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Top Shelf: Lidstrom’s return has positive reverberations for Red Wings

Top Shelf: Lidstrom’s return has positive reverberations for Red Wings

by Ryan Dixon - June 2, 2010 1:20 PM EDT

Nicklas Lidstrom's return to the Wings won't just bring them a calming presence on the blueline, but also a teacher for the kids.
GM Ken Holland did a great thing for his team when he brought back Nicklas Lidstrom to the Detroit Red Wings for another year. He also did a wonderful thing for The Hockey News after the Wings won the 2008 Stanley Cup, penning a nine-point story that broke down Detroit’s method for building a winner.


Top Shelf: Off-season priorities for the Montreal Canadiens

Top Shelf: Off-season priorities for the Montreal Canadiens

by Ryan Dixon - May 26, 2010 12:46 PM EDT

Do the Habs keep Price or Halak? Can they keep pending UFA Tomas Plekanec? With limited cap space, Montreal has to walk carefully this summer.
Now that the cheering has stopped, the chewing can begin. By participating in 19 playoff games over three rounds this spring, the Montreal Canadiens played about 14 more post-season contests than many expected they would.


Top Shelf: Seven things to watch in Canadiens-Penguins Game 7

Top Shelf: Seven things to watch in Canadiens-Penguins Game 7

by Ryan Dixon - May 12, 2010 12:50 PM EDT

We all know Halak will need to be great for Montreal to topple Pittsburgh, but there's other factors that will play big roles, too.
Jaroslav Halak has to play like he’s personally insulted by the very existence of Pittsburgh itself for the Montreal Canadiens to have any chance of beating the Penguins in the teams’ decisive showdown Wednesday night.


Top Shelf: Canadian craziness in the playoffs

Top Shelf: Canadian craziness in the playoffs

by Ryan Dixon - May 5, 2010 9:05 AM EDT

Every Canadian hockey fan wants the Stanley Cup back in the country...just not if it's their hated rival that brings it home.
If some American teams still competing for the Stanley Cup feel a little extra thrust of encouragement blowing in from the north, it’s probably due to the spike in support they get from Canadian fans who are cheering for them out of pure, unadulterated spite.


Top Shelf: Can Canadiens win Game 7 or will logic prevail?

Top Shelf: Can Canadiens win Game 7 or will logic prevail?

by Ryan Dixon - April 28, 2010 1:44 PM EDT

If things go according to how they should based on the regular season, the Capitals will crush the Habs. But reason doesn't always rule the day.
Tonight from Washington, we get one more example of why games are three periods long and series are a best of seven. It’s to weed out the pretenders; to see how magic somebody’s wand really is; to examine just how long it’s humanly possible to support your body weight – and your entire team’s – with your head.


Top Shelf: Crosby the consummate champion

Top Shelf: Crosby the consummate champion

by Ryan Dixon - April 21, 2010 2:03 PM EDT

With so much already accomplished before his 23rd birthday, Sidney Crosby's hunger to win is still as pronounced as ever.
The difference between Sidney Crosby’s approach to life and that of the vast majority of people who populate Earth can be summed up in two words: French class.


Top Shelf: Preds' playoff, B's bright future and where'll Schneider go?

Top Shelf: Preds' playoff, B's bright future and where'll Schneider go?

by Ryan Dixon - April 7, 2010 2:25 PM EDT

Look out for the Predators in the playoffs; why 29th is bigger for Boston than eighth; and why Cory Schneider needs out of Vancouver.
One week from now, we’ll all be reveling in the joyous madness of the start of Round 1. Here are a couple thoughts to keep us warm until then.


Top Shelf: Taking the temperature in Toronto

Top Shelf: Taking the temperature in Toronto

by Ryan Dixon - March 31, 2010 12:20 PM EDT

Despite a late-season charge that would suggest the team is headed in the right direction for next season, predicting future success is a fool's game.
It’s easy to predict how fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs view the future of their hockey club, but much harder to know what the reality of the situation is.


Top Shelf: Upcoming film shows life before Cherry was on top

Top Shelf: Upcoming film shows life before Cherry was on top

by Ryan Dixon - March 24, 2010 12:40 PM EDT

Most know the superficial story of Don Cherry's rise to prominence, but a new movie written by his son will reveal much, much more.
Don Cherry has never struck me as a person who has trouble with self-promotion. That’s why I was a little surprised to hear it took a decade’s worth of arm-twisting on behalf of his son, Tim, to finally sell Don on the idea of telling his life story on screen.


Top Shelf: Shanny recalls one distinct donnybrook

Top Shelf: Shanny recalls one distinct donnybrook

by Ryan Dixon - March 17, 2010 3:35 PM EDT

NHL great Brendan Shanahan looks back at the '97 line brawl between the Wings and Avs that changed the course of that season.
We tend to talk a lot this time of year about how there’s not always a ton of correlation between what happens in the regular season and what ultimately transpires in the playoffs.


Top Shelf: Hire Stevie for GM, just don’t forget ‘Y’

Top Shelf: Hire Stevie for GM, just don’t forget ‘Y’

by Ryan Dixon - March 10, 2010 12:45 PM EST

Steve Yzerman will certainly end up as the big boss of an NHL team soon, but hiring him on the basis of his Olympic construction alone would be folly.
We all know how much value Canada places in a gold medal triumph, but how much stock should a wealthy mover and shaker put in Steve Yzerman’s ability to craft a championship team at the Olympics? Yzerman is going to be the main shot-caller for an NHL club at some point in the future.


Top Shelf: Four quarterfinal games, four things to watch

Top Shelf: Four quarterfinal games, four things to watch

by Ryan Dixon - February 24, 2010 12:05 PM EST

Goaltending will obviously be key in each matchup, but beyond that there are key aspects to each contest worth keeping an eye on.
Things become antiquated pretty quickly in this world.   ‘Super Sunday’ seemed like a pretty big deal three days ago, but it’s already been supplanted by ‘Wonderful Wednesday,’ which will send four teams home from the Olympics with very little to feel good about, while simultaneously setting up the next big thing, ‘Final 4 Friday.


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