Posts Tagged ‘Ryan McDonagh’

Jamming The Crease: Alex Ovechkin’s excuse; Calder Trophy race is on; more

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Coach Adam Oates and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals

Clearly Adam Oates and Alex Ovechkin don’t see eye to eye on an important matter. (Bruce Bennett/Getty images)

By Allan Muir

It should have been a lay-up.

Meeting with the Washington media today for the first time since being called out for quitting on a play by his coach, Adam Oates, all Alex Ovechkin had to do was offer a note of remorse. Just the slightest hint that he grasped his culpability on a goal that snowballed into a crushing 5-0 loss to Dallas on Tuesday night.

Something simple, like this:

“You know what? Oatesy was right. My lack of hustle on that play was inexcusable and it cost us a goal. As the captain of this team, I have to hold myself to a higher standard. I owe that much to my teammates, my fans and the organization. I’ll never be a defensive wizard, but I can be better than I’ve shown. And I will be.”

Instead, Ovechkin offered this as an excuse:

“He’s the head coach and I get the blame from it, but in that moment I think everybody quit on the play.”

Ho. Lee. Sheet.

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  • Published On Apr 04, 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
  • Top Line: Rangers lose another star; Penguins bound for doom; more links

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    By Allan Muir

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

    • The Rangers beat the Canucks 3-1 in coach Alain Vigneault’s return to Vancouver, but the big story was the clean — but very heavy — hit that injured New York’s Ryan McDonagh. The question now: How serious is the damage? The hit by Alex Burrows doesn’t look worthy of a suspension to me. What do you think?

    • The Blueshirts can ill afford another injury, considering how the last one is still affecting them.

    • If the Canucks fire coach John Tortorella, they will have to swallow $8 million after this season. That probably sounds like a bargain to most Vancouver fans.

    • After watching some of the worst hockey he’s ever seen, Gene Collier is starting to worry about the playoff disaster looming in the Penguins’ future.

    • At least there was one bright spot for Pittsburgh fans in that game.

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  • Published On Apr 02, 2014
  • Top Line: Jarome Iginla tops 30, Maple Leafs trapped in glass case of emotion

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    Jarome Iginla's recent surge represents is welcome news for the Bruins. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)

    Jarome Iginla’s recent scoring surge represents is welcome news for the Bruins. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Jarome Iginla reached the 30-goal benchmark in yesterday’s win over the Caps. His scorching hot March proves he’s not just a valuable part of the present. He can be a big part of the future, too…if the Bruins can figure out how to work him in under that cap.

    • While Iggy’s been on a roll, the hands of another Boston scorer have turned to stone. And that might necessitate a shake-up in the team’s top six.

    • As Toronto’s epic swing swoon reaches eight games, Chris Johnson points to an upside: the organization can no longer ignore the sizable cracks in the team’s foundation. That probably doesn’t bode well for the future of Randy Carlyle, right?

    • Mike Zeisberger offers his take on the big changes coming in Hogtown.

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  • Published On Mar 30, 2014
  • Top Line: Penguins coach Bylsma, five Maple Leafs on hot seat; more links

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    Coach Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins

    If things don’t start looking up for the Penguins, coach Dan Bylsma may be a goner. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Rob Rossi explains what’s behind the Penguins’ lackluster 6-6-2 record since the Olympic break. Rossi’s reasons all seem like valid explanations, but they’re not quieting rumors that Pittsburgh may consider a coaching change before the playoffs.

    • Dion Phaneuf and Randy Carlyle top the list of five Maple Leafs on the hot seat as the team fumbles away its playoff chances.

    • Steve Simmons asks scouts to explain the lost season of Toronto’s David Clarkson, but even they can’t quite figure it out. This looks more and more like a buyout situation this summer, doesn’t it?

    Don Cherry teed off on the Maple Leafs after they signed college free agent Eric Knodel yesterday. Toronto’s management usually deserves the scorn thrown its way, but I think Grapes missed the mark on this one.

    • There’s a theory out there that suggests Canadian fans have some emotional stake in a team from Canada winning the Stanley Cup. I don’t buy it, but on the off-chance that you do, Cam Cole suggests you might not want to get your hopes up. Again.

    Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers has ramped up his game since returning from Sochi, but is he really Norris Trophy material? David Satriano makes the case.

    Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos wants to remind everyone that he’s pretty good at hockey.

    • “Oh my god … I just got traded for Jarome Iginla!”

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  • Published On Mar 27, 2014
  • The NHL’s 13 biggest hits of 2013

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    Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings Kronwalls Cory Conacher of the Ottawa Senators.

