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Jack Eichel's Transformation

05/26/2023 at 2:09pm EDT

from Justin Bourne of Sportsnet,

Eichel's play and the opportunity Vegas has in front of it leaves the pivot with a chance to change his reputation in a way that I’m not sure has happened for a player not-named Phil Kessel before, who also got flak for his playing style before breaking through with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Both Kessel and Eichel have had people say “You can’t win with that guy,” and while Kessel proved you can win with him, he did it as the third- or fourth-most important guy on his Cup-winning teams. If Eichel were to win the Conn Smythe Trophy after his roller coaster from huge prospect to “guy you can’t win with” and back, it could fairly make us re-evaluate a lot of talented players who often just need to be put in the right situation to succeed.

It could – for the more reasonable types anyway – also make us realize there’s not some secret sauce that goes into four-round post-season success. We often treat every player who’s ever won a Cup as though they somehow discovered Michael Jordan’s water in Space Jam along the way. Having good players on a well-coached team (which has to be a dozen teams per year) who get some timely saves and breaks along the way is sometimes all it takes.

For truly talented players, I’m not sure there are many who are so deficient in defence or intangibles that you “can’t win with them,” despite plenty of players earning that label.

Eichel’s reputation had taken a beating out of Buffalo after showing himself to be a player who had a lot to learn, despite being heralded as a franchise cornerstone. He didn’t always defend well, had some maturity issues to overcome, and wasn’t quite as ready to solve Buffalo’s problems as fans had hoped. When he dug in on his own medical treatments, some considered it more whinging, rather than a player fairly advocating for the care they’d prefer.

This isn’t to weigh in on any of that, or to say that being five wins away from a Cup somehow absolves a player of all that’s come before.


Suggested Off Season Moves For The Wings

05/26/2023 at 1:52pm EDT

via Colton Davies of The Daily Faceoff,

The Detroit Red Wings are a team that has made strides over the last year to get back into playoff contention. Today on Daily Faceoff Live, insider Frank Seravalli and Former NHL player and now Chicago Blackhawks analyst Colby Cohen take a look at what offseason changes could come for Hockeytown.

Frank Seravalli: Speaking of an offseason of turmoil, I don’t think it will be that way, but as we continue our offseason previews, we take a look at the Detroit Red Wings and what’s on tap for them. Colby, when you look at this team, I think anyone would agree that they have made strides this past season, they wanted to be playing meaningful games in March, and I don’t know that they accomplished that, but being a team, that’s on the rise I think they made a bunch of smart moves and an intriguing one like trading Filip Hronek who seemed to fit their age scheme exactly what they were building and trending towards. Colby, what would priority number one be for you this offseason and you were Steve Yzerman in charge of the Red Wings?

Colby Cohen: Yeah, so just looking at everything they have, they have a ton of cap space, a lot of draft capital and one of the best prospect systems in the NHL. There are a number of players that are on the cusp of becoming fulltime NHL players. Their roster they have flexibility; they’ve got Larkin signed for eight years, Copp signed for four years, and then there are only two other players that have three years on their deals, there is a lot of opening.

One of the first things I’m doing is getting a long term deal done on Mortiz Seider. He is a restricted-free agent. I love his game; I am getting him locked up for the next eight years and might be able to give him a discount. Look, I think they need to be aggressive this year. I think it’s time for Yzerman to realize that the rebuild has worked in a way; you’ve got Simon Edvinsson, a 6-foot-6 defenseman who’s ready for the NHL; Berggren, he’s also ready to go. Marco Kasper taken 8th overall; he’s 19 years old and looks ready for the NHL, same thing with Soderblom and Wallinder. Big guys, 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-4, ages 20 and 21, they are ready to be NHLers.

Let me tell you what Yzerman needs to do after locking up Seider. He needs to go get a deal for Auston Matthews; he needs a STAR player on that team, he needs some serious help. Larkin is not going to be the guy who is going to lead you to the Cup. You need a guy like Matthews. Maybe look at Bunting in free agency; Alex DeBrincat is from Michigan, and he’s dragging his feet in Ottawa; it’s time. It’s time for them to go out and get some ammo. You have drafted well; you have developed well, now go get a couple stars and see if you can become a team that can compete for a Stanley Cup. They have two picks in the first two rounds this year, three next year, and a lot of capital, and you can be aggressive with that. If you want Matthews, it will take first-round picks, prospects and money; they have all those things.

