Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Denver Post columnist asks Mike Yeo if they're targeting Av's players



In my opinion, this is Unacceptable. I know I wouldn't ask a college head coach this stupid question. Anyone want to bet who this anonymous Denver Post columnist is? I have my suspicions. I would be willing to be, that it’s probably the same guy that’s been chirping and trolling Wild fans all day long on Twitter.
Michael Russo, Star Tribune -- Denver Post columnist: So you wanted Cooke to target specific guys? Yeo: “Don’t get into this, alright? I know where you want to spin this. But listen, I want our players when somebody is in front of them to finish their check. That’s hockey. So if you think that I’m saying, ‘Go take him out.’ No, you’re wrong. There’s a lot more respect in this game than that and we have a lot more respect for the game than that. So what we say to our guys is if you have an opportunity to finish your check, finish your check. And that’s the same thing that I’m sure that they’re saying there, too.
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Similarities in Playoff Series for Wild

Last season marked the first time the Minnesota Wild had made the playoffs since winning the Northwest Division in 2008, but would be matched up with the Stanley Cup favorite, Chicago Blackhawks.

This season, just squeaking in again, Minnesota is in a battle with longtime rival, Colorado, after the Avalanche won the division for the first time since 2003. I wonder how that season ended up for them.

Looking back to the first three games of last seasons playoffs for Minnesota and comparing them to this years, I see a lot of things similar in the ways the games have been played.

Starting with both game one's, an overtime post would cost Minnesota that important game one victory to gain momentum in the series. Last year it was Jason Zucker hitting the crossbar, and this year was Jason Pominville ringing one off of the far post. One big difference in each series first games is that Minnesota would dominate the first two periods and much more scoring in the game because of it.

In game two, the Wild looked like they were in awe of the young and speedy Avalanche. Seeming to not get anything together, even after scoring the first goal, Colorado would score three unanswered to skate to a game two victory and take a 2-0 series lead going into game three at Xcel Energy Center, just like the Blackhawks would last year.

Although game three between Chicago and Minnesota was played pretty even and Minnesota would dominate the Avs last night, the result was still the same between the two games, young guns scoring in dramatic fashion in overtime. Last year was Jason Zucker who fired a rocket from near the goal line and would beat Corey Crawford for the victory. This year, it was Granny's turn. In a play that was dominated by him, Granlund would fight off a check, take the puck to the slot, and score laying flat on the ice with the Avalanche goaltender having no chance at making the save, giving the Wild a game three victory once again.

Compared to last season, this Wild team is much stronger, much more skilled, and have much more chemistry then they did at this time last season. I would expect another strong showing for Minnesota Thursday night and for the rest of the series. If they play like they did last night for the rest of the series, Colorado will be going home early this playoff season.

Minnesota Wild: Breaking down Matt Cooke's Suspension History

Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I don't think people realize how many games and times that Matt Cooke has been suspended by the NHL. Here's a break down of Cooke's illustrious history and the number of games that he ended up sitting as a result of his bush league play. Like I said in another post, "I also have to wonder if the NHL's Department of Player head Brendan Shanahan already has Chuck Fletcher's cell phone number in is speed dial?"  I think it's just a matter of time before Cooke is suspended again by the NHL. 

2013/07/05        Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Minnesota Wild to a three-year contract.
2011/04/27        Missed the last 10 games of the regular season and 7 playoff games (suspension). (17)
2011/03/21        Suspended by the NHL for the remainder of the season and the first round of the playoffs.
2011/02/20        Missed 4 games (suspension). (4)
2011/02/09        Suspended by the NHL for four games.
2009/12/04        Missed 2 games (suspension). (2)
2009/11/29        Suspended by the NHL for two games.
2009/01/31        Missed 2 games (suspension). (2)
2009/01/27        Suspended by the NHL for 2 games.
2004/02/21        Suspended by the NHL for 2 games. (2) [TSN.CA]

Bellow, is a typical Matt Cooke play that happened during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Minnesota Wild: Matt Cooke to have a in-person hearing for his hit on Tyson Barrie.


This is not going to end well for Wild forward Matt Cooke, he's going to get at least a 5-game suspension, and probably more.
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(Video) Stars and Ducks scrum (Antoine Roussel and Ryan Getzlaf)



I guess no one reminded Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf that he had a bunch of stitches in his chin, right. It's got to be hard not to punch out a player like Antoine Roussel,when you play against him. I have to agree Getzlaf is a tough hockey player.

