Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Classic Video: Johan Hedberg Makes Great Stick Save Against NY Rangers 12-14-2009 User: HockeyWebCast

Predators' Pekka Rinne heats up for playoffs

David Climer The Tennessean March 31, 2010

As they close in on their fifth playoff berth in franchise history, the Predators need a hot goalie.

Fortunately, Pekka Rinne looks like he's heating up just in time.

Forget the 2-0 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Games like this happen, especially with the hectic schedule the Preds played in the month of March.

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Sergei Shirokov Proving To Be Top Moose

Shirokov had 21 goals and 41 points in 69 games and was a respectable minus-1 heading into Tuesday night's game with the Heat in Abbotsford.

Shirokov no problems, Adjusts to minor-pro level
Jim Jamieson, The Province March 31, 2010

In Monday's 5-2 Moose win over the Heat, Shirokov didn't figure in the scoring, but he looks as if he's improved in his own end.

"Sergei had a good first half but in the latter part of January and February he fell off" said Moose head coach Scott Arniel. "We're hoping he can finish strong. When you look at his numbers he's had a great rookie start, but we think there's more there."

, 24, says he's happy with his progress, but is also proud of his vastly improved English.

"I like very much this level and this coach is good for me," he said. "I like this hockey. It's more hits, more shots, faster a little bit than KHL in Russia. It was tough for me the first month, now it's better. Now no problem the rink, the system, English getting better."

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Riku Helenius Undefeated in Sweden's Promotion Relegation Series

Kval till Elitserien Game Day: 3-29-10 March 29, 2010

Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, Win, 29/33, 4.00 GAA, .879 sv%
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-2-2, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 5-0-0, 1 SO, 2.00 GAA, .926 sv%

At the halfway point of Sweden's promotion/relegation series, Riku Helenius remains an undefeated 5-0-0 despite allowing 4 goals today to Vaxjo Lakers. Helenius has a 7 game personal winning streak extending all the way back into the Elitserien regular season. His last loss was on March 4th against Frolunda and former Lightning netminder and Bolt Prospects alumni Johan Holmqvist. Ex-Avs draft pick Linus Videll led the scoring for Sodertalje with 2 goals and 3 assists in the match.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Agent tightlipped about Ilya Kovalchuk’s future

Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, declined to comment today on whether there has been any contract talks with the Devils since they acquired Kovalchuk on Feb. 4 or whether Kovalchuk is even willing to talk about a new contract at this late stage in the regular season.

Kovalchuk, who will turn 27 on April 15, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1...

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The Vanderbeek Era: High Times for Hockey in Jersey

The New Jersey Devils have risen to the top of the hockey world, cracking the top ten on Forbes’ list of the most valuable hockey teams. They have been dubbed an “exemplary” team by countless hockey experts as well as “one of the NHL’s best models of success.”

Jeff Vanderbeek has grown accustomed to having such positive acclaim come his way, first in the business world and now as the Devils’ majority owner. He strives to reward his team’s hard work and dedication by giving back to his home state in the form of a sports franchise that it can proudly call its own.

Representing New Jersey is hardly a challenge for Vanderbeek, who grew up in Somerville. He understands that local sports fans want affordable ticket packages, reasonable prices on everything from food to merchandise, and a pleasant game-day experience.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Ilya Kovalchuk NHL Third Star of The Week

Elliott's hot streak has Sens making playoff plans
John Kreiser March 29, 2010

Kovalchuk finally had the kind of week New Jersey was waiting for when the Devils acquired him from Atlanta in early January. He had 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points while going plus-4 in four games, including a four-point night against Columbus.

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Brian Leetch #6 of The Top 10 NHLers to Come Out of College Hockey

The Top 10 NHLers to Come Out of College Hockey
Daniel Sallows The Bleacher Report March 27, 2010

Brian Leetch did it all over his decorated NHL career, from a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy in 1994, to a pair of Norris Trophies, he was truly one of the elite defensemen ever to play in the game. And, it all got started while playing with the Eagles at Boston College.

In his short-lived NCAA career, Leetch scored 9 goals and 47 points over 37 games at Boston College, before making the jump to the pros and winning the Calder for the NHL's top rookie.

He is 8th on the all-time list for most points by a defenseman in the NHL, with 1,028 over 1,205 career games.

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Alexander Radulov Shining in KHL Playoffs

Perezhogin Puts Salavat In Kontinental Conference Final March 28, 2010

Russian Olympian and former Nashville Predator ALEXANDER RADULOV leads Salavat Yulayev, not to mention the entire KHL, in playoff scoring with 3 goals and 15 points from ten Gargarin Cup contests.

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Perttu Lindgren Helps Texas Stars Win In Shootout

Stars inch closer to playoffs with 5-4 SO win over Griffins
Hundred Degree Hockey March 28, 2010

Texas went to the shootout for the second time in as many nights. It only took 3 and a half rounds to decide as Matt Climie shutout all Grand Rapids shooters and Sceviour, Lindgren, and Morin all scored for Texas.

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Johan Hedberg's 34 Saves Gets Him His 2nd Shutout of The Season

Thrashers tame Hurricanes, keep playoff hopes alive
Atlanta Thrashers Examiner March 28, 2010

Johan Hedberg steered aside 34 shots en route to his second shutout of the season and Rich Peverley and Evgeny Artyukhinscored 57 seconds apart, leading the Thrashers to a 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in Raleigh.

“We stayed with it the whole way,” Hedberg told the Associated Press. “We didn’t have any lapses, which is key. We didn’t beat ourselves.”

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Elliotte Friedman Examines Team Russia's Disappointing Performance At The Olympics With Commentary From Sergei Zubov User: Hockeyhaven76

Devils impressed by Ilya Kovalchuk's unselfish play on empty net goal

Ilya Kovalchuk's skills as one of the NHL's most dynamic offensive players have impressed the Devils since long before he was acquired in a Feb. 4 trade with the Atlanta Thrashers.

What Kovalchuk did in the final seconds of Saturday night's victory over the Montreal Canadiens, however, may have been most impressive of all.

With the Devils leading by a goal and Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak on the bench for an extra skater, Kovalchuk was looking at an empty net with just over 10 seconds remaining. Instead of shooting, he dropped the puck back for linemate Brian Rolston, who fired it in to put the game away.

