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(Page 82 of 169)
Features

Guelph's Rychel comes full circle at Memorial Cup

Sunday, 05.18.2014 / 10:38 AM / Prospects

Ed Klajman - NHL.com Contributor

LONDON, Ontario – For someone who is technically a Memorial Cup rookie, forward Kerby Rychel has a lot of valuable experience to draw upon when it comes to junior hockey's championship tournament.

The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, selected in the first round (No. 19) of the 2013 NHL Draft, was 11 years old when he attended the last Memorial Cup held in London in 2005. He witnessed an all-time classic when Sidney Crosby played his final games in junior hockey, representing the Rimouski Oceanic, and the London Knights won that franchise's first title led by future Anaheim Ducks star Corey Perry and a number of other players who are now in the prime of their NHL careers.

Four years later, Rychel was in Rimouski, at the Memorial Cup held there, taking morning skates with the Windsor Spitfires. He was able to do that because the Oceanic was and still is managed and co-owned by his father Warren, who played for five different NHL teams over a 12-year career. The young Kerby was overjoyed to see the powerhouse Spitfires win the Memorial Cup that season.

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Goaltender matchup: Inside Quick vs. Crawford

Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 11:34 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the competition intense and so even, the men protecting each goal often are the difference in a series. NHL.com broke down the compelling Western Conference Final matchup between 2012 Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and defending Cup champion Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Much like many goaltending coaches will do before a playoff series, NHL.com correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, used the 360 Save Review System software from Double Blue Sports Analytics to chart every goal scored against each goalie in this matchup this season, and he came to some interesting conclusions about their strengths and weaknesses.

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Guelph tops Edmonton in Memorial Cup

Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 11:06 PM / Prospects

NHL.com

Kerby Rychel and Tyler Bertuzzi each scored two goals to lead the Guelph Storm to a 5-2 victory against the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday at the Memorial Cup in London, Ontario.

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Rout by Rangers brings Canadiens 'back to earth'

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- It is a mantra repeated in locker rooms around the NHL throughout the season. Whether a team has won three straight games or lost five in a row, every team is always trying to find the same equilibrium, and they all use the same terms to describe it.

Never too high. Never too low.

The Montreal Canadiens entered the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers coming off a massive high, beating the archrival Boston Bruins in their building in Game 7 to earn the right to play the game they played Saturday afternoon.

The Canadiens, it would appear, were a little too high.

The Rangers were the sharper team right from the drop of the puck and were rewarded for it in a 7-2 blowout win in Game 1 of the series at Bell Centre, stealing the home-ice advantage from the Canadiens.

"You never want to lose a game, but it's going to bring us back to earth," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "We, as a group, have to be ready to compete and play every night if we want to have a chance to win.

"So we put that game behind us, we've got to move forward, but that's a good lesson."

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Lundqvist earns first win in Montreal in five years

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist skated onto the Bell Centre's frozen stage Saturday for the first time in more than two years with a bleak history to his credit in the Montreal Canadiens' raucous arena.

Lundqvist entered Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final with a 4-5-2 record, a 3.87 goals-against average and .876 save percentage in Montreal. But the Rangers' 7-2 win consigned those bad numbers to the history books.

"I'm going to be honest with you, I felt good coming into the game and, yeah, you guys like to talk about it, you like to ask me about it," said Lundqvist, who made 20 saves in his first start in Montreal since Jan. 14, 2012. "I haven't played here in a while, but it's still the same game. Last time I played here, we had a different team, and I think I've grown as a goalie as well."

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Canadiens GM suggests Therrien will get extension

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin didn't come out and say it Saturday, but he certainly made no effort to hide that coach Michel Therrien can expect a contract extension at the end of this season.

Speaking 90 minutes prior to the Canadiens facing the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at Bell Centre, Bergevin showered his coach with praise while Therrien was about 100 feet away in the dressing room preparing his team.

The hiring of Therrien to return behind the Canadiens bench was one of Bergevin's first moves as GM, and it was hardly met with enthusiasm by fans. However, the lukewarm reaction to the move did not faze Bergevin, and he remained convinced Therrien was the right man for the job.

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Wild's young stars developed through playoff run

Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 2:08 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild's season has been over for a few days but they were still coming to terms with how it ended when players emptied their lockers Friday.

Tied 1-1 in overtime with the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round, Patrick Kane scored the series-clinching goal after a dump-in attempt took a goofy hop off a stanchion behind the Wild net and landed on his stick. Just like that, Minnesota's season was over. Disappointing as the ending was, it was a successful year when the Wild's youngsters made major strides.

"We played some good hockey and it was a great series and it could have gone either way," forward Nino Niederreiter said. "But obviously it's a bitter end."

One thing is for certain: The Wild took a step forward this season, with its prospects leading the way.

"I believe that there are a lot of positives," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "But I also am realistic that it's really hard [to keep improving]. And so we should look forward to that challenge."

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Goalie Bibeau shines for Val-d'Or at Memorial Cup

Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 11:20 AM / Prospects

Ed Klajman - NHL.com Contributor

LONDON, Ontario – Antoine Bibeau didn't make it onto NHL Central Scouting's goalie rankings in the middle of last season.

He was listed as the ninth-ranked netminder when the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted him in the sixth round (No. 172) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

But today, junior hockey's hottest goalie no longer needs to worry about being overlooked.

In leading the Val-d'Or Foreurs to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title with an upset over the high-powered Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Bibeau faced an average of 40 shots per game in the last four contests of the seven-game series. After that onslaught, Bibeau topped his own high playoff standards in the opening game of the Memorial Cup championship.

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Blackhawks, Kings meet again in Western Final

Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 11:15 AM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Shawn P. Roarke and Curtis Zupke - NHL.com

The Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the Los Angeles Kings in five games in the 2013 Western Conference Final on their way to the Stanley Cup. To have a chance to become the first repeat champion in 16 years, Chicago will have to beat L.A. again.

The Blackhawks and Kings, who each finished third in their division, begin the best-of-7 rematch Sunday at United Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

The Blackhawks have been off since eliminating the Minnesota Wild by winning Game 6 of their Western Conference Second Round series in overtime. The Kings had a quick turnaround; Los Angeles flew to Chicago after ousting the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of their second-round series Friday.

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Five players lead chase for Conn Smythe Trophy

Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 10:30 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Conn Smythe Trophy can't be won halfway through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but MVP-type performances go a long way in determining which teams are still competing for the Stanley Cup.

The Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks are still alive in the playoffs because of total team efforts, great comebacks, Game 7 wins on the road and spellbinding individual performances from several star players.

With two rounds in the books, here are five players in contention for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players