NHL on Any Sport Any Time

Flames make significant deal with Avalanche

Friday, June 28th, 2013

The Calgary Flames have traded Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich to the Colorado Avalanche for David Jones and Shane O’Brien on Thursday. The trade happened three days before the NHL draft.

This will be Tanguay’s second time with the Avalanche. He was with Colorado from 1999-2006 to start his NHL career and was on the Colorado team that defeated the New Jersey Devils to win the 2001 Stanley Cup. In 2006, his last season with Colorado, Tanguay had a career high 29 goals.

Last season, Tanguay, a left winger from Ste-Justine, Quebec, had 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points, but was a career worst -13.


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Canucks name Tortorella head coach

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

John Tortorella (Robert Kowal, Wikimedia Commons)

One can basically say the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers have just traded coaches. A week after the New York Rangers named former Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault as ther new bench boss, the Canucks named former Rangers head coach John Tortorella to take the helm.

If Tortorella was thinking there was pressure in New York to win, he basically has not seen anything yet. The pressure for him to win this upcoming season in Vancouver will be extremely immense.

The Canucks have gone out in the first round the last two seasons, and yes, it was not surprising that Vigneault lost his job, but the seat for Tortorella is smoking hot.

The bottom line is the Canucks need to win now, and Tortorella will have to deliver the same success he had in Tampa Bay nine years ago for him to meet expectations. In Vancouver, it’s Stanley Cup or bust. Will Tortorella be ready? Time will tell.


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Blackhawks win 2013 Stanley Cup

Monday, June 24th, 2013

For the second time in four years the Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup champions.

Trailing 2-1 late in the third period, the Blackhawks got a game tying goal from Bryan Bickell with 1:16 left and then a game winning goal from David Bolland with 59 seconds left in the game.

With the 3-2 victory, Chicago defeated Boston 4-2 in the best out of seven final series.

Blackhawks sniper Patrick Kane was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, becoming the third American in a row to win the award following Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins in 2011 and Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2012.


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Maple Leafs acquire Bernier from Kings

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Jonathan Bernier (Wikimedia Commons)

An interesting trade materialized in the National Hockey League on Sunday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired goaltender Jonathan Bernier from the Los Angeles Kings for Matt Frattin, Ben Scrivens and a second round draft pick, either in 2014 or 2015.

Bernier is considered one of the very best backup goaltenders in the NHL. This past season he was 9-3-1, a shutout, a .922 save percentage and a 1.88 goals against average. He was a major reason why the Kings finished in 5th place in the Western Conference as Jonathan Quick struggled throughout the regular season at times.

Bernier was heading into the season as a restricted free agent and rumoured in many deals, including going to Edmonton.

Frattin, meanwhile a right winger, had seven goals and six assists in 25 games for the Maple Leafs this season, while Scrivens was 7-9 with two shutouts. Interestingly both Scrivens and Frattin are from the Edmonton region–Frattin from Edmonton and Scrivens from Spruce Grove.

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Blackhawks take lead in 2013 Stanley Cup Finals

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

The Chicago Blackhawks are two victories away from winning the Stanley Cup.

On Saturday night, Patrick Kane scored twice from Jonathan Toews as Chicago defeated Boston 3-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.

It was an outstanding bounce back game for Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, who despite winning game four, gave up five goals to the Bruins on Wednesday. Crawford made 24 saves.

The Blackhawks are also looking for their second Stanley Cup victory in the last four years. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers to win the Stanley Cup in 2010.


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Weekend Sports Preview–June 22-23–Stanley Cup Playoffs _ MLB

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Marian Hossa (Dinur Blum, Wikimedia Commons)

Game five of the Stanley Cup Finals returns to Chicago this evening with the Blackhawks hosting the Boston Bruins (Saturday, NBC, 6:00 p.m.).

The Stanley Cup Finals is now a best-of-three with the series tied 2-2.

In game four on Wednesday evening 11 goals were scored between the two teams. The fact that so many goals were scored was a significant surprise and many expect the series to return to a low scoring affair. If there are many opportunities, it benefits Chicago. If there are a few chances, it benefits Boston.

It will be interesting to see if Blackhawks sniper Marian Hossa will play tonight. Hossa, who missed game three on Monday and played game four on Wednesday, missed practice  on Friday because he was dealing with an injury. It is known what the injury is. Hossa plays a very important role in the Blackhawks top two lines.


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Stars name Ruff head coach

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Lindy Ruff (Wikimedia Commons)

The Dallas Stars hae named Lindy Ruff as their new head coach. Ruff replaces Glen Gultuzan who was fired by new Stars general manager Jim Nill on May 14.

Ruff coached the Buffalo Sabres from 1997-2013, and took the Sabres to the 1999 Stanley Cup Final where they ironically lost to the Dallas Stars. During that time the Sabres posted a record of 571-432-162.

Ruff, who was fired by the Sabres and replaced by Ron Rolston on February 20, went on to coach Team Canada at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in Stockholm where Team Canada lost 3-2 to the eventual gold medal winning team from Sweden.


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Seabrook scores OT winner as Blackhawks tie Stanley Cup Final

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Brent Seabrook (Wikimedia Commons)

The Chicago Blackhawks have evened the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece after a game that reminded hockey fans of one that would regularly take place in the 1980′s.

Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook scored at 9:51 of overtime as Chicago defeated Boston 6-5 in game four of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday evening.

