News Clips

NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Canes to end season against Wings, but what’s next?
By Chip Alexander
[email protected]
04/10/2015 3:52 PM
The Carolina Hurricanes’ season comes to an end Saturday,
soon to be followed by what could be an uncertain offseason.
The Canes finish things up with a game against the Detroit
Red Wings at PNC Arena. While the Wings are headed to the
Stanley Cup playoffs for a 24th consecutive season, the Canes
will be out of the playoffs for the sixth straight year.
“The situation we’re in is hard on us as players, to be in this
spot another year,” defenseman Justin Faulk recently said.
It’s not what the Canes envisioned in September. They had a
new coach, Bill Peters. Ron Francis, promoted to general
manager last April, believed enough pieces were in place to be
competitive, to contend for a spot in the playoffs.
The playoff hopes may have ended Sept. 23, when center
Jordan Staal suffered a broken leg in a preseason game. In the
Canes’ seventh and final preseason game, forward Jeff
Skinner suffered a concussion and other injuries followed early
in the regular season.
Injuries aside, the Canes were never a factor. They were
winless in October, going 0-6-2, and were 10-23-4 after a New
Year’s Eve loss to Pittsburgh. Their longest winning streak,
four games, came in early November and they finished 12-25-4
on the road after a 3-1 victory Thursday over the Philadelphia
With the exception of the lockout-shortened 2012-2013
season, the Canes (30-40-11) will finish with their fewest
victories since winning 28 in 2003-2004. It will be the first time
they’ve had 40 regulation losses since losing 43 in 2002-2003.
Some positive steps have been taken under Peters. The
Canes improved their penalty killing, improved in such areas
as goals allowed. Veteran goalie Cam Ward has had a
bounceback season. Rookie center Victor Rask, thrust into the
lineup with Staal sidelined the first 35 games, proved he can
play at the NHL level.
“We made some adjustments to our system play as we went
along this season and they were good adjustments,” Peters
Faulk was picked for the NHL All-Star game, continuing his
ascent in the league at age 23. He has been the Canes’ most
valuable player, a stalwart on the top defensive pairing.
Showing off a heavy, more accurate shot, Faulk has scored 15
goals and is the team’s second-leading scorer with 49 points.
In a late-season game against Columbus, Blue Jackets center
Ryan Johansen was about to block a Faulk shot from the point,
quickly thought better of it and backed away.
Faulk has played in the Olympics for the U.S., but has yet to
play in a playoff game. The same can be said for many on the
Canes’ roster.
“That would be fun to be a part of and something I hope I can
be in the future,” Faulk said.
For the Canes, the immediate future includes planning for the
NHL Draft in June. The NHL lottery will be held late this month
– Carolina has an 8.5 percent chance of winning – and the
Canes have 10 picks for the draft.
The Canes hoped to have 11. As part of the trade that sent
defenseman Andrej Sekera to the Los Angeles Kings, the
Canes were to receive the Kings’ first-round pick this year if
L.A. reached the playoffs, or the first-rounder in 2016 if the
Kings failed to qualify. The Kings were eliminated Thursday,
keeping the pick this year.
But there are other, more meaty decisions to be made. Eric
Staal will be in the final year of his contract next season, and
there could be talks about an extension. And what to do about
forward Alexander Semin, who was unproductive this season
and has three years left on his contract at $7 million a year?
Francis has said he needs to find a defensive partner for Faulk
and make other changes on the back end, which are needed,
either through trades or free agency.
What do the Canes need to do to become a playoff team next
“There’s a lot of skill on this team but I think it’s more becoming
responsible hockey players in all areas of the ice,” Faulk said.
“The systems are there and I think they’re good systems. It’s
just doing it on a consistent basis.”
Alexander: 919-829-8945;
Twitter: @ice_chip
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Gameday: Red Wings vs. Hurricanes
Saturday, 04.11.2015 / 6:00 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
One last time, with feeling.
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest
news and information related to tonight’s regular-season finale
between the Detroit Red Wings and Carolina Hurricanes in one
handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as
we update it with notes, videos, photos and more as puck drop
draws near.
The Hurricanes will hold their last morning skate at 10:30 a.m.
at PNC Arena. Due to a number of events happening around
the rink, the skate is closed to the public, but we’ll have all of
your rinkside updates right here.
A quick personal note: many, many thanks for all who made
this and all the other gameday hubs a routine stop throughout
the season. We hope that this new gameday feature provided
you with exactly the information you sought, and we can’t wait
to do it again in October.
Last updated: 6:00 a.m.
6:00 a.m.
For the Carolina Hurricanes, the road of the 2014-15 regular
season ends here: game No. 82.
The Canes host the Red Wings in their regular-season finale,
the second time the two teams have faced off in five days.
Carolina made their first and only stop in Detroit on Tuesday
night on the second half of a back-to-back set, and they were
edged 3-2 by the Red Wings.
It was a game that was the Hurricanes’ most competitive on
the road in their five previous.
“It was intense. They were desperate to close it out and make
sure they’re in the playoffs, and we wanted to make sure it
didn’t happen. Unfortunately they got the better of us in the
third period and got it done,” Eric Staal said after the game.
“You’re happy with the effort, but it’s no fun losing.”
Since then, Detroit did indeed clinch a playoff berth for the 24th
consecutive season, and the Hurricanes carried their
competitive edge over to Thursday night’s tilt in Philadelphia, a
3-1 win for the road squad and their fourth straight over the
Flyers this season.
“It was a bit of a gritty one,” Brett Bellemore said after the
game. “Especially Keegan (Lowe), he stepped up with a couple
big fights and got us going.”
The Canes received vital contributions from the blue line in
Philadelphia, as Bellemore and Ryan Murphy, who scored the
game-winning goal on a power play, tallied goals for the
Canes. Jordan Staal sealed the win with a late empty-netter.
“Any time you can get two goals from D-men, you’re doing
well,” Peters said. “We’ve wanted our D to be active, and it’s
nice to get offensive contributions from them tonight.”
Another defenseman made an impact in a noticeable way, and
he was one making his NHL debut: Keegan Lowe fought
Vincent Lecavalier twice, as he whaled on the veteran forward
in the first bout and fended off somewhat of a surprise battle in
the second.
“The first time it was just a battle and it ended up – by no
means was I like, ‘Oh, this is Lecavalier.’ It ended up
happening. It’s hockey, right?” Lowe said. “No love lost for him.
He’s a great player and always has been. He wanted his lick,
and he got it. Game’s over and we got the win, so I’m happy.”
The Hurricanes finished with a 12-25-4 record on the road this
season, and tonight is an opportunity for the team to improve
their points percentage at home to .549 (currently 18-15-7),
which would be their best mark since 2011-12. It will also be
the deciding game of the Canes and Red Wings three-game
season series.
NOTES: Quite strange are the penalty statistics from this
season. The Hurricanes have played 11 penalty-free games in
their history, and five have come in this season alone. The last
was earlier in the week in Buffalo, when neither team was
whistled for an infraction, the first time that has happened in
franchise history since Jan. 26, 1980. … Nathan Gerbe carries
a two-game point streak (1g, 1a) into the Canes’ final game.
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Detroit at Carolina
Time: 07:00 P.M. ESTVenue: PNC Arena
The Detroit Red Wings have extended their historic playoff
streak, though they're a bit banged up heading into their latest
postseason appearance.
Pavel Datsyuk has missed seven of the last 13 games due to a
lower-body injury but has been effective when on the ice, with
three goals and four assists in his last five games.
They might use Saturday night's regular-season finale against
the Carolina Hurricanes as an opportunity to rest some stars.
Coach Mike Babcock could hold out Datsyuk along with Justin
Abdelkader on Saturday. Abdelkader, fourth on the team with
23 goals, isn't likely to return until the playoffs after missing the
last three contests due to a hand injury.
Detroit (42-25-14) clinched its 24th consecutive playoff berth in
unsatisfying fashion, blowing two leads in a 4-3 overtime loss
at Montreal on Thursday. The Red Wings failed to score a
power-play goal for the first time in five games.
Their playoff streak is the longest active run in North American
major professional sports and tied for the fourth longest in NHL
"It's a weird scenario," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said of
Thursday's loss. "We battled hard, but there wasn't a lot of
room out there. We found way to get a point and that was big
for us. That got us in (the playoffs)."
The Red Wings can finish in three possible spots, remaining
the third seed in the Atlantic Division or ending up in either of
the Eastern Conference wild-card slots. They'll face Montreal,
Tampa Bay or the New York Rangers in the first round.
Detroit's 3-2 win over Carolina on Tuesday gave it two victories
in the last seven games. The Red Wings have been
particularly inept on the road of late, giving up 3.8 non-shootout
goals per game in a 2-5-1 stretch.
Henrik Zetterberg may be heating up, though, with five points
in his last four after assisting on two goals against the
Canadiens. He recorded five points in his previous 12 contests.
"Our biggest thing is I'm hoping we're gonna get some guys
back," Babcock told the team's official website. "I'm hoping a
couple days off for Pav and he can feel himself. Get Abby
back. I think that would really help, obviously."
Carolina (30-40-11) has gone 2-4-1 in its last seven, falling 3-1
at Philadelphia on Thursday.
The Hurricanes are missing the postseason for a sixth straight
season, but got a spark from defenseman Keegan Lowe in his
NHL debut. Lowe fought Flyers center Vincent Lecavalier
"He did a good job. He competes. We knew he was a
competitive player, and he was competitive here tonight,"
coach Bill Peters told the team's official website. "I thought he
managed the puck well. I thought he was good defensively and
The Red Wings are second in the league on the power play at
23.9 percent, and they'll face a Carolina team that's among the
NHL leaders on the penalty kill at 84.7 percent.
Detroit is 26-7-0 with one tie in the last 34 meetings with the
Carolina/Hartford franchise.
Zetterberg has 10 goals and seven assists in 13 career
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Around the League Notebook for Friday, April 10
Friday, 04.10.2015 / 10:56 PM / News
By NHL Public Relations
Home Team in Caps
NY Islanders 3, PITTSBURGH 1
COLUMBUS 4, Buffalo 2
Jaroslav Halak stopped all but one of 38 shots he faced to
backstop the New York Islanders to a 3-1 victory over the
Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders, who have earned points in
four of their last five games (3-1-1), improved to 47-28-6 (100
points) this season. The Islanders rank third in the Metropolitan
Division standings and moved within a point of the idle
Washington Capitals (45-25-11, 101 points), who rank second.
* Halak made 37 saves to improve to 38-17-3 this season with
a 2.41 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage.
Halak has recorded points in four of his last five decisions (3-11) and his career-high 38 victories extended his franchise
record for wins by a goaltender in a single season.
* John Tavares (1-0—1) scored his team-leading 37th goal of
the season and extended his point streak to five games (3-7—
10), which matched a season-high. The marker also stood as
the team-leading eighth game-winning goal of the season for
Tavares, who is tied for the League-lead in points with 84 (3747—84).
