Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is it migration season already?

The timing seems a little off, what with the Phoenix Coyotes actually looking strong heading into the playoffs and with a high profile candidate like Jerry Reinsdorf back apparently to kick some more tires.

But Monday was full of rumours that the dogs of the Desert may soon be heading off to the Canadian prairie to return home, a move which would make for one of the longest of migration periods, since the Dinosaurs started wandering to and fro.

The Coyotes who started out their star crossed lives as the Jets, could one day find themselves back in the Peg, ready to entertain and hopefully reward the long suffering hockey fans of Manitoba with another shot at the NHL.

While the play of the Coyotes has clearly improved this year, launching them into previously unkonwn spots in the standings since their arrival in Arizona, they are still after all wards of the NHL, the abandoned waifs of the league, who while starting to win over the locals (no doubt thanks to some creative ticket packages and family friendly pricing) are still taking a serious hunk of change out of every NHL owners wallet, something that we've learned over the years is not something that the NHL cabal enjoys.

The Phoenix Business Journal has pegged billionaire David Thompson and Mark Chipman, the Winnipeg entrepreneur who are co-owners of the 15,000 seat MTS Centre in Winnipeg as the duo behind any potential reolcation plans, though through the day Monday, the Public relations department for True North Sports and Entertainment were declaring that any suggestions of a move were false.

The NHL also issued a statement outlining that from their perspective there was no agreement in place to move the team back to Canada.

The Phoenix situation has popped up on the NHL agenda again, as one potential buyer Ice Edge reportedly has run into problems securing financing for their bid for the team, though in  a story from Monday, they insisted that their plans are still on track to move forward with the purchase.

With the NHL still footing the bills for the team this year and with another season on the horizon, moving the team off the league's books most likely is a priority for the NHL and   the other twenty nine less than enthusiastic investors of the moment.

Such is the nature of the NHL's trouble spots these days, that any indication of interest results in a rush for the telephones with the scoop of the day as to where the latest franchise situation may be heading.

Though judging by the recent success of the Coyotes, landing this team might not be such a bad thing, they've shown remarkable resilience under trying times and head coach Dave Tippet has done a masterful job of keeping them focused on the job at hand. Providing for some entertaining hockey that could have make for an interesting time in this spring's playoffs.

Winnipeg residents are only hoping that if they suddenly have a case of Coyote fever in April and May, that come training camp in September, these suddenly familiar faces will be lining up on the MTS Centre blue line.

Globe and Mail-- Coyotes eyeing a Winnipeg den?
Globe and Mail-- Glendale to review lease proposals for troubled Coyotes
Canadian Press-- NHL denies deal in place to move Coyotes if lease agreement falls through
Winnipeg Free Press-- No deal cut to move Coyotes to Winnipeg
Vancouver Province-- Ex-Moose say Coyotes would love Winnipeg fans
National Post-- An Imperfect Picture
Toronto Sun-- Winnipeg interest puts pressure on Glendale to get deal done
Arizona Republic-- Coyotes suitors to present arena lease bids to Glendale council
Winnipeg Sun-- 'Peg backup plan?
Winnipeg Sun-- We're the vultures now

Monday, March 29, 2010

The one name that seemingly brings out the worst in coaches!

The Sports channels have featured the clip over and over, the news channels making much of it as well and even Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's countdown found room amongst all the events of the day to feature it, Monday brought wall to wall coverage of Jim Playfair's recent meltdown on the bench of the Abbotsford Heat.

It was one of the more memorable displays of a coaching flame out, that included numerous broken sticks and  what appeared to be the early stages of a strip tease...reminiscent of the days of Slapshot.

While watching the video of coach Playfair's viral moment, we couldn't help but latch onto the name of the referee for the night, a familiar surname that brought back memories of a previous coaching implosion when then New Jersey Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld offered to make a donut run (Timmies we hope) for the man in stripes of his angst...

What is this name has had the Keyser Söze effect on professional hockey coaches?

Two men, one name. One father and one son and an apparent ability to trip the wire that releases the inner Inglewood Jack of coaches everywhere!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

CBC's Four hour Grapes-a- thon set to make its debut Sunday night

Sunday night will be Don Cherry night on the CBC and for good measure Monday night too, as the people's broadcaster airs its much anticipated two part mini series on the life and times of one Donald S. Cherry.

The iconic Canadian personality is given the full review in CBC's presentation of Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story. A four hour examination of all things Cherry, split over two nights.

A television program that is full of the bombast, colour and history of the game that has made Cherry perhaps one of the most identifiable figures in Canadian hockey. With a script provided by son Tim who doubles as executive producer of the series, the trail in life that Cherry has followed is outlined with apparent careful consideration to his much discussed image.

It follows Cherry's life from its early beginnings, the successful moments and the occasional stumbles, most of it played out on the buses and in the rustic arenas of the hard hitting American Hockey League. The movie travels through the period of despair and exile from the game and then on to his triumphant return as an NHL coach, a turn of events that elevated him to near cult status in Canada, based on short stints in Boston and Colorado, defined of course by his days in Boston as the coach of Bobby Orr.

The television biography takes us to his most recent career shift and for what he's now best known as, that being the High Cardinal of Canadian hockey with sermons delivered every Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada.

By show-time of 8 pm on a Sunday night, much of the day's sporting activity will have faded from view, leaving the spotlight to Kingston Ontario's most famous son, in a nation that devours all things hockey, one imagines that the CBC is hopeful that it will be finding that Keep you head up kid, is going to contribute to the helpful cause of keeping the ratings up as well!

Cherry himself has been busy making the promotional tours for his story, bringing some clips of the show along for the presentation, featured below on the CBC's, The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos.


The CBC's website for the two night presentation.

Some of the pre-broadcast findings on the CBC's offering from the nation's media observers:

CBC-- Film chronicles Don Cherry's life
Globe and Mail-- The soft side of Grapes
Globe and Mail-- Biopic should give Cherry nothing to worry about
Toronto Sun-- Cherry biopic not a tell-all
Toronto Star-- Cherry picking his life story
Toronto Life-- Q & A: Don Cherry on the CBC biopic Keep Your Head Up Kid
Kingston Whig-Standard-- Opening Night Jitters
Montreal Gazette-- Don Cherry bio-pic is fun for Habs fans
Winnipeg Free Press-- CBC shoots...
Winnipeg Free Press-- Cherry's jubilee
Vancouver Sun-- A story about a great Canadian kid
Canada.com-- CBC gives four hours of the best of Don Cherry

Friday, March 26, 2010

Seeking the title in Thunder Bay

Canada's University hockey season will come to an end this weekend, as six teams take to the ice in Thunder Bay, Ontario to compete for the Cavendish Farms University Cup.

