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 Posted: Fri Jun 2nd, 2017 08:27 pm
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lobo316
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Marc Savard knows a thing or two about getting your bell rung.

The former NHLer suffered six concussions during his 14-season career, and was forced to retire in 2011 due to his history of head injuries.

So when Savard spoke Wednesday about headshots and how the league should be addressing them, people took notice. Especially when the two-time former All-Star invoked the league's biggest name.

"As I sit here and I think back to the (Sidney) Crosby situation with (Matt) Niskanen - I know it doesn’t look deliberate but it’s still a headshot and I think there needs to be a suspension no matter what whether it’s deliberate or not," Savard said Wednesday, according to Sportsnet's Mike Johnston.

"You still hit the head whether you meant to or not."

Savard also argued that the NHL needs to be making a stronger statement with the number of games handed down for headshot suspensions, sending a clearer message to players that hits to the head won't be tolerated.

"There needs to be time served for that just so players are even more aware so no matter what it’s an area you can’t hit," said Savard. "It needs to start at, I don’t know, seven games. It needs to get up in the big numbers right away so it’s that clear."

Seven games may be a tad extreme, especially for first-time offenders, but Savard may be on to something with his desire for stiffer suspensions.

The NHL has come a long way in terms of player safety over the last decade, but it can still do a better job of protecting its players from serious injury. Implementing mandatory suspensions would go a long way to ensuring that the best players on the planet spend the most possible time on the ice.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 2nd, 2017 08:28 pm
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lobo316
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P.K. Subban stands by his claim that the Nashville Predators will take care of business on home ice.

Following a Game 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that put his team in an 0-2 series hole in the Stanley Cup Final, Subban came right out and said, "we're going to win the next game, and then we'll see what happens from there."

He slept on it, and still feels the same way.

"I feel even more confident now that I've had a night of rest," Subban declared Thursday, per Nick Cotsonika of NHL.com. "There's no question. We're going to win the next game, and then we'll move forward."

The Predators have gone 7-1 at home in the playoffs, and the Bridgestone Arena crowd should give the team a boost.

"You would think ... leaving Pittsburgh without a win, that might shake the confidence," coach Peter Laviolette said. "I can tell you that it doesn't. I just met with the guys. I can see it in their eyes."

Game 3 is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.

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 Posted: Sun Jun 4th, 2017 05:05 am
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lobo316
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Randy Carlyle won't be a lame duck next season.

The Anaheim Ducks signed the head coach to a one-year contract extension through the 2018-19 campaign with an option for 2019-20, the club announced Friday.

Carlyle guided the Ducks to the Western Conference Final after leading them to their fifth consecutive Pacific Division title in his first season back behind the Anaheim bench.

He told reporters on a post-extension conference call Friday night that his new deal was actually triggered by an option in his original contract based on playoff performance criteria, according to Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times.

Carlyle is the franchise's all-time leader in coaching wins with 319 victories in 598 regular-season games, 516 of which came in his first stint with the organization from 2005 to 2011.

The Ducks also announced Friday that assistant coaches Trent Yawney and Rich Preston will also be back next season, as will Todd Marchant, the team's director of player development and special projects.

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 Posted: Sun Jun 4th, 2017 05:07 am
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lobo316
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Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is willing to sit out the first round of this year's draft if the right deal comes along.

With clear and pressing needs on the left side of the ice at both forward and defense, Sweeney would not be averse to trading the 18th overall pick.

"It’s an effort to try and improve our hockey club," Sweeney said Friday at the NHL scouting combine, per Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald. "We have had a number of selections the last couple of years and we feel that they’ll all materialize into very good players for the Boston Bruins and I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t explore what could improve our hockey club now in the shorter term. I owe it to our players and the organization to continue to do that."

The Bruins have made five first-round picks over the course of the past two drafts, but each of those players has yet to make their regular-season NHL debuts.

Defenseman Charlie McAvoy - selected 14th overall in 2016 - was pressed into playoff action this year and is expected to be in the lineup come October, but whether the other four picks - defenseman Jakub Zboril and forwards Jake DeBrusk, Zach Senyshyn, and Trent Frederic - can contribute next season remains to be seen.

"We have areas that we think internally we can address, or we hope to be able to address with the growth of our own players," Sweeney continued. “(But) I want to look for a player who can help us improve our club. There’s a couple of areas that I think we can and that’s what I’d be willing to do. Impact (at left wing), impact on the back end. To me, I want a player that moves our club further along."

Further along would mean building on a first-round playoff exit and returning to the status of Stanley Cup contenders.

According to Cap Friendly, the Bruins have six selections to make in this year's draft, with no picks in the third and fifth rounds.

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 Posted: Sun Jun 4th, 2017 05:56 pm
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freebirdsforever2001
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Nice to see Nashville win last night. Wonder if Eric Young or Rusev & Lana were at the game?



