Jose Theodore

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Posted by sonny 03/11/2009 @ 03:10

Tags : jose theodore, hockey players, hockey, sports

News headlines
Rumor Roundup: Theodore's return - The Hockey News
Jose Theodore lost his job as Washington's starting goalie after Game 1 of the New York Rangers series, but is expecting a bounce back season next year. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) Last week's elimination of the Washington Capitals,...
Still Thirsting for a Cup - Washington Post
When the Capitals signed José Theodore to a two-year, $9 million contract last July, they did so with the expectation that the 32-year-old veteran would provide a bridge to Varlamov. But Varlamov, 21, progressed faster than anticipated and could be...
Madden Monday: For his encore, Sid wants the Cup - Beaver County Times
By Mark Madden, Special to The Times Including shootouts, Sidney Crosby has had three breakaways against Jose Theodore. Crosby scored stick side on the first, glove side on the second, five-hole on the third. No. 3 was the Penguins' final goal in their...
Best and worst of the playoffs so far - FOXSports.com
Varlomov, with only six career NHL games under his belt, replaced struggling veteran Jose Theodore in the Capitals' opening-round series against the Rangers and helped rally his club from a 3-1 series deficit to victory. He was outstanding in five of...
Penguins put Caps on ice - Baltimore Sun
By Tarik El-Bashir | The Washington Post Penguins center Sidney Crosby scores on Capitals goalie Jose Theodore in the third period. Crosby scored twice in Game 7, raising his NHL-leading playoff goal total to 12. (AP photo / May 13, 2009) Washington...
Change is net gain - Washington Times
By Bob Cohn (Contact) | Monday, May 4, 2009 A dozen years ago, a 20-year-old goaltender named Jose Theodore stepped in for the Montreal Canadiens during a Stanley Cup playoff series despite minimal experience. Sound familiar? As the starting goalie for...
(John Mcdonnell - The Washington Post) - Washington Post
If so, with José Theodore set to earn $4.5 million and Brent Johnson coming off an injury, who's the backup? Karl Alzner is expected to be promoted from Hershey permanently, but he's not the physical presence the Capitals missed in the playoffs....
Posted by Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun - ESPN
A bit ironic, no, that the Caps' playoff season ends the way it began, with Jose Theodore in net? The Pens didn't let Theodore off the hook as Jordan Staal beat him in close after a nice pass from Miroslav Satan. That's the third nice assist from Satan...
From Russia with glove: Varlamov emerges as Caps' unlikely hero - Globe and Mail
The Washington Capitals can thank Jose Theodore, whose play in goal waxed and waned all season, for the timing of his last wane. If Theodore had not faltered in the first game of the Capitals' first-round NHL playoff series against the New York Rangers...
East finals preview: Penguins vs. Canes - ESPN
Ward definitely provides a more difficult test for the Penguins than Martin Biron in Philly and Simeon Varlamov and once-upon-a-time starter Jose Theodore in Washington. Ward, therefore, puts more pressure on Marc-Andre Fleury in the Pittsburgh net to...

2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The NHL unveiled a new logo for the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The finals concluded on June 19 with the Carolina Hurricanes winning the Stanley Cup, defeating the Edmonton Oilers in the final series four games to three. Carolina goaltender Cam Ward was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.

While the 2005–06 NHL season introduced a shootout to break ties after 5 minutes of 4-on-4 overtime, the Stanley Cup playoffs retained their traditional format of unlimited 20-minute periods of 5-on-5 sudden-death overtime to break ties.

The Western Conference made history in the first round when all four series were won by the lower-seeded teams. The eighth and lowest seeded Edmonton Oilers proceeded to win the conference and participate in the Stanley Cup Finals.

After the 2005–06 NHL season, a total of 16 teams qualified for the playoffs. The Detroit Red Wings were the Presidents' Trophy winners with the best record at 124 points (58 wins, 16 regulation losses, 8 overtime losses), while the Ottawa Senators won on the last day of the regular season to earn the Eastern Conference regular season crown.

These are the top five goaltenders based on either goals against average or save percentage with at least four games played.

The Senators entered the 2006 playoffs with a new head coach and a new goaltender. Bryan Murray led the Sens to a successful season. The Lightning slipped into the playoffs this year, beating out the Maple Leafs and the Thrashers by only two points. The Senators history was marked by playoff collapses, mostly to the Maple Leafs. However this series would be different.

The defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning faced off against the Ottawa Senators, who held off Carolina to earn the Eastern Conference regular-season title on the final day of the regular season. The teams had never met before in the playoffs, but in four regular-season meetings, Ottawa had dominated, winning all four games in regulation.

In Game 1, Tampa Bay scored first, but in the third period, two quick powerplay goals by Martin Havlat and Jason Spezza, respectively, gave Ottawa the lead. Mike Fisher added a short-handed goal three minutes later, and the Senators went on to win, 4–1. In Game 2, the Senators held a 3–2 lead in the third period, but Dan Boyle tied the score, and 55 seconds later, Martin St. Louis scored his second goal of the game. The Lightning won 4–3, evening the series.

Two days later, the series resumed in Tampa Bay for Game 3; the visiting Senators scored three goals in the first period. Havlat had two goals, giving him a total of four for the series thus far, as did Antoine Vermette. The Senators routed the Lightning, 8–4, in a game marked by the teams combining for 129 penalty minutes. Tampa Bay's Pavel Kubina earned a "Gordie Howe hat trick", with a goal, an assist, and two misconduct penalties earned in a late fight. In Game 4, the Lightning took a 2–1 lead after the first period, but a trio of second-period goals gave the Senators a lead. Dany Heatley finished with a goal and two assists in the 5–2 win which put Ottawa on the verge of advancing.

In Game 5, back in Ottawa, Martin Havlat continued his solid play, completing a series in which he scored in each game. He scored a power-play goal in the second period which gave Ottawa a 3–1 advantage. The Lightning closed the gap to 3–2, but could not get the tying goal. Havlat finished the series with 6 goals and 4 assists, while Heatley and Spezza each had 2 goals and 8 assists.

The Canadiens had struggled throughout the beginning of the season, prompting GM Bob Gainey to fire Coach Claude Julien. Gainey took over behind the bench and posted a 23–15–3 record.

Though the Carolina Hurricanes were disappointed to lose the race for the Eastern Conference regular-season crown to Ottawa, commentators believed they might have actually gained an advantage from that fault. They faced a seventh-seeded Montreal Canadiens team they had beaten each game in the regular season. Though the Canadiens had since traded goaltender Jose Theodore, Carolina's fast puck-possession game was expected to roll over the Habs easily.

However, with Carolina goaltender Martin Gerber battling a then-undisclosed stomach ailment, the Canadiens beat the Canes in Game 1 in Raleigh, 6–1, as Cristobal Huet continued his late-season hot streak. After three quick Montreal goals early in Game 2, Carolina coach Peter Laviolette made what would prove to be a fateful decision, switching in 22-year-old rookie backup Cam Ward for Gerber. Though Ward yielded a regained Carolina lead in that game and which they lost 6–5 in the second overtime, Laviolette stuck with him going into Montreal even with Habs fans waving brooms, signifying a possible sweep.

Carolina prevailed in a 2–1 overtime win in Game 3, with Eric Staal scoring the game winner. During the game, Canadiens captain Saku Koivu took an inadvertent stick blade in the eye from the Hurricanes' Justin Williams from behind as both players lunged for a puck in the Carolina slot. The incident went unpenalized, but Koivu's series was over. In Game 4, Williams scored the game-winning goal in a 3–2 win to tie the series.

The final two games were tight-checking games, but Montreal had lost the mental advantage gained over two wins in Raleigh; the Canes took Game 5 in front of their home fans, 2–1, then returned to Montreal to close the series, 2–1, on a long, fluttering, tipped shot by Cory Stillman over Huet's left shoulder at 1:19 of overtime.

The Canes would continue their dominance, en route to winning their first ever Stanley Cup. Canadiens GM Gainey would relinquish his coaching duties, and give the reins to Guy Carbonneau.

The Devils posted a 14–13–5 record in November when General Manager Lou Lamoriello took over as coach from the ailing Larry Robinson. The team turned their season around under Lou and made the playoffs. The Atlantic Division title came down to the final day of the regular season. The Devils came from behind to defeat the Montreal Canadiens for their eleventh straight win, while the Rangers lost to the Ottawa Senators for their fifth straight loss. These results capped off a record-breaking comeback, as the Devils, who had trailed the division-leading Flyers by 19 points in January, clinched the division title and the third seed in the playoffs. The Rangers, on the other hand, slipped to the sixth seed but still qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

The Devils and Rangers were meeting in the playoffs for the fourth time in their respective histories, with the Rangers having won all three past meetings, including the classic 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, when Mark Messier guaranteed a win and backed it up with a hat trick in Game 6, and Stephane Matteau scored the game-winner in double-overtime of Game 7. More recently, the teams split their eight games in the 2005–06 season, with each team going 3–1 on their home ice, and winning one game in overtime.

The Devils jumped out to a quick lead, winning Game 1, 6–1, behind five power-play goals, and Patrik Elias's two goals and four assists, while Rangers star Jaromir Jagr left the game with an arm injury late in the third period. This injury kept Jagr out of Game 2, which the Devils won, 4–1, led by John Madden's hat trick, including two short-handed goals, making Madden the first player since Wayne Gretzky to score two shorthanded goals in the same playoff game. In Game 3, Jamie Langenbrunner scored 68 seconds into the game, and Martin Brodeur earned his 21st career playoff shutout, with 25 saves, as the Devils won 3–0. Jagr's injury woes continued in Game 4, as he was knocked out with a hit in the first minute of the game. Despite this, the Rangers took their only lead of the series on Jed Ortmeyer's goal late in the first period. But New Jersey responded with two goals in each of the second and third periods, including two by Elias, giving him five for the series. They won, 4–2, eliminating their rivals and advancing to the Conference Semifinals.

The Sabres earned a playoff spot for the first time since 2001. In a repeat of the result of their 2001 playoff series, right down to the blowout victory in the deciding game, the Buffalo Sabres eliminated the Philadelphia Flyers in six games.

Game 1 went to Buffalo, 3–2, as co-captain Daniel Briere ended the game with a double-overtime goal on his team-record 14th shot of the playoff game. Game 1 was also notable for a monstrous hit laid upon Philadelphia's R. J. Umberger by Buffalo's Brian Campbell during the first overtime period. Philadelphia goaltender Robert Esche was outstanding, turning aside 55 Buffalo shots before finally allowing the game-winner.