The tournament got underway on Thursday evening with the University of Alberta Golden Bears topping the University of Quebec Trois Rivieres Patriotes by a score of 4-2, earlier in the day the University of Manitoba Bisons required overtime to knock off the McGill Redmen by a score of 5-4.

University hockey in Canada at times seems to fly under the radar, but has grown in stature over the last few years leading to more coverage of this weeks wrap up tournament.

Much like last weeks University Basketball championships, the early rounds are available via a webcast hosted on the CIS site, Thursday's games were provide for viewing as will the two games scheduled for Friday.

Saturday's semi finals and Sunday's Championship game will be broadcast across Canada on Rogers Sportsnet.

The full broadcast schedule can be found here.

Some background on the participating teams can be found from the links below:

University of Alberta Golden Bears
McGill Redmen
Saint Mary's Huskies
Lakehead Thunderwolves
University of Manitoba Bisons
Universite de Quebec a Trois Rivieres Patriotes

Further information, results and statistics from the University Cup can be found on the CIS website.

News items on the tournament:

March 27-- Globe and Mail-- Alberta, Saint Mary's set for CIS clash
March 27-- Globe and Mail-- Alberta marches to CIS final
March 27-- Globe and Mail-- Huskies advance to final
March 27-- National Post-- Huskies to play Bears in CIS hockey final
March 26-- Montreal Gazette-- Redmen let game slip away
March 26-- Winnipeg Free Press-- Big comeback gives Bisons momentum
March 26-- Winnipeg Sun-- Bisons in driver’s seat
March 26-- Globe and Mail-- Alberta beats UQTR in CIS hockey
March 25-- Cape Breton Post-- Huskies, Redmen to open CIS hockey finals
March 24-- CBC Sports-- Cavendish University Cup preview: Take 5

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Senators soothe the jangled nerves of the fan base

They played as though they would never lose again prior to the Olympic break, and when they returned to action following Team Canada's successful claim to some gold, many fans thought they might never win a game again.

The Ottawa Senators, who have confounded fans through the year, have finally seemed to regain their footing, with two back to back shutouts proving to be the exclamation point that they have every intention of playing some playoff hockey this year.

For a bit there it seemed as though they were free falling right out of the play off race, the lowest point perhaps an embarrassing shellacking at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks on their western road trip. But in the course of the last two games they have settled things down nicely and regained some of that pre Olympic form that was bringing the crowds into Scotiabank Place.

Tuesday night with a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia, they battled hard and won most of them against the always physical and dangerous Flyers, while not quite the same brazen bunch of Broad Street of the seventies, the Flyers still perhaps play some of the most physical and intimidating hockey in the game today.

In Tuesday's match the Senators didn't back down what so ever and in fact at times appeared to be the instigators of some of the more nastier elements of NHL hockey. Perhaps the most impressive part of the Senators play however on Tuesday was the penalty kill, where they shut down the Flyers on a number of occasions including a 5 on 3 where the Flyers could have very easily climbed back into the game.

Helping the Sens cause for the night out was a controversial no goal call, which has left Flyer fans furious, though the evidence wasn't particularly clear that the puck crossed the line.

While the Sens took care of any physical challenges offered up by the Flyers, they also controlled the score board and showcased another solid night of goaltending from Brian Elliot.

His 26 save performance follows on the skate heels of Monday nights 29 save shut out of Montreal, a key victory for Ottawa against an always intense rival.

So far the line for the Sens in the last 24 hours or so is 3 goals, 55 saves and most importantly four points in the standings, moving them upwards in the Eastern Conference tables giving the local cause to think about potential playoff match ups and which team might be the best case scenario for an extended play off run for the Sens.

With the darker days of late February and early March now out of the way, Sens fans are hoping that spring and playoff hockey have a long lasting relationship.

Ottawa Citizen-- Deuces wild
Ottawa Sun-- A-Train flattens Flyers
Philadelphia Inquirer-- Goal waved off as Flyers get blanked
Philadelphia Daily News-- Bruising loss for Flyers in Ottawa
Globe and Mail-- Elliott bars the door once more

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bruce Hood has a suggestion, just use the rule book when it comes to controversial hits

And perhaps they had the answer all along but could not see it!

With the NHL all over the map suddenly when it comes to enforcement of overly physical play ( a Cooke hit nets noting, a Wisniewski however merits an eight game suspension) there's a call from a former official to just re-read the rule book in particular Rule 43.1

Rule 43.1, which is easily found in dog eared (well maybe not so much these days it would seem) copies of the NHL rule book (or for net savvy NHL officials available on the internet) outlines what one former on ice official believes is the answer to much of the mayhem in the NHL of the last two months.

Rule 43 - Charging

43.1 Charging - A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player or goalkeeper who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner.

Charging shall mean the actions of a player or goalkeeper who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A “charge” may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice.

A minor, major or a major and a game misconduct shall be imposed on a player who charges a goalkeeper while the goalkeeper is within his goal crease.

A goalkeeper is not “fair game” just because he is outside the goal crease area. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper. However, incidental contact, at the discretion of the Referee, will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.

From that review of the current regulations, Bruce Hood, a former NHL official with a rather sterling resume of officiating consisting of 1,033 NHL regular-season games, 157 Stanley Cup playoff games, three all-star games and three Canada Cup tournaments has explained quite informatively that the solution to the hits to the head, boarding and blind side hits could all easily be tied up into one neat bundle called charging.

Mr. Hood outlines his thoughts for the Globe and Mail on the hottest issue of this NHL season and makes perhaps the best case yet for the NHL that they have the tools necessary to take on the challenges of the cheap shots and ugly incidents, all they have to do is read their own rule book.

Unfortunately for hockey fans (not to mention concerned players) his efforts seem to have fallen on deaf ears, in the course of the Globe and Mail interview Hood explains that he contacted NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman with his thoughts but was provided with a reply that suggested he was wrong.  The Commissioner explaining in reply that in his interpretation of things, such incidents as the Matt Cooke hit of a few weeks ago is legal under the guidelines of the current rule book.

