Top 5

Jonas Hiller

Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller was born in Switzerland and is fluent in German, French and English. Here are his Top 5 cities in Europe:


  1. Bern, Switzerland

  2. Prague, Czech Republic

  3. Paris, France

  4. Barcelona, Spain

  5. Rome, Italy

NHL Confidential

Brad RichardsonVancouver Canucks forward Brad Richardson, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche, recommends John Elway's restaurant in suburban Denver. "It’s the best prime rib I’ve ever had," Richardson says. "Have it with the creamed corn."

JP

Posts Tagged ‘Penguins’

For San Jose and the Sharks, it’s about time for a championship run.

There’s an unconfirmed theory around San Jose that Joe Thornton began growing a beard when the Sharks played their first game in 1991, and he refused to shave until the team won its first Stanley Cup. If true, the theory would explain a lot.

The Silicon Valley is a region populated by immigrants, some of whom were born elsewhere in the United States, many of whom were born abroad. Many are too young to remember a time when the San Jose Sharks didn’t exist or when agriculture, not silicon, was the backbone of the local economy. That’s why I like the Thornton Beard theory, tall as it is. It’s a useful illustration of how something magnificent can sprout up out of nowhere and blossom, like a tech industry from orchards, or an ice hockey tradition in Northern California.1
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NHL conference finals offer fresh blood and the promise of a first-time champion.

Stanley Cup playoffs logoFresh blood: that’s the easiest way to describe the four teams remaining that still have Stanley Cup dreams on their mind. The San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins represent impressive turnover in the NHL’s final four playoff slots with three new teams for 2016.

They are a true representation of the league’s Salary Cap era, but the Conference Finalists in the 2010s were rarely made up of fresh faces. The usual suspects, near dynasties Chicago and Los Angeles, and perennial favorite the New York Rangers in the East, bowed out in the first round.
Replacing Chicago and Los Angeles in the West are two of the most star-crossed franchises in the NHL.

Emerging from the Central Division was the usually disappointing Blues, a squad that has been stuck in neutral over the past few years trying to outlast the Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators in easily the league’s toughest grouping. However, this is St. Louis 2.0, a retooled team that combined its prior size, grit and outstanding blue line with new skilled young offensive weapons.

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It might take 13 games, but 1992 Finals rematch will come to fruition.

The matchup most expected for the Eastern Conference finals came to fruition as the time zone’s deepest squads, Pittsburgh and Boston, clash with a berth in the Stanley Cup finals on the line.

Much like the East, the Western Conference finals between Chicago and Los Angeles should be awesome to watch.

Here’s how they stack up, and who we think will reach the Finals:

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Why Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Boston will advance.

In the first round, we predicted six of the eight series correctly. The two we were most unsure about were the two incorrect picks – no surprise at all that New York or Los Angeles won.

Now that the second round is here, the picture becomes a little more clear. Only one of the four series will go the full seven games. Which will it be, and who will move on?

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Stanley Cup playoffs: Why San Jose, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Boston will advance.

The playoffs have been interesting so far. Some teams have surprised me. Others haven’t at all.

The biggest surprise was the play of the New York Islanders. I thought Pittsburgh would wipe the floor with the Isles and that they should feel lucky if they pick up one game in the series. New York ended up staying with the Penguins in almost every game, and lost two heartbreakers at home in overtime. I never thought I’d say this, but the Islanders look as if they are finally turning things around. (Just in time for their move to Brooklyn!)

Another surprise was the performance of the Minnesota Wild. I’m not surprised that they lost to Chicago, but because they got bounced in only five games. Losing their top goaltender didn’t help, but Minnesota’s offense was stagnant the whole series. The Wild also looked terrible in Game 4 as they got shut out at home and handed the Blackhawks all the momentum in the series. Nevertheless, Minnesota looks stable and if they can add another scorer and fix their inconsistency in the net, they should be a force next season.

Speaking of net consistency, here’s Vancouver. The Canucks’ first-round sweep didn’t surprise me at all. They looked flat-out awful against the Sharks. Roberto Luongo started the first two games in net and didn’t look that bad, but then he was pulled for Cory Schneider, who wasn’t an improvement. Vancouver needs to fix its goaltending problem next season, or else they can kiss their fading Stanley Cup hopes goodbye.

Anyway, we’ve said goodbye to eight teams and are now off to the Conference Semifinals. Here are my predictions for the second round.

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AllPuck predicts the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Nathan Horton

The big, bad, bruising Boston Bruins won’t be the only team sporting black eyes when the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs are finished. | Photo by Dan Hickling

Don’t be fooled by the playoff seedings after a 48-game regular season. There are no shoo-ins here.

Think the short season wasn’t long enough to shake things up? The Maple Leafs are playoff upstarts and the Red Wings are fading. Jarome Iginla is in Pittsburgh and Jaromir Jagr is in Boston. The defending champions brought nearly their entire Stanley Cup-winning roster back into the regular season, yet aren’t favored to get out of the first round.

And yet, amidst the craziness, the best hockey teams on the planet are seeded first in each conference, on a collision course to a memorable Stanley Cup Finals.

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Predicting the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The puck drops on the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs in a few hours. The cast of characters includes some new faces (Brian Elliott), some familiar faces (Sidney Crosby), and some faces that are just plain old (Nicklas Lidstrom).

AllPuck.com breaks down each of the first-round series, and offers its first prediction for a Stanley Cup champion.

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Five cities that need to host a Winter Classic.

Pond hockey

One of the National Hockey League’s worst-kept secrets is the teams and location for the next Winter Classic (A faceoff between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor). However, no set plans have been reported for the 2014 showdown and beyond.

Therefore, I decided to put together a list of potential games I would like to see that make the most sense for the league, both in terms of local interest and television revenue.

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Pens/Wings: Faces of a rivalry

Let’s tank the season and get the No. 1 draft pick.

That’s a cockamamie plan, right? You’ll hear it every year among delusional fans – never Red Wings fans, because we think logically and never have to worry about finishing dead friggin’ last – but you’ll hear it everywhere in the circle of sports. Los Angeles Clippers fans. Indianapolis Colts fans. Cleveland Cavaliers fans. The list goes on.

Let’s tank the season and get the No. 1 draft pick.

It’s a crazy theory, really. I mean … who wants to lose? And who would go through with such a ridiculous idea? Gutless people, heartless people, cheaters. That’s who.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, that’s who.

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Sid the Kid returns, and small schools rise in college hockey

Sidney Crosby

This hasn’t been a very joyful year in the world of hockey. Three NHL players (Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak) died. A tragic plane crash in Russia decimated the KHL’s Lokomotiv team, taking the lives of former NHLers Pavol Demitra and Ruslan Salei among 44 victims.

However, as we gather with our families and friends this Thanksgiving, we can be happy that there were two pleasant surprises this week: The return of a superstar and the rise of previously unheard of schools in the world of college hockey.

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