The Flyers, looking for revenge from Game 1, took 17 penalties in Game 2, including 3 misconducts and a 5-minute major for checking from behind. Unfortunately for the Flyers, those penalties resulted in eleven Buffalo power plays. The Sabres scored three power-play goals, rolling to an 8–2 victory. J. P. Dumont and rookie Jason Pominville each recorded hat tricks for Buffalo.

The series then shifted to Philadelphia, and the Flyers were able to even it up with wins in Games 3 and 4. Peter Forsberg scored two second-period goals in Game 3 to break a 1–1 tie. The Flyers went on to win the game, 4–2. In Game 4, the Sabres had an early 2–0 lead. Forsberg once again scored two goals, including an empty netter with 49 seconds remaining. The empty-netter proved to be the game-winner, as Buffalo's Mike Grier scored with 19 seconds left in the game to make the final score 5–4 in favor of the Flyers.

Home-ice advantage continued to be key as the Sabres returned to the HSBC Arena for Game 5 and scored a 3–0 victory. Sabre goaltender Ryan Miller made 24 saves to earn his first career playoff shutout. In Game 6, home-ice advantage was finally broken as the Sabres jumped to a 3–0 lead by the end of the first period in the Wachovia Center. Six different Sabres scored as they finished off the Flyers with a resounding 7–1 victory.

The Flyers game 6 defeat seemed to continue into the next season as they would start 1–6–1 resulting in Ken Hitchcocks firing.

Craig Mactavish's Oilers made the playoffs for the first time since the 2002–2003 season. It came down to the final week to determine who would be in, and it turned out to be the Oilers who sneaked in ahead of the Canucks.

After Red Wings winger Kirk Maltby scored two goals including the winner in double overtime in Game 1, the Oilers were able to respond by winning Game 2, 4–2. The series moved to Edmonton tied 1–1. Jarret Stoll provided the game-winner in double overtime in Game 3, giving the Oilers a 2–1 series lead after the Red Wings had appeared to score in the first overtime, but had the goal waived off. The Red Wings responded with a Game 4 4–2 victory to tie the series.

Back in Detroit, the Oilers jumped out to a 3–0 lead in the second period of Game 5. Brendan Shanahan closed the gap to 3–1, and Henrik Zetterberg added his fifth goal of the series to pull Detroit within one, but Edmonton held on to take a 3–2 series lead. Returning to Edmonton, the Oilers found themselves trailing 2–0 after two periods. Fernando Pisani tied the game with two goals, his fourth and fifth of the series, before Detroit reclaimed the lead. With 3:53 to play, Ales Hemsky tied the game on a controversial power-play goal which was reviewed for several minutes, questioning whether it was kicked into the goal. The goal was counted after it was determined that no kicking motion was made. Hemsky subsequently provided the game-winning goal with 1:06 left in the third period.

The first upset of the 2006 playoffs came in this series when the seventh-seeded Avalanche defeated the second-seeded Stars in five games. The Stars had won three of the teams' four regular-season meetings, although two of those wins were in overtime.

In Game 1, the Stars came out quickly, going up 2–0 on goals by Brenden Morrow and Bill Guerin, but five different Colorado players scored, allowing the Avalanche to claim a 5–2 win. Colorado continued its momentum with three first-period goals to open Game 2, but Dallas responded with four goals in the second period, including two goals by Jere Lehtinen and a goal in the closing seconds by Mike Modano. Brett Clark tied the game with a short-handed goal with 2:04 to play in regulation. Four minutes into overtime, Jason Arnott got a shot past Colorado goalie Jose Theodore but it hit the post. The Avs quickly counter-attacked, and Joe Sakic scored his NHL-record seventh career overtime goal to end the game.

Returning to Denver with a 2–0 series lead, Sakic scored the first goal of Game 3. Stu Barnes tied the game with a short-handed goal, but Colorado led, 2–1, after one period. Dallas took a 3–2 lead in the second period, but Andrew Brunette scored with 57 seconds remaining in the third period to tie the game, and Alex Tanguay tallied his second goal of the game at 1:09 of the first overtime to give the Avalanche a 4–3 win and a 3–0 series lead. Dallas staved off elimination in Game 4 as Niklas Hagman scored two goals in a 4–1 win.

However, the Avalanche denied the Stars a chance at a continued comeback by winning Game 5 to clinch the series. Joe Sakic scored with just two seconds to play in the second period to give his team a 2–1 lead. The Stars tied it in the third period, but Sergei Zubov's attempted game-winner late in the period glanced off the goal post. After nearly 14 minutes of overtime, Andrew Brunette scored to finish the game and the series.

The entire series was a back-and-forth affair with the teams trading victories throughout the first six games. Game 1 saw an overtime win thanks to Darren McCarty to gain the upper hand, but the Ducks responded back to tie the series. Game 3 was a blowout on the Flames part when Giguere seemed to open the floodgates in the third period. In Game 4, the Ducks jumped ahead 2–0 in the first period and managed to hold a lead for two periods, but two quick goals by Iginla would tie it. It would end on a slap shot from Duck defenceman Sean O'Donnell in overtime shortly after a power play expired.

In Game 5, Giguere played poorly, allowing three consecutive goals, so coach Randy Carlyle boldly put in backup goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov, despite not allowing any goals causing the momentum seemingly to shift late in Game 5, the Flames jumped ahead for the third time. Bryzgalov actually started Game 1 because of an injury to Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who played extremely well despite losing, 2–1 in overtime. When Giguere proved ineffective through the next four games, Bryzgalov returned to the net. Game 6 saw the Flames jump ahead in the first period thanks to Stephane Yelle, but Selanne would tie the game, and Niedermayer scored a short handed goal from a deflection off of the Flames goalie to tie the series once again. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim ended the Calgary Flames' season by winning a decisive Game 7, 3–0, behind the stellar play of Bryzgalov.

The 4–5 matchup in the West pitted the Nashville Predators against the San Jose Sharks, the first playoff meeting between the two teams. Nashville had dominated much of the season on their way to the fourth seed in the conference, while San Jose rallied back from an early-season slump all the way to the fifth seed, thanks to a November trade for Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins that resulted in Thornton winning the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring. Linemate Jonathan Cheechoo won the Rocket Richard Trophy for leading the NHL in goals. The teams split their regular season series, with both of San Jose's wins coming in overtime.

Both teams came into the series with alternate goaltenders. After Sharks starter Evgeni Nabokov stumbled through most of the regular season, backup Vesa Toskala earned the spot as playoff starter with his impressive play during San Jose's stretch run to clinch a playoff spot. Nashville's star goaltender Tomas Vokoun would be diagnosed with a blood disorder in early April that kept him sidelined for the rest of the season, forcing backup Chris Mason to become Nashville's goaltender for the playoffs.

The Predators won the first game at home, 4–3, with four power-play goals, three of them coming in the first period. In Game 2, San Jose scored three first-period power play goals from Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo and Mark Smith. Toskala earned a shutout on the Predators in a 3–0 victory.

The series went to San Jose for Games 3 and 4, but the Predators' tendency for penalties continued to be taken advantage of by the Sharks. In Game 3, a short-handed goal by Kimmo Timonen gave the Predators an early lead, but San Jose bounced back with four unanswered goals, two of them by Marleau and one on the power play by Steve Bernier, en route to a 4–1 San Jose victory. In Game 4, Marleau scored a hat trick, with two of his goals coming on the power play (and another by Smith scored right after another Nashville penalty expired). San Jose won the game, 5–4, as the series changed back to Nashville for Game 5. Unfortunately for Nashville, a Paul Kariya goal was not enough to combat power-play goals by Marleau and Bernier in a 2–1 victory for San Jose in Game 5, giving the Sharks the series.

In a battle of the top two teams from the Northeast Division in 2006, the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres squared off in this series. The Senators won five of the eight meetings between the teams in the regular season, including several lopsided results early in the season.

Game 1 of the series was a back-and-forth affair, with the Sabres tying the game five separate times - including a goal by Tim Connolly with just 10.7 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 6 - before winning just 18 seconds into overtime on a goal by Chris Drury.

The remainder of the series was tightly played defensively, though. Goaltending by both Buffalo's Ryan Miller and Ottawa's Ray Emery became the key to the series. A 2–1 victory by the Sabres in Game 2 was highlighted by 43 Miller saves - including one on a breakaway by Jason Spezza - which allowed Buffalo to take a 2–0 series lead home.

Game 3 went to overtime and was won once again by the Sabres on a shot by J.P. Dumont. In Game 4 Sabre fans were prepared for a sweep, but were disappointed when the Senators were able to stave off elimination with a 2–1 victory.

Ottawa returned home for Game 5 with hopes of pulling even closer. The game went to overtime but ended quickly as Jason Pominville scored a shorthanded goal just 2:26 in to end the Senators' season. There had been six short-handed overtime goals in Stanley Cup Playoff history up to this point, but this was the first one to ever end a series. This put the Sabres into the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in the past eight seasons.

The Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils, both division champions, met in the Conference Semifinals. The teams had met twice before in the playoffs: In 2001, the top-seeded Devils dispatched the Hurricanes in six games in the first round; Carolina won the following year as the third seed (the Hurricanes had an inferior record but held home advantage as a division champion). In the 2005–06 season, the Hurricanes won both games in 2005, while the Devils won both games in 2006, the last towards the beginning of their 15-game winning streak.

Game 1 of the series, in Carolina, featured sloppy play by the Devils. Ray Whitney scored a power-play goal in the first period and added another in the second period. Frustration set in for New Jersey as the Hurricanes scored two quick power-play goals late in the second, and then two more power-play goals midway through the third period, leading to Martin Brodeur, on his birthday, being pulled from his position, as Devils' goalie in favor of Scott Clemmensen. The game went to Carolina, 6–0.

Game 2, also in Carolina, was a much cleaner and low-scoring affair than the first game. After Zach Parise pushed the Devils ahead 2–1 with twenty seconds to go in the third period, Eric Staal scored a game-tying goal with just three seconds left to send the game into overtime. Niclas Wallin tallied the game-winner 3:09 into overtime. Back in New Jersey for Game 3, the Devils lost another 3–2 game, with Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour scoring the game-winner with 1:01 to play in the second period. The third period featured stellar play from goalies Cam Ward of Carolina and Martin Brodeur of New Jersey.

New Jersey jumped out to a 5–0 lead and won Game 4 with a final score of 5–1, including two goals by Scott Gomez and Jay Pandolfo's first goal of the postseason. Goalie Cam Ward of Carolina was pulled after the fourth goal for Martin Gerber, the man that he displaced behind the goal in Game 3 of Carolina's first-round series with Montreal.

