Canucks end Wings’ record home run at 23 (AP)

24 Feb

Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin (22), of Sweden, celebrates his goal with defenseman Sami Salo (6), of Finland, against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. Vancouver won 4-3 in a shootout.

The Detroit Red Wings took advantage of the shootout to win three times during their NHL-record, 23-game home winning streak. Detroit's good fortune in the one-on-one duels ran out and its run ended against the Vancouver Canucks. Alex Burrows scored the only goal in a shootout, which was made possible when Daniel Sedin scored his second goal of the game with 15.4 seconds left in regulation, to...

Tags: Alex Burrows, Daniel Sedin, , , fortune, , , , NHL-record, , vancouver canucks, Wings
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Alex Burrows ends Wings’ home winning streak with familiar stick-breaking gesture (VIDEO)

23 Feb

The Vancouver Canucks ended the Detroit Red Wings' historic home winning streak at 23 games Thursday, defeating the Wings 4-3 in a shootout. The winner was scored by Alex Burrows, who celebrated the streak-ending goal in reminiscent fashion, pretending to break a stick over his knee, just as he did after a very similar big goal four years ago.

Here's Burrows, beating Jimmy Howard with his go-to backhand deke to win the game for Vancouver:

You'll notice that, after the goal, he curls around to the boards and feigns breaking his stick over his knee.

The gesture is a familiar one to Canuck fans. In 2008, with the team mired in an 8-game losing streak and 1:30 to go in a 3-3 tie versus the Carolina Hurricanes, Burrows broke in alone, shorthanded, and scored the eventual game-winner using the exact same deke -- and then he celebrated in the exact same way.

Of course, in that case, it was the Canucks' own streak they were breaking, not someone else's. When you break someone else's streak then celebrate like this, isn't it just showboating?

While we're talking about this, to anyone complaining that the Wings' streak ended in a skills competition: it was made possible by the same skills competition. Either there's asterisks everywhere or there's none anywhere. I'm in the latter camp.

It was an incredible streak and now it's over. That is all. As the saying goes: live by the arbitrary skills competition, die by the arbitrary skills competition.

Tags: Alex Burrows, carolina hurricanes, , , gesture, , Jimmy Howard, , , stick, vancouver canucks, Wings
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Puck Previews: Red Wings go for 24 straight at home; Jeff Carter to Kings tonight?

23 Feb

Here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

• The first step in an east coast/west coast mascot war equivalent to Biggie versus Tupac. [Getty]

Preview: San Jose Sharks at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET. The Sharks are currently fighting for their playoff lives as they sit tied with the Phoenix Coyotes at 69 points atop the Pacific Division and enter tonight's game against the Leafs losers of their last four and nine of 11 on the road. Toronto is in a similar battle but are clinging to eighth in the Eastern Conference with four teams behind them within six points.

Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET. Next up to attempt to snap Detroit's 24-game win streak at Joe Louis Arena are the team sitting right behind the Red Wings for No. 1 overall in the NHL. Vancouver holds the most road wins (20) in the league and have a game in hand behind the Western Conference-leading Wings.

Preview: St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET. A night after St. Louis' 22-game home point streak ended, their opponents look to extend one of their own. The Predators have picked up at least a point in their last nine games at Bridgestone Arena and with a regulation win will move to within a point of the Blues for fourth in the West.

Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. ET. Despite the muck surrounding their future off the ice, on the ice the Coyotes are playing their best hockey of the season. Winners of eight of their last 10 and led by Radim Vrbata and his 30 goals, Phoenix has played themselves into the top-8 in the West and a win coupled with a San Jose loss would give them the Pacific Division lead. The Flames currently sit just outside the West playoff picture, but a win puts them into eighth ahead of the Los Angeles Kings.

Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page. For tonight's starting goalies, check out Left Wing Lock.

Evening Reading

• After today's blog post about a press conference room inside Nationwide Arena being expanded for what appeared to be preparation for something, Aaron Portzline reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings are deep in talks about a deal that may go down tonight involving Jeff Carter. Not involved? Jonathan Bernier. [@APortzline]

• Nick Cotsonika on why Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson should wait until the summer to deal Rick Nash. [Y!]

• Stephen Weiss will play in his franchise-record 614th game with the Florida Panthers. Here are some Stephen Weiss "facts", courtesy of fans. [Panthers]

• Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth returns to his hometown of Detroit tonight and he'll have plenty of friends and family in attendance at Joe Louis Arena, including his brother, who's supposedly going to dress up as one of the Green Men. [Vancouver Sun]

• Debating Alex Goligoski versus Matt Niskanen one year after the deal. [Defending Big D]

Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: Galen on Jonathan Toews' car accident today:

"He was talking to Peggy from USA Prime Credit. Juke to the left, high glove side….Doh he hits the post."

