bet to make the final roster.

    • Gary Lawless writes that while Sidney Crosby is likely to wear the C for Canada, the team in Sochi will belong to Jonathan Toews.

    “Every Canadian kid would die to do this,” said Dylan Walchuk, the University of Calgary star who subbed for Joe Thornton in Team Canada’s drills yesterday. And you have to love Babcock — he sits the kid next to Crosby in the dressing room.

    • At least one Olympic hopeful skated yesterday. Jason Spezza hit the ice in Ottawa with one eye on Sochi and the other on getting ready for a comeback season with the Senators.

    • The Russians held an event on Monday to reveal their Olympic jerseys, which to be honest, kind of suck. Oh, and Alex Ovechkin dodged the gay-law question … for now.

    • Did CSKA really offer Bluejackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky $10 million a year to bolt for the KHL over the summer? Bobrovsky said that the NHL was a better career option, but I’m thinking any gig that offers to pay you ten freaking million dollars offers a pretty solid career path.

    • Contract talks are heating up in Vancouver as the Sedin twins enter the final season of their current deals. They’re saying all the right things, but Iain MacIntyre thinks they would be crazy to stay.

    • 32 veteran officials met up in Switzerland with an eye on grabbing one of the 14 jobs available for Sochi. Couldn’t have been much of a camp if they didn’t spend an hour running up and down a dry rink calling violations in a pretend ball hockey game.

    • The eternally upbeat Ralph Krueger isn’t upset about being blindsided when the Oilers fired him as their coach. It probably helps that he landed a sweet gig with Team Canada.

    • Cory Schneider is ready to leave the Vancouver drama behind and get the new season started in New Jersey.

    • Former Nashville good-time guy Alex Radulov managed to have his captaincy stripped by CSKA for disciplinary reasons. Wait, they have bars in Russia, too?

    Things are a little bit different in Dallas than when Jamie Benn left town after the season ended in April. Mike Heika grills the potential captain of the Stars on his summer, his injured wrist and his expectations for the revamped team.

    • Good news for St. Louis. Winger Vladimir Tarasenko says he wasn’t in good shape last season, and promises he’ll be ready to go this time around.

    • Hurricanes forward prospect Sergei Tolchinsky has the Sept. 5 rookie camp game against the Rangers circled on his calendar. Here’s why.

    • Sounds like a mini-Lindros situation brewing up in Nova Scotia, where forward Nicolas Roy, the number one pick in this year’s QMJHL draft, is refusing to report to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.


  • Published On Aug 27, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Red Wings trip up Blackhawks 4-1, ties series at 1-1

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    Henrik Zetterberg (left) was instrumental in stopping the Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews. (Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

    By Brian Cazeneuve

    After being outclassed by Chicago in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, the Detroit Red Wings took the ice at the United Center on Saturday knowing they needed to turn in an improved performance. They did just that in beating the Blackhawks 4-1 to send the series to Detroit knotted at one game each.

    Here are some thoughts and observations on Game 2:

    • Patrick Kane may be a scoring machine, but the Chicago forward’s goal in the first period at 14:05 was only his first marker in this postseason. Kane has had a tough time, denting the twine just twice in the playoffs since his overtime Cup-winner in Game 6 against the Flyers in 2010 —  a span of 14 games without a postseason goal. In his previous 19 games, he’s produced 15 assists, but just that one tally.

    • The Wings continue to get solid efforts from younger, less proven players. Give Gustav Nyquist credit for taking a big hit from Chicago’s Bryan Bickell and getting the puck back to the point to defenseman Jakub Kindl on Detroit’s first goal. Kindl walked the blueline from right to left with great poise and threw a long shot at the net. Damien Brunner then deflected the it past Corey Crawford for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

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  • Published On May 18, 2013


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