The Boston Bruins offense ignited for four goals in the first period as goalie Tim Thomas collected 36 saves in last night’s 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, evening the Stanley Cup Finals at three-games apiece with Game 7 set for this Wednesday back at Rogers Arena. (more)
The Los Angeles Kings found the net eight times in 29 shots to dominate the Vancouver Canucks by five goals last night at the Staples Center. Alexander Frolov, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown contributed in the first block to give LA the initial 3-0 lead. Brown supplied the assist to Frolov 5:26 into the contest to add to his hat trick and career-high 4-point performance. “It was a huge statement game for us,” said Brown. “They’re a possible playoff opponent for us, and at this point of the year, it’s great. They’ve had our number all year, but we kept the game out of reach for them from the first period on.”
The Kings have now won two straight after their recent four-game skid to put themselves back in a good spot for postseason play. “We’re starting to talk about it,” said Kings coach Terry Murray. “It’s not there ’til it’s there, but it’s getting closer. I’m important that we keep the focus out there, but it’s starting to come around again. Everybody is hungry for the playoffs.” They will next matchup with the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, April 3rd and Tuesday, April 6th. Other teams left on the regular season schedule include Phoenix, Edmonton and Colorado. Los Angeles Kings tickets are now available!
Bryan Bickell fired in the only goal 1:12 into the third period as the Chicago Blackhawks defense stepped up to shut out the Canucks yesterday at General Motors Place in Vancouver. Goalie Antti Niemi came up with 30 saves after being sidelined for the past two weeks. “Maybe the most confident I’ve felt in the NHL today,” said Niemi. “I don’t know why, but I didn’t worry about anything else, just make the next save.”
Coach Joe Quenneville was extremely pleased with Niemi and his defense’s overall contributions. “Spectacular. What an effort. What a game,” he said. “That was a goalie win, hopefully you get five or six over the course of a year and that’s one. I thought our ‘D’ played real well but he was spectacular.”
Chicago is now 15-5-2 heading into their next contest against the San Jose Sharks this Wednesday. They currently lead the Central Division over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Chicago Blackhawks tickets can be found right here at AceTicket.com!
Forget about summer, it’s free-agent signing season in the NHL. Over the past few days, rumors have been flying around about what market will land the big names out there like Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin.
Sundin was reportedly offered a 2-year, $20 million dollar contract from the Vancouver Canucks, a deal that would make him the leagues highest paid player.
“We put a major offer together to try and attract the player we felt was the best center iceman on the market,” said Canucks GM Mark Gillis. “It’s an indication we are prepared to do what it takes to attract the best players here.”
The big signing of today was by far the Detroit Red Wings landing Marian Hossa to a one-year deal worth reportedly $7.45 million dollars. The high-scoring wingman was one of the top players who propelled the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup finals, which they lost to Detroit in six games. Hossa is 29 years old.
The Chicago Blackhawks made two big signings landing probably the top defensemen on the market in Brian Campbell as well as goalie Cristobal Huet. Campbell signed an eight-year $57.12 million dollar deal and Huet inked a four-year contract worth $22.5 million.
The two other big defensemen to reach deals Tuesday were Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden, who both signed with the New York Rangers.
Rozsival re-signed with the Rangers for a four-year contract worth $20 million while Redden signs a six-year, $39 million dollar deal after skating with Ottawa last season.
Defensemen Jeff Finger, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche, signed a four-year $14 million dollar deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Dallas landed forward Sean Avery to a four-year, $15.5 million dollar deal.
“We are excited about the opportunity to add a player like Sean Avery to our group,” Stars co-general manager Brett Hull said. “His ability to play the game with skill and tenacity makes us a better team and is a great complement to the players we have here.”
The Washington Capitals will say goodbye to longtime goalie Olie Kolzig after he signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning after spending 16 seasons in Washington.
The New Jersey Devils got their hands in the mix of the free agent pool by signing Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik to contracts. Rolston agreed to a four-year, $20 million dollar deal while Holik signed a one-year contract worth $2.5 million dollars.
The New York Islanders made a little noise by singing Montreal’s former defensemen Mark Streit to a five-year $20.5 million dollar contract while the Boston Bruins also signed a former Canadien in Michael Ryder to a multi-year deal.
With the NHL salary cap rising up this season, teams have not been shy about dishing out the money to lure top free-agents to their squads. Over the next two weeks, look for almost every free agent out there to receive offers from teams trying to help the players find a new place they can call home.
Recap – The Northwest Division has been playing very impressive hockey over the past three months. Surprising, the Vancouver Canucks are hanging in there with the rest of the powerhouses in the standings and would currently make the playoffs if the season were to end today. The statistic that may hold the most significance towards their success is the number of goals they have allowed. Through 50 games, the team has only surrendered 121 goals, the 4th lowest total in the NHL. Goaltender Roberto Luongo is third in the NHL with his 2.10 GAA per game, and is among the league leaders in shutouts (2nd), save percentage (t-3rd), saves (4th), and minutes played (6th),
2nd Half – The Canucks count on the Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrick, for most of their offensive production but need more fire power from second and third line centers Ryan Kesler and Brandon Morrison who have the talent but have under preformed up to this point. Luongo has been hot in net but many fear he may begin to wear down having played so many minutes.
Team Name: Vancouver Canucks (26-19-5)
Northwest Division Standing: 4th place
Conference Standing: T-6th place
Final Predictions – 4th in Norwest Division, 10th in Western Conference
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