Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Wednesday, May 28th in the Quest for Stanley.

Detroit and Chicago

Detroit 1 at Chicago 2 (OT)  (22,103)
CHICAGO WINS the series 4 games to 3
8 PM ET/7 CT/5 PM PT
CBC, RDS, NBCSN

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: May 28, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Tuesday, May 29th in the Quest for Stanley

San Jose and Los Angeles


San Jose 1 at Los Angeles 2 (18,593)
LOS ANGELES WINS the series 4 games to 3
6 PM PT, 9 PM ET
TSN, RDS, NBCSN

Monday, May 27, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Monday, May 27, 2013

Round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Monday, May 27th in the Quest for Stanley.

Detroit and Chicago

Chicago 4 at Detroit 3 (20,066)
Series is tied at 3 games each
8 PM ET/5 PM PT
CBC, RDS, NBCSN

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Sunday, May 26, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Sunday, May 26th in the Quest for Stanley

San Jose and Los Angeles

Los Angeles 1 at San Jose 2 (17,562)
The series is tied at 3 games each
5 PM PT, 8 PM ET
TSN, RDS, NBCSN

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Saturday, May 25, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Thursday May 23rd in the Quest for Stanley

New York and Boston

New York 1 at Boston 3 (17,565)
Boston WINS the series 4 games to 1
5:30 PM ET/2:30 PM PT
TSN, RDS and NBCSN



Detroit and Chicago

Detroit 1 at Chicago 4 (22,014)
Detroit leads the series 3 games to 2
8:00 PM ET/5:00 PT
CBC, RDS, NBCSN

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Friday, May 24, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Friday, May 24th in the Quest for Stanley



Ottawa and Pittsburgh

Ottawa 2 at Pittsburgh 6 (18,656)
PITTSBURGH WINS the series 4 games to 1
7:30 PM ET/4:30 PT
CBC, RDS,  NBCSN

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Thursday, May 23, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Thursday May 23rd in the Quest for Stanley

New York and Boston

Boston 3 at New York 4 (OT) (17,200)
Boston leads the series 3 games to 1
7 PM ET, 4 PM PT
TSN, RDS and NBCSN



Detroit and Chicago

Chicago 0 at Detroit 2 (20,066)
Detroit leads the series 3 games to 1
8:00 PM ET/5:00 PT
CBC, RDS, NBCSN



San Jose and Los Angeles

San Jose 0 at Los Angeles 3 (18,584)
Los Angeles leads the series 2 games to 1
7PM PT, 10 PM ET
TSN, RDS, NBCSN

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Wednesday, May 22nd in the Quest for Stanley



Ottawa and Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh 7 at Ottawa 3 (20,500)
Pittsburgh leads the series 3 games to 1
7:30 PM ET/4:30 PT
CBC, RDS,  NBCSN

Monday, May 20, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Tuesday, May 21st in the Quest for Stanley

New York and Boston

Boston 2 at New York 1 (17,200)
Boston leads the series 3 games to 0
7 PM ET, 4 PM PT
TSN, RDS and NBCSN




San Jose and Los Angeles

Los Angeles 1 at San Jose 2 (17,562)
Series is tied at 2 games each
7PM PT, 10 PM ET
TSN, RDS, NBCSN

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Monday, May 20, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Monday, May 20th in the Quest for Stanley

Detroit and Chicago

Chicago 1 at Detroit 3  (20,066 
Detroit leads the series 2 games to 1
7:30 PM ET/4:30 PT
CBC, RDS, NBCSN

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Sunday, May 19, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Sunday, May 19th in the Quest for Stanley

New York and Boston

New York 2 at Boston 5 (17,565)
Boston Leads the Series 1 game to 0
3 PM ET, Noon PT  
TSN, RDS and NBCSN



Ottawa and Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh 1 at Ottawa 2  (2 OT) (20,500)
Pittsburgh leads the series 2 games to 1
7:30 PM ET/4:30 PT
CBC, RDS,  NBCSN

Friday, May 17, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Saturday, May 18, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Saturday, May 18th in the Quest for Stanley

Detroit and Chicago

Detroit 4 at Chicago 1 ( 21,822 ) 
The Series is tied at 1 game each
12 Noon  CT/1 PM ET/10 AM PT
CBC, RDS, NBCSN



San Jose and Los Angeles

San Jose 2 at Los Angeles 1 (OT) (17,562)
Los Angeles leads the series 2 games to 1
6 PM PT, 9 PM ET
TSN, RDS, NBCSN

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Friday, May 17, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Friday, May 17th in the Quest for Stanley


Ottawa and Pittsburgh

Ottawa 3 at Pittsburgh 4  (18,645)
Pittsburgh leads the series 2 games to none
7:30 PM ET/4:30 PT
CBC, RDS,  NBCSN

Shoot Out and OUT for Canada at the World Championships

For the fourth year in a row, Canada's stay at the IIHF World Championships won't last beyond the quarter finals.

In the most thrilling of the four Quarter finals of Thursday, Team Canada fell to the Swedes in the always dreaded shoot out, that after 70 minutes of end to end hockey, which featured some brilliant plays, some ugly plays, untimely penalties and one very unfortunate injury to Team Canada's captain Eric Staal, more on that in a bit.

