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Vasilevskiy shows why Lightning confident in him

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 1:11 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Word started to spread through the Tampa Bay Lightning on the way to United Center a few hours before puck drop.

On the team bus, in the dressing room, from coaches to players, everyone eventually found out the hard truth, that No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop would not be even dressing for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, that 20-year-old rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy would be starting instead.

The reaction was pretty much the same from everyone. It was telling.

"There's not much thinking that goes on other than [Bishop] has been huge for us all year and you feel bad for him that he can't be a part of this," center Brian Boyle said. "When it comes to confidence in our goaltending, it's there for both guys."

That confidence, which the Lightning have emphatically stressed since before Game 3, when there were questions about Bishop's availability, is validated now after Vasilevskiy made 17 saves on 19 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday at United Center.

Lightning say goalie Bishop will play again in Final

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 12:20 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop will play again in the Stanley Cup Final, coach Jon Cooper said Wednesday after Bishop was scratched from Game 4.

Bishop, who has an undisclosed injury, was replaced by rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made 17 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

"[Bishop] is going to play again in this series, there's no question," Cooper said. "I just don't know which game."

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2, with Game 5 at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). Game 6 is here on Monday.

Lightning's Vasilevskiy prepared for Final spotlight

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 12:10 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has already traveled a long road to make his impact on the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

Vasilevskiy, who won Game 2 with a third-period relief appearance, started Game 4 and lost 2-1 to  the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

Vasilevskiy made 17 saves Wednesday after making five without allowing a goal in 9:13 of ice time when Tampa Bay won Game 2, 4-3, on Saturday. Bishop, who has an undisclosed injury, won Game 3 3-2 on Monday.

Vasilevskiy, a 20-year-old Russian, has been working toward this moment for years.

Goalie analysis: Inside Vasilevskiy's 2014-15 season

Wednesday, 06.10.2015 / 8:41 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and has been breaking down the matchups throughout, so with Tampa Bay Lightning No.1 Ben Bishop out for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, we take a close look at 20-year-old rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who got the start.

Much like many goaltending coaches do before a playoff series, correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal he gave up with the help of a program from Double Blue Sport Analytics. The graphics showing where goals went in and where shots were taken from on the ice are nice, but the real value is analyzing the plays that led to them and whether they reveal strengths, weaknesses and tendencies that can be targeted.

Vasilevskiy starts Game 4 for Lightning; Bishop out

Wednesday, 06.10.2015 / 8:20 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Andrei Vasilevskiy led the Tampa Bay Lightning onto the ice for warmups for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final and will start against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Wednesday.

Ben Bishop, who was injured in Game 2 but played Game 3, was not on the ice for warmups and is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, the Lightning said. Kristers Gudlevskis is Vasilevskiy's backup.

Vasilevskiy, 20, was a first-round pick (No. 19) in the 2012 NHL Draft. This would be his first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has appeared three times in relief of Bishop, including in Game 2 of this series when he made five saves and was the winning goaltender in a 4-3 victory.

Blackhawks' Timonen savoring chance to play in Final

Wednesday, 06.10.2015 / 2:22 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Kimmo Timonen spent most of the 2014-15 season not playing hockey, hoping he would recover from blood clots that threatened to end his career before he felt it was time.

When he was ready for a second chance at authoring his own ending to a fantastic career, he wanted to do it with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Timonen hasn't played in Chicago's past five Stanley Cup Playoff games but found out Wednesday that he'll be in the lineup for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, likely replacing Kyle Cumiskey against the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"I'm really excited," Timonen said. "I'm obviously going to trust my experience and my instincts, and try to help the team as good as I can. It feels great. I can't lie to you."

Bruins coach Julien meshing well with new GM

Wednesday, 06.10.2015 / 2:00 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- It's one thing to declare one's devotion to a team and it's another thing to back up those words.

Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien chose to prove his commitment to Boston by waiting out the organization twice -- when the Bruins searched for a general manager and when new GM Don Sweeney took time to evaluate the entire operation -- and it paid off.

Sweeney and the Bruins reciprocated Julien's dedication by announcing last week the coach and his entire staff would be retained to start the 2015-16 season. The Bruins fired GM Peter Chiarelli, who hired Julien in 2007, on April 15 and promoted Sweeney from assistant GM on May 20.

Julien, in his first public comments since the Bruins' front-office shakeup, said Wednesday he was hopeful throughout his wait he'd be given a chance to get the Bruins back on the right track. Julien signed an extension last fall that will start with the upcoming season.

"I said right from the get go when I met with [upper management], I understand the business, you have to allow the GM time to assess and make decisions and he's got to feel comfortable too," Julien said. "So as much as it wasn't a lot of fun or easy, it wasn't frustration. It was more about understanding the situation. I understood it. I spoke with Don quite a few times and we talked about different things. So it wasn't just about one situation, which is the coach, it was about the whole situation of coaches, trainers, everything else. We went through the whole scenario of what was important for him to know. And he had to make some decisions."

Coyotes fielding offers for third pick in NHL Draft

Tuesday, 06.09.2015 / 9:57 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

The Arizona Coyotes have the No. 3 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, one general manager Don Maloney would be willing to trade, for the right price.

"I'm like, 'First-born, second-born, maybe I could use a helicopter to take me to work,'" Maloney said Tuesday. "That would certainly get us to start thinking about it."

Maloney, speaking at Gila River Arena, said he was approached by a few general managers at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo last week about what he would want for the selection. The first round of the draft is June 26 in Sunrise, Fla.

"I was approached by three teams," Maloney said on the Coyotes website. "I had a call right before [this press conference] asking me what would it take to get that pick. … All in all, those deals start being discussed now, and if there's a deal there, it'll be on the draft floor.

"The idea that we're going to trade that pick outright for a player to help us next year, I think that's remote, though you never know. It's probably more likely we trade down if we don't take the pick. We'll see."

Desjardins: Hockey isn't my only passion

Andrew Desjardins - Special to

Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins will be blogging for periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In this edition, he explains his passion for cooking and what he'd like to eat out of the Stanley Cup should the Blackhawks win the series.

CHICAGO -- One of the best parts of living in Chicago is the food. There is great food here.

Since we moved here after I got traded to the Blackhawks in March, my wife Mandy and I haven't been able to really go out and experience it as much as we might have wanted with our five-month old son, Ames, at home. He keeps us pretty busy.

People always ask me about the deep dish pizza, but I've only had it once. I had it at Lou Malnati's, and it was really good. You can only really have one piece of that stuff, but it was an interesting slice for sure.

We've also been to RPM Steak, we've gone to Chicago Cut Steakhouse a few times, I liked Chicago q, the barbecue place, Velvet Taco right near Tavern on Rush, and we really like going to Eataly to eat and shop for groceries.

But honestly, I'm really a home guy and I cook a lot. I do a lot of the cooking around the house. I love it. It's one of my top three passions.

Seven new coaches for NHL teams next season

Tuesday, 06.09.2015 / 7:44 PM / NHL Insider

They have won the Stanley Cup twice and the Calder Cup twice. Two of them are switching teams, two were out of work, two are being promoted from the minor leagues, and one is arriving from college.

They range in age from 40 to 52. One has 1,094 games of NHL experience; one has 602; and three have zero.

There will be seven new coaches in the NHL next season after the Detroit Red Wings filled the final vacancy when they hired Jeff Blashill on Tuesday. recaps the coaches who have been hired since the end of the regular season, in chronological order:

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