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James O’Brien

  1. NHL Network week-long free preview starts Saturday

    Mar 19, 2010, 7:15 PM EDT

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    Rather than watching talk shows or “Seinfeld re-runs” many of my evenings are spent with The NHL Network. I’m glad to see that once-deprived hockey fans will get a nice little sample of that wonderful channel because starting Saturday, the network will be running a week-long free preview. The preview will start off with a…

  2. Tonight's games

    Mar 19, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

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    The highlight of tonight’s four game slate is San Jose vs. Calgary. Could this be a preview of a possible first round match? Let’s preview the games. Minnesota Wild (34-30-6, 74 pts) at Columbus Blue Jackets (28-31-11, 67 pts) 7:00 PM ET Last year, the Western Conference bubble was nearly as convoluted as a David Lynch film.…

  3. Drury should thank his 'immature' teammates

    Mar 19, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

    So, earlier this week, Chris Drury called out his teammates for being “immature.”  Well, that’s a good choice of words, Chris. If you would have said something like “we need to play to our potential” or – even better – “we should honor our bloated, ridiculous contracts” then you’d be a hypocrite. Instead, you’re just comically…

  4. Claude Lemieux and Darren McCarty meet again

    Mar 19, 2010, 3:40 PM EDT

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    Most interviews with hockey players seem to fall under three categories: The cliche-soaked interview. The cliche-soaked interview by a player soaked with sweat. Awkward interview with a dude who knows five words of English. Indeed, it’s rare to come across moments that are truly riveting (although John Tortorella certainly is a trailblazer when it comes…

  5. Catching up with Jiri Hudler, other NHL exports

    Mar 19, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

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    George Malik discussed the Detroit Red Wings’ hopes of bringing former winger Jiri Hudler back to the NHL next season. As you may remember, the cash-strapped team was unable to dissuade Hudler from chasing better ice time and bigger money in the KHL last summer. The Red Wings seem optimistic about the possibility of an “out” clause,…

  6. Could the Coyotes capture the Pacific?

    Mar 19, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

    OK, this is probably crazy … even for the wacky stuff I bring up every now and then. Still, I cannot help but ask: could the Phoenix Coyotes sneak up on the San Jose Sharks and steal the Pacific division? First let’s look at the simplest (and most important) numbers: the standings. The Sharks have…

  7. Kesler banks about $30 M with six year extension

    Mar 19, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    What a great month-or-so for Ryan Kesler. First, he warms the hearts of many American hockey fans with his great play (and amazing empty net goal) for USA hockey in the Olympics. Then he lands the cover role for the Wii-exclusive hockey game NHL 2K11. He’s been one of the ten best skaters in the…

  8. Top players since the Olympics/trade deadline

    Mar 19, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

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    I was reading over some of last night’s results and I thought: wow, Ryan Kesler’s putting up points again. While I questioned his “elite” star power when I heard that the two-way center was named the NHL 2K11 cover star, it sure seems like he’s beginning to earn that status. He’s been on a hot streak lately…

  9. Pens win tepid bout with Boston 3-0

    Mar 18, 2010, 9:37 PM EDT

    Going into this game, the questions seemed to be: which Penguin is going to have trouble walking tomorrow? Will the Boston Bruins wreak havoc on the Penguins legally or through dirty hits? Who will bleed his own blood? By the end, the real question was: do the Bruins even have a pulse? Matt Cooke paid…

  10. Quick hits: Could 3D coverage give us Hockey-tar?

    Mar 18, 2010, 8:30 PM EDT

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    Let’s take a look at some other stories around the NHL today. Not to be outdone by coach Randy Carlyle and the culprit himself James Wisniewski, Anaheim Ducks GM “Barstool” Bob Murray had his own head-scratching reaction to the situation. On the bright side, Murray admitted that Wisniewski did “cross the line” when he made the hit. Unfortunately,…

  11. Cooke gets a penalty for tripping

    Mar 18, 2010, 7:42 PM EDT

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    Mr. Popular aka Matt Cooke just got a penalty for tripping. Not too surprisingly, the Twitter reactions were a little bit angry. sarah_connors: You’re a joke, Cooke. A serious joke. StarsScene: Jeez Cooke… I mean I know being a D-Bag comes easy to you… but really?!? mlse: Oh, and now Cooke with a slewfoot. But…

  12. Matt Cooke gets in a fight right away

    Mar 18, 2010, 7:24 PM EDT

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    That didn’t take long. Shawn Thornton and Matt Cooke fought more or less the moment that Cooke stepped on the ice. It was a solid enough duel and the larger(/righteously justified?) Thornton got the better of the least popular man in the arena. As the Penguins’ announcers were asking, one has to wonder if this…

  13. Goon Watch

    Mar 18, 2010, 7:02 PM EDT

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    The Bruins have said all the right things about this game not being a bloodbath. Still, just in case, we’ll be keeping an eye on this one tonight. If there is any particularly noteworthy violence or other tomfoolery, we shall let you know. Stay tuned.

  14. Tonight's 'other' big games

    Mar 18, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

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    Yes, we are aware that there are 10 games other than Pittsburgh-Boston tonight. Previewing all 11 of tonight’s games might be a bit much, though, so let’s take a look at some of the “bigger” ones. San Jose Sharks (43-16-10, 96 pts) at Vancouver Canucks (43-24-3, 89 pts) 10:00 PM ET It would be a…

  15. NHL hands Wisniewski an 8-game suspension

    Mar 18, 2010, 5:05 PM EDT

    Finally, the league has given out a suspension with some teeth: James Wisniewski reportedly received an eight game suspension for his indefensible hit on Brent Seabrook today. (According to ChiBlackhawks) Really, in my opinion, the league could have given him  20 games and I would feel fine about it. We’ve discussed this hit extensively already today,…

  16. Flyers' goalie curse strikes again: Leighton out 8-10 weeks

    Mar 18, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

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    The Philadelphia Flyers are to goalies what the Chicago Bears are to quarterbacks. (Which I guess means Ron Hextall is Jim McMahon? Works for me.) TSN reports that Michael Leighton will miss 8-10 weeks with a high ankle sprain. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren made the announcement on Thursday, meaning the team’s Stanley Cup hopes…

  17. Nicklas Lidstrom: Still the one

    Mar 18, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

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    The reports of Nicklas Lidstrom’s hockey death are completely false. Look, it’s natural to wonder. After all, the Red Wings are no longer soul crushingly better than everyone else and, yes, he is almost 40 years old now. And, sure, his 43 points this season indicate that his days of scoring at a near-elite forward…

  18. Does the West have a 'true' favorite?

    Mar 18, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    For most of this season, the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks clearly have been the class of the Western Conference. Yet, now, both teams face some serious questions. For Chicago, the problem is a mixture of bad luck, goalie worries and late game struggles. As I just wrote, the team is without three of…

  19. Seabrook's injury continues awful week for Chicago

    Mar 18, 2010, 1:40 PM EDT

    The last week has been a nightmare for the Chicago Blackhawks. Those ever-present questions about their goaltending reared their ugly head again. The weekend saw the young, talented team blow two third period leads in two days. They are now on a rare three game losing streak after a 4-2 loss against the Ducks that…

  20. Bruins should make Pens pay – legally

    Mar 18, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

    Let’s face it: the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins have too much to gain from a win to allow tonight’s game to devolve into a shameless slug fest (or worse). The Bruins have a slight lead on the New York Rangers for eight place in the East, but if they lose tonight’s game and our…

  21. 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 

  22. 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…

  23. 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…

  24. 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,…

  25. 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…

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