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James O’Brien

  1. Should Blackhawks be concerned with home struggles?

    May 10, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

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    Is it a sign of “youthful immaturity” that the Chicago Blackhawks failed to put up much of a resistance against the Vancouver Canucks last night? Nope, my guess is that the two teams aren’t separated by much from a talent or will power standpoint and the Canucks rode a great start (2-0 in the first…

  2. 2010 NHL playoffs: Roberto Luongo's save

    May 10, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

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    After carrying the Canucks to a Game 1 win, Roberto Luongo struggled mightily in the next three games. It must be heartening, then, to see Luongo play so well. He stopped 29 out of 30 shots to hold the explosive Blackhawks to just one goal. Here’s one of his best saves of the night.

  3. 2010 NHL playoffs: Kevin Bieksa's beauty

    May 10, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

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    Sometimes there are goals that are just pretty. This one qualifies. Kyle Wellwood sent a perfect pass to Kevin Bieksa who never had to break stride as he made a simple little deke past Antti Niemi to score a beauty. Bieksa added another goal in the game, helping the Vancouver Canucks stay alive with a…

  4. Glimpsing at the Red Wings' future

    May 9, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    For the most part, the reactions to the Detroit Red Wings losing to the San Jose Sharks have been subdued. Pretty hard to argue with two runs to the Stanley Cup Finals, one Cup victory and approximately a generation of playoff runs, right? Yes, the Red Wings are getting older. The NHL is a young…

  5. Injury Reports on Carcillo, Gill and others

    May 9, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

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    Let’s take a look at some of today’s injury tidbits. Dan Carcillo expected back on Monday reports that the super-pest is supposed to play in Game 5 against the Boston Bruins. He missed the third period and overtime of Game 4 because of what looked like a knee injury. Carcillo’s been a difference maker (although…

  6. Has the hockey world soured on Roberto Luongo?

    May 9, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

    It’s natural to envision better things for a good player on a bad team. Sometimes it even works out. Just look at Kevin Garnett winning a title with the Boston Celtics if you need a solid example. For years, Roberto Luongo toiled away on horrible teams and put up great numbers. This made many believe…

  7. 2010 NHL playoffs: Adams clobbers Gorges

    May 9, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

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    Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges (and Hal Gill) may have done the best job of shutting down Sidney Crosby since Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg stifled the star forward during two Stanley Cup Finals series. Word is that the Pittsburgh Penguins will try to put a body on the surprisingly effective former San Jose Shark…

  8. Could Detroit's loss be a win for 2010 IIHF World Championships?

    May 9, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

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    While our main focus at PHT is pro hockey (it is in the title, right?), we still have our eye on other puck-related events. One of the world’s best hockey tournaments is the Hockey World Championships held every summer. The added wrinkle is that the contest takes place during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which means…

  9. 2010 NHL playoffs: Marc-Andre Fleury shines

    May 9, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

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    Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is so good after a loss, you almost wonder if the team should try to hypnotize him into thinking he’s coming off a defeat before every single game. (This would fall in line with my other idea for player hypnosis: tricking players into playing under the impression that they’re in…

  10. What they're saying about Habs-Pens

    May 8, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

    Tonight’s Game 5 between Montreal and Pittsburgh isn’t technically a must-win. That doesn’t mean that it lacks meaning, though. Here’s a few tidbits from both markets’ newspapers and bloggers. What Pittsburgh bloggers and newspapers are saying Sidney Crosby apparently views this game as a must-win, according to this story from Hall Gill and Josh Gorges are…

  11. Injury Reports for Montreal, Pittsburgh

    May 8, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

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    Here’s a bit of scattered injury news from around the NHL. I didn’t come across much for Detroit and San Jose, but you will be informed if anything particularly noteworthy surfaces. Updates on Andrei Markov, Jaroslav Spacek There was some scuttlebutt about Andrei Markov possibly playing in the playoffs again despite “an unspecified knee injury,”…

