Tag:2011 NHL Playoffs
Posted on: April 17, 2011 10:33 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 1:50 am

Raffi Torres has another questionable hit

Vancouver Canucks Raffi Torres played all of 32 minutes before he put himself at risk of another suspension. 

Torres laid out Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook with what appeared to be another blindside hit to the head. A similar collision with Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle on April 5 resulted in a four-game suspension, which put him out for Games 1-2 of the first-round series against the ‘Hawks. 

"Brutal. Major (penalty), absolutely,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quennville said of the collision. “They missed it. We could have scored four goals on that play.”

Torres was tagged with an interference minor and Patrick Sharp scored on the ensuing power play, not a major where the 'Hakws could have remained on the man-advantage no matter how many goals they scored. 

Seabrook lay face down on the ice for a few seconds, but he stayed in the game until another clean check by Torres later in the period. Seabrook missed about the final seven minutes of the second, although he returned in the third. 

"He's a big Western Canadian kid," Quennville added. "Somebody else may have been on a stretcher."

Torres didn’t talk to reporters, although The Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek details Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault’s defense of his forward:

Vigneault doesn’t think Torres needs to change much, noting that: “A physical dimension is part of his game. Obviously, there are some adjustments and some education that all players have to go through, but I look at that hit and I compare that hit to (Ryan) Getzlaf on (Dan Hamhuis). I compare that hit to (Alexei) Ponikarovsky on Hamhuis - same type of hit - and Getzlaf didn’t even get a penalty on his.

“I mean, hockey’s a collision sport. There’s a lot of intensity. You’re always walking that fine line.”

Vigneault said he didn’t think Torres hit even warranted a penalty, “but at the end of the day, that’s me.

“Obviously, you don’t ever want to see a player get hurt and I understand where they’re going with this. But hockey is still a physical game, a collision game. Each and every one of us wants it to stay a physical game, without players getting hurt. That being said though, there’s a physicality in the game and there’s always going to be injuries out there.”

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 17, 2011 10:32 pm
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Posted on: April 17, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2011 6:46 pm

Rangers' second-period goal taken away

It’s fair to say there haven’t been many closer decisions in the two-decade history of the NHL replay system than what officials in Toronto had to consider at the end of the second period of the Washington Capitals-New York Rangers game Sunday afternoon.

Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko put the puck into the net as time expired in the period and it was ruled a goal on the ice. Replay officials, however, saw it differently and ruled it expired before the puck crossed the line.

 Here’s how the NHL’s situation room blog explained it:
Video review was used to determine if the puck crossed the line before time expired in the second period. The official burn-in clock on the overhead camera had time expired before the puck crossed the line. No goal.

 It instantly became less controversial when the Rangers held on for a 3-2 victory.
  -- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 17, 2011 12:12 am
Edited on: April 17, 2011 12:20 am

Report: Flyers' Pronger likely to miss Game 3

The Philadelphia Flyers have quandary in net and now it appears they will again be without defenseman Chris Pronger.

Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi reports, citing a Flyers source, that Pronger likely won’t make Monday’s Game 3 in Buffalo. Pronger hasn’t played since injuring his hand March 8 and his towering presence was certainly missed early in Saturday’s Game 2. 

"It's just healing slowly. Nothing more to it," the official said.

Flyers rookie goalie Sergie Bobrovsky allowed three goals on seven shots and was chased in favorite of veteran (and fan-favorite) Brian Boucher. The Flyers came back to secure a 5-4 victory to tie the first-round series at a game apiece. 

Pronger isn’t just about clearing pucks and blocking shots in front of his own net. The Flyers’ power play, which he often leads, has struggled so far in the series, going 1 for 15 on their man-advantage opportunities. 

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 16, 2011 3:41 pm

Sharks' White eyes a Game 3 return

San Jose Sharks defenseman Ian White told reporters Saturday that he hopes to be back in action by Game 3 of the first-round series. 

White was concussed after he absorbed a check from Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll on Thursday. Stoll was suspended by the NHL for one-game Friday, although no penalty was called at the time of the collision. 

 “It’s fortunate that it’s not going to knock me out for the rest of the postseason, and hopefully I’ll miss just this one game,” White said (via CSN California’s Brodie Brazil). 

White said he will undergo more tests under the league’s protocol standards. 

“If it goes good I’ll probably take some time out there on the ice,” White added. 

The series between the in-state rivals cotninues tonight. Game 3 is Tuesday at Staple Center. 

