Chicago’s Dan Carcillo eager to do battle with Canucks past and present this season

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If we’ve learned anything from Dan Carcillo’s days in Philadelphia it’s that he’s not afraid to speak his mind nor is he afraid to do whatever he feels like on the ice as well. From fighting during the Winter Classic in 2010 with Shawn Thornton at Fenway Park, to getting hushed down by Maxime Talbot during a playoff game that saw Talbot beat him in a fight, Carcillo isn’t one to avoid the spotlight.

When the Chicago Blackhawks signed Carcillo this summer, it seemed like a peculiar move as Carcillo has a bit of a bad reputation following him around. After all, he’s going to have to sit out the first two games of the season thanks to a suspension for berating officials during the playoffs and his maniacal play on the ice often leads to bad penalties.

Carcillo told the media in Chicago today that he’s excited for a new start in Chicago and is looking forward to getting a piece of everyone in Vancouver’s lineup… Both past and present as CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers shares.

“A few guys there play a little outside of their shoes,” said Carcillo, who threw out Max Lapierre as well as former Canucks Raffi Torres (now in Phoenix) and Tanner Glass(Winnipeg). “And I think I can keep most of these guys in check when we play them this year.”

The Chicago Blackhawks forward said Monday’s press conference was the first of his career, but he certainly knew how to win over the new crowd. In two months his focus is going to be back to what he knows best: irritating everyone not wearing the same sweater he is.

For taking aim on the Canucks, Carcillo was able to get one out of three correct so that’s pretty good for a baseball batting average, but it’s the fire behind his words that he’s hoping will impress the fans in Chicago the most. While some Hawks fans might not be excited to have Carcillo on board, the second he tries punching out a member of the Canucks or Red Wings, the fans at United Center will be chanting his name.

Hey, that’s how it worked in Philadelphia for Carcillo in the first place and he’s more than aware of that.

“I wasn’t very liked when I got to Philadelphia; they traded away a well-liked player for me (Scottie Upshall). And wherever I play I try to play with emotion. Sometimes emotions get the best of me,” he said. “But with time I’ve learned to hone it and I’ll have to do the same thing here. Everything I do I try to do as hard as I can and with a lot of passion. Hopefully fans embrace it.”

Undisciplined play will earn him a spot in the press box as coach Joel Quenneville won’t stand for it. Bad penalties killed Chicago last season as their penalty kill was one of the worst in the league, finishing 25th out of 30 teams in the NHL. If the Hawks kill doesn’t improve and Carcillo’s antics put Chicago in a hole, his welcome will be all but worn out fast. Being in the same locker room with the guys that beat his 2010 Flyers team for the Stanley Cup should be enough to help show the example he needs to follow.

One thing Carcillo does add is toughness and that’s something the Blackhawks were in the hunt for this summer. How he handles toeing the line between being effective and being a potential problem for his team will be worth watching this season.

Video: Johansen, Fisher join in Predators’ conference title celebration

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After reaching their first ever Western Conference Final, the Nashville Predators topped that in a big way, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.

There were a lot of firsts and rarities along the way.

In ousting the Anaheim Ducks with a 6-3 victory in Game 6, GM David Poile’s team advanced to the championship round for the first time in his lengthy time as an executive.

Peter Laviolette also became the fourth coach in NHL history to bring three different teams to a Stanley Cup Final. The Predators are also the first 16th seed to make it this far.

Yep, that’s a long list of milestones (and not a comprehensive one). And, to think, the Predators haven’t even been on the brink of elimination during the postseason yet.

It’s special stuff, so don’t be surprised by the boisterous celebration you can see in the video above this post’s headline.

P.K. Subban: No city in the NHL ‘has anything on Nashville’

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If there’s one thing we can agree upon about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s that these months have really cemented just how hockey-mad Nashville has become for its Predators.

(Yes, you can call it “Smashville” if you’d like.)

The scene at Bridgestone Arena was as boisterous as ever in the Predators’ 6-3 Game 6 win against the Anaheim Ducks, with legions of fans packing and surrounding the building.

