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James O’Brien

  1. Pucktales: NHL finds a solution to head shots

    Mar 17, 2010, 7:15 PM EDT

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    Pro Hockey Talk is proud to present a weekly hockey cartoon called Pucktales. The talented Deven “Gray” Hoover (of 

  2. Tonight's games: Quality over quantity

    Mar 17, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

    The nice thing about tonight’s games is that they’re spread apart pretty nicely. You can watch the Atlantic division heavyweight title match of Pittsburgh and New Jersey, catch the beginning of Flames-Avalanche, flip between that game and Chicago-Anaheim and then finish it with the last game. Hockey fans cannot ask for it to get much…

  3. Fun with numbers: Pittsburgh vs. New Jersey

    Mar 17, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

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    No doubt about it, New Jersey has absolutely dominated defending champion Pittsburgh all season long. Whether it’s been at the Rock or Mellon Arena, the Penguins have had no answer for Martin Brodeur and Co. If the Devils win tonight’s game, that’ll make it a 6-0 sweep of the season series and give New Jersey…

  4. Could 'The Monster' grow into a legit goalie?

    Mar 17, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

    Almost every year – usually when hockey news goes drier than Steven Wright in the Mojave desert – there seems to be a European Elite League flavor of the month. The off-color guys at Pensblog made Janne Pesonen a borderline Internet sensation. The Dallas Stars were super-excited when they won the Fabian Brunnstrom “sweepstakes.” Last summer,…

  5. Star of the Week jinx? Samuelsson out 2-3 weeks

    Mar 17, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

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    As far as I know, there’s no concrete award for being named the NHL’s player of the week, but surely Mikael Samuelsson could think of a better way to celebrate than to be injured for 2-3 weeks. Right? All kidding aside, it’s been an up and down season for the Swedish winger. The Vancouver Sun reports that…

  6. Assessing Marc Crawford's 500 win career

    Mar 17, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

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    Marc Crawford’s coaching career has been a lot like his hair: memorable (though not coated in grease). It seems like a reasonable time to take stock of the often-emotional coach’s career since he hit the 500 coaching wins mark last night thanks to the Stars’ astonishing 8-2 beating of the San Jose Sharks. Mike Heika…

  7. Anderson and Conklin: anti-contract year goalies

    Mar 17, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

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    Number-crunching blog Behind the Net has a great study of just how unlikely (and quite lucky) the Colorado Avalanche’s playoff run has been this year. The discussion goes deeper than this, but the general hypothesis is that the Avs’ high shooting percentage and goalie Craig Anderson’s high save percentage indicate that they might not be able to…

  8. Mixed feelings for Habs fans on Richard Riot anniversary

    Mar 17, 2010, 11:10 AM EDT

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    It could be a day of mixed feelings for older Montreal Canadiens fans. On one hand, the 2009-10 edition of the team is on a hot streak right now, winning six in a row to land them comfortably ahead of the playoff bubble. Still, those probably gray-haired fans may also think back 55 years, to…

  9. Odd bounces: Patrick Kane and St. Paddy's Day

    Mar 17, 2010, 10:05 AM EDT

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    Top’o’the morning to you, dear hockey fans! (Sorry) It’s Saint Patrick’s Day and you know what that means: novice drinkers making fools of themselves, the questionable misuse of green dye and police officers making their quotas in DUI charges. Oh, let’s not forget getting pinched. Anyway, with this goofy holiday in mind, it’s not surprising…

  10. Vote for the next Bertuzzday winner

    Mar 16, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

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    Each week, we’ll call on the wonderful people of the Internet to vote for the Bertuzzday award of shame. Matt Cooke received our first ever award for his non-suspended hit on Marc Savard. Unfortunately, the stream of dangerous hits continued throughout the past week. Let’s take a look at the list of nominees. Alex Ovechkin –…

  11. College player Matt Frattin suspended one game

    Mar 16, 2010, 1:41 PM EDT

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    As much as I’d prefer to stop talking about dirty hits/blindside hits/questionable hits altogether, I’m sure many of you want to stay informed about them. College hockey apparently has its fair share of problems too, judging by the one game suspension North Dakota Sioux (and Maple Leafs prospect) Matt Fratin received for his hit on Minnesota’s Kevin…

  12. Once-mighty Ducks have reasons for optimism

    Mar 16, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

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    Everyone from Ducks beat reporter Helene Elliot to PHT’s own Brandon Worley have written off Anaheim making the playoffs because, frankly, they don’t have much of a chance. At all. It’s natural for fans to be disappointed with a failed playoff run, especially since the Ducks managed to sneak in last year and make a lot of…

