Blackhawks' firing of Mike Kitchen could reopen rift between coaching staff, front office

Sports / Hockey /

General manager Stan Bowman promised change after the Predators swept the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs. The first part of that change came Monday, and it cut close to coach Joel Quenneville.

The Hawks fired assistant coach Mike Kitchen, a longtime Quenneville aide, after seven seasons with the team -- a move that threatens to ...Read more

Penguins 'hopeful' Carl Hagelin can return against Capitals

Sports / Hockey /

Penguins forward Carl Hagelin produced three goals and seven points in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Washington Capitals a season ago. His blinding speed was blindingly obvious. The HBK line, with Hagelin on left wing, was a consistent threat.

Until Monday, having Hagelin back to face the Capitals did not appear likely, but that...Read more

Kings hire John Stevens to be their next coach

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES -- John Stevens, who has spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Kings as an assistant coach as well as associate head coach and has been partly responsible for their excellent defense and penalty killing, has been hired to be the team's coach, the team announced Sunday.

A formal announcement will be made by General Manager Rob ...Read more

Oilers eliminate Sharks, last year's Stanley Cup finalist, in first round

Sports / Hockey /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The traditional handshake line at center ice was finished. Some fans at SAP Center stood and cheered. Others remained silent, staying near their seats as the San Jose Sharks remained on the ice for several more moments and saluted them for the final time this season.

A year that began with aspirations of returning to the ...Read more

After initial nerves, Penguins' Malkin playing 'complete game'

Sports / Hockey /

If Penguins center Evgeni Malkin keeps this up, perhaps he'll stand a chance during the NHL's bicentennial celebration.

In the meantime, Mr. 101 will have to settle for the playoff scoring lead, which Malkin held before Sunday's games.

Malkin's 11 points were three more than teammate Phil Kessel and gave him a three-point lead on Washington's ...Read more

Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews ready to make changes in offseason preparation

Sports / Hockey /

After an inconsistent season, Jonathan Toews will re-evaluate what he does off the ice to prepare for 2017-18.

The Blackhawks captain wasn't pleased with the way his body held up during the season, and though he wouldn't admit it, he was likely hampered by an injury during the first round of the playoffs.

"I'm definitely going to take a ...Read more

Paajarvi sends Blues to second round with OT winner over Wild

Sports / Hockey /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Two players who were not with the Blues for the bulk of the season sent them to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs Saturday.

A nifty drive to the net by Vladimir Sobotka set up the biggest goal of Magnus Paajarvi's NHL career, catapulting the Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild in overtime.

The ...Read more

'Angry' Stan Bowman vows change for Blackhawks, but big contracts may make that hard

Sports / Hockey /

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is typically as mild-mannered as they come, but on Saturday Bowman didn't hold back in letting his infuriation show.

And the message through his irritation was clear -- change is coming to the Blackhawks.

Bowman said he was "frustrated and angry" at the team's first-round sweep at the hand of the ...Read more

Penguins dilemma: Rest is nice, but how much is too much?

Sports / Hockey /

And now, the Penguins wait.

They finished off their first-round playoff series against Columbus with a 5-2 win Thursday night in Game 5 to clinch a spot in the second round. Who they'll play and when that Eastern Conference semifinal will start is undetermined.

It certainly won't start before Tuesday, ensuring that the Penguins will have at ...Read more

Aging Blackhawks defense should be huge concern to Stan Bowman

Sports / Hockey /

For the first three games of their series against the Predators, the Blackhawks started six defensemen with an average age of 31.8 years.

Possibly the most startling sight in the Hawks' sweep at the hands of the Predators was that their defensemen looked their ages.

The struggles of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were a major problem, but you...Read more

Star-studded Penguins find success in blue-collar approach

Sports / Hockey /

Ask most hockey fans, and they're likely to associate the Penguins with star power.

For good reason, too.

After all, the team allocates more than 44 percent of its salary-cap space to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel alone. But for as much skill and speed as the Penguins possess, there's almost a second identity to ...Read more

David Haugh: Blackhawks' stunning exit a dramatic mandate for change

Sports / Hockey /

Recovery from Chicago sports shock this severe can take years, if ever.

Just ask the Cubs of 2003 or 2008 or the 2000 White Sox. Or the 1986 Bears and 1991 Blackhawks, Presidents' Trophy winners ousted in the first round by the North Stars. None of the current Hawks are old enough to have played on that team; they only looked like it getting ...Read more

Oilers push Sharks to brink of elimination with 4-3 OT win

Sports / Hockey /

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The San Jose Sharks were pushed to the brink of elimination Thursday as David Desharnais scored with 1:45 left in the first overtime to give the Edmonton Oilers a riveting 4-3 win in Game 5 of the opening round playoff series between the two teams.

Only Martin Jones brilliance in overtime allowed the game to go that long.

...Read more

Blackhawks swept by Predators, eliminated from NHL playoffs after 4-1 loss in Game 4

Sports / Hockey /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Blackhawks' season is over.

The Nashville Predators shocked the Hawks by sweeping them in the first round of the playoffs, with the clincher a 4-1 victory in Game 4 on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.

Pekka Rinne continued his domination in goal by making 30 saves to again lead his team to victory. Roman Josi scored...Read more

Charlie Coyle steps up as force for Wild in playoffs

Sports / Hockey /

Charlie Coyle hates the nickname apparently, but Devan Dubnyk says there's a reason Wild teammates call the hulking New Englander, "Gronk," an ode to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

"You watch Gronk play football, he's just this massive human that is unstoppable. And when Charlie wants to be, he's a massive human that's unstoppable," Dubnyk ...Read more

Penguins finish off Blue Jackets with 5-2 win, advance to Eastern Conference semis

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH -- When the Penguins blew their chance at a sweep Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, coach Mike Sullivan emphasized the need for everyone to reset their mindset.

Sullivan's team had to do that a few times Thursday, but the Penguins ultimately got the result they desired, a 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets in Game 5 of their opening-round series...Read more

Ducks extinguish Flames, completing sweep with 3-1 win

Sports / Hockey /

CALGARY, Alberta -- Check one item off the Anaheim Ducks' Stanley Cup playoff to-do list.

Two goals in a little more than a minute of the first period were all goalie John Gibson needed to carry to the end and the Ducks are off to the Western Conference semifinals with their first opponent vanquished Wednesday night.

Gibson stopped 36 shots in...Read more

Wild forces Game 5 vs. Blues with 2-0 victory

Sports / Hockey /

ST. LOUIS -- Finally, the Minnesota Wild got an "A" for effort and a "W" in the win column.

After feeling it deserved so much more in the first three games of this aggravating playoff series against the St. Louis Blues, the Wild staved off elimination and a sweep Wednesday night with a well-earned, hard-fought 2-0 win at Scottrade Center.

...Read more

Ducks center Ryan Kesler is voted a finalist for NHL's Selke trophy

Sports / Hockey /

CALGARY, Alberta -- Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler, who led the NHL by taking 773 defensive-zone faceoffs and also by winning 429 of those defensive-zone draws, is one of three finalists for the Selke Trophy, awarded annually by the NHL "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game."

Kesler won the Selke Trophy in 2011 ...Read more

Blackhawks hope lighter mood will lead to better results in Game 4

Sports / Hockey /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Blackhawks walked in single file silently into the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday.

They were already in uniform for practice -- perhaps their final one -- and their demeanor was all business.

The 3-0 deficit they face against the Predators in the Western Conference quarterfinals isn't going away...Read more


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