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Olympic Channel reaches landmark agreements with International Sports Federations

Olympic Channel reaches landmark agreements with International Sports Federations

ISLAMABAD(Championspk )Olympic Channel Services (OCS) today announced that it has to date reached cooperation agreements with 27 International Sports Federations (IFs) to collaborate on content for the Olympic Channel, marking another significant step on progress toward launch. Click here to Read More …

Boxer Muhammad Ali died

Boxer Muhammad Ali died

(Championspk)Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali died at the age of 74, Click here to Read More …

Suspend him or not: Duncan Keith bloodies Charlie Coyle with vicious slash

Suspend him or not: Duncan Keith bloodies Charlie Coyle with vicious slash

(Championspk )With three consecutive meetings between the Blackhawks and Wild in the post-season, tensions between the two teams are bound to be high when the two teams meet, but Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith took his aggression too far Tuesday night. Click here to Read More …

IOC awards 2018-2024 broadcast rights in New Zealand and Pacific Island Territories

IOC awards 2018-2024 broadcast rights in New Zealand and Pacific Island Territories

(Championspk)The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded SKY Network Television Ltd the right to broadcast the XXIII Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020, the XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the Olympic Games 2024, the host city of which has yet to be elected. Click here to Read More …

Swedish player given two-year suspension for cross-checking

Swedish player given two-year suspension for cross-checking

(Championspk )A minor-pro Swedish player has been given a two-year suspension – which extends throughout all sports in the country – because a brutal cross-check. Click here to Read More …

World Cup: US GM Lombardi sets his sights directly on Canada

World Cup: US GM Lombardi sets his sights directly on Canada

( By Ken Campbell )In case you haven’t noticed, Dean Lombardi is a pretty interesting and witty guy. When talking about his American roster for the World Cup of Hockey, he channeled his inner historian and talked about how Alexander the Great didn’t reveal his plans for the Battle of Gaugamela in advance. But like Alexander the Great – the former Macedonian king, not the guy from Washington who scores all the goals – Lombardi knows his opponent/nemesis. And when it comes to the World Cup of Hockey, Lombardi knows his equivalent of King Darius of Persia. All he has to do for that is look over the border.

And like a great tactician, Lombardi quickly identified Canada as the prohibitive favorite in the World Cup, a full 198 days before the first puck is dropped on the event. “Let’s get real here. Canada has always been the marker,” Lombardi said. “History speaks for itself. I think it’s safe to say they’re clearly the favorites, as they should be. If we’re in it to win this thing, it’s not illogical to say you’d better be prepared to beat Canada. They’re clearly the best, so you’d better be prepared to beat them.” And in order to do that – and beat the other teams in the tournament – Lombardi didn’t think making Phil Kessel are part of the first wave of players was the wise thing to do. That was probably the biggest shock of the day for the Americans, but maybe not so much when you combine the fact that Kessel has struggled in Pittsburgh, while former linemates James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak were putting up just as high numbers without Kessel before getting hurt and being shut down for the season. Kessel was very, very good for the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi until it mattered most. But in playing very badly in the most important games of the tournament, he had a lot of company on a team that didn’t even show up for the semifinal against Canada by Zach Parise’s own admission. There’s a very good chance that Kessel gets added to the team before the final roster is named in June, but perhaps they wanted to make him a little uncomfortable. Or perhaps they just thought Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings was a better choice. “Every player brings something to the table and a critical part of our team is going to be the mix,” Lombardi said. “You look at Justin Abdelkader, this is a kid who’s getting better. He’s a very difficult player to play against and is only going to get better. You could say, ‘Why did you leave Bobby Ryan off?’ or ‘Why did you leave Justin Faulk off?’ You have only have so many spots right now that we were prepared to go to, so it’s not just Phil Kessel. On the positive side, we clearly though Abdelkader should be in the first group.” There were really no big surprises in goal with Jonathan Quick, Cory Schneider and Ben Bishop. The defense corps will have a nice mix of offensive puck movers and defensive presence, but if you’re with the U.S. brain trust, you probably want a few more stay-at-home types back there. Up front, the Americans will have plenty of offensive talent, with the likes of Abdelkader and Ryan Kesler drawing the defensive/penalty killing assignments. What Lombardi likes most about his roster is its versatility. “John (coach Tortorella) has an M.O., but he’s also smart enough to adjust to his personnel,” Lombardi said. “The style has to reflect what’s most important – that players accept their identity, play their role and have that competitive edge that comes with playing for your country. We get that in place, John can play a 1-4, a 2-2-1, whatever you want to call it. We have to focus on those intangibles and then let John do what he does best.” There will be no trouble creating offense, since the U.S. team has the NHL’s top scorer and prohibitive favorite for the Hart Trophy in Patrick Kane, along with No. 7 scorer Joe Pavelski and Blake Wheeler, who is also in the top 15. The goaltending will be solid regardless of which of the three emerges as the No. 1 guy. And it will have its chance to see how it stacks up against Canada when the rivals play in the round-robin portion of the tournament on Sept. 20. Then the only other time they could possibly meet would be in the best-of-three final. If that were to happen, it won’t be near as David-and-Goliath and Lombardi is making it out to be, but he’s content to let everyone think that

