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Bruins' Campbell done for season after breaking leg and going down in playoff lore

By John Vogl

Why would a person with a broken leg continue to clog shot lanes and try to clear the puck?

A) Because he can't get out of the way. 2) Because it's the Cup.

The Bruins' Gregory Campbell added his name to NHL playoff lore Wednesday night during a 2-1 double-overtime victory over Pittsburgh. The forward blocked a slap shot by Evgeni Malkin during a penalty kill, and the Bruins announced this morning Campbell broke his right fibula on the play.

Continue reading "Bruins' Campbell done for season after breaking leg and going down in playoff lore" »

Blackhawks eliminate Red Wings as Walkom avoids infamy; only last four Cup winners remain

By John Vogl

Chicago thought it was moving on to the Western Conference finals when Niklas Hjalmarsson broke a 1-1 tie with 1:49 remaining Wednesday. But referee Stephen Walkom waved off the goal because of a scuffle away from the play, and the Red Wings bounced toward overtime while Chicago and its fans cursed their luck.

"At the end of the day, there's nothing you can do but move on," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "You're going to overtime and it was no goal, so you can't just sit around and feel sorry. There's still a game, there's still overtime and still somebody's got to score another goal to win it. There was no panic. We just moved on from it."

Indeed, the Blackhawks won Game Seven anyway when Brent Seabrook bounced a shot off the leg of Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall with 3:35 gone in the extra session.

The victory saved Walkom from going down in referee/umpire infamy. (For Walkom defenders: Had Hjalmarsson's goal counted, would anyone be saying, "Oh, man, Detroit got robbed because they didn't blow the whistle during a scoring chance because of a scrum 100 feet away from the net"?)

Chicago will face Los Angeles in the Western Conference finals, while Boston will take on Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference. It's the first time since 1945 that the past four Stanley Cup champions are the last four teams remaining.

Western Conference

Saturday     5 p.m.     Los Angeles at Chicago     NBCSN, TSN
Sunday    8 p.m.     Los Angeles at Chicago     NBCSN, TSN
Tuesday     9 p.m.     Chicago at Los Angeles     NBCSN, TSN
Next Thursday   9 p.m.     Chicago at Los Angeles     NBCSN, CBC
*Saturday, June 8      8 p.m.     Los Angeles at Chicago     NBC, CBC
*Monday, June 10   9 p.m.     Chicago at Los Angeles     NBCSN, CBC
*Wednesday, June 12   TBD     Los Angeles at Chicago     NBCSN, CBC

Eastern Conference

Saturday   8 p.m.    Boston at Pittsburgh     NBC, CBC
Monday    8 p.m.     Boston at Pittsburgh     NBCSN, CBC
Next Wednesday    8 p.m.     Pittsburgh at Boston     NBCSN, CBC
Friday, June 7    8 p.m.     Pittsburgh at Boston     NBCSN, CBC
*Sunday, June 9   8 p.m.     Boston at Pittsburgh     NBCSN, CBC
*Tuesday, June 11  TBD     Pittsburgh at Boston     NBCSN, CBC
*Wednesday, June 12     TBD     Boston at Pittsburgh     NBCSN, CBC

Kings ready for Chicago or Detroit; Penguins-Bruins start Saturday

By John Vogl

Three teams have advanced to the NHL's conference finals. The fourth team will join them tonight.

Detroit visits Chicago in Game Seven of the Western Conference semifinals, and the winner gets a date with the defending Stanley Cup champs. Los Angeles moved on to the conference finals with a 2-1 victory over San Jose in Game Seven on Tuesday.

If Chicago wins tonight, Los Angeles comes to the Windy City on Saturday to start their series. If Detroit upsets the Presidents' Trophy winners, the series will start Friday in L.A.

The Eastern Conference finals between Pittsburgh and Boston will start Saturday in Pittsburgh.

Saturday   8 p.m.    Boston at Pittsburgh     NBC, CBC
Monday    8 p.m.     Boston at Pittsburgh     NBCSN, CBC
Next Wednesday    8 p.m.     Pittsburgh at Boston     NBCSN, CBC
Friday, June 7    8 p.m.     Pittsburgh at Boston     NBCSN, CBC
*Sunday, June 9   8 p.m.     Boston at Pittsburgh     NBCSN, CBC
*Tuesday, June 11  TBD     Pittsburgh at Boston     NBCSN, CBC
*Wednesday, June 12     TBD     Boston at Pittsburgh     NBCSN, CBC

If Chicago wins ...

Saturday     5 p.m.     Los Angeles at Chicago     NBCSN, TSN
Sunday    8 p.m.     Los Angeles at Chicago     NBCSN, TSN
Tuesday     9 p.m.     Chicago at Los Angeles     NBCSN, TSN
Thursday, June 6   9 p.m.     Chicago at Los Angeles     NBCSN, CBC
*Saturday, June 8      8 p.m.     Los Angeles at Chicago     NBC, CBC
*Monday, June 10   9 p.m.     Chicago at Los Angeles     NBCSN, CBC
*Wednesday, June 12   TBD     Los Angeles at Chicago     NBCSN, CBC

If Detroit wins ...

