Tag: Ryan Suter

St. Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild - Game Three

Wild made the Blues ‘crack’ with their checking


It may not be particularly pretty to watch, but boy has it been effective for the Minnesota Wild.

“They checked us really hard and they got us to crack,” is how St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock put it after last night’s 3-0 Minnesota victory, one that saw the Wild limit the Blues to 10 shots through the first 40 minutes, and just 17 overall.

That left Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk with little to do, other than watch in awe as his teammates suffocated their opponents.

“We play like that, I don’t think there’s one team that can avoid turning the puck over,” Dubnyk said. “Every time a pass is made, our guy’s there. … Every single line, every pairing was on top of the puck. … I’ve seen some pretty incredible performances here at home by us, and that ranks right up there with it.”

We have to be honest — it’s hard to find a real glaring weakness on this Wild team. The forward group is deep, with a good mix of speed, size and talent; the defense is anchored by Ryan Suter, with the emergence of Matt Dumba allowing it to be less reliant on its top four; and, of course, there’s Dubnyk in goal.

Game 4 goes Wednesday in St. Paul. The Wild lead the Blues, 2-1.

Related: Blues need more — much more — from Backes, Stastny and Oshie

PHT’s awards picks for 2014-15

Carey Price, Mats Zuccarello

Just a brief awards post on this busy day. Halford and I each gave our top picks. Feel free to add your two bits in the comments section.

Hart Trophy

Brough: Carey Price. Nobody was more important to their team than this guy. If not for Price, the Habs may not have made the playoffs. I did strongly consider Alex Ovechkin, given he had 10 more goals than anyone else. If Caps fans are mad at me for choosing otherwise, perhaps they can take solace in the fact I didn’t really consider Sidney Crosby at all.

Halford: Carey Price. I also strongly considered Ovechkin, who was the only skater to break the 50-goal mark. But Price was the only goalie with a GAA under 2.00 and save percentage over .930, and on a Montreal team that finished 20th in offense (2.61 goals per game), Price was the more valuable player.

Norris Trophy

Brough: Erik Karlsson. I don’t apologize for picking the defenseman with the most points. It’s not the only factor I considered (obviously), but the ability to move the puck and create offense from the back end is vitally important, and nobody does it better than Karlsson.

Halford: Drew Doughty. No d-man logged more total ice time this season. Not even Ryan Suter. The Kings may have missed the playoffs, but it wasn’t because of Doughty. He’s the best two-way defenseman in the world.

Calder Trophy

Brough: Aaron Ekblad. It was extremely hard not to pick Johnny Gaudreau or Mark Stone, but considering Ekblad’s rookie season, compared to the ones by other 18-year-old defensemen throughout the years, was in line with Bobby Orr’s, I’m not going to lose any sleep over my decision.

Halford: Mark Stone. This was the toughest pick by far but, in the end, I couldn’t ignore how well he played over the final half of the year, especially when the Sens went on their tear. Only Ovechkin, Crosby, Jamie Benn and John Tavares scored more points than Stone (44) after Jan. 1.

Jack Adams Award

Brough: Barry Trotz. Did a masterful job convincing the Capitals to buy in and play with more structure. Also handled Ovechkin perfectly, providing constructive criticism while also publicly praising and bonding with his captain and face of the franchise.

Halford: Bob Hartley. The Flames went from 77 to 97 points, snapped a six-year playoff drought and did it with their captain and best player, Mark Giordano, missing the final 21 games of the regular season. Yeah, there was some puck luck and good fortune involved, but Hartley did a remarkable job getting this team to overachieve.

Selke Trophy

Brough: Patrice Bergeron. A tough season for Bruins fans, but having this guy under contract through 2021-22 is a good way to feel better.

Halford: Patrice Bergeron. I considered some extremely talented guys — Jonathan Toews, Anze Kopitar, Pavel Datsyuk — for the Selke, but never thought about giving the first-place vote to anybody but Bergeron. Kinda says it all.

Vezina Trophy

Brough. Carey Price. Played the fourth-most minutes among all NHL goalies and nobody had a lower save percentage than his .933 mark. Ultimately, this wasn’t a tough decision, despite some excellent seasons from a handful of other goalies.

Halford: Carey Price. He’s going to win in his first year as a finalist, an interesting factoid in that it reminds you Carey Price has never been a Vezina finalist before, let alone won one.

Lady Byng Trophy

Brough: Sean Monahan. Took just six minor penalties all season, to go with 31 goals. There were actually a few candidates for this award on the ultra-disciplined Flames.

