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Corey Crawford retires from NHL after 10 seasons – Sportsnet.ca

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Goaltender Corey Crawford has announced his retirement from the NHL after 10 seasons and two Stanley Cup championships.

Crawford, from Chateauguay, Que., posted a franchise-record 52 playoff wins and led the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup titles in 2013 and 2015.

In those championship years, he was the co-recipient of the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goaltender or goaltenders having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it.

The six-foot-two, 216-pound netminder posted a 260-162-53 record, a 2.45 goals-against average and .918 save percentage over 488 NHL appearances, all with the Blackhawks.

The 36-year-old Crawford signed a two-year contract with New Jersey in October, but announced Friday he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from the Devils for personal reasons.

Internationally, Crawford was part of Canada’s championship team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

“I have been fortunate to have had a long career playing professional hockey for a living,” Crawford said in a statement. “I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey, and I have decided that it is time to retire.

“I would like to thank the New Jersey Devils organization for understanding and supporting my decision. I would like to thank the Chicago Blackhawks organization for giving me the chance to live my childhood dream. I am proud to have been part of winning two Stanley Cups in Chicago.”

Crawford was selected in the second round, 52nd overall, by Chicago at the 2003 NHL draft. He played primarily in the American Hockey League in his first five pro seasons, making eight total NHL appearances before taking over full-time in 2010-11.

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Toronto Raptors' game against Chicago postponed due to COVID-19 cases – CTV Toronto

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NEW YORK —
The Toronto Raptors’ COVID-19 troubles have worsened.

The NBA called off Toronto’s game against the visiting Chicago Bulls on Sunday night due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The league said the Raptors are dealing with positive test results, and combined with contact tracing issues, won’t have the league-required eight players available for the game.

The Raptors were missing head coach Nick Nurse, five members of his staff and star forward Pascal Siakam for Friday’s victory over Houston. Assistant Sergio Scariolo stepped in to coach the team to a 122-111 win.

The Raptors had largely managed to dodge the global pandemic in an NBA season reeling from COVID-19 cases. This is Toronto’s first game rescheduled due to COVID-19, but the 30th this season league-wide. Prior to Sunday, the Raptors had been one of just four teams with no game postponements.

The Raptors had 14 players available on Friday, and played 12. Siakam was the only Raptor player listed on Saturday’s injury report as out due to health and safety protocols, suggesting the results and contact tracing investigations from Saturday showed either positive tests or exposure to individuals who had positive results.

The names of players or staff members affected were not revealed.

Players and staff are tested twice daily.

Because of Canada’s border regulations around COVID-19, and health and safety measures in Toronto, the Raptors are playing their home games out of Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.

The Raptors’ next game, at least for now, is Tuesday against Detroit. Toronto then plays Boston in the team’s final game before the NBA all-star break.

With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021.

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Matthews skates as extra at Leafs' practice – TSN

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Auston Matthews was on the ice and skated at Toronto Maple Leafs practice, but wasn’t in his usual spot for line rushes. 

Matthews, 23, missed Toronto’s game Saturday night with a hand/wrist injury. 

He skated as an extra and didn’t take any hard shots. 

“He’s progressed here today compared to where he’s been in the last few days so that’s very positive.” Head coach Sheldon Keefe said, “So, he’s not ruled out for tomorrow. We’re just going to have to see how he is.”

Captain John Tavares continues to centre the top line alongside Joe Thornton and Mitch Marner. 

Frederik Andersen (lower body) was a full participant, while Jack Campbell was absent. 

hornton−Tavares−Marner
Barabanov−Kerfoot−Nylander
Mikheyev−Engvall−Hyman
Petan−Boyd−Spezza
Vesey−Agostino−Sabourin
 
Rielly−Brodie
Muzzin−Holl
Dermott−Bogosian
Lehtonen−Liljegren
 
Andersen, Hutchinson, Woll

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For a Stanley Cup Playoff run, what starting lineup ingredient are the Edmonton Oilers missing the most?: 9 Things – Edmonton Journal

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Despite the loss to a very responsible Leafs club on Saturday night, the Edmonton Oilers remain solidly in 2nd place in the Canadian Division.

Here is where I remind you to not let small samples swing your emotions too far one way or the other. Toronto is clearly a good team that played well. And their top 2 lines outplayed the Oilers Top 2. That doesn’t happen to the Oilers often, but when it does the result is normally predictable.

But what can change over a longer time frame that could allow the Edmonton guys to maintain their healthy standing and make a playoff run?

That and more in this week’s edition of…

9 Things

9. Prospect Tomas Mazura is suffering from a sports hernia and will undergo surgery, ending his USHL season before it started. Mazura was the Oilers 6th Round selection in the 2019 NHL draft. Instead, Mazura will focus on the 2021-22 season in Providence. But a player with his draft pedigree missing a full year of development isn’t good.

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8. Leon Draisaitl doesn’t look “right”. Combine that with the fact that he has missed a couple practices the past week (something he never does), we can safely assume that he is banged up. If I had to guess, I’d say something upper body. The one thing missing from his game is the usual high quality of his shooting. And as we saw from Oscar Klefbom, that can affect your entire game.

