Montreal Canadiens right winger Brendan Gallagher, left, crashes into Buffalo Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, March 16, 2014. Enroth was injured and left the game. Montreal won 2-0. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Author: The Hockey News
Injured goalie Jhonas Enroth not travelling with Sabres on road trip
By: The Canadian Press
Mar 17, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth will not join the NHL's worst team on its upcoming five-game road trip after he sustained a lower-body injury in Sunday's 2-0 loss to Montreal.
"He's going to get further evaluation and stay behind," coach Ted Nolan said Monday. "Right now it looks at least a little bit better today than it did yesterday."
After the Sabres flew out of Buffalo on Monday, Enroth posted on his Twitter account a photo of his right leg in an immobilizing device and wrote, "For the next couple weeks ... "
The Sabres (19-41-8) will likely start rookie Nathan Lieuwen on Tuesday in Calgary. Lieuwen stopped all 10 shots he faced in his NHL debut Sunday after being called up from AHL Rochester earlier in the day.
Buffalo also called up goalie Matt Hackett from Rochester on Monday to back up Lieuwen.
Hacket, a former third-round draft pick, played 13 games with the Minnesota from 2011-13 before the Sabres traded for him last year.
Nolan said injured backup Michal Neuvirth will travel with the Sabres, but his status for Tuesday is up in the air. Neuvirth has missed two games with a lower-body injury, but was able to work out on the ice Monday.
"He's a day-to-day-er," Nolan said. "He could wake up (Tuesday) morning fresh as a daisy."
The Sabres have gone through several goalies since trading Ryan Miller to St. Louis on Feb. 28.
In addition to Enroth, Neuvirth and Lieuwen, the Sabres have dressed Jaroslav Halak, who was acquired in the Miller trade and backed up Enroth for one game before being dealt to Washington, and Ryan Vinz, a HarborCenter employee summoned in a pinch as Enroth's backup after Miller's trade was made an hour before the Sabres game against the Sharks.
Neuvirth has started two games since he was acquired in a trade March 5. He made 51 saves Thursday in a 4-2 loss at Carolina, but complained of soreness during warmups Saturday prior to Buffalo's 4-1 loss at the New York Islanders.
"It was a tough game in Carolina," Neuvirth said. "I can't really tell you what happened because I don't even know. I woke up the next morning and I was sore."
Enroth was hurt after being bowled over by Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher in the second period of Sunday's loss.
Driving up the left side on a partial break, Gallagher just got a shot off when he was shoved from behind by Sabres defenceman Jamie McBain and knocked into Enroth.
The goalie was on the ice for a few minutes before he got up and attempted to stretch his right leg while being examined by a trainer. Enroth then skated to the bench and was escorted into the locker room.
Lieuwen, a former sixth-round draft pick, was forced into action for the third time in three nights after playing Friday and Saturday in the minors.
"Usually after three in three, you're a little more tired and sore, but I actually feel really good," Lieuwen said Monday. "I feel like I have the energy and I feel like the adrenaline's starting to ease off a little bit. I can kind of ease off and get comfortable and do my thing."
The Sabres continue to slide, having lost six straight in regulation—their worst streak since losing seven in a row from Dec. 4-19, 2003. They have scored just five goals in the past six games and have a league-low 132 goals on the season.
Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky celebrate the Game 2 overtime winner at the 1987 Canada Cup.
Author: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Down Goes Brown: What was the best Game 2 in World Cup history?
By: Sean McIndoe
Sep 28, 2016
Five out of seven World/Canada Cups have been best-of-three finals, so let's take a look back at those five games, and rank them from worst to best.
Tuesday night's Game 1 of the World Cup final, which saw Team Canada earn a 3-1 win over Team Europe, sets up a do-or-die Game 2 Thursday night. A Canada win would end the tournament, and the trophy will be in the building, unless the league has come to its senses and thrown that ugly thing into a raging bonfire instead.
There have been seven World and Canada Cups in international hockey history, but we didn't get to see a Game 2 in all of those. Twice, in 1981 and 2004, the format called for a one-game final. But it's been best-of-three in the other tournaments, which gives us five Game 2 to work with. So today, let's take a look back at those five games, and rank them from worst to best.
As always, this is opinion only, and if you disagree, then you're wrong.
