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Posts Tagged ‘Calgary.’

Defenseman Rob Blake retires after 20-year career

compiled from staff, San Jose Sharks and NHL news

Coming into the 2009-2010 hockey season, Rob Blake knew that this would be his last NHL season.

He performed quite well for a player of 40 years old, helping his team, the San Jose Sharks reach the Western Conference Finals.

He made the decision officially last week at a press conference that his career is over. He will probably end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Blake leaves the game on his terms, still able to play at a high level against the younger players in the NHL and could’ve played another year or two but didn’t want to be selfish and take up a roster spot that could go to a younger player.

Rob Blake (nhl)

Blake had a very satisfying and decorated career. He helped the Los Angeles Kings advance to the Stanley Cup final in 1993, winning the Norris Trophy for the Kings as the league’s to defender in 1998.  Winning the Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001 and earned a gold medal for Canada in 2002.

He helped San Jose post the top regular season record in the Western Conference the past two seasons, but the team was unable to get into their first Stanley Cup final.

Blake was named team captain this past season for San Jose, and his leadership was a steadying influence on a team that needed a steady hand to lead the players.

He teammed with Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Blake had seven goals and 23 assists in 70 games and was the team’s most reliable defenders.

Blake grew up on a farm in Ontario, never thinking that his hockey career would last until he was 40. He played college hockey for the Bowling Green State University Falcons and was a fourth-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. He came up to the NHL late in the 1989-90 season after finishing his college education and career. His first goal as an NHL player came in the playoffs against Calgary.

Blake leaves the NHL 10th on the career list with 240 goals as a defenseman. He finished his career with 537 assists and 777 points. His 136 power-play goals are the third most by an NHL defenseman, trailing Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (173) and Al MacInnis (166).

Adrian Aucoin re-signs with Phoenix Coyotes

compiled from staff, Phoenix Coyotes and NHL news

The Phoenix Coyotes have re-signed defenseman Adrian Aucoin to a two-year contract.

Adrian Aucoin (PHX)

The 36-year-old Aucoin, had eight goals and 20 assists while playing in all 82 regular-season games in his first year with Phoenix. He also garnered two assists in seven playoff games and led the NHL with six shootout-winning goals.

Aucoin joined the Coyotes after playing for Calgary, Chicago, Vancouver, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders. He has 116 goals, 248 assists and 683 penalty minutes in 933 NHL games.

Blue Jackets continue to have trouble winning in St.Louis; lose in OT

compiled from staff and wire reports

The St. Louis Blues are hanging on in the Western Conference playoff race as Erik Johnson scored on a power-play goal in overtime for a 2-1 victory over Columbus.

Andy McDonald had a goal and an assist, David Perron set up both goals and Chris Mason, a Blue Jackets nemesis, made 27 saves for the Blues, which have won a season-high five straight at home. The Blues are four points behind Colorado with three games to go for the final Western Conference playoff spot and needs to finish ahead of the Avalanche, who swept them in the regular season.

St. Louis is also 2 points behind Calgary, which has three games to go.

Rick Nash did not play vs. St. Louis (cbj)

Derick Brassard scored an early power-play goal and Mathieu Garon made 32 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost three straight and were shorthanded due to injuries to Rick Nash and Andy Murray.

The Blues have been the NHL’s worst team at home for most of the season but has had a late season surge to where the record now is: 17-18-5.

GAME NOTES

* Keith Tkachuk played in his 1,200th game.

* Paid attendance of 17,601 was about 1,500 shy of capacity, ending a string of 15 sellouts for the Blues.

Blue Jackets start fast en route to demolishing Chicago, 8-3

Columbus, Ohio–The Columbus Blue Jackets have rarely had a so-called easy game this season. But Thursday night’s Central Division clash against the Chicago Blackhawks would definitely qualify as one.

Columbus scored in every period, 2 in the first, 4 in the second and 2 in the third to completely baffle the number 1 team in the Western Conference. It’s baffling because the Jackets came into the game 0-2-2 against Chicago this season.

The Jackets came out of the locker room with much aggressiveness as they scored in the first :32 seconds of the game as Mike Commodore, not known as scorer, shot the puck off a tough angle and past Chicago’s shaky goaltender Cristobal Huet, for a quick 1-0 lead.

Chicago, a little perturbed about being behind to a team that they should handle easily, tried to get a fight started as RW Adam Burish got tangled up in the corner with Derek Dorsett of the Blue Jackets. The officials gave Dorsett a roughing penalty on the play. Then defenseman Brent Seabrook got tangled up with Dorsett later in the period, but nothing came of it.

Samuel Pahlsson had 2 assists (CBJ)

Columbus went up 2-0 as Rick Nash had an open shot, but got the puck to Kristian Huselius who also was open, and he put it past Huet to make it 2-0 at the 12:08 mark of the first period. It was Huselius’ 3rd goal against Chicago and 22nd of the season.

The Blackhawks did come alive towards the end of the first period but it was clear, that they did not come out of the locker room ready to match the Blue Jackets intensity.

