Top 5

Kyle Clifford

Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford is known for taking — and receiving — some of the most punishing checks in the NHL. He lists teammates Dustin Brown and Matt Greene among the hardest hitters in the game. Who are his hardest-hitting opponents?



  1. Ryane Clowe

  2. Milan Lucic

  3. Niklas Kronwall

  4. Cal Clutterbuck

  5. Alexander Ovechkin



NHL Confidential

Mike RichardsLake of the Woods, known more as a remote wildlife habitat straddling Minnesota and Canada, is also a summer favorite of Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards. The former Flyers captain has become an avid wakeboarder/wakesurfer at the lake when he's not on the ice. "It’s starting to" catch on, Richards said. "It’s relaxing to get out there with all your friends and spend a day on the lake."

JP

Posts Tagged ‘Hockey’

Saturday surprises as NCAA Tourney begins.

2016 Frozen FourHeading into this past weekend, I had a pretty good idea of how the NCAA brackets would look this year. By the time Saturday night rolled around, my idea went out the window thanks to some topsy-turvy conference tournaments.

As I sat isolated in a corner putting together the Sunday paper, things got wacky. In the WCHA, Ferris State surprised analysts by punching their ticket. The Bulldogs, who barely earned home-ice in the first round, managed to shut out top-seeded Michigan Tech and defeat second-seeded Minnesota State to make the NCAAs. As a result of its loss to Ferris, Tech ended up on the outside looking in after winning their first conference title since 1976. Minnesota State, the WCHA preseason favorite, was also left out, while Northern Michigan was left wondering what might have been. A late-season swoon caused the Wildcats to lose home ice to Ferris in the first round and the fact that the Bulldogs ended up running the table had to be like salt in an open wound.

Across the country in Hockey East, Northeastern ended up surprising analysts as well. The sixth-seeded Huskies upset Notre Dame in the first round, Boston College in the semifinal and UMass-Lowell in the final to earn the automatic bid. It was also Northeastern’s first conference tournament title in 28 years and now that the Huskies have made it, all of the Beanpot teams will be represented this year in the national tourney.

This year’s pairings are interesting. They are the hardest ones that I have had to pick since I started writing about them for this website. So after analyzing stats, putting aside any biases, and turning my head away from an exciting NCAA men’s basketball tournament, I’m ready to make my picks.

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Watch: Connor McDavid toe-drags his way into our hearts.

One day into the “second half” of the NHL season, Connor McDavid reminded us why he was the number one pick last summer by shredding the Columbus Blue Jackets defense for a beautiful breakaway goal. Thanks, Connor.

Detroit Rock City: On the road with a Division 1 hockey team.

Photo by Ryan Stieg

Photo by Ryan Stieg

Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of a 2-part series following the Northern Michigan University hockey team to the Great Lakes Invitational.

MICHIGAN

After three days’ worth of practices, game day for Northern Michigan University arrived on a Tuesday. The Wildcats fit in another short practice late that morning to try and tweak any remaining issues. When it was time to go back to Joe Louis Arena just before 5 p.m., I could feel things change. The team was still a little loose during the morning skate; now the Wildcats were all business. When they arrived at JLA, most of the guys stretched, while others fixed their equipment, rode the exercise bike and got taped by the trainers. Starting goalie Atte Tolvanen went through a much different routine.

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Detroit Rock City: On the road with a Division 1 hockey team.

Photo by Ryan Stieg

Photo by Ryan Stieg

Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of a 2-part series following the Northern Michigan University hockey team to the Great Lakes Invitational.

MICHIGAN

The bus I’m sitting on is warm, but it’s getting colder outside. I can see the players’ breath as they load their gear into the compartments of the bus. It makes me glad that I didn’t linger boarding this thing. As I sit on the bus, I start to get nervous. I rarely get nervous at my job anymore, but this would be a new experience as I was attempting to do something that no sports writer in the Upper Peninsula, and possibly college hockey, had done before. I just hoped that people would enjoy it.
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‘John Scott, All Star’ has a funny ring to it. Embrace it.

