Friday, May 28, 2010

The Kovalchuk Effect: Examining What Ilya Kovalchuk Has Brought To New Jersey And How Much He Means To The Franchise

Will Kovalchuk Remain With Devils?
Michelle Kenneth May 27, 2010

There are a lot of dynamics that go into a successful team. For the Devils, Lou Lamoriello makes sure that the person he selects to add to his roster is an individual that he knows will fit into the locker room.

For Ilya Kovalchuk, he seemed to be a perfect fit to the roster. His passion to join a team that could win was more important than the dollars and cents in the end. He proved that by turning down the $101 Million, 12-year contract offer from the Atlanta Thrashers. He also followed it up by telling the press in New Jersey that he wanted to be part of a winning team. He would take a pay cut if that’s what it meant to remain a part of a winning team.

For Devils management, that is music to their ears.

As the rumors are currently running rampant that Kovalchuk already has two KHL offers on the table, it could be just a ploy (by announcing it in the media) to get the Russian more money from NHL teams. Just how much are the Devils willing to pay Kovalchuk to keep the superstar there?

You can look at the stats all you want. You can look at the salary cap all you want. What I’m looking at is just how valuable it is to the Devils to keep the happy Russian on their roster.

The comparison between Kovalchuk and Zach Parise has been made constantly over the past few months. In the dollars and cents category, it’s not Parise that brings the masses to Prudential Center. He never has. In Kovalchuk’s short amount of time with the Devils, the numbers at Prudential Center have skyrocketed. Sales for Kovalchuk Devils merchandise also skyrocketed. It was such a hot item, the words, “Sorry, we’re sold out,” could be heard coming from the lips of various retailers.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Texas Stars Are Heading To The Calder Cup Finals! Perttu Lindgren's Game 7 Goal and Assist Help Texas Beat Hamilton


Texas will play Hershey for the Calder Cup

Hamilton, ONT, Canada – The Texas Stars (12-6) defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs (11-8) 4-2 on Wednesday night in front of 5,121 fans at Copps Coliseum in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. The Stars scored four unanswered goals after trailing Hamilton 2-0 early in the second period, including three goals in the third period alone. Forwards Mathieu Beaudoin and Perttu Lindgren each had a goal and an assist in the decisive Game 7. Texas goalie Matt Climie (5-3) made 41 saves, including 32 in the first two periods, giving the Stars their second Game 7 win this postseason. Rookie Jamie Benn and defenseman Ethan Graham also netted goals in the team’s sixth road win of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Hamilton goalie Curtis Sanford (5-4) stopped 16 Texas shots in the defeat. With the win, Texas will meet Hershey in the Calder Cup Finals.

The first period was nearly scoreless before a late goal by the Bulldogs at 19:51. Aaron Palushaj’s centering pass bounced to center David Desharnais, who carried the puck to the bottom of the left-wing circle and snapped a shot to the Stars net. Texas goalie Matt Climie lunged for the save, but the puck deflected off his stick and into the net for the 1-0 Hamilton lead after one period of play. Desharnais’ tenth goal of the playoffs marked the seventh straight playoff game Hamilton opened the scoring against Texas.

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Alexander Radulov Named KHL MVP of Regular Championship

The League's Finest
KHL May 26, 2010

The ballot for the most valuable player in the regular championship chose Salavat Yulaev attacker Alexander Radulov, and he receives the prestigious Golden Stick trophy.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Draft Profile: Evgeny Kuznetsov

Chelyabinsk, KHL
Position: Center
Age: 18
Date of Birth: May 19, 1992
Place of Birth: Chelyabinsk, Russia

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 175
Shoots: Left

An offensive dynamo, Kuznetsov maybe the best skater from Russia in this year's draft. The 18 year old KHL blue chipper has wowed scouts with his extremely quick and soft hands. The Red Line Report went as far as to say that
Kuznetsov, "Makes highlight reel plays and can kick in the after burners to leave d-men in his dust." The Scouting Report praised Kuznetsov stating the young Russian " ...has the ability to make plays in the offensive zone that very few others can make" and "...could be an absolute gem to pick up".

Draft Profile: Johan Gustafsson

Skare BK, Sweden

Position: Goalie

Age: 18

Date of Birth: February 28, 1992

Place of Birth: Koping, Sweden

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 207

Shoots: Left

Opposing defenders find it mighty hard to beat the keep when Johan Gustafsson is in net. The Koping native is among the best Swedish and international prospects eligible for this year's draft. With great technical skill and agility that of a cat, Gustafsson has a nice blend of size and talent to succeed at the next level. The athletic goaltender is also a very capable stickhandler, only adding to his complete game.

Johan Gustafsson's Complete Stats

Draft Profile: Oscar Lindberg

Skelleftea, Sweden Jr.

