Adam Proteau, currently the brand's columnist/writer, has worked for The Hockey News since 2002 and won the Professional Hockey Writers' award for best column in 2006. He also won the Esso Medal of Achievement for most improved player as a 13-year-old at the 'A' level in 1985, but he's less proud of that.
If the Ottawa Senators are to rebound from a 3-0 first-round series deficit to the Montreal Canadiens, they’re going to need nearly-perfect performances from the entire team the rest of the way. And although their power play in Game 4 Wednesday wasn’t perfect – allowing a shorthanded breakaway to Habs winger Brandon Prust – Sens goalie Craig Anderson was there to bail it out with a solid pad save to keep the contest scoreless.
Prust got his breakaway chance in the second period of the defensive display between the two teams, and when he attempted to deke Anderson out by first faking a backhanded shot then going to his forehand, Anderson cooly threw out his right pad to stop the shot and prevent the goal: Read more
For the second consecutive season, the finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward are the same three NHL star centers: Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and L.A.’s Anze Kopitar. And the latter is looking to win his first this time around. Read more
After falling behind 2 games to 1 in their first round series with the Blackhawks and facing the prospect of having to win three games in a row to stave off elimination, the Nashville Predators had to be treating Game 4 Tuesday as a must-win scenario. Playing for the second straight game without star defenseman and captain Shea Weber, the Preds displayed the urgency the moment demanded and had a 2-1 lead midway through the third period. The Hawks were their typically resilient selves and tied it on Brandon Saad’s second of the post-season with 8:57 left in regulation – and that’s when the Great Overtime Caper of 2015 began.
By the end of it – on the 100th shot of the game at at exactly one minute of the third OT period – the Hawks were victorious again (this time, via a 3-2 final score) thanks to Brent Seabrook’s game-winner, and the Preds were on the brink of another first-round exit: Read more
Veteran center Antoine Vermette sat in the press box as a healthy scratch in the first two games of Chicago’s first-round series against Nashville, but in Game 4 Tuesday, he made a case for remaining in the lineup by scoring his first playoff goal for the Blackhawks.
Playing before a typically raucous home crowd, Chicago had just fallen behind 1-0 to the Preds a little more than midway through the first period when Vermette moved to the middle of the ice a few feet from Preds goalie Pekka Rinne and was able to redirect a pass from Michal Rozsival into the visitors’ net: Read more
When THN staffers gathered last summer to make pre-season predictions for our Yearbook, one of the more spirited debates was focused on the potential of the Detroit Red Wings. Some editorial department members believed the Wings were fading, didn’t have adequate superstars to replace their cornerstone members, and didn’t deserve to be one of our choices as a playoff team. However, a few dissenters (present company included) on staff were wary of putting them behind a team such as the Florida Panthers, if only because, when you make the post-season 23 consecutive seasons, you should probably get the benefit of the doubt over a franchise infamous for mismanagement.
In any case, the larger group at THN decided to put Florida ahead of Detroit, and you know what happened next: the Wings weren’t perfect and ended the season on a skid, but still played well enough to make it into the playoffs for the 24th straight year. For that achievement, their reward in the first round was the young and skilled Tampa Bay Lightning – a team that had eight more regulation/overtime wins than the Wings and one that was the sexy pre-season pick for many (present company included) to win the Eastern Conference and play in the Stanley Cup Final – and once again, there were more than a few people prepared to write them off and predict a Bolts series victory.
We all should’ve known better. We should’ve known a Mike Babcock-coached and Ken Holland-managed team was never going to play patsy for anybody. And after Game 3 Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena ended in a 3-0 Detroit win and a 2-1 series lead for the lower-ranked team, nobody should be finalizing plans to see second-round hockey in Tampa Bay just yet.
To use a line made famous by the legendary wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, just when you think you’ve got all the answers for the Red Wings, they change the questions. Read more
Red Wings superstar Pavel Datsyuk is the favorite player of many an NHLer and former NHLer, because where other players are trying just to keep up on the ice, No. 13 of Detroit almost seems like he’s toying with his opponents at times. A good example of his brand of brilliance came in Game 3 Tuesday of the Wings’ first-round series against Tampa Bay, when he scored the game’s first goal on a slick give-and-go with teammate Tomas Tatar…and Datsyuk’s well-positioned skate.
The teams were nearing the midway mark of the first period at Joe Louis Arena when Datsyuk carried the puck from behind his own blueline, through the neutral zone, then passed the puck to Tatar at Tampa’s blueline. And when Tatar fired a slap shot toward the net, Datsyuk somehow managed to keep his skate in a perfect position to redirect the puck past Bolts goalie Ben Bishop: Read more
Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara’s rough 2014-15 season – which included a knee injury and his team’s first failure to qualify for the playoffs since he arrived there in 2006 – was capped with news he’d suffered a broken leg. Read more
For the second time in the first three games of their first-round series against Minnesota, the St. Louis Blues came out with a flat effort and were defeated by the Wild Monday. And at this stage in this team’s development, every lost period, every missed chance and every non-victorious game brings the franchise closer to significant changes in this off-season.
The Blues were held to just 17 shots in Game 3 en route to posting the first goalless game of these 2015 NHL playoffs and lost on the road in the post-season for the ninth consecutive game. Even worse, they played poorly enough to have starting goalie Jake Allen, who made 21 saves in the loss, make this stark statement after the game: Read more