One Big Piece Missing In Carolina

05/26/2023 at 10:31am EDT

from Matt Larkin of The Daily Faceoff,

This trend isn’t new during the highly successful era that began when Brind’Amour took over as head coach starting in 2018-19. Over that five-season span, the Canes have the fourth-best points percentage in the NHL at .661. But they’ve fallen short of the Stanley Cup Final all five of those seasons despite perennially being perceived as one of the best teams in the NHL.

In 2018-19: They lost the Eastern Conference Final to a Boston Bruins team that got six goals in four games from future Hall of Famers Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.

In 2019-20: They lost in the first (second) “playoff” round of the bubble tourney, lit up again by Boston’s Perfection Lne, this time in five games, with Bergeron scoring the game winner in two of them.

In 2020-21: The eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning took them down in five games, buoyed by a combined eight goals from Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos.

In 2021-22: Done in by the New York Rangers, who got a .949 save percentage from Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin across seven games of their round-2 matchup.

Defeated because the other team had at least one superstar-grade player. Every. Time.

Ask around the league – other players, coaches, scouts, analysts – about the Carolina Hurricanes’ identity in the Brind’Amour era, and you typically get similar answers:

“They all play the same way.”

“Total buy-in.”

“They keep coming at you in waves.”

The Brind’Amour Way has pretty much universally been perceived as a strength, but it also highlights a weakness that was on display during the Eastern Conference Final: the Canes don’t have a dominator who can will them to victory, particularly at the forward position.


The Vegas Golden Knights Needed A Better Effort

05/26/2023 at 10:16am EDT

from Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

They knew how hard the push would be, how desperation has this way of lifting a team’s level of play. There would be no celebration for the Golden Knights on Thursday night, no Western Conference title just yet, no Clarence S. Campbell Bowl to take pictures around.

It’s still going, folks.

Dallas apparently has something left in its pursuit of what would be a historic comeback, the Stars having avoided being swept out of this best-of-seven series with a 3-2 overtime victory before a sellout gathering of 18,532 at American Airlines Center.

It was the best we have seen of Dallas in four games.

Certainly when it mattered most.

“Our effort level wasn’t good enough,” Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “Just not good enough for our group. It’s still in overtime, so it was right there for us. They played well defensively. Their desperation was higher than ours, and at this time of year, it’s about who wants it more.”

It’s true, after all: The fourth one is always toughest to get.

read on

Ten Years Of Swagger In Tampa

05/26/2023 at 9:58am EDT

from Joe Smith of The Athletic,

Cooper had given intro speeches a half-dozen times in previous stops, from his first coaching job at a high school in Lansing, Mich., to teams in Texarkana, Green Bay, Wis., and Norfolk, Va. But this was different. These weren’t kids. It was future Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis. Captain Vinny Lecavalier. Future cornerstones Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman.

GM Steve Yzerman introduced Cooper, telling the group there’d been a leadership change. The next time they made changes, it’d be to the roster. The Hall of Famer had Cooper’s back from the start. All eyes were glued on Cooper, wearing a suit, no tie and a striped shirt unbuttoned at the top.

“The silence was deafening,” Cooper remembers.

The speech was short, about five minutes, but it was memorable. He brought up his background, having started on Wall Street and as a lawyer. He told the team it needed to be close — do everything together. He said they were going to have fun, with coaches allowing music in the dressing room before games and between periods.

And then there was the kicker.

“He told our team it was missing something — and that was swagger,” Stamkos says. “And he had that to him. He said this group was eventually going to get there.”

“He was convincing,” adds St. Louis, now an NHL head coach himself in Montreal. “I felt good about it. I can say that.”