* The Islanders improved to 21-6-2 against Metropolitan
Division opponents this season, which includes a road record
of 10-3-2 and a home record of 11-3-0.
By defeating the Penguins, the Islanders (47-28-6, 100 points)
sealed a First Round playoff series against the Capitals (45-2511, 101 points).
* Though the matchup is set, home ice will not be determined
until Saturday when the Islanders host the Columbus Blue
Jackets and the Capitals host the New York Rangers.
Washington currently holds a one-point lead for second place
in the Metropolitan Division standings, but the teams are tied in
ROW (40) and the Capitals won the season series 2-0-2 (NYI:
* This marks the seventh time the Islanders and Capitals will
meet in the playoffs and the Islanders hold a 5-1 edge in their
all-time series. They last met in the 1993 Patrick Division
Semifinals, where the Islanders skated to a 4-2 series victory.
The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a
score of 4-2 and extended their point streak to 12 consecutive
games (11-0-1). The point streak matched a franchise record
from Feb. 26-March 22, 2013 (8-0-4).
* Columbus has also won a season-high six consecutive
games on home ice, which matched a franchise record from
Dec. 26, 2007-Jan. 15, 2008.
* Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves to improve to 30-17-3 this
season with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .918 save
percentage. Bobrovsky reached the 30-win mark for the
second time in his career and for the second consecutive
* Bobrovsky has earned points in 11 straight decisions (10-01). The point streak matched his career-high from Feb. 26March 22, 2013 (8-0-3), which also stands as the franchise
* Matt Calvert (1-1—2) scored his 13th goal and added his
10th assist to post his fifth multipoint performance of the
season. Calvert has scored three times in his last four games
* Nick Foligno (1-0—1) opened the scoring just 14 seconds
into the contest with his team-leading 31st goal of the season
and extended his point streak to six games (5-3—8). Cam
Atkinson (1-0—1) scored his 21st goal of the season, which
matched his career-high from 2013-14. The tally also stood as
his team-leading seventh game-winning goal of the season.
* Jack Johnson (0-2—2) and David Savard (0-2—2) each
registered two assists.
* Todd Richards earned his 126th career win as coach for the
Blue Jackets (126-105-21) and passed Ken Hitchcock (125123-36) for the most victories by a coach in franchise history.
Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi (1-0—1) scored his first
goal since Jan. 19, 2013. The marker was the 100th point of
his NHL career (8-92—100) ... Pittsburgh forward Sidney
Crosby (0-1—1) registered his team-leading 56th assist of the
season. Crosby is tied for the League-lead with 84 points this
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
season (28-54—84) ... Columbus forward Brandon Dubinsky
(0-1—1) extended his career-high point streak to seven games
(3-7—10) ... Buffalo forward Brian Gionta (1-1—2) recorded his
ninth multipoint game of the season. Gionta has recorded 13
points (6-7—13) in his last nine games, which includes six of
his nine multipoint performances on the season ... Buffalo
forward Marcus Foligno (0-1—1) recorded an assist in his final
game of the season against his brother Nick Foligno ... Buffalo
goaltender Anders Lindback made 36 saves... Boston
University freshman forward Jack Eichel was named Friday as
winner of the Hobey Baker Award, presented to the top
player in U.S. college hockey. Eichel, a native of North
Chelmsford, Mass., is the first freshman to win the award since
Paul Kariya of Maine in 1993 and is the third player in BU
history to win it, joining forward Chris Drury (1998) and
defenseman Matt Gilroy (2009) ... Chicago Blackhawks
forward Andrew Shaw has been fined $2,000 as
supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64
Q&A: Superchunk's Mac McCaughan Talks His Beloved Carolina Hurricanes
Luke Winkie
Today on Ask an Indie Rock Dude About Sports, we’re talking
to Mac McCaughan, the singer and guitarist for Chapel Hill
lifers Superchunk and the king of the best hooks in rock 'n' roll
since 1989. (For newbies, his tried-and-true staple “Slack
Motherfucker” deserves your respect.) In addition to fronting
his band, McCaughan also runs Merge Records, the label
responsible for bands that range from Neutral Milk Hotel to
Arcade Fire to the Mountain Goats and is counting down the
days to the release of Non-Believers, his debut solo album
that's due on May 5. For fans of Superchunk, we can tell you to
expect something a little dreamier than his band's usual barnburning tempo.
McCaughan also happens to be a huge Carolina Hurricanes
fan, so we caught up with him to talk about the team’s current
rebuilding process, North Carolina fandom, and memories from
the team's unforgettable 2006 Stanley Cup run.
When did you first start watching hockey?
It started with the 1980 Olympics, which everyone watched—I
got really into that. The next year, ESPN debuted, and we had
our first cable box. They didn’t have any contracts with any
other sports, so they’d played hockey and Australian-rules
football. I was into it then, but when we moved to North
Carolina, hockey became harder to follow. College basketball
is such a thing here and dominates the conversation. But there
was a minor-league team in Raleigh called the Raleigh
Icecaps, and we went to a bunch of their games, though they
moved once the Hurricanes showed up.
Hockey is the best sport to see live, so I started going to
'Canes games around the first playoff run in 2002. At that time
you could walk up and buy a ticket at the door during the
Stanley Cup Finals. That was a great experience, despite them
losing to Detroit. The year after that, I started getting season
tickets. It’s so fun—even in years like this when they’re in last
place, the games can still be great.
It’s clear the Hurricanes are embracing the rebuild right
now—how do you feel about that?
It’s weird: Every year you look at the parts and see what you
have. The goaltending between Cam Ward and Anton
Khudobin has been great, but the scorers you ostensibly have
on the team aren’t producing. So at the start of the season you
have hope, but halfway through you think, "Ugh, maybe we
should pick it apart.” I’m not analytical enough to say
specifically who we should get rid of. But between Skinner,
Faulk, and Lindholm, we’ve got a good young core. And it’s
always exciting in years like this where super-green guys get
called up from Charlotte and you get to see how they do on a
big stage for the first time. It’s been a long time since they won
the Cup, but there’s teams who’ve never won the Cup. So I
can take a few years without the playoffs.
Let’s talk about that ‘06 title run. What are your best
memories from that season?
It was one of those years where everything fit into place.
Everyone was playing well in a weird shortened season. They
added the right pieces at the end, and it all worked out. The
Finals themselves were super nerve-wrecking, but in
retrospect, you’re glad it went to a seventh game. Gerber and
Ward were going back and forth in goal: One guy would lose
momentum, and the other guy would play perfectly. Also, to
see a guy like Brind’Amour win a Cup was pretty amazing.
Are you happy Jordan Staal is still on the 'Canes?
I love the idea of brothers on a team being great together—you
really want that to work out. So I’m glad he didn’t go. But it’s a
business, and at a certain point you think, “Well, at the end of
the season, we could get nothing from this guy.”
Who is the truest rival for the 'Canes?
Because of the multiple playoff series we’ve had against them,
I think it’s the Sabres. The Sabres might not be the most
constant rivals, but they are the most bitter. I’ve been to
Sabres/Canes games and seen fistfights breaking out. Also,
the division thing doesn’t mean anything anymore, but the
Caps are always a little contentious just because of the
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
geography. So Buffalo and Washington, more than say
Nashville or Florida.
Who do you think is the best team in the league right
Nashville is really good. I just watched Anaheim, and they’re
obviously great. You can never count out the Kings. But when
you look at a team’s roster, I think it has to be Chicago. Like, I
don’t know why they aren’t dominating. And they’ll be in the
playoffs, so we have to wait and see. Even though the
Islanders are doing well, they’re still the Islanders. I see the
logo and think, "They’re not going to do anything.”
One thing I hated during the first Cup run was every dumb
writer. Who’s that guy? Lupica? Every guy like that was writing,
“How do these NASCAR fans like hockey?” There’s not even a
NASCAR track down here.
But it is unique because we have a lot of transplants, and a lot
of people who grew up on college basketball. I got to do this
TV show for TSN where I got to sit down with Cam Ward and
Rod Brind’Amour, and we watched Game 7 of the Finals. It
was called “Relive the Moment” or something like that. What
people noticed was that nobody in the arena sat down the
entire time—it was like a college basketball thing, I think that’s
a pretty unique thing about the fans in this area.
What makes Hurricanes fandom unique?
Detroit Red Wings
Duty fulfilled, Red Wings eye rest before playoffs
By Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press 2:56 p.m. EDT April 10, 2015
Once they knew they'd be traveling and playing next week, the Detroit Red
Wings changed plans, with an emphasis on rest and recuperation.
They flew to Raleigh, North Carolina, near mid-day today, and opted not to
practice. That was the luxury enabled by clinching a 24th straight playoff
appearance Thursday at Montreal, where a 4-3 overtime loss combined
with Boston losing to Florida got the Wings across the finish line. Coach
Mike Babcock said it's to the point the organization owes it to the city to
make the playoffs.
"It's your duty here, as part of the Red Wings, you just keep finding a way to
get in," he said.
All that's left is Saturday's game at the Carolina Hurricanes.
The biggest question is what coach Mike Babcock decides to do in net - he
was so dissatisfied with three of the four goals Jimmy Howard let in
Thursday that Babcock said he needed a beer to figure out who his No. 1
goaltender is. He either decides on Howard, who was solid in his two prior
starts, in which case common sense would see Howard play at Carolina as
one last chance to get his game in order. The alternative is Petr Mrazek,
who didn't impress in his last two starts, and who has no NHL playoff
By the time they start next week - and against who won't be determined till
after Saturday's games, as the Wings can still finish third in the Atlantic, or
as either wild card spot - the Wings want to be well rested. To that effect,
Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall top on the list of
players who could benefit from being scratched Saturday. Tomas Jurco has
been cleared to play, and Daniel Cleary and Jakub Kindl are also able to
spell workhorse regulars. Defenseman Alexey Marchenko was called up
from the minors to further offset resting veterans.
The Wings will start their first-round series either next Wednesday (likely if
it's Montreal) or Thursday (likely if it's the Rangers or Tampa Bay), which
will give veterans nearly a week of downtime to soothe some of the
soreness inevitable this time of year. Datsyuk has four points in his last two
games despite playing hurt; imagine how dangerous he'll be when he feels
better. Zetterberg, too, could use some rest after a week that saw him pump
four points into two games.
That time frame should also see Justin Abdelkader recovered from the pain
in his right hand that's sidelined him since last weekend - and getting back
Abdelkader, a big, hardworking forward riding a career high in goals shouldn't be underestimated.
Former Wings great Steve Yzerman - now general manager at Tampa Bay
- often said the team that wins the Stanley Cup usually is the healthiest
team. The Wings will do what they can to at least enter the playoffs in such
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 04.11.2015
Detroit Red Wings
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Last time Wings missed playoffs, Jennifer Lawrence wasn't born
Regardless, the Red Wings play on, to a 24th consecutive berth in the
Stanley Cup playoffs.
By Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press 9:38 a.m. EDT April 10, 2015
Beyond impressive, the span is currently the longest in the NHL by 15 or 16
seasons, depending on whether the Penguins or Bruins make it this
weekend and the longest in the four main professional sports.
If you're a Millennial, chances are you don't even remember a season in
which the Detroit Red Wings missed the postseason.
Through a generation of boom and bust, peace and war, terror and
empathy, and the elections of father and son presidents and the first
African-American one, the Wings qualified for the "second season."
Actress Jennifer Lawrence hadn't even been born yet. Her birthday was
Aug. 15, 1990.
The Wings kept the longest active streak in major professional sports alive
Thursday night, earning a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Montreal
Canadiens and clinching via a Boston Bruins regulation loss to the Florida
Players mostly love being Red Wings. Grizzled veterans like Erik Cole
arrive with the facial expressions of happy youth. A hated enemy like Chris
Chelios not only makes his peace, he stars, and then stays in the front
That makes 24 consecutive seasons, dating back to 1990-91, when Bryan
Murray was running things as head coach and general manager.
And many of them describe it as a top-down endeavor of competence and
Here are some fun facts about the year 1990, the last time the Red Wings
missed the playoffs. In 1990...
"When I first arrived in Detroit from Buffalo, it was very evident that this was
a first-class, fine-tuned, well-running machine," said Jason Woolley, who
played three seasons with the Wings after tenures with four teams and is
now an agent.
The "Bad Boys" repeated: The Detroit Pistons beat the Portland Trail
Blazers in five games to win the 1990 NBA championship, repeating their
feat in 1989
Other major champions: The Cincinnati Reds, the Edmonton Oilers
(without Wayne Gretzky!) and the San Francisco 49ers.
Gas price: It was $1.30 a gallon for gas, according to
Academy Award for Best Picture: "Dances With Wolves."
"And the longer I spent time in the organization, I realized, wow, we have
fantastic management.
"We had an owner who, when I was there, was a little bit hands-on, which I
was impressed by, because he was walking around the room, all the time.
"I had an injury when I was in Detroit, and Mr. Ilitch came down and said,
'Hey, let's get this taken care of the right way.' And I was just blown away.
The top box office films: "Home Alone," "Ghost," "Dances With Wolves,"
"Pretty Woman" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," according to
"The coaching was solid," Woolley said, recalling Bowman, Dave Lewis and
the current decade-long tenure of Mike Babcock. "These are hard-working
coaches. They care.
The top songs: On the day the 1990 NHL playoffs began without the Red
Wings, "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles was the No. 1 Billboard song. On
the day the Oilers won the Cup, "Vogue" by Madonna was No. 1.
"And the players, we policed ourselves. The culture they've created on the
inside is really the foundation of the success over time, for so many years.
And it starts, for me in my era, back with Stevie (Yzerman).
The World Wide Web was born: Tim Berners-Lee created the World
Wide Web in 1990, then designed and built the first Web browser.
"Everybody came to work. We had a good time. We had fun, and we
enjoyed it. But we worked hard and we were very focused and we all
handled ourselves like professionals.
The Berlin Wall: The Berlin Wall was still standing the last time the Red
Wings missed the postseason. Demolition began in June 1990.
"And, if you didn't buy in, you were gone.
Famous people born in 1990: Jennifer Lawrence, Zoe Sugg, Iggy Azalea,
Emma Watson, Liam Hemsworth, Kristen Stewart.
"You can't leave it up to the organization to vet everybody out, perfectly. But
it didn't take long to get those guys out — trust me, when I tell you that.
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 04.11.2015
"Players just have a real sense of this organization has my back.
Detroit Red Wings
"To me, to pinpoint it, everybody inside the room believed in outside the
Scouting key to success
Red Wings' 24-season playoff streak endures
The Red Wings last missed the postseason in 1990.
Looking at their record from that season feels like examining a fossil from
the Mesozoic Era. It seems strange and primeval: 28-38-14.
Gregg Krupa, The Detroit News 7:17 p.m. EDT April 10, 2015
They won eight of 40 road games.
But the source of the upcoming success was present.
Detroit — The playoff streak has survived repeated forecasts of a team in
decline, complaints the Red Wings are not tough enough and too small, and
the retirements of Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom and Scotty Bowman.
Yzerman tallied 62 goals and 65 assists in a 127-point season. And, they
made a cornerstone hire in the person of a 25-year-old fishing guide from
Stockholm, Sweden: Karl Goran Hakan Andersson.
It continued through the assertions of critics biased against European-born
players, and regardless of changes to rules that altered the way the game is
Unknown then, Hakan Andersson is a legend now as the Wings' director of
European scouting.
It persisted despite the establishment of the salary cap and the NHL using
the Red Wings to help build its fan-base in the Western Conference.
That previous offseason, a management staff led by Jimmy Devellano, who
had helped bring a string of Stanley Cups to the New York Islanders,
drafted Lidstrom in the third round (53rd overall); Sergei Fedorov in the
fourth round (74th) and Vladimir Konstantinov in the 11th round (221st).
It has abided fickle free agents who preferred to live near family, to play
with friends or who believed the prognostications of doom for the club in
Other than the nearly cloak-and-dagger operation that got Fedorov over the
U.S.-Canada border from British Columbia, where he had walked away
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
from a Russian national team, they seemed to replicate their personnel
feats season after season.
With Mike and Marian Ilitch writing checks and free agents campaigning for
gigs, the streak perpetuated.
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Detroit Red Wings head into their regular season
finale Saturday at Carolina still trying to sort out their goaltending situation,
whether Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek is their man for the playoffs.
But things would change.
Their first-round opponent, whoever that may be, has no such concerns.
Their fellow billionaires, who owned the other teams, forced the Ilitches to
write smaller checks. Salaries were capped in the name of parity.
The Red Wings will face Montreal, Tampa Bay or the New York Rangers in
a series that will begin on the road, either Wednesday or Thursday. They
are different types of teams, but they have at least one thing in common:
strong goaltending.
But they had drafted Henrik Zetterberg (210th in the ninth round) and Pavel
Datsyuk (171st in the sixth round). The Wings had outworked scouts and
general managers throughout the NHL once again.
Andersson says he believes that he was the only scout to see Pavel
Valerievich "Pasha" Datsyuk, as he deked for Dynamo Yekaterinburg.
And when they felt they needed something more behind the bench, they did
what all too often proves impossible in the vain world of sport: They hired
the enemy.
Shockingly, the Ducks swept them from the first round of the 2003 playoffs.
And, sure, their goaltender was great. But the almost maniacally-intense,
red-headed coach behind the Ducks bench crafted the perfect strategies to
hold the mighty Red Wings to six goals in four games.
Again, the Wings got their man.
Under Babcock, and forestalling the ravages of the salary cap era, the
Wings won another Stanley Cup in 2008.
The last team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, they almost did it again
the next season.
On the same page
Eventually, with Lidstrom and others gone, they have carried on.
After a hugely successful first two-thirds of the season, the Wings have
managed to keep enough pace through an uncharacteristic rafts of
penalties, the overly generous giveaways that often mark a roster in
transition and struggling goaltending, to make the playoffs again.
Barring catastrophe, the 25-year streak of the Blues, 26 years of the
Blackhawks and 29 years of the Bruins, all seem achievable, despite the
gathering age of Datsyuk and Zetterberg and the free agent status of their
Through it all, and possibly through things to come, there remains a sense
of constancy.
"If you go to Grand Rapids and look at 'Blash, who is coaching there now,
and those who they've had in the past, it's always been very solid," Woolley
said of Babcock's former assistant, Jeff Blashill, and other Griffins coaches.
"And it's always been an extension of Babs (Babcock).
"I mean, if you listen to Blashill talk, he sounds like Babs — and I've known
Jeff for a long time.
"And, I'm in the business, so I talk to talk to Derek Lalonde, who's the coach
in Toledo, it's the same thing.
"Everybody is on the same page. And you don't get that in other
Detroit News LOADED: 04.11.2015
If the Red Wings earn one point against the Hurricanes or Ottawa loses
Saturday at Philadelphia (regulation, overtime or shootout), Detroit will
finish third in the Atlantic Division and face whoever winds up second Tampa Bay or Montreal. The Canadiens, who visit Toronto, have a twopoint lead on the Lightning, who host Boston and own the tie-breaker
against Montreal.
If the Senators pass Detroit, the Red Wings will finish with one of the two
wild card spots in the Eastern Conference, depending on the results of
several games. If the Red Wings get the first wild card spot they'll play the
Atlantic Division winner. If they get the second wild card spot they'll play the
Rangers, who clinched the Presidents' Trophy for the best record in the
Here is a breakdown of the Red Wings' possible playoff opponents:
Tampa Bay Lightning
It would be the first-ever postseason meeting between the clubs. The
Lightning, under general manager and longtime Red Wings captain Steve
Yzerman, have rebuilt their roster over the past few seasons. They know
what it takes to beat the Red Wings, having won seven of their past nine
The Lightning are young and fast and lead the league in goals per game
(3.17) despite an average power play (ranked 15th). They're led by Steven
Stamkos, one of the top snipers in the game (43 goals, 72 points), and
Tyler Johnson (72 points). They have four players with 24 or more goals.
Ben Bishop, their 6-foot-7 goaltender, has put together strong back-to-back
seasons, but he's never appeared in a playoff game. He was injured just
before the 2014 playoffs and the Lightning were swept by Montreal in the
first round.
Montreal Canadiens
If you're into nostalgia, this is your series. These Original Six rivals have
met 12 times in the playoffs (Detroit leads 7-5), but not since 1978.
The Canadiens swept the four-game season series, winning twice in
overtime, and have won six in a row vs. the Red Wings, outscoring them
It's no surprise Montreal has allowed the fewest goals. Goaltender Carey
Price leads the league in wins (43), goals-against average (1.95) and save
percentage (.934) and is tied for the lead in shutouts (nine) with Pittsburgh's
Marc-Andre Fleury and Washington's Braden Holtby.
Offense might be a concern for the Canadiens if leading scorer Max
Pacioretty (concussion), who has 37 goals and 67 points, isn't back soon.
Montreal ranks 20th in goals per game.
But the Canadiens have some firepower on the blue line with P.K. Subban
and Andrei Markov, who've combined for 25 goals and 109 points.
New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Breaking down the Red Wings' potential first-round playoff foes: Canadiens,
Lightning and Rangers
Ansar Khan
on April 10, 2015 at 5:02 PM, updated April 10, 2015 at 5:04 PM
Among their Original Six rivals, the Red Wings have gone the longest
without facing the Rangers in the postseason. Their most recent playoff
meeting came in the 1950 Stanley Cup finals.
The Rangers have a deep, well-balanced team; that's how they won the
Presidents' Trophy for the best record in the NHL. Rick Nash, who the Red
Wings know well from his years with Columbus, leads the Rangers with 42
goals and 69 points. They have three others with 50 or more points (Derrick
Brassard, Derek Stepan and Martin St. Louis). They have a strong defense
led by Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi.