In the second period, Chicago started to show why they’re the number 1 team in the Western Conference with 99 points. They came out of the locker room with an urgency and it paid off as RW Kris Versteeg scored off a rush at the 2:15 mark to cut the lead down to 2-1 Columbus.

Everybody in Nationwide Arena started buzzing after that goal, because they’ve seen it happen over and over all season, that the Jackets will dominate the first period and come out flat in the second and fall behind in the game. They’ve seen it happen against the Blackhawks before, but on this night the Blue jackets were not going to be denied or stopped in beating the Blackhawks.

Columbus continued to take advantage of gaps in the Chicago defense and scored another goal to answer Versteeg’s tally. Kristian Huselius, who has seen consistency and a rebirth in his game since Claude Noel took over for Ken Hitchcock as the coach, scored on a rebound shot at the 4:58 mark and it was 3-1. Huselius scored his 4th goal of the season versus Chicago and 23rd on the season.

Mike Commodore scored :32 into game (CBJ)

Then, all 14,573 in attendance saw something that they rarely see in a hockey game, a penalty shot. Jakub Voracek, one of the up-and -coming stars on the Blue Jackets team, was off-to-the-races with the puck, moving in 1-on-1 against the goalie when one of the Blackhawks defenseman took him off his skates. So that meant a penalty shot for Voracek going one-on-one against Cristobal Huet who was already having a bad night in goal.

Voracek drove towards the goal, and got Huet out of position and put the puck into the low right side of the net and shockingly it was 4-1 Columbus. The last time Columbus had a home penalty shot goal,  prior to last night was on March 19, 2001 vs. Nashville, when David Vyborny beat  Tomas Vokoun at 18:01 of the third period in a 2-1 loss.  The scoring wasn’t over by any stretch of the imagination.

Antione Vermette was about to get into scoring column. He took a Chicago mistake and went streaking in on goalie Cristobal Huet and he scored unassisted at the 14:17 mark and it was 5-1 and the rout was continuing. By now, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville had seen enough of  Huet and decided to give Antti Niemi a shot at cooling down the Jackets for the rest of the second period anyway.

It was to no avail as center Andrew Murray picked up a loose puck and shoveled it past Niemi making the score 6-1. The Blue Jackets amazingly had scored 4 goals against one of the NHL’s best teams and best defenses in  the second period to open up daylight at 6-1.

The Blackhawks came out in the third period and scored a couple of goals but the Blue Jackets did the same with Antione Vermette scoring his second of the night and 25th of the season and Mike Blunden his first of the campaign.

The Blue Jackets by far, had played their best game of the season and left fans and media wondering where were all of these goals, inspirational, physical and emotional play back in December and January when the team basically fell out of playoff contention.

Maybe it was a glimpse of what we’ll see in 2010-2011.

SOUNDS FROM THE POSTGAME LOCKER ROOM (to listen to an audio file, simply click on the number)

44 648 Adam Burish Chicago Rw Chicago was mistake prone all game long

44 651 Adam Burish On goalie Cristobal Huet taking the heat for another bad game

44 654 Antione Vermette Columbus Finally an easy game for a change

44 656 Antione Vermette Scoring in the first 32 seconds of the game got them rolling

44 657 Antione Vermette A career high 25th goal tonight feels good in a win

44 659 Antione Vermette Was he surprised that they embarrassed Cristobal Huet in goal

GAME NOTES

* The Blue Jackets are 19-11-7 at home.

* Columbus is 30-32-12 for 72 points on the season.

* Are 25-24-7 vs. Chicago.

* Are 15-10-4 vs. Chicago at Nationwide Arena.

* The CBJ are 20-12-5 when scoring the first goal of the sesason.

* Columbus is 13-7-5 when leading after the first period.

* 23-6-4 when leading after the second period.

* The eight goals scored by Columbus matches a club single game record overall and is most the club has scored at home.

The club record of eight goals was set March 7, 2009 at Detroit, a game Columbus won 8-2.

The previous high for goals scored at home was seven, set February 8, 2006 against Los Angeles in a 7-4 victory.

* The five-goal margin of victory matches a club record at home.

The record had been set four times previously (February 26, 2009 vs. Calgary, 5-0–most recent).

* The 11 combined goals between the clubs also matches a home franchise record.

The record had been set three times previously (December 28, 2006 vs. Detroit, a 7-4 loss–most recent).

* The Blackhawks currently sit atop the Central Division with 99 points, ten points clear of second-place Nashville with two games in hand.

* Chicago has not won a division title since finishing in first place in the Norris Division in 1992-93 season.

* The Blackhawks have occupied first place in the Central Division since November 9. The last time Chicago did not own at least a share of first place in the division was on November 8 when they were in second (8-5-2) behind first place Columbus (9-5-2). That was when the Blue Jackets were playing well.

* Chicago has won 11 of its last 14 games against Central Division opponents, and owns a 14-6-0 mark against division rivals overall. Washington (17-3-1) in the Southeast Division is the only NHL team with a better record within their division.

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