ejmcguire

Scouting director EJ McGuire dies at age 58 after battle with cancer

Today is a sad day for the hockey world, as Edward John “EJ” McGuire died today in Toronto due to complications from cancer. McGuire was 58 years old and is survived by his wife Terry and his two daughters, Jacqueline and Erin.

McGuire has been the Director of the NHL’s Central Scouting Department since 2005, heading the most relied-upon source of draft information in a sport that requires extensive international research. Of course, he will be missed for far more personal reasons than his presence as a go-to guy regarding draft prospects, though.

The NHL’s press release notes that McGuire was a head coach at the collegiate, junior and AHL levels along with being an assistant coach for three different NHL teams and a scout for two.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and VP of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell provided statements about a man who was well-respected in hockey circles.

“The National Hockey League was privileged to benefit from EJ’s expertise and enthusiasm, both of which were limitless,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “EJ loved scouting games and loved the internal debates over the strengths and weaknesses of Entry Draft prospects. The way he ran Central Scouting made it vitally important to every one of our Clubs.

“The NHL family has suffered a tremendous loss. As we celebrate EJ’s contributions and mourn his passing, we send our condolences — and our gratitude — to EJ’s family and friends.”

(snip)

“EJ was a colleague, a friend and a mentor who influenced and enriched the hockey lives of thousands of players, coaches, parents and administrators in more than 30 years in the game,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “As a coach, he combined attention to detail with innovation to teach the game to players at all levels — from teenage college and junior players to the elite professionals in the NHL.  As the NHL’s Vice President of Central Scouting and a member of the Hockey Operations Department, he brought wisdom, guidance and unparalleled commitment to the game to advance it on so many levels.

“EJ had two loves in life: His love of family and his passion for hockey,” Campbell said. “The hockey world extends its deepest sympathies to his wife, Terry, and daughters Jacqueline and Erin.”

(Photo via NHL.com.)

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.

Video: Orpik penalized after catching Maatta with late, high hit

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The Pittsburgh Penguins were without defenseman Olli Maatta for most of the first period of Game 2 after he was on the receiving end of a high, late hit from Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik.

The hit occurred early in the first period, well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck on a rush into the Washington zone.

Maatta, who nearly fell over as he tried to stand back up, was in obvious distress as he went to the dressing room. Orpik was given a minor penalty for interference on the play.