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 16, 2011 4:08 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 11:51 am

Road to the Cup: Canucks rounding into shape

Maybe the trick is meeting the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. 

The Vancouver Canucks, the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners, are halfway to overtaking the ‘Hawks with a 4-3 victory over the Blackhawks Friday night. Vancouver joined the Washington Capitals -- the top seed in the Eastern Conference --- as they exited the evening with a 2-0 series lead. 

ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers writes it wasn’t goalie Corey Crawford or the team’s comparatively shallow depth compared to the franchise’s Cup-winning team from a year ago that is most responsible for this debt:
The Hawks’ leaders have been nowhere to be found in the first two games of the series hence a 2-0 deficit for the defending champions. 
“It’s not fun when you’re working as hard as you can and it seems like when you’re getting close to the net pucks are bouncing over your stick or shots are getting blocked,” Jonathan Toewssaid after the game. “Gotta find a way. No frustration, no excuses.” 
Toews epitomizes the lack of production by the Hawks’ top players. In 22:04 of ice time in Game 2 he managed zero shots on net though he nearly scored on a mini-breakaway early in the game. The puck rolled off his stick before an attempt could be delivered. 
“We’re the ones out there in the crucial situations,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “It’s up to us. We’ll take responsibility.” 

Highlight of the night 

Plenty of goals were scored Friday, although no scoring attempt was interesting as Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis' header in the third period of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-1 victory. It wouldn’t have counted under Rule 78.5 that bars any puck directed into the net with anything other than a stick. 

Performance of the night

Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzalf had a goal and two assists as the his team evened the first-round series with a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators. (Teammate  Bobby Ryan had two goals, but the second was an empty netter. Edge Getzlaf.)

-- A.J. Perez

Posted on: April 15, 2011 11:57 pm

Neuvirth eases to first career playoff shutout

WASHINGTON -- Even if Washington Capitals Michal Neuvirth’s defense blocked just one less shot than he did in the Caps’ 2-0 victory over the Rangers in Game 2 of the first-round series, it looks like the rookie from the Czech Republic has settled in quite nicely. 

He was tested early as the Rangers put 13 shots on net, although none took acrobatics to stop. He turned away Marian Gaborik off a turnover in the neautral zone with five minutes left in the first and then held his line as Brian Boyle came off the boards on the power play later in the period.

“He’s been steady,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He doesn’t seem to be rattled. At the same time, (backup Semyon Varlamov) doesn’t get rattled either. They guys are protecting him pretty well. He’s making the saves he supposed to be making It’s just stuff we expect out of him.”

Including his 22-save shutout Friday, Neuvirth has stopped 46 of 47 chances. 

“We got a lot of shots early in the game . . . and I felt pretty good,” Neuvirth said. “We didn’t give up any big scoring chances. That was a solid team effort tonight.”

--- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 15, 2011 5:59 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 7:53 pm

Kings' Jarret Stoll receives one-game suspension

Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll received a one-game suspension a day after he checked San Jose Sharks defenseman Ian White into the boards, the NHL announced Friday. 

Exactly how long White will be out isn't so certian, according to the Mercury News:

"At this present time, I would say no," coach Todd McLellan when asked about the likelihood White would be able to play.

"It's our job," the coach added later, "to put players in situations where they can succeed and you can't do that if you're not healthy and alert. He has to prove to us as a coaching staff and a training staff that he can do that. We all know the protocol now for head injuries. When he and the training staff march into my offce and tells us he's ready to go, he's that important and he'll play."

McLellan refused to call White's injury a concussion, although all signs point in that direction. White won't be allowed to retrun until he gets a doctor's clearance, McLellan said.

White’s head bounded off the boards on the collision, which occurred with 25 seconds left in the first period of the Sharks’ 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1 of the first-round series on Thursday. White suffered a bloody nose on the play and appeared dazed as he was helped to the locker room by Sharks medical personnel. Here’s a look at the collision

“Obviously, I’m disappointed and upset with the decision," Stoll told reporters (via Rich Hammond of L.A. Kings Insider.) I don’t want to miss any games, whether it’s regular season or especially the playoffs. I’m really disappointed with the decision but I respect it, and I respect Colin’s decision, to do what he did and give me the game.”

Stoll had a conference call earlier Friday with league disciplinarian Colin Campbell. 

"I just explained what I was thinking and what I did and the play," Stoll said. "I was honest with them. I told them what I thought, and I think that was the best way to go about it.”
-- A.J. Perez
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