    The NHL still packed plenty of crunch despite growing concerns about player safety. (Icon SMI)

    By Michael Blinn

    Many fans worry that the NHL is slowly but steadily legislating physicality out of the game, and this year delivered plenty of fuel for debate about player safety in the form of  big, thundering checks that sent players end-over-end, tumbling into benches, and, on rare occasions, through the glass. Most of the hits were well within the rules, while others were cause for supplemental discipline as the NHL continued to place added emphasis on preventing head injuries. After sorting through nine-plus months of game highlights, we present  the 13 most bone-rattling hits of 2013:

    MORE: 13 best players | Goals | Games | Memes | Tweets | Weird moments | Most painful | Front office moves

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  • Published On Dec 24, 2013
  • Isles’ Hamonic, Caps’ Alzner among best value deals of summer 2013

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    Travis Hamonic of the New York Islanders

    Travis Hamonic is a key part of the Isles’ effort to rebuild with their prospects. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    It’s been a busy summer at the NHL’s home office.

    The league has registered nearly 200 new player contracts since the Blackhawks skated off with the Stanley Cup at the end of June. Most of those were low-level signings, players happy to find a chair before the music stopped. But there were scores of deals signed by legitimate NHLers as well, players who cashed in on their free agency or settled in for some long-term security with their current club.

    Most of those deals left fans shaking their heads at the money that will be changing hands even though we all understand, on some level, anyway, that the numbers are bound to be crazy.

    But there were others that seemed shockingly, well, sensible. Put in context, they’re set up to provide great value for the team . . . and in most cases, the player probably isn’t complaining, either.

    Here are the deals signed this summer that should provide the best bang for the buck:

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  • Published On Aug 16, 2013
  • NHL free agents: Rangers take care of business, sign Ryan McDonagh

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    Ryan McDonagh

    The Rangers got a bargain in the six-year deal they handed Ryan McDonagh. (Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    One down, two to go.

    The decision of Rangers GM Glen Sather to lay off the open market and focus on his own restricted free agents paid off today when he inked Ryan McDonagh to a new deal.

    According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the defenseman signed on for six years at $28.2 million, with an AAV of $4.7 million.

    Brooks thought it was fair value for the 24-year-old. That might be faint praise.

    McDonagh, stolen from the Canadiens in a 2009 deal that deserved more attention from Quebec authorities than Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty, has emerged as one of the better young defensemen in the game. During his three seasons with the Rangers, he’s proven to be a reliable two-way performer who can be counted on to chew up big minutes in any situation.

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  • Published On Jul 08, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Marchand leads Bruins to OT victory over Rangers in Game 1

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    Brad Marchand finally broke through after being held to three assists in the seven-game series against the Leafs. (Charles Krupa/AP)

    After struggling against Toronto, Boston’s Brad Marchand finally broke through against New York. (Charles Krupa/AP)

    By Sarah Kwak

    Less than five minutes remained in the first overtime of Game 1 and the Bruins were outplaying and completely outshooting the Rangers with almost goal after almost goal. It was clear the Bruins were due for an actual goal any second. And for the last two weeks, their Little Ball of Hate has been due, too.

    Brad Marchand, the team’s leading scorer in the regular season, was kept muzzled through the first round, picking up only three assists in the seven-game series against the Maple Leafs. But in the closing minutes of overtime against the Rangers, with the score knotted at 2-2, Marchand tipped in a beautiful feed from Patrice Bergeron to win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals for Boston. The pesky yet diminutive winger did it by powering through the even more diminutive Mats Zuccarello (5-foot-7, 174 pounds), who is probably the only NHLer Marchand (5-9, 183 pounds) could realistically muscle off.

    In the fight between these two big, burly and tough hockey teams, the battle between two flyweights decided it. Figures.

    Here are some more observations from the Bruins’ 3-2 Game 1 win:

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  • Published On May 17, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Rangers top Capitals 4-3, cut Washington’s series lead to 2-1

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    rick-nash-press

    Rick Nash (61) finally made a significant contribution by assisting Derek Stepan’s winner. (Scotty Levy/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve

    NEW YORK — After being held to one goal while losing the first two games of their opening round series in Washington, the Rangers went home and got an emotional boost from the return of defenseman Marc Staal, who had not played since March 5 because of a brutal eye injury he suffered when he took a slap shot to the face and went down in a writhing heap. Staal, who replaced Steve Eminger in the lineup, was paired with Anton Stralman and tested on his second shift when Capitals forward Troy Brouwer plowed him into the sideboards. Staal emerged unhurt and the Rangers went on to snap a long scoring funk, get their power play back on track and hold off the Capitals for a crucial 4-3 win. The Rangers’ Game 3 victory cut the Capitals’ series lead to 2-1.

    Here are some more thoughts and observations from the game:

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  • Published On May 07, 2013


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