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the 2012 Vezina Trophy winner, is back from
a neck injury. The Rangers didn't miss a beat during his eight-week
absence as Cam Talbot flourished and even has a slightly better GAA
(2.21) and save percentage (.926) than Lundqvist.
Red Wings recall defenseman Alexey Marchenko from Griffins for regular
season finale at Carolina
The Red Wings won the past two meetings after the Rangers had won five
in a row. Four of the past seven games between the clubs have been
decided in overtime. These teams have played close, low-scoring games
against each other of late.
Ansar Khan | on April 10, 2015 at 2:52 PM, updated April 10, 2015 at 3:23
Michigan Live LOADED: 04.11.2015
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Pistons' Stan Van Gundy calls Red Wings' 24-season playoff streak
Brendan Savage on April 10, 2015 at 4:44 PM
AUBURN HILLS - Stan Van Gundy has spent his first year as the Detroit
Pistons president and head coach trying to rebuild a team that has missed
the playoffs for six straight seasons.
So it's understandable that Van Gundy is impressed by the Detroit Red
Wings' streak of making the playoffs for 24 straight seasons.
The Red Wings extended the longest active playoff streak in the four major
sports Thursday, when they earned a point for reaching overtime in
Montreal while the Boston Bruins lost 4-2 to Florida.
"Unbelievable," Van Gundy said after Friday's shoot around at The Palace
prior to the Pistons game against the Indiana Pacers. "Unbelievable. It's the
longest in pro sports. It's a phenomenal accomplishment.
"What the Red Wings have done, 24 straight years in the playoffs, your fans
get spoiled. I can't imagine what it will ever be like if they have a year where
they don't make it. You got to have great, great respect for an organization
that does that."
The second-longest active streak belongs to the NBA's San Antonio Spurs,
who are heading to the postseason for the 18th straight year. That's the
fifth-longest streak in NBA history.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Detroit Red Wings have recalled defenseman Alexey
Marchenko from the Grand Rapids Griffins for Saturday's regular season
finale against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena (7 p.m., Fox Sports
Marchenko, 23, a steady, stay-at-home defender with a right-handed shot,
has appeared in 12 games for Detroit this season, picking up a goal and an
assist. He has played 51 games for the Griffins, collecting 20 points (three
goals, 17 assists) and tying for third on the team and 10th in the AHL with a
plus-22 rating.
In 100 AHL games over the past two seasons, Marchenko (6-3, 210) has
picked up 38 points (six goals, 32 assists), a plus-33 rating and 40 penalty
Marchenko might replace Brendan Smith in the lineup. Smith's gaffe -- he
batted the puck onto the ice while seated on the bench, resulting in a
penalty -- enabled the Montreal Canadiens to score the tying goal on a fiveon-three power play Thursday before prevailing 4-3 in overtime.
The Red Wings might also insert defenseman Jakub Kindl and forwards
Tomas Jurco and Daniel Cleary into the lineup in order to rest some
regulars, particularly those dealing with injuries, like Pavel Datsyuk (ankle).
"We'll talk about what we're going to do against Carolina," coach Mike
Babcock said after Thursday's game. "Pavel's been hurt here for a while ...
whether we've got to get him out of the game or whatever we've got to do,
and the other guys that are hurt that have been playing that shouldn't be
playing we'll figure that out."
They still want to win Saturday. One point clinches third place in the Atlantic
Division and a win enables the Red Wings to finish with 100 points for the
17th time in the past 20 non-lockout shortened seasons.
"We need some points," Babcock said. "I don't know what the (playoff) draw
is obviously, there's so much left out there."
Michigan Live LOADED: 04.11.2015
The Spurs have won five championships during their run - including last
year - while the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998, 2002 and
2008 during their streak, which is tied for the fourth-longest in NHL history.
"I'm a guy who respects long-term excellence more than I do one great year
or one championship or one thing like that," said Van Gundy, who led the
Orlando Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals before losing to the Lakers.
Red Wings counting on offense in playoffs from Tomas Tatar, Gustav
Nyquist after 2014 struggles
"Like Utah never won a championship under Jerry Sloan and I thought what
he did there (with 18 playoff berths in 22 seasons) was incredible. What
San Antonia has done - and obviously they've won multiple championships
in our league - has been incredible."
Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson, who played some roller hockey as a
kid and followed the Anaheim Ducks growing up, also appreciates what the
Red Wings have done since the streak began on April 4, 1991.
The Red Wings' streak started 12 days before Jackson celebrated his first
"That's impressive," Jackson said. "Same thing with the Spurs. They're
there each and every year. Actually giving yourself a chance is something
very special and honorable, something you hope to accomplish for your
own team and your own organization."
Michigan Live LOADED: 04.11.2015
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings
Ansar Khan
on April 10, 2015 at 12:05 PM, updated April 10, 2015 at 3:01 PM
MONTREAL - As the regular season winds down, Detroit Red Wings coach
Mike Babcock noted that the team's top two young, skilled forwards, Gustav
Nyquist and Tomas Tatar, were heading in opposite directions.
"I think Nyquist has grown, got his game back," Babcock said before
Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss in Montreal. "I don't think Tats has been as
good lately.
"But I think there's also ebbs and flows to the season. Tats has to simplify
now and when you're a guy who perceives himself as a scorer and you
don't score, don't over-think things, don't over-handle the puck; shoot the
puck, get it in, get on the forecheck, get to the net.
"I think Nyquie's done a better job of winning his battles, getting pucks back
and setting himself up to have the puck. As a scorer it's great if everyone
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
else gets it to you but better if you go get it yourself, then you have the puck
twice as often. That's the priority for those kids."
Nyquist has five goals in his past 10 games, scoring every other game, and
27 for the season, one shy of his career high from last season. Tatar scored
his team-leading 29th goal on Thursday but has just four goals in his past
20 games.
"For a while I was in a little bit of a slump goal-scoring wise," Nyquist said. "I
think every player goes through those stretches and obviously it's nice to
see the puck starting to go in again."
Nyquist said getting more shots is important, but not as vital as getting on
the inside.
"That's where the goals are going to be scored, right in front of the net,"
Nyquist said. "It's not going to be cute plays, it's mostly going to be dirty
goals in front of the net. You have to fight for them."
Tatar, who scores a lot of his goals from tight spaces around the net, feels
he has been playing too much on the perimeter lately.
"There's little details that can change your game," Tatar said. "As soon as
you stop in front of the net you might get a lucky bounce, but if something
doesn't go your way you try to change some stuff and then maybe you
shouldn't think about it as much what you did and hopefully you'll get the
bounces back.
"Last four games I hit three posts, you know, puck won't go in. But most
important we won last game and hopefully we'll get a little more confident.
We need the two points, get us a little bit going and get a little more, not as
tight with our sticks."
The Red Wings clinched a playoff spot on Thursday and wrap up the
regular season Saturday in Carolina. When the postseason starts next
week, Nyquist, Tatar and the club's other young players need to show what
they learned from last season's first-round loss to Boston. Nyquist and Tatar
had no points in the five-game series.
"When you're young in this league - you know I haven't been in this league
too long - I'm still learning every game when to hold onto the puck and not,"
Nyquist said. "You just get better as the time goes on and the more games
you play. Hopefully I can use that down the stretch."
Michigan Live LOADED: 04.11.2015
Detroit Red Wings
Howard said of Eller's goal: "I saw (Eller) on the outside. I was thinking he
was going to throw it across. In that case, you've got to stick with the
shooter. Never mind the guy that's there."
He made a similar mistake on Plekanec's goal.
"At first, Plekanec did a good job of disguising it," Howard said. "I thought
he was going to whip it across. He turned his wrists over at the last second.
It's just stay with the puck and not worry about having to be in two spots at
The Red Wings were fortunate that Florida beat Boston 4-2. It enabled
Detroit to clinch a playoff berth before Saturday's season finale at Carolina.
Babcock said his team should have won the game.
"The puck went in, it shouldn't have went in," Babcock said. "We're going to
have to deal with that in the next few days to get that straightened out. But I
thought our team played real hard."
Babcock hadn't decided whether Howard or rookie Petr Mrazek will start in
Carolina. Whoever starts that game might start Game 1 of the playoffs as
Mrazek had an opportunity to seize the starting job late in the season with
four consecutive starts but allowed a couple of soft goals in losses to
Boston and Washington, which turned out to be the game-winning goals.
That prompted Babcock to revert back to the veteran Howard.
Smith's poor decision
The Canadiens went on that five-on-three power play because Brendan
Smith, while sitting on the bench, batted the puck back onto the ice. He was
called for interference, though a player on the ice had to serve the penalty.
Smith declined comment.
"Crazy. I knew exactly what happened, I watched the whole thing," Babcock
said. "We should have went to the box, should have been a five-on-three.
Still, the Red Wings complained because the referees apparently didn't see
the play and didn't make the call until consulting with linesmen.
"We weren't sure if anyone saw it," Henrik Zetterberg said. "When you see
the replay, he reached out and touched the puck outside (on the bench
area), so it is a two-minute (penalty). No one really saw it. We were hoping
the ref didn't see it either."
Michigan Live LOADED: 04.11.2015
Red Wings' Mike Babcock once again unsure about goaltending after
Jimmy Howard allows soft goals
Ansar Khan on April 10, 2015 at 6:03 AM, updated April 10, 2015 at 9:00
Detroit Red Wings
Mike Babcock yet to decide on his playoff goalie
By Chuck Pleiness, The Macomb Daily
MONTREAL - Just when Jimmy Howard appeared to be getting his game in
order with solid back-to-back performances, the Detroit Red Wings
goaltending situation was thrown in a quandary again on Thursday.
Howard allowed a couple of soft goals in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Montreal
Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The point clinched a playoff spot for the Red
Wings, but Howard's performance leaves coach Mike Babcock unsure of
who he'll put in net when the playoff start next week.
"I'm going to go have a beer and think about that," Babcock said.
Tomas Plekanec tied the game at 3-3 at 11:39 of the third period during a
five-on-three power play with a shot from a sharp angle that slipped through
Howard's five-home.
Lars Eller scored at 1:31 of overtime on a harmless-looking shot from the
wing that somehow eluded Howard.
"They can't go in. Period," Babcock said. "This is the National Hockey
League. They can't go in."
Posted: 04/10/15, 3:57 PM EDT |
DETROIT >> Jimmy Howard had another one of those ‘did I just let that in’
moments Thursday night in Montreal.
As a matter of fact he had to have uttered that to himself a few times during
the Wings’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Canadiens.
And it’s led to coach Mike Babcock once again having to ponder who his
starting goalie will be when the playoffs begin on the road next week
against an opponent yet to be determined.
“I’m going to go have a beer and think about that,” Babcock said Thursday
when asked who he felt was his number one goalie. “I thought they had
three bad goals. Some nights you pick up your goalie. Some nights he picks
you up. That’s just the way it goes.
