In the first two games of the Western Conference Final between his Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks, superstar right winger Patrick Kane did not have a point. If you know him, that’s kind of unlike him. So he was probably due for a spectacular goal or setup of one – and sure enough, in Game 3 Thursday, Kane added to his already-impressive playoff scoring total with a no-look, backhanded goal most of us couldn’t perform on a video game.
The host Hawks were trailing Anaheim 1-0 late in the first period at United Center when Kane picked up the puck between the faceoff dots and directly in front of Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen; in one fluid motion, he took the puck on his backhand, and, without glancing toward the net, perfectly fired it between Andersen’s right arm and hip for his eighth goal of this post-season: Read more
Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry isn’t happy with comments made by NBC Sports Network’s Mike Milbury during the Wednesday night broadcast of Game 3 between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
During an intermission, Milbury, teeing up Thursday’s Game 3 between Anaheim and the Chicago Blackhawks, said that if he were playing against Perry, Milbury would, “probably want to hurt him in some painful and permanent way.”
Ahead of Thursday’s game in Chicago, Perry was asked about the comments and told reporters that he wasn’t the least bit pleased with what was said. Read more
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been mired in the basement of the NHL for several seasons, but the hiring of coach Mike Babcock is giving Leafs Nation a reason for hope for a better and much brighter future.
While he hasn’t coached long enough to make the top 10 all-time wins list, Babcock does have the most of any coach to be behind the bench for fewer than 1,000 games. As such, he has managed to become one of the effective coaches in the history of the game.
In order to better represent who exactly the top 10 coaches by points percentage are, however, we have to set a limit of at least 100 games as an NHL bench boss. Otherwise some coaches, like Cap Raeder, who was the fill-in coach for the San Jose Sharks for one game – a victory – have near perfect winning percentages without really having control of the club.
Here are the top 10 best coaches by points percentage: Read more
Anybody outside the citizens and players who reside in Orange County probably would have been happy to see last night’s game end a little earlier, but Andrew Shaw’s disallowed goal in double overtime was called off for the right reason. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should:
One of the great things about the Stanley Cup playoffs is that when it comes to overtime — and especially double-, triple- or even quadruple-overtime — it’s rarely the player you would expect to get the game-winner that eventually ends the game. Case in point: Chicago’s Marcus Kruger can now add triple-overtime hero to his resume.
In the role Kruger plays on the Blackhawks, he’s not exactly what one would call a sniper or a star. He’s a bottom-six center — one of the best in the league, at that — with some nice offensive tools that doesn’t find the back of the net very often. Granted, he’s usually playing out of his own zone which makes it tougher to score, but that he scored seven goals in 81 games doesn’t put visions of him scoring an overtime-winner into one’s head.
That’s why it was surprising when, of all people, Kruger found himself alone at the side of the Anaheim Ducks goal in triple overtime and evened the Western Conference final at one game apiece:
The Chicago Blackhawks played nearly two full games of hockey Tuesday, and by the time Game(s) 2 ended – four hours and 53 minutes after it began in Anaheim – they dodged a number of bullets and beat the Ducks to pull even in their Western Conference Final series.
The Hawks were outplayed by the Ducks for long stretches at Honda Center and Anaheim was the better possession team on the night. Chicago did storm out of the gate with a 2-0 lead on goals from Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa, but Anaheim cut Chicago’s lead in half before the first intermission and dominated the visiting team in the second period, outshooting the Hawks 19-7 and tying the game on Corey Perry’s eighth of the playoffs.
From then on, it was a goaltending duel for the ages, with both Corey Crawford and Frederik Andersen coming up with a number of huge saves to keep their team alive. The game nearly ended in the second overtime period when Andrew Shaw head-butted – that’s correct, head-butted – the puck past Andersen: Read more
Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw had scored just one time in 11 playoff games this year before Tuesday’s action, but he came through early in Game 2 of Chicago’s Western Conference Final series against Anaheim with a slick deflection on a Duncan Keith shot that gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Shaw, who had 15 goals and 26 points in 79 regular-season games for Chicago this season, positioned himself in front of Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen and redirected a blast by Keith to give the Blackhawks a power-play goal just 2:14 into the first period: Read more
No small deal has been made about the Anaheim Ducks’ ability to continually produce quality goaltenders, but it’s hard to imagine anyone, even Frederik Andersen himself, could have imagined just how much his play in the post-season would improve in one year.
Thought to be possibly the only weak spot on an Anaheim roster that challenged for the top seed in the Western Conference all season, Andersen has done more than simply prove his mettle for the Ducks. Against the Winnipeg Jets, he kept the games close enough for the Ducks to steal victories. In the second round against the Calgary Flames, he outdueled former stablemate Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo. Now, against Chicago, he has shown that it’s going to take supreme skill if the Blackhawks are going to beat him. But last season, it didn’t look like it would always be this way. Read more