____________________

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 Posted: Mon Jun 5th, 2017 05:25 am
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lobo316
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A possible endorsement deal for Subban ?






It's getting personal in the Stanley Cup Final.

P.K. Subban revealed after his Nashville Predators won Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final 5-1 that he was the victim of a vicious chirp from Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who accused the defender of having bad breath.

"Usually when guys chirp after the game or during the game, it's usually about your game or something personal," Subban said, according to Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski. "(Crosby) went on to tell me that my breath smelled bad, and I really don't understand why, because I use Listerine before the game. I thought my breath smelled great. But at the end of the day, we're just going to take the win and move on."

Three things:

1. Credit to Subban for being the, uh, bigger man.
2. Crosby needs to work on his trash-talking game.
3. If they weren't hockey fans at Listerine headquarters before Saturday night, they sure are now.

Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, meanwhile, came to the defense of his star defenseman.

"P.K.'s a classy guy. He always flosses," Rinne said, according to The Associated Press' Stephen Whyno.

One more thing: Subban's dentist has to be extremely pleased with his dental habits.

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 Posted: Tue Jun 6th, 2017 05:30 am
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lobo316
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New York Rangers winger Jesper Fast underwent successful labral repair surgery on his left hip, the club announced Monday.

His expected recovery timeline is five months.

In 68 games this past season, Fast, 25, recorded six goals and 15 assists, adding an extra six points in 12 playoff contests.

His contract expired at the end of the season, and he's slated for restricted free agency. However, on a Rangers roster chock-full of prominent forwards, Fast is vulnerable for exposure to Vegas in the upcoming expansion draft.

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 Posted: Tue Jun 6th, 2017 05:32 am
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lobo316
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It's never a good idea to give Sidney Crosby a breakaway.

The Nashville Predators did just that and the Pittsburgh Penguins captain made them pay, scoring his eighth goal of the postseason to tie Game 4 at 1-1.

For Crosby, the goal was his first in six games and his first in a Cup Final game since 2009.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 7th, 2017 01:53 am
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lobo316
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Frederick Gaudreau sure is doing his best to earn his own locker with the Nashville Predators with a Stanley Cup Final debut for the ages.

And with Pekka Rinne turning in his best performance in this series, the Predators are going back to Pittsburgh having tied up the defending champs at 2-2, turning this into a best-of-three sprint to the Stanley Cup.

Gaudreau, an undrafted free agent playing just his sixth postseason game, scored the go-ahead goal 3:45 into the second period, and Rinne made 23 often-spectacular saves as the Predators beat the Penguins 4-1 on Monday night.

The 24-year-old rookie only has a chair in the Predators' locker room, but he now is the second player in NHL history to score his first three career goals in a Stanley Cup Final, joining Johnny Harms with the 1944 Blackhawks.

Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg also scored for Nashville, which improved to 9-1 at home.

Sidney Crosby scored his first goal in the series after not getting a shot on goal in Game 3. The goal was his first in the Stanley Cup Final since June 4, 2009 - a span of 12 games. The goal came after he was held without a shot for only the fifth time in his career in the playoffs.

The Penguins now have lost two straight for the second time this postseason. They also lost Games 5 and 6 against Washington. Goalie Matt Murray lost consecutive games for the first time in his young career.

Game 5 is Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

Nashville tapped country singer Dierks Bentley as the latest to sing the national anthem, while country singer Jason Aldean waved the towel to rev up the crowd. Former NBA star and TV commentator Charles Barkley also was on hand, accepting NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's invitation to watch in person.

Rain most of Monday kept the crowd outside from reaching the more than 50,000 who turned Saturday night for the first Stanley Cup Final game in Tennessee. Enough people turned out to fill up Broadway for three blocks with three giant TV screens, even with Nashville opening up a downtown amphitheater for fans to watch.

After the anthem, two catfish and one stuffed penguin hit the ice despite Nashville coach Peter Laviolette's video plea earlier Monday asking fans not to throw anything.

Craig Smith, who had two of Nashville's first six shots, ricocheted a puck off Murray's pads that Jarnkrok tapped in at 14:51 to start the fans yelling. Pittsburgh lost a challenge for goalie interference.

Then Crosby, held without a shot for only the fifth time in the postseason in his career, tied it up for Pittsburgh on a breakaway. He skated in on Rinne, holding the puck before scoring behind the goalie's leg just 66 seconds later for his eighth goal and 24th point of the playoffs.

Rinne kept it tied in the early minutes of the second first with a stop of Jake Guentzel before a big save on Chris Kunitz on a breakaway.

Play was underway when the horn sounded, and officials reviewed a play and ruled Gaudreau's wraparound attempt slid the puck just over the line before Murray stopped it. Referee Dan O'Halloran announced it as a goal, giving Nashville a 2-1 lead 3:45 into the second.