Ward returned a day later back in Carolina in Game 5, and it looked like he might have a similarly short outing after Brian Gionta tallied in the game's first minute. However, Ward and the Carolina defense clamped down on the Devils attack as the Hurricanes killed off five straight New Jersey penalties. Hurricanes defenceman Frantisek Kaberle also added a goal to tie the score at 1. When the Hurricanes received their first power-play over halfway into the game, Carolina rushed up ice, with Brind'Amour and Justin Williams passing to an open Cory Stillman who beat Brodeur. Whitney and Staal added late goals to make the final game and series totals 4–1 in favor of the Hurricanes.

Game 1 was a muddled, penalty-filled battle. Edmonton took a first-period lead off a Jaroslav Spacek power-play goal. Patrick Marleau scored one goal (raising his playoff-leading total to eight) and assisted on another, leading the Sharks to a 2–1 win. Game 2 was also a 2–1 San Jose victory, with Joe Thornton scoring the game-winning goal on a power play in the second period.

The site changed to Edmonton for Game 3, and the Sharks and Oilers engaged in a triple-overtime match, the longest playoff game in the postseason to date, before Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff finally ended the game with a goal giving the Oilers a 3–2 win. Edmonton came back from an early 3–1 deficit in Game 4 and scored five unanswered goals late in the game - including three in the final period to force goalie Vesa Toskala from the game - to win, 6–3, and to even the series, 2–2.

In San Jose, Game 5 was the first time that a road team won a game in the series, the result being a 6–3 Edmonton victory. The teams entered the third period with Edmonton up 2–1, having killed off six penalties in the first and second periods. Twelve seconds into the period, Shawn Horcoff of the Oilers managed to put in a short-handed goal past Vesa Toskala making the score 3–1. Shortly after, the Sharks scored their first power-play goal in three games with Christian Ehrhoff scoring 44 seconds into the period. Less than two minutes later, Jonathan Cheechoo scored another goal to tie the game, 3–3. However, the Oilers answered back with Fernando Pisani scoring his second goal of the game. The Sharks took six penalties in the third period, which proved very costly. Jarret Stoll quickly capitalized on a Cheechoo interference call and then Ryan Smyth scored later in the period, sealing the game.

The two teams headed back to Edmonton for Game 6, where the Oilers took the game, 2–0, with the game-winning goal from Michael Peca, to win the series, 4–2.

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim advanced to play the Colorado Avalanche in the second round. The Avalanche went 3–1 against Anaheim in the regular season, though all four games were decided by a single goal, and Anaheim's win was in overtime. The series was the first playoff series between the teams.

Game 1 started slow with no goals in the first period, but Samuel Pahlsson gave Anaheim the lead early in the second period. Two goals in the last minute of the period gave Anaheim a 4–0 advantage that extended to 5–0 by game's end, as rookie Ilya Bryzgalov recorded his second straight shutout.

In Game 2, Bryzgalov became the first goalie since his teammate, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, to record three straight playoff shutouts as the Ducks won, 3–0. Bryzgalov joins Frank McCool as the only rookie to accomplish such a feat, which was tested late when the Avalanche pulled goalie Jose Theodore in a desperate attempt to score. Stretching back to midway through the first period of Game 6 of the previous series, the Ducks had not been scored upon in 229:42, giving Bryzgalov the fourth longest playoff shutout streak in NHL history.

In Game 3, Dan Hinote scored late in the first period for the Avs, setting Bryzgalov's shutout streak at second all-time, with just under 250 minutes. Joffrey Lupul brought the Ducks back even in the second, but a Jim Dowd score gave the Avs another lead. Two more from Lupul, his first career hat trick, put the Ducks in a 3–2 lead late, but a Rob Blake follow-up goal from a heavy Alex Tanguay shot tied the score. At 16:30 of overtime, Joffrey Lupul scored his fourth goal of the night to put the Ducks at a 3–0 series lead. A newspaper in Edmonton reported the final score as Lupul 4, Avs 3.

In the fourth game, the Avs lost 4–1, in Colorado. Joe Sakic scored the only goal for the Avs early in the first period. The Ducks equalized late in the first period via a Todd Marchant goal. Bryzgalov did not allow the puck past him in the next two periods, with Teemu Selanne scoring the winning goal early in the second period. Also, Dustin Penner scoring in the sixth minute of the third period, and Marchant scored his second goal of the game late in the third period to secure Anaheim's berth in the Western Conference Finals.

The Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres began the series labeled as "mirror images" of each other. Both teams were expected to do little in the pre-season, largely because of a lack of major moves in free agency in the off-season attributed to both teams' small-market status. Yet, both teams succeeded, thanks to a successful adjustment to the new, up-tempo game played in the NHL. The two teams were separated by just two points in the regular season, and both finished with 52 wins (Carolina had more points by virtue of taking two more games to overtime than Buffalo did). In their post-season runs, both teams had won their first-round series 4–2 and their second-round series 4–1. Both teams' post-season success had been credited to team defense, offensive scoring depth and the outstanding play of a rookie goaltender: Ryan Miller for the Sabres, and Cam Ward for the Hurricanes.

Thus, something had to give when the two teams first took the ice for Game 1 on May 20 in Raleigh. One theme that held true early was Buffalo's propensity for scoring first, as defenceman Henrik Tallinder finished off a barrage on Ward by beating the rookie goaltender three minutes into the period. Rod Brind'Amour scored to tie the first period at 1–1. Buffalo responded in the second period, outshooting Carolina, 13–4, and getting a goal from co-captain Daniel Briere in transition. Carolina applied plenty of pressure in the third period, but the Sabres took advantage of a failed power-play when Jay McKee emerged from the penalty box to beat Ward for another Buffalo score. Mike Commodore cut the deficit to 3–2 with a shorthanded goal with three minutes left in the game, but the Sabres won with no more goals scored.

Urged on by a raucous RBC Center crowd, the Hurricanes played well in the first period of Game 2, which was climaxed by a Frantisek Kaberle power-play goal. However, Buffalo evened the game 48 seconds from intermission. Perhaps as a result of the tie score, the Hurricanes dominated Buffalo in the second period, outshooting the Sabres, 16–4, and picking up two goals from veteran forward Ray Whitney. A near Buffalo goal, saved going in the net by defenceman Glen Wesley, and a Justin Williams goal in the third period both seemed meaningless at the time, but two late Buffalo goals (by Chris Drury and Derek Roy) made them quite important. The 4–3 Hurricanes win was not without controversy; Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette accused the Sabres of diving in order to draw four penalty calls against Carolina in the third period. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff replied that the Sabres were just following Carolina's example.

Game 3 was similar, except this time the two teams were reversed. Buffalo had the better of the play in the first period but the game was tied at 1 when Chris Drury deflected a shot past Ward. In this second period, Buffalo dominated, unleashing a barrage on Ward that yielded three goals: two Briere and one for Ales Kotalik. After the Kotalik goal, Ward was pulled in favor of Martin Gerber. Gerber made two saves on break-aways, giving Carolina momentum. The Hurricanes responded with goals from Cory Stillman and Eric Staal, extending Staal's point streak to 13 games. The Sabres emerged with a 2–1 series lead but lost Tallinder, one of their top defensemen, to a broken arm.

Game 4 provided the series' first large margin of victory for either side. The game went Carolina's way, as the Hurricanes emerged with a 4–0 shutout win. Much of the pregame conjecture centered around who Laviolette would turn select for goaltender. In the end, the call went to the veteran Gerber, and the Swiss native responded. Gerber kept the score deadlocked before Mark Recchi and Staal scored to give the Hurricanes a 2–0 first-period lead. In the second period, Andrew Ladd and Bret Hedican added their first goals of the post-season.

In Game 5, Gerber started in net for the Hurricanes, but he did not play well. Drury scored his ninth of the post-season to open the scoring and, after a Williams goal 17 seconds later tied the score, Derek Roy scored on Gerber to give the Sabres a 2–1 lead at the first intermission. Two minutes into the second period, Toni Lydman scored, giving Buffalo a 3–1 lead. Laviolette once more made a mid-game switch, this time turning back to Ward. Within 10 minutes, the Hurricanes had evened the score thanks to a goal from Recchi and then a power play goal off the crossbar from Brind'Amour. The Hurricanes registered only one shot on goal in the entire third period. The game went to overtime for the first time in the series. In overtime, Stillman recovered a shot that went wide off the boards and beat Miller low to give Carolina a momentum-grabbing 4–3 win. The Hurricanes earned their first lead of the series. Eric Staal received an assist on the Brind'Amour goal to push his consecutive points streak to 15 games. The record is 19 games, set by Bryan Trottier for the New York Islanders in 1981.

With Teppo Numminen returning to the bench, Game 6 started out comfortably for the Sabres, as J.P. Dumont scored on a rebound early in the first period to give the Sabres a lead. It held until late in the third period, when Bret Hedican put a shot into the top corner to send the game into overtime. After Doug Weight was given a boarding penalty for his hit on Pominville early in overtime, Daniel Brière sent the series to a Game 7 by putting a shot in that went off Cam Ward's glove and into the net.

In Game 7, the Sabres remained competitive despite the loss of defenceman Jay McKee, leaving them with four defenders sidelined, and seven players overall, missing from the roster because of injury. Buffalo took a 2–1 lead with 2 seconds left in the second period on Jochen Hecht's wraparound bank shot off Ward's pads. But Carolina answered early in the third with a goal by Weight, atoning for his penalty that cost the Hurricanes in the previous game, and then took the lead on a power play goal by Brind'Amour with about seven minutes left. Justin Williams would tally an insurance goal on a rebound from Brind'Amour with a minute left, and the Hurricanes took the game 4–2 and the series 4–3, securing their second trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in four seasons.

The Oilers opened up the scoring in the first game of the series in the first period, when Michael Peca scored his second short-handed goal of the playoffs on a long pass from Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson. The Ducks quickly answered back with a goal on a power play, tying the game. The Oilers took the lead in the middle of the second period when Ales Hemsky knocked in a high rebound. The Oilers' Todd Harvey scored on an empty net to clinch the game.

The second game of the series was one which many declared a "must-win" for Anaheim in order to avoid going down 2–0 in the series heading to Rexall Place, where they had not won since 1999. However, the Oilers opened with another special-teams goal in the first period when Chris Pronger scored on a power-play with a shot off the blue line thirteen minutes into the first period. However, the Ducks responded in the second period with Jeff Friesen putting a rebound past Roloson. Roloson stopped 33 shots on the night. Fernando Pisani, who led the Oilers in goals, scored his eighth of the playoffs with three minutes left in the second period. During the third period, the Ducks pressured Edmonton, much like Game 1, but were unable to beat Roloson as well as the Edmonton shot-blocking. Michael Peca scored his second goal of the series on an empty net as time ran out, giving the Oilers a 2–0 series lead.

