Dan Carcillo

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.

Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

TAMPA, FL - MAY 24:  Brian Boyle #11 of the Tampa Bay Lightning reacts after losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final with a score of 5 to 2 during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 24, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

Read more about Game 6 here.

Penguins force Game 7 after holding off Lightning rally

TAMPA, FL - MAY 24:  Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with his teammates Sidney Crosby #87 after scoring a goal against Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 24, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Jason Behnken/Getty Images)
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The Pittsburgh Penguins played with fire late in Game 6, but they also showed plenty of fire in beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2.

With that, this thrilling Eastern Conference Final will go the distance with Game 7 on Thursday.

There are at least a few “What if?” scenarios to consider, especially for the Lightning.

What if that offside goal counted?

Jonathan Drouin played some fantastic hockey on Tuesday, yet his most memorable moment came via something that ultimately “didn’t happen.” An offside call on a goal review kept a 1-0 lead from happening for Tampa Bay:

Instead, the Penguins poured it on during the first period and eventually went up 1-0. They then carried that momentum over through the second period, adding two more goals to go up 3-0 heading into the final frame.

What if Tampa Bay played more like they did in the third period?

The difference between the level of play in the first 40 minutes and the final frame were night-and-day.

Now, you can make a chicken-and-the-egg argument here. Did the Penguins take their feet off the gas with that lead? Maybe Jon Cooper finally unleashed the hounds when the Lightning were facing a big deficit?

Maybe it’s a combination of those factors; either way, the Bolts couldn’t come all the way back even after making it interesting. At one point the game was 3-2 before a Bryan Rust breakaway goal and an empty-netter put things out of reach.

Both Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy faced plenty of tough chances and came through more often than not. We’ll see if there are any goal controversy rumblings, but each netminder came through at times tonight.

***

Now the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 with a Stanley Cup Final on the line. Excited and/or nervous yet?

More: Great goals by Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.

Sidney Crosby scores a superstar goal

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With the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season on the line in Game 6, plenty of eyes are on big guns Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel.

Those marquee names are really coming through so far as they’ve now built a 3-0 lead through two periods against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

You likely already saw Kessel’s display of high-end hand-eye coordination (if not, check it here). Kris Letang scored his first goal of the series to make it 2-0 on a very tricky, well-placed shot.

The highlight really might be Crosby’s tally, though. He left multiple Lightning players baffled and beat a very-much-game Andrei Vasilevskiy to beef that lead up 3-0.

Video: Phil Kessel displays incredible hand-eye coordination on goal

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This has been a tough postseason for Phil Kessel haters.

The supposed “choker” is on a team that’s in the Eastern Conference Final, but Kessel obviously isn’t just in for the ride with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored his 18th point in 17 postseason games by scoring the 1-0 goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6.

(Watch that goal in the video above.)

It was a dramatic first period, with a Jonathan Drouin goal getting disallowed and Andrei Vasilevskiy making some huge saves on tough chances.

Can Pittsburgh protect this slim lead with 1-0 down one period? We’ll see, but either way, what a great postseason for Kessel.

Update: Here’s the goal Kessel accidentally “scored” for the Lightning:

Ouch.