Why did he give the puck up?

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Classic Video: Alexander Radulov 2009-2010 Season User:EvgeniMalkinN71

Pekka Rinne's Brilliant Play Making Him A Great Fantasy Option

In the Crease: Rinne finally emerging
Tim Kavanagh March 25, 2010

Last week, Rinne put up the second-longest shutout streak in franchise history. It might not be terribly impressive in a historical context, considering the Predators' 13-season NHL existence, but nearly 150 consecutive minutes of shutout goaltending is nothing to spit at. Rinne combined two shutouts with two other wins to earn the NHL's first star of the week honors Monday.

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Kovalchuk blasts 38th goal, 5 Points in Last Two Games

Ilya Kovalchuk: Kovalchuk blasts 38th goal March 26, 2010

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 38th goal of the season as New Jersey lost to the Rangers 4-3 in a shootout Thursday night.
Kovalchuk has been on a heater, picking up five points in two games. Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner both scored against Henrik Lundqvist as well. No one could beat Lundqvist in the shootout.

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Rinne's Dominance Continues In Win Over Coyotes

Game Recap: Predators Beat Coyotes 4-3 in Shoot Out March 26, 2010

Pekka Rinne got the victory stopping 32 of 35 Coyote shots while Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 28 of 31 Predator shots.

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Perttu Lindgren Scores and Assists In Close Battle With Milwaukee

On the Farm Report: 3-25-10
Travis Betts March 25, 2010

The Texas Stars beat the Milwaukee Admirals 4-3 last Thursday at the Cedar Park Center. Aaron Gagnon, Andrew Hutchinson and Francis Wathier all scored on the power play, helping Texas to a 4-1 lead late in the game. Milwaukee rallied for two goals in the last three minutes, but the Stars held on for the win. Brent Krahn made 26 saves on 29 shots, remaining undefeated since his return from an injury earlier this season.

The Stars started a seven-game road trip on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over the Rockford IceHogs. Krahn stopped all 29 shots he faced, including 14 in the final period to preserve the shutout. Mathieu Beaudoin scored just 59 seconds into the game to give Texas the lead, and Perttu Lindgren gave the Stars an insurance goal midway through the second. Lindgren assisted on Beaudoin’s goal, and Hutchinson assisted on both Texas goals.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Volchenkov's Stock Rising Fast

You are the GM Part 2: Anton Volchenkov: Buzz Game NHLPA endorses Rule March 24, 2010

In my opinion there may not be a defenseman whose stock is rising any faster than Anton Volchenkov's. If the new NHL is about shot blocking, than the new NHL is about Anton. He is the best in the NHL. Maybe one of the best to ever play the game. He doesn't only block shots, he saves goals. Two in just the last two games. Volchenkov will be very, very sought after this summer if Ottawa doesn't re-sign him.

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Volchenkov's Intense Defense Draws Rave Reviews

Bad Romance
Bobby Zijiac March 24, 2010

Even though that’s all great, the story of the game was Anton Volchenkov and the refs. Too bad it is for the wrong reasons though. Volchie played intense and with a physical presence I’ve never seen him before. He and Sutton, though on different pairings, make up an amazing tag-team match on the defensive side. The hits both of them made, almost none were illegal or dirty. Volchenkov on Carcillo was a good, clean hit. I had to endure the Comcast Sportsnet broadcast, which was provoking me beyond human experience. Volchenkov never through the shoulder, he checked him hard into the boards. Do remember, this is Daniel Carcillo we are talking about. This guy has as much guts as a horse in the glue factory. Volchenkov on Gagne was a bit different, even though it was not as dirty as the Philly guys made it. I do understand he was hit from behind in a vulnerable position, but was Simon Gagne sleeping, or what? You have to realize what you’re sacrificing when you’re in that kind of position.

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Shirokov and Moose Looking For Back to Back Wins

Moose Aim For Back-To-Back Wins Over Bulldogs March 24, 2010

The Manitoba Moose are back in action tonight as the Hamilton Bulldogs visit the MTS Centre.

The Moose are looking to make it back-to-back wins over the Dogs after a 3-2 victory last night in Winnipeg.

The Herd have been led by Marco Rosa and Sergei Shirokov this season. The two forwards are tied for the team lead with 21 goals a piece.

Cory Schneider has been solid once again between the pipes this year for Manitoba. The Canucks prospect has a 30-21-1 record while sporting a 2.60 GAA and a .915 save percentage.

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Perttu LIndgren's Progress Could Spell Success for Dallas Stars Next Year

Stars' success in minors could salvage rough spring for fans

Mike Heika The Dallas Morning News March 24, 2010

The Texas Stars are 40-24-3-4. They have outscored their opposition, 207-170. They are bouncing between second and third in the AHL's West Division. That's impressive when you consider Nashville is feeding Milwaukee, Phoenix is feeding San Antonio, St. Louis is feeding Peoria and Minnesota is feeding Houston. Those are some of the top prospect groups in the NHL, according to The Hockey News.

Now, the Texas Stars have a lot of veteran players, especially on defense, and that is one of the concerns about the Stars' prospects. But if players like Aaron Gagnon, Perttu Lindgren, Francis Wathier, Warren Peters, Brent Krahn and Matt Climie get experience, Dallas will be deeper and better prepared for next season.

Not to mention, it might be a nice distraction this spring.

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Evengy Dadonov Scores and Assists Helping Stop Amerks Skid

Sinking Lake Erie Monsters help Rochester Americans snap losing streak

ROC Now March 25, 2010

Evgeny Dadonov recorded a goal and an assist and Clay Wilson added two assists as the Rochester Amerks scored two first period goals in a 3-1 victory over Lake Erie Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

The win snapped Rochester’s (39-30-2-0) three-game losing streak and moved the Amerks into sole possession of second place in the North Division.

It was also Rochester’s first victory on the road against the Monsters this season.

Dadonov beat Lake Erie goalie Tyler Weiman 34 seconds into the game for a 1-0 lead.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

High Times Overall for Ilya Kovalchuk

Devils move into tie for Atlantic lead with 6-3 win over Blue Jackets
Tom Gulitti March 23, 2010

On the other hand, the birth of his son, Artem, on Sunday might have been just what Devils left wing Ilya Kovalchuk needed to stop worrying about being away from his family.