Game 3 was played at Rexall Place in Edmonton. The Ducks sought to break the Oilers' six-game playoff win streak in a building they had not won in since 1999. The first period was marred with over 40 penalty minutes assessed in total. However, Toby Petersen managed to put the Oilers in the lead on a failed Bryzgalov clearing attempt which left the net wide open. Both teams could not score in the second period as things seemed to calm down a little. The third period had much more scoring. First, Michael Peca scored on a breakaway. Just over a minute later, Steve Staios scored his first goal of the playoffs on a power play, giving the Oilers a 3–0 lead. Chris Pronger seemed to put this out of reach on a 5-on-3 power-play goal. The Oilers had scored three goals in two and a half minutes, giving them a seemingly safe 4–0 lead. However, the Ducks' Sean O'Donnell scored at just past the seven-minute mark of the third period. Teemu Selanne, who had been quiet for much of the series, put the Ducks right back in the game with his first goal of the series. Chris Kunitz then put the Ducks within a goal as the momentum had completely shifted over. However, Pisani scored his ninth goal of the playoffs off a bad Anaheim faceoff putting the Oilers back ahead by two. This tied him for the most goals in the playoffs with Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks with nine. Selanne then scored his second goal of the game with less than two minutes left, bringing it back to a one-goal game. However, the Oilers managed to hang on in the dying seconds and secure a 3–0 series lead with a chance to sweep at Rexall Place in Game 4. The game had a total of 76 penalty minutes handed out by the time everything was done.

After a less-than-stellar performance in Game 3, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle replaced Bryzgalov with Jean-Sebastien Giguere for Game 4, hoping the shakeup would energize his team. It worked quite well, as the Ducks allowed only three shots in the first period, scoring three goals. Edmonton did lead a comeback in the second period, coming within one of the Ducks, but Joffrey Lupul scored two goals to win the game, 5–2.

Game 5 returned to Anaheim, and the Oilers had several penalties called against them in the first period. Although the Oilers successfully killed off the penalty to Matt Greene, Jaroslav Spacek's hooking minor led to a power play goal for the Ducks, scored by Francois Beauchemin. The first period ended with the Ducks up 1–0 and outshooting the Oilers, 14–8. Early in the second period, the Ducks took a penalty that was successfully killed off, but immediately after the penalty expired, the Oilers tied the game with a rebound goal from Ethan Moreau. Five minutes later, Raffi Torres tipped in a shot from Marc-Andre Bergeron to take the lead in the game. Although several good chances for both teams followed, the lead was held by the Oilers.

Despite late pressure by the Ducks, including a 6-on-3 power play in the final minute of play, the Oilers held on to win the Western Conference and move on to the Stanley Cup Finals. They were the first eighth-seeded team to reach the Finals under the current playoff format (which was introduced in 1994).

This series marked the first time that the Oilers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1990, when they won their fifth Stanley Cup in team history. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2002, when they fell to the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings in five games.

This series marked the first time that two former World Hockey Association teams played against each other for the Stanley Cup since they merged with the NHL in 1979. The Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes team is the only former WHA club to have never contested a Finals. As a result of the new scheduling formula that was implemented before the 2005–06 NHL season, the Hurricanes and the Oilers did not meet during the regular season.

These were also the second Finals contested by two teams that had both missed the playoffs the previous season (assuming one skips the unplayed 2005 Stanley Cup playoffs), after Pittsburgh/Minnesota 1991. Even more interestingly, it would also prove to be the first Finals contested by teams that would both go on to miss the following years' playoffs. Prior to these Finals only one team, the 1938–39 Chicago Blackhawks, had ever missed the playoffs one year, then played in the Stanley Cup Finals (win or lose) the following season, and then missed the playoffs again the season after that. Both the Hurricanes and Oilers have now accomplished this dubious feat.

In Game 1, Carolina tied the biggest comeback in Stanley Cup Finals history, overcoming a three-goal deficit to win, 5–4. Edmonton scored first, 8:18 into the first period, with a goal from Fernando Pisani. In the second period, Chris Pronger scored the first penalty shot goal in Stanley Cup Finals history after defenceman Niclas Wallin illegally covered the puck inside his own goal crease, and Ethan Moreau's goal at 16:23 gave the Oilers a 3–0 lead. But at the 17:17 mark, Rod Brind'Amour scored the Hurricanes' first goal of the game. Carolina then tied the game in the third period with two scores by Ray Whitney. The Hurricanes jumped ahead, 4–3, on a shorthanded goal by Justin Williams, but Edmonton's Ales Hemsky scored on a power play to tie the game with 6:29 remaining. Late in the final period, Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson suffered a series-ending knee injury in a collision and was replaced with Ty Conklin. With 32 seconds to go in regulation, Conklin misplayed the puck, and it deflected off Jason Smith's stick to the front of the empty net, allowing Brind'Amour to score the winning goal.

With Roloson's injury, Jussi Markkanen started for the Oilers in Game 2. Although Markkanen had played 37 games in the regular season - sharing the job with Ty Conklin and Mike Morrison - he had watched the entire post-season from the bench; he also had not played in a game since March 1, 2006. The Hurricanes shut out the Oilers, 5–0, with five different Carolina players scoring goals. Markkanen was Edmonton's third goaltender in the series. It was the first time three goaltenders had been used in a Cup Finals since May 1970, when the St. Louis Blues employed Jacques Plante, Glenn Hall and Ernie Wakely on their way to being swept by the Boston Bruins.

In Game 3, Markkanen once again started in net with Roloson still out. Shawn Horcoff scored just over two minutes into the first period. During the second period, a short-handed goal was waved off by the referee, because he had lost sight of the puck and had blown the whistle, despite the fact that the puck had not yet been covered. The Hurricanes responded midway through the third period with their captain, Rod Brind'Amour, taking a rebound off a blocked shot past Markkanen. However, with 2:15 left in the game, Edmonton's Ryan Smyth scored the winning goal after crashing into Ward inside the crease as they both tried to get control of a rebound off of a shot by Ales Hemsky. Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette and many other Carolina players complained that Smyth should have been penalized for interference, but no penalty was called since the referees felt that he did not make enough contact with Ward to prevent him from attempting a save.

In, Game 4, Edmonton got off to a good start when Sergei Samsonov opened the scoring at 8:40 of the first period. However, the lead was short-lived as Cory Stillman replied just 29 seconds later to tie the game, 1–1. Mark Recchi scored the eventual game-winner with just over four minutes to go in the second period. Once again Edmonton's power-play was futile, failing to capitalize on five chances, including a 2-man advantage in the first period. When the game ended, the Oilers were 1-for-25 on the power play to this point in the series.

Carolina entered Game 5 with a 3–1 lead in the series and a chance to win the Stanley Cup on their home ice. However, Edmonton scored first on Fernando Pisani's goal 16 seconds into the game. The Hurricanes then went ahead, 2–1, on two power-play goals by Staal and Whitney before the Oilers scored a power-play goal by Hemsky to tie the game. Peca then gave Edmonton a 3–2 lead with 17.4 seconds left in the first period. In the second period, Staal scored another power play goal to tie the game. With 7:47 remaining in the third period, Whitney missed what might have been the Hurricanes' best chance to close out the series with a shot that just hit the post. The game went to overtime, and Pisani scored the first short-handed overtime goal in Finals history to give the Oilers the win.

Edmonton, in Game 6, shut out Carolina, 4–0, scoring three power-play goals and limiting the Hurricanes to only 16 shots on goal. Edmonton held Carolina to seven shots through 40 minutes of play. Fernando Pisani got his post-season high fifth game winning goal (and 13th in total, also tops amongst scorers in this playoffs).

The Hurricanes returned to their home ice to defeat the Oilers in Game 7, 3–1, to win the Cup. Aaron Ward and Frantisek Kaberle gave Carolina a 2–0 lead before Pisani scored for Edmonton at 1:03 of the third period to cut the lead. With a minute and a half to go in regulation, the Oilers pulled Markkanen in hopes of tying the game. Seconds later, a loose puck wound up on the stick of Bret Hedican. Hedican dumped the puck to Eric Staal, who fed it to Justin Williams. Williams sprinted down the ice and tapped the puck into the empty net at 18:59 of the third period, sealing the Stanley Cup for the Hurricanes. Cam Ward became the first NHL rookie goalie to win a Stanley Cup Finals series since Patrick Roy lead the Montreal Canadiens in 1986, and he was also the first rookie since the Philadelphia Flyers' Ron Hextall in 1987 to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player in the playoffs.

Cory Stillman earned a Stanley Cup title for the second straight season, having won in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, becoming the first player to win back-to-back titles with different teams since Claude Lemieux (1995 New Jersey Devils, 1996 Colorado Avalanche).

The Hurricanes' victory ended Glen Wesley's 18-year drought without winning the Cup. He had played close to 1,500 regular season and playoff games before winning the Cup, the longest such drought in the NHL. Wesley was the last player remaining from the franchise's days as the Hartford Whalers. Other notable veterans to win their first Cup were Rod Brind'Amour, Doug Weight, Ray Whitney, and Bret Hedican. Mark Recchi won the second Cup of his career, having won 15 years prior as a member of the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Hurricanes became the third former World Hockey Association franchise to win the Stanley Cup, following the Oilers and Quebec Nordiques, who won as the Colorado Avalanche.

The 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs marked the second time in a row that an Alberta-based team had made it to the NHL finals only to lose in seven games to the Southeast Division champions; the Calgary Flames were defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. This also marked the third straight occurrence of the Curse of Detroit, where since the last time the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2002, the Western Conference team that defeated the Detroit Red Wings during the playoffs went on to the finals, and lost the series to the Eastern Conference team in seven games.

In each game of the Finals, the team that won the opening faceoff went on to win that game.

This was the first major-league professional championship for the state of North Carolina.

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David Aebischer

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David Aebischer (born February 7, 1978, in Fribourg, Switzerland), is a professional ice hockey goaltender for HC Lugano of Nationalliga A. He has also played for the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens and Phoenix Coyotes.

Drafted 161st overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Aebischer was initially the third-choice goaltender for the Avs, but when Marc Denis was traded away to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Aebischer became the backup to Patrick Roy.

Aebischer became Colorado's starting goaltender following Roy's retirement, posting a 2.09 goals-against average in the 2003–04 season. During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, he played for Hockey Club Lugano in the Swiss Nationalliga A.

Aebischer was traded to Montreal in exchange for goalie José Théodore on March 8, 2006, a day before the NHL trade deadline.

On July 12, 2006, the Montreal Canadiens re-signed him to a one year deal, worth $1.9 million. In his first season in Montreal, he posted a 13–12–2 record.

