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James O’Brien

  1. Nicklas Backstrom gives Caps 2-1 lead

    Apr 15, 2010, 9:04 PM EDT

    Perhaps I should save all judgments for after games so I don’t jinx people … as much. It didn’t take long for the Washington Capitals to take a third period lead as Nicklas Backstrom slammed home a lose puck to give them a 2-1 lead. Both of the home teams lead 2-1 early in the third…

  2. Ryan Miller, goalies stealing the show so far

    Apr 15, 2010, 8:51 PM EDT

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    Last night, upsets were the story. Tonight – so far at least – it seems like the first two games will be about great goaltending. Tomas Plekanec was talking some serious smack about the Montreal Canadiens’ superior goalies and so far, Jaroslav Halak is living up to the forward’s boastful words. Halak has 26 saves…

  3. Craig Rivet makes it 2-1 Buffalo

    Apr 15, 2010, 8:32 PM EDT

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    In the playoffs, every point shot can make fans’ blood pressure go up. After all, as hot as a goalie can be, you cannot stop a puck you can’t see right? Craig Rivet boomed a slapper past Boston’s Tuukka Rask, scoring a goal that the Finnish netminder had very little hope of stopping. Random, useless…

  4. Mark Recchi ties Buffalo vs. Boston 1-1

    Apr 15, 2010, 8:23 PM EDT

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    Every goal seems so unique and special for the Boston Bruins that you might as well just call them snowflakes (although Alaskans have approximately 5 million names for snow, apparently). The seemingly indestructible Mark Recchi scored a powerplay goal thanks to a big rebound allowed by USA Olympic Hero Ryan Miller. Some Bruins fans were…

  5. Capitals tie game 1-1

    Apr 15, 2010, 7:42 PM EDT

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    Jaroslav Halak was looking awfully sharp, keeping Montreal in a game despite the team being outplayed. Joe Corvo scored what almost seemed like an inevitable goal from the point as Halak was screened by Jason Chimera. There’s a chance that it might have been deflected, but from the looks of things I believe it was…

  6. Cammalleri gives Habs 1-0 lead

    Apr 15, 2010, 7:35 PM EDT

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    Michael Cammalleri took advantage of a bad crosschecking penalty by Nicklas Backstrom with a nice powerplay goal. Tom Poti coughed up the puck in his own zone and the Habs made some amazing passes to set up the tally on the man advantage. The Capitals are now on the powerplay, so that lead could end…

  7. Vanek gives Buffalo early lead 1-0, Was-MTL scoreless

    Apr 15, 2010, 7:20 PM EDT

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    Thomas Vanek has been hot to end the season and he kept that streak going with a nice goal early in the first period for the Buffalo Sabres. Derek Roy set him up in the slot as the Sabres cashed in on a nice opportunity. Buffalo is looking pretty good so far and this game…

  8. Expect regular updates of tonight's games

    Apr 15, 2010, 6:50 PM EDT

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    Just a quick note: while I cannot guarantee that every goal will be updated, that’s my goal. For tonight, at least. The NHL’s slate of three games (with only two in conflicting time slots, provided an epic overtime doesn’t take place) allows Pro Hockey Talk to keep an eye on each game. So, if you’re stuck…

  9. Can the Capitals dodge the neutral zone trap?

    Apr 15, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

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    Going into tonight’s Montreal Canadiens-Washington Capitals contest, my basic question has been “How – in the world – do people expect the Canadiens to stick with the Capitals?” Mike Chen of From the Rink might turn that question on its head, though, as he discussed what it takes to break through a neutral zone trap. Last…

  10. Steven Stamkos tops Canadian 2010 WC roster

    Apr 15, 2010, 5:50 PM EDT

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    A few moments ago, I discussed the 12 players that Team USA named for the upcoming 2010 IIHF World Championships. Not to be outdone, Team Canada  TSN’s Darren Dreger discussed the roster Mark Messier put together, with names including Rocket Richard Trophy co-winner Steven Stamkos. Apparently the team “has as many as 15 confirmed players.” Dreger…

  11. Kyle Okposo headlines Team USA WC roster

    Apr 15, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

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    I think the comparison I made in March holds true: the 2010 IIHF World Championships are to NCAA Basketball’s NIT as the Stanley Cup playoffs are to March Madness. That being said, it’s still a chance to see players forgo yacht and sun bathing time to play just a little more hockey. Team USA named…

  12. Assist of the Night: Sidney Crosby's no-look pass

    Apr 15, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

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    It’s only appropriate to have an Assist of the Night when a special pass happens. This is one of those cases. Sidney Crosby haters beware because his no-look pass to set up Alex Goligoski was a thing of genius. Seriously, does he have spider sense or something? (Or at least Spider-Man bed sheets?) Ultimately the…

