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Blackhawks - Wild preview - 05-01-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Blackhawks vs. Wild

Blackhawks Leading Postseason Scorer: Center Jonathan Toews (right), 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists).

Wild Leading Postseason Scorer: Left winger Zach Parise, 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists).

Blackhawks Expected Starting Goaltender: Corey Crawford, 1-1, 4.19 GAA, .850 SV%.

Wild Expected Starting Goaltender: Devan Dubnyk, 4-2, 2.32 GAA, .913 SV%.

Blackhawks Postseason Statistics

Wild Postseason Statistics

Blackhawks Injuries: Left winger Kris Versteeg ("lower body") is questionable. Left winger Daniel Carcillo ("upper body") is out.

Wild Injuries: Right winger Jason Pominville (illness) is probable. Defenseman Keith Ballard (head) is on injured reserve.

Blackhawks with Stanley Cup bling: Left wingers Bryan Bickell, Carcillo, Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, goaltenders Corey Crawford, Antti Raantta, defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith, Johnny Oduya, Michal Rozsival, Brent Seabrook, centers Marcus Kruger, Brad Richards, Andrew Shaw, Toews, right winger Marian Hossa.

Wild with Stanley Cup bling: Left winger Matt Cooke.

Something worthwhile about the Blackhawks: The Blackhawks have the highest team goals against average of any team still active in the postseason with 3.50.

Something worthwhile about the Wild: The Wild has the best power-play conversion percentage in the posteason at 33.3 percent.

Something useless about the Blackhawks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The shortest road overtime playoff game in Blackhawks history lasted 12 seconds. Center Pit Martin scored the winning goal in a series-clinching 6-5 win against the Penguins in Game 4 of a 1972 quarterfinal series.

Something useless about the Wild that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins assistant coach Mike Yeo is tied with Jacques Lemaire for most postseason coaching wins in Wild history with 11.

Former Penguins on the Blackhawks: Pro scout Dennis Bonvie, Carcillo (Carcillo was a former Penguins prospects but never played for the NHL team), Hossa, assistant general manager Norm MacIver, Rozsival.

Former Penguins on the Wild: Defenseman: Cooke, general manager Chuck Fletcher, defenseman Jordan Leopold, player development coach Richard Park, assistant coach Darryl Sydor, head coach Mike Yeo.

Who needs to be the difference for the Blackhawks: Crawford. The Blackhawks' goaltending was below par in the first round with the juggling between Crawford and backup goaltender Scott Darling. The Blackhawks need more stability in net this round.

Who needs to be the difference for the Wild: Defensemen Ryan Suter (above), Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon, etc. Despite their goaltending issues, the Blackhawks still have an explosive offense. The Wild's defense need to find a way to limit it.

Best Blackhawks YouTube Video We Could Find: Blackhawks defenseman Chris Chelios' series-series clinching overtime goal in a 4-3 win against the Canucks in Game 4 of a 1995 Western Conference semifinal series:

Best Wild YouTube Video We Could Find: A goal by Wild center Sergei Zholtok in Game 2 of a 3-2 win against the Canucks in Game 2 of a 2003 Western Conference semifinal series:

EN Prediction: The Blackhawks were able to beat the Predators in the first round due to the wide open nature of that series. The Wild is a much more disciplined team and won't give up a ton of goals. The Wild has an edge in net and will pull this series out. Wild 4-3.

(Photos: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images and Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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Canadiens - Lightning preview - 05-01-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Canadiens vs. Lightning

Canadiens Leading Postseason Scorer: Defenseman P.K. Subban (right), 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists).

Lightning Leading Postseason Scorer: Center Tyler Johnson (below), 7 points (6 goals, 1 assist).

Canadiens Expected Starting Goaltender: Carey Price, 4-2, 1.94 GAA, .939 SV%

Lightning Expected Starting Goaltender: Ben Bishop, 4-3, 1.87 GAA, .922 SV%.

Canadiens Postseason Statistics

Lightning Postseason Statistics

Canadiens Injuries: Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (head) is out.

Lightning Injuries: Defenseman Mattias Ohlund (knee) is on injured reserve.

Canadiens with Stanley Cup bling: Defenseman Sergei Gonchar.

Lightning with Stanley Cup bling: Center Valtteri Filppula.

Something worthwhile about the Canadiens: The Canadiens have the worst power play conversion rate of any team still active in the postseason with 5.0 percent.

Something worthwhile about the Lightning: The Lightning has averaged the most five-on-five goals in the postseason with 2.0 per game.

Something useless about the Canadiens that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The Penguins hold the record for most power-play goals in a single period against the Canadiens. They scored 3 in the first period of a 6-3 road win in Game 3 of a 1998 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Right wingers Jaromir Jagr, Rob Brown and defenseman Kevin Hatcher scored.

Something useless about the Lightning that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The Penguins hold the record for most shots in a postseason home game against the Lightning. They recorded 53 in a 3-2 double overtime win in Game 4 of a 2011 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Former Penguins on the Canadiens: General manager Marc Bergevin, assistant coach Jean-Jacques Daigneault, Gonchar, head coach Michel Therrien.

Former Penguins on the Lightning: Left winger Brenden Morrow and professional scout Jamie Pushor.

