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John Hynes hired as coach of New Jersey Devils

Tuesday, 06.02.2015 / 2:48 PM / News

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- John Hynes was hired as New Jersey Devils coach Tuesday.

Hynes and Devils general manager Ray Shero are familiar with each other from their time in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.

Hynes was coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Penguins, for the past five seasons. He was hired for that job by Shero, who at the time was GM of the Penguins.

Devils will be fast, attacking, supportive, Shero says

Tuesday, 06.02.2015 / 2:22 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Before New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero introduced coach John Hynes at Prudential Center on Tuesday, he spelled out the blueprint for what the Devils will look like under his leadership.

"Since this is really the first time I've had a chance to address everybody here, I think it's important for me to establish and say what I think exactly the identity of this hockey team is going forward," said Shero, who was hired May 4. "There are three things that I think you can identify the New Jersey Devils with moving forward, and that's going to be fast, that's going to be attacking, and that's going to be supportive."

Rangers' Skapski out 4-5 months after hip surgery

Tuesday, 06.02.2015 / 12:19 PM / News

New York Rangers goalie Mackenzie Skapski had arthroscopic surgery to repair a labral tear in his right hip Tuesday, the Rangers announced. Skapski is expected to be sidelined 4-5 months.

Skapski, 20, was called up from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Feb. 4 to back up Cam Talbot after Henrik Lundqvist sustained a vascular injury to his neck. Skapski shut out the Buffalo Sabres on March 14 in his second NHL start to become the first Rangers goalie to have a shutout in one of his first two NHL starts since Marcel Paille in 1957-58. Skapski was 2-0-0 with an 0.50 goals-against average and .978 save percentage in two games with New York.

Goaltender Matchup: Inside Lightning's Bishop

Tuesday, 06.02.2015 / 9:53 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs so broke down the Stanley Cup Final battle between Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. After starting with Crawford, it’s Bishop's turn in the spotlight.

Much like many goaltending coaches do before a playoff series, correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal scored with the help of a program from Double Blue Sport Analytics. Regular-season goals were recorded in their original Save Review System, and playoff goals, including how they were scored, were tracked in the soon-to-launch SRS 2.0. The graphics showing where goals went in and 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.

Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning


Bishop has put himself in the history books during this playoff run by becoming the first goalie to backstop his team to the Cup Final with a road shutout in Game 7 of the conference finals, which Bishop did in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers. He also is the first goaltender with road shutouts in Games 5 and 7 of the same playoff series, and the first to win his first two Game 7 starts, a run that started in the Eastern Conference First Round against the Detroit Red Wings. But Bishop's first playoff experience hasn't all been positive, which is fitting because there are ups and downs that come with being a 6-foot-7 goaltender in the NHL.

D-men Gonchar, Zidlicky want to play in NHL in '15-16

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 11:05 PM / News

Veteran defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Marek Zidlicky each would like to play in the NHL for at least one more season.

"Had a meeting with Marek Zidlicky over the weekend," agent Allan Walsh tweeted Monday. "He is 100 percent committed to playing in the NHL next season."

Zidlicky, 38, had 27 points in 84 games with the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings this season. He had three goals and eight assists in 21 games with the Red Wings after he was traded in early March but no points in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Gonchar, 41, told TVA Sports he intends to play one more NHL season. He had one goal, 13 assists and a plus-6 rating in 48 games for the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens this season.

Farrish: Lightning's Bowness key against Blackhawks

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 9:00 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

In breaking down the coaching matchup in the Stanley Cup Final, former NHL assistant coach Dave Farrish concluded that the X-factor for the Tampa Bay Lightning could be the guy standing next to coach Jon Cooper behind the bench.

Farrish is talking about associate coach Rick Bowness, who was on Alain Vigneault's staff with the Vancouver Canucks during the heyday of their Stanley Cup Playoff rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Canucks and Blackhawks played each other in three straight postseasons (2009-11). Vancouver lost to Chicago in 2009 and 2010 but won their first-round series in seven games in 2011.

"Rick has had a lot of experience in the West with Vancouver, so he's got a pretty good track record," Farrish said. "I'm sure Cooper will be leaning heavily on Rick."

Blackhawks have plan for big goalies like Bishop

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 8:15 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Almost as impressive as advancing to the Stanley Cup Final three times in six seasons is the list of big goalies the Chicago Blackhawks have defeated in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in that span.

The Blackhawks, who will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Cup Final on Wednesday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports), hope to add a new one to the list: 6-foot-7, 209-pound Ben Bishop.

To do so, Chicago plans to stick to its usual game plan, captain Jonathan Toews said.

"I've definitely watched quite a bit these playoffs, and we know [the Lightning are] fast and skilled, they play a good team game," Toews said Monday before the Blackhawks traveled to Tampa. "[Their defensemen join] the play, great goaltending ... we know they don't have a whole lot of weaknesses. I think we'll have to be prepared for that and do as we normally do: talk about making things difficult on their goaltender, getting to him and making them play in their own end."

Five reasons Blackhawks can win Stanley Cup

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 5:50 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

TAMPA -- The Chicago Blackhawks have staked claim to the title of best franchise in the salary-cap era, but four more wins in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs will put them in some exclusive company.

Chicago faces the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, which begins Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). If the Blackhawks prevail, it will be their third championship in six seasons.

Five franchises have accomplished that in NHL history. The Detroit Red Wings were the most recent, winning in 1997, 1998 and 2002. The Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders did so in the 1980s. The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs are the other teams to win the Cup three times in a six-season span.

Chicago nearly had a chance to win three times in five years, but it lost Game 7 in overtime to the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 Western Conference Final and then had to watch the Kings dispatch the New York Rangers in a five-game Cup Final.

The Lightning should be a more formidable opponent. The Blackhawks should still be the favorite. Here are five reasons:

Rangers confident they can contend with core group

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 5:26 PM / NHL Insider

David Satriano - Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers have competed in the Eastern Conference Final in three of the past four seasons, but have yet to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

Despite being older next season, most of the players feel their chance of winning the Cup with the current group is still very high.

"We have the same core guys here for the last six or seven years and built the team around that," defenseman Dan Girardi said Monday. "Just kind of brought guys in the last 3-4 years. It just seems this team jells. We get a couple of guys at the deadline and they just fit right in. … Hopefully we will be able to get a lot of guys back for next year and have another good run."

Lightning acquire Walcott from Rangers for draft pick

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 4:54 PM / News

The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired defenseman Daniel Walcott from the New York Rangers on Monday for a seventh-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Walcott, 21, had seven goals and 41 points in 54 games for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season. He played in one game for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League after signing an amateur tryout agreement, but is unsigned for the 2015-16 season.

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Quote of the Day

In respect to the organization and my teammates, it was the best move. When I look back at my career and all the different things I had to overcome, I have no regrets. It was great.

— Devils captain Bryce Salvador on retiring from the National Hockey League Wednesday