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

Willie MitchellFlorida Panthers defenseman Willie Mitchell, formerly of the Vancouver Canucks, recommends Hawksworth restaurant in downtown Vancouver, located inside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. "Kind of a west coast with a little bit of a French twist to it – a lot of depth to it," he says. "A lot of meat and a little bit of texture. … The scallops are outstanding – anything for that matter."

JP

Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Cup playoffs’

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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One American’s thoughts on Kevin Bieksa, embellishing, and ‘the Canadian way.’

Kevin BieksaOff the cuff.

Brash.

Covertly racist.

That’s a reach … or is it?

Frankly, I didn’t know what to make of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa’s comments criticizing San Jose Sharks forwards Joe Thornton and Logan Couture of “embellishing” contact in order to draw penalties in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. Here’s exactly what he told the media after the Canucks lost the game 5-2:

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Quirky and quintessentially hockey, playoff beards are back.

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins. | All photos by Dan Hickling for AllPuck.com

Where I live, beards are fashionable. A record store, restaurant, grocery store and boutique knickknack shop that sells bearded garden gnomes were among the local businesses that recently donated a trove of prizes for a moustache/beard contest at my library. Among the contest winners was an international beard-growing champion1. The reality TV series “Whisker Wars” paid attention. By the way, there’s a reality TV series called “Whisker Wars.”

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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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DVD review: “Stanley Cup Champions 2012: Los Angeles Kings”

Stanley Cup 2012Somewhere in the Warner Home Video hard drives are unused clips from 43 seasons of NHL hockey in Los Angeles. The chosen footage comprises the first eight minutes of Warner’s “Stanley Cup Champions 2012: Los Angeles Kings.”

Eight minutes to sum up the first 43 years of the Los Angeles Kings’ existence and it doesn’t seem like they missed much.

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Kings’ rapid rise needs time to make sense.

Photo by Jon SooHoo

When NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handed a heavy favorite to the heavy favorites of these playoffs — the Stanley Cup changing hands to the Los Angeles Kings — all I could wonder is, what just happened?

It took a mere 20 games to crown the Kings champions. Aren’t the playoffs supposed to take longer? Aren’t number-eight seeds supposed to be done in the first round? Aren’t teams from Los Angeles only supposed to win championships in basketball and baseball and college football? Aren’t the fans supposed to riot in the streets afterward? Isn’t Terry Murray the head coach? Isn’t Jack Johnson on the roster? Aren’t championship hockey teams supposed to employ the dominant superstars of their day — a Crosby, a Gretzky, an Orr, a Richard (Rocket) or Richard (Pocket Rocket)?

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Since we’re on a roll, predicting the first round.

The first time I ever tried to predict the Frozen Four, I got every game correct. I said Ferris State would beat Union in a close game and they did. I even got the score correct, 3-1.

I also said Boston College would defeat Minnesota and they did. It ended up being more of a blowout than I thought, although based on the Eagles’ track record in the tournament, it doesn’t surprise me.

Finally, I said that even though Ferris State would play well, the Eagles would be just flat-out better, and they were, beating the Bulldogs 4-1 in the final last Saturday.

Now that I’m done patting myself on the back, I’m going to try to do something a lot more difficult: Predict the first round of the NHL playoffs. This will probably end up being a drastically different conclusion than my college hockey predictions.
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