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James O’Brien

  1. Ryane Clowe, Alex Burrows OK after shots to throat

    Apr 2, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

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    Is this a week in which no throat is safe? Few things are as scary as when an NHL player takes a hard shot to the head, but I cannot help but note how strange it is than two different players took pucks to the throat this week. First, San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe…

  2. Save of the Night: Pekka Rinne

    Apr 2, 2010, 9:45 AM EDT

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    To my great relief, it seems like I didn’t jinx the Nashville Predators, after all. At least I hope. The team won a hard fought game against the suddenly streaking St. Louis Blues 3-2 thanks in part to the work of underrated goalie Pekka Rinne. The Finnish netminder might not be Vezina-worthy, but he’s not unlike…

  3. Goal(s) of the Night: Dustin Brown's hat trick

    Apr 2, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    The Kings beat the Canucks so badly last night that people were making comparisons (jokingly, at least I think) to Patrick Roy’s disastrous final performance as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Los Angeles pounded Vancouver 8-3 at Staples Center on the strength of a team effort, but captain Dustin Brown stood out with a…

  4. Andrew Ference frustrates Boston Bruins fans

    Apr 1, 2010, 7:00 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 also will provide my guess. First, here is my guess for Boston. Dennis Wideman – Wideman is…

  5. Tonight's games: A hope and a prayer

    Apr 1, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

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    Once again, there’s a playoff impact (either big or small) for every one of tonight’s games. There are four that stand out as being more interesting, though, so we’ll focus on those. Vancouver Canucks (46-26-4, 96 pts) at Los Angeles Kings (43-27-6, 92 pts) 10:30 PM ET I have to admit, I’m starting to wonder…

  6. Pucktales: Winnipeg move would be Coyote ugly

    Apr 1, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

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    Art by: Deven “Gray” Hoover from Couch Tarts Concept by: Brandon Worley

  7. LA Kings say that Jonathan Quick is still No.1

    Apr 1, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

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    As my buddy Chris Kontos from the Royal Half wrote before the season started, most people expected Jonathan Bernier to be the Los Angeles Kings’ starter this season instead of Jonathan Quick. Instead, the American goalie Quick has soaked up W’s like hot cakes and seemed to be doing just fine until the birth of his first child.…

  8. Buffalo Sabres are quietly East's hottest team

    Apr 1, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

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    While the Capitals, Penguins and Devils sleep walk their way into the playoffs, the Buffalo Sabres are quietly rounding into the hottest team in the East. To me, their situation echoes Vancouver’s in the West; they may not have much in the way of sexy talent, but they have an elite Olympian in net and…

  9. NHL Playoff Update: The mighty fall

    Apr 1, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

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    Last night was … interesting, to say the least. Plenty of teams previously on Vulture Circle Watch are now showing some surprising signs of life while once-hot teams are crashing down to Earth. Both the Sharks and the Coyotes dropped games to Western foes while the Blackhawks defeated the hapless Wild convincingly with a 4-0…

  10. Stempniak, Howard, H. Sedin named March's top stars

    Apr 1, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

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    It seems oddly appropriate that Lee Stempniak would be named the first star for the month of March on April Fool’s Day. (By the way, I can’t speak for Brandon or Joe, but I see little point in trying to run some kind of prank today. Seems like a waste of energy, but perhaps I’m wrong.) Stempniak’s…

  11. Chicago Blackhawks have little choice beyond Niemi

    Apr 1, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    Unfortunately for the Chicago Blackhawks, debating which goalie they should hand the reins to isn’t the solid versus great discussion that Boston finds itself in. Instead, it might be closer to picking your poison. Still, it’s quite clear that Cristobal Huet’s confidence has been shattered by a rough season. Antti Niemi – while by no…

  12. Tomas Kaberle and Ron Wilson not getting along

    Apr 1, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

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    It feels like there have been rumors about Tomas Kaberle leaving the Maple Leafs since the team went from disappointing to lottery fodder, but perhaps the exodus will happen voluntarily (instead of via trade as what is usually hinted at). Apparently, according to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, Kaberle and coach Ron Wilson aren’t getting…

  13. Save of the Night: Marc-Andre Fleury

    Apr 1, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury can be an absolutely maddening goalie sometimes – especially when he handles (or should I say, mishandles?) the puck. Still, the former top overall pick also has moments of considerable brilliance that make up for his occasional bonehead plays. This was one of those times as he made a nice kick save against…