On July 19, 2007, Aebischer signed with the Phoenix Coyotes to a one-year, $600,000 contract. However, he lost the goaltending battle in camp to Alex Auld and Mikael Tellqvist, and was waived. He went unclaimed and was subsequently assigned to the Coyotes AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. On November 23, Aebischer was loaned to HC Lugano to make room on the San Antonio roster for goaltender Alex Auld.

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José Théodore

JTheodore.jpg

José Nicholas Théodore (born September 13, 1976, in Laval, Quebec) is a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. He currently plays for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League. He previously played for the Montreal Canadiens where he won the Vezina and Hart trophies in 2001–02, and the Colorado Avalanche from 2006 to 2008.

Théodore was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, second round, forty-fourth overall. In 1996 he played for Team Canada in the World Junior Hockey Championships and won the Gold Medal. He was sent to the Colorado Avalanche in a trade on March 8, 2006, from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Swiss goaltender David Aebischer. At the time of the trade, Théodore was on the injured reserve; he strained his achilles tendon after slipping on the winter ice outside his home. He came off the IR with enough time to play in the last five regular-season Avalanche games. He went on to be the starting goalie in the playoffs, playing in nine games over the first two rounds before the Avs were eliminated. On July 1, 2008, he signed a two year nine million dollar contract with the Washington Capitals.

During a game on January 2, 2001, Théodore became the second goaltender to score a goal and capture a shutout when he attempted to clear the puck from the defensive zone and put the puck into the then empty net, vacated by Islanders goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck. In the following 2001–02 NHL season, Théodore captured the starting goaltender position from Jeff Hackett after a strong performance that helped the Canadiens gain a berth in the playoffs. His regular season play earned him the Vezina Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy the same year. In the play-offs his success continued when the Canadiens beat the top ranked Boston Bruins. Théodore became an immediate fan favorite in the city of Montreal. In 2004 he played back-up goalie for Team Canada, and won the World Cup of Hockey Championship. Théodore had another strong season in the 2004 NHL season as he earned a winning record of 33-28-5 and earning 6 shutouts, one shy of his current record. Also that season he participated in the Heritage Classic, the NHL's first ever outdoors hockey game. The game was held at Commonwealth Stadium versus the Edmonton Oilers, a game which Montreal won 4-3.

On December 15, 2004, his father, Ted Théodore, and his half-brother pleaded guilty to charges of loansharking and possession of a restricted weapon. In February 2005, the 71 year old Ted Théodore was given a $30,000 fine, but no jail time.

On February 9, 2006, news broke that Théodore had failed a drug test prior to the Olympic Games. It was later revealed to be caused by the prescription hair loss medication Propecia, which Théodore had been taking legally for 8 years. Propecia contains the drug Finasteride, which could be used as a masking agent for the performance enhancing drug Nandrolone among weight-trainers and bodybuilders, but it is not a performance enhancing drug in itself. Théodore did not face any punishment from the NHL as he had applied and received approval for a therapeutic use exception. Théodore received a two-year suspension from international play.

Ever since entering the NHL, the pronunciation of Théodore's last name has been a topic of uncertainty and variation among the English-speaking media and NHL sportscasters, with common usage of Tay-uh-DOHR, THAY-uh-dohr and THEE-uh-dohr between these groups, although the first is generally the most commonly-used. However, according to some English-language sources, Théodore's name is pronounced JOE-zay THEE-uh-dohr.

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Goaltender

Ice hockey goaltender Johan Holmqvist of Frölunda HC during a game in 2008.

This article is about the goaltender in ice hockey. For the similar position in other sports, see goalkeeper. For the basketball foul, see goaltending.

The goaltender (also known colloquially as the goalie, goaler, or netminder) in ice hockey is the player who defends his team's goal net by stopping shots of the puck from entering his team's net, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring. The goalie usually plays in or near the area in front of the net called the goal crease (often referred to simply as the crease or the net). Due to the power of shots, the goaltender wears special equipment designed to protect the body from direct impact. Only one goalie is allowed to be on the ice for each team at any one time.

Goaltending is a specialized position in ice hockey; at higher levels in the game, no goalies play other positions and no other players play goalie. A typical ice hockey team may have two or three goaltenders on its roster.

The goaltender has special privileges that other players do not. He wears special goaltending equipment that is different from that worn by other players, and is subject to specific regulations. The goalie may legally hold (or freeze) the puck with his hands to cause a stoppage of play. If a player from the other team hits the goaltender without making an attempt to get out of his way, the offending player may be penalized. In some leagues (including the NHL), if a goalie's stick breaks, he can continue playing with a broken stick until the play is stopped, unlike other players who must drop any broken sticks immediately.

Additionally, if a goaltender acts in such a way that would cause a normal player to be given a penalty, such as slashing or tripping another player, the goaltender cannot be sent to the penalty box. Instead, one of the goaltender's teammates is sent to the penalty box in his or her place. However, the goalie does receive the penalty minutes on the scoresheet.

When a goaltender blocks or stops a shot from going into his goal net, that action is called a save. Goalies often use a particular style, but in general they make saves any way they can: catching the puck with their glove hand, deflecting the shot with their stick, blocking it with their leg pads or blocker or another part of their body, or collapsing to butterfly position to block any low shot coming, especially in close proximity. After making a save, the goaltender attempts to control the rebound to avoid a goal scored by an opposing player when the goaltender is out of position ('scoring on a rebound'), or to allow the goalie's own team to get control of the puck. Goalies may catch or hold a puck shot at the net to better control how it re-enters play. If there is immediate pressure from the opposing team, a goalie may choose to hold on to the puck (for a second or more, with judgment from the referee) to stop play for a face-off. If a goalie holds on to the puck for too long without any pressure they may be subject to a 2-minute 'delay of game' penalty. Recently, in the NHL and AHL, goalies have been restricted as to where they can play the puck behind the net.

See also: shot on goal, save percentage, and goals against average.

Angle play: The method where, by positioning themselves in a direct line between the puck (not the shooter) and the net, a goaltender covers more of the net than he would otherwise be able to. One of the most notable angle goaltenders was Bernie Parent.

See main article: Blocker (ice hockey equipment).

Blocker: Worn on the right hand (for right-handed goaltenders), the blocker is a rectangular piece of equipment with a glove to hold the stick. It protects the wrist area, and can be used to direct shots away from the net. The blocker should be positioned at one's side, and at a height which allows the goaltender's stick to remain flat on the ice. Some goalies, such as Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders, and Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers have their blocker and stick on the left hand, and their trapper on the right hand. This setup is described as a Full-right goalie.

Leg pads: Worn on the goaltender's legs to both protect the legs and help stop shots. The leg pads may not be more than 12 inches (300 mm) in width. (Current NHL Rules have reduced this to 11 inches (280 mm) in width, while also restricting the overall height to 38 inches.) The leg pads should come to about three inches above the knee. Pads that are too long will affect balance and timing; pads that are too short will not protect the knees or make butterfly saves properly.

Lie: The angle created between the handle of a goaltender's stick and the paddle. The higher the lie, the closer the stick resembles the capital letter "L".

Paddle: The thick part of the goaltender's stick, not to be confused with the blade; the blade should remain flat on the ice as often as possible.

Paddle down: A type of stance by the goaltender when the play is coming from the corner to the front of the net and the puck carrier is carrying the puck in front of the net looking to score. Here the goaltender puts the stick down on the ground, parallel to the ice, with the leg farthest from the post down and the other up and ready to push. This works well against angled rushes or wrap arounds where the skater would normally out–skate the goalie. The skater does have the top part of the net to shoot at, but it is difficult to lift the puck over the goalie from up close. The paddle down stance is also effective against low passes from behind the net to players looking to score from the slot.

Poke check: When the goaltender wants to poke the puck away from an opposing player, he quickly slides his hand up the stick, thrusting forward towards the puck. This is a risky play, and occasionally the goaltender will miss and the puck-carrier will be left with an unguarded net.

Screen shot: Screen shots are blind shots, in which the goalie has to anticipate where the puck will hit. In the screen shot, another player (usually an opponent, but sometimes the goaltender's own teammate) stands between the shooter and the goaltender, obscuring the goaltender's vision of the shot. On a screen shot, the goaltender must do everything possible to try to see the shot, dropping to the butterfly stance and thrusting their trapper out at the sound of a shot. Some goalies, such as Ed Belfour or Ron Hextall, go as far as (illegally) punching players in the head or slashing their legs.

Shuffle: A technique for lateral movement when the puck is relatively close to the net. The goaltender slides his legs, one at a time, in the desired direction. If the goaltender is not quick this techniques momentarily leaves the five-hole open. This is the most common method of movement for a goaltender.

Skating: A common fallacy is that the goaltender can get by with merely adequate skating, and often young players are placed in net due to their poor skating. In fact, the goaltender must be one of the best technical skaters on the team, and must be able to keep up with the moves of every skater on opposing teams. In particular, goaltenders must be adept at lateral skating and quick pivoting. Goaltenders must also have exceptional leg strength and the capability for very explosive movement.

Stacked Pad Slide: When a goaltender is on the angle, often a sudden pass close to the net will leave the net relatively unguarded. Stacking the pads is a desperation move in which the goaltender slides feet-first, with legs together (and consequently, "stacked"), across the crease, attempting to cover as much space as possible.

Stance: In a proper stance, the goaltender has the weight on the balls of his feet, the trapper and blocker just above knee-height and slightly out in front so they can be seen in the goalies peripheral vision, and the stick flat on the ice. Stance should also be conformed to the goaltender's style and comfort.

Stick: The stick, held by the goaltender in their blocker hand, the blade of the stick should remain flat on the ice. Keep notice of the lie on a new stick. A high lie will force a goaltender to play on their heels, offsetting balance, while a low lie places a goaltender lower to the ice, and may affect high saves.

Stick save: A save made with the goaltender's stick. On stick saves, the goaltender should not keep a tight grip on the stick, instead allowing the shot's momentum to push the stick back into the skates/pads, cushioning the blow.

Telescoping: Telescoping is a method of moving inward and outward from the goal crease. Most often used in setting up prior to the puck entering their zone, this move is accomplished by simply allowing your skates to separate, resulting in forward motion, then pulling your skates back together and stopping. At no time during a telescope do your skates leave the ice. This can also be referred to as skulling or bubbling.