No. 5 – 1984: Canada 6, Sweden 5
The road there: Canada stumbled through the 1984 tournament, going 2-2-1 through the round robin and barely making the playoff round as the fourth seed. But Team Canada earned a trip to the final thanks to an overtime win over the Soviets in the semi-final, and they were facing an upstart Swedish team that had beaten them in their round robin meeting and had just embarrassed the Americans with a 9-2 blowout. The Canadians took the opener by a 5-2 final, but the second game proved closer.
Game 2: The game looked like a laugher early on, with Canada scoring four times in the first seven minutes and adding a fifth before the first period was over. A Paul Coffey goal early in the second made it 6-1, setting the stage for a furious Team Sweden comeback. They scored three unanswered goals to close out the second period, and draw to within 6-5 early in the third. But that was as close as they came, as Canada held on for the win and the series sweep.
The aftermath: This turned out to be the first of three straight Canada Cup wins for Team Canada, and remains the only finals appearance by Team Sweden.
The bottom line: What looked like a laugher wound up being a reasonably entertaining contest. But the game everyone remembers from the 1984 Canada Cup will always be that semi-final thriller with the Soviets.
No. 4 – 1991: Canada 4, USA 2
The road there: Coming on the heels of the 1987 tournament, fans were probably hoping for yet another final between Canada and the Soviets. But with the team in turmoil, partly due to the political situation back home, the Soviets failed to even make the playoff round. That left Canada looking for a new challenger, and the Americans were happy to step in for their first ever Canada Cup final appearance. The two teams met in the round robin, with Canada winning 6-3 to hand the Americans their only loss of the stage, and Canada followed that up with a 4-1 win in the opening game of the final.
Game 2: This game may best be remembered for who wasn't playing. Team Canada captain Wayne Gretzky was knocked out of action in Game 1 on an ugly hit from behind by Gary Suter. The check left Gretzky unable to suit up for Game 2, and contributed to the back problems that slowed him down for much of the early 1990s.
Looking for the sweep, Canada jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Americans clawed back with a pair of second-period goals. But Steve Larmer earned some revenge on Suter by stripping him of the puck during an American powerplay and then scoring on a breakaway for the winning goal.
The bottom line: This game, much like the 1991 tournament itself, was an entertaining one that for some reason isn't all that well remembered by many fans.
No. 3 – 1996: USA 5, Canada 2
The road there: The Americans swept through the round robin with a perfect 3-0-0 record, including an impressive 5-3 win over Canada that featured a wild early brawl. That win earned them a quarter-final bye, and after knocking off the Russians 5-3 in the semis, Team USA came into the final looking like they had a real shot to wrestle the international crown away from Canada. But Steve Yzerman's overtime winner in Game 1 in Philadelphia handed the Americans their first loss of the tournament, and left them needing a pair of wins in Montreal to take the tournament.
Game 2: Team USA jumped out to an early lead, but Canada came back to tie the game before the first intermission. Goals by John Leclair and Brett Hull gave the Americans a 3-1 lead, and Mike Richter stood on his head to keep it that way until a late powerplay goal by Joe Sakic made it 3-2 with five minutes to play. That was as close as they came, and a pair of Team USA empty net goals padded the final score to 5-2.
The aftermath: Team USA completed the comeback in Game 3, winning by another 5-2 score to capture their first (and so far only) best-on-best championship.
The bottom line: Despite the two empty netters making the score more lopsided than the game was, this was a fun matchup that featured lots of star power, some bad blood, and a raucous Montreal crowd. You can watch the highlights here.
No. 2 – 1976: Canada 5, Czechoslovakia 4 (OT)
The road there: Four years after the legendary Summit Series, the Canada Cup was born in an effort to create the first true international best-on-best tournament. There was no semi-final back then, with the top two teams heading directly to the finals. Canada grabbed one of those spots, finishing first in the round robin with a 4-1-0 record. But while many had expected a Summit Series rematch in the final, the Soviets were edged out of a spot by Czechoslovakia.
The opening game of the final was a blowout, with Canada earning a relatively easy 6-0 win. Game 2 ended up proving to be a bigger challenge.
