Stanley Cup playoff predictions: Some heavyweight first-round matchups
A stacked team led by Jonathan Huberdeau (115 points) and Alexsander Barkov has no excuse for not winning its first playoff series since 1996. But Toronto needs goalie Jack Campbell to excel and must tighten up significantly on defense to have a chance to win its first playoff series since 2004. Igor Shesterkin, the likely Vezina Trophy winner, has appeared in only one playoff game, however. The Penguins have lost their past four playoff series. The Kings haven’t won a playoff series since capturing their second Cup in three seasons in 2014.mlive.com
Northwest holds off wild Adrian comeback
SPRING ARBOR -- A 32-point lead started to slip away quickly on Wednesday for the Northwest boys basketball team. But back came Adrian, draining five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter alone, with Stevie Elam and Joe Francis each hitting two, and turning up the pressure on defense to force eight turnovers in that quarter. While everything went right for Adrian in the fourth, everything went right for Northwest the other three quarters. I attribute that to our defense and our effort.”Weller finished with 21 points for Northwest. “A lot of his points didn’t come off the dribble, they came when the ball went inside and came back out.mlive.com
Ex-Red Wings coach Mike Babcock joins NBC Sports as studio analyst
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)Former Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has a new job as a studio analyst for NBC Sports. Babcock spent 10 seasons with the Red Wings from 2005-2015, posting a record of 458-223-105 in 786 career games. Babcock left Detroit in 2015 when he signed an 8-year, $50 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Read back: Chelios says Babcock caused Franzen to have nervous breakdown on Red Wings benchJohan Franzen went as far as calling Babcock “the worst person” had ever met. Read more: Ex-Red Wings D Colaiacovo on Babcock: Guys hated him in Detroit, tried to get him fired every year
NHL, players reach tentative deal for 56-game season
The National Hockey League and players reached a tentative deal Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, to hold a 56-game season in 2021, pending the approval of each side's executive board and Canadian health officials. The NHL and players reached a tentative deal Friday to hold a 56-game season that would begin Jan. 13. Players on the NHLPA’s executive board call Friday night supported moving forward with the agreed upon terms, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting. Approval from health officials in the five Canadian provinces that have teams is still needed before the NHL can go ahead with the season. The NHL, like the NBA, finished its previous season in a quarantined bubble — two of them, one each in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta.
Ontario mulls how all-Canadian division in NHL might work
(Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)TORONTO, ONT – Ontario’s minister of sport says the provincial government is examining how a Canadian division in the NHL might work. Lisa MacLeod says discussions about the league’s return-to-play plan are being studied by Ontario public health authorities, the province’s chief medical officer of health and officials from Toronto and Ottawa. Seven of the NHL’s 31 teams are in Canada: Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. The Ontario Hospital Association on Thursday asked the Ontario government for a strict four-week lockdown in regions with high rates of COVID-19 positivity that would include Toronto and Ottawa, the two Ontario cities with NHL teams. Quebec Premier Francois Legault said Wednesday the province’s public health measures shouldn’t impact a resumption of activities for the Montreal Canadiens.
Wings outscored 12-3; what now??
If you factor in the 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs before the trip out west, the Red Wings have been outscored 17-5 in their past four games. Meanwhile, Andreas Athanasiou, who scored 30 goals last season, is without a goal in the third week of October. Seriously, all I can think about is the "Summer of Yzerman" after 11 contracts come off of Detroit's books. Schedule (view full schedule here) Oct. 22, 2019 7:30 p.m. vs. Vancouver Oct. 23, 2019 7:30 p.m. @ Ottawa Oct. 25, 2019 7:30 p.m. vs. Buffalo Oct. 27, 2019 5 p.m. vs. St. Louis Oct. 29, 2019 7:30 p.m. vs. EdmontonMailbag I'm putting the newsletter naming on the backburner right now, but keep sending me your ideas -- firstname.lastname@example.org. Homemade ice rink note:I'm still deciding whether I will have time to commit to building the backyard rink this year.