Posts Tagged ‘Tomas Vokoun’

Top Line: Outdoor game a distraction?; Blue Jackets look sharp; more links

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The NHL outdoor game rink at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles

The Ducks and the Kings are looking forward to their game at Dodger Stadium. (Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

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

• Did the distraction of their upcoming Stadium Series date on Saturday night lead the Ducks to lose their first home game of the season? That’s where one player is laying the blame for the team’s sloppy execution in Tuesday night’s streak-busting loss to the Jets.

• Though keeping local rivalries bubbling with outdoor games is a great idea, it looks like the NHL’s schedule maker messed up because the post-Olympics stretch drive will be short on drama.

• The Penguins say they doubled their fan base in the wake of hosting the 2011 Winter Classic and the ’12 NHL draft. That’s the kind of return Los Angeles is hoping to cultivate with its outdoor game against Anaheim at Dodger Stadium.

• The hottest team in hockey is … the Blue Jackets?!? Adam Proteau explains how these early-season sad sacks got their game in order, and says they’ve become a near-lock for the playoffs.

• It’s not just that the Jackets are winning, it’s that they’re winning with ease.

• Their 7-1 loss to the Devils reflects a failure of the entire Blues team, but by allowing seven goals on just 23 shots, Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak showed why many believe that St. Louis needs to bring in another goalie in order to get to the next level.

• While Senators owner Eugene Melnyk continues to wage his bizarre, one-man-with-too-much-money battle to prove a crime that didn’t happen, the players involved, Erik Karlsson and Matt Cooke have moved on.

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  • Published On Jan 22, 2014
  • Ilya Bryzgalov, Jose Theodore no answer for Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Goaltender Tomas Vokoun of the Pittsburgh Penguins

    Tomas Vokoun’s blood clot and indefinite absence will greatly complicate life for the Penguins. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    If the Pittsburgh Penguins had any concerns about the ability of Marc-André Fleury to bounce back this season from his disastrous playoff performance, they surely were comforted by the presence of Tomas Vokoun. The classy veteran stepped up when Fleury stumbled last spring, giving the team the calming presence it needed then. He promised to be there if the Pens needed it again this season.

    Well, so much for that safety net.

    Vokoun is sidelined in the wake of a procedure to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis. Losing a player whose stabilizing presence was being counted on is bad enough, but the situation is complicated by the absence of a timetable for his recovery. He’ll be out for as long as he needs to take blood thinners. Whether that’s days, weeks or months is anyone’s guess.

    That puts the pressure squarely on Fleury to step up from the start of the season. Maybe that’s the best situation for the struggling netminder. Throw him in the deep end without floaties and let him figure out how to keep his head above water.

    But what if he can’t do it? How do the Pens bail him out without creating a bigger problem down the line?

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  • Published On Sep 23, 2013
  • Top Line: Line brawl erupts in Toronto; Shanahan’s busy day; more links

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    By Allan Muir

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

    • There was nothing wrong with a tough guy like Buffalo’s John Scott looking to start something in the Sabres’ preseason tilt against the Maple Leafs on Sunday night. The problem is that he picked on superstar forward Phil Kessel. That stupid decision prompted a line brawl that featured Ryan Miller going at it with Jonathan Bernier and led to David Clarkson hopping over the boards to protect Kessel. If you start your day hand-milling granola while wearing your favorite Birkenstocks, you might not want to watch as the carnage unfolds.

    • Damien Cox points the finger of blame at Buffalo coach Ron Rolston.

    • Here’s a look at the penalties handed out after the fray. Nice job by the stripes, there.

    • Clarkson is all but certain to get 10 games for joining the fray. Kessel’s stick-swinging may cost him a couple of games as well. Now here’s a very interesting twist: the cap hits of suspended players remain on the books, so the Leafs, who were considering carrying just 21 players to stay in compliance, now face the challenge of making the numbers work while some good money sits on the sidelines.

    • Sorting out that mess is only one of the headaches awaiting NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan this morning. He also has to deal with Vancouver’s Zack Kassian and the careless stick that broke Sam Gagner’s jaw (video).

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  • Published On Sep 23, 2013
  • Top Line: Pens lose Vokoun indefinitely; Barclays good, Isles not; more links

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    Tomas Vokoun

    Tomas Vokoun will be out indefinitely after a blot clot was discovered in his pelvis. (Justin K. Aller/Gettty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • The discovery of a blood clot in the pelvis of Tomas Vokoun has shelved the Pittsburgh goalie indefinitely. He’ll be held off the ice as long as he’s taking the blood thinners used to dissolve the offending mass. Scary stuff, since clots can be lethal if undetected. There is however, a bright side to this for the Pens…

    • Islanders fans gave glowing reviews to Barclays Center, which hosted its first NHL game Saturday night. They probably weren’t as impressed with the efforts of the Isles.

    • Someday, someone will put one past Cory Schneider in the New Jersey net. It just hasn’t happened yet.

    Read More…


  • Published On Sep 22, 2013
  • Penguins give Dan Bylsma, assistant coaches, two-year extensions

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    Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma

    Many people figured Dan Bylsma was a goner after his Penguins were swept by the Bruins. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Instead of holding his coach accountable for the team’s four-game ouster in the Eastern Conference Finals, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero gave Dan Bylsma a strong vote of confidence.

    “I really believe we have a great head coach in Dan Bylsma…he’s the coach to move us forward,” Shero said in announcing a two-year extension for Bylsma and assistants Tony Granato and Todd Reirden.

    Bylsma had a year remaining on his current deal, so the extension keeps him under contract through the 2015-16 season.

    “I have a very good coach that I want to work with to lead this team,” Shero said. “I believe in Dan Bylsma. I believe in our coaching staff.”