Bold Prediction: Detroit wins again and Radim Vrbata scores again.

Tags: , , , joe louis arena, , phoenix coyotes, Preview, , Red Wings, , Wings
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Wings extend Bertuzzi for 2 years, $4M (AP)

23 Feb
Todd Bertuzzi has revitalized his career with the Detroit Red Wings, finding a good fit on the ice and perhaps restoring his reputation, too. The Red Wings signed the 37-year-old forward to a two-year contract worth just more than $4 million on Thursday, just hours before hosting Vancouver. "He likes it here and we like having him here," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said.
Tags: Bertuzzi, , , Fit, Ice, , , , The Red Wings, , Todd Bertuzzi
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Cheap Red Wings Playoffs Rd 2 – West Conf Semifinals Home Game 1 Tickets – Detroit – 4/28/2012

23 Feb
I have 15 outstanding seats available to see Red Wings Playoffs Rd 2 - West Conf Semifinals Home Game 1 at Joe Louis Arena on 4/28/2012. See Red Wings Playoffs Rd 2 - West Conf Semifinals Home Game 1 live from your seats in section 225B row 21 for only $90.00!

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Tags: , , , , joe louis arena, , , , Red Wings, Red Wings Playoffs, , West Conf, Wings
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Did Avalanche know Yzerman was turning Kyle Quincey into Detroit’s 1st-round pick?

21 Feb

As with any three-way deal, one team's fans are left wondering about the middle man being eliminated.

The Colorado Avalanche traded defenseman Kyle Quincey to the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Steve Downie. The Lightning then traded Quincey to the Detroit Red Wings for minor league defenseman Sebastian Piche and the Wings' first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Therefore, the Avalanche could have traded Quincey for a first-rounder and a prospect, right?

In theory. Bruce Garrioch reported that the Red Wings made their pitch to GM Greg Sherman, but he wasn't buying what they were selling. Fact is that the Avalanche had a need for a forward like Downie, who's gritty, physical, difficult to play against and has an occasional dash of the crazies. Quincey wasn't likely to return next season, but he was also their leader in ice time — it's not outlandish to believe they wanted a roster player back for him.

All that said: Did Sherman know he was trading Quincey to Yzerman so Yzerman could trade him to Detroit for a first?

That's where it gets a little hazy.

From the Lightning, here's Yzerman after the trade:

Q. Was there ever a moment today where you thought about keeping Kyle Quincey? How difficult was he to pass up?

"Initially, the discussions were with Colorado about Kyle Quincey. I thought more about him and talked to other general managers around the league as to what they were looking for and his name came up. You take everything into consideration: contract status, where they're going to fit on your team, the type of player they are, and we had to think if we wanted Kyle Quincey or a first-round pick. I thought we should take the first-round pick."

From Kevin Allen of USA Today, here's the Detroit side of the equation via GM Ken Holland:

Holland originally had talked to Colorado general manager Greg Sherman about acquiring Quincey, who started his career in Detroit.

"I didn't like any of the names he brought up, and he didn't like any of the names I brought up, and that's where it ended," Holland said. "Then a couple of days ago, (Tampa Bay general manager) Steve Yzerman called and said I might get Quincey. Are you interested?"

Ah, so Yzerman was working on Downie for Quincey, and called his boys in Detroit, who were willing to ante up a first-rounder for a player that's an RFA when the "going rate" for a UFA rental has been a second-rounder.

But did Sherman know that after rebuffing Detroit himself, Yzerman was going to flip Quincey to them?

Sherman was asked that on NHL Live on Tuesday: Was he aware, or did he just wash his hands of the situation after acquiring Downie?

Said Sherman:

"I think there's a bit of both there. I had good conversations with Steve in there [being] potentially a 3-way scenario. But what we're trying to do is improve our club and Steve was a piece that we wanted to add, so … to your point of washing your hands, once you make that move and you get the player that you're looking to bring in, then what happens from there is their business. Kyle played very well for us and he wore the jersey with pride."

Speculative translation: He knew Yzerman might flip Quincey. He might not have known it was Detroit, or that the return would be a low first-round pick.

Adrian Dater thinks the Avs won the trade. Ditto David Driscoll-Carignan of Mile High Hockey:

The thought of Downie and Landeskog running over opponents together or Downie riding shotgun to protect Stastny and Duchene is a warm thought indeed. I like this move. In the short term, the Avalanche get offense and grit for a potential playoff run. And, if they ultimately fall short, Downie is a young player who can play a role in the perennial rebuild. That's a win in my book.

