• Watch Jonathan Toews tie Game 5 from an impossible angle with 38 seconds left in regulation

    Jonathan Toews (Harry How/Getty Images)

    Jonathan Toews’ playoff exploits need no embellishment to impress even the most casual hockey fan. And once again – this time, with just 38 seconds left in regulation time in Game 5 Monday – the Chicago Blackhawks superstar center showed he lives for this time of year by scoring twice in the final two minutes of regulation to send the game to overtime.

    Game 5 looked to be a lost cause for the Hawks after Patrick Maroon scored at 14:45 of the third to make it 4-2 Anaheim, but Toews brought the visiting team to within a goal when he scored his sixth of the playoffs at 18:10. And 72 seconds later, Toews scored at a virtually impossible angle at the 19:22 mark to tie things up: Read more

  • Ducks jump on Hawks early in Game 5 with two goals in 32 seconds

    Anaheim's Ryan Kesler celebrates his first period goal as Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford and defensemen Kyle Cumiskey and Johnny Oduya react in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. (Harry How/Getty Images)

    In the first four games of the Western Conference Final between Anaheim and Chicago, neither team has been able to win two consecutive games. And after the Blackhawks’ 5-4 double-overtime win Saturday, the Ducks pushed quickly Monday to ensure that pattern would continue, scoring a pair of goals in 32 seconds early in the first period to jump out to a 2-0 lead.

    Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler was first to score at Honda Center Monday, firing a wrist shot from the top of the circle past Hawks goalie Corey Crawford at the 5:10 mark of the first period for his second goal of the playoffs: Read more

  • Teravainen’s growth giving way to more opportunities with Blackhawks

    Jared Clinton
    Teuvo Teravainen featured

    The storyline following Game 4 of the Western Conference final was an obvious one: after being scratched for Game 3, Antoine Vermette had come back into the Chicago Blackhawks lineup and managed to score the game-winning goal in the second overtime. But down the score sheet and first into the celebratory pile was Teuvo Teravainen, he himself a scratch in Game 3, who started the play that resulted in the overtime winner.

    To say Teravainen’s campaign has been an easy one, free from any tribulations, would be far from the truth. He was bounced between the NHL and AHL twice, he wasn’t called up until January, he scored just four goals on 66 shots in 34 big league games and managed only nine points in what many hoped could have been an outstanding rookie season.

    When he did play, he was used sparingly, only logging an average of 12:47 over his 34 contests. And in the post-season, it’s been much of the same. Play two games, sit out a few, get another shot and then watch from the sidelines. But in Game 4, as he was in Games 1 and 2, Teravainen has finally looked as if he might be on to something.

    With all the concerns about the Blackhawks going forward – both in the immediate and in the cap-crunch future – it looks like in Teravainen, the Blackhawks have landed another promising young talent and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Read more

  • Hitchcock almost certain to be back for another season with the Blues

    Ken Hitchcock (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

    There’s a good chance the St. Louis Blues and Ken Hitchcock will agree on a one-year contract, perhaps as early as sometime this week. This is a situation that might rankle a lot of coaches, given that Mike Babcock just received an eight-year deal to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs. In fact, given that the Blues spoke with Babcock about the possibility of replacing Hitchcock, he might be excused for telling the Blues precisely where they could do with their one-year contract extension.

    The public perception has been that the Blues have left their coach twisting in the wind over the past couple of weeks, that he’s their fallback option only if they can’t come up with someone better.

    Read more

  • Cody Franson wants to be a Leaf again. Should they want him, though?

    Matt Larkin
    Cody Franson. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Cody Franson’s life changed when the Toronto Maple Leafs dealt him to the Nashville Predators Feb. 15, a couple weeks before the 2014-15 trade deadline. Who knew so much more would change in less than three months after that?

    Franson’s new (old) team, the Nashville Predators, flamed out in the first round of the playoffs, abruptly ending his hopes of a deep Stanley Cup push as a post-season rental. Worse yet, Franson was a terrible fit in Music City. He was a right-handed shooter buried on the depth chart among talented righty blueliners Shea Weber and Seth Jones. Franson played more than 21 minutes a game as a Leaf and slipped to around 15 as a Pred, with a drastically reduced special teams role, which was disastrous for a guy who thrived as a power play contributor. Nashville GM David Poile admitted after the season the Franson deal wasn’t a good fit in hindsight. The Preds also landed center Mike Santorelli from Toronto but surrendered a first-round pick and Brendan Leipsic in the process.

    So Franson felt the anguish of a quick playoff exit, and his value as an unrestricted free agent may have diminished in the process. He was all but a lock for one of the top two or three paydays of the summer as a right-shot blueliner who can contribute 40-plus points and will be just 28 when next season begins. He’ll still be among the most coveted names in a vanilla free agent class, but he may have shaved $1 million off his average annual value in the last couple months. Think $5-million cap hit, not $6-million.

    Meanwhile, back in Toronto, the Leafs just bagged the summer’s top free agent: coach Mike Babcock. The grass up there looks emerald-green. Is it any wonder, after all that’s transpired, that Franson hopes to play for the Leafs again next season?

    Read more

  • Rangers fan gets picture of Henrik Lundqvist shaved into head

    Henrik Lundqvist makes an appearance as part of a fan's new hairdo. (via New York Rangers/Twitter)

    Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is one of the faces of the New York Rangers. Now, he’s also one of the faces on a New York Rangers fan’s head.

    Thanks to Joe Barber, the aptly named barber based out of San Antonio, ‘King Henrik’ will be watching one Rangers fan’s back as he pulls for his team to even up the Eastern Conference final at three games apiece and hopes for the Rangers to get back to their second consecutive Stanley Cup final. Read more

  • Watch vicious boarding penalty from Game 1 of AHL Western Conference final

    Jared Clinton
    ahl-logo

    It appears as if Grand Rapids Griffins center Louis-Marc Aubry is going to be suiting up for Game 2 of the Western Conference final against the Utica Comets, but that might be hard to believe after watching the hit from behind he laid on defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti.

    Aubry was charging into the Comets’ zone late in the third period of Sunday’s Game 1 between Grand Rapids and Utica, catching up to Sanguinetti as he turned back to retrieve the puck. Almost at the moment Aubry caught Sanguinetti, the defenseman went to put on the brakes and turn back the other way and Aubry followed through with a hit that flattened Sanguinetti: Read more