With mother and son now home from the hospital and resting, Kovalchuk had his most productive night as a Devil, scoring a goal and assisting on three others in a 6-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night at Prudential Center.

“It’s always good when you win because [in the] morning, everybody is going to be smiling and feeling good,” Kovalchuk said. “And we can’t stop for a second. We have to work even harder to be better.”

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Volchenkov, refs are Enemies No. 1 for Philadelphia Flyers

Greg Wyshynski Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports

Ottawa Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov haunted the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night to the point where you expected to see him in a boiler room wearing a ratty striped sweater with knives on his gloves. (We'd make the expected "A Nightmare on Broad Street" quip, but the game was in Ottawa.)

With the Senators leading Philly 1-0 in the second period, Volchenkov devastated Flyers forward Daniel Carcillo(notes) along the boards with a freight train hit that involved the head.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Q+A Interview with Pekka Rinne

I was able to get a one on one Q+A interview with the NHL’s first star of this past week and Nashville Predator’s starting goalie Pekka Rinne.

Rinne recently signed a two year extension with the Predators and will lead them into the playoffs this season.

Here is my Q+A interview with Pekka Rinne.

Curtis Tudor: Growing up were you always a goalie or did you play any other positions?

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Preds Future Looks Bright With Pekka Rinne

Predators feel impact of younger players: Group takes the lead in push for playoffs
John Glennon The Tennessean March 23 2010

While the more familiar 30-something names like Jason Arnott, Steve Sullivan and J.P. Dumont have offered their steady contributions, a number of relative youngsters like Colin Wilson, Patric Hornqvist, Cody Franson and Pekka Rinne have emerged as key performers as well.

With nine games left in the season, Hornqvist leads the team in goals (28), Franson leads all NHL rookies in plus-minus rating (14), Rinne is the NHL's current No. 1 star of the week and Wilson has notched 11 points since getting recalled last month.

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The Man Behind the Mask: Johan Hedberg

NHL Hot Stove March 23, 2010

The 1994 entry draft was a solid one for goaltenders. Jose Theodore was chosen in the 2nd round by Montreal. In the 5th round, the Dallas Stars chose Marty Turco, and four goaltenders were chosen in the 9th round, three of those eventual starters: Tim Thomas by the Nordiques, Evgeny Nabokov by the Sharks, and Tomas Vokoun by the Habs.

None of them are having a season like Johan Hedberg.

Johan “Moose” Hedberg was drafted in the 9th round, 218th overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers. While his compatriots are suffering through either average seasons (Thomas, Theodore), off play (Turco, some can argue Nabokov), or suffering behind sub-par teams (Vokoun), Hedberg is literally having the best year of his career. In this, his 9th year in the NHL, Hedberg has only once had a goals against average lower as this season’s 2.67, and he has never had a save percentage as high as his .914. He’s putting up solid numbers behind an Atlanta Thrashers defense who allows 33.4 shots a game, which is 29th in the league. While wrangling with all of this pressure, the 36 year old goaltender has grabbed the reigns as Atlanta’s current #1 goaltender in the midst of a playoff run.

Familiar territory indeed for the consummate professional.

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Volchenkov and Sharp Sens stop Habs 2-0

....But the stop of the night was made by Anton Volchenkov after Matt Carkner lost the puck in his own zone and Elliott made an initial save off Andrei Kostitsyn. Having lost his stick, Volchenkov dove to keep a shot by Tom Pyatt from going in the open side...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kovalchuk waiting to explode

Atlantic: Kovalchuk waiting to explode
Phil Coffey March 22, 2010

Conventional wisdom is a popular quality because it's rarely wrong. And conventional wisdom unequivocally says the New Jersey Devils received the best player in the trade that brought Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey in exchange for forward Niclas Bergfors, defenseman Johnny Oduya, prospect Patrice Cormier and a swap of draft picks.

And conventional wisdom also states the Devils made the trade for Kovalchuk in order to navigate a path deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That's good for the Devils since Kovalchuk hasn't been the tonic to New Jersey's offensive woes the way many anticipated. In 16 games with the Devils, Kovalchuk has 5 goals, 7 assists and is a plus-2 with 69 shots. Not too shabby to be sure, but not the offensive powerhouse many were expecting. And the New Jersey power play is converting at just a 17.6-percent clip, resting 17th in the League.

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Pekka Rinne Named NHL First Star of the Week

Speculation turned to reality this morning when Pekka Rinne was named the NHL's First Star of the Week. In four games, Rinne was 4-0 with two shut outs and a goals against average of 1.22 and a save percentage of .958.

On Tuesday, Pekka stopped 42 of 45 shots as the Preds beat the Flyers 4-3 in a shootout. On Thursday, Rinne was brilliant in a 5-0 whitewashing of Minnesota. He extended his shutout streak on Saturday with a 1-0 overtime win over Columbus. Finally, Rinne's stellar work kept the Preds in Sunday's game with the Blues until their offense could come through in a 3-2 win.

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Rinne Fabulous in 3-2 Win Over St. Louis

Preds On the Glass March 21, 2010

Pekka Rinne continued his solid play stopping 23 of 25 shots from the Blues. His play during the first period when the Blues were pressuring Nashville's defense kept the Preds in the game giving the offense a chance to get on track.

A couple of quick passes left Carlo Colaiacovo with a shot at the open side of the Predator's net ending Pekka Rinne's 146:56 minute scoreless streak and gave the Blues a 1-0 lead.

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Pekka Rinne a Lock For NHL First Star of the Week...

Preds On the Glass March 21, 2010

Rinne was the difference maker again on Sunday as he kept the Predators in position for a huge come back win on the road. While the Preds were not scoring, Rinne was protecting the net so that when the opportunity came, the win streak could be extended to six games.

It would seem that Rinne is a virtual lock for the NHL first star of the week as he has gone 4-0 with two shutouts, a 1.22 GAA, and a .958 save percentage for the week as he extended his winning streak to six and improved his post Olympic record to 8-1.

