Blackhawks

Yet another coaching change in the NHL

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Yet another coaching change in the NHL

From Comcast SportsNet
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Randy Carlyle appeared relieved after his Anaheim Ducks snapped a seven-game skid Wednesday night, figuring his talented club had turned a corner. If only the winningest coach in franchise history had known what was waiting for him around that corner. Fed up with the Ducks' inexplicably slow start, the club fired the Stanley Cup-winning coach and his staff late Wednesday night. Anaheim swiftly replaced Carlyle with former Washington coach Bruce Boudreau, who was dismissed by the Capitals just two days earlier. The Ducks made the abrupt moves after beating Montreal 4-1 on Wednesday night for just their third victory in 19 games. Despite the presence of league MVP Corey Perry, captain Ryan Getzlaf, 41-year-old scorer Teemu Selanne and All-Star goalie Jonas Hiller, the Ducks are off to a 7-13-4 start, ahead of only Columbus in the 15-team Western Conference. "Randy is a terrific head coach, and did a tremendous job for us for six-plus seasons," Anaheim general manager Bob Murray said. "We thank him greatly for his hard work and dedication to our franchise, not the least of which was a Stanley Cup championship. At this time, we simply felt a new voice was needed. Bruce is a proven winner with a great track record, and we are optimistic we can turn this season around under his leadership." Carlyle coached the Ducks to the franchise's only Stanley Cup title and Pacific Division championship in 2007, but the longtime NHL defenseman struggled to get his talented club's attention this fall after agreeing in August to a three-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season. After Anaheim's seventh straight defeat last Sunday night, a dispassionate 5-2 loss to Toronto, Carlyle lamented that his players sometimes seemed to be "dead between the ears." He was in a better mood after the Ducks handled the Canadiens, praising their tenacity and his stars' leadership through a tough stretch. A few minutes later, Carlyle was dismissed from the job he had held since August 2005. Anaheim cleaned house Wednesday night, also firing assistant coaches Dave Farrish and Mike Foligno and video coordinator Joe Trotta. The Ducks hired Brad Lauer as an assistant coach to Boudreau, and will add another assistant soon. Carlyle is the fourth coach to be fired in the always-impatient NHL's young season, and the third this week. Paul Maurice was also dismissed on Monday by the Carolina Hurricanes, while Davis Payne was let go by the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 6. Boudreau, after doing a round of interviews Wednesday morning in which he said the Capitals made the right move by firing him, took a new job less than 72 hours after leaving a remarkably similar situation in Washington, which dropped him Monday after a slow start with a talented roster that's had little recent playoff success. Boudreau will run the Ducks' practice on Thursday before his formal introduction, and his new players will be in for a major change from the sometimes-crusty Carlyle to the personable Boudreau, nicknamed "Gabby" for his garrulous style. Anaheim hosts Philadelphia on Friday night for Boudreau's debut. Carlyle was behind Anaheim's bench for many of the 1993 expansion franchise's biggest moments. He had compiled a 273-182-6 record after taking over for Mike Babcock as the seventh head coach in club history. Carlyle led Anaheim to the postseason in five of his first six seasons, winning more playoff games during that stretch than any coach except Babcock in Detroit. But Anaheim won just one playoff round in the past four years since winning the Cup, losing to fifth-seeded Nashville in the first round last season. Boudreau led Washington to the last four Southeast Division titles and the 2010 Presidents' Trophy while winning 201 games in just four years on the job, but the Caps' lack of playoff success helped to seal his fate when they slumped following a 7-0 start to this season. He won the Jack Adams award as the NHL's best coach in 2008, but never got past the second round of the playoffs despite a roster featuring Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and talented supporting casts. Boudreau favors an attacking offensive style that should suit the Ducks' talented forwards, although Carlyle also gave his players plenty of freedom for offensive creativity. Lauer was promoted from the Ducks' AHL affiliate in Syracuse, where he had been an assistant since July. He spent the previous two seasons on the Ottawa Senators' staff.

Patrick Kane passes Bobby Hull for third place in Blackhawks' all-time playoff points

Patrick Kane passes Bobby Hull for third place in Blackhawks' all-time playoff points

On Thursday, Patrick Kane made even more history to cement himself among top all-time legendary Blackhawks in the Hawks' 4-3 overtime loss in Game 2 of the first round Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the Vegas Golden Knights.

In the second period of Game 2, Kane recorded three points off three assists to pass Bobby Hull (129) for third in most playoff points in Hawks history with 130. Denis Savard is in second with 145 and Stan Mikita is No. 1 with 150.

Related: Blackhawks' Patrick Kane found his postseason game, but is it too late?

"Well, I've been fortunate to play on some amazing teams. And I guess when you have some deep runs in the playoffs, you're going to have the chance to put up numbers and points when you're an offensive guy," a humble Kane said following Thursday's loss. "So I appreciate those teams I've been on, trying to do the same thing here with this team.

"I think we got a good group. I think we proved it all year when we played in tough situations, faced some adversity that we were able to come back, we're able to work our way out of it. This isn't a team that's going to give up and I think we're in a situation here where we're coming into a day off then a back-to-back situation and we feel we got a young team with some fresh legs, so hopefully that can be used to our advantage."

The Hawks take on the Knights in Game 3 Saturday at 7 p.m. and Game 4 Sunday at 5:30 p.m. CT.

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Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs dominance, baseball's future with Connor McKnight

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs dominance, baseball's future with Connor McKnight

The Cubs continue to win and win in dominating fashion but can they keep it up?

David Kaplan, Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer and Cubs beat writer Maddie Lee discuss the Cubs winning ways, and discuss a scenario where Cleveland star Francisco Lindor becomes a Cub. Later, Kap is joined by Connor McKnight, host of the "Baseball from Home Podcast" on the House of L Network as they discuss the future of baseball after the 60 game season.

(1:20) - Cubs dominate Cleveland

(12:40) - Can Francisco Lindor be a Cub in the future?

(21:30) - Connor McKnight joins the podcast

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Cubs news and analysis.

(25:40) - The future of baseball and entertainment

(31:00) - Who will be the future stars of baseball

Listen here or below.

Cubs Talk Podcast

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