NHL Playoffs: Capitals running into a bad matchup?


NHL Playoffs: Leafs giving Caps similar problems that the Penguins do Are the Washington Capitals living up to their reputation of being playoff chokers? Or are they just running into a bad matchup? A week from now regarding the Capitals we’re either going to be talking about the Capitals getting pushed in Round 1 potentially being a positive for them moving forward or discussing a shocking Round 2 matchup between the Penguins and Leafs. Whether the Leafs can finish the job remains to be seen but the Leafs were badly overlooked in this series, many predicted a sweep, just from the standpoint the Capitals are the President Trophy winners and Toronto’s best players are a bunch of kids. Last post-season the Capitals struggled against a Penguins team built with skill and speed. What does Toronto have? The Leads are certainly not the Penguins but like Pittsburgh they have more speedRead More »

TIOPS Rundown: Penguins/Senators; Jagr to play for 9th team? Hutchison stumbles


TIOPS Thursday Rundown 1. Scott Wilson gets opportunity on top line The concussion to Jake Guentzel has led to Scott Wilson getting a look on Sidney Crosby’s line tonight, though, it remains to be seen how patient Sullivan will be in keeping Wilson there. The Penguins have had a revolving door where when an injury pops up, another player takes advantage of an increased role. “These guys just embrace any challenge that we give them on a particular night, so that certainly makes the coaches job a little bit easier,” Sullivan said of his resilient club. “We move guys up and down the lineup. Sometimes they play their off wings or their off-sides. I think it’s a testament to the character of the people that we have. We have good players, but they’re great people, and they’re good teammates. They’ll do anything to win.” Depending on how the game goes,Read More »

NHL Rumors: Goaltending market starts with Scott Darling?


Darling on multiple teams wishlist The goaltending market is going to be flooded this summer with a ton of options for teams via free agency and trades with plenty of value type signings out there for clubs to make. There’s going to be more goaltenders available than teams looking. The goaltending market is not expected to start with Ben Bishop. It’s expected to start with Scott Darling. More and more teams are looking to find a No. 1 starter in the $3 million a year range, a ball park Darling is expected to command. Pierre LeBrun reports Darling is expected to be the Cam Talbot of the summer. Darling is said to be at the top of the Carolina Hurricanes wishlist and is also reportedly high on the Stars target list. However, the scuttlebutt is the Vegas Golden Knights are likely to get the first crack at speaking with DarlingRead More »

Monday’s Daily Five Ice Report: Marchand/Crosby What Might Have Been


Monday’s Daily Five Ice Report *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Brad Marchand looking so good on Sidney Crosby’s wing was fun to wonder if the combination could team-up next season (Marchand signing with Pittsburgh as a free agent) or even at the trade deadline with Marchand until today scheduled for unrestricted free agency after the season. It wasn’t just fans. Marchand was even asked a few days ago at the World Cup about playing in Pittsburgh with Crosby. Marchand inking an 8 year, $49 million extension with the Bruins brings that type of talk to a thundering halt. Marchand’s market value was pretty much set with this past summer’s spending as Milan Lucic and Kyle Okposo both netted 7 year, $42 million contracts. On the open market Marchand probably would have got 7 years – $45-$50 million. With the Bruins able to offer eight years, he will basically net the sameRead More »

World Cup Chatter: What now for Team USA?


World Cup Chatter The World Cup started with what many view as a stunning upset in Team Europe defeating Team USA 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. From naming John Tortorella head coach over a year ago, it was clear what type of team the U.S. was going to build. It wasn’t going to be one made up of a bunch of Phil Kessel’s and Tyler Johnson’s. Before the drop of the puck yesterday, the U.S. was always going to be the team under the most scrutiny because of the way they constructed their roster. Yesterday’s loss now has all of the critics coming out of the wood work. Not to mention lineup decisions like scratching Dustin Byfuglien who some believe was scratched because he spouted off about not being a fan of playing forward earlier in the week. It wasn’t just that Team Europe upsetted the U.S., it was how flat the U.S.Read More »

