Monthly Archives: April 2010

Holy Halak

The Washington Capitals brought their shots to the game, the problem was Montreal Canadien goaltender Jaroslav Halak had an answer for just about every one of them. In a game that was mostly dominated by the Capitals Halak turned away 53 shots and only allowing one goal against the offensive juggernaut that are the Washington Capitals. While Halak was brilliant, Caps’ netminder Semyon Varlamov was marginal. The result, a 4-1 win and a forced game seven by the Canadiens

Troubling NHL numbers

An interesting item in John Shannon’s blog on Sportsnet.ca the other day stated as many as six NHL teams needed advances on television and/or revenue-sharing money to pay the bills.

Given the persistent financial state of several NHL markets, there are always one or two franchises needing an advance on money that is usually paid out in September and October. But six is a troubling number despite our troubled economic times.

Spezza in for long haul

Unlike Heatley or Yashin , Senators centre can take good with bad in nation’s capital

Dany Heatley wanted out because his feelings were hurt.

Partly by a coach who “diminished” his role, if you actually bought that, but also by the valid criticisms being written and said of him.

A look at Kings' unrestricted free agents

The Kings now have to look toward next season, when change is sure to come. They have six players who are now unrestricted free agents and three more who are restricted. Some of these players may not be back. Here are the names, their 2009-10 salary, key stats and comments from The Times hockey Hall of Fame columnist Helene Elliott.

Burke Busy Come Draft Day

Brian Burke will have his hands full this offseason. The free agency this year in nothing special in terms of big name players. The names that come to mind are Marleau and Kovalchuk and since it is very unlikely either end up in Toronto next season Burke will have to trade to bolster his offence. The Leafs do not have a pick in the first 2 rounds, but Burke has said on a few occasions that he will try to acquire a 1st round pick and a top 6 forward. Kaberle and Grabovski are likely on the move with a number of different teams as possible destinations.

Alexander Semin has been silent in the Stanley Cup playoffs, both with his scori

Maybe the conversation would be different had the puck left Alexander Semin’s stick — where it found itself in the first period of Game 5 Friday night — and somehow made its way behind Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak . Semin’s wrist shot, fired in a blur from the left circle behind a screen — “one of the best shots in the league, if not the best,” according to teammate Tom Poti — instead found Halak’s pad.

Canucks lick chops at thought of Chicago Blackhawks rematch

And so it looks as though the Vancouver Canucks will be granted what they so wished for at the outset of training camp.

Another shot at the Chicago Blackhawks, the team they felt never should have eliminated them from Cup contention, could be very much in their future which is fine with everyone in the Vancouver room.
Because they remain a dark shadow in their recent past. Obviously nothing is set in stone with the Hawks still having to finish off the Nashville Predators, but that’s the way it’s looking and it’s not lost on any of the Vancouver players who went through last year’s anguish, a series they felt was within their grasp only to slip away after so many opportunities to close it out.

“I guess it’s looking like we might both get another shot at each other although that series isn’t over yet,” said Ryan Kesler , who likely still remembers Andrew Ladd’ s wicked hit that went uncalled in that series. And it would be pretty astonishing if Rick Rypien has forgotten Ben Eager’s also totally ignored by the league and totally unsolicited shot that cold*****ed him.

Final goodbye for some Sens

With about $49 million committed to salaries next season, there will be changes

The Senators will do some spring cleaning Monday at Scotiabank Place — about eight weeks before they had hoped.

While they’ll meet with Senators GM Bryan Murray and coach Cory Clouston before going their separate ways following a 4-3 overtime defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 Saturday, some players will be saying goodbye for the final time.

Hossa a controversial hero

It looked for a while on Saturday like Chicago forward Marian Hossa might be the biggest reason the Blackhawks lost a critical Game 5 in their Western Conference playoff series.

Instead, it was Hossa who wound up getting mobbed by teammates after his goal 4:07 into overtime produced the Blackhawks’ 5-4 victory over the Predators at United Center.

Free-agent goaltending market always in a state of flux

Chris Mason and Marty Turco will probably be the most intriguing players in the goaltenders’ free agent marketplace this summer and yet it’s impossible to know today whether that’s a good or bad situation.

The market for defensemen and forwards is always strong and predictable and the goaltending market is always in a state of flux.

For the after-math: Lemaire in, Ilya out?

Despite so much going so wrong for so long, general manager Lou Lamoriello said he expects Jacques Lemaire to return as Devils coach next season.

“There’s no question he will be back, unless you know something I don’t know,” Lamoriello said yesterday in the wake of his team’s third straight first-round elimination from the playoffs.

Todd Bertuzzi is unsure about his future

Todd Bertuzzi wouldn’t go there. Not now. Not with a critical Game 5 looming just a few short hours away.

“I am not looking beyond this right here,” he said. “I just want to win. I want what all these guys have had here (my name on the Stanley Cup). Just being around here, it makes you appreciate what they’ve gone through in order to get it. It’s a tough battle and we are still a long way away. But my only goal is to accomplish that.”

The question was about his future. Before the season, Bertuzzi couldn’t tell you if he would play beyond this season. Heck, early on, he wasn’t sure he’d make it through this season. He was coming off three straight injury-plagued seasons. He missed 97 games from 2006 through 2009.

Add Another Name

Scott Arniel, coach of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, is on the short list of candidates to become the Blue Jackets next coach, The Dispatch has learned.

Arniel, 47, spent 11 seasons in the NHL with Winnipeg, Buffalo and Boston. After his NHL career ended, he played eight more season of pro hockey, both in the AHL and the now-departed IHL.