As for the game, Canada had their moments to put away the Swedes but some outstanding goal tending from  Jhonas Enroth held off the Canadian attack, though not for lack of trying by the Canadians.

Steven Stamkos opened the scoring for Canada with a second period marker that set the pace for the Canadian squad for the rest of the period, Stamkos marker came on the power play.

Sweden finally got on the board in the third as Nicklas Danielsson picked up two goals on the night as Sweden then took the lead on the power play. One of them, the go ahead marker, as Claude Giroux sat in the box for an untimely and in the minds of some unjustified two minute penalty, providing a bit more open ice for the Swedes to put together their attack and take the lead in the third.

Giroux went from goat to hero shortly after that, once back on the ice he had definite zeal for the Swedish end of the ice, gaining back the lost goal shortly after his return.

The two teams then exchanged many opportunities for the remaining ten, a period that was highlighted by many opportunities at both ends, with both Enroth and Canada's Mike Smith holding the fort down as the clock ticked down.

by the bizarre incidence of the Swedish goaltender exiting the ice for what we imagine were equipment repairs, which required that his backup be dropped into the game at perhaps its most pivotal moment, holding up his end of the bargain, he stared down the Canadian attack and shut down Team Canada on three scoring chances, rescued from further duty when Enroth returned to the ice.

Neither Canada, nor Sweden could find the range to finish out the period and the ten minute, 4 on 4 overtime provided for much of the same, many chances but no goals, but no shortage of strange things on the European ice.

The OT featured the bizarre incidence of the Swedish goaltender Enroth exiting the ice for what we imagine were equipment repairs, which required that his backup Jacob Markstrom be dropped into the game at perhaps its most pivotal moment.

Holding up his end of the bargain, he stared down the Canadian attack and shut down Team Canada on a couple of scoring chances, rescued from further duty when Enroth returned to the ice.

With the full 70 minutes of regulation and OT out of the way, the IIHF shoot out provided for the final outcome, with Canada and Sweden exchanging goals in the first round, leaving Sweden to clinch the victory in round number two on a slap shot from Fredrik Pettersson, a most unusual thing in a shootout, blasting the winning goal past Smith to send the Swedes renew acquaintances with their long time nemesis  from Finland on Saturday.

With the Swedish victory, Canada was eliminated from further action at the Worlds, left to collect their belongings and bring the wounded home.

Among them Eric Staal, who suffered what appeared to be a very serious knee injury in a collision with Alex Edler.  From replays it would seem that Edler did not move his leg out of the way of the oncoming Staal, a questionable hit that could leave Carolina hockey fans worried for the start of training camp and  an incident that will no doubt carry a long memory for next year for Staal upon his recovery.

National Post-- Eric Staal injured in collision with Alex Edler during Sweden vs. Canada
CBC-- Eric Staal hurt as Canada eliminated from world championship
Globe and Mail-- Eric Staal injured in knee-on-knee collision at hockey worlds


Reviews of Canada's final game at this years Worlds can be found below:

Globe and Mail-- Sweden eliminates Canada in shootout at hockey worlds


While Canada makes its exit, there are still the Semi-Finals to be played on Saturday and the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal games of Sunday.

Saturday's match ups feature the Surprising Swiss taking on the USA who trounced the Russians on Thursday. Saturday will also showcase Sweden and Finland which should provide for much in the way of drama between the two rivals.

Winners advance to the Gold medal game, losers to the Bronze match up.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Canada looks for Quarter Final success at the World Championships

Canada has its eyes focused on a Gold medal as second round action at the World Hockey Championships gets underway on Thursday.

The Canadians compiled a record of 6 and 1 in the preliminary round, the only blemish a Shoot out loss to a surprisingly strong Swiss squad back on May 5th.  The majority of Canada's games were close contests, with  just a goal or two as a buffer along the way. The only real blow out of the opening round a 7-1 victory over Norway on May 7th.

After a two day rest, the Canadians meet up with Sweden in their Quarterfinal match, a good draw for the Canadian squad, as Canada recorded their only shut out of the opening round against the Swedes a 3-0 victory on May 9th.

Still with the tournament on Swedish and Finnish ice, the home side squads will be highly motivated to move forward towards the Gold medal game of the weekend. As well, with the early exit of some NHL teams from the playoffs, a Euro Airlift is underway to shore up the rosters, with the Vancouver Canuck's Henrik and Daniel Sedin arriving just in time for Thursday show down.

Game time on TSN is 2:15 PM ET/11:15 AM PT

The USA will open up the day's IIHF action as they face off against the Russian squad
Update: The USA defeated the Russians 8-3

TSN World Championship Website

You can review all of the results from the 2013 IIHF Championships from our archive page here.

Some notes on the tournament and Thursday's game in particular can be found below.

May 15-- Canada plots Sedins strategy for world hockey championship quarter-final
May 15-- PK Subban Accepting Team Canada invitation a no-brainer
May 15-- The Utlimate Swedish Debate: Mats Sundin or Peter Forsberg?
May 15-- Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith goes international
May 14-- Alex Ovechkin to join Russia at world hockey championship
May 14-- Mike Smith is making a case for Canada's Olympic team
May 14-- Canada gets host Sweden as quarter-final opponent at hockey worlds
May 13-- Long awaited Maple Leafs inspired trip to Sweden happens at worst possible playoff moment
May 13-- P K Subban to join Canada at world hockey championship
May 13-- Canada needs OT to beat last place Slovenia at hockey worlds
May 12-- Team Canada finishes their Czechs
May 12-- Canada clinches quarter final berth at world hockey championship by beating Czech Republic
May 10-- Canada cruises to top of men's hockey worlds with win over Belarus
May 10-- Russia's descent at hockey worlds continues with loss to Finland
May 9-- Mike Smith shuts out Sweden as Canada moves up at hockey worlds
May 8-- Canada's rookie defencemen learning as they go at hockey worlds
May 7-- Steven Stamkos does it all for Canada at hockey worlds
May 5-- Canada falls to Switzerland in shootout at men's hockey worlds
May 4-- Matt Duchene leads Canada in win over Denmark at world hockey championship
May 2-- Aftermath of NHL lockout could slow some teams at hockey worlds

Stanley Cup Playoffs, Thursday, May 16, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Thursday, May 16th in the Quest for Stanley

New York and Boston

New York 2 at Boston 3 (OT) (17,565)
Boston Leads the Series 1 game to 0
7 PM CT/8PM ET/5 PT
TSN, RDS and NBCSN

San Jose and Los Angeles

San Jose 3 at Los Angeles 4 (18,527)
Los Angeles leads the series 2 games to 0
7 PM PT, 10 PM ET
TSN, NBSCN

Memorial Cup 2013 Newsline



Items of interest that we come across regarding the participants in this years Memorial Cup and other notes on the CHL as they celebrate their Championship tournament.

May 26-- Mooseheads beat Winterhawks to win first-ever Memorial Cup
May 25-- Mooseheads, Winterhawks prepare for Memorial Cup final clash
May 25-- Mooseheads forward Jonathan Drouin named CHL player of the year
May 23-- This Domi produces a different kind of hockey highlights
May 23-- Fans, empty seats mingle at MemCup
May 23-- Two Minutes in the Box with Bob Hartley
May 23-- Schenn hopes Blades capitalize on their Memorial Cup chance
May 23-- Blades face elimination
May 23-- Blades lose to Winterhawks
May 23-- Knights use loss as motivation
May 22-- Winterhawks respond to questionable hit on the scoreboard, down Saskatoon to reach semifinal
May 22-- Who's up next in the London Knight's net?
May 22-- London Knight's Max Domi not matching regular season performance at Memorial Cup
May 22-- 2014 Memorial Cup ticket prices released
May 22-- Knightmare from beginning to end
May 22-- Hawks come up big in the third period again in 4-2 win over Saskatoon
May 22-- Families boost Moose
May 22-- Winterhawks plan to use crowd's energy in showdown with Saskatoon
May 22-- Singer tunes up for second chance
May 22-- Things coming to a head for Blades
May 22-- History nothing to Blades, Winterhawks
May 22-- Two minutes in the box with Chirs Jacobson
May 22-- Blades dreaming of final
May 21-- Molleken aims to refocus players
May 21-- Former Saskatoon singer feels sympathy
May 21-- All four teams tied at 1-1
May 21-- Makarov's performance no surprise to former teammate
May 21-- Horvat's skill not lost on MacKinnon
May 21-- For the players at the Memorial Cup, it's all about gorgeous goals
May 21-- The London Knights, Blades' attendance of 10,203 has drawn the biggest numbers
May 21-- Top prospect Jones not lived up to billing
May 21-- London Knights adapting to Memorial Cup rules
May 21-- Cup chase gone totally nuts
May 21-- Winterhawks derail Knights' stirring three-goal comeback
May 21-- Hardcore Winterhawks fans go well out of their way to support their team
May 21-- With four teams at 1-1, here are four scenarios for the final standings
May 21-- Mooseheads win big
May 20-- Temperature rising
May 20-- Reality TV show could unmask inner workings of OHL hottest franchise
May 20-- Players and crowd help sing anthem
May 20-- London must deal with the latest hockey superstar from Cole Harbour NS...
May 20-- There is something about being a champion
May 20-- London Knights' defender Nikita Zadorov's recent play could make him hot commodity in NHL draft
May 20-- Suspended Winterhawks coach and GM Mike Johnston watches win over London from the stands
May 20-- Drouin determined to do better
May 20-- Big third period outburst leads Winterhawks to 6-3 victory over London
May 20-- Winterhawks feel bad for botched anthem singer, say they couldn't do any better
May 20-- Canadian singer botches US national anthem before Winterhawks first Memorial Cup game
May 19-- Hello Winterhawks, greetings from Portland
May 19-- Saskatoon Blades beat Halifax Mooseheads 5-2
May 19-- Hawks' Taylor Leier feeling right at home at Saskatoon
May 18-- MacKinnon has big night in Moosheads' Memorial Cup opener
May 18-- Mooseheads' five goal second period dooms Winterhawaks, 7-4
May 18-- Portland Winterhawks drop Memorial Cup opener to Halifax Mooseheads, 7-4
May 18-- Blades hang tough, but fall in Memorial Cup opener
May 18-- Plenty of hits during London Knights vs. Saskatoon Blades Memorial Cup opener
May 18-- London Knights had to fight for 3-2 win against host Saskatoon Blades
May 18-- London Knights strike first with win over Saskatoon Blades in Memorial Cup opener
May 17-- This Memorial Cup a Scout's dream
May 17-- Talent converges at Cup as draft looms
May 17-- Makarov knows a lot about the Knights
May 17-- Blades can take some lessons from 1989 finalists
May 17-- Goaltending a question mark for OHL champions
May 17-- Blades not lacking in tournament experience
May 17-- London Knights' Bo Horvat still riding high from game winning overtime goal against Barrie Colts
May 17-- Blades' Molleken under pressure to produce
May 17-- Knights best Blades in Memorial Cup opener
May 17-- Two Canadian hockey families clash when the London Knights take on the Saskatoon Blades
May 17-- London Knights open Memorial Cup against host team swept out of first-round playoffs
May 17-- A heartbreaker, literally, for Lubiniecki
May 17-- Memorial Cup motivation easy to find
May 17-- Gulutzan returns to familiar place
May 17-- NHL draft stock on the line at Memorial Cup
May 17-- Blades honour armed forces with special military-themed sweater
May 17-- Saturday's Halifax-Portland showdown is 'one stop shopping for NHL scouts'
May 17-- Top prospects Jones, MacKinnon and Drouin the focus at Memorial Cup
May 17-- Saskatoon Blades' keeper Andrey Makarov doesn't know who he'll be staring down in London Knight's crease
May 16-- Hawks put sanctions behind them
May 16-- Memorial Cup teams hit town
May 16-- Mooseheads veterans riding high
May 16-- Memorial Cup not short on story lines
May 16-- Saskatoon welcomes Memorial Cup
May 16-- Winterhawks' berth shaped by Mike Johnston and Travis Green's partnership
May 16-- Motivation driving all players at Memorial Cup
May 16-- Shaw WHL play by play man Peter Loubardias talks about Portland and Halifax
May 16-- A look at the Portland Winterhawks, Halifax Mooseheads, London Knights and Saskatoon Blades
May 16-- London Knights have unfinished business at MasterCard Memorial Cup
May 15-- Blades prepare for CHL's top stars
May 15-- Makarov ready to conquer world
May 15-- A look at the Mooseheads' Memorial Cup opponents
May 15-- Moose ready for the big stage
May 14-- Saskatoon Blades seek redemption at Memorial Cup
May 14-- London Knights to host 2014 MaterCard Memorial Cup

Running Back to Saskatoon! Memorial Cup 2013


Canada's premiere Junior Hockey Tournament is about to get underway in the hockey hotbed of Saskatoon, as the Champions of the Quebec League, Ontario League, Western League and hometown Blades take to the ice, each team with the goal of hoisting the Memorial Cup on Championship Sunday May26th.

Saskatoon has been resting for a while now, having been eliminated in the Western League's early rounds, the remainder of the participants have just completed the long trek through their individual leagues, claiming championships in some hard fought series, claiming victories that now take them to Saskatchewan.

First puck drop in the one week series is Friday night.

Memorial Cup Final

Sunday, May 26-- Portland Winterhawks 4 vs Halifax Mooseheads 6
HALIFAX WINS THE MEMORIAL CUP

Semi Final

Friday, May 24-- London 1 vs Portland 2 

Elimination Game

Thursday, May 23-- Saskatoon 1 and London 6

The Memorial Cup Opening Round Schedule is as follows

Friday, May 17-- London 3 - Saskatoon 2
Saturday, May 18-- Portland 4 and Halifax 7
Sunday, May 19-- Saskatoon 5 and Halifax 2 
Monday, May 20-- Portland 6 and London 3
Tuesday, May 21-- Halifax 9 and London 2
Wednesday, May 22-- Saskatoon 2 and Portland 4

All Games will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet, more on their coverage can be found here.

The Home page for the Memorial Cup can be found here

CHL home page

You can find more information about each participating team for our Memorial Cup Team pages below.

Halifax Mooseheads
Portland Winterhawks
London Knights
Saskatoon Blades


Items of interest through the Memorial Cup can be found on our Memorial Cup Newsline here.

Memorial Cup Team Page: Saskatoon Blades




The hometown Blades knew they had a late May ice time as far back as last year when Saskatoon was granted the hosting rights to the Memorial Cup. Though the probably had hopes of playing meaningful hockey on the way to their hosting duties.

Instead the Blades bowed out early in the WHL playoffs, leaving them to rest (and maybe rust a bit) as they waited for their Tournament participants to sort things out along the way. Still, home ice advantage can sometimes provide that key edge, the Blades no doubt are hoping for a chance to hoist the Memorial Cup in their own rink on May 26th.

Western League home page

Saskatoon Blades home page

You can learn more about their path to the Memorial Cup from these media sources

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
Sportsnet

Memorial Cup Team Page: Halifax Mooseheads



They'll be making the longest of travel plans, as the Quebec League champion Halifax Mooseheads make the cross country trek to Saskatchewan to try to bring the Memorial Cup back to the Q.