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
“The bottom line is we found a way to get into the playoffs, and we needed
98 points if you can believe that to get into the playoffs,” Babcock
continued. “I thought 96 would be enough and we needed 98, thrilled to do
When asked to explain what he meant by bad goals Babcock was right to
the point, “They can’t go in, period. This is the National Hockey League.
They can’t go in.”
Howard’s first ‘bad goal’ was a shot that squeaked between his legs from
Jeff Petry.
The final two were very similar, Howard was caught cheating, anticipating a
pass instead of squaring up to the shooter.
“I saw the Montreal guy on the outside, I was thinking he was going to throw
it across,” Howard said of the OT winner. “In that case, you’ve got to stick
with the shooter. Never mind the guy that’s there.”
As for the third goal, which came on a 5-on-3 man advantage for Montreal,
“At first, (Tomas) Plekanec did a good job of disguising it. I thought he was
going to whip it across. He turned his wrists over at the last second. It’s just
stay with the puck and not worry about having to be in two spots at once.”
Howard, who had won his last two starts prior to Thursday and was strong
in the third period Tuesday against Carolina, had been supplanted as the
team’s number one goalie by Petr Mrazek after back-to-back poor outings.
He allowed five goals on 22 shots in a 5-4 overtime loss to the lowly
Arizona Coyotes on March 24 and then was yanked after allowing three
goals on 10 shots in one period the very next game against the San Jose
“He’s got to be good,” Babcock said. “He’s got to play well and do his job.
Every team in the league to have success needs good goaltending. There’s
no team that relies on it more than (Montreal). They’ve got a guy they can
rely on. He doesn’t give you freebies. He’s there and square and he’s big.”
“It’s tough on you mentally because you’re never really judged by your
saves, but much more on your mistakes,” Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard
said. “That’ll never change. That’s the way it is.”
The Red Wings recalled defenseman Alexey Marchenko from Grand
Rapids on the eve of the regular-season finale at Carolina.
Marchenko, 23, will be serving his second stint in Detroit. He played 12
games earlier this season, averaging nearly 15 minutes of ice time per
game and logging two points. He scored his first NHL goal on Feb. 28 in
Nashville, but also suffered an oblique-muscle strain that sidelined him for a
few weeks before he was reassigned to the Griffins.
In 51 games for Grand Rapids this season, he has three goals among 20
points with a plus-22 rating.
Originally drafted by Detroit in the seventh round (205th overall), the 6-foot3, 210-pound right-shot defenseman spent parts of four seasons with the in
Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, playing for Central Red Army, the
club managed by former Wings star Sergei Fedorov.
In related news from Grand Rapids, right wing Teemu Pulkkinen -- now
playing with the Wings in Detroit -- and center Andy Miele were named to
the 2014-15 American Hockey League First All-Star Team. This is the first
time that two players from the Griffins were named first-team all-stars since
Grand Rapids joined the league in 2001-02.
Miele, 26, a Detroit native, ranks second in the AHL in scoring with 24 goals
among 67 points in 66 games.
Pulkkinen, a 23-year-old Finn, still leads the AHL in goals with 34 in 46
games, even though he has played 30 games in the NHL in two stints with
Detroit this year. He has five goals and eight points with the Wings. LOADED: 04.11.2015
Detroit Red Wings
IN THE D: 20 Years Ago This Spring, Wings Took Fans on a Wild Playoff
Mrazek had his ups and downs when he took over as the number one.
He blanked the highest-scoring team in the league, the Tampa Bay
Lightning, his first start, but then was replaced by Howard his next start
against the New York Islanders, allowing four goals on 11 shots. He’s
allowed just six goals over this last three starts, but has gone just 0-2-1 in
“Someone told me once that goaltending is 75 percent of hockey, but when
you don’t have a good goalie it’s 100 percent,” Bedard said. “I won’t argue
with that.
“You have to remind these guys sometimes of how good they can be,”
Bedard added. “Even the guys who get to this level – and I found it even
with (Chris Osgood) and (Dominik Hasek) over the years – sometimes they
need some reassuring.”
Babcock’s decision on who starts in the playoffs could come as early as
“These guys, they’ve passed tests over the years at every level to get to
this point, but I think they always feel such an obligation not to let their
teammates down and give their team a chance to win,” Bedard said.
Macomb Daily LOADED: 04.11.2015
Detroit Red Wings
By: Keith Gave
April 10, 2015
The joy Red Wings fans might be feeling – should be feeling – about their
team advancing to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 24th straight season will
never compare to the unmitigated frenzy that gripped Detroit 20 years ago
this spring.
Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov formed the best one-two center-ice
tandem in the world. Paul Coffey would win Norris Trophy as NHL’s best
defenseman – and he probably wasn’t the best defenseman in his own
team. Four of the Russian Five were here. So was a goaltender with
Stanley Cup credentials in Mike Vernon, with a prodigy named Chris
Osgood behind him.
Oh, and the best coach in NHL history, Scotty Bowman, was behind the
Detroit bench.
When the Red Wings rolled to the best record in a season shortened to just
48 games because of a labor dispute, then took a 12-2 record into the
Finals after steamrolling their first three playoff opponents, it felt like a
foregone conclusion that a 40-year Stanley Cup drought was finally coming
to an end. The Cup was finally coming home to the D. for the first time since
Except it didn’t.
Wings recall defenseman Marchenko from Grand Rapids
Detroit’s first trip to the Cup finals for the first time since 1966 was a
nightmare times four. But more about that in a moment.
No city in the NHL welcomed the end of bitter impasse between the owners
and their locked-out players than Detroit. It lasted through the Christmas
holidays and into January.
APR 10, 2015 4:53p ET
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Finally, just as it seemed the NHL would follow Major League Baseball and
cancel a season that year, the two sides reached a compromise.
Interestingly, Wings owner Mike Ilitch was among a handful of hard-line
owners willing to cancel the whole season unless the players agreed to a
salary cap. He was outvoted by his fellow owners, and the sides agreed to
an abbreviated schedule in which teams would play only conference
So on Jan. 20, 1995, the Wings opened with a 4-1 victory over Chicago at
The Joe. With workmanlike precision, they vaulted to the top of the overall
standings and stayed there, finishing with a 33-11-4 record and 70 points,
giving them the President’s Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the
The post-season started a little later than normal that year, but the Wings
began to roll immediately with a 4-1 win over Dallas on May 7, the start of a
series that would end in five games. And Detroit fans were rockin’.
Next up: A four-game sweep of San Jose, when the Wings scored six goals
in every game and outscored the Sharks 24-6 in the series. A feeling of
inevitability began to take hold, and people were already talking about the
The Western Conference finals against the Chicago Blackhawks were
something to behold. The Wings took a 3-0 series lead, but each game was
decided by a single goal. The series-opener ended in overtime. Game 3 in
Chicago went into the second overtime. The Hawks avoided a sweep with a
5-2 win in Game 4, pushing the series back to Detroit where the series
finally ended with a 2-1 win in double-overtime.
This series provided some of the most intense, emotional moments in
Detroit hockey history. It was almost a letdown that the Wings had to play
yet another series.
Enter the New Jersey Devils and their stifling, boring, neutral-zone trapping
system that overwhelmed Detroit.
Three games into the series, Bowman and all his stars found themselves
down three games to none, and in one of the most stunning post-game
news conferences I’ve ever witnessed he threw them all under the bus.
“We never were humiliated and embarrassed like we were tonight for two
periods,” Bowman said following a 5-2 loss that gave the Devils a 3-0 series
edge. “A lot of players in the league would give their eyeteeth to even get
one shift in the Finals. It’s totally unacceptable as a player, as a coach.
“The entire group has to take the full responsibility. It was an
embarrassment to the National Hockey League.”
Perhaps it was Bowman’s attempt to prod his team to find a way to avoid
the complete and utter shame of a four-game sweep. It didn’t work. The
Wings lost Game 4 by the same 5-2 score on June 24, and the disgrace
was complete. And a summer that was technically just three days old was
already ruined.
The point here? As these young Red Wings that have given us a wonderful
season to date head into the post-season, take nothing for granted.
Anything can happen in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and it usually does.
This is an absolutely wonderful time of year, even for the most casual
hockey fan. We’ve been awfully spoiled here with 24 straight years of
playoff hockey, but whether these enigmatic Wings win 16 playoff games or
only a few, there will be moments to savor and remember.
Enjoy it while it lasts. LOADED: 04.11.2015
ESPN / Talent spread across teams like never before
Imagine telling someone back in September that the defending Stanley Cup
champion Los Angeles Kings would miss the playoffs.
Then imagine telling that person defending Presidents' Trophy winners the
Boston Bruins would need a win and some help on the final day of the
season to get in.
You would also tell this person that the Pittsburgh Penguins would be on
the ropes, too, in the final 48 hours of the regular season and might sneak
in just by a hair.
Finally, you would also say that perennial contenders the San Jose Sharks - who have been to the playoffs in 10 straight seasons -- would be out, and
it wasn't that close, either.
That person might say you were on something. But should we really be all
that shocked?
As much as one can paint it all as the fall of the titans, the more accurate
diagnosis is that what the NHL set out to accomplish 10 years ago has
finally hit home with 100 percent voracity.
The salary cap has fully spread its wings.
"The parity in this league in unbelievable," Detroit Red Wings head coach
Mike Babcock told Friday, a day after his team got into the
playoffs [for the 24th straight season] in its second-to-last game of the
regular season.
"In the 10 years I've been in Detroit, the league has gone from where we
used to throw our sticks on the ice and win, to now where we barely make
the playoffs," added Babcock, who has coached the only team to make to
postseason every season since the lockout.
"The teams that looked like they might be the best in the league at the start
of the year, like a Pittsburgh or the New York Islanders, they barely make
the playoffs. It's freaking amazing."
We were naïve, maybe, in thinking back in 2005 that parity would be an
overnight thing, after a season scrapped during the NHL's darkest labor
hour produced the mechanism that limits team spending. The immediate
spin was that it would bring teams closer together in terms of competitive
The reality is that the cap system took several years to fully affect the
league and distribute talent more evenly among the 30 teams.
"We're in the full effects now of a cap system, where teams in the past
which would have always kept players just can't keep them all anymore,"
general manager Doug Armstrong of the Central Division-champion St.
Louis Blues told Friday.
Powerhouse clubs who had built up deep, talented squads were forced to
make tough decisions and shed good players to remain in line with the cap,
and there's no better illustration than the Chicago Blackhawks after their
2010 Stanley Cup victory.
The Winnipeg Jets' playoff berth five years later can be directly linked to the
former Atlanta Thrashers benefiting from getting Dustin Byfuglien and
Andrew Ladd from the cash-strapped Blackhawks that summer. That, and a
lot of good, high draft picks materializing for the Jets under sound
Peter Chiarelli built a heck of team for the Boston Bruins over the past nine
years, a Stanley Cup triumph in 2011 the lasting evidence of that, but the
cap forced him to say goodbye to Jarome Iginla last summer and trade
away Johnny Boychuk on the eve of the season.
