Stanley Cup Final
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Analysis: Babcock to face uphill battle with Toronto

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 5:55 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

In deciding to accept the contract offer to become coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, Mike Babcock also accepted the offer to take on the greatest challenge of his career in the NHL.

"I think it is," NHL Network and TSN analyst Craig Button said.

It is because coaching the Maple Leafs at this time is unlike anything he has taken on in his career with the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, or Canadian Olympic teams.


Don Sweeney named Bruins general manager

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 5:30 PM / News

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON – After 15 years as a player for the Boston Bruins and nine seasons in the Bruins' front office, Don Sweeney will have an opportunity to transform the visions of a championship team he has in his head into a reality on the ice.

Sweeney, whose 16-year career as a defenseman also included one season with the Dallas Stars, was introduced Wednesday as the eighth general manager in Bruins history, replacing Peter Chiarelli. Sweeney worked for Chiarelli in several capacities, including the past six as an assistant general manager.

The Bruins missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in eight seasons in 2014-15. Under Chiarelli they won the Stanley Cup in 2011, reached the Stanley Cup Final a second time in 2013 and won the Presidents' Trophy last season. Chiarelli was fired April 15.

Sweeney will be tasked with turning the Bruins back in the right direction.


Chabot: Ducks must stick to their blueprint for Game 3

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 5:08 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Anaheim Ducks during the Western Conference Final series, has enlisted the help of Frederic Chabot to break down the action. Chabot will be checking in throughout the series.

Chabot was the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers from 2009 to 2014. He played in the NHL for five seasons, spending time with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings.

In a three-overtime loss, it's inevitable there will be bounces that don't go your way.

The Anaheim Ducks hit a post and two crossbars during their 3-2, triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final, evening the best-of-7 series at 1-1.

Chicago had its bounces too; one puck bounced off the head of forward Andrew Shaw and into the net, which was ruled a goal on the ice and then disallowed after a video review. The Blackhawks eventually got their bounce in the form of Marcus Kruger's game-winning goal 16:12 into the third overtime.

Bounces tend to even out, but the Ducks played a strong game, according to Frederic Chabot, and don't need to change their plan for Game 3 at United Center on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).


Talbot: Bruins can compete for Cup under Sweeney

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- When Don Sweeney was named general manager of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, CEO Charlie Jacobs called it a new era in Bruins hockey during a press conference announcing the move.

Bruins forward Max Talbot knows what it's like to be on a team when a new general manager is hired. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins when Ray Shero was named GM in 2006. Acquired by Boston prior to the 2015 Trade Deadline, Talbot said the Bruins are ready to compete for the Stanley Cup and it's an exciting time to be a Bruin with Sweeney at the helm.

"The situation I was in with Pittsburgh is a little different than the situation now because it was a GM from the outside," Talbot said. "Ray came and brought a totally new mentality. He rebuilt everything and he was from the outside so he really changed a lot of things.

"Now, Sweeney has been with the organization as a player and in management, so he's seen things and he knows the team. He knows the culture and stuff."


Ducks focus on positives from marathon loss

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 3:46 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks teammates Francois Beauchemin and Kyle Palmieri have different experiences when it comes to marathon games.

Beauchemin played in a quadruple-overtime game in the 2003 Calder Cup Finals.

"It's funny, they made a T-shirt about it because it was the longest game in [American Hockey League] history that we ended up losing, unfortunately," Beauchemin said.

Palmieri played a long peewee game at his home rink in New Jersey.

"It was a little different format," Palmieri said. "I think it went 4-on-4, 3-on-3, 2-on-2, 1-on-1, and I remember losing and I was out there for the 1-on-1. That was probably the longest game before this."

"This" is a reference to Anaheim's 3-2, triple-overtime loss against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday.

Hammond, Senators agree on three-year contract

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 3:30 PM / News

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Goaltender Andrew Hammond, whose remarkable late-season run helped the Ottawa Senators to a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, was rewarded Wednesday with a three-year, $4.05 million contract.

Now the Senators will have to figure out what to do with a crowded crease with Hammond, Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner all under contract for next season.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray said at the end of the season if Hammond signed a contract with the Senators, Anderson or Lehner would be traded to make room for him.

Hammond, whose contract carries an average annual value of $1.35 million, said Wednesday he didn't receive any indication from the Senators what was going to happen in terms of trading a goaltender.

"No, they didn't make any guarantees like that," he said. "It's something that I'm just going to go into camp with the approach that I'm trying to play as many games as I can this year and trying to earn as many starts as I can."


Mike Babcock career timeline

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 2:36 PM / News

A look at the career of Mike Babcock, who was named coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday:

1986 -- Graduated with a degree in physical education from McGill University, where he played defense and served as captain of the hockey team. He also did some post-graduate work in sports psychology at McGill.

1987-88 -- Served as player-coach of the Whitley Warriors of the British Premier League. He had 34 goals and 132 points in 36 games; the Warriors finished two points out of first place.

1988-91 -- Coached at Red Deer College. His team won the Alberta College championship in 1989, and he was named coach of the year.


Foligno named sixth captain in Blue Jackets history

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 2:36 PM / News

Craig Merz - Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Nick Foligno was named the sixth captain in the history of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.

The Blue Jackets had five captains since joining the NHL as an expansion franchise for the 2000-01 season but were without one the past three seasons. That was in part because leaders were still emerging from a crop of young players but also there was the lingering distaste after the past two captains, Adam Foote and Rick Nash, orchestrated trades to get out of Columbus and relinquished their captaincies.

Blue Jackets management took its time in selecting a sixth and Foligno was introduced Wednesday.


Three keys for Lightning, Rangers to winning Game 3

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 1:24 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are confident they can skate with and beat the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final. They proved it in a 6-2 win in Game 2 on Monday.

It was the third straight Game 2 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs that the Lightning have won by a four-goal margin.

The Rangers are confident they can rebound from what captain Ryan McDonagh referred to as a selfish, embarrassing and uncharacteristic effort in Game 2 with a strong performance in Game 3 on Wednesday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

It was the Rangers worst loss since a 5-1 loss to the Lightning on Nov. 17.

"We got beat 6-2, and that's something that doesn't happen to us very regularly," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said, "so I think our guys are going to respond well tonight."


Noel: Blackhawks special teams critical in Game 2

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 12:41 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

For additional insight on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final, has enlisted the help of Claude Noel to break down the action. Noel will be checking in throughout the series.

Noel was coach for the Winnipeg Jets from 2011-14 and interim coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10. He also coached many years in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Noel, a former forward, had 138 points in 353 regular-season games in the AHL and played seven games in the NHL with Washington Capitals in 1979-80.

The Chicago Blackhawks won the special teams battle and received the secondary scoring required for success in the playoffs in a 3-2 triple-overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center on Tuesday.

The victory evened the best-of-7 series 1-1. Game 3 is Thursday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Claude Noel said he felt the Blackhawks were able to immediately dictate play in the early stages after scoring two power-play goals within the first seven minutes of the first period. Chicago finished 2-for-5 with the man advantage while Anaheim went 0-for-5 on the power play.

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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres