Kane, Blackhawks rally to beat Ducks

Dhiren Mahiban
Patrick Kane (Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith scored in the final 1:41 of regulation and Artem Anisimov added the overtime winner as the Chicago Blackhawks erased a 2-0 deficit to edge the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Friday night.

Patrick Kane set up Keith’s fourth of the season at 19:33 of the third period to extend his point streak to 18 games. The streak is tied for the third longest in Blackhawks history and is the longest in the NHL since the 2010-11 season.

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Dubinsky will have a hearing on Saturday for his cross check on Crosby (updated)

Dhiren Mahiban

Columbus Blue Jackets’ forward Brandon Dubinsky will have a hearing on Saturday for his cross check on Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced.

Dubinsky was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking late in the second period of the Blue Jackets 2-1 overtime win.

Crosby went straight to the Pens’ room, but did return for the start of the third period.

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Derek Stepan suffers broken ribs after hit from Matt Beleskey, but don’t expect suspension

Jared Clinton
Derek Stepan (via Streamable)

A massive hit by Boston Bruins winger Matt Beleseky has put New York Rangers center Derek Stepan out of Friday’s matinee, and there could be concern that the 25-year-old pivot could miss more than just the third period of the Thanksgiving contest.

Around the midway mark of the second frame, Stepan was attempting to make an outlet pass from the Rangers’ zone when Beleskey finished his check and sent Stepan sailing head and shoulder first into the boards. New York defenseman Dylan McIlrath dropped the gloves with Beleseky following the hit, while Stepan struggled to his feet before heading to the bench: Read more

Why Michael Buble is the world’s most legit celebrity fan

Matt Larkin
Michael Buble. (Photo by Evaan Kheraj)

Is it really Nov. 5, 1991, at the Pacific Coliseum? It’s printed on the tickets and programs. But you’d swear it was playoff time. The 16,000 Vancouver Canucks faithful quake with anticipation. It’s finally time to see what he can do, the brash young Russian kid, imported from the Red Army, who goes by the name of Pavel Bure. The hype is so great that coach and GM Pat Quinn delayed Bure’s debut a game so it wouldn’t steal thunder from Stan Smyl’s jersey retirement.

And in the blink of an eye, Bure takes his first stride toward becoming the franchise’s greatest player ever. He carries the puck the length of the ice, splitting the Winnipeg Jets defense. He’s so fast his body arrives in the slot before the puck. He has to kick it back to himself to finish the breakaway with a deke. He doesn’t score, but it doesn’t matter.
Especially to a 16-year-old kid named Michael Buble, attending with his grandfather. As season ticket holders, they never miss a game. And yet Buble still has never seen or felt anything like this.

“I literally and figuratively sat on the edge of my seat and bounced like a horse, like I was riding a horse, and as you looked around everyone else was doing it, too, everyone was almost jockeying,” Buble said. “It was electric. Everyone was like, ‘Oh my god, we have never had a player like this before. Not just a good player. We have a genuine superstar.’ ”

Little did Buble realize at the time, he’d one day bring thousands to their feet in packed arenas the same way Bure did. Except Buble, now 40, did it with his voice, not his feet. He developed a passion for crooners, jazz and soul music, listening to his grandfather’s huge collection of records. Buble idolized the likes of Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. His granddad, a plumber, was so convinced his grandson would become a musician some day that he’d offer his plumbing services to other performers in exchange for stage time for Buble. By 17, one year after witnessing the Russian Rocket’s launch, Buble had won the British Columbia Youth Talent Search competition. Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney discovered Buble’s independent album. Buble eventually got signed by mega-producer David Foster and is now one of Canada’s most successful recording artists ever, with half a dozen multi-platinum albums and Grammys galore.