The playoff-bound Islanders, once the laughingstock of the league, added a
key piece with their acquisition of Boychuk. Again, an example of the talent
being spread around the league by the cap system.
It's also why Hawks general manager Stan Bowman never gets anywhere
near the credit he deserves for how he has managed to put together two
Cup teams (2010, '13) while having to navigate the troubled salary-cap
waters. Heck, just look at the fact that Bowman's is, as far as I can tell, the
only NHL team that has three players -- David Rundblad, Kris Versteeg and
Andrew Desjardins -- who have 50 percent of their salaries paid by other
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Every single dime is accounted for year after year under the cap, and there
the Hawks are in the playoff mix again this season.
Big mistakes can kill you. Kings GM Dean Lombardi would be the first to
admit, I'm sure, that he should have bought Mike Richards out last summer
when the window was still open to do so without cap charges. / Four things we learned in the NHL on Friday
EMILY SADLER APRIL 10, 2015, 11:21 PM
That contract tied the Kings' hands this season, especially after the Slava
Voynov suspension. Voynov's situation wasn't their fault, but being
hamstrung by the Richards contract in their response was certainly part of
their downfall.
With just two games on Friday, it was a quiet night in the NHL — but that
doesn’t mean it was boring.
The Kings skated with the Cup less than a year ago. Cap problems are part
of the reason they'll miss the 2015 playoffs. Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY
Penguins fail to clinch (for now)
Then again, if anyone wants to go after Lombardi now that his team out, he
can shine his two Cup rings in their face.
But the margin of error, whether for Chiarelli in Boston or Lombardi in L.A.,
is awfully small. That's what the cap system brings.
And what if the Penguins either miss the playoffs or are first-round fodder?
People will then question more than ever the model of having a lot of cap
space tied up in three or four top players.
"I think now, with the upper players grabbing a bigger portion of the (payroll)
pie, and there seems to be more than one upper player per team, now
you're seeing teams, maybe because of where they drafted a decade ago,
have a couple of guys making that kind of money and that bleeds into your
group," Armstrong said of teams in general, and not Pittsburgh in particular.
It certainly applies to the Pens, though.
What does the system leave us? A league full of good teams, but without
any great ones. You won't hear the NHL spin it that way, but it's the truth.
The dynasty days are a thing of the past.
What it's also brought is a 2015 postseason that has the potential to be like
none other in the history of the league. The parity means the eight teams on
each conference are separated by inches in terms of talent.
I'm not saying it will happen, but would anyone really be that shocked if topranked teams such as the Montreal Canadiens or the Anaheim Ducks lose
in the first round?
I mean, as it stood Friday morning, first-place Anaheim was lined up with
wild-card Winnipeg in the opening round in the Western Conference. That's
an incredibly tough out for the Ducks, no doubt.
The sizzling Ottawa Senators, 20-3-3 in their last 26 games, would play
Atlantic Division-leading Montreal in the first round in the East as of Friday
In each case, there would be a sizable chunk of people picking the socalled "upset" in both of those series. But is there really such thing as an
upset anymore?
"I'll speak more for the West because that's what I know, there's really no
first-round upset," Armstrong said. "Obviously, you think experienced teams
that have done it before have an edge because they've done it before, it's
not their first time through this path, but at the end of the day, you see what
Winnipeg is doing now, their goaltending is at the top of his game.
Inexperience doesn't matter if your goalie doesn't let in a goal ...
"There is competitive balance now," Armstrong added. "No question."
For years, coaches and players and management types have said "just get
in and you have a chance." That, my friends, has never, ever been more
true than it is today.
Happy 10-year anniversary, Mr. Salary Cap. For better or for worse, your
legacy is cemented.
ESPN LOADED: 04.11.2015
Here are four things we learned on the eve of the regular season finale.
The New York Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 to keep the
Penguins from clinching a playoff berth — for now, anyway.
One of the game's biggest momentum shifts came after a no-goal call that
went against the Penguins was quickly followed by an ice-stretching
shorthanded breakaway goal for the Islanders.
The Penguins' lone goal came from an unlikely source: defenceman Rob
While the Penguins' playoff hopes come down to the wire, there's still
reason to be hopeful: they'll clinch a spot with a win in any fashion over the
last-place Buffalo Sabres Saturday night. If they do clinch, they'll likely be
without defenceman Kris Letang (concussion).
The Islanders' win guarantees them at least a third-place finish in the
Metropolitan Division. It also means they'll face the Washington Capitals in
the first round of the playoffs. (Tavares versus Ovechkin? Yes please!)
The Islanders can still move up to second in the division (and gain home-ice
advantage) if they defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night.
Tavares takes the lead
While the biggest storyline in tonight’s matchup between the Penguins and
Islanders was whether or not the Pens could clinch a playoff berth, the
game was also a chance for the league’s point leaders to go head-to-head.
Going into the game, Sidney Crosby and John Tavares were knotted up in
a three-way tie that included Dallas’ Jamie Benn with 83 points. Tonight
saw a goal from Tavares and an assist from Crosby, leaving the two
captains tied with 84 points apiece.
Note: If the two remained tied, Tavares would come out on top since he has
more goals.
Sabres lock up last place
The race to the bottom is officially over. The Buffalo Sabres lost to the
Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 Friday, which means they officially clinched last
place in the league.
While being bottom of the barrel isn't exactly something to be proud of,
there's one heck of silver lining...
The future is great
Seeing as we're about to embark on what should be a very grand finale of
the 2014-15 regular season, now seems as good a time as ever to look to
the future, and two of its brightest stars in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.
McDavid, the projected first overall draft pick, was an absolute scoring
machine as the Erie Otters took on the London Knights in Game 2 of the
OHL playoffs, netting five (!!!!!) goals to lead the Otters to a 7-3 victory and
a 2-0 series lead.
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Yep, this guy is good. Watch the magic for yourself:
The record game comes on the heels of another exciting prospect
announcement, as Boston University's Jack Eichel, the projected No. 2 draft
pick, received this year's Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college
hockey. He became just the second freshman to win the award in its 35year history. (The first was Paul Kariya.)
Something tells us the future of hockey is in good hands.
His amazing month of November earned him second-star honours and he
went on to reach a new personal best by scoring his 22nd goal of the
season versus the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 29.
But he didn't stop there. Here, he nets one versus the Boston Bruins to hit
the 30-goal milestone for the first time.
Tarasenko was listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury he suffered
versus the Vancouver Canucks on Mar. 30, but will play in the Blues'
regular season finale versus the Minnesota Wild. LOADED: 04.11.2015
While you never know what deke or dangle is coming up next, one thing is
clear: We can't wait to see what he does next. Because Tarasenko proved
this year, he can do it all.
Runners up for Breakout Player of the Year
T.J. Brodie, D, CGY / Sportsnet NHL Awards: Breakout Player of the Year
EMILY SADLER APRIL 10, 2015, 7:47 PM
Dangles. Dekes. Toe drags. Top shelf.
Is there anything Vladimir Tarasenko hasn’t done this year?
Every season, a new player makes his mark on the league, emerging from
some degree of obscurity to become an NHL star. This year belongs to St.
Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko.
In 76 games, Tarasenko scored 36 goals (eight on the power play) and
earned 35 assists for 71 points to lead the Blues in scoring. He also had a
plus-25 rating and six game-winning goals.
But it's not just about the numbers -- it's about how he scores. Tarasenko
has that rare gift of being able to put the puck in the net in every fashion
imaginable, from his signature wrist shot to this goal-of-the-year candidate:
Tarasenko had a flurry of phenomenal goals this year, but the magic can be
traced back to one exact date: Oct. 28, 2014. The Russian forward netted a
trio of gorgeous goals for his first NHL career hat trick, one of which was the
overtime game-winner. He also added an assist, earning himself his first
career four-point game.
Tarasenko became just the second player in Blues franchise history to
score a hat trick that included the game-winning goal (Brett Hull was the
first, on Oct. 9, 1997). The feat earned Tarasenko the league's first star of
the week.
If we could list the entire Calgary Flames roster here, we would. But
defenceman T.J. Brodie perfectly defines the breakout season of one of this
year's most surprising teams. Brodie's breakout has certainly been more
subtle than Tarasenko's string of #GottaSeeIt moments. For Brodie, it's not
just about the numbers -- though 11 goals and 30 assists in 81 games is a
solid tally for a defenceman. It's the way he has embraced his role on the
blueline, especially in the absence of team captain Mark Giordano.
Nikita Kucherov, RW, TB
Here's another name we've been hearing a lot more from this year. The
second-year Tampa Bay Lightning winger has seen a huge jump in playing
time this season and rewarded his team by scoring 28 goals and 36 assists
for 64 points in 81 games. Something tells us this is only the beginning.
Did you know?
Tarasenko. The name sounds familiar beyond the Blues, right? You might
remember him from such heartbreaking Canadian crumbles as the 2011
IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. Yep, a teenaged Tarasenko
scored the game-tying goal to help propel the Russians to their shocking 53 comeback win to claim World Junior gold. LOADED: 04.11.2015
Websites / Parise, Oshie will leave you speechless on GoPro
It should be noted, of course, that while some of his goals have had that
certain "where'd-this-guy-come-from" quality, this breakout season didn't
just appear out of the blue. We've seen flashes of brilliance throughout his
time in the KHL and in his first two NHL seasons, including the very first
time he hit the ice for the Blues. He scored twice in his NHL debut during
the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, tallying five points in his first two
games. He tied Wayne Babych, 1978, for most points by a Blues rookie in
his first two games.
EMILY SADLER APRIL 10, 2015, 6:58 PM
Unfortunately, his rookie campaign was cut short by a concussion; and
when he returned for the playoffs he got very little playing time as the Blues
were quickly eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings.
The video is the seventh instalment in the NHLPA’s GoPro series, which
also includes videos with Tyler Seguin, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, P.K.
Subban and more.
In his sophomore season, Tarasenko scored 21 goals and had 22 assists
for 43 points in 64 games, which is impressive in its own right. Even more
impressive was his performance in the post-season, especially considering
his late-season injury sidelined him until the playoffs. Short-lived as it was,
the Blues' playoff campaign was bolstered by four goals in six games by a
red-hot Tarasenko.
The players, each equipped with a GoPro attached to his helmet, take turns
doing drills, taking penalty shots and just generally pulling off hockey magic
— including a pretty amazing sky-high puck toss (around the 2:20 mark) by
Oshie that will leave you speechless.
