Archive for the ‘NHL’ Category

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Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact as he continues to recover from the effects of a concussion suffered in January.
Crosby was on the ice Thursday with teammates for the morning skate prior to the night’s contest with Washington. He has been practicing with the team, but had been wearing a white helmet to indicate no contact. On Thursday, he was wearing a black helmet like the rest of his teammates.
There was no contact in Thursday’s session, but Crosby said after the workout that he has been given the go-ahead by doctors.
“I’m cleared for full contact,” Crosby said. “It’s a good step in the right direction. We’ll see how it goes in the next little bit.”
Crosby hasn’t played for the Penguins since January 5, when he took a hit from Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman. He had also absorbed a hard check to the head four days earlier in the Winter Classic against Washington.
There is still no timetable for a return, but doctors and the former MVP had previously stated that he would only suit up when 100 percent recovered. When Crosby and doctors met with the media on September 7, it was fully disclosed that contact in practice would be a step before returning to game action.
“I’ve got to get hit at some point during practice, but we’re playing [games] so much that it’s pretty tough to get that in right now,” Crosby remarked. “I’m getting closer [to returning] and just want to make sure that I respond well to everything in the next however long it is.”
Crosby appeared in just 41 games last season and still led the Penguins in points with 66.
– Steve
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Semyon Varlamov stopped all 30 shots he faced and Milan Hejduk provided all the scoring with a third-period goal in Colorado’s 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
Varlamov, acquired from Washington during the offseason, recorded a shutout — the fifth of his career — in his second game with the Avalanche.
“He was controlling the rebounds, he’s just so calm back there,” Avalance center Paul Stastny said of Varlamov.
Colorado failed to generate any offense in Saturday’s season opener, a 3-0 home loss to Detroit, but was able to slip the puck behind Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, who finished with 35 saves.
The lone goal began with a clean faceoff win by the Avalanche in the Boston zone. Matt Duchene sent the puck to the point for Jan Hejda, who quickly dished off the boards to Hejduk. The veteran forward then beat Rask with a wrister from the middle of the left circle at 7:57.
“I was screened, but I saw the shot going where I thought it was going, but it just deflected off of something and went in,” Rask said of the goal.
Colorado, which failed to convert consecutive power plays, including a brief 5-on-3, early in the contest, denied Bruins head coach Claude Julien a chance to earn his 300th career win.
“We got outworked by a team that was a lot hungrier than we were,” Julien said.
– Steve

Great night to be a sports fan

Posted: 27/04/2011 in MLB, NBA, NCAAF, NFL, NHL, PGA

Tuesday Night Sports Scene

Tonight was a great night to be a sports fan. Great hockey games, important basketball games and some ugly updates in football.

NHL

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The West’s one seed Vancouver needed 7 games and overtime to beat the defending Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks. Intense and fun game. Alex Burrows scored both Vancouver goals in the 2-1 series deciding overtime win.

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Much to my dismay, the Canadians and goalie Carey Price outlasted Tim Thomas and the Bruins in Montreal 2-1, and forced a game 7 Wednesday night in Boston. Carey Price stopped 31 of 32 Bruin shots to lead the Habs game 6 victory.

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The Flyers scored 4 goals before the Sabres finally got a goal past Brian Boucher 6 minutes into the third period. Boucher is making his case as to why the Flyers and their fans should chose him as their everyday playoff goalie. Ryan Miller just wasn’t good enough in game 7 tonight.

NBA

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Hey Roy Hibbert, you were right, you backed up your talk and won your argument. You guys (Indiana Pacers) didn’t get swept by the Chicago Bulls. However, the Bulls did finish off Hibbert’s Pacers tonight in Chicago in game 5, 116-89 in a beat-down.  Derrick Rose (25) and Luol Deng (24) led the Bulls scoring output as the Bulls await the winner of the Hawks and Magic series in round 2 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

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On the brink of elimination, the Orlando Magic survived for another game crushing the Atlanta Hawks 101-76 to force a game 6 in Atlanta on Thursday. The three pointers finally started falling tonight as Jason Richardson (17) and J.J. Reddick (14) led the Magic to victory. Dwight Howard however had only one field goal the entire night and finished with just 8 points and 8 rebounds.

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In a very tight first four games, the Lakers were looking to take advantange of their home court and go up 3-2 on the pesky CP3 led New Orleans Hornets. They did just that steadily beating them 106-90 in game 5. Kobe Bryant’s left ankle held up and even had a posterization of Emeka Okafor just before half time that had tweeters going bananas. Atlanta Falcons star wide-out tweeted: roddywhiteTV Roddy White: “That was a great dunk by kobe he about to go off” Kobe Bryant had 19 points.

