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NHL announces rookie-of-the-year finalists

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on April 24, 2014 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)



The NHL announced the three finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy, which goes to the leagues’ rookie of the year. Receiving the honor were Forwards Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning along with forward Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche. This is the first time since the 2007/08 season that one team has had two players named as finalists for the trophy. The last team to achieve the feat was the Chicago Blackhawks when Patrick Kane won the award and teammate Jonathan Toews came in third in the voting.




The voting for the award was done by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season. The top three vote-getters were named as finalists and the winner will be announced at the nationally-broadcast NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday, June 24. Frank Calder was the president of the NHL between 1936 and 1943 and the trophy was named in his honour and presented annually after his death in 1943.




The 23-year-old Johnson of the Lightning set a new club record for rookie goalscoring this season with 24, which was tied with MacKinnon for best in the league. He was also tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals with five and also added five power play goals. He now becomes just the second rookie in NHL history to score at least five power play and shorthanded during a season. The other was Dennis Maruk who achieved it in 1975/76.




Johnson led all NHL rookies this season in total ice time and in faceoffs taken at 1,275. He was signed as a free agent by the Lightning in March of 2011 which makes him the first undrafted player to be named a finalist for the Calder trophy since goaltender Ed Belfour won the award as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1990/01. He ended the season with 24 goals and 26 assists for 50 points.




The 18-year-old MacKinnon of the Avalanche led all rookies in scoring this season with 63 points on 24 goals and 39 assists. He tied with Johnson for the most goals, but led all rookies in assists and in power-play goals with eight, game-winning goals with five and in shots on net with 241. MacKinnon, who was the top overall pick in last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, also put together a 13-game scoring streak in which he recorded at least one point per game.




This broke the old NHL record of 12 games set by Wayne Gretzky for the longest scoring streak by a player aged 18 and younger. MacKinnon becomes the fourth Colorado player to be named a finalist for the Calder Trophy in the past eight seasons. The others were Paul Stastny in 2006/07, Matt Duchene in 2009/10 and Gabriel Landeskog, who won the award in 2011/12.




The 23-year-old Palat of the Lightning was ranked number two in rookie scoring this season with 23 goals and 36 assists for 59 points. He was the top-scoring rookie in the league after January 1 with 17 goals and 27 assists for 42 points in 42 games. In 14 of these games he posted multiple points and was named the rookie of the month in both January and March. He also set a club rookie record when he put together an eight-game scoring streak and topped all rookies in plus/minus this season with a +32 ranking.




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NHL announces finalists for Selke Trophy

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on April 24, 2014 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)



The NHL announced the three finalists for the league’s Frank J. Selke award on April 24. The three players are forwards Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings. The award goes to forward “who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”




Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association voted on the 2013/14 finalists at the conclusion of the regular season with the top three players becoming finalists. The NHL will announce the winners of all the league’s awards during a ceremony in Las Vegas on Tuesday, June 24. The event will also be shown live on television across North America.




The 28-year-old Bergeron of the Bruins was the top faceoff man in the league this season as he won 1,015 of his draws. This represents the high mark for the past seven seasons. He also helped the Bruins achieve the Eastern Conference’s best overall defensive record this campaign as well as the second best in the league with a goals-against average of 2.08. Bergeron ranked number two in the league for plus/minus ratings as +38, which is a career high for him.




He also led all of his Boston teammates in average ice time while shorthanded at 1:57 per game. This is the third straight year Bergeron has been named a finalist for the Selke Trophy. He took the award home for the 2011/12 season and came in second to Toews last year. Bergeron scored 30 goals and 32 assists for 62 points this season, ranking him 36th in the league.




The 26-year-old Kopitar of the Kings was ranked second in the NHL in total ice time for forwards behind Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He helped the Kings earn the best goals-against record in the league at 2.05 per game. Kopitar also played the most shorthanded time in the NHL for any of the league’s top 30 scorers. His career high +34 rating was the tops on his team and fourth-best in the league.




Kopitar took 1,451 faceoffs this season and managed to win 53.3 per cent of them. He scored 29 goals and 41 assists for 70 points this season which ranked him number 16 in the league. This is the first time in his NHL career that Kopitar has been named a finalist for the Selke award and he’s also the first-ever Los Angeles King to be nominated for the trophy.




The 25-year-old Toews of the Blackhawks was the fifth-best faceoff man in the league in percentage at 57.2 and in wins at 884 out of 1,544. He led his team in average ice time per game for a forward at 20:28 and was second-best on the club in plus/minus at +26 and takeaways at 51. Toews managed to score 28 goals and 40 assists this season for 68 points, ranking him 24th in the NHL.




This is the third time in the past four years that Toews, the captain of the Blackhawks, has been named a finalist for the Selke Trophy. He’s looking for his second straight win after capturing the award last season.




The Selke Trophy was first awarded by the NHL in 1977 to honor Frank J. Selke who was a member of the front office of several championship teams for both the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.




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NHL announces Lady Byng Trophy finalists

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on April 24, 2014 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)



The NHL announced on April 22 that forwards Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers, Ryan O’Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche and Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks have been named as the three finalists for the 2013/14 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. The award is given to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”




The NHL awards are voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and are handed in at the end of the regular season. The three players with the most votes are then announced as the finalists. The trophies will be handed out on Tuesday, June 24 at the league’s nationally-broadcasted awards ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada.




The 34-year-old Marleau of the Sharks scored 33 goals and added 37 assists for 70 points this season and served just 18 minutes in penalties. It was the seventh time the forward has reached the 30-goal plateau in the past nine seasons. He was second on his team in goals this season and third in both assists and total points. He was also ranked number five in the league in shots on goal with 285 on the campaign. Marleau managed to play in all 82 games and saw 20:31 minutes of ice time on average. This is the second time he’s been named a finalist for the Lady Byng trophy. He finished third in the voting back in 2005/06 behind Pavel Datsyuk and Brad Richards.