John Scott hockey

There’s a reason that Danny DeVito is starring in a series of coffee commercials alongside George Clooney these days. Someone once let a 5-foot tall man into Hollywood and we kept laughing, laughing, laughing. First there was Taxi, then Twins, then Batman Returns, then It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, to the point where a couple years ago this real-life penguin had enough power and status in town that he was able to sleep around with enough women to force his wife to file for separation rather than passively tolerate his philandering. And, yes, he makes George Clooney seem like the dashing leading man he is when the two sip a cup of Nespresso side-by-side — as if Danny DeVito was needed to propagate that image of Clooney.

In Hollywood, DeVito is somewhere between a talent and a novelty act, not quite enough of one to elude the other label.

So it is with John Scott.

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Watch: Anaheim Ducks fans can’t recognize a heavily disguised Ryan Kesler.

Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler went undercover during a preseason game at Honda Center, and had some fun at the expense of some fans — and even a teammate. (He gets Corey Perry’s autograph at a concession stand, then charges him for popcorn.)

Check out the video, which the Ducks uploaded to YouTube today:

College hockey is heating up again.

With the summer temperatures still going strong, it might not seem like hockey season yet, but here we are. Time to make room on a shelf full of high school and college football for my favorite sport. Without further ado, here’s my 2015-16 college hockey preview.

Just four years ago, the Frozen Four was in Tampa for the first time. This year, it’s back. Last time, Boston College won its fifth national title, its third in five years, and the Eagles are No. 1 to start this season. It may seem like the Eagles are destined to win title No. 6, but that’s not the case. Even though the Eastern schools have been the teams to beat the last few years, winning the last four titles, the west is starting to gain some ground again and that’s where I’ll start off.

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Can the Chicago Blackhawks repeat in 2015-16?

NHL_StanleyCup_StyleGuide_2016.inddWednesday night, the National Hockey League regular season returns with 30 teams beginning their quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

For the third time in six years, Chicago begins a season as the defending champion. This time, the Blackhawks are in their best position ever to repeat. Chicago’s most likely challenger is Anaheim, which underwent a serious off-season overhaul after falling one win short of the 2015 Final. Helping the Ducks is the team’s station as the best in the Pacific Division, which is surprisingly the weakest in the league.

Overall, the parity-based NHL suffers from a serious imbalance in both conferences. The Central and Metropolitan divisions are far stronger top to bottom than either the Atlantic or the Pacific. A team with a better record (a sixth-place team, likely in the Central) might be left out of the postseason in favor of a third-place team with a weaker record.

How will 2015-16 shake out? Here is my 30-team season preview, broken down in 30 words or less:
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Eight potentially fascinating things about the 2015-16 NHL season.

Hockey is back.

There are old faces in new places (Mike Babcock and Lou Lamoriello in Toronto). There are new faces in old places (Slava Voynov in Russia). Jaromir Jagr is still employed in the NHL, joining Chris Chelios and Gordie Howe as a rare “once in a couple different generations” player.

Already a treasure trove of storylines have emerged, with more on the way. Here are eight to whet your appetite for the upcoming season:

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New York Islanders finally release alternate jerseys from their holding cell.

The New York Islanders are finally freed from the penitentiary known as the Nassau Memorial Coliseum, and will soon begin their first season at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

What better way to commemorate one’s release from prison than with these new third jerseys?

Islanders alternate jersey

 

The Islanders posted a photo gallery of the new look on their website. No matter which way you look at it, you can’t escape the sense of … escape.

We’re actually fans of the minimalist look in general, and nothing says minimal like black and white. Problem is, when you throw a couple stripes on the sleeves, and eschew piping and gray trim (like these guys), the look becomes a little too stripped-down.

As in, “strip down, it’s time for a cavity search.”

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