Friday     9 p.m.     Detroit at Los Angeles     NBCSN, TSN
Sunday      8 p.m.     Detroit at Los Angeles    NBCSN, TSN
Tuesday     8 p.m.     Los Angeles at Detroit     NBCSN, TSN
Thursday, June 6  8 p.m.     Los Angeles at Detroit     NBCSN, CBC
*Saturday, June 8     8 p.m.     Detroit at Los Angeles     NBC, CBC
*Monday, June 10     8 p.m.     Los Angeles at Detroit    NBCSN, CBC
*Wednesday, June 12     TBD     Detroit at Los Angeles     NBCSN, CBC

Chicago rallies to force Game Seven against Detroit; Sharks-Kings set to decide series tonight

By John Vogl

Chicago isn't done yet. Either Los Angeles or San Jose will be tonight.

Both semifinal series in the Western Conference are going to Game Seven after the Blackhawks used a third-period rally Monday to beat Detroit, 4-3. Chicago was in a 2-1 hole heading into the third period but scored three straight times to stay alive.

Game Seven is Wednesday in Chicago. The Blackhawks have won two straight to keep the Red Wings from advancing.

"If I would have told our whole team before this series, if I would have told Detroit, Michigan before this series, that we were going to be playing Chicago in Game Seven, I think everyone would have been pretty excited about that," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I love Game Sevens. I'm excited about it. We've got a chance to push them out of the playoffs. Should be a lot of fun."

Los Angeles will host San Jose in Game Seven at 9 tonight. The Sharks won Game Six to force the deciding game against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The home team has won every game in the series.

Leafs run out of gas in shocking fashion as NHL heads to second round

Sun
By John Vogl

The first round of the NHL playoffs is over, and it ended in shocking fashion.

Toronto blew a three-goal lead in the final 10 minutes of Game Seven, allowing Boston to rally and win in overtime, 5-4, to advance to the second round. No team – not one – had ever blown that big of lead in the third period of a seventh game in NHL playoff history, writes Chris Johnston.

“That’s one thing you’re going to remember probably for the rest of your life," Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuck said in a story by Bruce Arthur.

Continue reading "Leafs run out of gas in shocking fashion as NHL heads to second round" »

First round of NHL playoffs set; pick the winners

By John Vogl

The shortened, 48-game season is over, and 16 teams are set to compete for the Stanley Cup. The playoffs begin Tuesday, and the matchups (as always) could be intriguing.

There's an Original Six showdown as Boston meets Toronto, which has had two lockouts and no playoff games since 2004. Neighbors Montreal and Ottawa will face off. Perennial contenders/bridesmaids San Jose and Vancouver are set to meet.

Here are the matchups, and pick the winners.

Sabres are in NHL's lower class based on playoff appearances in last 11 seasons

By John Vogl

The Sabres want to be viewed as a winning, first-class organization. In reality, they are a lower-class club over the last decade-plus and a lower-middle-class team during the past six years.

The Sabres have made the postseason just twice in six seasons and only four times in the last 11. They are in the bottom nine of the NHL during the 11-year slide, and they are in the bottom 13 of the league during the last half-dozen seasons.

Here’s how it breaks down:

*During the past 11 seasons, only five teams have made fewer postseason appearances than the Sabres – Columbus, Florida and Winnipeg/Atlanta (one each), Edmonton (two) and Carolina (three). The Sabres’ four visits are equal to Minnesota, Phoenix and Toronto.

*During the past six seasons, only seven teams have made fewer postseason appearances than Buffalo – Edmonton (zero) and Carolina, Columbus, Florida, the New York Islanders, Toronto and Winnipeg/Atlanta (one each).

The Sabres’ two visits are equal to Calgary, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota and Tampa Bay.

Here's each team, in alphabetical order, with their rate of making the playoffs since 2007-08 and 2001-02:

Anaheim 4 of 6, 7 of 11

Boston 6 of 6, 9 of 11

Buffalo 2 of 6, 4 of 11

Calgary 2 of 6, 5 of 11

Carolina 1 of 6, 3 of 11

Chicago 5 of 6, 6 of 11

Colorado 2 of 6, 6 of 11

Columbus 1 of 6, 1 of 11

Dallas 2 of 6, 5 of 11

Detroit 6 of 6, 11 of 11

Edmonton 0 of 6, 2 of 11

Florida 1 of 6, 1 of 11

Los Angeles 4 of 6, 5 of 11

Minnesota 2 of 6, 4 of 11

Montreal 5 of 6, 8 of 11

Nashville 4 of 6, 7 of 11

New Jersey 4 of 6, 9 of 11

Islanders 1 of 6, 5 of 11

Rangers 5 of 6, 7 of 11

Ottawa 4 of 6, 9 of 11

Philadelphia 5 of 6, 9 of 11

Phoenix 3 of 6, 4 of 11

Pittsburgh 6 of 6, 7 of 11

San Jose 6 of 6, 10 of 11

St. Louis 3 of 6, 6 of 11

Tampa Bay 2 of 6, 5 of 11

Toronto 1 of 6, 4 of 11

Vancouver 5 of 6, 9 of 11

Washington 6 of 6, 7 of 11

Winnipeg 1 of 6, 1 of 11
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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