Which brings us back to that Oct. 28 hat trick -- and we haven't looked away
since since, for fear we'll miss something like this:
Drop whatever you’re doing and spend the next four minutes watching the
most ridiculous moves by T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues and Zach Parise
of the Minnesota Wild. The whole video is chock-full of some of the finest
how-did-he-do-that skills you’ll ever see on a frozen surface — and that’s
just the warmup. LOADED: 04.11.2015
He even earned himself a Gordie Howe Hat Trick: / Stanley Cup Playoff Preview: Canucks vs Flames
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
The Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks will face off in the first round
of the Stanley Cup playoffs. (Larry MacDougal/CP)
The Calgary Flames clinched their first playoff berth in six seasons by
eliminating the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings with a
3-1 win Thursday night. The Vancouver Canucks also return to the postseason after missing out on the action a year ago – and now these two
great Canadian reclamation projects will meet each other in the first round
of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Here’s a look at how the two teams match up.
VANCOUVER CANUCKS: 47-29-5. 5th in Western Conference
CALGARY FLAMES: 45-29-7. 6th in Western Conference
Vancouver: 2-2-0
Calgary: 2-1-1
Last game played head-to-head: Calgary beat Vancouver 3-2 at home on
Valentine’s Day as Sean Monahan recorded two goals.
Vancouver: Daniel Sedin (72 pts), Henrik Sedin (69), Radim Vrbata (61).
Calgary: Jiri Hudler (76), Johnny Gaudreau (64), Sean Monahan (62).
Vancouver: 5on5CF% – 49.5; 5on5Sv% – .916; 5on5Sh% – 7.61; PDO =
Calgary: 5on5CF% – 44.4; 5on5Sv% – .922; 5on5Sh% – 8.96; PDO =
Vancouver: 6-3-1
Websites / Jets’ playoff anthem jacks Eminem, Red Wings
LUKE FOX APRIL 10, 2015, 12:15 PM
The Guess Who suck, the Jets were lousy anyway…
I hate Winnipeg
–The Weakerthans, “One Great City!”
Yes, Winnipeg has awoken to a jollier future than the one Manitoba’s
brilliant John K. Samson ironically wrote about in 2003.
The reconstructed Jets are playoff-bound, and Winnipeg is singing a new
Titled “The Playoff Anthem” and set to the tune of Eminem’s “Without Me,”
Virgin 103.1 radio host Ace Burpee released this fun playoff parody rap
Friday — with a video to boot.
Sample lyric: "It's tragic / You got stopped by Pavelec."
"It took me ages to write. Like, weeks and weeks. I would sit there watching
Jets games with my laptop trying to make things fit, delete everything, and
start again," Burpee writes on the station's blog. "I probably picked one of
the hardest songs ever to parody but I thought it might work if I stuck with it
and think it turned out ok."
There's a catch, however.
The same Marshall Mathers' smash was parodied back in 2002 (the year
the song was actually released) by fans of the Detroit Red Wings
(Eminem's hometown team). To be fair, Slim Shady's hits have a bit more
mass appeal than Mood Ruff. (Much respect to Mood Ruff, though.)
The code says no biting allowed, but the "Without Me" hockey parody does
carry some good luck. The Wings won the Cup the spring "Without Stanley"
Sample lyric: "And Irbe? / You can get stomped by Sergei." LOADED: 04.11.2015
Calgary: 6-2-2
LAST TIME THEY MET IN THE PLAYOFFS: In 2004, the sixth-seeded
Calgary Flames knocked off the third-seeded Vancouver Canucks in a
seven-game series. Vancouver won Game 6 on the road in the third
overtime, but Calgary recovered to take Game 7 in overtime as Martin
Gelinas scored his first winner in Calgary’s run to the final. The last three
times the Flames and Canucks have met in the post-season, the winner
went to the Stanley Cup final.
Websites / Maple Leafs’ odds of winning McDavid lottery set
LUKE FOX APRIL 10, 2015, 10:17 AM
Nick Bonino puts the moves on Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Michael
Del Zotto for a spin-o-rama goal en route to a 4-0 win in January.
If you’re reading this, it’s too late.
Tank Nation can tank no further.
Johnny Gaudreau scores two goals in 16 seconds to help the Flames to a
3-0 lead midway through the first period and chased Viktor Fasth from the
net in a December game.
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ odds of winning the NHL draft lottery, and thus
Connor McDavid, on April 18 are now locked at 9.5 percent, regardless of
the outcome of the season’s remaining games.
Vancouver: Zack Kassian (day-to-day: back), Brad Richardson (day-to-day:
The Leafs secured the 27th position in the NHL’s final standings Thursday
night with the Carolina Hurricanes’ 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
(A 26th-place finish would have dropped Toronto’s odds to 8.5 percent.)
Calgary: Mark Giordano (IR: torn biceps), Ladislav Smid (IR: neck), Paul
Byron (day-to-day: lower body), Karri Ramo (day-to-day: leg), Lance Bouma
(day-to-day: upper body).
"The Leafs fans are some of the most passionate fans in the world,"
McDavid, who grew up in nearby Newmarket, Ont., told the Toronto Sun
last week. LOADED: 04.11.2015
"They're obviously not enjoying the experience of all the losing. But if there
is some benefit to the losing, they are going to get a very very good player
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
and, whether that's whoever, it doesn't matter. The draft is so deep this
year. So I'm sure Leaf fans are going to be pretty excited."
The Edmonton Oilers, too, have locked in their lottery odds at 11.5% by
finishing 28th overall. Carolina (26th place) is locked in at 8.5 percent, and
the New Jersey Devils (25th place) are secure with a 7.5 percent shot to
win the first pick.
Only two points separate the basement-dwelling Buffalo Sabres (54 points,
two games left) and Arizona Coyotes (56 points, one game left), so 30th
place -- and a 20 percent chance to win the lottery -- is still up for grabs.
"I love the Sabres too, but I'm just a Leafs fan because that's the way I grew
up," McDavid said. "I grew up a Leafs fan and I'd like to see them do well."
Fans of all 14 non-playoff teams can have fun and/or drive themselves batty
by running the NHL draft lottery simulator. LOADED: 04.11.2015
Websites / Examining Dubnyk’s Wild comeback season
CHRIS BOYLE APRIL 10, 2015, 2:34 PM
The first nine months of 2014 were difficult for Devan Dubnyk. While
hardship followed his departure from Edmonton, he didn’t realize at the time
that he had actually been rescued from a firing squad.
Last season was a disaster for Dubnyk and one that I highlighted in
November while looking at the environment that lead to Ben Scrivens’s
struggles this season.
Scrivens experienced Dubnyk’s journey in reverse as he went from the
highs of a strong team structure in Los Angeles to the chaos of a defence
lead by Justin Schultz, but there are parallels. It is easy to understand how
things can snowball when forced into recovering from continuous broken
plays and the difficulty of maintaining the discipline not to cheat. Dubnyk
looked lost at the tail end of his Oilers career and seemed to have lost all
confidence as he bounced from Nashville to Montreal to Hamilton.
And then goalie voodoo.
Theories began to point to Sean Burke being a goalie whisperer and turning
Dubnyk’s game around upon arriving in Minnesota by teaching him the
inside-out approach to goaltending preferred by Henrik Lundqvist and Mike
Smith. I don’t doubt that Burke helped in rebuilding Dubnyk’s confidence,
but if the inside-out approach is the cure-all for large goaltenders, then
Burke needs to whisper some more into Smith’s ear because he has been
struggling badly since his one great season in 2011–12.
The second theory—and one more structured in logic and goaltender
education—was Dubnyk being taught a new technique called head
trajectory by former New York Rangers goaltender and current MSG
personality Stephen Valiquette. It's a new way of tracking the puck and was
developed by Lyle Mast, the founder of Optimum Reaction Sports.
Sportsnet Magazine Stanley Cup Playoffs
Edition: The six reasons why Carey Price can take the Montreal Canadiens
all the way. Download it right now on your iOS or Android device, free to
Sportsnet ONE subscribers.
Technical greatness should be the goal of every single NHL goaltender who
straps on pads, but I have witnessed goaltenders who are technical messes
like Tim Thomas produce a .938 SV% and Carey Price, considered the
greatest technical goaltender in the NHL, drop a .905.
So I look to environment.
While reviewing Dubnyk’s last two seasons, I noticed the same kind of
extremes as Scrivens. Interestingly enough, Dubnyk’s numbers in
Edmonton were significantly below the expected .905 and his results in
Minnesota were way above the expected .922, but when the two season
samples (including his time in Arizona) were merged, the large sample
placed him at slightly above average.
We can see visually why Dubnyk struggled in Edmonton. I have slightly
altered my heat maps to separate all pre-shot movement against clean
shots, creating some consistency with the terms that Stephen Valiquette
has been using through his work at MSG. The green area represents
higher-quality opportunities and the red area lower-quality opportunities.
In Edmonton, Dubnyk was bombarded with high-quality slot opportunities.
Forced to set and judge depth while on the move is a recipe for disaster
and Dubnyk—like Scrivens and Viktor Fasth—wasn’t equipped to handle
this type of volatile environment. Just over 80 per cent of Dubnyk’s looks in
Edmonton were clean. Contrast that to Minnesota where his clean looks
went up to 88 per cent and Dubnyk’s size became an asset again. This
accounts for the .017-point differential in expected SV% differential.
When I started this project, one of the things I did was track individual
games and the effect clean looks had on save percentage. The more clean
looks, the more success.
Dubnyk is no different. If he gets defensive support and is allowed clear
sight and the ability to set his depth and angle, he has more success. When
the defensive structure in front of him clears shooting lanes and clogs
passing lanes, Dubnyk is a .937 goaltender—when they fail to do so he
becomes an .885 goaltender.
We make assumptions that goaltenders control their destiny, and to an
extent they do. The position is a random set of math problems being fired at
them at 100 m.p.h. and their job is to judge distance, angle and velocity,
and attempt to read and recognize the problem scenario before it happens.
It is why the mental aspect of the game is so important. If you have all the
technical greatness in the world and your recognition is poor, you will
position yourself for a scenario that isn’t going to occur. The elite
goaltenders in the NHL are able to do both and get maximum coverage for
most scenarios even when things breakdown.
The problem: Some goaltenders get more fifth-grade-level math problems
and some are tasked with solving the Kobayashi Maru. We can see this
with Dubnyk. When we separate the games where he failed and where he
excelled we see that success in these scenarios isn’t random.
The "good start" and "bad start" labels imply that the goaltender is fully in
control of the result. Over the last two seasons I separated the shots when
Dubnyk was considered to have been successful and starts where he would
have been attached blame for failure. The chart on the left is below-average
results—the chart on the right above average. Just like the
Edmonton/Minnesota split, the more pre-shot movement he faced, the less
success he enjoyed. The more clean looks from the perimeter he faced, the
higher his save percentage.
Through two full seasons of advanced goaltender data, Dubnyk grades out
around average, right in the NHL middle-class. This matches up closely
with his career save percentage of .914.
The important question that can be answered as I gather more data is
whether the Oilers were a .905 team while he was producing save
percentages of .914 to .920. If Dubnyk was actually a +.010 aboveexpectation goaltender, then he was merely a small-sample failure on a
team lacking defensive structure and is everything that management should
be looking for in exploiting a market inefficiency.