18:14 DAL Antoine Roussel served by Alex Chiasson Roughing - 2 min against Ryan Getzlaf
18:14 ANA Ryan Getzlaf Roughing - 2 min against Antoine Roussel
18:14 DAL Antoine Roussel Roughing - 2 min against Ryan Getzlaf
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Mikael Granlund scores the game winner in game three



Mikael Granlund scores the game winner at the 5.18 mark of the first overtime in game three. Av's still lead the series 2-1.
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(video) Matt Cooke Knees Tyson Barrie

nd 

This hit by Matt Cooke has cause a stir tonight with his leg check on Tyson Barrie. First, it's not a good hit, and I think Cooke is going to end up getting suspended for this hit. I think that league has to suspend him based on his history. But I guess we will have to wait and see.

Let's be clear, I also don't approve of this hit, but Cooke has cleaned his act up and this is one of his first questionable hits of the season for the Wild agitator.
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T-Shirts celebrating Backes Hit Lack Class


s/t to Puck Daddy... You can go to the trending t-shirts site and buy one of these t-shirts. Very tasteless in my opinion.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

(VIDEO) Mike Richards spears Logan Couture



L.A. Kings forward Mike Richards spears San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture in the mid-section.

14:44 LAK Mike Richards Spearing - double minor - 4 min against Logan Couture
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Dustin Brown humor



A little humor at Mr. Elbow's expense. I mean Dustin Brown's expense.

(Video) Ryan Callahan No Goal Call vs Montreal Canadiens



I don't see any reason why this goal doesn't count, but I guess we need to take a look at NHL Rule 69.3.
69.1 Interference on the Goalkeeper - This rule is based on the premise that an attacking player’s position, whether inside or outside the crease, should not, by itself, determine whether a goal should be allowed or disallowed. In other words, goals scored while attacking players are standing in the crease may, in appropriate circumstances be allowed. Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal; or (2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease. Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact. The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgment of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review.



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(Video) Almost Fight - Brendan Smith versus Zdeno Chara.



To quote Doc Emerick, "There are many in the NHL watching this and if I were Smith, I would hope that the linesmen arrive." This would have been the mismatch of the century.

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Seabrook banned for three games



None of us should be surprised that Brent Seabrook suspended three games by the National Hockey League.
NEW YORK -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook has been suspended for three games for interference and charging against St. Louis Blues forward David Backes during Game 2 of the teams' First Round Stanley Cup Playoffs series in St. Louis on Saturday, April 19, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 15:09 of the third period. Seabrook was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for charging.
Brent Seabrook on the hit.
“It wasn’t my intent,’’ a contrite Seabrook said regarding his check that leveled Blues forward David Backes and earned Seabrook a game misconduct. “I was just trying to make a play on Backes. I thought the puck was there. I was on [Alexander] Steen. I was just coming down the wall and I just tried to finish my hit.’’
Former UND forward Chris Porter on the Seabrook hit.
When (Backes) went down like that, I thought it gave us a little bit more push to finish it off …" winger Chris Porter said. "He's our leader. We'll do whatever it takes to get him back. If that's winning a couple of games more, then so be it."
Former All-American goalie Ryan Miller said this.
“I didn’t like it,” Miller said. “I don’t think a lot of people who are hockey fans and have seen they way they’ve been calling things should like it. I imagine the NHL will have something to say about it but it’s not up for the players to decide. We’ll see what they do with it. But it certainly was not what we want to see.”

Blackhawks player to Backes "wakey, wakey"




s/t to Kukla's Korner. At about the 45 second mark of the video, you can hear an unidentified Blackhawks player say "wakey, wakey." That's low class and bushleague. I didn't catch the comments the first around. Oh boy, this series could get really nasty.

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(Video) Avalanche goal by Nate MacKinnon



What a goal by Avalanche forward Nate MacKinnon. He kind of made the Wild defense look sick. Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon is stil trying to find his cup.
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tweets of the night






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(video) Brent Seabrook's dirty hit on David Backes (with quotes)



I would have to think that Blackhawks Defenseman Brent Seabrook is going to get a two-tree game suspension for this hit. For the record, Seabrook has never been suspended.

15:09 CHI Brent Seabrook served by Antti Raanta Charging (maj) - 5 min against David Backes
15:09 CHI Brent Seabrook Game misconduct - 10 min against David Backes






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The Playoff Problem (Redwing77)

I love playoff hockey... ANY playoff hockey.... but I also think it's one of the worst hockey out there.  Why?  Well...  mostly it is due to hypocrisy.

All throughout the regular season, teams play the game and commit penalties.  Sometimes these infractions result in suspensions, fines, and so on.  Ah, but then the playoffs begin and it's all changed!

The playoff rulebook has come into play!