Halifax makes their first return to the Memorial Cup championship since 2000, showcasing the stability and ability of the Moosehead franchise to rebuild and retool, something quite important in the very competitive Quebec league.

How Halifax got there

Quebec League home page

Halifax Mooseheads home page

You can learn more about their path to Saskatoon from these media sources

Halifax Chronicle Herald
Sportsnet

Memorial Cup Team Page: London Knights




The champions of the Ontario League return to the Memorial Cup once again, the Hunters year after year putting on the ice a most formidable franchise in the OHL, consistently among the top ranked teams in the league.

How London got there

OHL home page

London Knights home page

You can learn more about their path to Saskatoon from these media sources

London Free Press
Sportsnet

Memorial Cup Team Page: Portland Winter Hawks



The champions of the Western League blazed their trail to the Memorial Cup through after many miles of travel through the W, claiming the WHL title in the League Final against the Edmonton Oil Kings.

How Portland got there

WHL home page

Portland Winterhawks home page

You can learn more about their path to Saskatoon from these media sources

The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Sportsnet

Stanley Cup Playoffs, Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Wednesday, May 15th in the Quest for Stanley

Detroit and Chicago

Detroit 1 at Chicago 4 ( 21,494 )
Chicago leads the series 1 game to 0
7 PM CT/8PM ET/5 PT
CBC, RDS, NBCSN



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Second Round Reset

And as we move on to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, time to look back at our first round prognostications and ahem, make a few refinements to the road ahead.

Surprise is how we view some of those first round results, the Ducks losing to the Wings was not something we thought was going to take place, nor did we think the Canucks would fall to the Sharks and in such a hasty fashion.

We did not anticipate the trouble the Islanders gave the Pens, though we always figured the Pens would move through, while the speed that the Senators disposed of the Canadiens was an unexpected thing to view.

The St. Louis/Los Angeles series was a most entertaining thing to watch and we had a feeling that the Blues might survive that battle to move on, though if ever there were a pick em series that was the one.

The near death experience of the Bruins was not forecast, the thinking being that the veteran lineup would make fairly quick work of the young unproven Leafs, a thought that was banished about five games in.

Only the Hawks dominance over the Wild and the Rangers topping the Capitals (Washington never ceases to disappoint in the playoffs when it comes to new ways to lose out), would have been the thing of a sure bet.

So, with the preamble in place, a take on Round Two.

Ottawa and Pittsburgh

The Sens certainly announced their intentions for this years Stanley Cup drama with a total domination of the Montreal Canadiens, playing a rather complete series, which featured an answer to a foolish challenge of the Habs in the real of on ice physicality. The key to the Sens success, goaltender Craig Anderson and the continually rising star of Eric Karlsson, who plays the game with such ease it's as though he's part of the ice.

The Senators have embraced the team approach, nothing rattles them, a setback is forgotten quickly, the next step just a shot away, it starts with coaching and works its way down the roster and with each victory they collectively gain even more confidence.

That's something that the Penguins may have a problem matching, getting rattled may yet be the intangible in this series.

The Pens as we saw struggled against the Islanders, with goal tending the key deficit to the Penguin approach. With the Islanders giving the Pens so much trouble, the seeds of doubt may be creeping into the NHL's Eastern front runner.

The Penguins on paper and by record should be a prohibitive favourite, any team with a Sidney Crosby who always plays well against Ottawa should be a favourite.  And for the most part, the smart money would be on a Pittsburgh victory, but it's the playoffs where the unusual often takes place.

That and the fact that the ancient hometown team is in the mix, places us firmly on  the Sens bandwagon.

Senators in Six


San Jose and Los Angeles

The Kings survived the hard hitting NASCAR like race with the Blues, one of the most physical of series seen in a long time, the defending Stanley Cup champs serving notice that reports of their pending demise may be just a tad premature.

They avoided an all So Cal Showdown when the Ducks generously bowed out of further playoff action, setting up a North/South battle in its stead, the San Jose Sharks who quickly dispatched the Canucks may be impressed with their play of four games, but the Kings will be a very different team than that of Vancouver, the latter a team looking more like one looking for a vacation than a playoff run.

The Sharks also have history to keep watch of and that's not a good thing, the past playoff experiences for San Jose hockey fans has long been the thing of disappointment, the Kings having just finished off a very physical series will carry that over to the Sharks and with it, most likely advancement to the Western Finals.

Los Angeles in Six

Detroit and Chicago

An Original Six showcase that despite the records of the two teams involved could provide some of the best in hockey of the playoffs. The Wings barely scraped into the playoffs, the Hawks all but coasting for about half of the shortened season, still it's all about making the playoffs and then making the best of your appearance.

To that the Wings are full value, they tempted elimination on more than one occasion with third period collapses and yet somehow found the way back through to the winning side of the scoreboard.

Though, there is a bit of difference between the Ducks and the Hawks and should the Wings make similar  errors against Chicago, the series could be a very short reprise of the Original Six theme.

The Hawks have retooled to their Stanley Cup shape of a few years ago, playing on Madison is not an enjoyable experience for any team and the home side rarely disappoints the home fans. The Wild provided a tune up, more of a public skate as things turned out than a full contact practice.