  12. Future (and present) full of promise for Boston

    May 8, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

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    When discussing the Boston Bruins this year, I’d normally focus on the future. After all, with the mediocre way they were playing during the regular season, it was hard to imagine them doing much in the short term. Obviously the B’s continue to exceed expectations by being one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals,…

  13. Could Guerin's return help the Penguins solve Halak?

    May 8, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

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    After struggling mightily in Game 1, Jaroslav Halak is back to his world-beating self. In helping the Canadiens to a 2-2 series tie, the Slovakian goalie made 94 out of 98 saves in the last three games. While the Penguins are claiming that their approach won’t change, it’s difficult to imagine that the goalie’s strong…

  14. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks fall apart at home

    May 8, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

    There’s something oddly poetic about the way the Vancouver Canucks played their last two home games. OK, sure, it’s more like bad high school poetry, but there’s an odd logic to it. After all, the team earned a lot of respect for not just surviving, but thriving during a historic road trip this regular season. The…

  15. 2010 NHL playoffs: Simon Gagne's OT winner

    May 8, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

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    Considering how close the Bruins-Flyers series had been, a sweep almost seemed wrong. Simon Gagne made a big impact on his first game back from a foot injury, scoring an overtime game winning goal to keep Philadelphia alive. While the Flyers have an uphill battle the Red Wings (and now the Canucks) can really relate…

  16. 2010 NHL playoffs: Hat trick for Jonathan Toews

    May 8, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    Jonathan Toews had a ridiculous night on Friday. Combining his three goals and two assists, the young captain outscored Vancouver “by his lonesome.” Of course, he had plenty of help from his friends, but it was still an amazing performance. The tricky-last-named star scored his first career hat trick last night, helping the Chicago Blackhawks…

  17. Bloggers find logos for Edmonton Oilers' new AHL team, the OKC Barons

    May 7, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

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    Long before I ever contemplated writing about hockey, I went to an Oklahoma City Blazers hockey game. It was a fantastic experience as the hockey was fun and violent (and the opposing team’s goalie gave us the finger! Hooray!). While I couldn’t imagine professional sports coming to that area, I left impressed by the veracity…

  18. Chicago's Burish calls Vancouver's Burrows, O'Brien 'clowns'

    May 7, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

    The rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks keeps building. As much as modern athletes tend to get along with each other these days, it’s hard to find tension as legitimate as the beef between these two teams.  So it’s not too surprising that Chicago tough guy Adam Burish shared some harsh words for…

  19. Would a Bruins-Habs series be bad for hockey?

    May 7, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

    Look, I don’t bring up this question because I “hate” the Boston Bruins or the Montreal Canadiens. In fact, I’m a real sucker for those two teams. Their histories are Bill Gates-rich, with great fans, a fantastic rivalry and some sexy uniforms to boot. That doesn’t change the fact that I had horrible, horrible visions…

  20. The risks (and rewards) of emptying the net

    May 7, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    It’s depressing to watch a goal go into your favorite team’s empty net. Up until that point, you could hope against hope that your team would magically end up scoring during that frantic last minute. When it does, it’s pure magic. Just look at Zach Parise’s last minute goal in the Olympic gold medal game. …

  21. Winnipeg hoping Coyotes will jet back into town

    May 7, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

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    Could the Winnipeg Jets be back again? It’s a question that circulated around the hockey world earlier this year and the recent headlines indicating difficulties in the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Jerry Reinsdorf caused them to sprout up yet again. TSN’s Darren Dreger has more. Winnipeg will soon find out whether or not the…

  22. Injury Reports: Simon Gagne, Bill Guerin could be back

    May 7, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

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    Let’s take a look at injury news from around the NHL today. Simon Gagne a game-time decision tonight With the Boston Bruins dropping like flies, you never know if the Philadelphia Flyers might have a chance to make a comeback. Sure, it’s unlikely, but you never know. Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Simon…

  23. Examining Sidney Crosby's struggles

    May 7, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

    During the Ottawa Senators series, Sidney Crosby was making a case for being the consensus greatest player in the hockey world. With an absurd 14 points in only 5 games, it looked like he was going to threaten Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux for all-time playoff performances. It only seems fair, then, that the deification…

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