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James O’Brien

  1. Penguins to play last regular season game at Igloo

    Apr 8, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    Since the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched a playoff berth quite some time ago, it’s clear that tonight’s game won’t be the last meaningful hockey game ever played in crusty old Mellon Arena. Still, it’s obvious that the Igloo’s days are numbered. Tonight’s game against the New York Islanders marks the final regular season the Penguins will…

  2. Pascal Leclaire: Ottawa's source of frustration

    Apr 7, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT

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    Every now and then, Pro Hockey Talk will ask for insight from some of the best team bloggers out there. For this feature, we asked a simple question: “Who is your team’s most frustrating player?” Just for fun, I decided to throw my guess in the hat, too. First, here is my guess for Ottawa.…

  3. Tonight's games: Rangers on life support

    Apr 7, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

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    All five games have at least some playoff implications (at least for seeding), but Detroit-Columbus and Colorado-Edmonton lack some of the sizzle of the other three matches. Those two games are more about trying to leapfrog other teams or keeping their place in line. The other three are a little more interesting, with New York…

  4. NHL Network's top 10 saves of 09-10

    Apr 7, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

    The NHL Network shares its top 10 goals of the season. Gotta say, the Kipper save (#1) was indeed pretty awesome but I might have to go with the runner-up, J.D. Deslauriers. It just seems more thrilling, but I guess these things are subjective. What do you think was the best save of the 09-10…

  5. Quick hits: Vanek in, Kunitz and Connolly out

    Apr 7, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

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    Here are a few quick injury updates and other news bits from around the league. Vanek in, Connolly out In a case of good news/bad news, the Buffalo Sabres found out that winger Thomas Vanek is set to return soon after missing 5 games while Tim Connolly is expected to sit out the rest of the regular…

  6. Retrospectives on Mike Modano's career

    Apr 7, 2010, 4:10 PM EDT

    If you believe the well-founded gossip, it’s looking like Mike Modano’s career – either with the Stars or in the NHL – is about to end. Some have discussed the fact that there isn’t a whole lot of fanfare about his departure from the league, but I’d point to his healthy career (and middling recent…

  7. Filip Kuba could miss first round of playoffs

    Apr 7, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

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    There weren’t many “casualties” from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics – at least compared to 2006 when Dominik Hasek went down with a serious injury – but Ottawa Senators defenseman Filip Kuba appears to be one of them. After trying to rehab the injury, Kuba was forced to have surgery on his back because of…

  8. Carolina expected to host '11 All-Star Game

    Apr 7, 2010, 3:05 PM EDT

    The News & Observer reports that the Carolina Hurricanes are likely to land the 2011 NHL All-Star game. Now, some mean people might ask “Why?” or make a Hartford Whalers joke, but I’m going to take the high road. While the thought of attending an All-Star game (already a bit of a stale event, let’s face…

  9. Scouts rank Tyler Seguin above Taylor Hall

    Apr 7, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

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    No pressure, kid. You have to think that Central Scouting might be re-thinking their top prospects list already, but their most recent list places the beleaguered Tyler Seguin over Taylor Hall according to NHL.com. Here’s the top 20 with the bonus of the always hilariously unfair comparisons to NHL players (He’s the next Mario Lemieux! The…

  10. Young talent trumps 'experience' in the playoffs

    Apr 7, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

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    Perhaps I’m in a mood to beat up on puck-based stereotypes today, but I think that fans of the Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and – yes – both lovers and haters of Sidney Crosby will find Behind the Net’s study of the most productive young (and old) players quite interesting. The blog looked at the highest…

  11. Penguins' journey for elusive 'On switch'

    Apr 7, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

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    One of my biggest sports writing pet peeves – even if I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve most likely fallen into that habit before, and probably will again – is leaning on convenient, flimsy psychological factors to explain a team’s struggles. Joe Thornton’s teams lose in the playoffs because he cannot handle the…

  12. Jim 'The Hulk' Playfair wins Bertuzzday IV

    Apr 6, 2010, 5:41 PM EDT

    With Monday behind us, you know that means only one thing … it’s Bertuzzday! OK, it actually means plenty of other things too, but Bertuzzday celebrations are the most important. Right? Anyway, before we get to the exciting nominees, let’s take a look at who ended up winning Bertuzzday IV. Unlike part III, this race…

  13. Quick hits: Langenbrunner is a sad panda

    Apr 6, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

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    There have been a lot of different stories floating around the NHL today, but some of them might be more like a kernel and less like a fluffy, delicious piece of popcorn. While you contemplate smelling up your break room or kitchen by microwaving some popcorn, I’ll throw out a few quick hits from the…