Still, the rest alone may serve the Hawks well, they're rested, not particularly beat up and dangerous when they are on their game, which they will most likely be.

Chicago in Five

New York and Boston

The other Original Six brings together those friendly east coasters the Rangers and the Bruins, both having fought their way through a seven game preliminary round series.

The Rangers however come out of the Washington series with sky high confidence, the goal tending of Henrik Lundqvist, much like last year, has been the Rangers story. King Henrik sent the Rangers into their Game 7 showdown against the Caps, while the offense took the load off of him with a total destruction of the Capitals in the final game of the first round.

The Bruins as we all witnessed, launched a comeback for the ages, but with that impressive victory is the very apparent back story, that of a team that came but 11 minutes from elimination from the inexperienced Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Leafs series provided far too many questions for Claude Julien to think about when it comes to his team, too many things were exposed over the course of those seven games. Should Boston provide the Rangers with similar opportunities as they provide the Leafs, then New York will be shipping the Bruins out of the Playoffs.

New York in Six

Epic Collapse, or Epic Comeback, all depends on where your heart is...

Monday night's Game Seven thriller between the Leafs and Bruins provided for much in the way of shifting momentum, as a Leafs team which was but ten minutes away from moving on to the second round unravelled in extraordinary fashion.

Torontonians, unaccustomed to the prospect of playoff success, must have felt pretty secure as the third period started its twenty minute countdown, a 4 -1 lead with fifteen minutes to play, the Leafs for the most part taking the play to the Bruins, Boston a team that points looked very old, very tired and very defeated as the clock passed the midway point of the third.

Such was the nature of the Bruins game to that point, that the coaching epitaph for Claude Julien's time in Boston was already being composed, a memorial service that would now seem to be deferred.

With half a period to go, the roof caved in on all those years of pent up Maple Leaf desire,  Milan Lucic for the most part a story only for his absence in the series, took his team by the sweater and changed what seemed to be Boston's destiny.

It was his work on Nathan Horton's goal that started the Bruins' swarming of the Leafs end of the rink for the rest of the game, his hits jarring pucks lose, his physical play in front of the Leafs net making life miserable for Leafs goaltender James Reimer.

Lucic contributed to the score sheet again at the 18:38 mark, a sharply delivered wrist shot that pulled the Bruins to within one goal, the pressure building on a young Leafs team that started to find panic a companion on the bench.

The noise of the TD Gardens deafening as the improbably comeback came to fruition  just one minute
later when Patrice Bergeron put the tying goal behind the Leafs goaltender, the shift of momentum about as dramatic as ever seen in an NHL game, a comeback never seen before in a Game 7.

The break between the third and OT was a karaoke session of some resolve for the Bruins faithful, the stable of arena rock, belted out as one.

Journey's Don't Stop Believing, a little Bon Jovi, a dash of the Who and the ever popular  Dropkick Murphy's Beantown shanty song of Shipping Out to Boston, the anthem of resolve in Boston.  

All of it taking the sing along to a higher an higher pitch, launching the Bruins into a fourth period that sealed the fate of a Toronto squad that had come so far in such a strange year, only to have it snatched away from them in a most soul destroying fashion.

Patrice Bergeron provided an encore performance in the fourth period, with one more marker on the night, one of the biggest of goals in recent Bruins history, sealing the fate of the Maple Leaf nation at 6:05 of the Overtime.

A goal that shattered the dreams of the legion of Leafs fans from coast to coast to coast and propels the Bruins on to an Original Six showdown with an ancient rival the Rangers.
.
.
It was high drama, an incredulous finish and for Leafs fans who have dared to dream along with their team through the darkest of the Harold Ballard days, the kind of loss that must surely have them wondering about curses on a storied franchise.

In the end, it may have just been another hockey game, one in which the vastly experienced team finally woke up to push back against a young team of upstarts who had found a nice groove for themselves.

The problem for Leafs fans is that they know the Bruins' were there for the taking, their Leafs couldn't shut them down for the ten minutes of hockey that mattered the most.

With their win of game six and the way they played the first fifty minutes of Game 7, the Leafs surely deserved a better fate, yet on a night in May, a time the Leafs perhaps found unfamiliar, the Hockey Gods chose otherwise for an ending to the story.

And that will make for many a memory (not a good one) for a whole new generation of Leafs fans until the boys in the Blue uniforms can finally exorcise all those ghosts that seem to skate beside them year after year.

The reviews of Monday's remarkable third period and Overtime provide as clear a picture of what took place as you could hope to find, Leaf fans may wish to defer the process of reading them for a few days, at least until the emotional pain has ebbed.