For now. But when we find out who that draft pick turns out to be …

Tags: , , Downie, , Kyle Quincey, Lightning, , , , Steve Downie, steve yzerman, tampa bay lightning, The Colorado Avalanche
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Red Wings pick pleads not guilty to rape (AP)

21 Feb
A Boston University hockey player accused of raping a female student has pleaded not guilty and has been ordered to have no contact with her. Thousand Oaks, Calif., resident Max Nicastro was freed on $10,000 bail after his arraignment Tuesday in Brighton District Court. Authorities say the junior defenseman and 2008 Detroit Red Wings draft pick sexually assaulted the woman Sunday morning.
Tags: Boston University hockey, Brighton, Brighton District Court, , , , Max Nicastro, ncaah, Oaks, , , Red Wings
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Puck Previews: Hawks-Wings; Coyotes, Kings in first goal wins; Wellwood vs Wellwood

21 Feb

Back by popular demand, here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

Sad Cody is almost as sad as Sad Keanu. Give him some sandwich, Keanu.

Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at Winnipeg Jets, 7 p.m. ET

I will always, always, always preview these two teams if I get the opportunity, just because we now know they're capable of a 17-goal game. But there are other reasons this one's worth your time: Ilya Bryzgalov gets the start, which is enough to make us cackle with churlish glee; It's Eric Wellwood vs. Kyle Wellwood in the battle of the two least cared-about brothers in the NHL; and the Jets are in the thick of the playoff hunt, capable of stealing either the Southeast Division or the 8th seed in the Conference, neither of which anyone else seems interested in winning. They should like their chances against the Flyers: Philadelphia has lost 6 of 8 and Jets have won all three contests between the two clubs this season.

Preview: New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET

Two of the Eastern Conference's best teams, two more brothers in Jordan and Marc Staal, and two likely Hart candidates in Evgeni Malkin and Henrik Lundqvist do battle. So who's got the edge? In this case, the road team. Did you know the Rangers have never lost at Consol Energy Center? They're 5-0-0 there. Clearly, they find the visitors' locker room far more inspirational than it was at Mellon Arena, where they only won 12 of 47 games. Pittsburgh needs to keep the score down in this one: they've surrendered 10 goals in their last 2 games, and porous defense like that won't work against the stingy Rangers.

Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. ET

As amazing as the Detroit Red Wings have been at home, they're only a .500 road team, a fact that likely has the Blackhawks quite excited. Mind you, Chicago might also be excited by the fact that their 9-game losing streak is a thing of the past and their 3-game winning streak is a thing of the present. Pavel Datsyuk will miss the game and the next two weeks to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery. But, on the bright side for the Wings, Jimmy Howard returns.

Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Phoenix Coyotes, 9 p.m. ET

If it's goals you hate, this tilt between the offensively-starved Kings and the anti-offense Coyotes should do the trick. The Kings haven't scored in two games, falling to both the Coyotes and the Calgary Flames 1-0 last week. The Coyotes haven't allowed more than one goal in regulation in their last 7 games. In other words, brace yourself for 60 minutes of sudden death overtime!

Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET

Last season, contests between the Canucks and the Predators were insomnia-curers. This season? Scoring is the new boring. In 3 games, a total of 23 goals have been scored. The Sedins have 12 points in the season series. Pekka Rinne has been pulled twice and Roberto Luongo once. If you're going to this one, get there on time: the season series has seen 13 first-period goals.

Evening Reading

• Take a look at Carey Price's new mask. [Backhand Shelf]

• Jordan Bowman on Alex Burrows' 500th game. [Legion of Blog]

• Erik Karlsson should be a Norris candidate, which, in my mind, underscores both Karlsson's big-time contributions to the Ottawa Senators and the problem with the Norris trophy. [Sportsnet]

• Washington Capitals' owner Ted Leonsis on his team's performance Monday: "Worst game of the season. [...] We came up small when we needed to come up big and win a game on the road. Another wasted opportunity to get two points and move up in the standings. An unacceptable performance." [Postmedia]

• If Dean Lombardi trades for Rick Nash, then he should be fired. [Battle of Cali]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: A Yahoo! User, on Bryzgalov's injured hand:

Bryzgalov isn't used to taking a puck to the hand. Nothing but net.

Bold prediction: Just after Adrian Aucoin wins it for Phoenix 1-0 in the 19th round of the shootout, half the audience at Arena realizes somebody robbed them while they were asleep.

Tags: Coyotes, , , ilya bryzgalov, Kyle Wellwood, , , , Preview, , , Wings
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Puck Headlines: Toews, Datsyuk among injured stars; Coyotes sale update; T.O. to drop puck

21 Feb

Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

• Oh, like Chicago could ever say goodbye to Patrick Kane. Here's Kaner at the Bulls' game last night, where he also threw T-shirts to the crowd.