This rule book is the most hypocritical, imo, rules entity in professional sports.  I've watched playoff hockey this year in both the USHL and the NHL and they're both the same.  It takes an act of God to get the refs to raise their arms.  Why?  What happens when the postseason begins that makes a call that is made ALL SEASON LONG no longer required?  If the refs aren't enforcing the rulebook, why do we have 2 refs and 2 ARs on the ice?  Why not just have 2 ARs just to call offsides, icing, and drop the puck on faceoffs and just rely upon the video replay judge and the goal judges to determine goals?  There is no reason for refs if the rulebook is optional.

Yesterday, we saw two overt spears in Corey Perry and Milan Lucic.  Neither resulted in penalties being called.  Lucic's resulted in a wrist smacking $5,000 fine.  Well, the message is clear.  Your stars can spear guys and they'll only lose part of a game check!  NO PENALTY!!!  I'm too used to the NCAA rulebook that states that spearing is a 5 minute major and game ejection.  It's legal in the NHL, I guess.  It's also legal to slash a stick in two pieces if it results in a scoring opportunity (ala Anaheim's short handed goal by Cogliano).

I LOVE the game of hockey.  I LOVE a good, clean, hardfought, physical game.  But I'm also a big proponent of the rulebook.  I believe truly that the rulebook is in place for essentially two main reasons:  1.  Integrity of the game itself and 2.  Player safety.  If the rulebook isn't going to be enforced, then I hope the playoff teams have good insurance and travel policies because someone's going to leave on a stretcher and they'll need a body to fill the void ASAP.

In the NHL, IMO, cheap shots occur when enforcers are handcuffed due to situational concerns and/or the rulebook AND the officials either have lost control of the game or refuse to enforce the rulebook.  Yes, I LOVE games like what we saw with Chicago vs. St. Louis.  I LOVED last year's Finals between Boston and Chicago.  But I LOATHE games where the sport is made even more dangerous than it has to be because the playoff rulebook is in effect.

I'm not sure where the money comes from to pay refs for NHL games.  However, if the playoff rulebook is truly as optional as the rules have been applied thus far, help out the common man in the playoffs.  Simply do not put any armbanded refs on the ice at all and save the money spent to pay them  by passing the savings onto the playoff attendee.  If this sounds ridiculous, then it's time to start using the rulebook again and saving the integrity and health of the players before someone gets seriously hurt.

And I haven't even begun about the USHL.  USHL playoff rulebooks remind me a TON of the clutch and grab style of WCHA officiating back in the early 2000s... even down to the fact that, even when they DO call penalties, it will be a LOCK that neither team will have an advantage on the powerplay... even if they have to invent a penalty to make it equal (which I've witnessed personally).

Save the game.  You don't have to call everything.  You just have to call the same game as you do during the regular season.

Lucic will not be suspended

According to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.COM, Milan Lucic will not be suspended. Lucic was fined $5,000.00 for his spear.
Joe Haggerty ( @HackswithHaggs) tweeted at 12:12pm - 19 Apr 14: Milan Lucic: "I don't know what I was thinking. I pride myself on playing within the rules, and that's obviously something I can't be doing"

--------

Joe Haggerty ( @HackswithHaggs) tweeted at 12:09pm - 19 Apr 14: Milan lucic said there's no hearing on his spear of Danny DeKeyser, but he does have to call the league office about it.

Where’s the feigned outrage for Corey Perry cup check on Jamie Benn?


By now, you’ve probably seen the chop to the groin region of Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser by Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic … Almost on cue, the Lucic haters have demanded a lengthy suspension of the Bruins forward.  
Ah, but there’s a catch, while everyone was drawing and quartering El Diablo Milan Lucic, the Ducks forward Corey Perry was also checking Jamie Benn’s cup region as well. Where was the feigned outrage for that stick incident? Both plays are equally objectionable, and if you suspend one player, you must suspend the other one, right?

Here's a prediction, neither player will receive any games off. However, they will be given a stern warning and put on double secret probation. Frankly, that's playoff hockey.

T.J. Oshie is questionable for game two



Former UND forward T.J. Oshie is questionable for game two between the St. Louis Blue and the Chicago Blackhawks.
NHL.COM -- The Blues held an optional skate Friday afternoon inside St. Louis Outlet Mall. Ten skaters took the ice, two were injured forwards T.J. Oshie (upper body) and Patrik Berglund (upper body).

For Oshie, it was another day on the ice gearing himself up for a return to the lineup; he's questionable for Saturday. Berglund skated with teammates for the first time Friday; he's more inclined to miss the game Saturday. Each missed Game 1.