Matt Murray drawing Carey Price like comparisons from Team North America teammates


What team are most World Cup managers worried about the most when the tournament gets underway? It’s no question Team North America. The youthfulness and speed they possess up front projects to make them a daunting matchup. Team North America’s 4-0 win over Team Europe showed much of that. One NHL personnel man in attendance said he felt like he was watching the Penguins from their Stanley Cup run in how Team North America just suffocated the opposition with their speed in all three zones, notably the forecheck. Team North America has the speed and skill to be a serious threat in the tournament and a deep run figures to come down to goaltender Matt Murray. Murray made 23 saves in the shutout win over Team Europe. Craig Custance of ESPN called Murray North America’s most important player in a recent feature and its hard to argue with that. NotRead More »

World Cup: Team Canada Burning Questions


Team Canada Brad Marchand – Sidney Crosby – Patrice Bergeron John Tavares – Ryan Getzlaf – Steven Stamkos Logan Couture – Jonathan Toews – Tyler Seguin Matt Duchene – Joe Thornton – Claude Giroux Corey Perry Burning Question: Where does Corey Perry fit? Team Canada’s roster includes 10 centers, many of them, Steven Stamkos, Tyler Seguin, Patric Bergeron and Claude Giroux who will slide over to right wing. If there’s any challenge for the heavy favorite Canadians, it’s finding the best group of 12 forwards. Corey Perry who scored 34 goals last season, opened Team Canada’s training camp this week as the extra forward. On the top line, Patrice Bergeron is itched in stone on Sidney Crosby’s right wing. Brad Marchand coming off a 37 goal season got the first look with Crosby on his left wing. Crosby has often meshed with players who have the type of intangibles thatRead More »

World Cup Preliminary Rosters Named


Team USA G Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning G Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings G Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils D Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets D John Carlson, Washington Capitals D Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers D Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild F Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings F Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks F Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks F T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals F Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens F Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild F Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks F Derek Stepan, New York Rangers F Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets Team Canada G Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks G Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals G Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens D Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings D Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks D Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks D Shea Weber, Nashville Predators F Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars F Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins F Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings F Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins FRead More »

Wednesday’s Latest NHL Buzz & Rumblings


WEDNESDAY’S NHL BUZZ — Eric Staal entering the final year of his deal wants to resign in Carolina and Hurricanes General Manager Ron Francis wants to continue to build around the Staal brothers. Yet it’s 50/50 whether Staal makes it through the season as a member of the Hurricanes. The Staal contract situation is a difficult one because of the Hurricanes ownership situation where the budget on a year-to-year basis is often a complete unknown. “Ron is in a no-win situation,” an NHL executive said of the Staal situation. “The ownership group there is so unpredictable.” What Francis is most likely struggling with is whether he’s going to have the financial backing two-three years down the road to make resigning Staal worthwhile. Carolina is a team some feel are trending up and will be improved over last season but playing in the NHL’s toughest division, a significant improvement will beRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: Why Penguins wouldn’t go two years for Franson


THURSDAY’S NHL BUZZ — Cody Franson’s long wait on the free agent market has finally ended. Franson today signed a two year deal with the Buffalo Sabres that carries an AAV of $3.325 million. “Happy to get him. We feel we’ve got a top-4, top-5 guy who can play on our first power play,” Sabres GM Tim Murray told Buffalo reporters today. “He’s a skilled defenseman. Obviously a big body. He’s got some range, long reach, does take some space to get by him.” Franson has been an interesting case this summer. Right handed defensemen with skill are coveted by almost every team but no agent mis-calculated the market more than Franson’s agent Gerry Johannson did. The Franson camp went into the free agent negotiating period seeking a six year deal worth $40 million and were quite confident Franson was going be the Matt Niskanen of the 2015 free agentRead More »