National Post-- Leafs endure heartbreaking collapse in Game 7 Overtime loss to Bruins
National Post-- Next year! Downcast Leafs fans stream home in a sad river of dejection after sudden overtime loss to Boston
Globe and Mail-- Bruins' big-time players step to the fore
Globe and Mail-- Meltdown in Beantown sees Leafs eliminated in overtime of Game 7
Globe and Mail-- The Day After: Where do the Leafs go from here?
Globe and Mail-- Leafs fans silenced, shocked by heartbreaking defeat in Boston
Globe and Mail-- A miracle comeback, an epic failing
Toronto Star-- Toronto Maple Leafs lick their wounds after loss to Boston Bruins, get ready for next year
Toronto Star-- Toronto Maple Leafs season choked away in Game 7
Toronto Star-- Maple Leafs suffer excruciating loss in Game 7
Toronto Star-- Boston Bruins, NHL's drama kings, survive Game 7 vs. Leafs
Toronto Sun-- Maple Leafs deserved better than this
Toronto Sun-- 'I didn't see him', Gardiner says
Toronto Sun-- Maple Leafs: Bruins' Milan Lucic too strong for Buds
Toronto Sun-- Maple Leafs blow lead to Bruins, lose Game 7 in overtime
Toronto Sun-- 'We ran out of gas'
Toronto Sun-- The Leafs should see the positive in 2013 season
Boston Herald-- Bruins win Game 7 in OT after wild rally
Boston Herald-- Bruins' stunning comeback ranks with Boston's best
Boston Herald-- Bergeron delivers in face of mounting criticism
Boston Herald-- Milan Lucic didn't want it to end
Boston Herald-- Bruins emotionally drained after dramatic win
NESN-- Bruins character Prevails as B's shock Maple Leafs in thrilling Game 7 Overtime win
NESN-- Bruins complete Epic Comeback with Return to fundamental play late in Game 7
NESN-- Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron Save Bruins' season...
NESN-- Patrice Bergeron Nets Game Winning Goal in Overtime to Beat Maple Leafs in Game 7
USA Today-- Bruins stage historic rally to stun Leafs in OT
USA Today-- How the entire city of Toronto feels, in one photograph

Monday, May 13, 2013

Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tuesday, May 14 2013


Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Schedule for Tuesday May 14th in the Quest for Stanley


Ottawa and Pittsburgh

Ottawa 1 at Pittsburgh 4 (18,621)
Pittsburgh leads the series one game to none
7:30 PM ET/4:30 PT
CBC, RDS,  NBCSN

San Jose and Los Angeles

San Jose 0 at Los Angeles 2 (18,118)
Los Angeles leads the series one game to none
7 PM PT/ 10 PM ET
TSN and NBCSN 



Stanley Cup Playoffs Round Two: New York Rangers and Boston Bruins

Original Six showdown number two will play out in Boston and New York, as the Rangers and Bruins prepare to bring us the remake of the Seventies when the two teams provided ample proof as to the animosity between the two fan bases.

The Rangers moved on to the second round in a most convincing fashion in the final two games of their series with the Capitals, the goal tending of Henrik Lundqvist just stellar, the kind of play in the nets that signals that a team is perhaps destined for greater things this year.

Their game seven destruction of Washington, could very well be the most complete game the Rangers have played all year, total domination in all facets, a fine tune up for the Bruins when the first meet on Thursday night.

Boston on the other hand, looked like a team that had all but surrendered heading into the third period
of their game seven match up with the Leafs, but, as the reports have provided, a comeback for the ages was the Bruins destiny, a remarkable string of goals late in the third sent the first round elimination game into OT and the Bruins kept on rolling.

For the Bruins there were any number of signs of a team that has perhaps lost its way a bit, things that the Rangers could very well exploit quite nicely heading through the Round two match ups.

After two very long runs in the first round, hockey fans will be watching with interest to see if the Bruins have any fight left in them and just how far the Rangers are going to be able ride their goaltender in this years playoff picture.

Boston WINS the Series 3 games to 1

Thursday, May 16-- New York Rangers 2 at Boston 3  (17,565) 
Sunday, May 19-- New York Rangers 2 at Boston 5  17,565 )
Tuesday, May 21-- Boston 2 at New York Rangers 1  ( 17,200)
Thursday, May 23-- Boston 3 at New York Rangers 4 (OT)  (17,200) 
Saturday, May 25-- New York Rangers 1 at Boston 3 (17,565 


All Games on TSN, RDS and NBCSN/CNBC

Media sources for the series
(some may feature a pay wall)

Stanley Cup Playoffs Round Two: Detroit and Chicago

It's one of two Original Six showdowns in the second round and the historical ghosts of Howe and Hull, Sawchuk and Glenn will no doubt smile down on the prospects of a Chicago / Detroit showdown.

A series that features The Joe vs the Madhouse on Madison, homes to some of the league's most dedicated of hockey fans, cities where hockey matters much and where the fans can recite the names of the past just as easily as the ones on the ice today.

For the first time in many years, the Red Wings perhaps are the great underdog in a playoff round, having struggled through the latter half of the regular season, the Wings only qualified for the playoffs in that frenzied final week.

Chicago on the other hand served notice that they were back and ready to reclaim their Stanley Cup
trophy of a few years ago, a first round series with Minnesota offered up a few bumps, but coach Joel Quennville was quick to set things right.

The Hawks looking to be very much the league crushers that they were for most of the regular season.

But, this is the playoffs and the other guys this time are the Red Wings, a team that always provides the Hawks with a battle.

It's a hockey purists dream match up, like the heady days of the sixties, the Red Wings and the Hawks are destined to be among the hottest tickets for the playoffs this spring.