But if you’re a music buff, you probably know that about him already. What you might not know, though, is that worldwide fame did nothing to quell his other life passion: hockey.
Buble jumps at the chance to put aside music and talk about anything to do with the sport. He’s as much a superfan as any rabid late-night sports radio caller. He says hockey was even more important to him than music when he was growing up. As a kid, he’d pretend he was the Canucks’ Patrik Sundstrom or Tony Tanti. He grew to love longtime captain Trevor Linden and, of course, Bure. Buble felt the anguish of the 1994 Stanley Cup loss to the New York Rangers in Game 7.

“It was heartbreaking, because we truly were so close,” he said. “We were a post away. A crossbar away. And some s—ty refereeing away.”

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Surprising Devils led by potential Vezina contender Schneider

Jared Clinton
Cory Schneider (Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

For most teams, there’s a transition period from one starting netminder to the next. But when the New Jersey Devils acquired Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks in 2013, they assured they wouldn’t have to deal with searching for a replacement for Martin Brodeur. And while Schneider had already proven himself before coming to New Jersey, few could have imagined just how great he would play as a Devil.

When Schneider was in Vancouver, the signs of a star netminder were there. In just his second AHL season, Schneider became a first-team all-star, was named the league’s goaltender of the year and combined with Karl Goehring and Curtis Sanford to win the AHL equivalent of the William M. Jennings trophy. By 2010-11, Schneider was a full-time NHL netminder and by the 2011-12 campaign he was sharing the workload in Vancouver with Roberto Luongo, one of the best goaltenders in league.

Then came the 2012-13 season in which Schneider and Luongo were set to split time, but where instead Schneider took the reins and earned the starting gig. Even if Schneider and Luongo were close off the ice, the battle for the crease created one of the most tenuous goaltending situations of the past decade. But with all signs pointing to Luongo being on the outs in Vancouver, the Canucks shocked everyone by dealing Schneider to the Devils for the ninth-overall pick in the 2013 draft, used to select Bo Horvat.

Since getting to New Jersey, Schneider has taken his game to another level. And if he keeps this up, it seems as though it’s only a matter of time before yet another New Jersey netminder is taking home some end of season hardware. Read more

Whatever happened to Canada’s goaltending crisis?

Jason Kay
Braden Holtby flashes leather (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Two years ago at this time, Canadian hockey fans were all a Twitter about who would tend goal for them at the Olympics.

Carey Price wasn’t yet Carey Price, having finished tied for 10th in Vezina Trophy voting the previous season. Roberto Luongo was a co-favorite for Sochi, but he didn’t inspire universal confidence. Stoppers such as Mike Smith, Cam Ward and Corey Crawford were also blended into a situation that was screaming for someone to elevate.

Overall to that point in 2013-14, Canadian goalies comprised just 38 per cent of the NHL’s netminder population, far below the country’s representation among all positions (52 per cent). The Vezina had ceased to be a birthright of Canadians; Americans and Europeans won six consecutively before Price’s heroics last season. It had people wondering just what was wrong with Canadian goalie development.

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Oilers’ Jujhar Khaira aiming to become third Punjabi player to suit up in NHL

Jared Clinton
Jujhar Khaira (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

With Nail Yakupov sidelined at least two weeks following an ankle sprain, the Edmonton Oilers needed to dip into the farm system to find a replacement. Some thought Anton Slepyshev, who impressed during training camp, could get the call, but the Oilers have instead brought Jujhar Khaira up from the Bakersfield Condors.

If Khaira finds his way into the lineup Friday when the Oilers visit the Detroit Red Wings, he could find himself in the history books as the third Punjabi player to ever suit up in the NHL. According to Harpreet Pandher, an analyst on Hockey Night in Canada’s Punjabi broadcasts, Khaira would be following in the footsteps of Robin Bawa and Manny Malhotra, both of whom have Punjabi roots and have suited up in the league.

According to the Oilers, Khaira, who hails from Surrey, B.C., is expected to take pre-game warmups and is still being considered a possibility to suit up against the Red Wings. Read more