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Stars Handle Rivermen Easily in 4-1, Perttu Lindgren Scores 13th Goal of The Year

Gagnon Hat Trick Sends Dallas Stars Past the Peoria Rivermen
The Raw Feed MLN Sports March 22, 2010

In the third period, the Stars regained their three-goal lead just 1:06 into the final frame. Center Perttu Lindgren blasted his 13th goal of the year past Fallon for a power-play tally and a 4-1 Stars lead.

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Daugavins and B Sens Making Playoff Push

'Desperate' B-Sens edge River Rats: Kinrade's goal decisive in AHL victory
Chris Fitzgerald March 21, 2010

Left wing Josh Hennessy opened the scoring for the Senators as he finished off a give-and-go sequence with left wing Kaspars Daugavins by taking a centering pass in front of the net and chipping a shot over Morrison 5:03 into the game.

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In Lou We Trusts Analyzes Ilya Koavlchuk's Play Thus Far With New Jersey

Ilya Kovalchuk After 15 Games as a Devil: An Analysis
John Fischer March 20 2010

I'd look at the last 15 games as a "growing period" for both sides: Kovalchuk as Devil and the Devils with Kovalchuk on their team. A "growing period" with 12 points and 64 shots on net in 15 games isn't anything to discount. As that time passes, Kovalchuk will be a much more effective player on the ice. Going into the playoffs, that's what I think we should hope and expect out of Kovalchuk - improvement over the last 15 games.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

MVM: Most Valuable Moose, Hedberg Continues To Look Strong

Still some fight, life left in Thrashers after 6-3 win over Sens
Bill Tiller AJC March 19 2010

Johan Hedberg faced 39 shot on his goal…and one to his jaw when Jarkko Ruutu knocked him over in the crease chasing the loose puck. The play resulted in one peeved Moose as the goalie had to be held back from trying to…ahem…discuss the matter with referee Stephane Auger.

“He couldn’t get back to the net and was elbowed in the face”, coach John Anderson quipped after the game. “Other than that, the ref said it was a good hockey goal”.

As the play happened, I couldn’t help but remember a goal that was disallowed last week that would have tied the game against Nashville. The refs waived it off because it was ruled Armstrong …no, it was Thorburn…interfered with the keeper, not allowing him to play the puck. But that play was nowhere near as egregious as this one.

With the win, Hedberg moved his season record to 18-13-52.69 GAA and .914 SV%.

I ask you, where would we be without the Moose right now? I’ll tell you where we wouldn’t be…we wouldn’t be just 3 points away from the playoffs with 12 games left to play, that’s for sure.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pekka Rinne delivers a shootout win

John Glennon THE TENNESSEAN March 17, 2010

It took the Predators just seven shots on goal to build a two-goal lead over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

They spent much of the rest of the contest admiring goalie Pekka Rinne's work.

Rinne, the NHL's reigning third star, turned away 42 shots and all three Philadelphia shootout attempts to guide Nashville to a 4-3 shootout victory in front of an announced crowd of 16,585 at Bridgestone Arena.

"Pekka kept us in it all game,'' Preds captain Jason Arnott said. "It was not one of our best games, by far. We didn't do the right things … People can say it was an ugly win, but we'll take the two points.''

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ROI, Mikael Samuelsson Giving Vancouver Their Return On Investment

Samuelsson shines
Chris Nichols March 17, 2010

After two straight 40-point campaigns in what was generally a third line role with the Detroit Red Wings, it was thought that Mikael Samuelsson would be able to raise his offensive output after signing with the Vancouver Canucks in the off-season and moving into the top six forwards. 69 starts for the Swedish veteran later and he's certainly making the three-year, $7.5M investment by the organization look smart.

Samuelsson is currently riding a seven-game point streak that includes nine goals in that stretch with 13 straight games registering at least two shots. He's been a great roster addition for poolies in standard leagues this year and his 10 points last week earned him first star honours from the NHL.

He's already set a new career high for goals (30, which beats his '05-6 total of 23) and points (53, which tops the 45 he had that same season). He also has a new career best in PIM (52 now compared with 50 last season) and if he can manage another seven assists before season's end then he'll have a new mark there as well.

The Vancouver Province notes that he has also made his teammates more accountable.

"In the organization before here, the best players worked the hardest and there was really no secret to it," said Samuelsson, who has nine goals in his past seven games and 20 in 30 games since the Olympic slight. "They weren't the most skilled, but it was will over skill and that really set the bar for other players.

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Hedberg Saves 29 in 4-3 Win Over Ryan Miller and Buffalo

Thrashers rally for win after chasing Miller
Chris Vivlamore The Atlanta Journal-Constitution March 17, 2010

They scored three first-period goals and chased the NHL’s top goaltender five minutes in, but they later had to rally for a 4-3 victory over Buffalo on Tuesday night at Philips Arena. The victory came after the Thrashers twice blew two-goal leads. In the end, the win snapped a six-game losing streak and kept the team’s playoff hopes alive.

...Hedberg finished with 29 saves. Lalime stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced after entering the game.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Classic Video: Sergei Shirokov 2nd Goal of The Night September 4, 2009 User: CanucksHD

Salmela and Devils To Wear Red and Green on St. Patricks Day

Devils wear green pants and red helmets during optional practice
Richard Chere The Star Ledger March 16, 2010

A small group of Devils players practiced Tuesday and wore the original color pants, socks and helmets that the team will wear in Wednesday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Those players who took part in the optional workout wore green pants, red helmets and red, green and white striped socks. They wore either red or black practice jerseys and not the sweaters that will be used in the game.

Although some, including Patrik Elias, commented that the original colors make the Devils look like a Russian team or Belarus, the uniforms look great. With the original jerseys they will look even better Wednesday night.

Paul Martin, Andrew Peters, Anssi Salmela, Martin Skoula, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Yann Danis, Mark Fraser and Vladimir Zharkov were the only players to take part.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Classic Video: Mikael Samuelsson 1st Career Hat Trick User: CanucksHD

Samuelsson, Stempniak and Rinne named '3 Stars'

Mikael Samuelsson was disappointed at not being named to Sweden's Olympic team. He's taking out his frustration on the Vancouver Canucks' opponents.

At age 33, Samuelsson is having a career season, including a week that saw him get his first NHL hat trick and finish with 6 goals and 10 points in four games to help the Canucks go 3-0-1 while completing the longest road trip in NHL history and returning home with a pair of victories. That effort earned him NHL First Star of the Week honors.