The Minnesota Wild admitted that the Dubnyk acquisition was born of
desperation, but identifying players like this is the driving force behind
analytics. The first team to separate the defensive noise from actual
goaltender performance will have a window where they can pick and
choose undervalued goaltenders on the NHL market as well as raid majorjunior at minimal cost. LOADED: 04.11.2015
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
Websites / Three things we learned about John Tavares
management and St. Louis’ agent, Lewis Gross, have been put aside until
season’s end.
“I thought about [my contract status] more at the start of the season but less
and less as the year progressed to the point where it really was never a
factor for me,” St. Louis told the newspaper.
“When you get to this stage of your career, you don’t know how many more
chances you’re going to get, no doubt about it, so my entire focus is to do
whatever I can to help the team win."
The New York Islanders have officially clinched a playoff spot in their last
season representing Long Island, but the job is far from over for their
captain, John Tavares. The former No. 1 has more pressure on him now
than ever before, but luckily for Isles fans he’s built himself up to handle it.
How the 28 previous Presidents' Trophy winners have fared:
Sportsnet magazine staff writer Gare Joyce took a trip to Nassau Veterans
Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., to get an up-close-and-personal
look at Tavares for a feature profile in the latest edition, available now.
5 lost in conference final
Sportsnet Magazine Stanley Cup Playoffs
6 lost in first round
Edition: The six reasons why Carey Price can take the Montreal Canadiens
all the way. Download it right now on your iOS or Android device, free to
Sportsnet ONE subscribers.
The winger has done his part, scoring 21 goals, adding 29 assists and
posting a plus-12 rating in 73 games.
Here are the top three things we learned from the story:
He gets love from Islanders legends. Hall of Famer and four-time Cup
champion Clark Gillies thinks Tavares is more valuable to his team now
than any one player was to the Islanders dynasty. A reminder: The roster in
those years included the likes of Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy and and Bryan
Tavares knows how to share the puck—and a house. When Tavares
landed in the league he moved into the home of teammate Doug Weight,
who is now an assistant coach and assistant GM with the team. Now he's
playing veteran host to fellow Mississauga, Ont., native Ryan Strome, who
moved in with Tavares at the start of the season. And the proximity seems
to be helping. Strome has upped his game significantly in year two, scoring
50 points through 79 games with a team-best +24. "John's a role model to
me," he says. "If I do half the things that he does, I'll be a better player."
The Islanders have all pledged to "embrace the pain," but none more so
that Tavares. He's put in the long hours of work not just to become a better
player, says Weight, but to become a different player. Since entering the
league, John has "rallied around [the] questions [about his game] and made
himself better," says Weight. "He changed his skating—broke it down,
almost started from scratch—and now what people saw as a weakness has
become a strength." LOADED: 04.11.2015
Websites / Rangers’ St. Louis: ‘No doubt’ I want to re-sign
LUKE FOX APRIL 10, 2015, 9:14 AM
Martin St. Louis has already bagged his 11th 20-goal NHL season and has
every intention of going for a 12th.
“What else would I be if I wasn’t a hockey player? I have no clue,” the 40year-old told Larry Brooks of the New York Post. “It’s all I know. It’s all I
want to be.”
8 won Stanley Cup
3 lost in Cup final
6 lost in second round
New York already made sure to lock up its other UFAs-in-waiting -- Cam
Talbot, Marc Staal and Mats Zuccarello -- mid-season, and one has to
believe re-signing young restricted free agents such Derek Stepan, 24, and
Carl Hagelin, 26, will take priority over St. Louis' next contract.
But St. Louis explained he remains focused on the Cup and patient for next
“There’s no doubt that I want to play next year. Period,” he said. “And for
sure, yes, I want to play here. I want to finish my career as a Ranger." LOADED: 04.11.2015
USA TODAY / Islanders bidding farewell to Nassau Coliseum
Kevin Allen, USA TODAY Sports 8:35 p.m. EDT April 10, 2015
When the New York Islanders play the Columbus Blue Jackets in their final
regular-season game at Nassau Coliseum (7, NHL Network) Saturday, it
will mark the end of an era more than the loss of a historic arena.
"I remember when I came to Nassau the first time as an agent, I looked
around and the place looked like a dump," former New York Rangers player
Tom Laidlaw recalled. "But when I played there, it was a fantastic place.
Whether it was preseason, regular season or playoffs, it was always a zoo.
It was loud. They had the low glass, and fans would lean over to yell at you.
Some Ranger fan would get a Rangers chant going and there would be
fights in the stands. I loved playing there."
The Islanders will say goodbye to the 43-year building, even though they
will play playoff games there before moving to the Barclays Center in
Brooklyn for the start of the 2015-16 season. It is the NHL's second-oldest
arena, behind the New York Rangers' Madison Square Garden, which
opened in 1968.
Nassau Coliseum timeline: 1972-2015
St. Louis requested a trade to the New York Rangers last season and has
already been rewarded with a trip to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final and, now,
his first Presidents’ Trophy — which was presented to the team at Madison
Square Garden Thursday night.
"Given today's standards, with all of the modern buildings, people kind of
make fun of it, but (Nassau Coliseum) was a great hockey building," Florida
Panthers executive Bill Torrey, general manager of the Islanders in their
glory days, told USA TODAY Sports. "I don't care if you were in the
expensive seats or the cheap seats, you had a great view of the game."
The Laval, Que., native’s current contract, which expires July 1, carries a
$5.625-million cap hit. This marks the first time St. Louis has wrapped a
regular season without a new deal in place, and negotiations between
But it was the Islanders' greatness, their winning tradition and their devoted
fans that built the Coliseum's reputation as a place you wanted to be,
NEWS CLIPPINGS • April 11, 2015
particularly from 1980-83 when they won four consecutive Stanley Cup
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile has been in the NHL for
as long the Islanders have been a franchise and when he thinks of Nassau
Coliseum, he thinks of how well those teams were constructed by Torrey.
"I probably remember those Islanders teams more than some of the teams
I've had," joked Poile.
John Tavares, Sidney Crosby go head-to-head in scoring race battle
What Laidlaw remembers is that the Islanders could play any style they
needed to play. They could play a skilled game, a defensive game or a
heavy physical game.
"And Bryan Trottier was the symbol of that team," Laidlaw said. "He was
talented, competed and very physical."
The Islanders launched as an expansion team in 1972, and won 12 games
their first season. But they won two playoff rounds in their third season, and
came within a Game 7 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers of reaching the
Stanley Cup Final.
Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel lead final draft rankings
One positive is that the team is moving at a time when the Islanders have
turned the corner to become a legitimate Stanley Cup contender again.
"I'm not smart enough to know what will happen in Brooklyn," Torrey said.
"But I do know they have been fun to watch this season. They reminded me
of the way the Islanders were in the beginning of (our run). If they
accomplish what they did this season, they should be fine."
Islanders captain John Tavares said it will be an adjustment for the fans
and players. Everyone's game day routines are going to change next
"We know it will be a little bit sad Saturday," Tavares said. "We know what
the Islanders have meant to the people on Long Island for more than 40
USA TODAY LOADED: 04.11.2015
Torrey recalls the Islanders had "14,000 fans from the beginning" but what
endeared the franchise to everyone was defeating the cross-town rival New
York Rangers in a three-game, first-round series in that playoff run. The late
J.P. Parise, father of Minnesota Wild star Zach Parise, scored 11 seconds
into overtime to clinch the series.
USA TODAY / John Tavares, Sidney Crosby go head-to-head in scoring
race battle
"That put a stamp on the team," Torrey recalled.
By KEVIN ALLEN 19 hours ago
That Islanders group, led by the line of Clark Gillies, Trottier and Mike
Bossy and coached by Al Arbour, is considered one of the great dynasties
in NHL history.
"Their success was a combination of everything," Poile said. "Billy Smith
was not only a good goalie, but he was physical. You had Denis Potvin who
was as good as any defenseman in his era, and he was physical and you
had one of the best lines of all time and some very tough players like Bobby
Nystrom and Gillies."
Torrey recalls that Smith became a "cult hero" because of his "combative
nature." Fans also embraced energetic Nystrom and Garry Howatt.
"It was like raising your kids," Torrey recalled. "You watch them grow up,
take their first steps, make progress, and it was fun to watch."
Torrey said what also helped local support for the Islanders was that they
Islanders were the only team on Long Island, once the NBA Nets moved
out of Nassau Coliseum.
"For people living on Long Island, Nassau was easy to get to, with good
parking," Torrey said. "No one worried about sending their kids to the
games there. If the weather was good, there was a picnic atmosphere
Watch: Kevin Lowe's son, Vinny Lecavalier fight twice
Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby was born four years after the
Islanders won their last Stanley Cup, but he said he felt the franchise's
grand tradition the first time he stepped on the ice there.
"I was playing with Mario Lemieux in Nassau and I remember thinking this
is pretty cool," Crosby told USA TODAY Sports.
What Nassau lacked in creature comforts, it has made up for with an
enthusiastic fan base.
"The crowd is right on top of you," Crosby said. "They are loud. The ceiling
is low. We played in Montreal in the playoffs in 2010 and it was loud, and
we played (at Nassau) a couple of years ago and there wasn't much
difference in the noise. It's one of the loudest buildings."
No one is exactly sure how the fan base will change when the Islanders
move to Brooklyn. For Long Island-based fans, the commute for games
changes dramatically. Parking won't be so readily available. Public
transportation might be the best way to get there.
John Tavares vs. Sidney Crosby are competing head-to-head Friday night
with the Art Ross Trophy on the line and that’s only a subplot for the New
York Islanders-Pittsburgh Penguins game.
The Penguins (42-26-12) have 96 points this season, but they haven’t yet
clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins remain
overrun by injuries, and there’s panic in Pittsburgh. On defense, Olli Maatta
is gone for the season, and Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff appear to be
out for an extended period. Derrick Pouliot is listed as day-to-day.
Don’t forget that Evgeni Malkin is playing at less than 100% because of
injury and Pascal Dupuis is gone for the season. That’s why fans in
Pittsburgh aren’t taking anything for granted, even though the Penguins
have a one-point lead over the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot.
The Penguins have two games remaining and the Bruins have one game
left, against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Islanders, idle Thursday night,
clinched after Boston lost.
Tavares, Crosby and Dallas Stars’ Jamie Benn are tied for the scoring lead
with 83 points, but Tavares, who has more goals, has the tiebreaker. Like
Crosby, Tavares has two games remaining, while Benn has one.
Crosby is trying to be the first player to win back-to-back scoring
championships since Jaromir Jagr did it in 2000 and 2001. Tavares and
Benn have never won scoring titles. Crosby is scoring at a higher rate than
Benn and Tavares, because he missed five games this season, three of
them with the mumps.
USA TODAY LOADED: 04.11.2015