  13. Matt Cooke wins the first-ever Bertuzzday award!

    Mar 16, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

    Your first ever Bertuzzday award winner is … Matt Cooke! Let’s take a look at the poll results (super cute pie graph can be found here): Matt Cooke: 96 votes (69%) Colin Campbell: 26 votes (19%)  “Other”: 11 votes (8%) Steve Mason: 7 votes (5%) The real highlight – for me anyway – was reading some of…

  14. Stempniak comes out of nowhere … again

    Mar 16, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    All the way back in the 06-07 season, the popular blog Battle of Alberta morphed Lee Stempniak’s last name into a verb. “Term: StempniakedDefinition: To be unexpectedly defeated by the singular efforts of a player on a sub-standard team.” At the time, Stempniak was an obscure forward for the St. Louis Blues. He since bounced to Toronto and…

  15. No one wants to face Detroit in the first round

    Mar 16, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

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    Last year, an eighth-place Ducks team loaded with talent from Pronger to Getzlaf to Hiller knocked the San Jose Sharks out of the first round 4-2. This year, the Detroit Red Wings could play a similar spoiler role as a team with way too much talent to be in the conference’s final playoff spot. Now,…

  16. Jan Hejda likely out the rest of the season

    Mar 16, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

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    It’s been a rough season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and perhaps no player on that team embodies those struggles quite like unheralded defenseman Jan Hejda. The team’s best defenseman will probably miss the rest of the regular season because of a sprained right knee, which must be familiar to Hejda since he’s dealt with…

  17. Rink to Rink: Detroit wins battle for 8th place

    Mar 16, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

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    Thankfully, the hockey (and not a debate about hits) was center stage Monday night. As the league tries to add a face-saving rule or two, I think we can all agree that it would be pleasant if this issue “worked itself out” – at least for a few merciful days. We could use more nights…

  18. Save of the Night: Steve Mason

    Mar 16, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

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    You might say that Steve Mason made his own mistake at first here with a fairly big rebound, but he cleaned up his own mess in an exciting way. Robert Nilsson wasn’t able to lift the puck up enough on a sprawling Mason, who managed to make this thrilling save. It hasn’t been a great…

  19. Assist of the Night: Marty Brodeur!

    Mar 16, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

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    Normally, if we run morning highlights by you, we’ll choose a goal of the night and typically a save of the night. This time around, though, something amazing happened so we’re replacing goal of the night with assist of the night. We all know that Marty Brodeur can handle the puck like few goalies not…

  20. The PHT Nightcap – Monday, March 15

    Mar 15, 2010, 11:30 PM EDT

    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: The night the Pens’ season…

  21. Sharks struggle to start strong after Olympics

    Mar 15, 2010, 10:10 PM EDT

    With a respectable 3-2-1 record since getting back from the Olympics, you can fault most people for assuming that everything is fine at the Shark Tank. However, Fear the Fin’s Mr. Plank is not one of those people; he points out that the Sharks are clearly struggling (particularly early in games) and wonders how much longer the…

  22. Boston should make Rask their No.1 goalie

    Mar 15, 2010, 9:10 PM EDT

    Sure, it’s just one game, but seeing Tim Thomas get pulled in the first period after allowing three New Jersey Devils goals makes me think that the Boston Bruins should suck it up and make young goalie Tuukka Rask their true No. 1 goalie down the stretch. No doubt about it, this isn’t the ideal situation, but…

  23. Boudreau, Knuble reflect on Ovechkin hit

    Mar 15, 2010, 7:40 PM EDT

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    Amid the deluge of opinions on blogs, Twitter and newspapers, certain voices standout. Fellow teammates of the “victim” will usually make safe but critical comments. The most interesting perspectives often come from teammates and coaches of the “accused” though. First, let’s take a look at Bruce “Gabby” Boudreau’s perspective on Alex Ovechkin’s two game suspension.…

  24. Tonight's games: Who's next?

    Mar 15, 2010, 6:35 PM EDT

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    Ugh, I guess we all better strap in for 24/7 dirty hit talk eh? It seems like you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting … someone who’s discussing another violent and/or illegal moment in hockey (don’t worry NHL, the college kids are doing it too!). Since we only have three games I’ll go in order…

  25. DirecTV and Versus reunited and it feels pretty good

    Mar 15, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

    Nervous satellite having hockey fans can put away their pitchforks and torches, two huge media corporations can briefly end their large scale slap fight and the NHL can breathe a huge sigh of relief. DirecTV and Comcast have come to an agreement to allow Versus to appear in DirecTV’s rotation. Versus was pulled off DirecTV’s programing…

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