The 23-year-old O'Reilly of the Avalanche scored 28 goals and 36 assists this season for a career-high 64 points and served just one minor penalty all season long. He helped Colorado win the Central Division championship as their 52 wins equaled a franchise record. O’Reilly led his team in goals as wells as in power play goals with nine and was tied in game-winners with six. He led the league in take away for the second time in the last three years with 83. This is the first time O’Reilly has been named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy.




The 38-year-old St. Louis of the Rangers scored 30 goals this season and added 39 assists for 69 points. Hi was the seventh time he’s reached the 30-goal mark. St. Louis was traded to the Rangers from the Tampa Bay Lightning towards the end of the season and led his new club in points and goals as well as in power play goals with nine. He was also ranked second on the team with a +13 mark. St. Louis was also ranked third in the league for total ice time by a forward and served just 10 minutes in penalties, which was the fewest among the league’s top-20 scorers. This is the eighth time in his NHL career that St. Louis has been nominated as a finalist for the Lady Byng. He’s won it three times in the past four seasons including last year. The Lady Byng Trophy was first awarded by the NHL in the 1924/25 season.




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Columbus Blue Jackets stun Pittsburgh Penguins yet again; series even 2-2

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on April 23, 2014 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

It is certainly true that in the NHL playoff hockey anything is possible. In the opening round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets, one thing has proven impossible to do: The team with the lead coming away with the victory. In each of the games previous these two combatants blew 3-1 advantages.

Tonight, the Pittsburgh Penguins held what is typically considered a comfortable lead - they were up 3-0 after the first frame on goals from: Craig Adams, Chris Kunitz and James Neal - only to see it slip away like quicksand through their fingers. In the dying seconds of regulation time, with 24 clicks on the clock, Brandon Dubinsky capitalized on yet another highlight to put on the Marc-Andre Fleury Playoff blooper reel. Fleury, miss-handled the puck behind his own net, placing it in Dubinsky Lap. 

The rest is history. Nationwide Arena went wild inspiring Nick Foligno, who potted the winner just 2:49 into overtime. Booked it as the Columbus Blue Jackets second ever playoff triumph. All of a sudden, this doesn't look like such an easy scenario for Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, as the series is square at two apiece. 

Seabrook Should Be Out As Long As Backes

Posted by James Lindsay on April 23, 2014 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (1)

Chicago Blackhawk's defenceman Brent Seabrook's attempt to take off the head of St. Louis Blues captain David Backes at the end of Game 2 is an event that continues to reverberate, even though we are through Game 3 and the Blues are up 2-1 in the series.  Much has been made of the loss to the Blackhawks of a key defenceman for three games, however not much about how the Blues could be without their captain for the rest of the series and beyond.  Seabrook's suspension of three games is serious and I think the most that could be expected of the NHL.  It was not a slap on the wrist, however it did not go far enough. Seabrook hit Backes when the puck was not even in his possession, blindsiding him with his elbow in the head, causing his head to smash into the boards.  Arguably it was a deliberate attempt to injure Backes.  Hockey is a rough and tumble sport.  One reason we love it is because it is tough and not all mamby pamby like the NFL is becoming.  That being said, rough does not mean cheap shots are okay.  The Blues play tough, however they are not cheap shot artists, like the Hawks and especially Seabrook were in Game 2.  It would go a long way toward preventing situations like this if players stayed off the ice as long as the players they illegally hurt.  Seabrook should sit until Backes comes back or the end of this series, whichever comes first.     

Top 20 most popular NHL players according to Google

Posted by Talk Hockey on April 22, 2014 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Top 20 most popular NHL players according to Google

Best Tickets Blog gathered some compelling data recently after researching the most popular athletes according to their number of Google search queries over the past 12 months.

Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Floyd Maywether are one, two and three on the list. The first NHL athlete doesn't appear on the rankings until 31st (Sidney Crosby). Above is a list excluding all non-hockey athletes and showing you the most searched players from the National Hockey League. 

- Not too surprising seeing Sidney Crosby first on the list. 

- T.J. Oshie sits in third place solely because of his incredible shootout performance in the 2014 Sochi Olympics

- Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin are both in the top twenty because Leafs fans have continuously debated their trade

Don't Miss: "Who's That NHL Player" Trivia

- Biggest surprise is definitely Mike Fisher at number 13. Not sure why he's so high on the list. Carrie Underwood maybe? 

- Four players from the Boston Bruins on this list (Rask, Chara, Iginla, Lucic). 

- Biggest snub is Steven Stamkos. The Lightning forward is a perennial fifty goal scorer when healthy, and arguably the most electrifying sniper in the game after Alexander Ovechkin. I can't believe he's not on here. Maybe because of a non-traditional hockey market: Tampa Bay. 

These statistics were brought to you by Best Tickets.

NHL teams ranked by total number of points over 20 seasons

Posted by Talk Hockey.

GIF: Granlund scores goal of the playoffs with overtime winner

Posted by Talk Hockey on April 21, 2014 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

GIF: Granlund scores goal of the playoffs in overtime winner?

Mikael Granlund may have just scored the goal of the playoffs in Game Three between the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild quarter-final series.

In overtime, the Wild forward deked around the entire Colorado defense, somehow kept control of the puck, fell to the ice, and shot it into the net.

Pretty incredible for your first career playoff goal. The Avalanche now lead the series only by one game, 2-1. Granlund puts the Wild back within reach.

Parise's comments on Granlund's amazing goal

GIF: Paul Stastny misses open net on breakaway

Posted by Talk Hockey.


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