This is bad news for those hoping for a quick fix to the problem, as past history has shown once Mr. Bettman makes a declaration there is no backing down, no retreat and never, ever do you hear the words "we were wrong".

And there we guess is the problem with the NHL these days, while its reassuring to know that NHL officials can read, it appears that comprehension is a bit of a struggle, not to mention interpretation of what seems quite simple to follow.

As Mr. Hood explains the charging rule, it seems perfectly logical to think that this could very well be the solution to  the string of ugly incidents that threaten to return the NHL to the back of the sports entertainment lines behind the likes of UFC, Roller Derby and any other combination of pseudo sports you can think of.

Alas, it's not the first time the league has been provided with a path out of a nasty situation (hello Mr. Balsillie sorry about those Coyotes) and has chosen to stick its head back into the sand, staying the course regardless of the path of misery it portends.

When give the chance to do the right thing and solve a problem before it gets completely beyond its grasp, the current regime always seems to dig in and take to the trenches, espousing a solid we know best mantra and a declaration to damn the outcry approach.

That might be good for Mr. Bettman's image as a stick to your guns executive, but in the end it seems that his empire is one that is showing far too many cracks these days, a good number of which seem to be rather self inflicted mistakes that could be easily solved.

Then again the easy route just doesn't seem like the NHL's style these days, now does it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tavares Time in Vancouver

A couple of weeks ago, Sidney Crosby's golden goal was the talk of the town, but for a few minutes on Tuesday night, the name on everyone's mind was John Tavares.

The New York Islanders youngster put on a bit of a show for his only BC appearance for the foreseable future, picking up five points and pacing his team to a 5-2 victory over the hometown Canucks.

Much was made prior to game time about the arrival of the Islanders in Vancouver from the sub plot of their shared history in Stanley Cup battle and the first home for Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo.  Added on to the buzz for the night was the arrival of Tavares, the top pick last year by the Islanders, and a player widely considered as one of the players to watch over the next few years to take the next step.

By the end of the game, the storyline would be all Tavares, who stepped into the spotlight in Vancouver and showed that he is going to be the real deal, despite the occassional hiccup along the way this year.

The Islanders who are fading fast in this NHL season, weren't expected to put up much of a resistance for the surging Canucks, all the ingredients for the continuation of a home ice winning streak were in place, excpet that the Islanders apparently never got the script.

They came out fast and scored a couple of goals to take a 2-0 lead on the Canucks, building on it through the game and even when flustered late in the second managed to dash any thoughts of a Vancouver comeback with a late period goal to build what would be an insurmountable cushion.

As the third period started Luongo was on the bench, Raycroft was in the nets to try and change some of the dynamic of the Islander attack. He was helped out by the Canucks who finally managed to gain some control on the flow of the game, yet they couldn't find the mark on Islander Goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who played a solid game in the New York nets.

The final score may actually have been short a few Islander markers, throughout the game, goalposts and crossbars proved to be Canuck friendly as at least three other scoring opportunities were thwarted by the ping of a shot off a post.

The Canucks who have become rather legendary of late by their comebacks, couldn't find one on Tuesday, stymied by the Islanders and perhaps a little surprised by the ease of play and speed of Tavares, as he showcased some of the buzz that surrounded him prior to last summers draft and provided his best performance of the year for Vancouver fans.

It's been quite a busy couple of weeks for Vancouver hockey fans, they've celebrated Sid the Kid with his medal winning goal and now they've seen a glimpse of one of the rising stars of the game, though perhaps they saw a little too much of him on Tuesday.

Vancouver Sun-- Lackluster Canuck team falls 5-2 to New York Islanders 
Vancouver Province -- Islanders surprise slow-starting Canucks 5-2
Vancouver Province-- Raycroft replaces Luongo but it wasn't enough
Globe and Mail-- Taveres tears up Canucks

Photo from Globe and Mail website

Ovechkin says sorry, but doesn't agree with suspension for Campbell hit

“I am very sorry that Brian was injured and I hope he is able to return to his team soon,” -- Part of a statement from Alexander Ovechkin who on Tuesday offered his best wishes for a speedy revovery to injured Black Hawk Brian Campbell.

The Black Hawks were receiving many messages on Tuesday, but the one they were most anxious for didn't come from Washington DC, instead it was the prognosis of the team doctor's, who delivered the bad news that at least eight weeks will need to pass before Brian Campbell suits up in a uniform for on ice action again.

Campbell was injured on Sunday morning, when the Capitals star player Alexander Ovechkin pushed Campbell into the boards early in the first period. Campbell awkwardly went into those boards and immediately left the game, suffering what eventually was diagnosed as collarbone and rib fractures.

The Ovechkin hit immediately became the talking point of Sunday's games, with the topic of hits to the head still fresh in everyone's mind, his hit from behind on Campbell added to the fuel of discussion on how much is too much when it comes to hitting in the NHL.

The NHL wasted little time in assessing a two game suspension to Ovechkin for his hit, a punishment that he has described as disappointing in a press release, claiming that he had no intention of injuring Campbell on the play and was only playing the game as he knows how, hard and with passion.

Ovechkin is an interesting study when it comes to the physical play of the game, he is by far one of the hardest hitters on the ice, at times seemingly reckless on the ice as he flies across it to finish a check or interupt an offensive attack. He has however been marked at times as bordering on the dirty, and with his status as a repeat offender this season, he was in that category of putting himself in danger of suspension by his actions.

Though to be fair to Ovechkin, not everyone believes that his act was a suspension worthy incident, Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault offered up the opinion, that in his view the hit was more of a fact of a stronger player pushing  a smaller one with unfortunate consequences.

And for Ovechkin it is his strength at times that seems key to his efforts.His play is filled with passion and he's clearly a strong player, perhaps one of the strongest in the league, yet there are times when he seems to have lapses as to what is an appropriate time to be physical. And while he no doubt is sincere in his apology to Campbell and his wishes for a speedy recovery, the simple fact is that he took a shot at the Hawk in a vulnerable position and by his actions Campbell is now out until at least the second round of the playoffs, should his team make it that far.

With the NHL having made such a quick call on Ovechkin's hit however now comes the backlash over previous missed opportunities to enforce some common sense in other high profile incidents, the recent Matt Cooke hit on Marc Savard a key example. The inconsistency of the NHL's department of Justice is making for easy deadline copy for the nations sportswriters.

