Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
For the past two days, with his team facing a 2-1 deficit in the Stanley Cup finals, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews patiently answered questions about why his Blackhawks are a special breed, how they have developed an innate ability to find a way at the most crucial points of the season.
But as eloquent as the man known as Captain Serious might have been, it would have rung a little hollow had the Blackhawks not responded with a win in Game 4.
And it would have rung a little hollow if Toews himself hadn’t stepped on the ice, delivered a virtuoso performance and dragged the team to such a victory.
But -- and you know how this storyline plays out already, don’t you, having seen it time and again in recent years -- that’s exactly what happened as the Blackhawks hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night to even this finals series at two wins apiece. Game 5 is Saturday in Tampa, Florida.
Below, watch Burnside and Pierrel LeBrun recap Game 4...
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
You didn’t expect this to be easy, did you?
You didn’t think this young, brash Tampa Bay Lightning team was simply going to come into the deafening home barn of the mighty Chicago Blackhawks and win back-to-back games in this best-of-seven 2015 Stanley Cup final, did you?
Maybe you didn’t? But the Jon Cooper-led Lightning certainly did.
And they showed it, too, dominating the hosts in the first period, one in which Chicago registered just two shots on rookie Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
But these Hawks always seem to play their best when their backs are against the proverbial wall. And Wednesday night, faced with going down 3-1 in the series with a loss, Chicago did what it does best — pushed back.
With captain Jonathan Toews scoring his first goal of the final, the Hawks rebounded from their poor opening minutes to register a 2-1 victory, evening the series at 2-2 heading into Game 5 Saturday in Tampa.
The win means this now becomes a best-of-three series in the quest for hockey’s Holy Grail. It also guarantees one more tilt at the raucous United Center, with Game 6 going Monday in Chicago.
Catch the game highlights below...
The Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning was an utterly bizarre one. After a first period that was so dull that it couldn't slice melted butter, the pace and intensity of play ramped up to a feverish pitch in the 2nd and an overtime-like pace in the 3rd period, and as Chiago raced out to 1-0 and 2-1 leads on surprise starter Andrei Vasilevsky, Tampa Bay roared back with incredibly, incredibly energetic play...
But the visibly-fatigued Blackhawks defended like a team knowing it might be out of the series if it went down 3 games to 1--even with a 2-day break before Saturday's Game 5--and as a result, the series heads back to Tampa Bay tied at 2 games apiece, with the Hawks having rope-a-doped their way to victory.
Brandon Saads goal--and Andrei Vasilevskiy's overreaction on the cross-crease play that led to his legs opening for said goal--sealed the deal:
As such, from the Arizona Coyotes:
Coyotes Issue Statement Regarding City of Glendale's Arena Lease Decision
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Arizona Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc issued the following statement following tonight’s Glendale City Council meeting.
"We are disappointed with the city's decision to violate its obligations under the agreement that was entered into and duly approved only two years ago. We will exhaust any and all legal remedies against the city of Glendale for this blatant violation of its contractual obligations to us."
Gary Bettman isn’t so worried about the drama over the Arizona Coyotes and the city of Glendale once again rearing its ugly head.
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean discuss the diving and penalties in the first period of Game 4, they play of Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victory Hedman and much more.
You know the story. Tampa leads the series 2-1 and win tonight in Chicago would give the Lightning a chance to claim the Stanley Cup on Saturday night on their home ice.
Chicago on the other hand wants to guarantee a game 6 back in Chicago next Monday with a win tonight.
As the teams hit the ice for warmups, no Ben Bishop for the Bolts, Andrei Vasilevskiy appears to be the starter.
Feel free to discuss tonight's game and the puck drops just after 8:00pm ET on NBCSN, CBC and TVA.
ESPN Sport Science breaks down the two key plays made by Victor Hedman in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Watch it below...
from Scott Stinson of the National Post,
Two months into these playoffs, the narrative well has just about run dry.
The Triplets are great, Duncan Keith is an alien put on this Earth to play 30 minutes a night without showing fatigue, and (INSERT PLAYER HERE) is frustrated by his lack of scoring but knows he just needs to keep working hard and things will turn and it’s all about whether the team wins anyway. Even the Ben Bishop drama is stuck on repeat. Asked on Wednesday morning whether the goalie would play, Lightning coach Jon Cooper replied: “I think we’re in the same holding pattern as we were 48 hours ago.”
And so, a lot is made about stuff that is happening on the fringes. Wednesday’s big news, such as it is, was that defenceman Kimmo Timonen was drawing into the Chicago lineup for Game 4. There’s some human interest there in that Timonen is a 40-year-old warhorse who overcame a blood clot scare this season, but he’s also replacing Kyle Cumiskey, who played all of seven minutes and 38 seconds in Game 3. (See previous note about Duncan Keith being an alien.) When Timonen last played, on May 25 against Anaheim, he logged eight minutes and six seconds. He’s had games where he has played five minutes. He’s not in the lineup to provide a spark as much as he’s there to try to not get burned as spectacularly as Cumiskey was on Cedric Paquette’s game-winning goal on Monday night.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The special meeting will begin at 9 pm et, but voting may not take place for hours since each member of the public who attends the meeting is allowed three minutes apiece to speak to the issue.
It’s unclear how the NHL might respond if Glendale’s city council votes to quash the agreement. Anthony LeBlanc, the team’s chief executive and part owner, has promised to pursue all legal options if the city cancels the arena management deal.
That’s one option, several NHL executives and investment bankers who specialize in sports industry finance said in interviews with TSN, although it’s an uncertain one.
“What happens if you’re the team and you file for an injunction and win and the city appeals and wins on appeal midway through the season?” said one investment banker who has advised clients both purchasing and selling NHL teams.
“It’s a nightmare any way you look at it.”
That scenario would result in large legal fees, and would cast a shadow over the team that would depress everything from season ticket sales to local sponsorship deals.
“There are a lot of questions even now about whether the current owners of this team will be able to fund losses next year, let alone if they have huge legal costs and lose the arena management cash,” said the investment banker.
The former NHL team owner would only speak on the condition of anonymity because he is in talks to buy a minority interest in another NHL club. The investment banker said the league would take business away from his company if he spoke critically about the NHL or its teams.
Several NHL sources said it’s also possible that the Coyotes might ask the league for permission to move to a new market, such as Quebec City or Seattle.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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