  13. Top 10 hits of 09-10 season: NHL Network's picks

    Apr 15, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

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    Now some of you may jokingly call this list the “year’s most egregious examples of charging” or make a high school yearbook-inspired quip such as “most likely to succeed … in giving someone a head injury” but come on. They’re big hits. Aside from the mothers of the guys getting hit, who doesn’t enjoy a…

  14. Marc-Andre Fleury dismal in Penguins' loss

    Apr 14, 2010, 9:45 PM EDT

    There’s no doubt in my mind that the Penguins’ ugly 5-4 loss to the Senators can be placed on Marc-Andre Fleury’s shoulders. Sure, the team didn’t look particularly sharp, but Fleury allowed hare brained goal after hare brained goal, castrating Pittsburgh’s spirits and letting a similarly unimpressive Brian Elliott off the hook. As Brandon said,…

  15. Quick hits: 'Soupy' to open a comeback can?

    Apr 14, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

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    Here are two stories of note from around the league. Brian Campbell might return for first round A broken collarbone (and rib to complete the picture) is a pretty serious injury, but Brian Campbell is a hockey player so he soldiers on. TSN reports that the offensive defenseman is starting to skate again and Chris Kuc tweeted that he…

  16. Ranking the West teams who missed the playoffs

    Apr 14, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

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    With the playoffs just a few hours away, this is surely a great time to be a hockey fan. That being said, there are fourteen teams on the outside looking in. No doubt about it, they must feel more than a little jealous and probably are asking themselves what went wrong (OK, they’re probably asking…

  17. Ranking the East teams who missed the playoffs

    Apr 14, 2010, 1:40 PM EDT

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    With the playoffs just a few hours away, this is surely a great time to be a hockey fan. That being said, there are fourteen teams on the outside looking in. No doubt about it, they must feel more than a little jealous and probably are asking themselves what went wrong (OK, many are just…

  18. Are the Washington Capitals already banged up?

    Apr 14, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

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    Jeez, the Washington Capitals are so eager to follow their amazing regular season with a great playoff run that they’re not even waiting until the games start to carry on post-season traditions. You know, like having a bunch of banged up players, for one. Seriously, it seems like the Presidents Trophy winners are already limping…

  19. Watch these free-agents-to-be in the East

    Apr 13, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

    One of my nerdy hockey (and sports) obsessions is to study the breakthroughs an athlete will experience in a contract year. Just look at Fernando Pisani’s fluke playoff run or last year’s Boston Bruins. My question is, which players could turn a great playoff run into a husky pay day? Now let’s take a look…

  20. Watch these free-agents-to-be in the West

    Apr 13, 2010, 4:10 PM EDT

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    One of my nerdy hockey (and sports) obsessions is to study the breakthroughs an athlete will experience in a contract year. Just look at Fernando Pisani’s fluke playoff run or last year’s Boston Bruins. My question is, which players could turn a great playoff run into a husky pay day? First, let’s take a look…

  21. Pat Quinn to Sheldon Souray: 'Get the hell out'

    Apr 13, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    Is it me, or does everyone hate Sheldon Souray right now? Crusty old Pat Quinn had some candid words for the oft-injured defenseman’s trade request. Here are some choice quotes from the Edmonton Sun. “It’s been no secret here. He’s made it clear for a long time (that he wants a trade),” said Quinn, who spoke…

  22. Can a Canadian team win the Cup?

    Apr 13, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    (Great comic by Earl Sleek of BoC. Check out this hysterical post for more goodness.) Oh, Canada. You haven’t won a Cup since 1993 when Patrick Roy lead the Montreal Canadiens to their last of a billion (rough estimate) Stanley Cups. The last Canadian team to make the Stanley Cup finals were the Ottawa Senators,…

  23. Blurry crystal ball: Judging playoff predictions

    Apr 13, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

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    Every pre-season, pundits throw out wild guesses that they like to call “predictions.” Since it’s always a fun exercise to mock your past self (“Gosh, idiot me from October. What were you thinking?” *gunshot*), I thought I’d share my predictions from last year. Thankfully, I’ll spare you the posts that featured photos of morbidly obese…

  24. Tomas Plekanec trash talks Capitals' goalies

    Apr 13, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

    People often speak about how dangerous it is to give another team “bulletin board material.” If that idea holds any salt, then the already over-matched Montreal Canadiens might be in some serious trouble. Habs forward Tomas Plekanec bashed the Capitals’ goaltending in a story relayed by TSN. “It’s not as though we are facing (Martin) Brodeur…

  25. Are the San Jose Sharks really chokers?

    Apr 13, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    One of my instincts is to question conventional wisdom. (After all, if I didn’t then I would have just crumbled in high school as people laughed at my clothes and mountain scent. I was raised by wolves.) If there’s one common refrain for hockey fans, it’s that “the Sharks choke in the playoffs.” Certainly, there’…

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