Halford: Jiri Hudler. It’s a Calgary love-in! Hudler took one more minor penalty than Monahan did this year, but also finished with the team scoring lead (76 point). That gets him the nod in my book.

Stoner says Wild writers ‘twisted’ his comments about Yeo, Suter

Anaheim Ducks v Arizona Coyotes

Pretty busy day on the ol’ war of words front.

This time, it’s former Wild and current Ducks blueliner Clayton Stoner, objecting to how his comments about ex-head coach Mike Yeo — and Yeo giving Ryan Suter so many minutes on defense — were presented by Wild writers, including the Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo.

From Russo:

Today, when asked about that quote, Stoner said he was disappointed and hurt by the way we portrayed his quote, saying, “You guys twisted that story. The story wasn’t anything about the Wild. It had to do with me liking the way the coach coached the back end on our team.”

I asked him to clarify. He said, “Well, as a player, I like to play more minutes, right? So who wouldn’t? It’s just common sense. I said I really liked how the coach here disperses the minutes and has trust in everybody, and that’s all I said. The article was about me, it wasn’t about any other team.

“I didn’t call out [Ryan] Suter and the coach. … I like how they have trust in everybody here. Everybody’s got 18-24 minutes. I like that. It’s great as a player. It shows confidence in me. That’s it. That’s all. It’s refreshing, but am I calling them out? I had a great time here and respect the coach, respect Suter. He’s one of the best players in the league. Why would I call them out?”

At least in what I wrote, not sure where I twisted anything. I wrote it pretty straight.

Stoner’s original comments appeared in the O.C. Register in early January and, in Russo’s defense, appear to be pretty straightforward.

“I didn’t like the way it was run in Minnesota,” Stoner said at the time. “They kind of just give one defenseman [Suter] all the minutes and the rest suffer.

“And I wasn’t happy there. I don’t think the minutes displayed how I was playing. It was more of the just the way things were run there.”

Russo also noted that “the beat writer who wrote the article” — the Register’s Eric Stephens — is currently in Minnesota, and verified the accuracy of Stoner’s quotes.

NHL on NBC: Welcome to Hockey Day in America

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals

NBC continues its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign with Sunday’s Hockey Day in America tripleheader. Coverage begins at noon on-site from Lake Placid, N.Y. on the 35th anniversary of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”. In addition to NBC and NBCSN, you can also watch the games online.

Hockey Day in America coverage begins with the Washington Capitals visiting the Philadelphia Flyers (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC) in the fifth and final meeting between the two clubs.

Caps’ forward Niklas Backstrom enters today’s action with two goals and five assists during a four-game point streak. His assist on Matt Niskanen’s goal Saturday afternoon has him in sole possession of the NHL scoring lead.

Washington stretched its win streak to four games yesterday and are now just four points back of the New York Islanders for top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

At this time last month the playoffs seemed like a long shot for the Philadelphia Flyers; however, following Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Nashville Predators, the Flyers trail the Boston Bruins by just four points for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers have won three straight games against the Capitals at home, and five of the past six against them overall.

The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks follow up the Caps and Flyers in a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup final (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

The Bruins limp into this afternoon’s contest having failed to pick up two points in six straight games. They’ll also be without David Krejci in Chicago. He was injured in the Bruins 5-1 loss in St. Louis on Friday night.

Chicago had its streak of seven straight games with at least a point snapped Friday in a 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks are currently 2-1-3 on their season-high eight-game homestand.

Coverage of today’s action switches over to NBCSN for the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The Wild won three of the first four meetings between the two clubs. The Stars won the most recent meeting 7-1 on Jan. 3.

Dallas will look to avoid a third straight loss following a disappointing 7-6 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. The Stars failed to hang on to a two-goal lead twice during the third period in the loss.

The Wild return home after a 2-1-0 road trip to Western Canada and will look for a third straight win tonight. The game marks the fifth and final meeting between the two clubs this season.

NBC and NBCSN’s Hockey Day In America presentation will include interviews with members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team as well as several features exploring hockey’s influence and impact in America.

Today’s coverage will include a feature on U.S. sled hockey’s Josh Sweeney, a sit down with Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and profile of the U.S. National Team Development program.

‘Relive the Miracle’ reunion emotional for 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team


LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — The final 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey player arrived at Herb Brooks Arena at 7:23, seven minutes before the “Relive the Miracle” ceremony began.

Jim Craig was escorted into a ready room by New York State Police. “He made it!” one player exclaimed. The show billed as the first time since 1980 that all living Miracle on Ice players gathered in Lake Placid could go on.

