Player Notes

  • Brandon Saad calls Game 4 a 'must win'
    Brandon Saad considers Game 4 on Saturday to be a "must win."

    Advice: "We let one slip away last night so we have a big one coming up," Saad added. Chicago suffered a 2-1 loss to Anaheim on Thuesday after squeaking ahead with a triple-overtime victory in Game 2. The Blackhawks will certainly have their work ahead of them if they drop Game 4, but they're talented enough and have done well enough in this series to make it hard to dismiss them even if Anaheim takes a 3-1 series lead.
    Today, 12:02 pm
  • Versteeg needed time to adjust in Game 3
    Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville suggested that part of the reason Kris Versteeg played on Thursday was so that he could get some fresh legs in there.

    Advice: That makes sense given Chicago's triple-overtime game on Tuesday. Versteeg ended up logging 13:31 minutes in Chicago's 2-1 loss to Anaheim. "The first two shifts it was like I was standing in the speedway," said Versteeg after the contest. "It was going pretty quick. Once the game progressed, I thought I settled in nicely. Obviously would have liked to tuck one away for the guys to help them out. All in all, I felt pretty good tonight."
    Today, 7:33 am
  • Patrick Kane scores eighth of the playoffs
    Patrick Kane scored the Hawks' lone goal in their Game 3 loss to Anaheim on Thursday night.

    Advice: Kane's eighth of the post-season was assisted by Brad Richards and Niklas Hjalmarsson and came late in the first period to tie the score. The Ducks were stingy on defense though through the rest of the night, as Anaheim grilled out a 2-1 victory to take the lead in the series.
    Yesterday, 8:13 pm
  • Tomas Fleischmann scratched in Game 3 of WCF
    Tomas Fleischmann, Tim Jackman, Chris Wagner, Jason LaBarbera and James Wisniewski will be healthy scratches in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against Chicago.

    Advice: The Ducks will go with the same lineup that they iced in the previous game. It's amazing to see that Anaheim is deep enough to keep players like Fleischmann and Wisniewski out of their lineup. Not many teams (if any) have the kind of depth that the Ducks have.
    Yesterday, 5:09 pm
  • Ryan Callahan hopes to put up more points
    Ryan Callahan wants to contribute more offensively.

    Advice: He hasn't earned a points in eight straight games. "There's no question I have to contribute," said Callahan. "I have to put goals in the net. I have to put points on the board. That's a department I need to improve on." He added that he will try to go hard to the net more and play in the gritty areas, which is how he's had success in the past. Callahan has no goals and three assists in 15 postseason matches.
    Yesterday, 3:47 pm
  • Mats Zuccarello still not ready to practice
    Mats Zuccarello (concussion) skated Thursday with the extras, but he still isn't ready to join the team for practice.

    Advice: Obviously, he won't be able to return until he does so. Zuccarello hasn't taken part in a full practice or played since Apr. 24.
    Yesterday, 11:54 am
  • Caps intend to give Tom Wilson a larger role
    The Capitals believe that Tom Wilson has more to give offensively and they are expecting more from him in 2015-16.

    Advice: "Willie is one of my favorites," coach Barry Trotz said. "I think he's got a great upside, but at the same time I don't see him as a fourth line winger for the Washington Capitals. To me, he's better than that." He saw plenty of playing time alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom during November and December, but he wasn't able to stick with them and was eventually bumped down the depth chart. Wilson notched four goals, 17 points, 172 penalty minutes and 205 hits in 67 games this past season. If he can take advantage of his larger role and add more offense to his physical game then he will have great fantasy value.
    Yesterday, 10:25 am
  • Tyler Johnson ties franchise playoff record
    Tyler Johnson tied a franchise record for a playoff goals in a year Wednesday night.

    Advice: He netted his 12th goal in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers, which leads the postseason. The marker also tied the club's high that Ruslan Fedotenko and Brad Richards set in 2004.
    Yesterday, 7:39 am
  • Move to the wing sparked Steve Stamkos
    Steve Stamkos was all over the ice Wednesday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

    Advice: He notched a goal and an assist in a 6-5 overtime win over the New York Rangers. Stamkos had a sluggish start to the postseason, but he's been firing on all cylinders again and it started to happen when he shifted from playing center to the wing. "I thought he was spending too much time in the (defensive) zone and was spending way too much energy down there," coach Jon Cooper said. "So to free him up a little bit, get him out of (our) zone faster and (keep him from having to) play the whole 200 feet. I thought it would help save his legs and give him a little more time and space." He has amassed 11 points, including five goals, in his past eight games.
    Yesterday, 7:16 am
  • Nikita Kucherov wins Game 3 in overtime
    Nikita Kucherov ripped a wrister past Henrik Lundqvist to beat the Rangers 6-5 in overtime time in Wednesday's Game 3.

    Advice: The goal was Kucherov's second point of the night, his first came off an assist late in the third period giving Tampa a brief 5-4 lead. Kucherov now has points in three of his last four games, including two straight, totaling three goals and eight points during that span. With seven goals and 16 points this postseason, Kucherov sits tied with Corey Perry in postseason points.
    Wednesday, 10:34 pm
  • Kevin Hayes picks up fifth point of playoffs
    Kevin Hayes picked up his fifth point of playoffs, and his third point in four games, during Wednesday's 6-5 overtime loss in Game 3.