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Mikael Samuelsson named NHL's 1st Star of the Week

Pekka Rinne named NHL's 3rd Star of the Week


Riku Helenius Leading Sodertalje

European Game Day

Bolt Prospects March 13, 2010

Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, Win, 29/30, 1.00 GAA, .967 sv%
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-2-2, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%

Riku Helenius and Sodertalje completed their regular season with a solid 3-1 win against Farjestads. Ex-Kings prospect Yanick Lehoux had a pair of goals in the match. Sodertalje finished 11th in the 12 team Elitserien. They'll now await the start of the Kvalserien till Elitserien relegation/promotion series on March 21st where they'll face some of the best teams from the second tier Allsvenskan. Sodertalje had to play their way into the Elitserien last year, too, so this is nothing new for their fans. The series will run for 10 games until April 11th, so Helenius' season isn't over yet. Thus far though, his decision to jump into Swedish hockey has been successful. It remains to be seen, though, if it's been successful enough for him to have played his way back into the Lightning's plans.

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Pekka Rinne Has Been Sensational

NHL March 14, 2010

Nashville’s man behind the plastic mask got paid in late February, signing a two-year $2.8 million extension with the team, and he’s performed like his worth every penny since.

In four games after the ink dried on the contract, Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is 3-1-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average. He is coming off a 31-save, shutout performance on Friday over the Ducks.

"He's been a great goalie ever since he's been here," said Shea Weber. "Obviously, the organization wants him for the long run. They showed that by signing him, and he's been rewarding them with his good play.”

Sammy Continues To Light The Lamps

Rangers ground Flyers
The Associated Press March 13, 2010

Canucks 5, Senators 1: Mikael Samuelsson scored his 29th and 30th goals of the season and added an assist, and Vancouver returned home from an NHL-record 14 straight road games to beat Ottawa.

Mikael Samuelsson has 30 Goals & 53 Points for Vancouver this season, 9 Goals and 13 Points in his last 7 games

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Binghamton Senators Cruise Past Portland Pirates in 6-2 Win, Daugavins Scores 17th

B-Sens blast Pirates
Dan Hicklings, March 13, 2010

Reaching beyond its station as bottom-feeders in the East Division, the Binghamton Senators handed the Portland Pirates a 6-2 thumping on Saturday at the Cumberland County Civic Center....

Six different Senators scored, while goaltender Mike Brodeur made 22 stops to give the B-Sens their fifth road win in their last six attempts -- all within the last 11 days.
Geoff Kinrade, Kaspars Daugavins, Zach Smith, and Jason Bailey were Binghamton's other goal scorers

Kaspars Daugavins has 17 goals and 40 points for the Amerks this season

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Kovy Being Kovy: 12 Points in 12 Games With Devils March 14, 2010

Ilya Kovalchuk has five goals and 12 points in 12 games with the Devils.

Dadonov Connects For 14th Goal of The Season In 2-0 Win

Amerks Win 9th Game of the Season vs Crunch

Keith Wazniak, March 14, 2010

It only 65 seconds for the Amerks to take a 2-0 lead thanks to Evgeny Dadonov for tipping in a pass from Daniel Steiner. Chris Taylor had been chasing down the puck and he over skated it along with the Crunch defender following him. The puck was just sitting there for Steiner to make the pass to Dadonov.

Evengy Dadonov has 14 goals and 33 points for the Amerks this season

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Volchenkov Could Lead Blueline Buzz in Free Agency

Rinkwrap: Hawks paying price for Huet, Will likely buy out or bury big contract
BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency March 13, 2010

Off the glass

Two shot-blockers who could be interesting to watch on the market this summer: Phoenix D Zbynek Michalek and Ottawa D Anton Volchenkov. Both are valuable and could get a lot if they hit the open market as UFAs. The price for a shot-blocking, stay-at-home blueliner is $4-$4.5 million. The Senators want to keep Volchenkov and are trying to structure a deal to keep him in Ottawa, but there’s not much chance Michalek will return to the Coyotes ...

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

KuklasKorner: An e-mail Interview with Jay Grossman

I was lucky enough this weekend to do an e-mail interview with a hockey agent that is very much in the know when it comes to our sport - Jay Grossman.

Jay was kind enough to take time out of his extremely busy schedule and tell us about how he got into the game, what players he has represented, a little bit about his company as welel as some thoughts on how teams can succeed in this salary cap world.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
JG: I started representing NHL players when I joined Art Kaminsky’s firm, Athletes and Artists in 1985. I was referred to the firm by A and A clients Herb Brooks and 1984 US Olympic Coach Lou Vairo. I had worked for Herb for 2 years with the NY Rangers from 1983-85 while I was still an undergraduate at Union College. MSG President Sonny Werblin (a family friend, as my sister Leah was born at a Rangers’ playoff game in 1978) and GM Craig Patrick hired me and I developed the Rangers first video analysis program, which was in its infancy and something I had picked up from another great mentor in Roger Neilson, Captain Video. I worked for Roger when he coached the Canucks to the NHL finals against the NY Islanders and worked at his hockey schools for seven summers as well.

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Devils Witnessing Post-Kovalchuk Trade Attendance Boost

When the Devils traded for Ilya Kovalchuk last month, they were aiming to improve their hockey team, not necessarily their attendance marks.

While the results haven't come on the ice in results of wins and losses just yet, it certainly has in the attendance so far.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pekka Rinne earns 4th shutout as Nashville gets critical 1-0 win at Anaheim

Pekka Rinne answered the hopes of Nashville Predators fans by earning his 4th shutout of the season tonight, stopping 31 Anaheim shots as the Preds took a 1-0 win on the road. The win pushed Nashville two points ahead of Calgary in 7th place heading into the weekend.

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Expectations in Jersey exciting for Kovalchuk

Bill Kostroun / AP

NEWARK, N.J. -- Ilya Kovalchuk doesn't require the Vladimir Zharkov shuttle service to and from Prudential Center anymore. That's good news considering Kovalchuk has had to tell his younger Russian teammate to slow his Porsche down a few times.