Crosby had another breakaway nearly midway through the period, and Rinne stopped him not once, but twice. Then the goalie slid to his right stopping Guentzel with an assist from Nashville defenseman Roman Josi.

Arvidsson made it a 3-1 Nashville lead with his first goal since the end of the first round. James Neal started the play, getting the puck to captain Mike Fisher who fed the puck up to Arvidsson while falling to the ice. Arvidsson beat Murray under his glove, putting the puck just inside the right post at 13:08.

Forsberg sealed the win with an empty-netter with 3:23 left.

Notes: Fisher, scoreless until the Final, now has four points. He got his fourth on his 37th birthday. ... With his goal, Crosby now has 161 career playoff points and moved past Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe, Al MacInnis and Bobby Smith for 20th all-time by himself. ... The Penguins now are 13-3 after a playoff loss under coach Mike Sullivan, and Murray is 7-1 in playoff games started after a loss.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 7th, 2017 01:56 am
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lobo316
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Charles Barkley and PK Subban pose for a photo, exchange numbers. @PittsburghPG #StanleyCup#StanleyCupFinal #StanleyCupFinal2017pic.twitter.com/UHdibdzT4N
— Steph A Chambers (@StephChambers76) June 6, 2017
Charles Barkley made it known prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final that he wanted to meet P.K. Subban, and he got his wish, sharing a postgame chat and posing for a picture with the victorious Nashville Predators defenseman Monday night.
The pair also exchanged numbers, and Barkley could be heard telling Subban to text him.
Charles Barkley and P.K. Subban share a post-game chat .. pic.twitter.com/PzeBCUL8b5
— John Glennon (@glennonsports) June 6, 2017
After the win, P.K Subban and Charles Barkley having a friendly, animated conversation....https://t.co/cEmZdxc5gS pic.twitter.com/LSMiREK3XY
— Linda Cohn (@lindacohn) June 6, 2017
My man @CharlesBarkIey ! Welcome to #Smashville ☝🏿️pic.twitter.com/hFc94vFvv7
— P.K. Subban (@PKSubban1) June 6, 2017






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 Posted: Thu Jun 8th, 2017 03:16 am
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lobo316
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DETROIT - Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening has had surgery on his left ankle and is expected to be out three to four months.

The team made the announcement Tuesday, a day after he had a procedure for his broken ankle and torn tendons.

Glendening missed the last seven games of the regular season, finishing with three goals and 11 assists. He has 24 goals and 60 points since making his NHL debut with Detroit during the 2013-14 season.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 8th, 2017 03:17 am
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lobo316
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Joel Quenneville is reportedly reuniting with a former teammate.

The Chicago Blackhawks will name Ulf Samuelsson assistant coach to fill the vacancy created by Mike Kitchen's firing, a source told Arizona Sports' Craig Morgan.

Samuelsson was seen as the leading candidate for the role, the Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc reported last month.

The former NHL defenseman served as head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes' AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, this past season, guiding them to a 39-29-7-1 record and a first-round appearance in the Calder Cup playoffs.

He was an assistant coach with the New York Rangers from 2013-16 and associate coach of the then-Phoenix Coyotes from 2006-11.

Kitchen was fired after the Blackhawks were swept out of the first round by the Nashville Predators in April. The move was reportedly made to send a message to Quenneville and didn't sit well with the head coach, who spent seven years with his former assistant in Chicago and several more in St. Louis.

Samuelsson played five seasons with Quenneville as members of the Hartford Whalers from 1985-86 to 1989-90.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 8th, 2017 03:19 am
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lobo316
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Brian Burke went there.

The Calgary Flames president of hockey operations brought up the possibility of relocation Wednesday while speaking to the public at the Canadian Club of Calgary, according to CTV's Chris Epp.

Ok. Brian Burke just said the thing that the Flames said they wouldn't say. Told season ticket holder the Flames could leave w/o new rink.

— CTV - Chris Epp (@CTVchrisepp) June 7, 2017
Burke added that he believes the Flames would be able to find a city to move to, should that be necessary, and said he was surprised the city didn't "say thank you" when the Flames proposed the CalgaryNEXT project.

The club's $890-million proposal for a new multi-sport arena complex was essentially put on life support by city council after being deemed "dead" by Mayor Naheed Nenshi in late March.

Flames president and CEO Ken King made similar remarks in April, hinting that the team needs a new facility to stay in Alberta.

"There would be no threat to move," King said at the time. "We would just move and it would be over. If people smarter than us, in more powerful positions than ours, don't feel that we're a critical piece of the social, economic, and cultural part of our city, than who are we to argue with that?"