CHICAGO WINS THE SERIES 4 games to 3

Wednesday, May 15-- Detroit 1 at Chicago 4 ( 21,494 )
Saturday, May 18-- Detroit 4 at Chicago 1 ( 21,822)
Monday, May 20-- Chicago 1 at Detroit 3 (20,066)
Thursday, May 23-- Chicago 0 at Detroit 2 (20,066)
Saturday, May 25-- Detroit 1 at Chicago 4 (22,014)
Monday, May 27-- Chicago 4 at Detroit 3  (20,066)
Wednesday, May 29-- Detroit 1 at Chicago 2  OT (22,103)

Media sources for the series
(some may feature a pay wall)


Chicago Sun Times
Chicago Tribune
Chicago Daily Herald
Detroit News
Detroit Free Press
Windsor Star
USA Today
Globe and Mail
National Post

Stanley Cup Playoffs Round Two: San Jose and Los Angeles

Round Two could have featured the Battle for LA, but with the Anaheim Ducks unable to put away the Detroit Red Wings, LA Kings fans will have to cast their eyes north instead.

As the Kings prepare for the battle for California, the wider territorial turf war that will feature Los Angeles and San Jose seeking to move on into Round three.

San Jose is perhaps the most well rested of the final eight participants, having made quick work of the Vancouver Canucks, putting Vancouver away in four straight games. Feeling little in the way of pressure from Vancouver, though the final game which went into Overtime, did call to mind previous moments for the Sharks who sometimes
have troubles putting the finishing touches on an opponent.

The Kings will of course be a much sterner test this year than Vancouver, LA having played in one of the most physical series of the opening rounds with the St. Louis Blues are clearly in playoff mode now, St. Louis having played them hard, good preparation for a second round match up with the Sharks who still have some questions to answer for their fans.

With both teams featured in the late games for the duration, there could be some dandy double header nights in Round Two.

LOS ANGELES WINS the series 4 games to 3

Tuesday, May 14-- San Jose 0 at Los Angeles 2  (18,118)
Thursday, May 16-- San Jose 3 at Los Angeles 4  (18,527 )
Saturday, May 18-- Los Angeles 1 at San Jose 2  (OT) (17,562)
Tuesday, May 21-- Los Angeles 1 at San Jose 2 (17,562)
Thursday, May 23-- San Jose 0 at Los Angeles 3 (18,584)
Sunday, May 26-- Los Angeles 1 at San Jose 2 (17,562)
Tuesday, May 28-- San Jose 1 at Los Angeles 2 (18,593)

** If required

All Games on TSN and NBCSN

Media sources for the series
(some may feature a pay wall)


Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Daily News
San Jose Mercury News
San Francisco Chronicle
USA Today
Globe and Mail
National Post

On To the Second Round

The Group of Sixteen has been whittled down to eight, some of them a little more tired than others after a number of Game Seven show downs to bring the first round to a close.

A few surprises came our way in the first round, while others moved on to the next round all be it with a little bit of a struggle.

A record number of Overtime games became the story in the first round, some epic struggles that saw teams surrender leads late in a game, only to claw their way back to victory in Overtime. (well, everyone but Toronto as it turned out)

Games which set the stage for some interesting matchup, all with their own storylines.

The Second round features the following showdowns for the quest for Stanley.

Click on each series below, to find out more about the teams looking to move into the third round.


Ottawa and Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH WINS the series 4 games to 1

San Jose and Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES WINS the series 4 games to 3

Detroit at Chicago
CHICAGO WINS the series 4 games to 3

New York Rangers at Boston
BOSTON WINS the series 4 games to 1

Stanley Cup Playoffs Round Two: Ottawa and Pittsburgh

The Second round sets up an interesting matchup between the Sens and Pens, one which has any number of sub plots making for the script of what may come.

The Cooke/Karlsson incident of the regular season, is the obvious starting point for the series, even if Erik Karlsson isn't inclined to make much of it.

The usual animosity that the two teams seem to generate between themselves is more of the current of this second round, as is the topic of goaltending, which has the Senators featured as the declared favourite when it comes to puck stopping abilities from Round One.

Coaching may also be a section where the Sens have the edge, Ottawa coach Paul MacLean is channelling Walrus power to new heights after the Sens dismissal of the Habs, he may add to the legacy should he find similar results against the star studded Penguins lineup.

Considering the troubles the Pens had with the Islanders in the first round, the match up with the Sens could make for a most entertaining and lengthy series.

Senators fans perhaps went into this playoff round, thankful of a spot in the sixteen team seedings, however after a most convincing victory over the Canadiens, Ottawa hockey fans (and those across Canada still hopeful for a Canadian based champion) may have good cause for a bit of confidence on the road to the finals in June.

PITTSBURGH WINS the series 4 games to 1

Tuesday, May 14-- Ottawa 1 at Pittsburgh  4 (18,621
Friday, May 17-- Ottawa 3 at Pittsburgh 4  ( 18,645  )
Sunday, May 19-- Pittsburgh 1 at Ottawa 2  (OT) (20,500
Wednesday, May 22-- Pittsburgh 7 at Ottawa 3 (20,500
Friday, May 24-- Ottawa 2 at Pittsburgh 6 (18,656


All Games on CBC, RDS and NBCSN

Media sources for the series
(some may feature a pay wall)


Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Sun
Globe and Mail
National Post
Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
USA Today