National Post-- NHL’s lack of discipline continues to baffle
Globe and Mail-- A black eye for hockey
Globe and Mail-- NHL ought to believe in its own game
Globe and Mail-- Don Cherry blasts NHL on Marc Savard injury
Toronto Star-- The hits keep on coming
Toronto Star-- A New Approach?

Perhaps the fact that they singled out Ovechkin for suspension is to serve as a warning that no one is above their discipline.

The key aspect of the sudden surge of incidents clearly is a lack of respect for those that are playing the game, it may not be a conscious thing, but night after night it seems we're finding at least one incident of a player taking the physical play one step too far. A situation that is going to remove many of the games top names from action if it continues, some by injury, others by suspension, all of them an unwanted by product of a lack of respect.

National Post-- Hawks’ Campbell has broken clavicle, rib
Chicago Tribune-- Neither team satisfied with Ovechkin suspension
Chicago Tribune-- Brian Campbell’s injury huge void for Blackhawks to fill on defense
Chicago Sun Times-- Ovechkin, Hawks at odds over check

Monday, March 15, 2010

Head shot handling leaving NHL looking a little punch drunk

You know you've lost the high ground when Don Cherry, the creative genius of the Rock Em' Sock Em' video empire comes out in favour of suspensions for physical play and suggests that the NHL is asking for trouble for its lack of focus on the issue of head shots on the ice.

Such is the lot of the NHL these days as they stumble through yet another public relations mess over the issue of shots to the head, the latest tempest Matt Cooke's now much documented blind side hit on the Boston Bruin's Marc Savard.

The warnings have been made clear now, that by their inaction in providing a suspension and a stern one at that to Cooke, that it very well may be open season now in the NHL.

The NHL's executives offered up a bit of damage control last week during the course of their Florida conclave, with Colin Campbell trotting out to highlight all the new wording for the rule book for next season.

The fact that his review of the new rules was then followed by a free pass for Cooke has only served to indicate how out of touch the NHL seems to be with the current of the moment (Mike Milbury notwithstanding) to remove the obvious attempts to injure a player from the game.

We're not sure how they interpret their own rule book up at the head office, but down on the ice it certainly looked as though Mr. Savard was the target of a brutal hit, one which surely should have been addressed by the on ice officials and then by the NHL head office.

As though to highlight the trouble the NHL is creating for itself with its mixed messages and inability to get it right once and for all, the satirical website The Onion, has chosen the head shot issue for some scathing satire.

For the NHL, the damage is clearly done when they're not laughing with you, but laughing at, if not mocking you.

The fallout continues in the media, and for the most part it seems that few believe the NHL is on the right track!

Boston Herald-- Colin Campbell’s act appalling
Toronto Star-- Woolsey: NHL fumbling in the dark on head shots
Toronto Star-- Can't Canada just leave hockey alone?
Boston Globe-- In Savard case, league shows its own blind side
Vancouver Sun-- What's an acceptable risk? Depends on your emotional attachment
National Post-- Cooke isn't the only coward here
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- NHL welcomes violence, so look out Sid!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Head shots high on the mind, but not necessarily the agenda

With the vision of Boston Bruin Marc Savard laid out on the ice and then taken by stretcher off of it still fresh in their minds, the NHL's high executives met in conclave in Florida on Monday taking part  in the leagues annual general manager's meetings.

And while Mr. Savard's health may have been the talk around the coffee machine at the hotel, once the GM's gathered for their first session the latest incident of on ice injury was put aside while the GM's watched a compilation report on the issue of head shots and concussions.

The desire to keep the physical nature of the sport as a key component. is causing some troubles for the GM's who are having difficulties in interpreting when a  hit to the head is a pre-meditated event or one where it's the by product of the angle of the play, as well as the speed of the participants and their own physical size.

It's a topic that seems to split not only GM"s but players as well, no doubt the dividing line most likely being those that tend to give out the crushing hits that sometimes result in a shot to the head, and those on the unfortunate end of the process.

Still, the growing list of the injured should be something of concern for a league that needs as many skilled players to showcase that skill as possible, while no one wants to see the body check taken out of the game, the ancillary activities of the cross check or driven elbow to the head must surely be eliminated or at least punished far more forecfully than it is at the moment.

The two week Olympic window of hockey featured some fine crushing checks that fans love to see, but also showcased the speed and skill of the players in a manner that hasn't been seen very often.

The skilled players need space to perform as well, something that isn't available when being levelled by an elbow or stick timed for maximum damage, hopefully by the time the three day examination of all things NHL is complete, the GM's will have an overview for us as to what they wish to see in the game and how they plan to protect it's most valuable asset, the player.

Globe and Mail-- Cooke forced to wait on possible suspension
Globe and Mail-- Players split opinions on head shots
Globe and Mail-- A shot to the head
National Post-- Up to the NHL to lay down the law on headshots
National Post-- Headshot concerns reach fever pitch around NHL
National Post-- NHL might finally address severity of head shots
Toronto Star-- Controversy over head shots rages but answers elusive
Toronto Star-- Leafs’ Phaneuf urges NHL not to cut out ‘clean hits’
Toronto Star-- Jason Smith recalls how concussions ended career
Boston Globe-- Savard diagnosed with Grade 2 concussion
Boston Herald-- Hit should net ban
Boston Herald-- Marc Savard fuzzy on details
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Cooke trying to reach Bruins' Savard
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Cooke's hit could fuel debate

Saturday, March 06, 2010

A not so long night for Luongo, as he's chased after one period in Chicago

Winning a gold medal for Canada doesn't gain you much respect in Chicago it seems, Roberto Luongo and his marathon road trip companions on the Canucks landed at the Madhouse on Madison on Friday night and for the Olympic gold medallist it was a short night between the pipes.

The Black Hawks lit up the Vancouver end of the rink in the first period, putting five goals behind the Vancouver goal tender before the first period could come to a close. And while Luongo looked sketchy on a couple of easy goals, he wasn't offered much in the way of defense from those in front of him through that barrage of the first.

Visibly frustrated at the state of affairs after one period of play, Lunongo smashed his stick at the Canucks bench on his way to the dressing room, a gesture which of course provided the Chicago fans with much satisfaction, though it would mark the last of their chance to see Luongo in action on Friday, Andrew Raycroft took over in the second and managed to get his team settled down from their terrible first period.