  14. Goal/Assist of the Night: Sutherby to Ott

    Apr 1, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    There were some great candidates for goal of the night last night (check out Scott Niedermayer threading the needle and Brent Sutters’ great breakaway tally on NHL.com for sure), but none matched the courage and timing of Brian Sutherby’s pass to set up one of Steve Ott’s goals. He was absolutely pulverized by Doug Murray…

  15. Tonight's games: No margin of error

    Mar 31, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

    Every game has some impact tonight, but Phoenix vs. Calgary is far and away the biggest. We’ll take a closer look at that one and then glance at the remaining six games of the night. Phoenix Coyotes (47-24-6, 100 pts) at Calgary Flames (38-29-9, 85 pts) 9:30 PM ET You cannot get much more desperate than…

  16. Inside Henrik Sedin's assist-filled season

    Mar 31, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    As time goes by, throwaway assists and empty net goals are forgotten and all points sort of blur together. Yet, it’s important to note that not all assists (or points in general) are created equal. The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell leans on the varied value of assists (particularly a “first” assist versus a “second” assist)…

  17. Getting to know Hobey Baker award finalists

    Mar 31, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

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    It’s been a prospect-packed day at PHT with talk of the Scouting Combine, amusing Scouting Combine photos and the announcement of USA Hockey’s Under-18 National Team. So why not discuss the “hat trick” of Hobey Baker Award finalists? The three players nominated for the college player of the year award (named after hockey legend Baker, whose life ended tragically…

  18. Caption contest: John Tavares gets pinched

    Mar 31, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    It’s not often that I’ll immediately re-run a photo, but Sarah from Punch in the Face gave me a great idea: let’s run a caption contest for this hilarious photo of John Tavares getting the old “pinch an inch” test at last year’s Scouting Combine. Click here if you want to read the original post,…

  19. Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin among Combine invitees

    Mar 31, 2010, 2:50 PM EDT

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    Today’s news will be a sight for sore eyes in Edmonton (and perhaps a generator of bitterness for Toronto since they sacrificed their first and second rounders for Phil Kessel). As I mentioned earlier today, the Oilers’ losing ways guaranteed that they will have one of the top two picks. So they might look at…

  20. Calgary Flames should fire the Sutter brothers

    Mar 31, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

    The Calgary Flames thought that they could parlay some Sutter family magic into sibling revelry. Unfortunately, the pairing seems to be as dysfunctional as anything the Kardashians or Hiltons could muster. To be fair to Brent, he’s only failed to generate success for a single season. Most of the blunders fall at the feet of…

  21. USA Hockey names its 2010 under-18 team

    Mar 31, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

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    Hockey fans enjoyed some fantastic international hockey in the last year, with the United States producing fantastic results in the Vancouver Olympics as well as a thrilling gold medal performance in the World Junior Championships. For those who would like even more patriotic puck drops, United States hockey announced the 2010 U.S. Men’s National Under-18…

  22. Edmonton Oilers "earn" right to draft Hall or Seguin

    Mar 31, 2010, 12:55 PM EDT

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    It’s been a year of reverse-milestones for the Edmonton Oilers, with such anti-accomplishments as becoming the first team to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. In failing to achieve, though, at least they were so “committed to that goal” that they now are guaranteed one of the top two spots in the upcoming entry draft. Barring…

  23. The PHT Nightcap – Tuesday, March 30

    Mar 31, 2010, 12:40 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: Goal of the Night: Brent…

  24. Ryan Kesler's hit on Derek Morris earns misconduct

    Mar 30, 2010, 11:56 PM EDT

    Ryan Kesler was tossed from tonight’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes for a hit on Derek Morris. At least from what I’ve seen, I mostly agree with Crash the Crease’s assessment of the hit (video included in that link). I’m not sure if Morris clearly saw it coming, but it was still a very tough call. Here’s…

  25. Again, the Bruins need to go with Tuukka Rask

    Mar 30, 2010, 11:00 PM EDT

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    I’ve said it once already, but the Boston Bruins need to bite the bullet and start Tuukka Rask as much as possible. He might not win every game, but it is absolutely clear that he’s playing better hockey than Tim Thomas. They can always try to let Thomas figure things out next year (when they…

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