"I didn't see them," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Until someone taps me on the shoulder and says he's a game player, he's out. Our lineup's going to be fluid every day. Every day it's going to be fluid. I told you guys before, we're going to have everybody playing in this series at some period of time, so that obviously means by Game 5, we expect everybody to be ready to go and hopefully nobody gets injured. Touch wood, but that's our expectations."

Blues captain David Backes said a healthy Oshie is good for the team at any point.

"He's a horse for us, an Energizer bunny that never stops," Backes said. "You talk about fatigue, he's a guy that would have a few days of rest [going] into a series which has a lot guys that have played some big minutes in the last 36 hours. So it'll be hopefully a jolt to the arm if he's in. If not, we've proven that we can win if he's not in the lineup. We'll have to have the same sort of performance again

Friday, April 18, 2014

Idiot of the night, Stay classy



This is why social media needs to have a stupidity filter. I bet the victims of the bombing in Boston don't think this funny. Nothing funny about people getting maimed and killed in a terrorist attack. #BostonStrong
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(Video) Milan Lucic cup checks Danny DeKeyser



That's going to leave a mark. Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic cup checks Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser There was no call on the play.
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Because it's the Stanley Cup Playoffs



Every year, I tell my wife I will see you in June when the playoffs are over.
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Where the Wild a victim of interference on game winning goal?



Catching up on my reading, I have been following this story at work, today. I think you could make the argument that there should have been an interference called on the game winning goal. Thoughts?

Michael Russo also says that the head coach of the Wild Mike Yeo was going to talk to the supervisor of officials about the interference on the game winning goal.
Yeo said the Wild also plans to talk to the series supervisor of officials (Don van Massenhoven) Saturday to try to get a ruling on a few things they were upset about, like Brodziak and Cooke being bowled over by Barrie before Stastny’s winner, why Koivu’s net off the moorings wasn’t a penalty vs. Johnson knocking the net off, why that faceoff was outside the zone as opposed to inside when Johnson started the whole thing and the scrum, in the Wild’s eyes, was at the top of the circle.

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Joel Quenneville Goes Nuts on the bench League will review


Erik Johnson saves an empty net goal (Video)



Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson saves the game clinching empty net goal. I want to know why this wasn’t a penalty? Delay of game, I would say. Maybe not.
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Golf is a dangerous sport



Good morning, and happy Good Friday. I know this isn't funny, but I couldn't help myself. You have to be careful where you walk on a golf course.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

(Video) John Tortorella being called "Mike" by reporter



John Tortorella being called Mike by a reporter... Love him or hate him, he's colorful.
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UND Hockey: 2014-15 schedule

Oct. 5 — Canadian exhibition TBA
Oct. 10 — BEMIDJI STATE
Oct. 11 — at Bemidji State
Oct. 17 — at Colorado College
Oct. 18 — at Colorado College
Oct. 24 — PROVIDENCE
Oct. 25 — PROVIDENCE

Nov. 1 — AIR FORCE (Hall of Fame Game)
Nov. 7 — at Wisconsin
Nov. 8 — at Wisconsin
Nov. 14 — MIAMI
Nov. 15 — MIAMI
Nov. 21 — at St. Cloud State
Nov. 22 — at St. Cloud State
Nov. 28 — Nebraska-Omaha
Nov. 29 — Nebraska-Omaha

Dec. 5 — LAKE SUPERIOR STATE
Dec. 6 — LAKE SUPERIOR STATE
Dec. 12 — at Denver
Dec. 13 — at Denver

Jan. 3 — U.S. UNDER-18 (exhibition)
Jan. 9 — DULUTH
Jan. 10 — DULUTH
Jan. 16 — NIAGARA
Jan. 17 — NIAGARA
Jan. 23 — COLORADO COLLEGE
Jan. 24 — COLORADO COLLEGE
Jan. 30 — at Omaha
Jan. 31 — at Omaha

Feb. 13 — DENVER
Feb. 14 — DENVER
Feb. 21 — at Western Michigan
Feb. 22 — at Western Michigan
Feb. 27 — ST. CLOUD STATE
Feb. 28 — ST. CLOUD STATE

March 6 — at Miami
March 7 — at Miami
March 13-15 — NCHC first round
March 20-21 — NCHC tournament (Target Center, Minneapolis)
March 27-29 — NCAA tournament (Scheels Arena, Fargo)
April 9-11 — NCAA Frozen Four (T.D. Garden, Boston)

The NCHC Conference Composite Schedule can be found here.
s/t To Brad Schlosman...
21 home games this season and 15 away games this season.
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More former NHL players sue the NHL over Concussions



I like many NHL fans are watching this with interest.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)-- Another group of former NHL players has joined the fight for compensation for head injuries they say they incurred while playing, while at the same time targeting the violence of the game that they believe brought about those injuries.