It was the highest scoring game in the 2013 postseason, and the highest scoring overtime game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 6-5 on a goal from Taber’s Devin Setoguchi on April 20, 2011. It was also tied for the highest scoring game in Stanley Cup Finals history that went into overtime. The New York Islanders defeated the Vancouver Canucks 6-5 on a goal from Mike Bossy on May 8, 1982.

Game five of the series will now shift to Chicago on Saturday night. The extra day of rest will allow both goaltenders, Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Chicago’s Corey Crawford to regroup. They both looked shaky Wednesday evening.


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Bruins grab 2-1 lead on Blackhawks in Stanley Cup Final

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Tuukka Rask (Dan Nicholas, Wikimedia Commons)

The Boston Bruins are only two victories away from winning their second Stanley Cup in three years.

On Monday night at the Toronto Dominion Garden in Boston, Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for his third shutout of the postseason as Boston defeated Chicago 2-0 to take a 2-1 lead.

Rask should now be the favourite for the 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy. He also has a 1.64 goals against average and .946 save percentage in the playoffs so far, to go along with a 14-5 record. When Tim Thomas won the Conn Smythe for the Bruins two years ago, he had a 1.98 goals against average and a save percentage of .940.

However David Krejci and Nathan Horton have also had brilliant playoffs. Krejci leads all players with nine goals, 14 assists and 23 points, while Horton is an impressive +22 in 19 games.

Offensively the Bruins got production from their third line Monday as well. Once again Daniel Paille scored and is red hot in the Stanley Cup Finals. Patrice Bergeron meanwhile scored the other marker.


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Bruins tie the Stanley Cup Finals

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

We haven’t heard much about the Boston Bruins line of Tyler Seguin-Chris Kelly-Dan Paille in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.

But they were by far the best line on Saturday night during game two of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Paille set up Kelly with 5:02 left in the second period to tie the game for Boston at one and then Seguin set up Paille with 6:12 left in the first overtime as Boston defeated Chicago 2-1 to tie the series at one.

For Paille, it was only his third goal of the postseason. While for Kelly, it was only his first.

Meanwhile, the grizzly old veteran Jaromir Jagr almost scored his first goal of the playoffs, but hit the post. At 41, Jagr has seven assists in the playoffs so far and is playing at a very high level.


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Ovechkin wins 2013 Hart Trophy

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Alexander Ovechkin (Wikimedia Commons)

Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has won the 2013 Hart Trophy. Ovechkin was the primary reason why the Capitals won the Southeast Division. Ovechkin, who also won the Maurice Richard Trophy, led the NHL with 32 goals.

Other award winners included Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators as the Jack Adams Trophy winner for coach of the year, Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks as the Selke Trophy winner as best defensive forward, P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens as the Norris Trophy winner for best defenceman, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets as the Vezina Trophy winner for best goaltender, Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning as the best gentlemanly player and Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers as the best rookie.

The 2013 NHL Awards were given secondary status this season because of the lockout situation. A ceremony would have had to take place in July, after the draft and after free agency.



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Rangers name Vigneault head coach

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

The New York Rangers have hired Alain Vigneault as their next head coach. You know something was up when Vigneault had withdrawn his name from the Dallas Stars list.

Vigneault had spent the last seven seasons coaching the Vancouver Canucks to seven straight winning seasons and an overall record of 313-170-57. He also took the Canucks to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.

Vigneault will now be a big name head coach because he is in the Big Apple. Interestingly, when he was fired by the Canucks, Tony Reali of Pardon the Interruption told Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon that Vigneault was just fired an asked them what team he coached. Each of them had no clue.


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Weekend Sports Preview–June 15-16–U.S. Open, Stanley Cup Playoffs, NBA Finals, IndyCar, WMBL _ Volleyball

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Phil Mickelson (Steven Newton, Wikimedia Commons)

There is  doubt after two days of the 2013 United States Open, the course at Merion is winning. As of Friday, only two players were under par for the second major of the year– big game Phil Mickelson and little name Billy Horschel at one under par.

Prior to the tournament there was speculation that the course was goin to play easy because it was a short course of under 7,000 yards. But the course has bee anything but easy, as it has given players headaches on a regular basis. Round two ends Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. on TSN and continues throughout the day. Sunday’s coverage will start at 10:00 a.m.

Here are the other events I’ll be watching:

Saturday–IndyCar Racing–Milwaukee Mile–Sportsnet One–2:00 p.m.– James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ontario will start second for the ninth race of the year behind American Marco Andretti. Hinchcliffe has had an up and down season as he won two races earlier in the year but has struggled since his win in Sao Paulo on May 5. He is also in a difficult position on Saturdy as he is also starting behind his Andretti Autosport teammate.


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Marathon games continue in Major League Baseball

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

The Oakland Athletics defeated the New York Yankees this afternoon 3-2 in 18 innings. So, you ask? It was a marathon baseball game and you have those once in a while.

But within the last couple of weeks, it was the fourth game that went 17 innings or more. On May 30, the Toronto Blue Jays lost 4-3 to the San Diego Padres. Then last Saturday, the Blue Jays defeated the Texas Rangers 4-3 in 18 innings and the Miami Marlins defeated the New York Mets 2-1 in 20 innings.

Also last week you saw Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners tie the game on a grand slam in the 14th inning only to see Seattle lose 7-5 in 16 innings to the Chicago White Sox.


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