    Advice: Hayes saw his ice time dip for the second straight game, now down to 13:21. But he actually played one more shift, indicating that Coach Vigneault has the rookie on a tight leash. Hayes' assist came on the power play early in the third when he set up Ryan McDonagh with a no-look cross-ice pass, tying the game at four. Hayes now has three assists and five points in 15 postseason games. He also has 19 goals and 50 points in 94 total games during his rookie campaign.
    Wednesday, 10:00 pm
  • Jesper Fast has first career multi-goal game
    Jesper Fast was a force for the Rangers in Game 3 on Wednesday night, scoring twice in his first career multi-goal game.

    Advice: Fast had perhaps his best career performance, now 87 total games old. His first goal was off a sweet forehand-backhand breakaway finish to make it 2-0 Rangers midway through the first period. But it was his second tally that loomed large, as he broke Tampa's momentum of three straight goals just 29 seconds after Alex Killorn made it 4-3 late in the second period. Fast also drew a tripping penalty on Andrej Sustr early in the third. Fast now has three goals and six points in 15 games this postseason.
    Wednesday, 9:13 pm
  • Drouin and Namestnikov scratched for Game 3
    Jonathan Drouin and Vladislav Namestnikov will both be healthy scratches for Game 3 against the Rangers on Wednesday.

    Advice: The Lightning will continue to use 11 forwards and seven defensemen for Game 3, which has led them to victory in five of six games with that alignment, which means Drouin and Namestnikov will remain in the press box. Drouin has played in only three games this postseason and has yet to register a point, while Namestnikov has picked up an assist in 11 games.
    Wednesday, 4:53 pm
  • Troy Brouwer remains optimistic about Caps
    Troy Brouwer believes that the Washington Capitals are capable of going deep into the playoffs in the near future.

    Advice: "It could be a little bit of a mental block for some guys, for sure," Brouwer said. "You have to get over that, 'We haven't done this before,' and 'This is new territory for us.' When we do, and I know we will in the next few years – hopefully next year – this team is going to make a deep run for the Stanley Cup in the future. Guys have got to embrace it and they've got to enjoy it and they have to know that it’s going to happen." Brouwer won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks back in 2010. Washington meanwhile hasn't gotten past the second round of the playoffs since 1998. Brouwer is getting ready for the final campaign of his three-year, $11 million contract.
    Wednesday, 9:25 am
  • Rangers need more from Rick Nash
    Rangers coach Alain Vigneault acknowledged that they'll likely need more production out of Rick Nash going forward.

    Advice: "I mean, again, he's working extremely hard," Vigneault said. "He's getting physically involved. He's getting some looks. Would I like him to finish on some of those looks? Yes. Do we need him to finish on those looks? Probably, yes. He knows that." Nash has just two goals and seven points in 14 playoff contests. In his career, he's been limited to seven markers in 55 postseason games.
    Wednesday, 8:18 am
    Player Note
    Rick Nash NYR - LW,RW
  • Corey Perry scores in Triple OT loss
    Corey Perry scored a goal in the Ducks 3-2 triple-overtime loss to Chicago on Tuesday.

    Advice: After getting held off the score sheet in Game One, Perry was back his scoring ways with his eighth goal and playoff leading 16th point. A distinction he shares with Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Andrew Cogliano scored the other goal for the Ducks in a losing cause. Perry and the rest of the leaders on this team will have to rally the group as the series shifts to Chicago for Games Three and Four.
    Wednesday, 12:02 am
  • Ducks expected to roll same lineup in Game 2
    The Anaheim Ducks are expected to roll the same lineup on Tuesday night in Game Two as they did in Game One on Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

    Advice: Forwards Tim Jackman and Tomas Fleischmann will be joined by defenders James Wisniewski and Korbinian Holzer, along with goalie Jason LaBarbera in the press box to cheer on their mates. Of note, only Jackman and Fleischmann have seen postseason action during these playoffs and have combined for a point in 13 games.
    Tuesday, 3:18 pm
  • Leafs are seeking new AHL head coach
    The Toronto Maple Leafs will not keep Gord Dineen on as the AHL Marlies' head coach.

    Advice: Dineen has been given the option to stay as an associate coach though. This is the latest move in Toronto's attempt to dramatically remake the franchise from a management and front office perspective. It wouldn't be surprising to see Toronto also make some major roster moves too over the summer.
    Tuesday, 12:58 pm
  • Tyler Seguin finishes first at WHC in goals
    Tyler Seguin led the World Hockey Championships in goals with nine in 10 games.

    Advice: He racked up 36 shots at the tournament and scored five of his goals on the power play. Oddly enough, Seguin didn't get any assists while play for Canada. Still, his efforts helped Canada win the gold medal.
    Monday, 1:45 pm
  • Kyle Palmieri pots GWG in Game 1 of WCF
    Kyle Palmieri netted his first goal of the postseason on Sunday.

    Advice: He got the game-winning goal 4:17 into the second period when he gave Anaheim a 2-0 lead. The Ducks went on beat Chicago by a score of 4-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. Palmieri has three points in 10 games this playoffs.
    Monday, 6:24 am
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