NFL

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The NFL went back to work on Tuesday, one day after U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson granted the players an injunction to lift the lockout. A handful of players however reported to team facilities on Tuesday, although many were unable to do much other than walk through the doors.

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Often criticized ex-Tennessee Titan star Albert Haynesworth was indicted Tuesday on a sexual assault charge. The overpaid Redskin (and Coach Mike Shanahan’s favorite Skin’) was indicted by a Washington grand jury on a misdemeanor sexual assault charge. Back on February 11 of this year Haynesworth allegedly caressed the breasts of a waitress at the W hotel.  If Haynesworth is found guilty he could face a fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

NCAA Football

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Bad news for my Gators. Florida sent their star All-Conference cornerback Janoris Jenkins packing on Tuesday. Jenkins was on a short leash after his April 23 arrest for marajuana possession for the second time. New Gator head coach Will Muschamp tweeted: CoachWMuschamp Will Muschamp: After meeting with Janoris Jenkins today, we both felt it was in his best interest to move ahead to the next stage of his career.

MLB

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Andre Ethier made history Tuesday night for the Dodgers. Although Los Angeles is struggling and ended up losing to the Marlins 4-2, Ethier set a major league record for the longest April hitting streak as he hit safely in 23 straight games. Ironically, former Dodger manager Joe Torre previously held the record for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972 with 22 hits.

PGA

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Tiger Woods’ left leg injury suffered two weeks ago at Augusta National isn’t getting any better. Woods decided to take next week’s tour event in Charlotte off to recuperate his ailing left leg which he has had four separate surgeries on. Woods said on his website that he experienced a “grade-one mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon while hitting a difficult and awkward second shot” while playing in the round of the Masters.

– Steve

NHL Playoffs Predictions

Posted: 12/04/2011 in NHL

2011 NHL Playoffs

Predictions

Round 1

Eastern Conference

1.) Washington Capitals https://i0.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/was2.jpg OVER 8.) New York Rangers https://i0.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/nyr.gif

5.) Tampa Bay Lightning https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/tam2.gif OVER 4.) Pittsburgh Penguins https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/pit.gif

3.) Boston Bruins https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/bos2.jpg OVER 6.) Montreal Canadians https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/mon.gif

2.) Philadelphia Flyers https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/phi.gif OVER 7.) Buffalo Sabres https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/buf_3.gif

Western Conference

1.) Vancouver Canucks https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/van2.gif OVER 8.) Chicago Blackhawks https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/chi.gif

6.) Phoenix Coyotes https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/pho_2.gif OVER 3.) Detroit Red Wings https://i0.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/det.gif

2.) San Jose Sharks https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/san2.jpg OVER 7.) Los Angeles Kings https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/los.gif

5.) Nashville Predators https://i0.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/nas.gif OVER 4.) Anaheim Ducks https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/ana_2.gif

Round 2

Eastern Conference

1.) Washington Capitals https://i0.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/was2.jpg OVER 5.) Tampa Bay Lightning https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/tam2.gif

3.) Boston Bruins https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/bos2.jpg OVER 2.) Philadelphia Flyers https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/phi.gif

Western Conference

1.) Vancouver Canucks https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/van2.gif OVER 6.) Phoenix Coyotes https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/pho_2.gif

2.) San Jose Sharks https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/san2.jpg OVER 5.) Nashville Predators https://i0.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/nas.gif

Eastern Conference Final

3.) Boston Bruins https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/bos2.jpg OVER 1.) Washington Capitals https://i0.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/was2.jpg

Western Conference Final

1.) Vancouver Canucks https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/van2.gif OVER 2.) San Jose Sharks https://i1.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/san2.jpg

Stanley Cup

3.) Boston Bruins https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/bos2.jpg OVER 1.) Vancouver Canucks https://i2.wp.com/l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/v/nhl/teams/1/50x50w/van2.gif in 7 games

– Steve

Perry reaches 50 goals, Ducks stay above the water in playoffs race
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Corey Perry reached the 50-goal plateau in memorable fashion, capping his hat trick during Anaheim’s four-goal second period to power the Ducks over the Pacific Division-champion San Jose Sharks, 6-2.

Perry, the league’s leading goal scorer, added an assist for good measure, as the Ducks kept pace with the Chicago Blackhawks for seventh place in the Western Conference standings.

Both teams have two games remaining and hold a four-point advantage over Dallas, which is currently on the outside of the playoff picture but still has three games left to play.

Cam Fowler and Teemu Selanne each had a goal and an assist for the victors. Ray Emery left the game in the middle stanza for undisclosed reasons after allowing one goal on 23 shots, while Dan Ellis made 13 saves the rest of the way to preserve the win.