Swagger or not, nobody — not even Cooper — envisioned what was coming. Four trips to the Stanley Cup Final in 10 years. Two Stanley Cups. No coach in NHL history has more wins at their 10-year anniversary with a team than Cooper’s 476, according to NHL Stats. The list of coaches who spent their full first decade with the same franchise is just 11 deep, including the likes of Toe Blake, Jack Adams and Barry Trotz — and Cooper has the most wins of anyone on it. The only coaches to have more combined regular season and playoff wins over any 10-year span are Arbour and Scotty Bowman. There may never be another coach who wins 11 consecutive playoff series.

more ($)

The Top 60 Draft Picks Of All Time

05/26/2023 at 9:24am EDT

NEW YORK (May 26, 2023) – The National Hockey League will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first NHL Draft in 1963 with a new series counting down the top 60 NHL Draft picks of all time, as voted on by staff writers and editors.

The series, 60 Diamonds – The Greatest Picks of the 60 NHL Drafts, premieres Sunday, May 28 on and includes an article and video segment each week featuring a panel of hockey writers discussing the most influential draft picks in NHL history. The five-week series will conclude with a half-hour show premiering on NHL Network on Saturday, June 24, at 7 p.m. ET and re-airing that night at 10:30 p.m. ET. Produced by NHL Productions, the finale special with host Kathryn Tappen will count down the top 20 picks and reveal the writers’ choice for the number one NHL Draft pick of the past 60 years.

NHL Short Notes

05/26/2023 at 1:16am EDT

* After Jason Robertson pulled the Stars even twice, Joe Pavelski netted the overtime winner to help his team stave off elimination and climbed multiple all-time lists in the process.

* Game 4 of the Western Conference Final marked the 23rd overtime contest of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the ninth-highest total in a single postseason in NHL history.

* The 2023 Stanley Cup Final will open either Wednesday, May 31st or Saturday, June 3rd. Click here to view the different schedule scenarios.

Stanley Cup Final Schedule

05/25/2023 at 11:06pm EDT

NEW YORK (May 25, 2023) – The National Hockey League today announced the schedule scenarios for the 2023 Stanley Cup Final, which will match the Florida Panthers against the winner of the Western Conference Final series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars.

Based on their higher regular-season point totals, either the Golden Knights or Stars will host Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final, as well as Games 5 and 7, if necessary. The Panthers will host Games 3 and 4, as well as Game 6, if necessary.

Open Post- Game 4 Of The Western Conference Final Vegas/Dallas

05/25/2023 at 7:37pm EDT

Moving Forward With Dylan Larkin

05/25/2023 at 5:58pm EDT

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

The Detroit Red Wings wanted more from Larkin this season. They wanted him to be more responsible away from the puck and they wanted him to be more error free when he is managing the puck.

Lalonde will point out plays he doesn’t like in the name of turning them into a teaching moment. Larkin isn’t spared those moments.

“Yeah there’s been some uncomfortable moments in video,” Larkin said. “That’s part of being a leader and part of being a top player. It’s meaningful when you’re in there and getting called out, because we’re all in this together and we all have to defend together and get better together. There has been some uncomfortable clips but I think it helps the group, ”

Larkin has grown as a player and a leader. Lalonde has said more than once that the team’s offense flows through Larkin.

Everyone accepts that Larkin cares deeply about his team, teammates and his performance level. And everyone knows that Larkin will be even a better player when the Red Wings are deeper in offensive talent.


World Championship Recap

05/25/2023 at 12:43pm EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Casey DeSmith made 15 saves Thursday and the United States defeated Czechia 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the World Championship in Tampere, Finland.

The U.S. advanced to Saturday’s semifinals. Team USA has won all eight of its games by a combined score of 37-8....

Germany stunned Switzerland, the top-seeded team in Group B, despite playing without Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider for the final half of the game in Riga, Latvia.

Seider received a major penalty for boarding and game misconduct at 11:01 of the second period when the game was tied 1-1. He finished with no shots and a minus-1 rating in 12:12.


Watch the Seider boarding call below.

The Same Result For The Carolina Hurricanes

05/25/2023 at 12:35pm EDT

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

In their minds, they were still ready for overtime, for what would have been the third time in the series. The end came so quickly, it was almost impossible to comprehend.

The Carolina Hurricanes fought back twice to tie the score, their season on the line, ready to carry the battle into another 20 minutes, only for Matthew Tkachuk to beat them.


