Friday, May. 17, 2013 1:36PM EDT
Speculation continues to grow that Jason Spezza, out since Jan. 27, could return to the Ottawa Senators' lineup for Game 3 of their playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Senators, lowest-scoring team in the NHL during the shortened regular season, could sorely use their best forward, who underwent disc surgery on his back and was expected to miss the remainder of the NHL year.More »
Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 3:10PM EDT
There are few people in the hockey world as old-school as Darryl Sutter, the Los Angeles Kings’ coach. Sutter played in an era when the word “concussion” was rarely uttered, or even acknowledged. Instead, there were all sorts of popular euphemisms for a head injury, including my descriptive favourite, “he had his bell rung.”More »
Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 4:14PM EDT
Anyone who’s listened to Teemu Selanne talk about his plans for the future will not be surprised to learn that on Tuesday, the 42-year-old Anaheim Ducks forward made it clear, during exit interviews, that he would take up to six weeks to decide what to do next. The thinking Sunday, after the Ducks lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the opening playoff round, was that Selanne’s NHL career might be over after 20 years – and that could still be the case.More »
Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 1:54PM EDT
There is no love lost between the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Years of playoff frustration, for the Senators against the despised Leafs, and a long history of Battles of Ontario have made bad blood only worse over time. At least until Monday night.
No Senator is more disliked by Leafs Nation than longtime Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson. His personal success against the Leafs combined with run-ins with Darcy Tucker and one infamous gesture where Alfredsson appeared, to Toronto fans, to be ridiculing then Leafs captain Mats Sundin has made Alfredsson a subject of loud Leafs booing both at the Air Canada Centre and even Alfredsson’s home rink in Ottawa, Scotiabank Place.More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 4:35PM EDT
It was Sunday night, shortly after the Detroit Red Wings had come all the way back from a two-game deficit to eliminate the Anaheim Ducks in their hard-fought, wholly entertaining Western Conference playoff series.
Mikael Samuelsson, the long-time Red Wing who’d won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2008, was alone at his dressing-room stall. In one corner of the room, goaltender Jimmy Howard was holding court; in another corner, Niklas Kronwall was talking to a couple of Swedish reporters.More »
Tuesday, May. 07, 2013 2:10PM EDT
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, the San Jose Sharks defenceman, is not a guy one would mistake for Zdeno Chara, the towering force on the Boston Bruins defence. But Vlasic, like Chara two years ago, is performing a crucial task that is central in beating the Vancouver Canucks: shutting down the Sedins.
In June, 2011, when the Canucks choked in the Stanley Cup final – and the Sedins together generated just two goals and three assists – it was Chara who was the Bruins shutdown defenceman on the Swedish twins. Back then, they were in their absolute prime, with Daniel having just won the scoring title, and Chara’s work was essential to the Boston victory. According to numbers crunched by nicetimeonice.com, Chara – and defensive partner Dennis Seidenberg – were heavily matched against the Sedins, defending against them for roughly two-thirds of the even-strength minutes for which the Sedins were on the ice.More »
Friday, May. 03, 2013 11:45AM EDT
It’s the kind of traumatizing event no hockey player wants to witness; the Montreal Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher has been on the ice for two of them in the space of seven months.
During last fall’s NHL lockout, Gallagher was playing in the Bell Centre with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs against the Syracuse Crunch when teammate Blake Geoffrion was pasted near the far boards, suffering a skull fracture that has, in all likelihood, ended his career.More »
Thursday, May. 02, 2013 2:44PM EDT
It’s a sacrilege.
It’s harmless fun.
It’s a misunderstanding.
It’s a pointed statement on Quebec’s bitterest hockey rivalry.
Or is it all of those things? And none of them?
Much air has been heated and ink spilled in Quebec City this week after a Montreal-based construction worker, Eric Rivest, posted a cellphone video of himself dropping a puck with a Bell Centre and Montreal Canadiens logo into one of the concrete footings for the Quebec capital’s new multi-purpose arena, which the city hopes will soon host Les Nordiques 2.0.More »
Wednesday, May. 01, 2013 1:54PM EDT
Somehow, the Pittsburgh Penguins are just going to have to make the best of it. They’re going to have to get by with the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow. Also James Neal, Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis and assorted others.
Sidney Crosby won’t be playing Wednesday. He’s still not recovered from the broken jaw he suffered on March 30 and that means Pittsburgh has to open its first-round series against the New York Islanders without its captain and best player.More »
Saturday, Apr. 27, 2013 1:54PM EDT
There was a playoff-like atmosphere in the air between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday, even if no one is quite certain whether they’ll actually play one another.