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  • Published On Jun 12, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Double OT win lifts Bruins to 3-0 series lead over Penguins

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    Patrice Bergeron (center) and Brad Marchand linked up for a winning goal built on years of playing together. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

    Patrice Bergeron (center) and Brad Marchand linked up for the game-winner at 15:19 of the second OT. (Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve

    BOSTON — Against a team like the Penguins, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask said he was limiting his celebration time after Boston’s 2-1 double-overtime win in Game 3. “Five minutes,” he said. “Then we start again, because we know we haven’t done anything.”

    Actually, the Bruins have done more than anyone could have expected. In three games, they have shown they can win by outplaying the powerful Penguins, or, as they did on Wednesday night, being outplayed by them. Rask took Pittsburgh’s best shot in Game 3, stopping 53 of the 54 pucks they put on him. “They came hard, no question,” he said. “They were desperate. We didn’t expect anything less.”

    The winning formula had a familiar recipe, with Brad Marchand feeding Patrice Bergeron at the goalmouth for another game-winner. This time, it was the ageless Jaromir Jagr (OK, he’s 41) who started the play by knocking Evgeni Malkin down along the boards and starting Marchand up the ice. It was Jagr’s 27th minute of play on his 35th shift. “Jags is doing whatever it takes to win,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. As for Marchand and Bergeron: “That’s what happens when you’ve been together three years,” Julien said. “Marchy could have given it to him sooner, but he waited for him to get to the net.”

    And so the Bruins have handed the Penguins their first three-game losing streak of the season, one that has them on the brink of elimination and hoping for some of the magic that the Philadelphia Flyers conjured in 2010 when they rose from an 0-3 hole to eliminate Boston in the Eastern semifinals.

    Here are some more thoughts and observations from Game 3:

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  • Published On Jun 06, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Down 2-0, Penguins seek change in Game 3 versus Bruins

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    Coach Dan Bylsma and the Penguins are in trouble vs. the Bruins

    Got any good ideas, guys? The Penguins must find a way to get back on their game, fast. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve

    BOSTON — Ch-ch-changes may be in the works for the Penguins’ lineup, but as the series shifts to Boston after a pair of stunning games in Pittsburgh in which the Eastern Conference Finals favorites were outscored 9-1, there’s no telling if there will also be a change of fortune for the suddenly reeling Cup contenders.

    “We’re not liking the picture. We’re down 0-2,” said Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. “They’re in control. They’ve won two games on the road.”

    Though the Penguins put up a fight, hit a few posts and endured some bad luck in their 3-0 loss in Game 1, they were badly outplayed in almost every aspect of Game 2, a 6-1 embarrassment on home ice.

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  • Published On Jun 05, 2013
  • Top Line: Penguins at turning point; Sergei Bobrovsky leaving?; more links

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    Tomas Vokoun and Marc-Andre Fleury

    Marc-Andre Fleury or Tomas Vokoun? The Penguins’ Game 3 choice could make or break them. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • Everyone always says they want to get off to a good start in a road playoff game. I guess this is what they’re talking about.

    • Honestly, I thought if the Bruins were going to win this series, Tuukka Rask would have to be the first star four times. Safe to say last night disproved that theory.

    • A big part of Boston’s future showed up last night, even if most of the team didn’t know it.

    Even the media in Pittsburgh is getting frustrated by the Bruins.

    • Dan Bylsma faces the biggest decision of his coaching career ahead of Game 3. Pick the wrong starting goaltender and this could be all over but the crying.

    Read More…


  • Published On Jun 04, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Penguins have work to do vs. Boston in Game 2 of Eastern finals

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    Tomas Vokoun in Game 1 vs. Boston Bruins

    Goalie Tomas Vokoun wasn’t sharp in Game 1, but neither was Pittsburgh’s defense. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    By Brian Cazeneuve

    PITTSBURGH — Maybe Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was working on his curveball for a stint with the Pirates in case he needs something to do during the summer. Asked if he was considering yanking goalie Tomas Vokoun, the dutiful backup who had given Pittsburgh much-needed relief until his shaky outing in the Pens’ Eastern finals-opening 3-0 loss to Boston, and replacing him with embattled starter Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 2 on Monday night, Bylsma essentially said no.

    “We lost Game 1. But Tomas played real well in the game, was strong in the game, made big saves. So the wins and losses isn’t necessarily an indicator of what we’re going to do with the goaltending situation,” the coach said before a game the Penguins suddenly feel they must win.

    Bylsma didn’t seem to be opting for the straight change, at least not yet, but he also indicated that he still sees Fleury as the man his team would likely ride at some point: “I’m confident in Marc-Andre Fleury as a goalie and confident in what he can do when he gets in there.”

    That’s when, not if.

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  • Published On Jun 03, 2013
  • Top Line: Corey Crawford elevates his game; David Krejci, too; more links

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    Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford

    Corey Crawford is no longer one of the Blackhawks’ postseason question marks. (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

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

    • After bettering Jonathan Quick for a second night, Corey Crawford is proving that he’s ready to join the ranks of the NHL’s elite netminders. His sliding save on that crazy bounce off the glass? That tells you all you need to know about where his confidence is now.

    • If the Blackhawks win it all this year, this might be the moment they talk about as when it all came together for them.

    • Over the past four seasons, the Blackhawks have been the NHL’s best playoff road team with a 14-10 record, so they’re prepared for the challenge of trying to knock out the champs in their own building.

    • Ever since Joel Quenneville activated his blueline in Game 5 of the Detroit series, Chicago’s defensemen have been key to the team’s success.

    • Quick giving up four goals on 17 shots? Yeah, we all saw that coming, right? The humbled netminder is ready to put this one behind him and focus on redemption in Game 3.

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  • Published On Jun 03, 2013


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