• Oh crap Jonathan Toews is out tonight for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Detroit Red Wings. [Sun Times and YCN]

• Oh crap Pavel Datsyuk is out two weeks after having knee surgery. [Freep]

• Oh crap Jamie Langenbrunner's out a month with a broken foot. [STLToday]

• Oh crap Vinny Lecavalier will be out indefinitely with an upper-body injury. [Lightning Strikes]

• Oh good Ilya Bryzgalov is OK after taking a puck off the hand and will start for the Philadelphia Flyers … in Winnipeg. Awesome. [CSN Philly]

• Mike Ribeiro and Steve Ott both have years left on their contracts and are both the subject of trade rumors at the deadline. [ESPN Dallas]

• Bob McKenzie reports that Steve Downie is now a member of the Avalanche, with Kyle Quincey going the other way. [TSNBobMcKenzie]

• Bill Daly to Seattle station on the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes: "We are the owner of the team, and thus should know if and when we have a deal to sell the team. I have unequivocally denied (several times) that we have a deal with Jamison, (much less that the Board has approved him). I hope it gets done with Jamison, but there is a long way between here and there." [KING 5, via Henrik]

• The new NBC Sports Network is rating well with hockey and outdoor sports; but Darren Rovell's Feb. 10 show's "8,000 viewers tied for 2,452nd out of 2,544 telecasts on ad-supported national cable shows." [Awful Announcing]

• Another great Pittsburgh Penguins piece by Sean Conboy, this time with James Neal. Here's Neal on "not his girlfriend" but best bud Paul Martin and the criticism he receives: "It is frustrating. They give him such a hard time. Paulie goes out and does an unbelievable job every night. He does all the little things as a hockey player. Maybe he doesn't score much, but you have to think about what he does in his own end, how good of a stick he has and how hard he is to play against. If you really know hockey, you'll understand how smart and how skilled he is." [Pittsburgh Magazine]

• The CHL's Allen Americans will have Terrell Owens drop a puck at their game tonight, and in turn expect to have the first puck-drop celebration on the ice involving either pom-poms or a Sharpie (we assume). [Dallas Stars Blog]

• Paul Kelly's resignation from College Hockey Inc. was unexpected and is causing a stir. [Buzzing the Net and WCHB]

• Alex Burrows has somehow made it to 500 games. And by "somehow" we mean "found chemistry with the Sedins." [Vancouver Sun]

• Jonathan Willis on hiring Pierre McGuire as an NHL GM: "Would I hire McGuire?  Given his current resume, no.  I think handing over the reins of an NHL team to a man who hasn't recently been deeply involved in running an NHL team is too great a risk." [Cult of Hockey]

• Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Colorado Avalanche will return from injury against the Kings on Wednesday. [All Things Avs]

• The Ducks announced today the club's season ticket pricing for the 2012-13 campaign. All ticket prices will either be reduced or remain flat. The average season ticket price will decrease 4.8%, with reductions ranging from 2% to 35% per ticket. In total, 40% of season ticket holders will see a reduction in price, with 60% remaining flat to this season. [Ducks]

• Well here's an interesting one: ESPN The Magazine has PK Subban address concerns raised by anonymous Internet posters on message boards like the HF Boards. On whether he's "too black" for the hockey establishment: "Everyone is going to have an opinion on what I'm being scrutinized for. There have been a lot of black players in the NHL. I don't want to be noticed for that -- I want to be noticed as being a good hockey player who can have a positive impact on his team. I hope to be a role model for kids of different ethnic backgrounds who want to play hockey." [ESPN]

• Here's Barry from Deadspin on embracing the nuttiness of fake rumors and fake rumormongers on Twitter during the deadline. [Deadspin; and my take on the mater from last year]

• Finally, a trip down memory lane with Cliff Fletcher  and Hal Gill at the 2008 NHL Trade Deadline.

Tags: chicago blackhawks, Coyotes, crap, , , , , jonathan toews, , pavel datsyuk, ,
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Red Wings put G Conklin on waivers (AP)

20 Feb
The Detroit Red Wings have put goaltender Ty Conklin on waivers. If Conklin isn't claimed by noon EST Tuesday, he will be assigned to the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. Joey MacDonald's emergence as a dependable backup made Conklin expendable because Jimmy Howard is healthy after being out with a broken right index finger.
Tags: , Conklin, , G Conklin, Grand Rapids Griffins, Griffins, Index, , noon, , Red Wings, Ty Conklin, Wings
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