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(Page 216 of 237)
Latest Headlines

Blackhawks' Saad responded after late benching

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 10:30 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville wasn't going to let it drag on for another minute.

After watching 21-year old Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad steadily spiral downward through the second half of the regular season, the coach of the NHL's defending champion addressed it with four games left. Quenneville, who coached the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup titles twice in four seasons, handled it the same way he has with most players in similar circumstances.

He benched Saad on March 6 for a big game against the St. Louis Blues at United Center, sending an unmistakable message to the player. It didn't matter that top forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were out with injuries.

Saad sat, and the message was received.

"There are elements and there's a process to get to the point where you don’t play," Quenneville said a couple days after Chicago beat St. Louis, 4-2. "It's not like it was just a rash decision."

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Alfredsson to Red Wings brings new playoff turn

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 9:53 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Daniel Alfredsson left behind 17 seasons of memories with the Ottawa Senators, including the last 14 as captain, to chase an elusive Stanley Cup championship with the Detroit Red Wings.

It was a decision which uprooted one of hockey's most familiar faces from the place he'd spent his entire NHL career. It was a life-changing moment, but from a hockey aspect, it made sense.

Alfredsson, 41, was enticed by Detroit's 22-year streak of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the four Cup championships the Red Wings had claimed, including the most recent in 2008, since Alfredsson joined the League.

"That's what you play for, to get into the playoffs," Alfredsson said, after the Red Wings overcame a slew of injuries to clinch a postseason spot for the 23rd straight season. "I played a long time in this League, played a lot of playoff games, but haven't won the Stanley Cup. That's what you dream about. That's the only reason I'm still playing, I guess."

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Bruins, Red Wings ready for first series in 57 years

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 9:50 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

NHL.com

After three decades in a conference populated mostly by teams outside the Central time zone, the Detroit Red Wings moved to the Eastern Conference for the 2013-14 season. Their reward for making the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season is facing the class of their new conference.

The Bruins have represented the East in the Stanley Cup Final in two of the past three seasons, and this season won the Presidents' Trophy for the first time since 1989-90. Boston is an overwhelming favorite to reach the Cup Final for a third time in four years, but Detroit's season-ending surge makes the Red Wings a dangerous first-round foe.

Boston is led by the best trio of down-the-middle players in hockey: goaltender Tuukka Rask, defenseman Zdeno Chara and center Patrice Bergeron. Rask is a favorite to win the Vezina Trophy, Chara should be among a crowded group of contenders for the Norris Trophy, and Bergeron is one of the top two or three choices for the Selke Trophy.

Everything starts with the Bruins' spine and works out from there. The Bruins only wobble of the season came right after No. 2 defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was lost to a major knee injury, but the young defensemen improved and Boston remains the best team in East at possessing the puck and not allowing it to end up behind Rask.

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Sharks, Kings are very familiar playoff foes

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 9:23 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks met last season in the Western Conference Semifinals, with the Kings advancing.

They meet again in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Last season, the teams played a classic seven-game series. The Kings may have advanced, but overcoming the mental and physical fatigue that set in during the course of the grinding, tight and low-scoring victory was too difficult for the Kings.

In the series, the teams played five games decided by one goal, including one in overtime. Games 6 and 7 finished with 2-1 scores with the Kings benefitting from home-ice advantage to win Game 7.

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Devils' Brodeur exits to cheers, unsure of future

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 8:20 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur has been the New Jersey Devils' center of attention since he arrived as a 21-year-old sporting a mustache and a flat-top. It's only fitting that he was again Sunday, this time as a 41-year-old legend in what might have been his final game with the only team he has ever played for in his NHL career.

Brodeur made 16 saves in a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins, the 688th victory of his career, all with the Devils. Afterward, he stood at center ice by himself, his stick raised in the air, saluting the crowd as they chanted his name and gave him a loud standing ovation. He was later named the game's first star, and the fans continued to chant his name throughout an on-ice interview that was barely audible because of the noise.