Antero Niittymaki yielded six goals on 34 shots in the loss, the Sharks’ first in five games. San Jose remains the No. 2 seed in the West.

“It’s frustrating, but hopefully it’s for the better,” Sharks forward Dany Heatley said of the loss. “We didn’t come prepared tonight.”

Perry’s nifty backhand got the scoring started 12:58 into the game, and Fowler’s slap shot late in the opening period was the first of four power-play goals for Anaheim.

At the 6:46 mark of the second, Perry split two defenders as he skated parallel to the crease, then went low with a forehand for his second goal of the game.

Dan Boyle’s slap shot got the Sharks on the board two minutes later, but Perry responded with his 50th goal of the season when he re-directed Selanne’s centering feed at 10:57 on the power play.

“It hasn’t really sunk in … It’s an exciting number and hopefully there’s more to come,” Perry said of the accomplishment.

Less than two minutes after the hats were removed from the ice, Selanne put in his 29th goal of the season, and Jason Blake’s 16th tally came with 4:44 remaining in the frame. Both scores came with the man advantage.

– Steve

Sharks clinch Pacific Division with win over Kings
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Kyle Wellwood had a goal and two assists and the San Jose Sharks clinched the Pacific Division for a fourth straight season with a 6-1 thrashing of Los Angeles. Joe Thornton notched a goal and an assist to reach 999 points in his career while Joe Pavelski, Dan Boyle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic each added a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who took the division crown for the sixth time in club history. Antti Niemi made 31 saves.

San Jose, which has won four straight and eight of nine to get to 103 points, moved one point ahead of idle Detroit for the second spot in the Western Conference. Both teams have three games to play.

“The benefit of winning is knowing we will be in the No. 2 or 3 spot,” said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. “As the playoffs roll around we will have the opportunity to start in front of our great fans.”

Michal Handzus scored the lone goal for the Kings, who had won five of six coming in. Jonathan Quick was pulled in the second after giving up four goals on 16 shots. Jonathan Bernier stopped 17-of-19 shots the rest of the way.

Los Angeles, with 96 points, remains tied with Phoenix for the fourth spot in the Western Conference as both teams have three games to play, including Wednesday’s matchup in Los Angeles between the two clubs.

“They come back at you when you go at them,” said Los Angeles head coach Terry Murray. “We score there early in the second to make it a one-goal game and they come right back and from there it was their game.”

San Jose wasted no time jumping on top as Pavelski buried a juicy rebound off a Torrey Mitchell shot just 1:47 in and Vlasic’s wrister from the inside left circle at the 8:26 mark made it a 2-0 game.

The Kings got a goal back just under two minutes into the second on Handzus’ 12th goal of the season, but San Jose scored the next four goals to take control of the game.

Just 22 seconds after the Handzus goal, Wellwood scored his fifth goal of the season and it was 4-1 at the 5:33 mark on a wrister from the slot by Boyle that beat Quick cleanly.

Bernier then took the net and San Jose put one past him five minutes later when Thornton banged a rebound at the right side.

Devin Setoguchi made it a 6-1 contest with 27 seconds left in the second as he snapped a wrister into the net from the inside right circle.

Niemi made eight stops in the third to keep the Kings from mounting any attempt at a comeback.

– Steve

Two for one: Bruins clinch Northeast, end Thrashers playoff hopes

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Michael Ryder scored on a penalty shot in the third period, and the Boston Bruins clinched the Northeast Division title with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at TD Garden.

A bad Atlanta turnover in the neutral zone led to a breakaway for Ryder, who was hauled down from behind by Thrashers defenseman Johnny Oduya, triggering the penalty shot on which Ryder snapped the puck past Ondrej Pavelec with 7:29 remaining.

Mark Recchi and Daniel Paille also tallied for the Bruins, who secured their second division crown in three seasons. Tuukka Rask made 28 saves to improve to 6-2-1 in his last nine starts.

Boston still has its sights set on the top seed in the Eastern Conference, trailing Philadelphia by only three points with four games to play.

Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane lit the lamp for Atlanta, which was officially eliminated from postseason contention. Pavelec stopped 20 shots in defeat.

Recchi opened the scoring 4:34 into the contest, pushing home a rebound off Atlanta defenseman Zach Bogosian’s skate. The Thrashers tied it on Byfuglien’s one-timer from the point on a power play with 8:49 left in the first period.

Kane jumped on a loose puck in the low slot to put Atlanta up 2-1 at 1:37 of the second period, but Paille pumped home a short-handed goal to draw the Bruins even at 6:18 of the middle frame.

– Steve