(courtesy of © Reuters/ Mike Cassese)
One of hockey’s most exciting players to don a pair of skates will be forever be immortalized today in Toronto as Pavel Bure becomes a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Known around the NHL as the “Russian Rocket” Bure played 13 seasons in the NHL where he spent time with the Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers, and New York Rangers.
Continue reading “Russian Rocket Soars Into Hockey Hall of Fame”
(courtesy of The KHL)
TSN.ca is reporting that the Vancouver Canucks have come to terms with right-winger Sergei Shirokov from the KHL’s CSKA Moscow. The 23-year-old who skated with the youth Moscow club since he was 15 comes to the NHL after posting 41 points in 56 games last season. While in the farm system Shirokov recorded 80 points in 66 games in 2003-2004 with 39 goals and 41 assists.
Shirokov was drafted in the sixth round of the 2006 NHL draft after receiving the pick from the Florida Panthers along with Roberto Luongo. He is the newest Sergei to feature in the NHL which means the demand is down to 1 to replace Fedorov and Zubov.
With the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin tonight here is a look at the Western Conference match-ups with predictions.
(1) San Jose Sharks vs (8) Anaheim Ducks
The President Trophy winning Sharks take on the Ducks in the battle of California. With a 4-2 head-to-head record in favor of San Jose the first step for the league’s top team will be a Ducks team with a new found confidence and a red-hot streak to enter the NHL’s second season. The Ducks enter the playoffs with a 7-2-1 streak but will have to battle against the team with too much depth for them to handle. Sharks in 5
(2) Detroit Red Wings vs (7) Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets first playoff appearance may be short lived as they face the Wings who haven’t missed the playoffs in almost 20 years. You can’t bet against the team which hails from hockey town as the experience out ways the Jackets’ in almost every category. Steve Mason could be the difference maker for the Jackets but dont expect them to overtake the defending cup holders. Wings in 5
(3)Vancouver Canucks vs (6) St. Louis Blues
The Blues make a return to the playoffs after a four year absence while the Canucks resurrected their season to over take the Calgary Flames for the Northwest title. The battle between the pipes should be key as Chris Mason battles Roberto Loungo who has been stellar in the second half of the season. While the Blues have experience in Keith Tkachuk and Mason the all around package is in favor of Vancouver. Canucks in 6
(4) Calgary Flames vs (5) Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks have been riding the back of Nikolai Khabibulin who has had a comeback season of such. Being the uncle for the team of boys look for the young guns to back up the experience in the front. The Flames who let the division fall from their grasp will have something to prove with the likes of Iginla. This series is a toss up lets just say Blackhawks in 7
courtesy of The Hockey News
Saturday’s honor goes to Phoenix Coyotes keeper Ilya Bryzgalov who shut the door on the red hot Vancouver Canucks helping his team win 5-1. Bryzgalov made 34 saves and had a shutout up till 1:45 in the game when Canucks winger Alex Burrows cashed in on a rebound. The loss ended Vancouver’s four-game winning streak while this was only Phoenix’s second win in the month of March.
The game had a rather strange highlight as Viktor Tikhonov scored on a empty-net delayed call play. Tikhonov was called for a hooking penalty, he touched the puck inside the Vancouver line, but did not maintain control. When Vancouver defenseman Shane O’Brien attempted to poke check, the puck—last touched by Tikhonov— slide into a vacated Vancouver net. As some of you make recall Tikhonov is named after his grandfather who was one of Russia’s most famous hockey coaches. Below is the goal courtesy of the NHL.