With 4.9 seconds to go. If there’s a more painful way to end an excruciating playoff series, science is going to have to get back into the lab.

“Really confused,” Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho said. “I don’t know if confused is the right word but obviously, don’t know how did that happen. It didn’t feel like a 4-0 series to me, but it is what it is.”

The Florida Panthers won four one-goal games — two in overtime, three on Tkachuk goals that left the Hurricanes no answer — to sweep the Hurricanes, bookended by a quadruple overtime win in Raleigh in Game 1 and Wednesday’s 4-3 win on a late power play, given for a tripping call on Jordan Staal behind the Florida net that was patty-cake compared to the gross bodily harm allowed over the previous 19 minutes.


NHL Short Notes

05/25/2023 at 7:30am EDT

* The Panthers and Hurricanes were tied or separated by a one-goal margin for all but 2:40 in the Eastern Conference Final, which ended with a Game 4 thriller that included an opening-minute goal, a multi-goal comeback, a tying marker by Carolina with 3:22 to play and then an NHL record-tying series clinching goal at 19:55 of the third period by Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk.

* The Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 27 years – their only other trip came in 1996 – and will begin the championship series in either Las Vegas or Dallas. The Golden Knights currently hold a 3-0 series lead against the Stars in the Western Conference, which resumes tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+, ESPN, SN, TVAS, CBC.

* The Panthers became the third team in NHL history to eliminate three of the League’s top four teams in the same postseason, the third team in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to win three or more series after entering as the lowest-ranked team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs – all after spending only 28% of their season in a playoff spot.

The Florida Panthers Are In The Stanley Cup Final

05/24/2023 at 10:52pm EDT

The Florida Panthers in many of the regular season predictions were supposed to be very good - they weren't. They barely made the playoffs as the last wild card spot.

Now they are in the Stanley Cup Final after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 to sweep the series.

Along the way Florida defeated the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and now the Hurricanes, not an easy road.

They will open the SCF on the road against the winner of the Vegas/Dallas series.

Below watch the game winning goal with 4 seconds left in regulation. added 11:19pm, Handshakes and highlights have be added in the comment section along with other post game moments

Video- Tonight's HNIC Opening Montage

05/24/2023 at 8:09pm EDT

Open Post- Game 4 Of The Eastern Conference Final Carolina/Florida

05/24/2023 at 7:32pm EDT

Video- Jamie Benn Suspended Two Games

05/24/2023 at 5:25pm EDT

NEW YORK (May 24, 2023) – Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn has been suspended for two games for cross-checking Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone during Game 3 of the Western Conference Final in Dallas on Tuesday, May 23, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

If the term of the suspension is not fully served during the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the remaining game will be served at the beginning of the 2023-24 regular season.

The incident occurred at 1:42 of the first period. Benn was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for cross-checking.

Video is below.

The Top RFAs

05/24/2023 at 2:01pm EDT

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

Trade bait, bridge candidates, and future superstars that need to be locked up ASAP.

The 2023 class of restricted free agents offers a smorgasbord of situations.

And while several potential ’23 RFAs avoided the drama and uncertainty by signing well in advance of expiry (Mathew Barzal, Roope Hintz, Dylan Cozens, Matt Boldy, and Stuart Skinner among them), plenty of intriguing young talents remain unsigned.

As these RFAs look to bank off their platform seasons and owners wrestle with slow-to-rise salary cap, many tense negotiations (or trades?) are still on deck.

The situations in Winnipeg, Ottawa, New Jersey, New York, and Anaheim are particularly interesting.

Here’s where things stand with the top 12 RFAs of 2023 as July 1 fast approaches.

continued and a good read if interested in the topic...

Hi Sidney, I'm Kyle

05/24/2023 at 1:54pm EDT

from Nick Horwat of The Hockey News,

The Pittsburgh Penguins were seemingly close to naming a new hockey operations staff when Kyle Dubas became available after the Toronto Maple Leafs lost in the second round.

At that moment, the Penguins put their whole process on hold and looked for permission to talk to Dubas.

By all accounts, they were granted permission to interview Dubas and rocket him straight to the top of the priority list.

Not only did Dubas receive an interview with the Penguins, but he also met with their captain.

