Brian Burke explains why NHL has its doubts about going to 2014 Olympics during Summit

Thumbnail image for brianburke1.jpgThe World Hockey Summit might not be heavy in actual, tangible news but it has provided some puck-based emotional outbursts. Take, for instance, IIHF president’s stance that he would “fight like hell” to stop the NHL from expanding in Europe, even though that idea is probably not on the horizon any time soon.

When you’re looking for passionate hockey banter, turn to Toronto Maple Leafs (USA Olympic hockey team) GM Brian Burke. After hearing opening remarks that spoke glowingly about the NHL’s involvement in the once-every-four-years event, Burke passionately addressed the league’s own concerns.

The Leafs’ GM, an unabashed fan of Olympic hockey and the GM of Team USA in Vancouver, couldn’t hide his displeasure at what he considered the uninformed minimization of the NHL’s concerns with shutting down its season.

“It’s just not that simple,” Burke declared. “And we’re letting it become an emotional issue in this room.

“I do believe, and the Toronto Maple Leafs believe, that NHL players should go to the Olympics. But there’s a big IF — if and only if some of our concerns are addressed.”

[snip]

But Burke and Healy joined forces in arguing forcefully that NHL general managers and medical personnel must have more access to NHL players during international events such as Olympic Games and the annual IIHF World Championships.

For fans and hockey writers, Olympic participation is a no-brainer. The issue is a little more complicated for the league, though, so I think it’s important that Burke and others have the chance to argue their side of the story.

Much like the feared could-be lockout, NHL executives have some time to decide whether or not they want to send their players to the Olympics again in 2014. It will be an interesting story to watch, even if we’ll only receive nuggets of information since Bettman and Co. are playing it pretty close to the vest so far.

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    Penguins – Senators Game 7 goes to double overtime, try to breathe

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    Try to breathe. Maybe meditate during this overtime intermission, if you need it.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators didn’t just need overtime to decide who would win Game 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. It turns out that, despite an angry Penguins crowd, that they’ll need double OT.

    There were plenty of big chances during that span of “free hockey.” You could probably argue that Phil Kessel was the most frustrated player during that frame; he was unable to score but generated some golden opportunities.

    One really looked like it might have beaten Craig Anderson:

    Wow. This one likely stings more for Kessel, as he had a ton of time and space but missed the net.

    Kessel wasn’t the only player to get chances. There were a ton in this first overtime as both teams took thrilling swipes at victory. Still, number 81 provided some of the most memorable moments.

    You can watch Game 7 live on NBCSN. The game can also be viewed online and via the NBC Sports App. Here is the livestream link.

    Brace yourselves, Senators – Penguins Game 7 goes to overtime

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    It’s dangerous to assume much of anything in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators seem like they’re taking turns flipping the script.

    After the Senators received the only two power-play opportunities through the first two periods, Phil Kessel drew a call on Dion Phaneuf. Justin Schultz almost immediately reminded us of part of the reason why his presence had been so sorely missed, scoring an authoritative 2-1 tally.

    Here’s that goal:

    There seemed to be a possibility that officiating would be a huge sticking point, as some didn’t like that call and Guy Boucher was incensed when a whistle was blown when Phil Kessel was hit in the ear with a puck. Penguins haters probably felt especially irritated since the Penguins scored while Zack Werenski was down (and bloodied) during a somewhat similar exchange earlier in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    Some will bring that up, especially once we find out how this one will end, but Ryan Dzingel shifted the focus to how the Senators just won’t quit as he scored soon after that 2-1 goal to tie it 2-2, the second time Ottawa’s fought back (quickly) from a seemingly huge Penguins goal.

    Watch that goal above, then hold your breath as this game goes to overtime.

    You can watch Game 7 live on NBCSN. The game can also be viewed online and via the NBC Sports App. Here is the livestream link.

    Video: Marc Methot’s impressive hip check on Evgeni Malkin

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    So far, the Ottawa Senators are getting their way in Game 7, as their 1-1 contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins has been a grinding, sometimes stifling affair.

    This sets the stage for a dramatic finish, as the two teams are locked up by that 1-1 score heading into the third period.

    With a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line, everyone’s pushing hard, and sometimes that means delivering hard hits.

    All things considered, you’d be hard-pressed to top Marc Methot‘s hip check on Evgeni Malkin from a degree-of-difficulty standpoint.

    Hip checks are already endangered species in the NHL because it’s just so difficult to lineup in this speedier, more skillful game. But to do it in a tied Game 7, against a driven Malkin, in your own zone? That’s borderline audacious. Then again, Methot’s fighting through that gruesome finger injury (along with … maybe other things given playoff secrecy), so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.

    Check it out in GIF form, too:

    Some Penguins fans are grumbling about that not being a penalty, and that’s a debate for the comments. Most of us can agree that it was an impressive feat either way.

    You can watch Game 7 live on NBCSN. The game can also be viewed online and via the NBC Sports App. Here is the livestream link.

    Calm, then storm: Penguins, Senators trade Game 7’s goals in 20 seconds

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    Here’s hoping that you didn’t take a poorly-timed break in the second period.

    For much of Game 7, the Ottawa Senators have been able to slow down the Pittsburgh Penguins, resulting in a contest that went scoreless for what sometimes felt like ages.

    Chris Kunitz changed that, long after missing on a golden opportunity shortly after Mike Sullivan decided to put him on Sidney Crosby‘s line. Kunitz finished a nice rush play to make it 1-0 9:55 into the second. Check out that goal below.

    Guy Boucher didn’t have to deploy “attack mode” very long, as Mark Stone stunningly tied it up 1-1 just 20 seconds later. That surprising tally can be seen in the clip above this post’s headline.