  14. Penguins, Capitals still have plenty to play for

    Apr 6, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

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    Whenever the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals play against each other, it feels like a mini-event. Tonight’s game might not have the same pizazz, spunk or crunchiness for the simple reason that it makes no difference to the Capitals … at least from a standings standpoint. Something tells me that the team can always clear out…

  15. Ilya Kovalchuk trade impact on Devils, Thrashers

    Apr 6, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

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    Ilya Kovalchuk was supposed to be the Moses of the Atlanta Thrashers. Even from his first season, few could doubt the left winger’s all-world goal scoring abilities. Before Alex Ovechkin came along, it seemed like “Kovy” was going to be the heir apparent to Pavel Bure as an unstoppable Russian goal scoring machine. Either way,…

  16. Top 10 goals of 09-10 season: NHL Network's picks

    Apr 6, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

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    Everyone loves top 10 lists right? No, you think they’re cheap and rarely reflect what is actually the top 10 of anything? Well, way to go party pooper. Anyway, the NHL Network put together its best goals of the year (so far) so I thought I’d pass it along. Feel free to talk about goals…

  17. Are the Canucks in trouble without Ehrhoff?

    Apr 6, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

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    If I had to pick a “most resilient” team for the 2009-10 season, it would probably be the Phoenix Coyotes, but the Vancouver Canucks aren’t far behind. They’ve dealt with a historic road trip, the unexpected struggles of their “captain”/goalie Roberto Luongo and the loss of key defenseman Willie Mitchell. But at least one writer – Ian Macintyre…

  18. Martin Brodeur aims for 600th win vs. Atlanta

    Apr 6, 2010, 1:40 PM EDT

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    Martin Brodeur will be going for his 600th career win tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers. Obviously, since he broke Patrick Roy’s all-time wins record last season, Brodeur would be the first NHL goalie ever to reach that mark. NHL.com ran a nice timeline of when some of his wins came. Career          …

  19. Save of the Night: Jose Theodore

    Apr 6, 2010, 1:10 PM EDT

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    Jose Theodore put up a really strong effort last night, saving 28 out of 30 shots to give the Capitals a 3-2 OT win over the desperate but ailing Boston Bruins. Theodore was unreal during this sequence, particularly the kick save he makes toward the end of the video.

  20. New Phoenix Coyotes lease not yet official

    Apr 6, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    The Phoenix Coyotes and the city of Glendale, Arizona have not yet officially altered the lease that is hampering the sale of the franchise. Rebekah Sanders of the Arizona Republic writes that – contrary to what was reported by ESPN -the city has “not officially ‘approved’ proposals because the discussions have occurred only during private meetings” and that…

  21. Will Pens, Devils or Sabres gain East No. 2 seed?

    Apr 6, 2010, 11:40 AM EDT

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    Earlier today I broke down the Eastern Conference’s bottom three playoff spots and the four teams who have a good shot of filling them. My blog buddy Marty Vance took a look at the other end of the East spectrum, assessing which of the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins had the best chance to…

  22. Breaking down the Eastern bubble race

    Apr 6, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

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    Last night I chronicled the comparatively straightforward race for the Western Conference’s eighth seed. In the East, things are a lot more complicated; there are essentially four teams competing for the bottom three spots. The top team (Montreal) and bottom team (Atlanta) are only separated by five points. It’s close – really close – in…

  23. Goal or not?: Nicklas Backstrom

    Apr 6, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    Since the other two games were more or less glorified exhibitions, this morning’s video fun will focus mainly on the Washington-Boston contest. It’s a good thing that there’s some interesting video to show you. First things first, let’s take a look at a moment that could have been controversial. This debated goal by Nicklas Backstrom…

  24. The PHT Nightcap – Monday, April 5

    Apr 6, 2010, 2:00 AM EDT

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    We put a lot of content on this blog each day, and we understand it can be a bit tough to keep track of everything. So at the end of the day we’ll put up a nightly recap of all of that day’s news. Presenting the Pro Hockey Talk Nightcap: NHL Playoffs Update: Colorado and…

  25. Taylor Hall-Tyler Seguin duel remains one-sided

    Apr 5, 2010, 11:55 PM EDT

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    Since I brought up the 2010 NHL Draft and the Taylor Hall-Tyler Seguin battle earlier tonight, I thought I’d give you an update of the Windsor Spitfires-Plymouth Whalers series. The Spitfires dominated the Whalers tonight, winning 5-0 to take a 3-0 series lead. But what might be most important is the fact that, once again, Hall…

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