Trapper: This piece of equipment is often referred to simply as the "glove", and it was originally shaped in the same fashion as a baseball glove, it has evolved into a highly specific piece of equipment that is designed specifically for catching the puck. Some of the more significant changes are the use of a "string mesh" in the pocket of the trapper, and the substantial palm and wrist protection. The pocket is the area between the thumb and first finger of the glove, and is where most goaltender's try to catch the puck, as it reduces the discomfort of the goaltender and the chance of a rebound falling out of the glove. The trapper can be held in a variety of positions depending upon the individual goaltender, but the trend among younger goaltenders is to hold the glove with the palm facing towards the shooter, instead of the "shake hands" position that was popular for so long. The "Cheater" portion of the glove is the part that covers the wrist of the goltender.

Pro-fly: This style of play is derived from the butterfly style of play, although most will argue that this is nothing more than a marketing term. Current leg pad design allows for the full face of the pad to be perpendicular to the ice, maximizing blocking area. This is also called "flaring the pad", almost all modern goaltenders play this style. The stance is very wide and low to maximize the amount of body blocking the net. Many of today's great goaltenders have adopted this technique since it allows for quick recovery and forces the shooter to get the puck off the ice to score. The more efficient users of this style include Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Pascale LeClaire of the Ottawa Senators, and Martin Gerber of the Toronto Maple Leafs. This is still considered a butterfly motion, as the mechanics of making the save are the same, however it is the design of the leg pad that achieves this rotation more than anything.

There are many ways to stop the puck. The oldest one is the "Stand-up" style. In this style you stop the puck from a standing position, not going down. The Goalies may bend over to stop the puck with their upper body or may kick the puck. Such saves made by kicking are known as kick saves or skate saves. They may also simply use their stick to stop it, known as a stick save. This was the style seen in the early NHL and was most commonly used up until the early 90's. One of the more notable goalies who was last seen using stand up was Kirk McLean, but most of the goalies from earlier decades such as Jacques Plante were goalies who were considered pure stand up goalies.

Another style is the "Butterfly", where goalies go down on both pads with their toes pointing outwards and the tops of their pads meeting in the middle, thus completely closing up the five hole. This is generally the most common style used in the modern day. This results in a "wall" of padding without any holes, lowering the chances of low angle shots getting in. These goalies rely mainly on timing and position. Early innovators of this style were goaltending greats Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito, who played during the 50's-60's and 70's-80's, respectively. Hall is generally credited to be among the very first to use this style, and both he and Esposito had tremendous success with it. This is the most widely used style in the NHL today. "Butterfly" goalies have developed methods of sliding in the "Butterfly" position in order to move around fast in one timer situations. As pad size increased, it became a more notable style of goaltending and is still evolving. One of the best butterfly goalies of all time is the Canadian goalie Patrick Roy, who is now retired.

This style of goaltending is a blend of all styles, where the goaltender primarily relies on reaction and positioning to make saves. Hybrid goaltenders will make kick saves, will utilize the butterfly, and are generally not as predictable as goaltenders who rely heavily on the butterfly as a save selection. Most players are not pure stand-up or butterfly, but simply tend to prefer stand-up or butterfly over the other. If a player does not have any preferences, he is considered a hybrid goalie. NHL goaltenders known for using this style are Martin Brodeur, Dominik Hasek (retired) ,Tim Thomas and Ryan Miller.

A goalie scoring a goal in an NHL game is a very rare feat, having occurred only eleven times in the history of the National Hockey League. Seven of those eleven goals resulted from the goalie shooting into an empty net. The remaining four goals were not actually shot into the net by the goalie; rather the goalie was awarded the goal because he was the last player on his team to touch the puck before the opposition scored on themselves. Ron Hextall and Martin Brodeur are the only NHL goalies to be credited with two career goals (each scoring once in the regular season and once in the playoffs), though only Hextall has scored two goals by shooting the puck into an empty net. Damian Rhodes and José Théodore are the only goalies in NHL history to score a goal in which they also had a shutout game.

On February 21, 1997, the Muskoka Bears' Ryan Venturelli became the first known goaltender in hockey history to score two goals (both empty net) in a hockey game. The goals came in an 11-6 win against the Durham Huskies during the Metro Junior A Hockey League 1996-97 regular season.

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Hart Memorial Trophy

Hhof hart.jpg

The Hart Memorial Trophy, originally known as the Hart Trophy, the "oldest and most prestigious individual award in hockey", is awarded annually to the "player adjudged most valuable to his team" in the National Hockey League. The Hart Memorial Trophy has been awarded 83 times to 51 different players since its beginnings in 1924. Each year, members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association vote to determine the player who was the most valuable to his team during the regular season.

The Hart Memorial Trophy is named in honour of Canadian Dr. David Hart. Dr. Hart, who donated the original trophy to the NHL, was the father of Cecil Hart, a former Coach and General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens hockey club. The Hart Trophy was first awarded at the conclusion of the 1923-24 NHL season. The winner of the first Hart Trophy was Frank Nighbor of the Ottawa Senators. The original "Hart Trophy" was retired in Hockey Hall of Fame in 1960, and the NHL began presenting a new trophy, which was dubbed the "Hart Memorial Trophy" in its place. With the exceptions of Tommy Anderson and Al Rollins, every eligible player who won the Hart Trophy has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Wayne Gretzky won the award a record nine times during his career, eight consecutively. He has been named MVP more times than any other player in the history of the other three Major Professional Leagues (Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and National Football League). Barry Bonds is second, having won the MVP award seven times in Major League Baseball. Gretzky and his Edmonton Oilers teammate Mark Messier are the only players to win the Hart Trophy with more than one team. In 1990, Mark Messier took the Hart over Ray Bourque by a margin of two votes, the difference being a single first-place vote.

Players from the Montreal Canadiens have won the award sixteen times; players from Boston Bruins are second with twelve winners, and the Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers have seen players win the award nine times. Joe Thornton became the first Hart Trophy winner to switch clubs during his winning campaign in 2005-06 NHL season, having played for both the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks that year.

The voting is conducted at the end of the regular season by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and each individual voter ranks their top five candidates on a 10-7-5-3-1 points system. Three finalists are named and the trophy is awarded at the NHL Awards ceremony after the playoffs.

The closest the voting for the Hart Trophy has ever come was in the 2001–02 season, when Jose Theodore and Jarome Iginla tied in the total voting. The tiebreaker for choosing the Hart Trophy winner in such a case is number of first-place votes: Theodore, who had 86 first-place votes to Iginla's 82, claimed it.

In 2008, NHL.com's official online shop came under criticism after they placed a T-shirt advertising Alexander Ovechkin as the Hart winner on sale a week before the winner was revealed. A spokesperson for the NHL said "in an effort to offer our fans the merchandise they want in a timely manner following an event such as the NHL Awards, our licensees prepare product for all possible outcomes. In this situation, the link for one of the possible products became live early through an error by our e-commerce provider." Ovechkin was later revealed to be the winner.

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2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs

2004 Stanley Cup playoffs logo

The 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs for the National Hockey League began on April 7, 2004, following the 2003–04 regular season. The playoffs ended with the Tampa Bay Lightning securing the Stanley Cup with a seven-game series win over the Calgary Flames on June 7. It was Tampa Bay's first Stanley Cup victory. It was the Flames' third final appearance, as they came this far in 1986 and 1989, winning the latter. The sixteen qualified teams, eight from each conference, played best-of-seven games for conference quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. The winner of each conference proceeded to the Stanley Cup Finals. The format was identical to the one introduced for the 1999 playoffs.

These playoffs marked the first time the Nashville Predators qualified, being in their seventh season in the NHL. The future champions from Tampa Bay saw playoff action for the third time, while the Colorado Avalanche made their ninth straight post-season appearance.

These are the top five goaltenders based on either goals against average or save percentage with at least four games played.

In 2004, the Tampa Bay Lightning had won the Southeast Division. They entered these playoffs with high hopes that they could win their first ever Stanley Cup. For the Isles, it was a struggle just to make the post season.

The highly favoured Lightning met up with the Islanders who, under rookie head coach Steve Stirling, had a respectable 91 points. Good enough for eighth spot in the conference. The Lightning led the Southeast Division for the whole year, finishing with their highest point total ever. Martin St. Louis finished with his best season. He led the league in scoring with 94 points. The Islanders won the season series 3–1, and it was thought that this might be a tough task for the Lightning.

Games 1 and 2, at St. Pete Times Forum in St. Petersburg, saw goalies Nikolai Khabibulin of the Lightning and Rick DiPietro of the Islanders trade 3–0 shutouts, with Tampa Bay winning Game 1 and New York winning Game 2.

The series turned to Nassau Coliseum in New York for Games 3 and 4, and Khabibulin all but put up a wall in front of the net: the Lightning won both games 3–0, Khabibulin's GAA for the series was a tidy 0.75 through the first four games, and Khabibulin stopped all 61 shots he saw in New York. Back in Florida for Game 5, Khabibulin allowed his first goals in three games, but Martin St. Louis scored the game-winner four minutes into overtime. For the Islanders, this was the second straight season they had lost in the first round after splitting the first two games on the road.

In 2002, the top seeded Bruins were upset by the lower seeded Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. It was a humiliating defeat. This series featured the same result, as the Bruins were once again upset by the lower seeded Canadiens.

The Bruins recent history was marked by playoff collapses. They beat the Hurricanes in 1999, but since then had not won a playoff series. To change their luck, Mike Sullivan was hired to be the coach, and he led his team to a division title. They had relied on the stellar play of goaltender Andrew Raycroft all season. For the Canadiens, the playoffs were long overdue. They had only made the playoffs 3 times in last 7 seasons. The two teams had the same amount of wins (41) during the season, and Habs coach Claude Julien told his team to remember that his team was not very different from the Bruins.

Games 1 and 2 at FleetCenter in Boston saw the Bruins win two low-scoring games, winning Game 1, 3–0, behind a 31-save shutout from goalie Andrew Raycroft. Raycroft was almost as good in Game 2, allowing one goal, but Boston won the game anyway, 2–1.

Down 2–0 in the series, but home at the Bell Centre, Montreal won Game 3, 3–2. But, the Canadiens were pushed to the brink with a painful double-overtime 4–3 loss in Game 4. Montreal was in trouble. If they were to advance, they had to win the next three games before losing one, and two of the three games were in Boston.

The Canadiens bounced back from the double-overtime loss with a 5–1 Game 5 victory, scoring three third-period goals to break open a close game. Energized by home-ice advantage and their temporary staving off of elimination, Montreal forced a Game 7 with a 5–2 Game 6 victory. Montreal completed the stunning comeback with a 2–0 victory in Game 7 in Boston, as goalie Jose Theodore went a perfect 32-for-32 in save attempts.

For the Bruins, it meant another playoff disappointment. They would miss the playoffs in 2006. As for the Canadiens, they would move on to face the Tampa Bay Lightning, where they were swept in 4 games.

