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Posted On Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 8:03 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - NHL Awards Blog presented by GEICO

Gillis named top GM

For building the team that won the Presidents' Trophy, Vancouver's Mike Gillis was given the General Manager's Award.

Gillis built the most successful team in Canucks' history; this year's team finished with 117 points and became the first team in 33 years to lead the NHL in offense and defense.
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Posted On Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 7:47 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - NHL Awards Blog presented by GEICO

Bylsma wins Jack Adams Award

He didn't lead his team to the Stanley Cup as he did two years earlier, but Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach.

The Penguins came in fourth in the East with 106 points, barely failing to overtake Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division title, despite not having Jordan Staal for most of the first half of the season and playing without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for the second half.

Bylsma beat out Vancouver's Alain Vigneault, who led the Canucks to the Presidents' Trophy, and Nashville's Barry Trotz
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Posted On Saturday, 06.04.2011 / 10:59 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

2011 has most OT games since 2003

The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks ended Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final even at 2-2, producing the 22nd overtime of this year's playoffs.

It's the most overtime games in a single playoff year since 22 of the 89 games played in 2003 went into overtime, and is tied for the third-highest total in playoff history. The 22 OT games in 2003 included Games 3 and 4 of the Final, both of which were won by Anaheim at home against New Jersey.

The record for most overtime games in one playoff year is 28, set in 85 games in 1993. The 2001 playoffs are next with 26, in 86 games.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:37 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Desperation level grows

The Bruins have nursed their 1-0 lead past the midway point of the third period. Montreal has had a tough time generating consistent pressure – the Habs have just six shots on goal with 9 minutes left.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:20 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Bruins grab lead on "broken" play

When is a broken stick a good thing? How about when it winds up setting up the opening goal in a playoff game.

Boston's Patrice Bergeron snapped his stick like a piece of kindling as he tried to one-time a passout – but he wound up banking the misfire off the skate of Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban right to teammate Brad Marchand, who put it into a half-empty net at 4:33 for the game's first goal. Carey Price had no chance.

How big is the first goal? Consider that teams scoring first in the playoffs have won 31 of 37 games – although one of the six losses was Montreal's 5-4 OT loss in Game 4, a contest the Habs led 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:11 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Third period under way

The pace was frantic in the opening minutes of the third period, with each goaltender being tested.

After the Bruins had a good rush broken up, Montreal captain Brian Gionta snuck past the defense and got off a good backhander, only to be denied by Tim Thomas. Play came back the other way, and Carey Price had to make a good stop on a blast from the high slot by Boston captain Zdeno Chara.

Things calmed down slightly, and with 17 minutes remaining, we were still scoreless.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:04 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Ovi to the left, Ovi to the right

A couple of thoughts from the first two games as we wait for the drop of the puck to start the third period in Boston.
  • What could be scarier than Alex Ovechkin as a left wing? How about Ovi as a right wing? He spent most of Saturday's series-clincher playing on the starboard side, and as Corey Masisak notes, Ovechkin was playing on the right side when he scored the series-winner.
  • The best news for Tampa Bay in its 8-2 rout of Pittsburgh was the re-emergence of Steven Stamkos, who broke out of a scoring slump by getting a pair of goals and a primary assist. Alan Robinson notes that coach Guy Boucher feels Stamkos “figured it out” in Game 4. That may be, but for the first time in the series, he was a factor in Game 5.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 8:51 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

40 minutes, no goals

We're through two periods in Boston, with just as many goals on the scoreboard as there were at the opening faceoff – none.

The physical play is ratcheting up as the time goes on – think of jacks-or-better poker when no one can open for a few hands. Boston's Brad Marchand had a chance with just under a minute to play in the second when he slid past the defense but couldn't jam the puck under Carey Price's pads. The ensuing scrum featured the site of super-sized defenseman Hal Gill of Montreal exchanging shoves with munchkin-like forward Mark Recchi of Boston.

The Bruins outshot Montreal 9-6 in the second period and own a 21-16 margin through 40 minutes. But where it matters most, neither team has been able to get rid of the "0" next to its name.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 8:50 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Martin looks for more pressure

Midway through the second period and no score. The tempo is still high, but not as frantic as both teams become more cognizant of not making mistakes.

"The key for us try to get more pressure and spend more time in offensive zone," Montreal coach Jacques Martin told Versus' Darren Pang after a TV timeout.

Not more than a minute later, Tomas Plekanec had a great chance for the Habs when he snuck in from right wing. But Tim Thomas came across to meet him and wound up sliding halfway to the side boards with the puck under his pads. Thomas has 14 saves, while Montreal's Carey Price has 18.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 8:19 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Bruins' power outage

The Bruins got their second power play when Travis Moen was called for tackling Chris Kelly 1:53 into the second period. But Montreal nearly scored a shorthanded goal when Jeff Halpern poked the free from Tomas Kaberle to start a 2-on-1 break. However, Halpern opted to pass rather than shoot – only to have a sliding Zdeno Chara block the pass.

The Habs got a second 2-on-1 break during the same penalty, but Thomas broke up a pass and started a 3-on-2 the other way. Still, Montreal killed off the power play, leaving the Bruins 0-for-14 with the extra man through four-plus games.
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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season