Miller-Jacobs

Ryan Miller, Jeremy Jacobs got heated Wednesday night — yet CBA talks continued

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Representatives from the NHL and NHLPA got hot under their collars during another round of marathon meetings — but not hot enough to halt momentum.

That was the word out of New York on Wednesday, as multiple sources reported the testiest exchanges came from Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

The skinny, courtesy Sportsnet’s Michael Grange:

Here’s more, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star:

The conversation went something like this.

“Let’s leave,” said Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, turning to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

“It’s up to you,” replied Daly.

At that point during the talks between the NHL and NHL Players Association on Wednesday, a day that began as a continuation of the momentum generated on Tuesday, both sides were at the precipice, and the 2012-13 season was in jeopardy.

Earlier, Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller had angrily vented when the owners said they were disappointed with the players responses to an earlier offer and threatened to pull everything off the table.

Couple things here:

1) The “Miller vs. Boston, Pt. II” narrative is a fun one, though it remains unclear exactly how much of Miller’s venom was directed at Jacobs personally (and let’s be real, Miller ain’t carrying an on-ice beef into the meeting room).

But it does make for good copy and hey, Jacobs did give Milan Lucic a three-year, $18 million contract extension just prior to the start of the lockout.

2) This isn’t the first player-owner spat in CBA negotiations.

Back on Nov. 9, a similar incident occurred — more, from the New York Times:

Reports emerged Friday of a shouting match between players and owners at the end of that day’s meeting. But the delegate said the exchange was “extremely brief” and stood out only because of its rarity.

The exchange was between the free-agent defenseman Chris Campoli and Winnipeg defenseman Ron Hainsey on one side, and the owners Murray Edwards of Calgary and Craig Leipold of Minnesota on the other.

This incident was followed by the infamous “two week moratorium” idea in which NHL commissioner Gary Bettman *reportedly* suggested both sides spend some time apart before trying to resume negotiations.

So yeah, see how far things have come?

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

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Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.

They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.

Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.

Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.

You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:

Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.

Read about that blowout here.

Blues bombard Stars, go up 2-1 in series

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Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.

Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”

It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.

The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.

This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.

Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.

On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.

We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.

Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.