Position: Center

Age: 18

Date of Birth: October 29, 1991

Place of Birth: Skelleftea, Sweden

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 187

Shoots: Left

You might not know the name now, but Oscar Lindberg may soon become a household name. Becoming a better overall player as the season progressed, the young Swede impresses scouts with his dependability in all three zones. Even more so, scouts have raved about his very strong play in the face-off circle, leading the J20 SuperElit in best face-off percentage two years in a row. At 18 years of age, Lindberg's future is bright, as teams will be looking to land the kid from Skelleftea.

Oscar Lindberg's Complete Stats

Draft Profile: Adam Pettersson

Skelleftea, Sweden Jr.

Position: Center

Age: 18

Date of Birth: January 13, 1992

Place of Birth: Skelleftea, Sweden

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 186

Shoots: Left

Adam Pettersson's game is as smooth as butter. With excellent skating ability, agility, and creativity, Pettersson has all the tools to become a nice play maker at the next level. In addition, scouts believe Pettersson has the intangibles to preform at the highest level. The do-it-all center from Sweden can also keep his opponents honest with his ability to score goals.

Adam Pettersson's Complete Stats

Draft Profile: Petter Granberg

Skelleftea Jr., Sweden

Position: Defense

Age: 18

Date of Birth: August 27, 1992

Place of Birth: Gallivare, Sweden

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 201

Shoots: Right

Don't let age fool you, despite being one of the youngest players eligible for this years draft (date of birth 08/27/1992), Petter Granberg has all the tools to become a valuable player at the next level. Equipped with NHL size, Granberg has played well this year in Sweden's SuperElit, and only looks to get better over time. Over the past year the "baby faced assassin" has been the talk of many scouts and has been climbing draft boards.

Petter Granberg's Complete Stats

Draft Profile: Frederik Andersen

Frederikshavn, Denmark
Position: Goalie
Age: 20

of Birth: October 2, 1989
Place of Birth: Herning Denmark

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 220

Shoots: Left

The "Big Dane" has caught the eye of many scouts based upon his excellent play in the Danish league. The 20 year old net minder secured the Danish league MVP after posting a league leading .932 SVS%. Big and imposing, Andersen has plenty of international experience under his belt including an upset over the Finland. The 6-3 marvel saved 36 of 37 shots and since then has garnered plenty of attention from NHL scouts.

Frederik Andersen's Complete Stats

Texas Stars Watch Party: Perttu Lindgren And The Stars Battle The Hamilton Bulldogs For The Calder Cup

Texas Stars Hockey May 25, 2010

Wednesday, May 26th come see your Texas Stars take on the Hamilton Bulldogs in Round 3 Game 7 at the Cedar Park Center. The game will be showing in the arena on the jumbotron!

Free Parking, and no entry fee!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Perttu Lindgren & Texas Stars Stay Alive With 3-2 OT Win

Texas Stars Stay Alive With 3-2 OT Win
Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals Is Wednesday at 6:30 PM (CDT)
Dallas Stars May 25, 2010

The Texas Stars defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 in overtime on Monday night in front of 2,613 fans at Copps Coliseum in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Center Aaron Gagnon scored the game-winning goal 18:32 into overtime, tying the best-of-seven series 3-3 and forcing Game 7 on Wednesday night in Hamilton. Goalie Matt Climie (4-3) made 51 saves, including 28 in the third period and overtime combined to preserve the overtime victory. Bulldogs goaltender Curtis Sanford (5-3) stopped 35 Texas shots in his third overtime loss of the playoffs. All of Sanford's overtime losses in the playoffs have been to Texas. Stars forward Scott McCulloch and defenseman Garrett Stafford also scored in the win. Game 7 will be in Hamilton on Wednesday, May 26th at 6:30 PM (CT).

In the first period, Hamilton opened the scoring with a goal at 16:58. Hunter Bishop played the puck to the net from the right-wing circle and Climie made the initial save, but could not control the rebound. Bulldogs’ forward Gabriel Dumont scooped up the rebound and backhanded the puck past Climie for his second goal of the playoffs and a 1-0 Hamilton lead.

In the second period, the Stars countered with a power-play goal at 9:04, tying the game 1-1. Texas worked the puck with quick passes from Perttu Lindgren to Travis Morin, who finally set up Stafford in front of the Hamilton net. The Stars defensman snapped his third of the playoffs over the glove of Bulldogs goalie Curtis Sanford for the Stars goal. Hamilton would score a power-play goal of its own before the end of the period. Bulldogs winger Brock Trotter found defenseman Shawn Belle in front of the Texas net. Belle fired a wrist shot at 17:51 past the outreached glove of Climie, scoring his first of the playoffs and pushing Hamilton back in front 2-1.

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