The Canucks at game 11 of their monstrous 14 game road trip, won't return to the friendly confines of GM Place until after their march 10th visit to Pheinx. On this trip however, the Canucks have shown the resiliance to battle back from a few goals behind, but Friday, while they had their chances to climb closer,  the large Chicago lead never really seemed at risk.

Christobal Huet, who only a few days ago was probably wondering if he was destined to be part of the Trade Deadline madness put on a respectable display of goal tending for the Hawks, turning 17 of his 20 shots on the night.

And while Hawk fans may wonder if their goal tending tandem can hold the line over the pressure filled playoffs, if the forwards continue to put six goals a game in the opposing net, any concerns over back end issues may be replaced with a need to check the scoring stats and pool standings, tracking the impressive array of potential scorers who on Friday found that the puck was going to go wherever they directed it, which on six occassions was into the back of a Canuck net.  

Globe and Mail-- Hawks exact revenge on Luongo
Vancouver Sun-- Canucks blown away in the Windy City
Vancouver Sun-- Blitzed in Windy City blowout
Vancouver Sun-- Kesler and Ladd continue their feud
Vancouver Province-- Chicago Blackhawks coast to easy 6-3 win over Vancouver Canucks
Chicago Sun Times-- Attack ignites after fights
Chicago Tribune-- Not goodbye, just so Luongo

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Trading Deadline Day March 3, 2010

We settle in for the duration as Canada's sports networks engage in their most competitive session of the year, providing comprehensive coverage of every move, conversation and strategy session that comes from this mad dash to deadline.

You can track the trades from any number of portals as Canada's hockey media rushes to deliver the latest developments.

All times reflective of our war room on the west coast!

With the Window of opportunity closed Mr. Hamhius can rest easy, no need to pack up the house and call a mover, the most mentioned asset of the deadline day is remaining in Nashville for the remainder of the season.

For a complete listing of the day's trading moves, the NHL website offers up this listing.

As for the day that was hosting little in the way of shocks, it proved to be the busiest of the deadline days, though many of the players involved today will hardly be the kind names that are household ones, well except in their own homes we guess. Here's the way the day finished hour by hour, from the most recent to the early beginnings.

12 Noon - ( 3 PM ET) The Deadline arrives

We await the recitation of the last minute deals as the deadline hour passes by, the first of the potential moves apparently involving the Maple Leafs who are apparently trying to move Lee Stempniak.

The Oilers reveal that Sheldon Souray is done for the remainder of the year with a hand infection, taking his name out of the trading derby and leaving the Oilers season with just a bit more misery to show for it.

The Maple Leafs pull the trigger on that earth shattering Stempniak deal, once again the Coyotes pick up another player taking him off the hands of Brian Burke reportedly  for a couple of late round draft picks.

Vancouver makes a move but not the one everyone anticipated, with the Canucks acquiring Andrew Alberts from Carolina with compensation to be revealed later.

Joe Corvo is moving to Washington as the Hurricane move him north, while picking up Brian Pothier and Oskar Osala.

Joey MacDonald becomes the latest goal-tender to be shuffled over to Anaheim, the Ducks who are moving goaltenders as fast as they come through the door pick up the now former Maple Leaf in exchange for a late 7th round draft pick in 2011.

Frederick Modin is heading west, heading for the LA Kings, the Blue Jackets get future considerations from the Kings.

With few blockbusters to talk about TSN's panel participants discuss how in this Olympic year, that two week break for the Vancouver games effectively affected the drama of deadline day, with the pre Olympic games treades Phaneuf and Kovalchuk highlighted as key ones.

With Bryan Murray about to step up to the microphone to discuss his teams decisions during the deadline day, the TSN crew fade him to black with discussion of a late breaking trade between Anaheim and Edmonton. The Oilers send Lubomir Visnovsky to the Ducks in exchange for Ray Whitney.

Florida picks up Mathieu Roy who joins the Panthers from Columbus in exchange for Matt Rust.

Toronto takes Chris Peluso from Pittsburgh in sending a sixth round pick to the Penguins.

Dustin Boyd is Nashville bound as the Flames send him to the see the Opry, in exchange for a 4th Round draft pick.

Brian Burke appears at 1235 to pass on his thanks to those departing Leafs and explain the status of a few other players currently under contract to the Leafs (hello there Tomas). He pays credit to Dave Nonis for most of the heavy lifting in the trade deadline period, owing to Burke's personal situation of last month.

Fortunately for TSN, Burke is in the mood for a lengthy conversation filling up at least twenty minutes of TSN"s post deadline ruminating, offering up his thoughts on the process the Maple Leafs are taking part in at the moment and how his moves today fit into that process.

The shocker of the day will apparently be an exchange of negotiations between the Flames and the Oilers, with Edmonton sending Steve Staois to their provincial rivals, Calgary receives Aaron Johnson and a third round pick.

Stephane Yelle returns to Colorado as he and Harrison Reed leave Carolina, in exchange for Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and a sixth round draft pick.

The Coyotes bring the days events to an end with a trio of trades, the first one saw Alex Picard moved to the desert from Columbus, with the Blue Jackets receiving Chad Kolarik in exchange.

They send Anders Eriksson to the Rangers for goaltender Mikka Wiikman and a 7th round choice in the 2011 draft.

And the final selection of the day goes down in history as that of Petteri Nokalainen joining the Coyotes from Anaheim, with the Ducks picking up a sixth round draft choice in the 2010 draft.

11 am - Noon (2 -3 pm ET)

The final hour commences with Calgary turning yet another shade of Maple Leaf blue as they acquire Vesa Toskala from Anahiem sending, Mikka Kiprusoff's backup Curtis McElhinney off to explore the wonders of Dinsneyland.

Raffi Torres is on the move, the Blue Jackets sending him off to Buffalo where he'll be added to an already solid offensive lineup with the Sabres. In return the Blue Jackets receive Nathan Paetsch and a second round draft pick.

Terror enters the HockeyNation War Room as the TSN signal suddenly goes to black, perhaps a rogue missle from the KHL to disrupt the annual NHL exposure fest, but in short order all conspiracy theories can come to rest as the signal returns after about a five minute disruption, so did we miss anything we wonder?  

Buffalo returns to the trading floor sending Clark MacArthur to Atlanta, bringing a 3rd and 4th draft pick to the Sabres.

