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Lightning and Penguins draw even after Game 6

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL, Playoffs,

Penguins vs LightningAs the season wound down, it became clear that, barring some extravagant scenario, The Pittsburgh Penguins would face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the NHL playoffs, and home ice advantage would be the only prize worth playing for. That honor went to Pittsburgh, who finished a mere three points ahead of the Lightning in the regular season. It turns out that those three points in the regular season meant a lot, as Tampa Bay has forced a winner-takes-all game at the Consol Energy Center on Wednesday night.

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The NHL All-Star Game’s brand new look

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL,

Steven StamkosThe National Hockey League is making a noticeable effort to grow its brand. We’ve seen it in the Winter Classic, the HBO special and even in their die-hard refusal to admit there’s anything wrong with any of the teams along the Sunbelt. Another part of that growth involves this year’s All-Star Game. After taking a year off due to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the NHL has made some changes to the lineup of festivities.

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Highs and lows halfway through the NHL season

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, NHL,

Ilya KovalchukWe’re roughly halfway into the NHL season (the first group of all stars were announced, so it’s fair), which makes it time to take a look at the best and the worst in the league to this point. Who has performed above and below expectations, and who has remained par for the course so far? You have the usual suspects atop the standings, whether it’s Sidney Crosby or his Penguins, but where is Tampa Bay right now if not for Steven Stamkos?

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Washington Capitals win Winter Classic; real hockey returns

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL,

Sidney CrosbySaturday night’s Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was anything but that in every sense. The winter snow was replaced by a spring rain, an exclusive daytime affair was delayed to become one of seven concurrent games, and the Crosby-Ovechkin rivalry was nowhere to be found. Still, 68,111 marched in to Heinz Field and saw their hometown Penguins slosh their way to a 3-1 loss in a game where all hype and momentum leading up to it would have suggested a very opposite score.

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2011 Winter Classic hype building to anti-climactic game

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL,

Heinz FieldIn less than 48 hours, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals will suit up and battle at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in the 2011 NHL Winter Classic. The two teams have prepared by practicing outdoors, reminiscing about past Classics and, of course, building hype by participating in HBO’s controversial 24/7 series. What will all of this lead to? Yet another hockey game. Viewers with passing interest will see a neat sport appropriate for the winter season, but NHL-viewing regulars will see another attempt to build a fan base that’s just not interested.

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HBO series and Winter Classic nears

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL,

HBO 24/7HBO released a preview of its upcoming 24/7 reality series that will feature insight into the players on the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals as they near their epic clash in the 2011 version of the NHL Winter Classic. In true HBO form, the show will feature a no-holds-barred look at hockey life in the dressing room, swearing included. The 11+ minute clip featured interviews with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, the game’s two premier faces – and most bitter rivals.

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NHL and HBO team up for reality series

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: NHL,

Sidney CrosbyWhen the NHL started its “Winter Classic” tradition a few years ago, it received a lot of praise for coming up with a style of game that embraced its roots and actually generated some interest in hockey from those who normally wouldn’t dare ever watch the ice-bound sport. This year, they’re hoping to build on its success by pitting the game’s two biggest players – Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin – against each other. Also, they’ve tapped HBO to create a reality series documenting the road leading up to January’s outdoor game.

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The French Evolution

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: NHL, Playoffs,

Mike CammalleriWith yet another Game 7 road victory to clinch a series against one of the toughest teams in hockey, can anybody seriously stop these surging Habs? The one-time Cinderella Canadiens have now become the team to beat. Anything less than a Stanley Cup victory for Montreal may actually be seen as an upsetting finish now that they have brushed off both Ovechkin’s Capitals and Crosby’s Penguins. They’ll face either Philadelphia or Boston in the third round.

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The great upsetters

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL, Playoffs,

Jaroslav HalakCan you believe it? The unthinkable has happened! Goliath has been beaten by David again. That is, the Montreal Canadiens have ousted the Washington Capitals in the first round, and what’s worse is that not only was it a opening series upset, but it was also a President’s Trophy-winning team that fell to a lowly opponent that barely made their way into the postseason. Sure the series went the seven-game distance, but that’ll be no consolation to Washington fans.

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Aucoin excels in the one-on-one

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL,

Adrian AucoinWith the incredible amount of shootouts in the 2009-10 season, you may be wondering who’s doing the best. That would be the Phoenix Coyotes; just another one of the unexpected bits of news to come out of Glendale, Arizona. Not only did they dominate throughout the regular season, Phoenix has a record-setting 14 shootout wins this season, and even more unexpectedly, 36-year old defenseman Adrian Aucoin has been a key part in almost half of them.

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