Retired players Dave Christian, Reed Larson and William Bennett filed a class action lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday alleging that the league has promoted fighting and downplayed the risk of head injuries that come from it.

''I think the glorified violence is really the Achilles heel for the NHL,'' said Charles ''Bucky'' Zimmerman, an attorney at Zimmerman Reed that filed the lawsuit on behalf of the players. ''If anything comes of this, the focus on the glorified violence and perhaps the change to that will be a good thing.''

The lawsuit, which is similar to one brought by former football players against the NFL, joins others filed by hockey players in Washington and New York and seeks monetary damages and increased medical monitoring.

''As we have indicated earlier, another lawsuit of this type is not unexpected,'' NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in an email to The Associated Press. ''It's the nature of these types of cases that once one is filed, a number of similarly styled cases follow. Nothing changes our belief that all of these cases are without merit and they will be defended accordingly.''

The NHLPA declined to comment.


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ND Lake Region Basketball Head Coach Joe Kittell on the Division I Hockey Tourney



This is what happens when you compare other major division I sports to division I college hockey. College Hockey is a different animal.The nice thing about college hockey is that the small schools can compete against the bigger schools. There's a level playing field, at least in theory. You can see the whole thing by reading the twitter feed of coach Joe Kitell.



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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kenny Reiter's mask sporting a Bulldog

Check out this mask. Former UMD Bulldog goalie Kenny Reiter is still sporting the Bulldog on his mask. Reiter is a member of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. If you look at their roster, there are quite a few names that you might recognize.

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(Video) Hockey Night In Canada 2014 Playoff Opening



What an awesome video. Hockey is the greatest game on the planet. The Stanley Cup is also the pinnacle of the NHL's season. Should be a good run. This is one downside of having DirecTV, I no longer get CBC.
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Crosby in Nose Bleed Alley (GIF)

GIF: Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky not big fans of each ... on Twitpic

Tough being Sidney Crosby....




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Steve Stamkos goal GIF

Just one more look at the Stamkos goal  on Twitpic

Nice goal by Steven Stamkos... It was the game tying goal. Click on the GIF to get it to move.
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Blackhawks vs. Blues: This Rivalry Never Gets Old

Tomorrow is going to probably be the most exciting day in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a long time. You have all four games being big time rivalry games. However, I think most eyes will be on the battle of Central Division rivals in Chicago and St. Louis.

Chicago, the more offensively flavored team, looks to keep this a high flying, wide open style of game to highlight their great offensive talents. With both Toews and Kane returning for game one, although they say they are 100% who knows if they really are, that just adds that extra offensive flair and swagger Chicago needs to skate around a struggling Blues team.

As for the Blues, they did not end their regular season they way they would have probably wanted. Losing five out of their last seven games, getting beaten and battered with the injury bug, the Blues are going into the playoffs with virtually no momentum what so ever. That being said, Oshie and captain Backes are returning tomorrow night for game one, but like with Toews and Kane, who knows if they are actually at 100%. I guess we will have to see how aggressive they play tomorrow.

To beat the Blackhawks, St. Louis is going to have to keep these games low scoring and be very physical like they love to be. This series is going to remind me a lot of the UND Gopher game from the Frozen Four this year, if it were a seven game series. Every single game will be played with a lot of speed and a lot of physicality.

As for who is going to win this series? If these games turn into high scoring style of game I would have to give the advantage to the Blackhawks. It's just their style of game, but have proven to have a little physicality as well with players like Bickell, Bolig, and Shaw. That being said, St. Louis needs to use their physicality to slow down the game and keep the Hawks off the board.

I picked Chicago to win this series because the Blues are coming in with absolutely no momentum and a struggling Ryan Miller. The series is competitive, but the Blues wont be able to finish off the series.

UND Hockey: Schmaltz, Gothberg and Parks to return to UND for the 2014-15 season




Some good news for UND... I would imagine that Jordan Schmaltz would like to play with his brother Nick. Nice to see the staring goalie Zane Gothberg return as well. Now, we wait on Rocco Grimaldi's decision.
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(Video) UND vs. UMN Frozen Four Semi Final



I decided to put this video up before I deleted the DVR of the UND and UMN game. This game is a tough one to swallow, because UND dominated the Gophers for most of the game and they deserved a better fate than this. I think this game will burn in the minds of the UND players for most of the summer.
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CHN Early top 10 for 2014-15



Looks like College Hockey News thinks highly of the University of North Dakota hockey team going into next season. I am sure the returning players had something to do with this.

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