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Stafford Hockey Club • View topic - Prior to the recent four-game slide
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Postby officialsbaseball » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:44 am
Ken Holland once transitioned the Detroit Red Wings from Steve Yzerman , Sergei Fedorov and that generation of greats to the one that followed with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Now he’s trying to do it again.The veteran general manager knows it won’t be as easy this time, so he’s adding and keeping some older players to bridge the gap. On Sunday , the Red Wings signed 34-year-old winger Thomas Vanek and 29-year-old goaltender Jonathan Bernier and re-signed 32-year-old defenseman Mike Green.Vanek signed a $3 million, one-year deal, Bernier got $3 million per season on a three-year deal and Green will make $5.375 million annually over the next two years as part of a series of transitional deals for the rebuilding Red Wings.”It’s going to take a little bit of time, we have to have some patience,” Holland said. ”I believe we’re headed in the right direction. In the short term, trying to bring in some veteran players obviously to mentor, to role-model the young kids. We need to be competitive. It’s important to develop players if they’re in an environment that’s positive and we go into every game we have a chance to win and we’re trying to obviously juggle having veterans on the roster and moving young players into the roster.”Vanek enjoyed his 48 games with the Red Wings in 2016-17 so much he wanted to return last summer, but they didn’t have the salary-cap space. He’s not the prolific scorer he was a decade ago, but Vanek was in demand after putting up 15 points in 19 regular-season games with the Blue Jackets as a trade-deadline pickup.”We had a few options, but Detroit, ever since I’ve been there, I loved it,” Vanek said. ”I really liked the whole culture of the organization and the guys were great.”As a right-shot defender who can run a power play , Green would’ve drawn serious interest if he became an unrestricted free agent. He never seriously considered leaving.With the neck injury that cut his season short has healed, he wanted to remain with the Red Wings and help bring along the next generation.”There’s a lot that weighed on my decision to stay,” Green said. ”I think it’s easy sometimes just to go somewhere else, especially with the transition that’s going on there in Detroit, but I feel like I can be useful in the next couple years kind of helping the younger guys develop quicker and speed up that process.”Having better goaltending might not speed up the process, but it’ll make the Red Wings more competitive. They think they’ll get that from Bernier, who was the odd man out in Colorado and will split duties in net with Jimmy Howard.”We’re going to push each other to bring this team back to the playoffs,” Bernier said. ”I didn’t want to be in a position where I played 15, 20 games. I want to come in and have a chance to play as much as possible obviously depending on play. I just thought it was a great opportunity that me and Jimmy can battle for our games.”Holland isn’t worried about clogging the roster up for young players. Sixth overall pick Filip Zadina should be able to play right away up front, and the Red Wings have begun to rebuild their prospect pipeline.One immediate problem could be the health of captain Henrik Zetterberg, who has been hampered by back problems and is no sure bet to be able to play next season. Zetterberg, who turns 38 in October, cast doubts on his future after the season, and Holland can’t say with any certainty what will happen with the Swedish center.”Last I talked to him, I think he’s planning on playing ,” Holland said. ”Obviously his back is going to determine whether he can or he can’t. … When you’re dealing with the back and you’re dealing with the health of a person, it’s hard to read the future when it comes to health. Obviously that’s a key piece for us. I’ll stay in touch with Henrik as we get into July to see how his health is.”—AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed.— TORONTO (AP) Curtis McElhinney was doing the usual work of a backup goalie at the end of the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ bench midway through the second period. Moments later – and to almost everyone’s surprise – he was in the middle of the action.”I’m sitting there (charting) faceoffs,” McElhinney said. ”Next thing you know they’re handing my gloves to me.”McElhinney stopped 13 of 15 shots in relief of injured starter Frederik Andersen – including a couple while his team was a killing a penalty in overtime – before Mitch Marner scored the winner in the shootout as Toronto extended its franchise-record home winning streak to 11 games with a 6-5 victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.”The heart rate spikes,” McElhinney said of getting called on without any warning. ”It certainly goes up and the adrenaline starts pumping. … Once the first shot’s taken you kind of settle in.”Marner beat Kari Lehtonen in the third round of the shootout, completing Toronto’s comebacks from 4-2 and 5-4 deficits in the third period.James van Riemsdyk had his third career hat trick, and Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau also scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs.Andersen allowed three goals on 20 shots before leaving with an upper-body injury. He skated to the bench during a television timeout with 9:35 left in the second and headed straight to the locker room. There was no obvious sign he was hurt, but coach Mike Babcock didn’t seem overly concerned afterwards.McElhinney came on and helped Toronto improve to 3-2-2 overall since star center Auston Matthews went down with a shoulder injury on Feb. 22. Tyler Bozak, who also scored in the shootout, and Marner each added two assists to keep the Maple Leafs perfect at home since losing to Colorado on Jan. 22.Tyler Seguin had a goal and two assists, Benn added a goal and an assist, and Radek Faksa, Remi Elie and Brett Ritchie also scored in regulation for Dallas. Lehtonen made 26 stops through overtime.”We came back and won the hockey game about three times, but we ran out of gas,” Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock said. ”It’s tough. I felt for the players.”After the Leafs stormed back with two goals in the third to tie it 4-4, Ritchie took a feed from Seguin and beat McElhinney with 6:42 remaining for his sixth goal of the season.However , Marleau tied it with 15.3 seconds left in regulation when he tipped home Marner’s shot for his 22nd to send the game to overtime.Trailing by two after jumping out to an early 2-0 lead, the Maple Leafs pulled to 4-3 at 5:13 of the third when van Riemsdyk softly flipped his second of the night into the roof of Lehtonen’s net.Toronto got the game’s first power play with about 10 minutes left in regulation, and van Riemsdyk scored his third goal of the night, and team-leading 29th of the season, at 10:43 off a hard pass from Marner.Van Riemsdyk’s three goals moved him past Matthews, who missed his 17th game of the season due to injury, for the team lead.Trailing 2-0, the Stars got on the board with the teams playing 4-on-4 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the first when Seguin beat Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly to a puck in the corner off a faceoff and fed Benn, who got his 25th.Dallas tied it 1:32 later when Greg Pateryn blasted a shot from the point that ticked off Faksa in front for his 14th.The Stars came out flying to start the second – outshooting Toronto 9-1 – before Seguin gave his team its first lead at 4:30 for with his 37th.Andersen left the crease during a television timeout with 9:35 left in the second and went straight to the locker room.Dallas pushed its lead to 4-2 at with just under six minutes left in the middle period when Elie scored his sixth off a nice no-look feed from Devin Shore.While the Maple Leafs are all but assured of finishing as the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Division with the playoffs less than a month away, the Stars find themselves in a battle for a postseason spot in the tight Western Conference standings.Toronto opened the scoring at 4:28 of the first when Kadri took advantage of Lehtonen’s miscue in front to tap home his 27th.The crowd at Air Canada Centre barely had a chance to get back in their seats before van Riemsdyk made it 2-0 just 25 seconds later when he banged in a rebound – also his 27th – off a scramble in front.NOTES: Maple Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson made his NHL debut. … Prior to the recent four-game slide, Toronto had won 14 wins in 17. … Toronto D Nikita Zaitsev sat out for a second consecutive game with the flu. … Stars D Marc Methot suffered a hand injury against Montreal and didn’t dress. … Dallas No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop missed his fifth straight outing with a lower-body injury.UP NEXTStars: At Ottawa on Friday night.Maple Leafs: At Buffalo on Thursday night.
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