Derek Stepan uses great fake to score awesome shorthanded game-winner

Derek Stepan uses great fake to score awesome shorthanded game-winner

(Championspk) Eric Staal’s New York debut, but it was another Blueshirts center who stole the show as Derek Stepan scored one of the nicest shorthanded goals of the season to seal a 2-1 victory for the Rangers. New York was in the midst of killing off a Marc Staal tripping minor when the Blue Jackets mishandled their zone entry and allowed Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh to swat the puck towards the Columbus zone. Stepan was at the Rangers’ blueline when McDonagh speared the puck on, but turned to pick up steam and ended up on a breakaway with two Blue Jackets defenders chasing him down.

Even with the opposition giving chase, Stepan cooly and calmly pulled the puck back as if to shoot, causing Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to fall to his knees. With the netminder down, Stepan pulled the puck forward and onto his backhand before dipping his shoulder, cutting across the face of the net and firing it past a downed Korpisalo: Derek Stepan uses great fake to score awesome shorthanded game-winnerJared Clinton By: Jared Clinton on March 1, 2016 Filed under: New York Rangers, NHL, Video SHARE: email Bookmark and Share Derek Stepan (via NHL) Derek Stepan (via NHL) Monday was Eric Staal’s New York debut, but it was another Blueshirts center who stole the show as Derek Stepan scored one of the nicest shorthanded goals of the season to seal a 2-1 victory for the Rangers. New York was in the midst of killing off a Marc Staal tripping minor when the Blue Jackets mishandled their zone entry and allowed Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh to swat the puck towards the Columbus zone. Stepan was at the Rangers’ blueline when McDonagh speared the puck on, but turned to pick up steam and ended up on a breakaway with two Blue Jackets defenders chasing him down.

Even with the opposition giving chase, Stepan cooly and calmly pulled the puck back as if to shoot, causing Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to fall to his knees. With the netminder down, Stepan pulled the puck forward and onto his backhand before dipping his shoulder, cutting across the face of the net and firing it past a downed Korpisalo:

The move is nice enough at full speed, but watching Stepan’s slick deke slowed down is even more impressive. The patience and presence of mind to out-wait Korpisalo made the play happen, and Stepan did it twice: first on the fake shot and again while cutting across the face of the net. Stepan’s goal, which came with eight seconds left in Staal’s penalty and 2:48 in the contest, would hold up as the game-winning goal to give the Rangers their third-straight victory. The Blueshirts now have a stranglehold on second in the Metropolitan Division, but their chances of catching the Washington Capitals are slim. With two games in hand on the Rangers, Washington currently sits 14 points ahead for the division lead.

Henrik Lundqvist not likely to be all-time win king, but he has a great shot at second

Henrik Lundqvist not likely to be all-time win king, but he has a great shot at second

(Championspk)With his 30th victory of the season Thursday, Henrik Lundqvist accomplished something no goaltender — not Martin Brodeur, not Patrick Roy, not Dominik Hasek — ever has before. Lundqvist’s win over the St. Louis Blues made him the first goaltender in league history to win 30 games in 10 of his first 11 seasons, and there’s reason to believe he could be chasing down one of the all-time greats. Lundqvist, 33, now sits at 369 career wins, good enough to tie him with Tom Barrasso for 16th all-time. But it’s not as if Lundqvist is done yet and by the time the season ends, there’s a chance he’ll be celebrating win 380, which will be enough to put Lundqvist ahead of Andy Moog, John Vanbiesbrouck and only five back of passing Mike Vernon.

