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Hiller gives Ducks something to hang on to posted on 03/02/2010

Of all of the impressive performances at the Winter Olympics, Switzerland goalie Jonas Hiller proved just how good a player he is going to be for the Anaheim Ducks as he came ever so close to guiding the minnows to an unlikely semi-final place.

Hiller stood on his head in making 42 saves in their quarter-final defeat at the hands of the United States, conceding just one goal to Zach Parise early in the third period as the Swiss, one of the outsiders for the tournament, eventually only succumbed 2-0 to a late empty-netter.

The Ducks netminder came into the season in competition with Jean-Sebastien Giguere for playing time in Anaheim, and despite some poor results for the team he soon saw off his competitor, who was eventually traded to Toronto.

Indeed the only problem he may have over the rest of the season is tiredness, since he has already matched his career high in playing 46 games in the NHL this season, and with only Vesa Toskala as his backup now, you can expect him to play the vast majority of their remaining games as they seek a playoff place.

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And the winner is… posted on 01/07/2010

 Well, we’ve made it to the halfway point of the season, so it is time to hand out a few awards to the deserving, the hopeless and the sensational.

Team of the season: I’m going to take the New Jersey Devils here since they are the one team to impress me more than I had expected. I thought Chicago and San Jose might be the quality of the West and so it has proved. The Devils; well I saw them as a decent playoff team but not the halfway top seed.

Martin Brodeur has been predictably brilliant, but the Devils continue to get offense from a team that lacks star quality after Zach Parise. And the biggest surprise among them? Has to be Andy Greene with 23 points in 37 games, already doubling any output he has managed in four NHL seasons.

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Ovechkin won’t change his ways posted on 12/09/2009

You do just have to wonder how long a career Alex Ovechkin is going to have in the NHL if he carries on behaving the way he has over the last few weeks.

Ovechkin is about to return this week after a knee-on-knee clash with Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason in an incident that earned him a game misconduct, a two-game suspension and a knee injury at the same time.

The game’s most exciting player says the ban could only act to make him even angrier, and while that might be a worry for his opponents who fear him scoring at a quicker pace than he already does, it could be a bigger worry for his coach Bruce Boudreau and fans in the capital.

Boudreau has already had his say on Ovechkin’s style of play, claiming him to be reckless, and it’s hard not to agree with the veteran coach who continually has to worry about him being available on a nightly basis.

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posted on 11/10/2009

Allen Iverson’s sometime glittering career in the NBA could just be over after he left the Memphis Grizzlies early into his tenure with the franchise.

Although Iverson was given permission ‘to leave to attend to personal business’ late last week, his time in Memphis had already started to become a sideshow with more talk about him being asked to come off the bench than anything else.

Iverson had only played three times for the Grizzlies before leaving ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Los Angeles Clippers, and had not played badly in averaging 12.3 points and 3.7 assists despite his displeasure at not being in the starting line-up as Memphis preferred to start Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo in the backcourt.

The 34-year-old also complained at a lack of communication with coach Lionel Hollins, as he revealed: “It’s probably going to always be hard for me and him to see eye-to-eye, because we’ve never even talked to each other. Obviously that’s what you do if you’re trying to accomplish the same goal.”

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Time for the minnows to grow posted on 10/13/2009

One week down in the NHL schedule and already every team in the league has at least one overtime loss on their card with no 100% record showing just how wide open things could be in the race for the Stanley Cup this season.

Only Buffalo, Dallas and the Islanders have yet to taste a defeat in 60 minutes, the latter two of those teams both going down to three overtime/shootout losses in what should really be seen as positive starts to the season for franchises that endured tough times in 2008-9.

The Islanders have been one of the surprise packages of the opening seven days despite failing three times to convert excellent normal time performances into victories against tough foes in Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Boston.

Ahead of their Columbus Day showdown with free-scoring Los Angeles, though, it was the star play of rookie John Tavares that had Islanders fans licking their lips in anticipation of just what they had drafted earlier in the year.

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