All posts by Ian McLaren

Bruins expect Marchand to act like leader, cut out antics

The Boston Bruins want Brad Marchand to let his game speak for itself.

The winger has come under fire for a pair of incidents involving licking opposing players during the playoffs, and was officially put on watch by the NHL as a result of the odd behavior.

Speaking at a year-end press conference Thursday, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said he believes Marchand's remorse is sincere.

"... I think he realizes the impact," Sweeney said, per Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald. "We spoke a little about his family and how it reflects on him as a person, more so than him as player. I think he's gained a tremendous amount respect around the National Hockey League, worldwide as a matter of fact for him as a player. And I think that's where the attention needs to be 100 percent focused on, his impact as a hockey player ... and as a leader of our hockey club.

"The things that he does to take away from that really don't need to exist anymore. And it'll be up to him. The proof will be if he can find that line and never really cross it anymore. Because he doesn't need to. He's accomplished things as a hockey player and now hopefully he wants to accomplish things as a leader and quality person."

Head coach Bruce Cassidy echoed his GM's sentiments.

"Brad's an elite player in the National Hockey League so when I have conversations with him, it always starts there," he said. "Then it goes to 'Well, what do you want your legacy to be?' He's at a stage in his life and maturity where he understands, he truly gets it that he doesn't need the other stuff to make him to truly be an elite player."

Marchand, who recorded 34 goals and 51 assists in 68 games this season, remains under contract with the Bruins for the next seven seasons at a cap hit of $6.125 million.

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Ranking Filip Forberg’s highlight-reel playoff goals of 2018

Over half of Filip Forsberg's goals this postseason have been extraordinary.

Four out of seven, to be exact.

And as the Nashville Predators get set to host the Winnipeg Jets for Game 7 of their second-round series on Thursday, Forsberg could either be hanging up his skates for the last time this spring or he may get at least another four games to add to that highlight reel in the Conference finals.

For now, here's a look at Forsberg's memorable goals from the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, ranked in reverse order.

4. Sticking with it

In a season-saving Game 6 win over Winnipeg, Forsberg skated by the bench to retrieve a new stick after his had broken. He then proceeded to receive a pass from Craig Smith, get a lead on Ben Chiarot, and score on Connor Hellebuyck while being dragged to the ice by the trailing Jets defenseman.

As we shall see, it wasn't even his most impressive goal of the night.

3. Dunk's on Siemens

Poor Duncan Siemens didn't have a chance, really.

Back in Game 3 of the opening round, the Colorado Avalanche defenseman was tasked with going man-on-man with Forsberg, and the result was utter domination on the part of the Predator.

In fairness to Siemens, he gave more of an effort than goaltender Jonathan Bernier on the play.

2. Between the legs, Part 1

In a goal previewed in the last clip, Forsberg had already made a mockery of the Avalanche defense earlier in the series.

In Game 1, he dangled past former teammate Samuel Girardi by putting the puck between his legs while in full motion. He then slid the puck between Girardi's legs before firing the puck past Bernier.

Talk about hitting the ground running.

1. Between the legs, Part 2

Back to Game 6 in Winnipeg.

Early in the third period, Forsberg took a centering pass from Viktor Arvidsson and once again put the puck between his legs.

This time, he fired off a shot directly from that vantage point in front of the net after gathering himself following a bump from defenseman Jacob Trouba.

Does Forsberg have any magic left for Game 7 and beyond? All signs point to yes.

Puck drop in Nashville is set for shortly after 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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Flyers prospect Lyon makes 94 saves for victory in AHL’s longest game

Philadelphia Flyers goalie prospect Alex Lyon made 94 saves Wednesday as the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms defeated the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 in quintuple overtime, setting the record for the longest game in league history.

Lyon smashed the franchise save record, eclipsing Scott Munroe's mark of 65, which was set in a five-OT loss in 2008. Michael Leighton stopped 98 shots for the Albany River Rats that night, setting the AHL record in what previously stood as the longest game in league history (142:58).

Alex Krushelnyski ended the affair at 6:48 of the fifth overtime (146:48 into the game).

Lyon appeared in 11 games for the Flyers this season, posting a record of 4-2-1 and recording a .905 save percentage.

Checkers goalie Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 51 of 53 shots in the loss.

The victory gave the Phantoms a 3-1 series lead in their best-of-seven second-round playoff series.

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No more co-captains: Brind’Amour has Hurricanes’ next leader in mind

There will be only one man to wear the "C" in Carolina next season, and newly installed Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour has already pinpointed who that player will be, he said Wednesday.

Last season, Bill Peters settled on a pair of captains: forward Jordan Staal and defenseman Justin Faulk. They alternated wearing the "C" between home and road games, while forward Jeff Skinner served as an assistant captain all season.

Brind'Amour, himself, was named captain of the Hurricanes in 2005, and hoisted the Stanley Cup with the team in 2006. He held the role until January 2010, when Eric Staal took it over.

Carolina went the entire 2016-17 campaign without a captain following Staal's departure.

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Rick Nash looking for chance to win, good place to live in free agency

The Boston Bruins check a couple of key boxes for Rick Nash as he gets set to become an unrestricted free agent.