Game 1 of the series at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia saw the Flyers win, 3–2. Game 2 saw another well-played, close game, with Philadelphia again winning, 3–2. Game 3 at Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey saw the first game of the series not decided by one goal, a 4–2 Devils victory. With a chance to tie the series heading back to Philadelphia, the New Jersey attack was completely stonewalled by Flyers goalie Robert Esche in a 3–0 shutout victory for the Flyers. Esche had 35 saves. Back in Philadelphia for Game 5, the Flyers finished off the Devils with a 3–1 victory.

The 4–5 matchup in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals was billed as the Battle of Ontario. The Senators would have had home ice advantage, however on the final day of the regular season, the Maple Leafs routed Ottawa 6–0. Therefore giving the Leafs the higher seeding. Game 1, at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, saw Ottawa pull out a 4–2 victory. Needing a victory to avoid going down two games to Ottawa, the Maple Leafs came through with 2–0 win on the strength of a 31-save shutout by Ed Belfour.

Game 3 of the series shifted venue to Ottawa's Corel Centre, but the teams shouldn't have bothered playing the game if they wanted a different result: Toronto again won, 2–0, behind another Belfour shutout, and this time Belfour stopped 37 shots. Ottawa finally broke through the wall Belfour had put up in net, winning Game 4, 4–1.

With the series back in Toronto for a crucial Game 5, Belfour posted his third shutout of the series in yet another 2–0 Toronto victory. A clear indication of the strength of the Toronto defense, and the Senators bleak offense. With a chance to knock out the Senators on the road in Game 6, Ottawa won, 2–1, double-overtime victory. The series went back to Toronto for the third time, this time for a Game 7. Toronto relied on what brought them the first three victories of the series: goalie Belfour, who all but denied Ottawa's offense in a 4–1, series-clinching win. Lalime gave up 2 questionable goals by Joe Nieuwendyk before being pulled after the first period and replaced by backup Martin Prusek by head coach Jacques Martin.

At Detroit's Joe Louis Arena for Game 1, the Red Wings shook off a slow start and got goals from Kris Draper, Tomas Holmstrom and Robert Lang and posted a 3–1 victory. Game 2 saw a closer game, but Detroit still won the game, 2–1 on Mathieu Schneider's game winning goal.

However, at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center for Games 3 and 4, Nashville made it a series by taking both games, tying the series 2–2 headed back to Detroit. After a 3–1 Game 3 victory, Nashville one-upped themselves with a 3–0 Game 4 victory as goalie Tomas Vokoun posted a 37-save shutout. Game 4 also saw Detroit goalie Manny Legace being yanked in favor of Curtis Joseph.

Back in Detroit for Game 5, Joseph got the start in goal for the Red Wings, and the decision paid off: the Red Wings dominated the Predators, winning 4–1. When the series returned to Nashville for Game 6, Joseph shut out the Predators to end their season in a 2–0 victory. It was a relatively easy victory for Joseph, as the Red Wings defense allowed only 15 Predator shots on goal.

The Sharks had made the playoffs for the first time since missing them the previous season. For the Blues, it was a struggle just to make the post season. They fired coach Joel Quenneville at the risk of missing the playoffs for the first time in half a century. Assistant coach Mike Kitchen was promoted to interim coach, and under him the Blues posted a 10–7–4 record, good enough for a playoff berth.

In St. Louis at the Savvis Center for Game 3, the Blues used home-ice advantage to post a 4–1 victory and half their series deficit, getting a hat trick from Mike Sillinger. The next night, in Game 4, saw a back-and-forth game that ultimately went to San Jose, 4–3. With a chance to knock out the Blues at home in Game 5, they did just that, winning the game 3–1.

On a more serious note, shortly after the series, St. Louis left wing Mike Danton, who scored one goal in the series, was arrested, charged, and convicted in a conspiracy to murder his agent, David Frost.

The Canucks had won the division, and were riding a current 6 game winning streak. Dan Cloutier served as the starting goalie, and faired pretty well during the season. The Flames had used a run of 10–2–2 in the month of December, to make the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

The second all-Canada first round series (#4 Toronto defeated #5 Ottawa, 4–3 in the Eastern Conference) began at GM Place in Vancouver. The goals were easy to come by, but Vancouver scored more in a 5–3 Game 1 victory. Both defenses tightened considerably in Game 2, a 2–1 Calgary victory that tied the series headed to the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary.

Game 3 saw another 2–1 game, but this time Vancouver prevailed. However, during the game, Canucks goalie Dan Cloutier was injured making a save, and backup Johan Hedberg took over. Game 4 saw Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and the Flames defense pick a good time to play well, with Kiprusoff stopping all 20 shots he faced in a 4–0 victory that tied the series, 2–2. After Hedberg's subpar performance in Game 4, he was replaced in the net by Alexander Auld, the third goalie in as many games for the Canucks.

Game 5, back in Vancouver, saw Calgary push the Canucks to the brink with a 2–1 victory. With elimination staring Vancouver in the face, the Canucks and Flames engaged in an all-out battle in Game 6 that saw Vancouver storm out to a 4–0 lead only to see the Flames come back to tie it. The game didn't end until triple-overtime, when Brendan Morrison scored 2:28 into the period in a 5–4 Vancouver victory. That set up a thrilling Game 7 in Vancouver with the winner getting bragging rights for western Canada. Matt Cooke scored twice for the Canucks, including a game tying goal off a desperation rush with five seconds left in regulation. Calgary won the game in overtime, 3–2, with Martin Gelinas scoring the game-winner 85 seconds into overtime.

In a bizarre fact, the last three times these teams have met in the playoffs, the series was a first round match-up, went the maximum seven games with Game 7 being decided in overtime each time, and the winning team would eventually go all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Game 1 at the Pepsi Center in Denver saw the Avalanche win, 3–1. Game 2 saw Colorado increase the offensive pressure on Dallas goalie Marty Turco in a 5–2 Avalanche win.

At home at the American Airlines Center and in danger of falling behind 3–0 in the series, Dallas bounced back with a crucial victory in overtime, 4–3, to climb back into the series. After the first 80 minutes of Game 4 failed to produce a winner, Dallas stood a chance at winning the game, tying the series, and guaranteeing at least one more game at home. But Marek Svatos won the game for the Avalanche 5:18 into the second overtime to break Dallas' back.

Back in Colorado for Game 5, Dallas kept it close until the third period, when Colorado broke the game wide open with three goals to extend a 2–1 lead to 5–1 to clinch the series.

This series pitted the top-seeded Lightning, who had hastily eliminated the Islanders in the first round, against the Canadiens, who were riding an emotional high after their thrilling comeback seven-game series victory against the Boston Bruins.

Game 1, at Tampa's St. Pete Times Forum, saw a not-so-rare occurrence for the Lightning: a shutout by goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, his fourth of the postseason out of six games he played in. Khabibulin turned away all 21 shots he saw in the 4–0 victory, with the 21 shots being an indicator of the strong Lightning defense. Game 1 also saw Montreal goalie Jose Theodore, who had shut out Boston in Game 7 of the Quarterfinals, get pulled in favor of Mathieu Garon, who went 6-for-6 during his brief stint in goal. Game 2 saw Theodore return to goal for Montreal, but the Canadiens still lost the game by a score of 3–1.

Game 3 saw Khabibulin give up three goals for the first time in five games. In fact, in the five games since his last loss, he had allowed a combined total of three goals. But despite the letdown, Tampa found a way to win the game 65 seconds into overtime, 4–3. The demoralizing defeat stung Montreal, and they were swept without resisting in a 3–1 Game 4 loss.

This series pitted two Eastern Conference rivals that were evenly matched; Toronto had 103 points and Philadelphia 101, but Philadelphia had knocked off their first-round opponent quicker than Toronto; Philadelphia knocked out New Jersey in five games while it took Toronto all seven games to eliminate Ottawa.

Game 1, at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center, saw a closely-played game that ultimately went to the Flyers, 3–1. Game 2 was even closer, but Philadelphia's defense held firm in a 2–1 victory that put them up in the series, 2–0.

However, the shift in venue to Air Canada Centre certainly fired up the Maple Leafs, as they used three second-period goals to help out in a 4–1 Game 3 victory. Home-ice advantage continued to be a factor in Game 4, a 3–1 Toronto victory.

The series went back to Philadelphia for Game 5, and Philadelphia scored a postseason-high seven goals in a 7–2 victory, knocking out Toronto goalie Ed Belfour after the sixth goal in favor of Trevor Kidd in the process. Overlooked during the scoring barrage was a goalie to Philadelphia goalie Robert Esche, who was knocked out early and replaced by Sean Burke, who went 8-for-9 in goal; Toronto only took 11 shots during the whole game. Philadelphia's Keith Primeau logged a hat trick to add to the positive for the Flyers. Game 6, back in Toronto, saw Toronto rally from a 2–0 third-period deficit to force overtime, but Jeremy Roenick's second goal of the game ended the Maple Leafs' season.

This series pitted the top-seeded Red Wings, who were heavily favored, against the Flames, who had knocked out their intracountry rival, Vancouver, in an emotional seven-game series.

Game 1, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, saw the Flames stay with the Red Wings for every step of the way, and then in overtime, Marcus Nilson scored the game-winning goal 2:39 in. Stunned by the Game 1 loss, the Red Wings, hoping to avoid going down 2–0 in the series going to Calgary, bounced back with a 5–2 Game 2 victory.

At the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary for Game 3, Calgary used three second-period goals to register a 3–2 victory and take a 2–1 lead in the series. But Detroit again showed the ability to bounce back after a close loss, taking Game 4, 4–2.

The series shifted back to Detroit for Game 5, when Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff picked an opportune time to shut out an opponent: his 31-save shutout in a 1–0 victory pushed Detroit to the brink, with Game 6 in Calgary. Detroit goalie Curtis Joseph also played well, but the difference in the game was a goal by Craig Conroy. During the second period, a shot by Red Wings defensman Mathieu Schneider deflected off a stick and struck Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman in the left eye. Joe Louis Arena fell silent while Yzerman was attended to for several minutes and then helped off the ice, holding a towel to his face. Yzerman would not return to the series.

At the Saddledome for Game 6, Kiprusoff again refused to budge, allowing nothing in regulation, but so did Joseph. It was now sudden-death for Detroit, and with 47 seconds left in the first overtime, Martin Gelinas beat Joseph set up by assists from Conroy and Jarome Iginla, and Calgary won their second straight 1–0 game, and their second straight overtime victory to clinch a series. Kiprusoff's 38-save shutout in Game 6 meant that he had stopped the final 69 shots he saw in the series.