Game 2: Canada grabbed a 2-0 lead just two minutes in, but Czechoslovakia fought back to tie the game early in the third. A Bobby Clarke goal restored the Canadian lead, but two quick Czechoslovakian goals gave them a 4-3 lead with four minutes to play. Bill Barber tied it with two minutes left, and that set the stage for Darryl Sittler to deliver the first ever Canada Cup with what still stands as one of the most famous goals in the tournament's history.
The aftermath: To this day, Sittler and Team Canada assistant coach Don Cherry are still arguing over who's idea that move was.
The bottom line: You could make a great case for this game being No. 1 on the list. I think it’s a coin flip, but I'll take the game that directly led to one of the greatest moments in hockey history.
1987: Canada 6, Soviet Union 5 (2OT)
The road there: Canada and the Soviets finished in the top two spots in the round robin, then knocked off Czechoslovakia and Sweden, respectively, in the semi-finals to set up the first best-on-best multi-game series between the two rivals since the 1972 Summit Series.
Game 2: With the Soviets looking to clinch their second Canada Cup in three tournaments, the series shifted to Hamilton for the second game. The two teams resumed the all-out offensive pace, with Canada leading 2-1 before the game was even four minutes old. Then it got better.
Canada took a 3-1 lead to the first intermission, but the Soviets tied it in the second before Mario Lemieux quickly restored the lead. The Soviets tied it again early in the third, but Lemieux scored again midway through. That set the stage for a frantic end to regulation that saw Valeri Kamensky score with a minute left to send the game to overtime.
With the trophy on the line, the two teams went back and forth through one scoreless extra period. But midway through the second overtime, Canada finally ended it. Guess who.
The aftermath: This game was so good that the hockey gods decided to re-use the same script for Game 3: A back-and-forth thriller that ends with a 6-5 Canada victory on a Mario Lemieux winner.
The bottom line: The series finale was quite possibly the greatest international game ever played. And it was made possible by this one, which was almost as good. That's enough to earn it the top spot on our list, narrowly ahead of Sittler's fakeout.
Sean McIndoe has been writing about the NHL since 2008, most recently for ESPN and Grantland. He spends most of his time making jokes on twitter, where you may know him as @downgoesbrown. He appears weekly on TheHockeyNews.com.
The new KHL expansion team in China appears to still be learning some of hockey's customs.
China is a potentially massive emerging market for hockey. Beijing will host the Winter Olympics in 2022 and even if NHL players aren’t at the 2018 Games, it seems like a no brainer to return for 2022 to try to increase the sport’s popularity there.
The KHL already has a foot in the door in China, thanks to its newest expansion team, Kunlun Red Star, which is based in Beijing. Fans are embracing the game to various degrees, but it seems there are some nuanced hockey customs that haven’t fully caught on yet.
Take this ceremonial puck drop, for instance.
This unintentionally hilarious puck drop was prior to a September 18 game between Kunlan and Tolyatti Lada. The unidentified man in the suit, after getting a puck-dropping lesson, seems content to just throw the puck at the ice like it’s a grenade and get on with his day. No waiting around for both captains, no hand shakes, no photos.
The confused captains are Lada’s Vladimir Malenkikh – who tries in vain to get the man to wait – and Red Star’s Janne Jalasvaara, who is still adjusting his helmet when the puck drops. The two captains exchange a confused look.
Another subtle hilarious moment is Red Star left winger Max Warn, in the top right corner of the video, trying to usher the two men off the ice.
Ten games into their inaugural KHL season, Kunlun is experiencing many ups and downs. They are a somewhat respectable 4-6 on the season, but are struggling at the gate. Reports say there were only 550 spectators for a recent game in Shanghai, where they are playing a handful of games this season.
Brad Marchand, Alex Pietrangelo and Jonathan Toews.
Author: (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/World Cup of Hockey via Getty Images)
Marchand's last-minute goal helps Canada clinch World Cup title
By Matt Larkin
Sep 29, 2016
Canada wasn't the dominant team for a change but managed to pull out a late third-period comeback and clinch the World Cup on a shorthanded goal by Marchand.
TORONTO – The greatest hockey nation on Earth won 15 straight games of best-on-best hockey by playing almost flawlessly. For win No. 16, though, Canada finally did things differently. It won ugly.
