Once again, the ice is an issue in Chicago

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If these games were being played in California, Florida or Texas then
I could see how the ice conditions could become a major story. Yet the
Stanley Cup finals will be in Chicago and Philadelphia, not exactly two
cities you think of being hot and having issues keeping the ice is good
shape.

Yet that’s exactly what some of the talk was about today. It’s June,
and unless the Stanley Cup finals were being played in the Yukon there’s
a good chance we’d be having the issues no matter what arena the games
are played in. Still, the players weren’t too happy with the ice
conditions during the game last night. From an AP report:

“It’s so hot outside, I don’t know if you could do
anything about it,” Blackhawks left winger Kris
Versteeg
said.

He said the ice was fine for about the first
10 minutes of each period.

“The last 10, it heats up a bit,”
Versteeg said. “There’s nothing they can do about it. They’re not going
to change the temperature or anything like that. They’re not going to
tell the people to stop screaming and opening doors.”

Watching the game, I didn’t notice anything particularly out of the
ordinary when it comes to the puck bouncing, but the players certainly
take notice. Chris Pronger suggested that they could certainly ensure
the ice was hard enough for everyone’s liking, but the fans wouldn’t
enjoy sitting around with the temperature set at about 4 degrees.

“It’s getting hot out, humid out. While it is the Windy City, we
can’t open up the doors, as we talked about yesterday, and let all that
cold wind in. I don’t think it’s any worse than it was in Anaheim or
Carolina or whatever. As you’ve progress further in the Playoffs, the
ice usually gets a little softer. It’s tough to keep it that cold.”

Kopitar dominates with a hat trick to help Kings defeat Rangers in OT

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Anze Kopitar received high praise from L.A. Kings coach Darryl Sutter following Friday’s win over the New York Rangers.

All Kopitar did was score three goals on four shots on goal. He was also credited with five hits while winning 65 per cent of his faceoffs. His third goal of the evening with 30 seconds remaining in regulation pushed this game into overtime, where Tanner Pearson scored the winner for L.A. in a 5-4 victory.

“It was Kopi’s best game of the season, that’s for sure,” said Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider.

“Not just because he scored three goals, but it was his best game all around in terms of using his whole package. I mean, he was a pretty dominant player.”

L.A. maintain an eight-point lead on the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division lead.

The Kings’ victory came at a cost. Marian Gaborik left the game in the first period after being involved in an awkward collision. He did not return, and Sutter didn’t have an update on the veteran forward when the game ended.

Video: P.K. Subban tossed after on-ice outburst toward officials

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P.K. Subban was given a game misconduct on Friday after an outburst directed at officials in the final minute against the Buffalo Sabres.

Subban was furious after the puck got caught up in the skates of the linesman in the neutral zone before Evander Kane then picked it up and scored into the open net. That put the Sabres up by two goals with 55 seconds remaining in regulation and ended any hopes of a Montreal comeback.

Subban had some choice words for officials but his argument ultimately landed him with an early exit from this game. The Habs lost by a final score of 6-4.

The Sabres scored four straight goals between the first and second periods, chasing Ben Scrivens from the net 1:28 into the second period.

 

Video: Doan ties Hawerchuk for most points in Jets/Coyotes history

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Shane Doan on Friday scored his 20th goal of the season, and tied a historical mark for the initial Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes franchise in the process.

Doan scored in the first period against the Calgary Flames, tying him with Dale Hawerchuk for most points in Jets/Coyotes history with 929.

Now 39 years old, Doan has spent his entire career with that organization, playing one season in Winnipeg before the organization moved to Phoenix.

He also joined another impressive list, too.

Leafs’ Corrado returns to Vancouver with a chip on his shoulder

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Just as the Vancouver Canucks are once again struggling through injuries and with their depth on defense a constant question mark, Frank Corrado returns to town with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s a quick visit. The Leafs and Canucks do battle on Saturday, with the hosts wearing their famous ‘Flying Skate’ logo from the 1990s.

But the return of Corrado with a different team provides a juicy storyline in Vancouver.

The Canucks waived the 22-year-old defenseman in October.

He was claimed by the Leafs, which ended his time in Vancouver when it previously started with promise and optimism.

He quickly ascended as a prospect after being selected in the fifth round five years ago. But when training camp rolled around this season, Canucks GM Jim Benning was of the belief that Corrado had been passed in the depth chart by a few other defensemen in the system.

The move has been criticized in Vancouver because the Canucks lost an asset — a 22-year-old right-shooting defenseman with potential — for nothing.

Corrado had some interesting things to say about how his time in Vancouver eventually played out, as per Josh Clipperton of the Canadian Press.

Two examples:

Corrado has played 10 games for the Leafs this season, with three assists. He made his Leafs debut more than two months after being claimed.