Other than the renovated Madison Square Garden, and now that the Detroit Red Wings have bid farewell to Joe Louis Arena, Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome is the oldest building in the NHL, having been built in 1983.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 8th, 2017 03:20 am
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lobo316
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Going six games without a goal is normal for some, but for the likes of Phil Kessel - one of the purest snipers in the NHL - it's an eternity.

At least it feels that way, as the magnitude of the Stanley Cup Final drastically ramps up the pressure on the game's biggest players, and the Pittsburgh Penguins need something from their prized goal-getter, who hasn't found the back of the net since a 7-0 rout of the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.


However, Kessel's teammate, Evgeni Malkin, doesn't think the slump will last much longer.

Evgeni Malkin says he expects Phil Kessel to score in Game 5. "It's time."

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 7, 2017
For what it's worth, Malkin's previous prediction came following Pittsburgh's Game 6 loss to Ottawa, when he stated the Penguins would "go back home and win the last one." We all know how that turned out.

During his dry spell, Kessel's managed 16 shots on goal and two assists, but he can put all that behind him with a big Game 5 on Thursday.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 8th, 2017 03:20 am
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lobo316
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PITTSBURGH - Somewhere between the catfish lobbing, A-list national anthem singers, Carrie Underwood's forgetfulness, Charles Barkley's surprise cameo and P.K. Subban's breath, there's been another notable development during the Stanley Cup Final:

A series has broken out. Perhaps the seeds of an upset, too.

A week ago, the Nashville Predators headed home down 2-0 to the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Pekka Rinne's game seemed to be in tatters and the Penguins fan base was musing whether it preferred a clean sweep or just a split of the two games in Nashville so the defending champions could raise the Cup on home ice.

So, about that.

The vibe inside PPG Paints Arena for Game 5 on Thursday night figures to be more anxious than anticipatory after the Predators evened the series at 2-2 with a pair of vintage performances on home ice that sent ''Smashville'' into a frenzy and delivered a very clear message that the first-timers are a clear threat to become first-time winners.

Through four games, Nashville has more goals, more shots on goal and a bit more swagger than Pittsburgh. What began as a two-month slog to the Cup is now a three-game dash, one that appears to be a coin flip. The Penguins have the experience. The Predators have the momentum. Both are fighting fatigue with adrenaline.

''I know people talk about how we're tired, but believe me, they're tired too,'' Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin said. ''It's not only us tired. It's only three games left. We're not talking about being tired.''

Maybe, but Nashville appeared a step quicker in its home building, pouring in nine goals and handing Penguins goalie Matt Murray the first back-to-back playoff losses of his young career. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan isn't concerned about Murray. He's not really worried about the 190 feet in front of Murray, either. The Penguins have come within two games of the first team to capture consecutive Cups in nearly two decades due in large part to their resiliency.

And while captain Sidney Crosby says the ''desperation level'' will ramp up, Sullivan was quick to point out the term doesn't mean what you think it means.

'''Desperate' is a funny word for me because it gets thrown around our game a lot,'' Sullivan said. ''It always has a connotation of hopelessness. I don't believe that's the word that we want to use to describe our team. I think we've got to play with urgency. I think we've got to play determined. I think we have to play with conviction. I think when our team plays that way, we're at our very best.''

Pittsburgh is just 7-7 over its last 14 games and has been limited to just one goal in six of its past 11 - including the two losses in Nashville. Still, Pittsburgh is pretty good in the house that owner Mario Lemieux built. The Penguins finished with the second-best home record in the league and have ripped off five straight victories on home ice since Ottawa stunned them in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, including the first two games of the Cup final when they needed just 36 shots to beat Rinne eight times.

Funny, Rinne hardly looked rattled back home, holding Pittsburgh to just two goals combined as Nashville rallied to tie things up in front of a giddy home crowd that included Underwood, who was so caught up in Cup fever she overlooked husband Mike Fisher's 37th birthday. Not that Fisher or his teammates keeping track anyway. Not with the ultimate prize so close at hand.

When the playoffs started in mid-April, the Predators were the last team in. Now they're two victories away from a title few saw coming. At least one of those wins will have to come in Pittsburgh, where Rinne has never won a game.

Maybe it's fitting considering the 19-season journey they've taken to get to this point. They'll take their chances.

''We have no home ice, we knew that coming in,'' coach Peter Laviolette said. ''We have to win a road game. There's no other way around it.''

The Predators are 5-5 when forced to wear the road whites, including a Game 5 victory against Anaheim in the West finals. Save for a pair of flurries (one at the end of the first period in Game 1, the other at the beginning of the third period in Game 2) Nashville has been every bit Pittsburgh's equal.

''I think we're going to expect their best hockey in their rink,'' Predators forward James Neal said. ''I think both teams have gotten better throughout the series and that's expected. It's going to be a battle going in there and we need to steal one in their arena.''

Do it and they might not steal a title, but earn one.

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