Canada was the inferior team for about 57 minutes against the plucky Europeans in Game 2 of the World Cup final but found a way to create magic when it really mattered. It survived with a 1-0 deficit thanks to an urgent, meaningful performance from Carey Price and stopped hearts at the Air Canada Centre with a third-period blitz that included a power play goal and, with less than a minute to go, a shorthanded goal from Brad Marchand which stood up as the game winner. The Euros didn’t know what hit them. They had Canada on the ropes, but when 60 minutes ran off the clock, they’d lost 2-1. Canada repeated as World Cup champion.
Game 2 started much like Game 1 did – with the Euros the aggressor. Only this time, Canada didn’t calmly flick a switch and quell the uprising. Instead of rallying after what they admitted was their weakest effort of the tournament, they came out even emptier Thursday night. It took them six minutes to record their first shot on goal. At 6:26 of the first, European blueliner Zdeno Chara streaked in at the top of the left faceoff circle and rifled a perfect wrister into the far top corner past Price’s glove. The puck bounced out, looking like it hit the crossbar, but it was a legitimate goal.
Typically, Canada had been almost godlike during this tournament in its ability to answer after any hint of adversity was tossed at its feet. The Canadians trailed against the U.S. for 1:29 in the round-robin and against Russia for 1:12 in the semifinal. But the answer just wasn’t there for two periods in Game 2 against Europe.
Part of it was Canada’s fault. It played an uncharacteristically sloppy game. We saw some of the sport’s most fundamentally sound players – Alex Pietrangelo, Ryan Getzlaf, even Sidney Crosby – attempt lazy home run passes and cause turnover after turnover, granting the Euros multiple odd-man rushes. Aside from a glorious chance for John Tavares early in the second, in which he hit the post from point-blank range with a wide-open cage, Canada struggled to generate 10-bell scoring chances.
And as much as Canada might’ve want to shoulder the blame on itself, Ralph Krueger’s Team Europe earned the lead after two periods. Nothing about Thursday’s performance was fluky. The forwards, led by two-way maven Anze Kopitar, were dogged all night long, harassing the Canadian puck-carriers, forcing them into rash decisions.
"They've got a good team," said Canada coach Mike Babcock. "You put a whole bunch of countries together, Kopitar is a good player and Roman Josi is a good player…the perception is that we're miles better than everyone else. I think our country is deeper, but you only get to play five guys at a time. I thought they did a real nice job. I thought they made it tight. They worked hard. They believed in what they were doing. To me that's what hockey is about.
It’s been 15 games since we could say it, but the Canadians were outplayed. They weren’t the better team. And Price actually had to be The Man for them, something Canada hasn’t needed him to do often in best-on-best competition. The Euros tested him with 33 shots, and he remained his usual icy-cool self, particularly sharp making pad saves on low shots.
And that effort gave Canada the base it needed for a proper late push. In the second half of the third period, the ice finally tilted. Jaroslav Halak robbed Crosby in alone after Marchand sprung him with a feed into the slot. But Kopitar of all people took a holding penalty with just 3:35 remaining. Canada had the opening it needed. Brent Burns one-timed a Crosby feed and Patrice Bergeron deftly tipped it past Halak, tying the game 1-1 and eliciting the type of roar we hadn’t felt from the fans at the World Cup throughout Canada’s games. The stakes had finally been raised, and this goal finally felt like it meant something.
Drew Doughty took a potentially deadly high-sticking penalty with 1:50 to go, and the Euros got the golden opportunity with Marian Hossa all alone five feet from Price, but he denied Hossa.
"When he made that save, that kind of brought it to another level," Marchand said. "And we feed off of that energy, there's no question about that. You could tell the boys were confident, and you definitely want to help him out when he makes a save like that. You've got to play your part, too, and fortunately we were able to return the favor."
They sure were. On a 2-on-2 rush shorthanded, Jonathan Toews threaded a feed to Marchand…and Marchand couldn’t have placed the shot better. It was a laser to the top corner, Halak's blocker side, over the diving Josi, the perfect shot at the most opportune moment.
"So you're thinking, 'All right, let's just get this to overtime, see what we can do,' and 'Marchy' comes in with a big goal, an unexpected one but much needed," Crosby said. "A real change of emotions there pretty quickly, but it made it exciting and definitely special."
Marchand's dagger ended a Cinderella run for Europe, a team that drastically defied prognosticators' expectations. Even though the series ended in a 2-0 sweep, it was highly competitive, and Krueger was pleased.