The Devils left wing finally got his car earlier this week after having it shipped from Atlanta. He also has his own apartment in Hoboken and as soon his wife, Nicole, gives birth (she's due any day now), he will be all set up just in time for the fun to begin.

Kovalchuk has a different air about him as spring gets set to dawn because instead of trying to scratch and claw with the Thrashers just to make early April games mean something, he is scratching and clawing with the Devils so they can secure home-ice advantage and perhaps the Atlantic Division title.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

President Jay Grossman Chats with The 6th Sens

Jay Pandolfo, Anssi Salmela back in for Devils; Mark Fraser will sit

Richard Chere The Star Ledger March 12, 2010

Pandolfo will replace Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond up front while Anssi Salmela takes rookie Mark Fraser's spot on defense.

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The Future: Perttu Lindgren #5 Stars Prospect Spring 2010

Stars Top 20 prospects, Spring 2010
Mike Farkas March 11, 2010

5. (12) Perttu Lindgren, C – 7.0D, Texas Stars (AHL)
3rd round (75th overall) in 2005 – Age: 22

Another player who has spent some time on both sides of the pond is Perttu Lindgren. He has returned from a loan to Lukko Rauma (SM-Liiga) and has suited up once again for the Stars top affiliate. At the three-quarters pole, Lindgren leads the Texas Stars in assists and is one point out from the team lead in points. He saw spot duty in one NHL game this season.

Lindgren is an adept passer and possesses excellent hands. He has seen some time on the left wing this year but is rarely used on the top line; he collects many of his points on the man advantage. With Lindgren back in North America and producing at a high level, he should get a strong look in Dallas’ camp next summer.

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Classic Video: Anton Volchenkov HIghtlights User: volchossa

Canucks Heating Up, Samuelsson Part of Top 5 Reasons Why

Jason Botchford The Province March 12, 2010


You couldn't help but wonder if somewhere Team Sweden head coach Bengt Ake Gustafsson was

watching Mikael Samuelsson's elsson's dynamic performance and muttering the name Mattias Weinhandl under his breath during the past few games. Gustafsson chose to go with Weinhandl over Samuelsson at the Olympics and it cost him. Now, head coach Alain Vigneault faces his own dilemma. What long-term impact will it have on his team by keeping Samuelsson with the twins?

and the Sedins have been terrific together, but the reunited Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows have not.

The greatest strength of the Canucks this season has been the depth and consistency of their top six forwards.

They've had two lines all season which have pressured, produced and created off the rush. Separately, Kesler and Burrows have been a huge part of it.

They have been at their best apart, on lines surrounded by creative playmakers.

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Anssi Salmela and Devils D Hope to Shut Down Penguins Crosby

Devs eye shutting down Crosby, Pens
Mark Everson The New York Post March 12, 2010

That defense, widely regarded as the team's weak link, will be tested again tonight when Olympic champ Sidney Crosby and the Stanley Cup champion Penguins visit Newark, seeking their first victory in five tries against the Devils this season....

Colin White, Bryce Salvador, Andy Greene, Mike Mottau, Anssi Salmela, Mark Fraser and deadline acquisition Martin Skoula are Lou Lamoriello's final product this season, until Paul Martin finally returns from his broken arm in another 7-10 days.

"They can [win a Cup], but they will have to play at their best. They'll have to compensate in other ways for what they can't do," Lemaire said of his defense....

Yet something cumulative is going on, they say, the sum being greater than the parts.

"Individually, we're not going to 'Wow' anyone, but there's an intangible we have," said Mottau, determinedly soldiering on, manning the more difficult and thankless right side Lamoriello failed to fill and no one else wants, enduring the painful criticism that comes.

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It’s a block party for Volchenkov: Next blocked shot will be Sens defenceman’s 1,000th

Bruce Garrioch Slam! Sports March 12, 2010

The Senators’ stay-at-home defenceman went into the game against the Flames needing one blocked shot for 1,000 in his career.

Volchenkov blocked No. 999 against the Oilers in Tuesday’s 4-1 win. The NHL started counting the statistic following the 2005-06 season. Pretty impressive numbers.

“(Volchenkov’s) a pretty special guy. He’s probably the goalie’s best friend,” Senators netminder Pascal Leclaire said before the Calgary game. “I’ve never really played with a guy like that, except Adam Foote was a little bit like that in Columbus. Those guys put their body on the line all the time.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kovalchuk's Impact Goes Beyond Scoring

Dave Lozo, March 11, 2010

That's not to say he's been a non-entity with the Devils. He has 8 points in 10 games and 3 goals in his last six contests. And when he's not scoring, he's clearly receiving the attention of defenses and freeing up opportunities for others.

If the Devils consistently can produce offense from a few different sources the way they did Wednesday and not lean so heavily on Kovalchuk, it could be the formula for a deep playoff run.

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Classic Video: Anton Volchenkov Skills February 2008 User: SensDagwood

Salavat Superior: Alexander Radulov Piece To Gagarin Cup

IHF "Salavat superior again: KHL regular season winners want to erase last year’s failure", March 10, 2010

They captured the KHL regular season title for the second year in a row. But it’s not the time for celebration. There’s much work to do.

Memories of last year’s failure immediately pop up in people’s mind. Salavat Yulayev Ufa faced a hard reality check in the first round of the playoffs when the top seed was eliminated in the first round by 16th-seeded Avangard Omsk....

They clinched a playoff spot on the very last day of the regular season and that is already more than it was expected from Sykora’s squad. The difference in quality however can be illustrated by the fact that Salavat Yulayev’s Alexander Radulov and Patrick Thoresen almost had as many goals, 24, as Avtomobilist’s top scorer Alexander Gulyavtsev had points, 28.

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Anton Volchenkov: Hockey's "Moneyball" Player

Check out this great article by Sylvain St-Laurent of regarding Anton Volchenkov's block shots record and how block shots have become a legitimate statistical category in the hockey world.

Please note that the excerpt below is an English translation of Mr. St-Laurent's original work.

Statisticians of the National Hockey League have begun to recognize the blocked shots in a serious and strict at the beginning of the 2005-2006 season, the return of the long lockout.

Four and a half years later, the first player will soon "be proud" of having been struck by a thousand slices.

Anton Volchenkov blocked the 999th shot of his career Tuesday in Edmonton.

