2010 Calder Cup Finals: Texas Stars stun Hershey Bears for 2-0 series lead

In the midst of what has become one hell of an entertaining NHL
Stanley Cup finals, there is a big surprise brewing in the AHL’s Calder
Cup finals. The Texas Stars, in their first season in the league, have
absolutely stunned the Hershey Bears in the first two games of the
series.

The Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals,
were the best team in the AHL this past season and were absolutely
dominant at home. The Bears had won 37 of 38 games at home this season,
and no one believed the Stars had a chance to steal any of the games in
Ohio, let alone win the series.

Yet after last night’s 4-3 win, in
which Travis Morin broke a 3-3 tie with 45 seconds remaining in
regulation, the Stars own a 2-0 series lead as the teams head back to
Austin for Games 3, 4 and (possibly) 5.

The Bears have had nearly
11,000 fans at each of the first two games of the series and each time
the fans have left stunned and reeling after the two losses. The Stars
have turned into perhaps one of the more surprising stories and possible
Cup-winning teams, as many felt they were just a team with role players
and a suspect defense.

After they were able to come back and win a
surprising Game 7 against the Hamilton Bulldogs, many felt the Stars were
just banking on Jamie Benn to get as far as they had. Yet against
Hershey, the Stars have proven to be much, much more than that.

The
Bears head to Austin having to answer all the questions about why
they’ve allowed a team like Texas to stun them, as it’s possibly another
instance of a talented and successful team overlooking their opponent.
Everyone expect the Bears to roll the Stars, and now they face a
considerable hole in the series.

Game 3 is tomorrow night in Cedar
Park, Texas.

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    VIDEO: Bruins take three delay of game penalties in first period

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    The delay of game-puck over the glass rule is the one call in the NHL that gets made pretty consistently. It might get missed on occasion, but it’s a pretty black and white rule.

    If you shoot the puck over the glass in your own defensive zone without it hitting another object, it is a penalty. Really nothing to argue about there.

    The Boston Bruins had some issues with it in the first period of Sunday’s playoff game against the Ottawa Senators when they took three — three! — delay of game penalties in the first 15 minutes of Game 6, giving the Senators plenty of opportunities to draw first on the scoreboard.

    It all started 17 seconds into the game when Sean Kuraly, the Bruins’ Game  5 overtime hero, was guilty of it. Twelve minutes later, Joe Morrow was guilty of it. Then three minutes after that, Colin Miller sent one over the glass. You can see them all in the video above.

    Fortunately for the Bruins they were able to kill off all three penalties and keep the game scoreless.

    Because hockey can sometimes be a random, unpredictable and maddening game, the Bruins got a power play of their own late in the period when Mark Stone was sent off for tripping. It took the Bruins less than a minute to capitalize when Drew Stafford scored his first goal of the playoffs to give his team a 1-0 lead.

    So through all of that — three penalties and a 12-6 shots disadvantage that included a clear breakaway on Tuukka Rask — the Bruins went into the first intermission with the lead.

    The lead did not last long into the second period, however, thanks to Ottawa goals from Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris.

    The Bruins’ issues keeping the puck in play in the period was very reminiscent of that Penguins-Capitals playoff game a year ago when the Penguins, when trying to protect a third period lead, took three consecutive delay of game penalties in the third period of Game 6, opening the door for a Capitals comeback that sent the game to overtime. The Penguins ended up winning the game anyway to clinch the series.

    Couture wants Sharks to re-sign Thornton, Marleau

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    The San Jose Sharks 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night was not only the end of their 2016-17 season, it could have also been the end of an era.

    With veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1, their future with the team remains uncertain, and neither one seemed prepared to talk about it in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s defeat.

    Sharks forward Logan Couture was asked if he wants to see the two players return next season and made it pretty clear that he does.

    “You’re asking a guy who’s played with those guys for eight years,” said Couture, via Paul Gackle of the Mecrury News. “I love those guys. They play hard. If you guys only knew what they play through. The respect level that I have for those two guys is just through the roof.”

    There are a number of variables that are going to play a role in whether or not the two leading scorers in franchise history will be back.

    Along with their willingness to return is the fact that both players will be entering their age 38 seasons and already showed some signs of slowing down this season. How much cap space are the Sharks going to be willing to invest in the duo when they already have $55.7 million in salary cap space committed to 16 players for next season, especially given their ages.

    If this does turn out to be the end for Thornton and/or Marleau in San Jose their time will be remembered more for not winning a Stanley Cup and probably not for how much success they have actually had on the ice, both individually and as a team. Not only have Thornton and Marleau been two of the NHL’s best and most productive players over the past decade, but the Sharks have been one of the NHL’s best teams. Since the 2005-06 season, when Thornton first arrived in San Jose, the Sharks have won a league best 547 regular season games (11 more than the team with the second-most wins, the Pittsburgh Penguins) while their 64 playoff wins are tied for the fourth most (Anaheim Ducks) behind only the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, and Detroit Red Wings.

    WATCH LIVE: Maple Leafs, Bruins facing elimination on Sunday

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    It is a win or go home situation for the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, as both teams enter their respective Game 6s facing elimination in their first-round playoff series’.

    The Bruins need to beat the Ottawa Senators to force a Game 7 on Tuesday night, while the Toronto Maple Leafs need a win to extend their series against the Presidents’ Trophy winning Washington Capitals to a decisive seventh game on Wednesday.

    Both games will be shown on the NBC Networks and streamed online.

    Here is all of the information you need for Sunday’s games.

    Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators

    Time: 3:00 p.m. ET

    Network: NBC (Stream Online Here)

    Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Washington Capitals

    Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

    Network: NBCSN (Stream Online Here)

    David Krejci out again for Bruins; Matt Beleskey will play

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    The Boston Bruins will once again be without forward David Krejci on Sunday afternoon when they face the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series, coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed.

    It will be the third game that Krejci has missed in the series due to a lower-body injury.

    Matt Beleskey, who has only played in two of the first five games of the series, will draw into the lineup in his place.

    Krejci’s absence still leaves the Bruins shorthanded as they are still without defensemen Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo. Cassidy said on Sunday that Krug has resumed skating but is still not ready to return to the lineup.

    The Senators have a couple of lineup questions of their own. Forward Viktor Stalberg is a game-time decision, while Guy Boucher is making one change on defense with Chris Wideman coming out of the lineup for Fredrik Claesson.