Lightning Effect: Skilled NHL teams add grit to go for Cup
Rewind to 2019 and early 2020 and that description fits the Tampa Bay Lightning, who added some grit and toughness to their talented core and went on to win the Stanley Cup. The Lightning effect was clear as soon as NHL free agency opened. “You need guys that are going to have a little bit of sandpaper. “We maybe have taken a little bit of a step back from the most skillful lineup we’ve ever had to more of a balance between the will and the skill," Poile said. We certainly have a little bit more physicality, a little bit more grit and I think it’s probably and hopefully a better mix than we had last year.”___More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Throwback 5-game series force players to 'embrace the grind'
In a unique situation like this, youre going from not playing to playing playoff-style hockey, so youve got to embrace the grind mentally, physically.This is a different kind of grind after four-plus months off the ice. Eddie Olczyk won and lost one best-of-five series early in his playing career with Chicago and remembers the nerves of being 18 and 19 years old in those moments. Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour understands that urgency despite being drafted two years after the NHL moved to all best-of-seven series. His Hurricanes face the Rangers, whose president, John Davidson, won the only two best-of-five series he played in with New York. In a short series, Quenneville said, anything can happen.___AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.
Red Wings have shot to win NHL lottery to draft Lafreniere
The Detroit Red Wings desperately hope to win the NHL draft lottery, giving them the first shot to perhaps select Lafreniere. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP, File)The once-proud Detroit Red Wings hope to win the NHL draft lottery, giving them a shot to select Canadian Alexis Lafreniere. The Red Wings had a league-low 17 wins in their 71-game season. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman did not sound as if he was fond of the format. Ralph Krueger is Buffalos sixth coach over the span, and newly hired Kevyn Adams the fourth general manager of the franchise.
NHL players not rushing back to rinks for voluntary skates
NHL players could start participating in voluntary small-group workouts, and teams began opening their training facilities Monday. Players learned Thursday training camps can open July 10, pending an agreement on returning to play later this summer. Now, the players are expected to trickle back in preparation of the resumption of the season. Players started skating by the handful this week in places like Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Edmonton, while some teams waited to open their doors. Veteran Nashville general manager David Poile said that while almost a dozen players remained in the area, the NHL has instructed teams not to ask or encourage players to show up because this stage is voluntary.