Additional Reading (Original French):

Additional Reading (English Translation): //

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Samuelsson bails out leaky Luongo: Scores Hat Trick

Associated Press March 10, 2010

Jannik Hansen put his body into his winning goal and was thankful for a couple of fortunate bounces.

After all, the puck rattled around and glanced off him and the goalie before finally going into the net for the decisive score in the Vancouver Canucks' 6-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Mikael Samuelsson added his first NHL hat trick for the Canucks, who rallied from a three-goal deficit for their fourth victory in five games.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Devils liking Kovalchuk long-term?

The Fourth Period March 8, 2010

Star sniper Ilya Kovalchuk is starting to get more comfortable with his new team and the New Jersey Devils are starting to think long-term with their newest acquisition.

Kovalchuk, 26, was traded to the Devils last month. He is in the final year of his contract and it was initially speculated he would only be a short-term fix for New Jersey.

In eight games with the Devils, Kovalchuk has picked up three goals and five assists. While the relationship is still early, sources tell TFP the Devils are expected to pitch a long-term contract extension once the season is over.

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Warming Up In The Great North: Sergei Shirkov 4 Points In Last Five Games

The Mattress Line March 8, 2010

Who’s Hot

Goaltender Cory Schneider has a 3-2 record, with a 2.18 goals-against average and a 0.936 save percentage in his last five starts.

Forward Marty Murray has picked up four points (1-3-4) in his last four games.

Forward Sergei Shirokov has picked up four points (2-2-4) in his last five games.

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Canucks 2010 Success Due In Part To Mikael Samuelsson

Ben Kuzma, The Province March 9, 2010

When the Canucks signed Samuelsson and traded for Ehrhoff in the offseason, they did more than plug gaping roster holes. They acquired players who arrived from winning organizations in Detroit and San Jose, respectively, franchises where the performance bar was set high. On an individual basis, Samuelsson and Ehrhoff had a reputation for supreme fitness and that dedication played out last fall as they topped training-camp testing. It also sent a ripple through the dressing room and that level of accountability is a credit to management seeking skill and substance to strengthen roster.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Kaspars Daugavins Scores 16th Goal of The Year in 4-1 Win

The Binghamton Senators brought an end to their eight-game winless streak with a 4-1 win over the Lowell Devils on Wednesday at the Tsongas Center. Winger Karpars Daugavins scored his 16th goal of the season in the 1st period. The Latvian native now how 36 points for the season.

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Classic Video: Ilya Kovalchuk's 1st Goal as a NJ Devil (On Pekka Rinne)

From User: DevilsHQ

Sens Poised To Win By Not Making Deadline Move

NHL News (Blog) "Silent Sens aving noise for playoffs" March, 8, 2010

The lack of deals Wednesday could be also be good news to the Senators when it comes to their ability to retain one of their most-prized assets in defenceman Anton Volchenkov. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the season...With Volchenkov and the addition of Sutton from the New York Islanders, the Senators now have two of the league’s top shot-blocking defencemen.

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Texas Showdown: Lindgren Assists in 4-3 Win Over Houston

Saturday night featured an old "Texas showdown" as the Texas Stars faced the Houston Aeroes. The Texas Stars (35-22-3-4, 77 Points) defeated the Houston Aeros (29-28-6-2, 66 Points) 4-3 on Saturday night in front of 6,110 fans at Cedar Park Center. Center Perttu Lindgren notched an assist in the win, his third of the season.

Johan Hedberg has taken over Atlanta's starting goalie duties March 8, 2010

Johan Hedberg has taken over Atlanta's starting goalie duties.
Hedberg has started 10 of the past 13 games for Atlanta. He is 6-2-2 during that stretch with a 2.44 GAA.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Shirokov's goal helps Moose eke out OT win over Griffins

The inconsistent Manitoba Moose are back on the winning track.

The Moose snapped a two-game losing streak with a 2-1 overtime win over the Grand Rapids Griffins in AHL action on Saturday night at Van Andel Arena. Mario Bliznak, celebrating his 23rd birthday, potted the winner with 1:05 left in the extra frame.

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Evgeny Dadonov's 2 goals help Amerks cruise past Adirondack

Michal Repik scored two goals in the third period and Evgeny Dadonov added two goals, including the winner, to lead the Rochester Americans to a 5-2 victory over Adirondack Friday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

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Getting to know ... Anton Volchenkov

The Volchenkov File

Born: Moscow

Age: 28 (Feb. 25, 1982)

Marital status: Married

Size: 6-1, 226 pounds

Position: Defence, No. 24

Previous teams: Binghamton Senators (AHL), Soviet Wings (Russian Super League)

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Hedberg and the New-look Thrashers win an easy one

They got three goals from players who joined the team in the past four weeks, including one each from two players making their Thrashers debut, en route to a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night at Philips Arena.

The win was the second consecutive for the surging Thrashers, who are 4-0-2 in the past six games. It was the first time they’ve won back-to-back games in regulation since Jan. 26 and 28.

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Amerks Raise Close To $4,700 For Tuite Family

(Rochester, March 4)... A crowd of people swarmed the front of Shamrock Jack's Wednesday night to get a look at the restaurant's four new employees. Decked out in green Amerks T-shirts, complete with their numbers and a shamrock, Tyler Plante, Steve MacIntyre, Luke Beaverson and Evgeny Dadonov of the Rochester Americans took food and drink orders to raise money for an education fund for the Tuite family.
"Those guys are great," said Shamrock Jack's co-owner Mike Petzing. "They are entertaining on and off the ice. They had fun but took it very serious and interacted with the kids that showed up for autographs. They are a great group of guys with big hearts."

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

The A-Train

The face of a real hockey player...

Can you come up with a great caption for this photo?


Yesterday after the match San Jose vs. New Jersey on of the leaders of the Devils and the Russian national team Ilya Kovalchuk shared his views on the failure at the Vancouver-2010.

"It is very hard to speak about the Vancouver Olympics at the moment for the wounds are still fresh and have not covered yet," said the first star of the yesterday’s NHL match.