"Obviously to win, that's No. 1," he said, per's Matt Kalman. "No. 2 is a good place to live, a good place that my family enjoys. And Boston's been great. It's been a pretty seamless transition for us, so everything was positive."

The veteran winger was acquired from the New York Rangers prior to the trade deadline with a view to boosting the team's chances at playoff success, a run that ended with a second-round loss to Tampa Bay.

He'll be free to sign with any of the NHL's 31 clubs on July 1, but his experience with the Bruins was positive, despite the end result.

Nash recorded three goals and three assists in 11 regular-season games, adding three goals and two assists in 12 postseason appearances. He did suffer a concussion that forced him out of the lineup for a dozen games prior to the start of the playoffs, but even that didn't cloud his overall perception of his time in Boston.

"It was disappointing with having the concussion and having some effects during it and only playing a certain amount of games and then coming back for the playoffs," Nash said "But everything was positive. The organization was great, the guys were awesome, so it was a great chapter here and hopefully it can continue."

Nash, 33, is coming off an eight-year, $64.2-million deal signed with Columbus in 2009.

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NHL releases conference finals schedule

The dates are set, with one participating team yet to be determined.

The NHL has released the Conference finals schedule, with the Washington Capitals set to visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 1 in the East on May 11.

The winner of Thursday's second-round Game 7 between the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets will host the Vegas Golden Knights out West on May 12.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Washington vs. Tampa Bay

Game Date Time (ET) Home
1 Friday May 11 8 p.m. Tampa Bay
2 Sunday May 13 8 p.m. Tampa Bay
3 Tuesday May 15 8 p.m. Washington
4 Thursday May 17 8 p.m. Washington
5* Saturday May 19 7:15 p.m. Tampa Bay
6* Monday May 21 8 p.m. Washington
7* Wednesday May 23 8 p.m. Tampa Bay

* if necessary

Vegas vs. Nashville or Winnipeg

Game Date Time (ET) Home
1 Saturday May 12 7 p.m. Nashville/Winnipeg
2 Monday May 14 8 p.m. Nashville/Winnipeg
3 Wednesday May 16 9 p.m. Vegas
4 Friday May 18 8 p.m. Vegas
5* Sunday May 20 3 p.m. Nashville/Winnipeg
6* Tuesday May 22 9 p.m. Vegas
7* Thursday May 24 8 p.m. Nashville/Winnipeg

* if necessary

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Report: Sharks’ Vlasic joining Canada at World Championship

Canada's defense is getting a huge boost.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks is heading to Denmark to represent his country at the World Championship, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Vlasic has appeared in four major international tournaments for Canada, winning gold at the Olympics (2014) and the World Cup (2016), as well as two silver medals at the worlds (2009, 2017).

The 31-year-old recorded 11 goals and 21 assists in 81 regular-season games, and added two assists in 10 postseason appearances.

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Devils’ Hall, Schneider, Maroon recovering from offseason surgery

The New Jersey Devils announced a trio of significant medical updates Tuesday.

Hart Trophy finalist Taylor Hall underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left hand. The injury was suffered in late December, but he was able to play through it under the care of the team's medical staff.

Hall will be good to go for training camp in September.

Goaltender Cory Schneider also went under the knife to repair torn cartilage in his left hip, with an expected recovery time of five months.

And finally, winger Patrick Maroon underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back and is expected to be ready prior to training camp. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

All three players will be evaluated as the summer progresses.

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Trotz: Past playoff failures ‘thrown in your face everywhere you turn’

Barry Trotz is finally heading to the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a head coach.

It's a stage he was never able to reach in 15 seasons with the Nashville Predators, nor in his first three campaigns behind Washington's bench, but Trotz and the Capitals were finally able to get over that hump with a Game 6 win in Pittsburgh on Monday.

"I’ve been at this for a while and it’s so hard to move forward sometimes," Trotz said, per Adam Zielonka of the Washington Times. "It’s always thrown in your face everywhere you turn. I know it’s thrown in (Alex Ovechkin's) face everywhere he turns, and he’s a great player in this league.

"It’s a hard league to get there. I knew the frustration because you’re so close and you just can’t get it, and you just gotta stay with it."

Trotz's reaction when Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the overtime winner really says it all:

Trotz ranks fifth on the NHL's all-time regular-season coaching wins list with 762, but the Game 6 victory was only his 47th in 101 playoff contests.

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Jets’ Wheeler relishes Game 7 opportunity, but not enough to lick

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler didn't lose his sense of humor in defeat.

Following a Game 6 loss to the Nashville Predators on home ice, Wheeler was asked what he would have said if he had been told at the beginning of the season that his team would be facing a Game 7 with a chance to go to the Western Conference finals.

His response brought to mind a former teammate's recent actions.

"I'd have given you a big kiss," he said, adding "kiss, not a lick" after a brief pause.

Wheeler's disclaimer was in reference to Brad Marchand, with whom he played with for the Boston Bruins prior to being traded to the then-Atlanta Thrashers in 2011.

Game 7 is set for Thursday in Nashville.

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