They’re acting as though they will, however, which is just as well given there’s a roughly 60- to 65-per-cent chance they meet in the postseason for the first time in 34 years.More »
Thursday, Apr. 25, 2013 6:03PM EDT
It had been half a lifetime.
After an 18-year absence from Canada’s national game, ice hockey, I found myself last summer invited to a promotional shinny match for a charity event. The friendly scrimmage was to be Team Media versus NHL Greybeards (er, Alumni, three of whom, research revealed, had in fact been first-round draft picks in their day). My unlikely ascension to hockey-playing adjacent to the likes of Paul Reinhart and Dave Babych was part of an ongoing series of charity work headlined by Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, and billed as the Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer’s, whose work and fun takes place soon again in Toronto, early May, with names in attendance such as Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey (sure, those guys can score, but can they play defence?).More »
Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 2:37PM EDT
It is only fitting that this wonky, lockout-shortened NHL season should come down to the final days with a couple of oddballs actually playing a game with playoff implications.
Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Islanders are in good shape to make the postseason. The Leafs can make it for the first time in nine years if they win Thursday’s game with the Islanders in regulation time and the Winnipeg Jets lose in any fashion. The Islanders need a few more points to clinch their first trip to the playoffs since 2007, sitting in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 49 points, three ahead of the New York Rangers and the Jets, although they are only one behind the Ottawa Senators.More »
Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013 1:03PM EDT
Damage control is always fun to observe in the world professional sport, mostly because everything that’s said tends to be so well-rehearsed that it’s usually just self-serving pap. Team spokesmen learn to stay on message. Missteps rarely occur.
But that was not the case on Monday, when the Edmonton Oilers convened a press conference to announce a series of front-office changes: Steve Tambellini was out as general manager, and Craig MacTavish, the former Oilers’ coach, was in as his replacement. The man in charge of making the announcement was Kevin Lowe, the Oilers’ president of hockey operations, and he clearly wasn’t prepared for the level of hostility that he faced from his questioners.More »
Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013 2:19PM EDT
This was, in every meaningful way, inevitable.
As fundamental a fact of life as April showers and rude bus drivers, fans of the Montreal Canadiens will, at some point in the season, break out the spit on which goaltenders are roasted over an angry flame.
This town has booed everyone from Georges Vézina to Patrick Roy; now it is booing Carey Price.More »
Monday, Apr. 15, 2013 3:58PM EDT
It’s a good thing the Edmonton Oil Kings and Calgary Hitmen are meeting in the third round of the Western Hockey League playoffs. So they can show their NHL counterparts how it’s done.
These days, the only NHL news coming out of Alberta is bad bordering on monotonous. Calgary Flames lose, trade away their long-time captain along with their star defenceman. Try to trade their star goalie but he won’t leave town. Team officials promise to do everything possible to make Flames better moving forward.More »
Monday, Apr. 15, 2013 1:47PM EDT
The most obvious reason the New Jersey Devils pulled up lame in the NHL playoff race is back home skating on his own while the rest of the team is in Toronto preparing for Monday night’s game against the Maple Leafs.
Ever since Ilya Kovalchuk was lost to a right shoulder injury on Mar. 23, the Devils have not won a game, falling six points out of the eighth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Without the catalyst for their offence, the Devils are 0-5-4 in their last nine games.More »
Monday, Apr. 08, 2013 9:34AM EDT
The main parties in the dance between the NHL and prospective owners of the Phoenix Coyotes went silent over the weekend but no sale is imminent.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in an e-mail message Sunday there is "nothing new to share" on the Coyotes situation. He has no plans to be in the suburban city of Glendale this week, where the city council will discuss its plans for managing Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday at a private meeting.More »
Roy MacGregor covers hockey for the Globe and Mail. He has been nominated for eight National Newspaper Awards, winning twice. He is the author of some 40 books, covering everything from the hockey world to aboriginal rights and painter Tom Thomson.
Follow Roy on Twitter @RoyMacG
Eric Duhatschek was the winner of the Hockey Hall Of Fame's Elmer Ferguson award for "distinguished contributions to hockey writing" in 2001. He has covered four Winter Olympics, 19 Stanley Cup finals, every Canada Cup and World Cup since 1981, plus two world championships.
Follow Eric on Twitter @eduhatschek
David Ebner is a national correspondent based in Vancouver. He joined The Globe and Mail in 2000 and worked in Toronto and Calgary before moving to Vancouver in 2008. He has reported on a wide range of stories – business, politics, arts, crime – and has covered sports since 2012. He was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in sports in 2013. He was born in Ottawa, grew up in Calgary, and graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Follow David on Twitter @davidebner