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Volchenkov and Sutton Give Senator's two of NHL's top-five puck stoppers

Don Brennan Slam! Sports

At the Olympic break, Sutton was not only 22nd in the league in hits delivered but also second with 153 blocked shots. He and Anton Volchenkov give the Senators two of the NHL’s top-five puck stoppers of those who don’t list netminder as their occupation.

Does Sutton’s acquisition mean Murray plans on moving Volchenkov — a UFA-eligible with whom contract talks have stalled — before Wednesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline?

Not very likely. In fact, by adding Sutton and forward Matt Cullen the last few weeks, the Senators are probably done dealing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ilya Kovalchuk Leads New Jersey Devils Past San Jose Sharks 4-3

Canadien Press 3-2-2010

Ilya Kovalchuk scored a power-play goal against Olympic teammate Evgeni Nabokov to cap New Jersey's three-goal second period and the Devils returned from a two-week break by beating the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Ilya has 33 goals and 65 point for the season.

Moose Saves 34 of 36 and gets Win 15 of The Season

The Atlanta Thrashers started their post Olympic playoff push off with a bang. Goalie Johan Hedberg saved 34 out of 36 shots in a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Tuesday's win was Hedberg's 15th win of the season.

Kaspars Daugavins: Hockey Should Be Bigger in US

Mark McGuire, 3-3-2010 "Making a difference in hockey "

Check out Mark McGuire's excellent piece about the hockey buzz post Olympics.

Here's all they need to deliberate: On the first Monday and Tuesday in March, with college basketball reaching a fever pitch and pitchers and catchers in Florida and Arizona and the NBA playoffs and NFL draft looming, people of all backgrounds were talking hockey.

That's right, hockey.

It's a crowded sports landscape across the country, and even here in Albany. To succeed presenting hockey you have to be distinct, do something different, do something that will make the casual fan or even non-fan notice.

"Especially here in the States, there are so many sports that a lot of people don't follow hockey," said Binghamton Senators left wing Kaspars Daugavins, who played for the Latvian national team that went 0-4 in Vancouver. "It should be a little bigger in the States because the NHL is here."

The Olympics opened that door. Still, owners grumble about shutting down the season or risking injuries or fatigue for players in a tournament that doesn't help their teams win the Stanley Cup. The short-sightedness would be stunning if not for the fact the sport has repeatedly failed to market itself successfully.

Sergei Shirokov Gets 19th Goal of The Season In 3-1 Win 3-3-2010 "Great White North not kind to Sharks Sharks bow at Winnipeg, 3-1"

After T.J. Trevelyan scored his 17th goal, the Manitoba Moose scored three unanswered goals and posted a 3-1 victory last night at the MTS Centre. It was the Sharks’ first game in Canada since they moved to Worcester for the 2006-2007 season.

Logan Couture and Benn Ferriero assisted on Trevelyan’s power-play goal in the first period. Sergei Shirokov and Pierre-Cedric Labrie put the Moose up, 2-1, in the second period and Matt Pope concluded the scoring off a rebound at 15:54 of the third. Alex Stalock made 16 saves for the Sharks, who lost their third game in a row. Cory Schneider, a former Boston College standout, made 34 saves for the Moose.

Sergei's goal on Tuesday gives him 19 for the season and 39 total points.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Five hot NHL jerseys of players on new teams

1. Ilya Kovalchuk/New Jersey Devils – Easily the biggest name to be dealt so far and likely for the reason of the season, Kovalchuk brings a scoring touch that even Zach Parise couldn’t provide. This one-two punch makes the Devils who were already a legitimate threat, one of the Stanley Cup favorites. The tricky part will be getting him to stay come free agency.

Check out the other guys leading the pack:

Monday, March 1, 2010

NJ Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk wants NHL players at Sochi Olympics

Ilya Kovalchuk didn't win an Olympic medal in Vancouver, but he'd like to give it another try in four years.Ilya Kovalchuk is among those who'd like to see NHL players take part in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Particularly because the 2014 Winter Olympics will be played in Sochi, Russia, Kovalchuk would like to see NHL players involved once again.

"It's too far away. I know four years is a short time, but it's a long time," Kovalchuk said Monday after practicing with the Devils in San Jose. "I don't know what is going to happen, but I hope everybody's going to go again because it's exciting...

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Murray Playing Russian Roulette With Volchenkov

In the afterglow of an historic Canadian gold medal win, it may be a Russian dilemma that brings Senators fans down to earth again.

Ottawa GM Bryan Murray guested on the local Team 1200 afternoon show and was asked where negotiations were with soon to be unrestricted free agent Anton Volchenkov.

Murray's response was troubling... and brief.

"Nowhere" was his response and what followed was a few seconds of silence. When prodded to say if he would trade Volchenkov if a deal was not in place, Murray said it was something he would consider.

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"Nowhere" With Volchenkov

If you've been wondering where the Senators organization stands in contract negotiations with Anton Volchenkov, Bryan Murray was on this afternoon's Healthy Scratches program on Team 1200 and here is a transcript of his conversation with co-host Steve Lloyd (Ed. note: Murray's dialogue is in bold. Here is the Facebook link to listen to the full conversation.):

"Where are you with Anton Volchenkov?"


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Sergei Shirokov #6 Vancouver Canuck Prospect Spring 2010

Hockey Boards 2/26/2010

6. Sergei Shirokov, LW – Manitoba Moose (AHL)
Acquired: 6th round (163 overall), 2006
10 March 1986, 5’ 10", 175 lbs

Currently second on the Moose in scoring, and for the most part, Sergei Shirokov hasn’t looked out of place in his first professional North American season. However, after starting 2010 at close to a point a game pace with five goals and six assists in 13 January games, it does appear as though he seems to have hit a bit of a wall, as February has proven to be far less fruitful. In eight games so far, the speedy winger has potted only one goal on 14 shots.

Earlier in the season, he was called up and appeared in six games with the Canucks; but his point production went the opposite direction of his promotion, and he was held off the scoreboard. He only managed four shots and was a -4 in his brief tenure.

On a more positive note, he was named to the PlanetUSA All-Star Team for the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic, and scored two goals on two shots in the game. In a nice move, the Russian Hockey Federation invited Shirokov out to Vancouver to take in some of the Olympic action on February 21 and 22nd. It will be interesting to see if being around players of that ilk will impact Shirokov’s play in any way.