Who needs to be the difference for the Canadiens: Carey Price. Now as always, Price needs to shut down a potent Lightning offense for his team to advance.

Who needs to be the difference for the Lightning: Steven Stamkos. The Lightning managed to get by the Red Wings and backup goaltender Petr Mrazek without Stamkos getting a single goal. Stamkos needs to contribute something offensively for his team to get by Price and the Canadiens.

Best Canadiens YouTube Video We Could Find: Subban's goal in double overtime of a 3-2 road win against the Bruins in Game 1 of a 2014 second round series:

Best Lightning YouTube Video We Could Find: Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier's overtime goal in a 3-2 win against the Capitals in Game 2 of a 2011 Eastern Conference semifinal series:

EN Prediction: The Lightning swept the regular season series with the Canadiens (5-0-0) but it struggled with a less than impressive Red Wings team in the first round. The Canadiens' offensive troubles will make this series competitive but Price is clearly a superior goaltender than Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop. Canadiens 4-2.

(Photos: Harry How/Getty Images and Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

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Empty Netter Assists - Letang a Masterton finalist - 05-01-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Kris Letang (above) was named a finalist for the Masterton Memorial Trophy. Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk and Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond were also named finalists.

-Sidney Crosby was named captain of Team Canada in the upcoming IIHF World Championship tournament. Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis and Stars forward Jason Spezza were named alternate captains.

-The tournament begins Friday. Here is the schedule.

-Quite a few of the Penguins' top prospects are getting playoff experience with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

-Former Penguins forward Nick Johnson has joined Brynäs of Sweden's SHL.

-Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Chad Kolarik has joined Kloten of Switzerland's NLA.

-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins forward Eric Meloche (right). The son of former Penguins goaltender and assistant coach Gilles Meloche, Eric Meloche was a seventh-round pick in 1996 and spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. He made his NHL debut in 2001-02 and recorded one assist in 23 games. The 2002-03 season saw him record six points in 13 games. His best season an an NHLer was 2003-04 when he recorded 10 points in 25 games. During the 2004 offseason, he signed with the rival Flyers. In 61 games for the Penguins, Meloche, one of three players to wear No. 72 for the Penguins (Alex Kovalev and Patric Hornqvist are the others), scored 17 points.

-Happy 77th birthday to former Penguins and Pittsburgh Hornets defenseman/forward Dick Mattiussi. Acquired from Cleveland of the AHL in exchange for cash in 1966, Mattiussi spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He appeared in 32 games during the Penguins' inaugural season of 1967-68 and recorded two assists. After 12 games and two assists in 1968-69, Mattiussi was dealt to the Oakland Seals along with Earl Ingarfield and Gene Ubriaco for Bryan Watson, George Swarbrick and Tracy Pratt. In 44 career games with the Penguins, Mattiussi recorded four assists. 

-After the Jump: The second round begins.

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Bud Dupree highlight reels

Written by Dan Gigler on .

dupree

The Steelers get a guy they thought wouldn't be available ... here's the film on Alvin "Bud" Dupree ...

Here is CBS Sports immediate analysis of Steelers selection of Bud Dupree (spoiler: they love it)

NFL offical draft scouting report

A great in-depth analysis by analyst Brett Kollman

SB Nation had him has #5 edge rusher: best name, hard hitter, insane physical specimen, no polish -- "elite clay to mold"

Bud Duprees vs. Florida 2014

His NFL combine 40-yard dash

This is an interview on the Draft red carpet by a Kentucky outlet -- totally throwaway except they also capture him being interviewed immediately after by the Browns ... funny as the Steelers hope he'll antagonize Cleveland quarterbacks for years to come.

Pick six vs. South Carolina 2014

High School highlights

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops on Bud Dupree

Chicago Football analysis

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Chicago Bears select Kevin White with seventh overall pick

Written by Craig Meyer on .

 

Barely two years after arriving on the West Virginia campus as an immensely talented, but little known wide receiver out of Lackawanna College, Kevin White is a top-10 NFL draft pick.

The former Mountaineers standout was selected by the Chicago Bears with the seventh overall pick Thursday night at the league’s draft at Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, just over one mile away from the team’s home stadium, Soldier Field, where he’ll be catching passes next season.

“I’ve been through so much and I’ve been wanting this all my life,” White told ESPN in an interview shortly after being picked. “I’m finally here and I’m ready to turn this city around.”

After a solid, if unspectacular, junior season, White broke through as a senior, hauling in 109 catches for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns, the first two of which were team highs. He was a first-team all-Big 12 conference selection and a second-team Associated Press all-American.

Along with Alabama’s Amari Cooper, who went fourth overall to the Oakland Raiders, White was widely rated as one of the top two receivers in the draft class.

At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, White represents a long and athletic downfield target that can use his blazing speed – he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds at the NFL combine in February – to separate himself from defensive backs. He becomes the second West Virginia wide receiver drafted in the first round in the past three years, joining Tavon Austin, who was taken with the eighth pick in the 2013 draft.

With the Bears, he’ll line up on the opposite side of Alshon Jeffery, a tall and talented wideout with two 1,000-yard seasons in his three-year career, while also attempting to fill the void left by Brandon Marshall, who was traded to the New York Jets in early March.

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

 

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