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Commissioner Gary Bettman says 2020-21 NHL season might not start until January

Sports / Hockey /

The 2020-21 NHL season could start in late December or "slip into January" depending on the health conditions and COVID-19 regulations in place later this year, Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Saturday before the start of the Stanley Cup Final between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning in Edmonton, Canada.

Speaking during the state ...Read more

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Lightning are older, and hope better, team than 2015 version

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning have been here before. No, they haven't played the Stanley Cup Final in an Edmonton bubble against the Stars, but nine of their players have played for hockey's biggest trophy together before.

In 2015, the Lightning were something of a young upstart that made an unexpected run to the Cup final, losing to the Blackhawks. None of ...Read more

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Franchise staple Mikko Koivu won't be returning to Wild next season

Sports / Hockey /

The Wild won't look the same next season, and not just because of recent roster turnover.

Longtime captain Mikko Koivu will not be back after the team announced Friday it won't re-sign him. Koivu, 37, had been with the organization ever since it drafted him sixth overall in 2001, and through 15 ensuing seasons he assembled the most illustrious ...Read more

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Helene Elliott: No booing Gary Bettman? Stanley Cup Final will be another strange experience.

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES - Anthony Cirelli's overtime goal had just sent the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup Final and it felt like old times.

Lights flashed, the goal horn blared, and the winners dashed off the bench to hug each other and celebrate defeating the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference finals. Fans roared - but that's where ...Read more

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Lightning beat Islanders to earn spot in Stanley Cup final

Sports / Hockey /

Another potentially clinching game, and once again, the Lightning and Islanders needed overtime. This time, however, the Lightning came out on top, finishing the Eastern Conference final and securing their spot to compete for the Stanley Cup with a 2-1 win.

Anthony Cirelli, who was injured earlier in the game Thursday night in Edmonton, was the...Read more

Sharks will make Bob Boughner their full-time coach, per report

Sports / Hockey /

The Sharks will make Bob Boughner their full-time head coach in the near future, according to a published report.

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic wrote Wednesday that Boughner would have the interim tag removed from his title in "the next week or two."

A Sharks spokesman said Wednesday morning that nothing is official. For months, though, all ...Read more

Geoff Baker: Will the Kraken's on-ice debut be delayed? Chances are good.

Sports / Hockey /

SEATTLE - It's the thing nobody's really talking about during these Stanley Cup playoffs but that will certainly become a huge discussion next month.

We've all long assumed the Kraken will launch in October 2021 because October has been the NHL's opening month the past eight decades. But it's looking more likely the league could delay starting ...Read more

Islanders beat Lightning in second overtime to keep season alive

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning missed their first chance to secure a spot in the Stanley Cup final.

Game 5 had been lucky for Tampa Bay and Tuesday's lined up to repeat the previous two series that went into overtime. The Islanders had the touch this time, however, pulling out a double-overtime 2-1 win over the Lightning at Edmonton's Rogers Place.

Tampa Bay ...Read more

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Three goals in 27 seconds make difference for Lightning and Islanders

Sports / Hockey /

After the Islanders scored the first goal of Game 4 on Sunday afternoon, Lightning coach Jon Cooper told his same line of three forwards to go back out there and get one goal. They did just that, 15 seconds later.

It was part of a stretch of three combined goals in 27 seconds, the fourth-quickest in NHL playoff history. The Lightning's two ...Read more

Could the Lightning get Brayden Point back for Game 4?

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning are looking to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time this postseason and could get a boost if Brayden Point is able to return to the lineup for Game 4 Sunday in Edmonton, Alberta.

The team's top center did not play in Friday's Game 3, the Lightning's first loss of the Eastern Conference final. But Point skated in ...Read more

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Lightning rally to beat Islanders, build on series lead

Sports / Hockey /

The odds were stacked against them from the start. Yet, in typical Lightning fashion, they made it work.

Down two forwards in an 11-7 adjusted lineup, the Lightning defeated the Islanders, 2-1, on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta, for a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference final. Nikita Kucherov put the Lightning ahead for good with an...Read more

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Mike Sielski: Alain Vigneault's demands of Flyers' top players could be a hint of what's next

Sports / Hockey /

For the opening rendition of a refrain that Alain Vigneault would sing throughout his first season as the Flyers' head coach, go back to a Friday afternoon in late September, after a practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, after most of the players had left for the day.

The night before, the Flyers had lost a preseason game, badly, and now, ...Read more

Geoff Baker: Canada's loss is NHL's gain as Stanley Cup drought continues north of the border

Sports / Hockey /

SEATTLE - Seattle-area hockey fixture Jamie Huscroft chuckles knowingly at the reality of another year without a Stanley Cup championship north of the border.

For new NHL fans unfamiliar, it's become a yearly tradition to note that no Canadian city has won a Cup since the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. The Vancouver Canucks on Friday were this ...Read more

What rust? Lightning ride early lead past Islanders in Game 1

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning had six days to sit around between games. The Islanders only had one, and it was a travel day. Coach Jon Cooper said he was more concerned with rest than rust and the Lightning backed him up.

Brayden Point scored the game's first goal 74 seconds in Monday night. Then Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh added two more just 2:34 apart, ...Read more

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Sam Carchidi: Flyers take positive steps, but more are needed

Sports / Hockey /

My 85-year-old mother-in-law is only a casual hockey fan, but she gave a fairly succinct analysis of the Flyers' 4-0 loss Saturday night to the New York Islanders in a Game 7 that never felt like one.

"It seemed," she said on Sunday morning, "that the Islanders had more players on the ice than the Flyers."

Yes it did.

Credit the Islanders' ...Read more

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Why it's a good thing Vasilevskiy hasn't been spectacular for Lightning

Sports / Hockey /

Andrei Vasilevskiy stood in locker room A at Amalie Arena last April and used a word his teammates hadn't: the singular first-person pronoun, "I."

Just about everyone on the Lightning said some version of "we needed to be better" after they were swept by Columbus in the first round of the playoffs.

"I have to do better," Vasilevskiy said three...Read more

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Helene Elliott: How John Blue blazed a trail for Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES - Before San Diego native Thatcher Demko was promoted from his backup job to become the Vancouver Canucks' starting goaltender last Tuesday, only one goalie born in California had ever played in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Demko, who began his ascent with the San Diego Junior Gulls and Junior Kings, earned many new fans by coolly ...Read more

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Flyers run out of magic as they fall to Islanders, 4-0, and their season ends in Game 7

Sports / Hockey /

A longer-than-usual season that started in Europe, featured vast improvement from last year and their first playoff-series victory since 2012 ended for the gallant Flyers on Saturday night.

It ended just like the last 44 seasons.

Without a Stanley Cup.

The Flyers dropped a 4-0 decision to the relentless New York Islanders at Toronto's ...Read more

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John Romano: Lightning had harsh lessons along the way to the conference final

Sports / Hockey /

There is no switch to be flipped, and no script to be followed.

A hockey team does not simply change its identity from dazzling one day, to gritty the next. The transformation is more organic and gradual, with plenty of small signposts along the way.

Like, for instance, the day the Lightning told Nikita Kucherov to sit his butt down.

It seems...Read more

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Flyers and Islanders will put it all on the line in Game 7

Sports / Hockey /

The Flyers were playing without their best all-around player, Sean Couturier, and at one point Thursday in this more-fascinating-by-the-minute series against the New York Islanders, they were getting outshot by a mind-boggling 50-20.

Somehow, they survived, outlasting the Islanders in double overtime, 5-4, to force a Game 7 Saturday night in ...Read more