“This is mind-boggling,” team captain Mike Eruzione said. “We came here 35 years ago never thinking or dreaming or believing this thing would happen.”

The scoreboard at a rink formerly known as the Olympic Fieldhouse read USA 4, URS 3, just as it did on Feb. 22, 1980.

The 19 men sat below it, wearing replicas of their white Olympic jerseys and sat on a stage, in elevated wooden chairs, to recall the Lake Placid Games with a moderator.

A few thousand fans filled the arena. Often, they broke into “U-S-A” chants. An American flag draped over section 22.

The chronological ceremony was spliced with video of the Miracle on Ice, the 2004 film “Miracle” and the coach Brooks saying before the Olympics that the U.S. was unlikely to win a medal.

It ended with the No. 20 jersey of Bob Suter being raised amid more “U-S-A” chants. The Wisconsin defenseman was the first member of the team to die after he suffered a heart attack on Sept. 9.

In between, the players joked, more about Brooks than anyone else, the team’s two goalies shared a memorable embrace and Suter’s son, the Minnesota Wild’s Ryan Suter, delivered a touching video message about his father.

More about reunion during Hockey Day in America, Sunday at noon on NBC and online

Forward Dave Christian said seeing 18 teammates brought him immediately back to 1980. Craig jetted in after watching his daughter’s final college hockey game, a 5-3 Colgate Raiders loss in Troy, N.Y.

“I’m ready to go out and play the game again,” Christian said.

The players passed microphones on the stage as highlights played on giant raised screens to their left and right, sandwiching an oversized American flag. Nobody spoke more than the captain Eruzione.

The “Miracle” film clips included Brooks’ speech before the Soviet game, of course, but also the scene after a pre-Olympic exhibition against Norway.

The Americans and Norwegians tied, 3-3, a result that disgusted Brooks, who had his players skate from line to line, over and over again, even after the arena’s lights were turned off.

“What was lost in the whole story is we played Norway the next day and beat them 8-0,” Eruzione said (though this website says it was 9-0).

Forward John Harrington regretted leaving at his home a notebook that he bought around Christmas 1979. In that notebook, he jotted Brooks’ sayings that became known as “Brooksisms.”

Craig made it a point to appreciate his backup, Steve Janaszak, who won an NCAA Championship under Brooks at Minnesota in 1979 but was the only member of the U.S. team not to play in the Olympics.

“Steve Janaszak was every bit a part of our team, whether he played one second or not,” Craig said.

Janaszak and Craig, Nos. 1 and 30 sitting on opposite sides of the stage, met at the middle with a hug.

Then, the players began reflecting on the Miracle on Ice. It’s been made to drip with political drama, but, as Al Michaels said on the broadcast, it was manifestly a hockey game.

“I don’t think half of us knew where the Soviet Union was,” Dave Silk joked. “If they asked us about [Mikhail] Gorbachev, we would’ve thought he was a left winger.”

Players said they respected and admired the Soviets rather than hating them.

“It was a matter of keeping the game close as long as we could,” said Mark Johnson, who scored to tie the game at 2-2 and 3-3.

Then, everybody turned to watch Eruzione’s game-deciding goal, assisted by Mark Pavelich, who drove in from Oregon (with a stop in Minnesota) this week, and by Harrington.

“You know, I could probably score this myself,” Harrington joked of the Eruzione goal. “But, as a great teammate of Mike’s, our captain, why don’t I pass it to him and let him make millions in the next 35 years.”

“If the roles were reversed, and you had the shot, it would have been wide and long,” Eruzione retorted.

Then, defenseman Jack O’Callahan spoke up.

“By the way, it’s been way more than millions,” he said.

They joked that a teammate got a piece of Eruzione’s shot and deflected it in. And that Eruzione’s eyes were closed when he shot.

“Open, closed, it didn’t matter,” Eruzione said. “It went right where it was supposed to be.”

The final two minutes of the Miracle on Ice game were played on the giant screens, ending with Al Michaels‘ “Do you believe in Miracles?” call being drowned out by the crowd’s applause.

Finally, Bob Suter’s No. 20 jersey was raised, an honor that son Ryan Suter said gave him goosebumps in a prerecorded video message.

The players filed out after the Star-Spangled Banner played to the backdrop of the video of Eruzione waving his teammates to join him on the podium 35 years ago.

“We still feel like it’s 20 [players],” O’Callahan said, “because Bobby’s up here with us.”

How the Miracle on Ice reunion came together