7. Kyle Turris is nearly ready to return from a minor injury. But let’s be honest: Turris was playing far below expectations prior to that. He was headed to the Taxi Squad, hurt or not. When you look at how motivated other Oilers players such as Jujhar Khaira, Alex Chiasson, Tyler Ennis, Evan Bouchard and Caleb Jones were after their stints on the taxi squad, one wonders if Turris will respond similarly? Otherwise, Sam Gagner would be better. We’ll come back to this…

6. At some point here, Zack Kassian will be eligible to come off LTIR. I have a lot of time for Kassian. At his peak, he can have a major impact on the outcome of a game. But right now, where will you put him? Would you pull Jesse Puljujarvi,Kailer Yamamoto, Josh Archibald or Alex Chiasson (good again last night) out of the lineup? And Kassian is signed through 2023-24 at a $3.2m cap hit. Something’s got to give. His player type is quite rare and has value if he brings it, which on a consistent basis he has not.

5. Nothing wrong with any young player seeing the odd game from the press box. But the Oilers obviously missed Evan Bouchard’s puck moving and shooting skills Saturday. However, unless you go 11-7 again, who do you sit? None of Adam Larsson (their best D again last night), Tyson Barrie or Ethan Bear. What if Bouchard plays the LHS? Nurse isn’t coming out. And Caleb Jones and Kris Russell sawed off on chances for/Against on Saturday, Jones with 1 or 2 bigger mistakes than Russell. But do you leave in the quicker, puck mover? Ethan Bear is not yet at the top of his game after a concussion either. But I think he ends up back on the top pairing sooner than later.

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4. The way he is playing to-date, the Oilers Darnell Nurse is in the conversation for a Norris Trophy nomination. Heading into Saturday’s action Nurse led NHL D-men in Even-Strength points. He plays more minutes (25:35) than the other Defenceman Top-10 in NHL scoring. And he brings a level toughness and gamesmanship better than any of his mates. Of course, the real test is whether any player can sustain that level of play over time. And I don’t mean the occasional off game like last night’s result. The best has those. For now, Nurse is in a grouping of 5 top NHL D-men that would merit a place on that ballot. Lets see where he gets to.

3. I have written in this space numerous times over the course of the NCAA season that I expected Dylan Holloway to sign an ELC with the Oilers at the end of the Badgers’ year. He could then join Bakersfield. But as time wears on and Holloway’s performance in Wisconsin continues to dominate (11-22-33 in 18 GP), I begin to wonder if Holloway’s next stop may in fact be Edmonton instead? Remember, Cale Makar stepped right out of NCAA and into the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Colorado in 2018-19. And Defence is a much tougher position in which to make that jump. But their draft pedigrees aren’t a world apart. Maker was 4th over-all, Holloway 14th. Asking Dylan Holloway to step into the 3C hole during the stretch run of an NHL season is asking a lot. But could he play Top-9 LW? Top 6 Think about that for a minute, I’ll come back to it…

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2. Gaetan Haas is a useful player for the Oilers. He is smart, skates very well and has a solid defensive conscience. He was pretty good again last night. But Haas is a role player. And as a G.M. you can’t fall in love with role players. While certainly important, they are ultimately more replaceable that true Top-6 guys and they ultimately have less impact on games over time. To be clear, I’m o.k. with Haas being on this club. But he is not a Top-9 Center. The numbers don’t lie. Haas has an assist in 8 games this season, just 11 points in 66 games over-all. And he’s only a 42% faceoff man since coming to the NHL, just 22% last night. That won’t get it done, certainly not in a tough playoff series. And so far, as I’ve already mentioned, Kyle Turris has not been the answer at 3C, either. So what are Dave Tippett and Ken Holland to do?

1. I expect the Oilers will make 1 or 2 additions to their roster between now and the playoffs. What do they need the most? I would argue (in part due to the above) a “true” 3C. Now, those are hard to find at the best of times. And it’s especially complicated during COVID, because of the quarantine policy. One player they may look at is Brandon Sutter. The Canucks won’t make the playoffs. Sutter is 52% in the circle his past half-dozen seasons, an excellent defensive player and PK man, and a right-hand shot. Sutter is at $4.375m but Vancouver would be willing to eat up to 50% of that salary. An expiring UFA, Sutter does have a modified no-move clause.

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You may counter that at this point in his career, Brandon Sutter is probably a “4C”. I would not disagree. In particular, Sutter’s offence has fallen off. And at 32 he doesn’t skate as well as he used to. A top-flight LW may be easier to find and cheaper to acquire. So, one another option to consider is moving Ryan Nugent-Hopkins into the 3C position for the stretch run and playoffs, and instead bring in another Winger that could play with McDavid or Draisaitl. Or…is that other winger Dylan Holloway?

Remember, this isn’t 1997 anymore. Players make the jump from NCAA to the NHL on their ELC’s. And Holloway (who has been way too good to be in College hockey) would bring a dimension to the left side that the Oilers are missing: A player with skill, who can fly, is big (Holloway 35 pounds heavier than Dominik Kahun, 45 heavier than Tyler Ennis) and can play with both grit and enthusiasm.

Because of the pandemic, I suspect Ken Holland is shopping now. Like, right now. No time like the present.

But like a lot of us, during COVID-19…maybe Ken decides the right thing to do is “shop local”.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

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