Sights like these have becoming resoundingly normal for a hockey market that was once questioned by media and other fan bases:

Yeah, wow.

As the Predators advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final, plenty of people were making jokes at the expense of the Montreal Canadiens for trading P.K. Subban. Of course, Subban wouldn’t take a shot at the Habs during such a great moment, but his praise for puck-nutty Predators fans says a lot in itself.

“I played in an A+ market my whole career,” Subban said, via Jeremy K. Gover of the Nashville Predators Radio Network. “There’s not a city in the league that has anything on Nashville.”

Whether their opponent is the Pittsburgh Penguins or Ottawa Senators, we already know that Nashville will begin the Stanley Cup Final on the road. That’s OK … Predators fans might need some time to get their voices back and recover from celebrating, so waiting until Games 3 and 4 might be a blessing in disguise.

Ducks’ Cogliano just doesn’t think Predators were the better team

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The Anaheim Ducks battled their way to Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, but Colton Sissons and the Nashville Predators ended their season on Monday.

The Ducks are processing that disappointment – being just two wins away from a trip to the championship round – and some of their reactions might spark a little controversy.

Specifically, it sounds a bit like Bruce Boudreau believing that his Minnesota Wild were superior to the St. Louis Blues despite falling in that series.

Andrew Cogliano, it must be noted, was spurned by Pekka Rinne on some early chances in Game 6. He likely feels as frustrated as any Ducks player right now.

Sisson’s hat-trick goal, making it 4-3 before two empty-netters cemented the 6-3 finish, was the dagger that finally put the hard-working Ducks down.

One can understand some of those feelings from Anaheim, especially considering the frustration of a) getting over Jonathan Bernier‘s early struggles to make a very real game of this and b) occasionally carrying the play in a dramatic way, including in Game 6.

Still, the Predators got the right combination of great stretches of play from Rinne and strong work from the expected and the unexpected, such as Sissons.

For an aging star like Ryan Getzlaf – a player who produced some of his best work late in the season and during the playoffs – you have to wonder how many chances remain.

Predators eliminate Ducks, reach first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history

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Colton Sissons made a serious argument that the Nashville Predators do, indeed, still have a No. 1 center.

At least, he certainly played that way on Monday, generating a hat trick as the Predators eliminated the Anaheim Ducks via a 6-3 win, taking the series 4-2.

In doing so, the Predators advanced to their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history.

That 6-3 score is very misleading. While Nashville managed 2-0 and 3-1 leads, there was plenty of drama in this one, as the Ducks did not go down easily. Cam Fowler tied it up 3-3 in the third period, briefly stunning a rowdy crowd in Nashville.

Sissons was up to the task, however, settling down a bouncing puck on an otherwise stupendous Calle Jarnkrok pass to score the game-winner, notching a hat trick in the process. Sissons continues to be an unlikely hero for a Predators team dealing with the absence of Ryan Johansen (not to mention Mike Fisher, Craig Smith, and others).

Two empty-netters inflated the score, and they also sapped drama from the closing moments, which must have been quite the relief considering how much resolve Anaheim showed.

Peter Laviolette distinguishes himself as one of the NHL’s most underrated bench bosses, becoming just the fourth coach in league history to take three different teams to a Stanley Cup Final. He couldn’t win it all with the Philadelphia Flyers, but he does have a ring thanks to his time with the Carolina Hurricanes. Perhaps he’ll take another one this spring?

It’s quite the moment for GM David Poile, too, after trading Shea Weber for P.K. Subban and Seth Jones for Johansen, among other pivotal moves.

The Ducks might wonder what could have been if John Gibson played instead of Jonathan Bernier. Bernier struggled early, allowing two goals on the first three shots he faced and generally having a tough Game 6. Pekka Rinne, meanwhile, maintained his mostly great run in the playoffs; he protected a Predators lead even when the Ducks dominated long stretches of play.

Now the Predators get a nice rest, as the Eastern Conference Final continues with a Game 6 on Tuesday (and possibly a Game 7 on Thursday).

They’ll limp a bit toward that final round, but the Predators seem to be embracing new territory. And sometimes new heroes.