11:48 and TSN is left with reporting those players that aren't going to be traded, apparently Ray Whitney is off the trading floor, this is an interesting approach to the festivities they could very well fill the final twelve minutes by relaying those players not going anywhere!

Washington continues to move some pieces around picking up Milan Jurcina from Columbus, sending off a sixth round pick to the Blue Jackets.

10-11 am

Two hours to go for the Trade Deadline madness, with minor leaguers changing sweaters in the last half of the last hour, the TSN panel hosted by Dave Hodge turns their attention to Alberta's northern reaches and tears apart the Edmonton Oilers. effectively throwing up their hands at their short term future, offering little comfort for Oiler fans for the next few years. The consensus is that the of all the teams in the NHL this year, the Oilers should be the one holding the clearance sales.

Craig MacTavish treads carefully when asked of his opinion of the fate of the team he once coached, still bleeding Oiler orange and blue he too agrees that changes will be needed to turn around the one time feared Oil.

At 10:20 am Sportsnet breaks the news of the Vancouver Canucks moving Mathieu Schneider most likely for a draft pick, currently Schneider is toiling away in Winnipeg and now returns to the NHL, moved to the Phoenix Coyotes. The panel points out that the Coyotes, currently wards of the NHL have been the busiest of teams on this deadline day, an interesting observation which should raise a few eyebrows, with the Coyotes in effect playing with the house money in order to improve. The Canucks grab Sean Zimmerman and a conditional sixth round pick in the deal.

Tampa Bay enters the trading fray, sending Jeff Helpurn to the LA Kings for Ted Purcell and a 3rd round pick

The Caps pick up some more grinding grit for their lineup, grabbing Eric Belanger from Minnesota for a second round pick.

The TSN panel with Dave Hodge discuss the teams that haven't made a move yet, with the Flyers becoming the biggest puzzle for the group, goaltenders also become a discussion point as the panel examines those teams that could use some help there if they seriously want to have a shot at the cup, hello there Chicago and Washington.

9 - 10 am

Scott Walker is on the move as Carolina continues to change around its lineup, Walker instantly gains an opportunity to win a Stanley Cup ring as he heads for Washington with the Capitals receiving a seventh round draft pick in exchange.

The Canucks grab Stastny! Well ok it's Yan Stastny and he's surely destined for Winnipeg, but for a  brief second there it seemed like a pretty major trade to take a look at, heading to Peoria by way of St. Louis is Pierre Cedric Labrie.

Phoenix continues to make moves on trading day, shifting  Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter to Colorado, Wojtek Wolski heads to the desert in return.

More AHL movement filling time on the networks, the Red Wings move farmhand Kris Newbury to the Rangers who provide Jordan Owens to the Red Wings, Apartment leasing agents are standing by in Hartford and Grand Rapids.

8-9 am

Martin Skoula's time in Toronto was rather short, not that he probably figured that he would suit up anyways. The Leafs who acquired Skula in yesterday's trade with Pittsburgh move him on down the highway, his exit lane leads to New Jersey with the Leafs gaining a 5th round draft pick in return.

Some drama on TSN Pierre McGuire suddenly jumps up and dashes in front of the camera to parts uknown, late breaking deal he needs to confirm? Secret talks from an informant with the ground breaking story of the deal of the decade? Ah, here we go he's moved over to share the stage with Darren Dutchysen, a misfiring microphone leads us to the visage of McGuire and his new partner getting rather close, think Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which considering the theme of the day is actually a pretty good comparison.

At 8:15 we get some war stories from Mike Keenan who recounts some of his past Deadline day discussions, it all leads up to a review of last years testosterone test that took place between Keenan and Barnaby over the Flames acquisition of Olli Jokinen.

Sportsnet takes its turn for the BC Report as Don Taylor hosts a panel discussion on what the Canucks need to do on deadline day, for what seems like the twentieth time today so far, Mr. Hamhuis has his name tossed into the mix as a fine fit for the Canucks.

The Bruins add to their suddenly light defensive corps with a pick up of Dennis Seidenberg who heads north from Florida, the Bruins also gain Matt Bartowski a college prospect. In return the Panthers build for the future  with Byron Bitz , Craig Well and a 2nd round pick heading to the sunshine state.

Just as we head to the noon hour in the east and 9 am in the west we hear word of a trade between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Anaheim Ducks, Aaron Ward finds himself on a trading list once again as he heads for Anaheim with the Hurricanes grabbing Justin Pogge  and a fourth round pick, it's the second trade this year for the former Maple Leaf goaltender.

7-8 am

As a new hour kicks in the TSN panel is talking over the potential moves of the Ottawa Senators, the consensus is that despite their strong play this season they still come up short of Pittsburgh and may have to make a few moves in order to find success in the playoff run.

TSN also makes a line change on their panel, brining in Mike Keenan, Darren Pang and Matthew Barnaby to add to coverage. If they left their cats behind at home, one hopes that TSN's strangely placed morning sponsor of the Emery cat board provided some free samples for the group, times and demographics are clearly changing in the world of hockey advertising.

The first trade of the day is finally announced, the Boston Bruins return Derek Morris from whence he came as Morris is moved back to Phoenix, Sportsnet was the first with the trade call clocking in at 7:23, TSN did not make their first mention of it until 7:32. (10:32 ET)

Much discussion commences on both networks over the background of the Morris trade, how it incubated and what it may mean for the Bruins, seems that the main thought is that now the Bruins can go after last hours poster child for trade potential Dan Hamhuis.

Over at the Sportsnet Right Guard analysis desk (considering how long these guys are going to be together it may be the most popular spot by day's end hope they have lots of free samples) the merits of the Morris move are discussed, with Morris's real estate holdings of the main discussion point, seems he never gave up his house from the last time he lived there, though considering Phoenix's real estate challenges of late that was most likely his best course of action.

TSN pulls out the first big gun of the day, an interview with Olympic gold medal winner Sidney Crosby,  for those just glancing at the television we imagine this must have caused a slight rise in the blood pressure and heart rate, if the sound was down the visual image of Crosby talking with a panel host on trade deadline day most likely caught their attention, for Penguin fans around the world however it's time to relax, Crosby discussed his gold medal goal and the recent Penguin moves to add some more depth to the line up.

