Sidney Crosby

Pens not interested in Babcock’s services

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You can cross the Pittsburgh Penguins off the list of teams interested in Mike Babcock’s coaching services.

There was some thought that with Babcock’s ties to a number of Penguins, including Sidney Crosby; through his Olympic coaching experience that Pittsburgh could be a fit.

Penguins CEO David Moorehouse said last month that he has “never given any consideration” to replacing head coach Mike Johnston or GM Jim Rutherford.

Today Rutherford echoed that sentiment.

“We are committed to our present coaching staff,” Rutherford said.

Buffalo, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Edmonton are amongst the teams reportedly interested in Babcock.

Canada fights back to beat Sweden at worlds

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Patrick Wiercioch tied it and Tyler Ennis scored the winner, as Canada fought back to defeat Sweden, 6-4, today at the world hockey championship in Prague.

Canada improved to 4-0-0 with the victory, while Sweden suffered its first loss of group play.

The Swedes got off to a dream start, opening a 3-0 lead in the first period. But Canada tied it with three straight of their own in the second, before the Swedes took a 4-3 lead into the third.

In the final frame, Canada’s dangerous attack just couldn’t be contained. Weircioch scored at 10:24 on a pass from Sidney Crosby. Then, less than three minutes later, on a Canadian power play, Ennis beat Anders Nilsson high on the glove side to make it 5-4.

Tyler Seguin would add an empty-netter.

Canada’s next game is Saturday versus France. Sweden takes on Germany tomorrow.

Flyers will be ‘extremely patient’ with youngsters, but ‘want a winner as soon as possible’

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Depending who you ask, it’s either a smart and noble strategy, one that’s been successful for a team like the Detroit Red Wings, or it’s like wanting to have your cake and eat it too, and the reason a team like the Detroit Red Wings hasn’t made a deep playoff run in a number of years.

That strategy is, of course, doing everything you can to win now, while simultaneously and patiently developing youngsters for the future.

It’s what Flyers owner Ed Snider wants to do in Philadelphia, as opposed to tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch, a la Buffalo or Edmonton.

Snider told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the plan for the Flyers is to “be extremely patient with all of the young players we have coming.” But at the same time, GM Ron Hextall is “going to do everything in his power to produce a winner as soon as possible, which means it could be trades, it could be coaching, it could be all kinds of things.”

It’s a similar story in Vancouver, where the aging Canucks “want to draft and develop well, but we want our young kids to learn how to play in a winning environment, so they learn the right way to play.”

The obvious challenge for that type of plan is drafting, because teams that are neither great nor terrible don’t get top-5 draft picks, i.e. players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Drew Doughty.

That’s not to say it’s impossible to find elite players in the middle of the first round, or even beyond. Anze Kopitar was taken 11th overall; Patrice Bergeron and Duncan Keith were second-rounders.

But the win now/win later strategy does put added pressure on the scouting staff to unearth a few “big-time” diamonds in the rough, like the Wings once did to the extreme with Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Nicklas Lidstrom.

The Flyers have the seventh overall selection in this summer’s draft. They also have Tampa Bay’s first-round pick, wherever that may be.

Related: Hextall insists he’s ‘on the same page’ with Snider

PHT Morning Skate: Shero on filling Lou’s well-traveled shoes

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Bergen Record sat down for an exclusive (and lengthy) interview with new New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero (still kind of weird to see any name other than Lou Lamoriello, right?). The basic theme: he needs more time to really flesh out his plan. (Bergen Record)

Some might not realize just how long Lamoriello’s been in the driver’s seat for the Devils. This NHL.com timeline goes back to 1987, so the answer is “longer than some readers have been alive.” (NHL.com)

Would you pump up Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry for their leadership qualities? The Los Angeles Times is doing so. (Los Angeles Times)

Trading Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin is just crazy talk. (Sportsnet)

Braden Holtby: money goaltender. (TSN)

Capitals’ third line stands out in Game 3

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It seems premature to even talk about the possibility of the Washington Capitals winning the Stanley Cup, but if it happens, it likely won’t be because Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom carried them there. They’ll have to be major contributors, but Chicago didn’t capture the Cup twice exclusively because Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were at the top of their game just as Pittsburgh didn’t win it all in 2009 thanks solely to Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.

Winning a championship typically requires star players in key areas, but it also demands depth. The Blackhawks have it and at one time so did the Penguins. The most dangerous teams in the league can get key performances out of their third line. That was the case tonight for Washington as Jay Beagle, Andre Burakovsky, and Troy Brouwer had a great game. The trio combined for the lone goal in Washington’s 1-0 win over the Rangers in Game 3, but that’s not all they did, as Bob McKenzie noted:

“I sort of said, we’re going to need some new heroes every night,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said, per the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt.

Of course the Rangers are still very much in their second round series. If Washington is to capitalize on its 2-1 edge, it will need help from a variety of different players.