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WEEKES ON THE WEB
Posted On Friday, 04.24.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Malkin struggling; Anaheim advances

Each Friday throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four. He will be blogging about four players, teams, series, plays, trends or really four of whatever from the playoffs that have caught his eye.

The end could be near for the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. They're on the brink of elimination in their respective Eastern Conference First Round series, but why and how can they stay alive?

The St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild are locked in a punch, counter-punch series, which is exactly what I thought would happen. But how is it happening? And what might be the difference going forward?

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Penguins, Rangers

Each Wednesday throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kevin Weekes will be offering his pluses and minuses for the teams competing in the game that intrigues him most that night. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

The New York Rangers have had the edge and been the better team in the Eastern Conference First Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it's still only a 2-1 series in their favor and each game has been decided by one goal, so it's closer than it may appear.

The Rangers, though, have a chance to make that illusion go away Wednesday when they play Game 4 against the Penguins at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 2, ROOT, MSG).

If the Penguins are going to avoid going on the brink of elimination before the series turns back to New York they're going to have to make their pluses count and turn their minuses around.

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Posted On Friday, 04.17.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Excited for Game 2s after great Game 1s

Each Friday throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four. He will be blogging about four players, teams, series, plays, trends or really four of whatever from the playoffs that have caught his eye.

There are four Game 2s Friday and each one of them is following a phenomenal Game 1. Here's what I think of what has already transpired in the four series that resume Friday and what I think can and will still happen going forward.

1. Senators-Canadiens

As I said in my blog Wednesday, look for the intensity in this series because of the rivalry. We saw that tenfold in Game 1 with what happened in the Montreal Canadiens' 4-3 win against the Ottawa Senators.

Clearly this thing got sparked by P.K. Subban's slash on Mark Stone. It ratcheted up the heat for both teams. It was a physical game, and what's crazy is these two aren't very physical teams. It's not that they're afraid; they just aren't as physical as some other teams.

This wasn't supposed to be a series between two overly physical teams, but it certainly was in Game 1.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.15.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Senators, Canadiens

Each Wednesday throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kevin Weekes will be offering his pluses and minuses for the teams competing in the game that intrigues him most that night. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

I don't recall a team being on a run quite like the Ottawa Senators were on to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Maybe the New Jersey Devils back in 1988, when Sean Burke came off the Canadian Olympic team and they went on that run to get into a postseason. Maybe that was close to what the Senators have done to get in, but I can't really recall another one in our modern history where it's been the case of a team going on this type of run to get into the playoffs.

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Posted On Friday, 04.10.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Playoff matchups I'd like to see

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs start in less than a week and I'm thinking about potential matchups that I want to see at some point this spring. It doesn't have to be in the first round, it can be in a later round, and here are the top four matchups that I'd like to see that I think are legit:

1. Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

You'd have to watch this series with your seatbelt on. The pace, the speed, tempo would be unreal. Both teams are super-fast. Tampa Bay was able to neutralize Montreal in the regular season because the Lightning are as fast as the Canadiens.

I think the New York Rangers overall are the fastest team in the NHL, but Tampa Bay and Montreal have to be right up there right behind them.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.08.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Bruins, Capitals

Each Wednesday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be offering his pluses and minuses for the teams competing in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game in his Weekes on the Web blog. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has had an amazing season and it's incredible how far he's come from being a good goalie prospect to one of the best goalies in the NHL.

I had to start my blog this week previewing the Wednesday Night Rivalry game at Verizon Center between the Capitals and Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA) with Holtby because he deserves the accolades with 40 wins, eight shutouts, a .922 save percentage and 2.24 goals-against average.

Holtby is so much more in control of his own game now. He's played with more structure in his game this season. He's been remarkably patient and quick. He's getting to the spot early to make a consistent save, a positional, sound save, and if he has to make a secondary save off a rebound he's there. He is not chasing the game as much.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Flyers, Penguins

Each Wednesday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be offering his pluses and minuses for the teams competing in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game in his Weekes on the Web blog. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

The battle of Pennsylvania is a great rivalry.

Every time the Pittsburgh Penguins play the Philadelphia Flyers, it seems Philadelphia has their number for some reason. Quite often, the Flyers' physical play gets the Penguins off their game, so it's key for the Penguins to stay disciplined and play within their game when the two teams play Wednesday at Consol Energy Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA, SN1).

Do they get suckered into it? Do the Penguins stay disciplined and play within their game, or do they get sucked into playing the Flyers' style of game, and become a bit unraveled and take some penalties?

These are teams in different places right now. The Penguins are competing in the Eastern Conference despite some key injuries, and the Flyers have been eliminated from playoff contention. But these games are always intense, no matter what.

Here is my breakdown:


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Posted On Friday, 03.27.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Defensemen making impact out West

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

This week's Friday Four is dedicated to four improving, underrated defensemen who are must watch players in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Western Conference.

Go…

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Blackhawks, Flyers

Each Wednesday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be offering his pluses and minuses for the teams competing in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game in his Weekes on the Web blog. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

When you really sit down and analyze it, it's quite amazing the direction the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers have gone in since they played in the Stanley Cup Final five years ago.

Salary cap constraints for the Blackhawks under general manager Stan Bowman forced them to rebuild their team around a championship core; the result was another Stanley Cup championship in 2013 after back-to-back first-round exits. They are still a premier team in the NHL and arguably the favorite to win the Cup again this season.

The Flyers didn't make the playoffs in 2013, barely got in last season after changing coaches, and won't make it this season, which potentially could prompt even greater changes this offseason.

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Posted On Friday, 03.20.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: 'Hamburglar' has Senators in playoff hunt

Each Friday throughout the regular season, Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

That guy in Ottawa, you know who I mean, plus the banged-up Jets, the newly dynamic Bruins and a goalie who simply needs more pub and more credit in New Jersey. It's all in my Friday Four this week.


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Quote of the Day

It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.

— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6