TSN checks in with their BC correspondent Farhan Lalji who offers up the prospect of the Canucks moving Pavol Demitra, with an outstanding Olympic tournament behind him now, the timing may never be better for getting full value for Demitra, once again the idea of Vancouver using him to gain a top line defenceman is in play (though no one mentioned Dan Hamhuis this time around)

TSN wraps up hour three with discussion from the Hodge/Farber/Cox panel on how the time is now for Vancouver to seize the momentum and make their play for a long run in this years playoffs.

5-7 am

Sorry panel, but a 5 am wake up call  (our cave is in the British Columbia wilderness) just isn't going to motivate me, not even if you breathlessly were to announce that Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have been traded. (relax folks didn't happen)

At any rate as we joined the debating society at 6 am, and awaited the brewing of our coffee, we discovered only the rehash of the deals of the last forty eight hours and the continual theme that Dan Hamhuis  is probably going to need matching luggage by the end of the day.  He thus far being the most talked about asset from all of our morning contributors whether it be TSN or Sportsnet.

Defensive players it seems are going to be the most coveted of players as we tick the clock down to 3 PM ET or Noon on the west coast.

Vancouver it would appear is the team,  at least according to the wide range of the television sooth sayers that is in the most need for a first line defenceman, a point that is probably a correct observation considering their current injury woes and the ever possible potential of future ones. Hamhuis who is from Northern BC would not only be a solid addition to the Canucks but a popular one as well, time will tell as they say as to whether Mike Gillis can have the winning package for that quest.

The goaltender shuffle may be in play as well this day, as teams try to reconcile their current listing of guardians with the prospect of the pressure packed playoffs, as always a team can only go as far as their goaltending will allow and for some of the teams hopeful of a long run that may very well be their over riding concern.

Both networks are using a more traditional approach to the deadline muse, gone on Sportsnet are the past experiments of the pizza party or the fast paced shuffle approach, desks, talking head panels and much, much in the way of examination seems to be the early marching orders of the day.

Now if only they can have something to talk about for the next five hours.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Trading Post portals

For quick access and comparison of the trades, we'll list the variety of trade day portals available to us all.

The Trade deadline day is like an election day for sports reporters, we have the decision desk, the total boards and the roving reporters in the field eager to unearth the scoop on a trade or some key piece of background on what has just happened in the various team war rooms.

Globe and Mail Trade Tracker

TSN Trade Tracker

Rogers Sportsnet Trade Tracker

The Score Trading Deadline tracker

CBC Sports Trade Deadline page

NHL.com  Trade Deadline page

Buyers and Sellers, start your engines

Fresh off the excitement of a two week festival of International Olympic hockey, the NHL resumed its schedule on Monday with one game easing into the final stretch of action before the playoffs, Tuesday night provided a few more games as once Olympians and their vacationing team mates got back into the rhythm of the NHL.

While the players renew their acquaintances after there two week break, NHL GM's are in the final stages of readjusting those friendships, with the the start of the NHL Trading deadline day coming up bright and early on Wednesday.

Some teams have been making their minor adjustments in the two days since the embargo on trades came to an end, though none thus far would qualify as block buster in nature. So far the list is one of subtle moves, more of a rearranging of chess pieces than of any wholesale change in direction.

There were two final trades before  the dawn of deadline day  With the Bruins sending Forward Matt Marquardt to Edmonton while the Oilers sent Defenseman Cody Wild across the continent to the Boston.

 Montreal  had  right winger Matt D'Agostini pack his suitcase and shift over to the St. Louis Blues, who in return moved  Right Winger Aaaron Palushaj to the Habs.

Since Monday the following players have moved to new locales:

Toronto moved one of the more frequently mentioned names from the rumour mill as Forward Alexei Ponikarovsky was sent to Pittsburgh in exchange for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula

Chicago added some depth on defense as they sent future considerations to the Ducks in exchange for Nick Boynton

The Senators added to their defense on Tuesday as they picked up Andy Sutton from the Islanders sending Long Island a 2nd-Round Pick (2010)

Atlanta adds to their roster with the arrival of F Evgeny Artyukhin from Anaheim, in return Nathan Oystrick and a Conditional draft pick in 2011 head for California

Columbus receives F Greg Moore in exchange with Edmonton who take Defenceman Dylan Reese

Nashville takes D Denis Grebeshkov off the hands of the Oilers for a 2nd round pick in 2010

St. Louis added Goaltender Joe Fallon to the roster, sending Goaltender Hannu Toivonen and Defenseman Danny Richmond off to Chicago

The first trade of the post Olympic sessions took place on Monday as Pittsburgh picked up Jordan Leopold from Florida for a 2nd round draft pick in the 2010 draft

With Canada's various sports broadcast outlets preparing for their traditional marathon coverage through the day until the 3 pm (ET) deadline, all no doubt are hoping for a hectic show to present, one filled with drama for the presenters to showcase, offering them the the opportunity to dissect each and every move, compare the pluses and minuses and discover which GM has best improved his team or secured a missing ingredient to lead them onto the Stanley Cup play-offs with confidence.

How the first half of Wednesday progresses could very well give us an idea as to which teams have decided that this is the year for their attempt at a Stanley Cup run and which teams have come to the conclusion that it's now time to build for tomorrow.

All  begins to become clear staring at 8 am Eastern, 5 am Pacific on Wednesday.

Headlines of March 2010

Tracking the headline stories for the month of March.

March 31-- Flames put down Coyotes, keep drive alive
March 30-- Nostalgia aside, cold, hard numbers pushing Coyotes toward Winnipeg
March 29-- Henrik's hunt for hardware
March 28-- Flames sacrifice future for the present
March 27-- Huskies to play Bears in CIS hockey final
March 26-- Pat Burns has arena in Quebec named after him
March 25-- NHLPA approves head-shot rule for rest of season
March 24-- Time is now for Fehr to decide on taking NHLPA job
March 23-- Steroid investigation involves Capitals
March 22-- NHLPA to propose its own headshot rule
March 21-- Flames lose two important points and Langkow
March 20-- Stars dump slumping Sens
March 19-- IIHF urged to invest in sledge hockey
March 18-- Bauer recalls 100,000 hockey sticks over lead-paint concerns
March 17-- NHL warns against retribution donnybrook
March 16-- Golden puck will live life of a rock star
March 15-- Ovechkin suspension underlines NHL predicament
March 14-- Don Cherry blasts NHL on Marc Savard injury
March 13-- Canucks clobber Senators in triumphant return to GM Place
March 12-- Crosby stick was bound for Russia
March 11-- VANOC balks at giving up Sid's puck
March 10-- NHL GMs agree on blindside hit rule
March 9-- Canucks storm back to shock Avalanche
March 8-- Bettman's vision questionable
March 7-- Bruins Marc Savard suffers concussion
March 6-- Leafs defeat ailing Senators
March 5-- Habs Lapierre suspended for late hit
March 4-- With the Olympics behind, the Washington Capitals are back where they belong
March 3-- Capitals the early winners on deadline day
March 2-- Sellers holding out until last minute
March 1-- Count on NHL being part of the 2014 Games