"You know it was a little emotional," Brodeur said. "These things are hard. I've spent all my life here. A lot of the fans that are out there know me. They think they know me by my name and I feel they know me. They've been calling my name for 20 years. Every time they stop me and talk to me, they're great. I see their kids grow also. It means a lot because it's a relationship that [a person has] with the people that support him. It was definitely fun, but it was a little emotional."

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Stanley Cup Playoffs field set, play starts Wednesday

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 8:20 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

After an eventful Sunday, the field for the Stanley Cup Playoffs is set.

Play gets underway Wednesday night with three first-round games.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who won the Metropolitan Division with 108 points, play Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC). The Blue Jackets assured themselves of the first wild-card spot when they held off the Florida Panthers 3-2 Saturday night in their regular-season finale. Pittsburgh won all five regular-season games against the Blue Jackets, all in regulation.

The Tampa Bay Lightning clinched second place in the Atlantic Division on Sunday with their 1-0 shootout victory against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. The win moved the Lightning one point ahead of the Montreal Canadiens, giving Tampa Bay home-ice advantage in that first-round series. Game 1 is scheduled for Wednesday at Tampa Bay Times Forum (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS). Three of the four regular-season games between the Lightning and Canadiens went past regulation; Tampa Bay went 3-0-1.

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Why the Blues will win the Stanley Cup

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 8:15 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The St. Louis Blues are so serious about winning the Stanley Cup this season that in a blockbuster trade Feb. 28 they gave away a No. 1 goalie for a player widely considered to be a better No. 1 goalie.

It was a smart move by general manager Doug Armstrong because Ryan Miller will be the reason the Blues win the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.

Before the trade with the Buffalo Sabres, which also brought forward Steve Ott to St. Louis, the Blues had enviable depth up front and arguably the best defense corps in the NHL, with an elite top pair of Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester. They even had solid goaltending, but Armstrong found a way to upgrade at that position without damaging the roster by replacing Jaroslav Halak with Miller as part of the blockbuster with Buffalo.

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X-Factor: Sobotka's versatility instrumental to Blues

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 8:10 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Vladimir Sobotka isn't even the most-heralded Vladimir on the St. Louis Blues. But he is the most important.

Sobotka trails behind the still-injured Vladimir Tarasenko in notoriety, but he's as vital to the Blues' chances of winning the franchise's first Stanley Cup as any other forward on the roster because of the role he plays and how coach Ken Hitchcock uses him.

"He absolutely despises losing, and that to me is No. 1 when you look at the character of Vladimir Sobotka," Blues television analyst Darren Pang told NHL.com. "There is no player more grumpy after a bad play, bad loss or a bad effort than Sobotka. He absolutely carries everybody into the fight with him."

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Miller, Blues hope late-season union paves Cup run

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 8:10 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS – On multiple occasions, Lindy Ruff has experienced when goaltender Ryan Miller played above and beyond great to steal a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Ruff, now the Dallas Stars coach, coached Miller while the two were with the Buffalo Sabres for 10 seasons. They paired for some great postseason runs together.

"I still look back when we were heavy underdogs against Ottawa [in 2005-06], and they were one of the best teams in the League," Ruff said of the Senators, who were the top seed in the Eastern Conference. "We ended up winning that series [four games to one]. Ryan played a huge part in it.

"You can be a strong enough team sometimes to overcome average goaltending. I don't think at that time we were, but I thought he gave us a lot of confidence. And then the rest of the way, we knew we were going to get key saves. Our team really played well after that."

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Why the Sharks will win the Stanley Cup

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 7:35 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The San Jose Sharks rocketed out of the gate this season, but that's nothing new. It's carrying that strong play through 82 games as well as two months in the Stanley Cup Playoffs which has been the issue.

But there's something different about this Sharks team. After their 10-1-1 start this season, it never really let up. That kind of staying power through the regular season should carry into the postseason. And that's why, after nine straight seasons of banging on the door, this is the year the Sharks kick it open and win the Stanley Cup.

The Sharks feature one of the deepest, most-skilled forward groups in the League. Joe Thornton, 34, remains the linchpin, centering the top line and producing at his usual top-end level.

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— Defenseman Torey Krug on signing with the Boston Bruins
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