After long wait, Hawks ready for Canucks

We’ve seen some great hockey already in the second round, but all of
the hype has been building towards tonight’s game between the Chicago
Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks. These teams are incredibly evenly
matched, play very similar styles of hockey and there’s been some bad
blood brewing between these two the past few seasons. All of it combined
spells what should be an insanely entertaining playoff series to watch.

also been a while since these teams have hit the ice, with the
Blackhawks ending their series against the Predators on Monday. Marian
Hossa, the Game 5 hero for the for the Hawks, says they’ll be ready. From
Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune:

“It was nice to get a good rest and finally tonight get into it,”
winger Marian Hossa said after Saturday’s morning skate at the United
Center. “We’re looking forward to it. We have a really hard opponent in
Vancouver. It’s going to be a great series. It’s going to be hard. They
have lots of firepower and we have to make sure we’re ready for them.”

This series has had the buildup of the equivalent of tonight’s
heavyweight matchup of Mayweather and Mosely, as we wait for what could
be a bloody, knock ’em out series. We’re all waiting to see just how
high the intensity will be, as these are two teams capavle of some
incredibly fast-paced action paired with some very physical play.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.