Lundqvist’s feat is incredibly impressive, and more impressive yet is that were it not for the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, he likely would have 11-straight 30-plus victory seasons. In the 43 games Lundqvist played that season, he won 24 games. If that were a full season, Lundqvist would have easily passed the 30-win plateau and 40 would have been within reach. Even without those extra 16 wins, though, there’s reason to believe Lundqvist could end his career as one of the most successful goaltenders of all time. And there’s a real shot he could be chasing down the legendary Roy for second on the all-time wins list. If Lundqvist finishes this season slightly off his current pace, say he closes the campaign with 35 wins, that puts him at 374 for his career. Using his full seasons, of which there are 11, Lundqvist has averaged 35 wins per season over each 82-game campaign he has played. Lundqvist still has five years and $38.5 million to be paid out on his current contract, and if he doesn’t hang them up before his deal ends and maintains his form, that would be an additional 175 wins. Of course, there’s a massive caveat to this: his health. Incredibly, Lundqvist’s only major injury in his career came last season on a freak injury when he caught a puck in the throat. The injury caused Lundqvist to miss 24 games, and it was the first time in his career he had missed more than seven games in a row. In fact, before the throat injury, Lundqvist had missed 13 games in nine seasons. Maintaining his health is what has allowed Lundqvist to string together 30-win seasons in succession throughout his career. That said, an additional 175 wins over the next five seasons would mean a 39-year-old Lundqvist would finish his current contract with the Rangers having somewhere in the range of 550 career victories. And that’s a low estimation, given this is assuming he doesn’t reach the 40-win mark this season, but it would still put him short of Roy. He ended his career 551 victories and hung up his skates at 37. The difference, though, is that Lundqvist didn’t debut in the league until he was 23. Roy started as a 20-year-old. If Lundqvist did come up shy, though, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility to see him continue on in New York — or elsewhere, if that’s what it came to. Over the past several seasons, there has been no indication that Lundqvist’s game is anywhere near falling off and few would question at this point whether his longevity will be an issue. Really, it’s been almost the exact opposite. Since 2008-09, when Lundqvist posted a career-low .912 save percentage as a 25-year-old, his save percentage has never been below .920. Furthermore, there hasn’t been a single season in the past seven seasons where his 5-on-5 save percentage has been below .929, and this season he’s the league-leader of goaltenders to play at least 1,000 5-on-5 minutes with a SP of .943. His game has been trending up over the past three seasons, which is a scary thought for shooters. That gives the outside chance that Lundqvist, as far-fetched as it may seem, could actually become the second 600-win goaltender in league history or challenge the all-time wins record held by Brodeur at 691. If Lundqvist’s win total can stay closer to 40 for the next few seasons before his contract comes up, he’d be little more than 120 back of Brodeur. The only issue then is continuing to keep it up after age 40. Worth noting, though, is that even if Lundqvist does get past Roy, and even if he comes close to reaching Brodeur, Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury could give Brodeur, Roy and Lundqvist a run for their money. Two years Lundqvist’s junior, Fleury is only 23 wins back of the Rangers netminder as of Friday. By season’s end, that could be even fewer, and Fleury’s Penguins look like a team that could rack up significant win totals over the remaining three seasons of his deal. Fleury started younger — he was 21 during his first full season — and could potentially have a longer career simply based on that. If he keeps up his current win pace and stuck around in his 40s, there’s an outside shot at a 680-plus win career. Still, though, Lundqvist will remain the first to win 30 games in 10 of 11 years to start a career. And, really, it would have been all 11 if not for the lockout that claimed half a campaign. That’s an incredible mark to hit, especially given the company he’s edged out. There’s a good chance before his time with the Rangers, he’ll also be celebrating passing Roy on the wins list.

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