Monday, March 01, 2010

A Golden shot that soothed a nation

The drama was almost to much to bear, Canada living and coming close to expiring it seemed on the bounces of a little black rubber disc, the finale to the 21st Olympiad provided the final dramatic moments in a most remarkable 17 days of competition, and for the home side, after 60 minutes of regulation time and seven and a bit more of overtime, finally, it was time to breathe again.

Sidney Crosby joined the list of icons for a hockey mad nation, soon to be, if not already enshrined in memories, like Henderson of 72, or Gretzky and Lemieux of Canada Cup fame. A frantic yell out to Jarome Iginla, who quickly shovelled the memorable pass to Crosby, a short dish off that provided the dramatic final goal in one of the most entertaining finals to any tournament Canadians have seen.

For the Canadians it was a the shot that lifted the weight of the world off of their shoulders, for Ryan Miller and the Americans a goal that dashed their own dreams of perhaps one of the great upsets for our times, though by the calibre of their play through this tournament, upset perhaps is not a proper description of what could have been.

Canada won the gold and the nation had the topping of the desert that was their party, but above all of that the game of hockey was the big winner at this Olympic tournament. The two finalists showcasing that grit, heart, skill and desire that defines the North American game.

A gutsy American squad that refused to go away, continued to fight on and was rewarded for that perseverance.  The Canadians a combination that changed its dynamic as the game ebb and flowed, no one player bigger than the next, each one taking on somewhat different roles from those that they take on for their NHL teams. Never getting too frustrated despite the seemingly unbelievable number of hit goal posts, or those shots that just whistled wide or were stolen away from the top goaltender of this competition Miller.

The Americans began their comeback in the second with Vancouver Canuck Ryan Kesler scoring on his team mate Roberto Luongo, a spark for the Americans that would be used to send notice that Canada would have to play hard to the very end if they hoped to earn their Gold medals.

Canada had a one goal lead heading into the third period, the home crowd anxious for the twenty minutes to pass by and for the party to begin, early chances saw two shots ring of goal posts, the difference between changing momentum or securing victory but inches. As things turned out that Canadian party would be delayed, as the Americans refused to cede their own dreams, pulling Miller for the final minute of play, the Americans swarmed the Canadian end, frantically firing shots and making passes, one deflected over to Zach Parise, who shuffled in the tying goal in the dying seconds of the third, a goal that left Canada Hockey place, bars and living rooms across the nation in stunned silence.

To their credit, Canada again was able to regroup, no sense of panic was on the ice, most of that no doubt filling spaces wherever Canadians were gathered. For the most part of the final 7 minutes and forty seconds of this epic battle Canada had control of the flow, with the exception of a few rushes by the Americans the Canadians were taking the play into the US end of the rink.

The final sequence came from a Crosby shot from the slot which was directed to a corner, from there Jarome Iginla out muscled Ryan Suter on the boards, gaining enough space for a second to fire off that pass at the first holler, a quick snap shot found its way between the pads and Gold was ready to be mined at Hockey Canada Place.

For Canada the Crosby goal was the signal that all was well, the all clear for a nation which so wanted just one more gold medal for their collection before they closed the doors on this Olympic experience.

From Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia (and points to the east) across to Tofino in the west and Iqaliut in the north, the roar would be heard, when the time came for the goal, it was Crosby who answered, the storybook finish for the nation from he who inherits that torch from those of before.

The names in Canadian hockey history are as those of ancient lore, whether it be great teams as the Mercury's, or Father Bauer's brave amateurs of the sixties and those that followed in the seventies. Or those of the NHL giants like Richard, Clancy, Howe, Hull and, Beliveau, Orr or Esposito, Gretzky and Lemieux, some won gold, others stared down the Russians at their most powerful, while many others never had the chance to don a uniform for their country, but all are held in the highest of places in Canadian hockey.

Sunday afternoon a new generation of Canadian hockey heroes were added to the roster of acknowledgement, Toews, Getzlaf, Doughty, Perry, Iginla and Luongo to name a few, key components of a drama that showcased the game at its most fascinating level.

And one more name,  the one that becomes the answer to every bar room discussion for the next generation, the name that kids will call out as their inspiration for all that seems to signify Canadian hockey.

Sidney Crosby, game winning goal scorer, gold medal winner, with a nation's rattled nerves finally soothed as he provided that final tuck in service, allowing a country to eventually (once the party's over) go to sleep with a dream of gold fulfilled.

Globe and Mail-- Crosby the OT hero as Canada captures gold
Globe and Mail-- Luongo gets the last laugh in gold medal performance
Globe and Mail-- Toews gold medal no joking matter now
Globe and Mail-- Babcock, Wilson agree NHL players should be in Sochi
Globe and Mail-- Crosby makes up for lost time in gold medal game
Globe and Mail-- Babcock's decision to play for the win pays off
Globe and Mail-- Crosby's goal a golden moment for Canada
National Post/CBC-- Crosby makes leap from superstar to legend
National Post/CBC-- Canada outlasts U.S. for hockey gold
National Post/CBC-- To Iginla, Crosby's call sounded like gold
National Post/CBC-- Gold-medal game was worth the steep price of admission
Toronto Star-- Sidney Crosby lifts Canada to Olympic hockey gold
Toronto Sun-- Crosby lives golden dream for Canada
Toronto Sun-- Toews' Olympic goal well worth wait
Vancouver Sun-- Sidney Crosby's Olympic OT goal saves Canada from a nervous breakdown
Vancouver Sun-- Olympic gold hockey loss devastates U.S. stars Kesler, Parise
Vancouver Sun-- Canada’s Olympic overtime goal: Cry of ‘Iggy’ sets the stage for Sidney Crosby’s winner