"When you see the minutes on some of the guys, and you see the effort of players that reached for their potential all the way through the game, it's extremely painful to see the final result," Krueger said. "But I feel nothing but pride in the way this group performed today, the challenge they put up against Canada. This group just continued to surprise and beat the odds and beat the thoughts of everybody that was watching."
Canada was its old, clutch, unstoppable self for just a five-minute window, and that was enough. Price was the MVP of Game 2, but Crosby, who led the tournament with 10 points in six games, earned overall MVP honors. He became the third player ever with a Hart Trophy, a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Canada Cup/World Cup MVP. The other two: Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky. Sounds about right.
Rumor Roundup: Could Brad Marchand join Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh?
By: Lyle Richardson
Sep 24, 2016
Brad Marchand and Sidney Crosby have developed some chemistry at the World Cup. So much so that the Penguins could target the left winger if he becomes a free agent.
Boston Bruins left winger Brad Marchand and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby have developed a strong chemistry on Team Canada's top line at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The pair meshed so well together that Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press ponders the possibility of them as NHL teammates in the near future.
Marchand, 28, is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. If he hits the open market, Whyno considers the scoring winger an intriguing option for the Penguins. By shipping out goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and his $5.75-million annual salary-cap hit before next June's NHL expansion draft, Whyno believes they'll have money to spend, especially if they pass on re-signing UFAs such as aging winger Chris Kunitz.
That's assuming, of course, the Bruins don't re-sign Marchand, whose current annual cap hit is $4.5 million. He'll likely seek over $6 million per season on a long-term deal. Earlier this month, Bruins president Cam Neely signalled his club's intent to re-sign Marchand, preferably before the start of the upcoming season.
Should Marchand decide to test next summer's free-agent market, there's no guarantee the Penguins can land him. Assuming they move out Fleury's cap hit before next summer, they'll have roughly $50 million invested in 12 players.
Among their notable free agents are goaltender Matt Murray, center Nick Bonino, left winger Conor Sheary and blueliners Trevor Daley, Brian Dumoulin, Justin Schultz and Derrick Pouliot. Murray will obviously seek a starter's salary, perhaps over $5 million per season. Retaining Bonino, center of the “HBK Line” that includes wingers Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel, is a must. Stronger performances this season from Daley, Dumoulin, Sheary and Schultz could put them in line for significant raises.
The Penguins could still have enough space to pursue a big-ticket free agent such as Marchand, but they won't be the only clubs with interest if he's available next July. A bidding war could push his next contract much higher than the Pens are willing to pay.
DON'T EXPECT KANE TO BE DEALT
The legal troubles of Buffalo Sabres left winger Evander Kane resulted in the 25-year-old becoming a frequent fixture in the off-season trade rumor mill. Kane faces misdemeanour charges stemming from an incident in a Buffalo bar in June. He's also launched a counter-claim against a woman who filed a civil suit claiming he sexually assaulted her in a Buffalo hotel last December.
A former 30-goal scorer, Kane was linked to the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks. Both clubs lack offensive depth on the left side.
TSN's Pierre LeBrun, however, doubts Kane will be dealt anytime soon. Appearing on TSN 1040, LeBrun doesn't believe there's interest in the winger at this time. If the Sabres hope to move Kane, LeBrun feels their best hope is for things to quiet down for him away from the rink while his on-ice performance improves.
STARS MAY LOOK TO TRADE NUCHUSHKIN'S RIGHTS
Dallas Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin's decision to sign a two-year deal with KHL team CSKA Moscow raises questions about his long-term future with the Stars. Selected 10th overall by the Stars in the 2013 NHL draft, the 21-year-old struggled through injury and inconsistency in his brief NHL career.
The Stars still hold Nichushkin's NHL rights while he's in Russia. If the two sides appear no closer to a resolution down the road, TSN's Darren Dreger speculates Stars GM Jim Nill could consider trading the young forward.
A report out of Russia earlier this year claimed Nichushkin was unhappy playing for Stars coach Lindy Ruff. Nill dismissed that story , while Ruff points out young forwards Matthias Janmark and Radek Faksa outperformed Nichushkin. Ruff also said he hopes to coach Nichushkin again one day.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).