This series pitted two opponents who defeated their first-round opponents, St. Louis and Dallas, respectively, in five games, with each team winning the first two, losing the third game, and then winning the next two.

Game 1 took place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. The Sharks came flying out of the gate, scoring three first-period goals en route to a 5–2 victory highlighted by Patrick Marleau's hat trick, his second of the postseason. After giving up the fifth and final Sharks goal, Colorado goalie David Aebischer was pulled in favor of Tommy Salo, who went 7-for-7 in saves. Game 2 was more of the same: San Jose continued to shell Aebischer while goalie Evgeni Nabokov limited the Avalanche attack in a 4–1 victory.

The shift in venue to Colorado's Pepsi Center for Game 3, and San Jose's attack was limited to only one goal, scored by Vincent Damphousse, but Nabokov was brilliant between the pipes, stopping all 33 shots that he faced in the 1–0 victory to push Colorado to the brink. Down 3–0 in the series, Colorado extended their season for at least another game with a 1–0 overtime victory in Game 4 as Aebischer rebounded from his poor play in Games 1 and 2 with a 27-save shutout, and the game's lone goal was scored by Joe Sakic 5:15 into overtime.

When the series returned to San Jose for Game 5 and posted another overtime victory on another game-winning goal by Sakic, this time by a 2–1 count, people began to wonder: with Game 6 in Colorado, could Colorado rebound from a 3–0 hole to force a Game 7? Fortunately for Sharks fans, this did not happen, as San Jose won Game 6 in Colorado, 3–1, and eliminate the Avalanche. San Jose's strong second period, in which they scored three goals, was the difference.

The Eastern Conference Finals pitted the Lightning, 8–1 in the postseason up to that point, against the third-seeded Flyers, who had just defeated Toronto in a six-game series.

Game 1, at St. Pete Times Forum, saw Philadelphia take only 20 shots on goal, a sign of the strong Tampa Bay defense. Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, all but impenetrable in the first two rounds, stopped 19 of those 20 shots, the only miss being a Michal Handzus goal in a 3–1 Lightning win. However, Game 2 saw a stunning turn of events: Khabibulin was shelled in goal, only seeing 12 shots and getting yanked after giving up four goals in a 6–2 Flyers victory. Backup goalie John Grahame went 15-for-17 in relief of Khabibulin, and the series was tied, 1–1, going to Philadelphia.

Game 3 at the Wachovia Center saw Khabibulin return to his dominant form in net, which was bad news for the Flyers, as Khabibulin stopped 24 out of 25 shots, the only miss being a Keith Primeau goal in a 4–1 Lightning win. Game 4 saw the Flyers pull even with a critical 3–2 victory that tied the series headed back to Tampa Bay.

Back in Tampa Bay for a critical Game 5, the Lightning used home-ice advantage in a 4–2 victory, and they were now one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals. Brad Richards' two goals marked the first time all series a player had scored more than one goal in a game. Philadelphia's backs were against the wall in this critical Game 6, but they had home-ice advantage. Trailing 4-3 in the third period, Keith Primeau continued his impressive playoff performance by tying the game with under 2 minutes remaining, beating Khabibulin on a wraparound and sending the Wachovia Center into a frenzy. The Flyers won the game in overtime, 5–4, on a Simon Gagne goal 18:18 in, his second of the game and his first two goals of the series. The series was going back to Tampa Bay for a Game 7, and both defenses were strong, but Tampa Bay had a little bit more, winning the game, 2–1, and moving on to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Western Conference Finals pitted the second-seeded Sharks against the sixth-seeded Flames, who had upset both Vancouver and Detroit en route to this series against San Jose.

Game 1, at San Jose's HP Pavilion, saw the Flames win the game 18:43 into overtime, 4–3, on a Steve Montador goal, his first of the postseason. In Game 2, Calgary came charging out of the gate, scoring two first-period goals and never looking back in a 4–1 victory. The Sharks were in trouble: they were down in the series, 2–0, headed to Calgary.

Game 3, at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, saw San Jose come through when they needed to: goalie Evgeni Nabokov posted a 34-save shutout and Alex Korolyuk scored two goals in a 3–0 Sharks win. Game 4 saw the unusual trend of the away team playing well in the series, as San Jose tied the series, 2–2, with a 4–2 victory. San Jose's attack came quick and hard with four second-period goals. After San Jose's fourth goal, Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff was pulled in favor of Roman Turek, who went 3-for-3 between the pipes.

The series went to San Jose for Game 5, and the road team continued to play well, with Kiprusoff bouncing back from his Game 4 shelling, getting help from his defense as well, as he stopped all 19 shots he faced in a 3–0 Flames win that pushed San Jose to the brink. The series returned to Calgary for Game 6, and for the first time all series, the home team won, a 3–1 Calgary victory that propelled the underdog Flames into the Stanley Cup Finals. This marked the first time since Vancouver lost in 1994 that a Canadian team reached the finals.

The 2004 Stanley Cup Finals pitted the team with the second-most points, the Tampa Bay Lightning, against a team that barely made the playoffs, three points from the bottom of the playoff qualifiers, the Calgary Flames.

Tampa Bay had cruised through the first two rounds against the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens before running into stiff competition from the Philadelphia Flyers, who they nevertheless defeated in seven games. Calgary had beaten the Western Conference's top three seeded teams, the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, and the San Jose Sharks, in that order.

Game 1, at St. Pete Times Forum, saw the Flames win the game, 4–1. Calgary only got 19 shots off against the Lightning defense, but more than one-fifth found the net. Martin Gelinas got Calgary on the board early, and they extended the lead to 3–0 in the second period on goals by Jarome Iginla, his 11th of the postseason, and Stephane Yelle. Chris Simon added the fourth and final Calgary goal after Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis scored the lone Lightning goal.

Game 2 saw the same final score, but this time, it was Tampa Bay winning a clutch game to tie the series, 1–1, headed to Calgary. Ruslan Fedotenko's 10th goal of the postseason got the Lightning on the board first, and Tampa Bay used three third-period goals, coming from Brad Richards, Dan Boyle, and St. Louis, respectively, to blast the game open. The lone Calgary goal was scored by Ville Nieminen.

The series shifted to the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, where Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and the Calgary defense completely stonewalled the Tampa Bay attack, which only took 21 shots in a 3–0 Flames victory, and Calgary was halfway home. Simon scored the first Calgary goal in the second period, and Shean Donovan and Iginla added goals to ice the game.

With a chance to take a commanding 3–1 series lead, Calgary was shut out by Lightning goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who recorded his fifth shutout of the postseason, a 29-save shutout, in a 1–0 Tampa Bay victory, with the game's lone goal being scored by Richards three minutes into the game.

The series returned to Tampa Bay tied, 2–2, for a critical Game 5, and Calgary pulled off a 3–2 overtime victory to move within one win away from the Stanley Cup. After Gelinas and St. Louis traded goals in the first period, Iginla scored for Calgary late in the second period. However, Fredrik Modin tied the game for the Lightning 37 seconds into the third period. The 2–2 score held until after 14:40 had gone by in overtime, when Oleg Saprykin's first goal since the first round won the game for the Flames.

Back to Calgary for Game 6, each team scored two second-period goals, with Richards scoring two for the Lightning and Chris Clark and Marcus Nilson for the Flames, respectively. In the third period, there was a dispute over a Martin Gelinas shot that appeared to have gone in. A review from one unorthodox camera angle showed the puck would appear to have crossed the goal line before Khabibulin's pad dragged it out, though another camera did show the puck had been knocked several inches above the goal line in front of Khabibulin's pad. Although it never was reviewed, it was officially inconclusive. The game entered overtime with the Flames needing only a single goal to win the Stanley Cup. Thirty-three seconds into double overtime, St. Louis put in the game-winner for the Lightning to force a winner-take-all Game 7 in Tampa Bay.

In a tense Game 7, Fedotenko scored goals for Tampa Bay late in the first period and late in the second period for a 2–0 lead. After Conroy scored to narrow the deficit to 2–1, Calgary barraged Khabibulin after taking only seven shots in the first two periods. After the Conroy goal, Khabibulin stopped 16 Calgary shots. Tampa Bay won the game, 2–1, and the Stanley Cup.

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Jeff Hackett

Jeff Hackett (born June 1, 1968, in London, Ontario, Canada) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. He is currently the goaltending coach of the Colorado Avalanche.

Jeff Hackett grew up studying Tony Esposito, his idol, and patterned his game after him. He was drafted by the New York Islanders in the second round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft after playing in juniors for the London Diamonds and the Oshawa Generals. Behind Billy Smith and Kelly Hrudey on the Islanders' goaltending depth chart, Hackett split his first two seasons with New York and the Springfield Indians of the AHL. He led Springfield to a Calder Cup win in 1990 and was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy, annually given to the most valuable player of the playoffs.

After spending the entirety of 1990–91 with the Islanders, the San Jose Sharks claimed him in the 1991 NHL Expansion Draft. During his first season in San Jose, Hackett was named team MVP for his play. However after winning only two games in 1992-93, one of them a Shark record 57 save effort over the Kings, Hackett was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks prior to 1993–94 and he backed up Ed Belfour for several seasons. His excellent play in 1996–97 allowed the Blackhawks to trade Belfour to San Jose during mid-season. His only full season as Chicago's top goaltender, 1997–98, was highlighted by a career-high eight shutouts.

A month into 1998–99, Hackett was involved in a six-player trade which sent him to the Montreal Canadiens. He quickly became a fan favorite in Montreal as he recorded career highs in games played (63) and wins (26). After another solid season in 1999–2000, Hackett was limited to 15 games in 2000–01 and 18 games in 2001–02 due to a shoulder injury and lost the starter's job to 2002 Vezina Trophy winner José Théodore in the process. This signaled the end of his career with Montreal as mid-way through 2002–03 he was involved in a three-way trade which sent him back to San Jose temporarily and then on to the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins, who had been looking for a number one goaltender, threw Hackett into that role. After shutting out Philadelphia in his Boston debut, Hackett played well until a broken finger caused him to miss time including the start of the Bruins' playoff series with New Jersey, forcing Boston to go with Steve Shields.

Hackett signed on the first day of free agency with the Philadelphia Flyers during the off-season. He started his Flyers career by pitching two shutouts in his first two games, also accumulating a record of 9 wins, 2 losses and 6 ties in his first 17 games. However, in December he lost six starts in a row and following a win in early January, lost his next two starts. He was diagnosed with vertigo on January 22 and after a 1 game rehab stint with the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms on February 6, Hackett retired on February 9, 2004. Hackett finished his career after appearing in exactly 500 NHL regular season games.

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Source : Wikipedia