Manny Malhotra and Henrik Sedin accept 2011 Presidents' Trophy from Kris King

Manny Malhotra and Henrik Sedin accept 2011 Presidents' Trophy from Kris King

Well, Vancouver Canucks’ fans, you seem to have almost everything you’ve ever wanted. Your team won the Presidents’ Trophy during the regular season. You have the reigning Hart Trophy winner on your roster. And you probably have the next Hart Trophy winner on your roster. You have a man many consider as the best netminder in the National Hockey League. But, in about two weeks, you’re not going to be happy. That’s because the Boston Bruins are going to win the 2011 Stanley Cup. (more…)

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Stanley Cup surprises litter opening round

The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is the best round because it’s laden with surprises.

Sharks' overtime win

Sharks celebrate Devin Setoguchi's overtime goal that completes their comeback win in Los Angeles Harry How/Getty Images

Big ones. Small ones. And, the way things are going so far, we may be treated to a lot of Games Seven on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here are a few of the more shocking things about this year’s first round so far.

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It’s Stanley Cup time!

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us! Stanley Cup PlayoffsAnd please do not refer to them as the NHL Playoffs. No such animal exists. They are the Stanley Cup Playoffs, prominently promoting the greatest trophy in the history of sports. It is the greatest time of year. I often tell my family that, when I ultimately kick the bucket, I hope it happens in July – after the Cup is awarded. Yep, that seems about right. Time to predict the first round of sweeps and upsets. (more…)

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You’d never know it by listening to their fans, but the Toronto Maple Leafs have had a fairly decent National Hockey League season.

James Reimer

Rookie netminder James Reimer has been the brightest light in the Toronto Maple Leafs' season

And that applies whether or not they make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. When’s the last time that Leafs’ fans were talking about anything except “next year” this late in the season? It’s been a very long time. Playoff chatter is still prevalent. The Leafs have not made the postseason since 2004. They probably won’t this year, but all indications are that streak will end in 2012. (more…)

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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman wriggles under fire

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is under fire – and it looks good on him, doesn’t it?

Gary Bettman

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has spent a lot of his efforts lately trying to save the doomed Phoenix Coyotes. Great time management, Gary! (The Canadian Press image)

Sponsors are hating on the NHL. The Goldwater Institute, in Arizona, has said enough to Gary’s pet-project management. And hockey fans in Winnipeg and Quebec are speaking out louder and louder these days. But Gary’s a lawyer, which means he’ll wriggle out of this jam – won’t he? (more…)

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