According to DK Pittsburgh Sports, Dubas met with Sidney Crosby at the Penguins’ practice facility late Tuesday night.


Your Jim Gregory GM Of The Year Finalists

05/24/2023 at 12:04pm EDT

NEW YORK (May 24, 2023)Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars, Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers are the three finalists for the 2022-23 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award, the National Hockey League announced today.

Voting for this award was conducted among the NHL general managers and a panel of League executives, print and broadcast media at the conclusion of the Second Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The winner will be unveiled on Wednesday, June 28, during the first round of the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft in Nashville (7 p.m. ET, ESPN, SN, TVAS).

Max Domi Fined For Slashing

05/24/2023 at 12:01pm EDT

NEW YORK (May 24, 2023) – Dallas Stars forward Max Domi has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for slashing Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone during Game 3 of the Western Conference Final in Dallas on Tuesday, May 23, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 18:09 of the third period.

The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Why The Networks Want A Game 7

05/24/2023 at 11:48am EDT

from Ken Fang of Awful Announcing,

Networks love when postseason series go six or seven games. That’s when they get to sell extra ads. In the 1st and 2nd Rounds of this year’s NBA postseason and NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, there were a combined total of six series that went the full seven games and another ten series that ended in six. But in the Conference Finals, that has completely turned around with one sweep in the NBA and potentially two more in the NHL.

Series that go the maximum can be an ad sales bonanza totalling as much as eight figures especially in the Finals. ESPN has sold out its ad inventory for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and ratings for the NBA Playoffs have both ESPN and TNT smiling. However, it’s those Game 7’s that can make network executives pop celebratory champagne bottles in their corner offices....

The same is true for the NHL Stanley Cup Final which will be on TNT this year. On April 30, TNT had the good fortune to air two Game 7’s in the NHL 1st round with Florida upsetting Boston and Seattle winning its first postseason series over Colorado. Warner Bros Discovery ad slots were certainly at a premium that night. However, it’s not having the same luck in the Eastern Conference Final as Florida is on the verge of closing out Carolina in a short series. You know that WBD Sports is rooting for the maximum amount of games in the final.

Not only do longer series bring more eyeballs to TV’s, tablets and cell phones, it also allows ESPN and WBD Sports to promote programming on their sister networks (i.e. Dr. Pimple Popper). Now with one conference final ending in a sweep and potentially two more, it would prevent them from running NBA and NHL games through the Memorial Day Weekend. The lack of premier programming airing up to the start of the league finals in early June means no natural promotion across the Disney and Warner Bros Discovery networks.

read on

Jamie Benn Will Have A Hearing Today With DoPS

05/24/2023 at 10:17am EDT

Watch the incident below.

The Florida Panthers Are A Win Away From The Stanley Cup Final

05/24/2023 at 8:15am EDT

from David Dwork of The Hockey News,

The Florida Panthers are on the cusp of doing something shocking.

Something amazing.

Something fans of the team who have followed along for years and suffered through countless losing seasons have been waiting for since the 90s.

Wednesday night the Panthers will host Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Florida has won each of the series' first three games against the Metropolitan Division Champion Carolina Hurricanes, all by one goal.

They have also allowed Carolina to score a total of just three goals in the series.

One more win and the Panthers will be playing for the Stanley Cup.

Florida has picked a wonderful time to play its best hockey of the season, but the level that goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has reached during the postseason is something truly incredible to behold.

Overall he's gone 10-2 with a 2.15 goals against average and .935 save percentage. Those are excellent numbers.

During the conference final, however, Bob has entered another atmosphere, stopping 132 of the 135 shots Carolina has directed his way.


Wayne Gretzky's Final Game Sweater Is Up For Auction

05/24/2023 at 7:24am EDT

from TMZ,

Brace yourself, hockey fans ... the last jersey NHL legend Wayne Gretzky wore during the final game of his historic career is being offered publicly for the first time, and the threads could be yours -- if you've got deep pockets!

TMZ Sports is told Gretzky's jersey -- which he had on in 1999 when he racked up his 2,857th point with an assist -- is now up for grabs at Grey Flannel Auctions.


The current bid is close to $190K with 18 days left.

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