Stats & Info: Chicago Blackhawks

Top stats to know: Quest for the cup

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoff begins Wednesday night. The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to be the first repeat Stanley Cup Champions since the Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back cups in 1997 & 1998.

Here are some of the top stats to know as the Quest for the Cup gets underway.

• The Blackhawks led the NHL in goals during the 2013-14 regular season with 267, but recent history suggests that the Stanley Cup won’t make its way back to Chicago. The team that has led the NHL in goals during the regular season has not won the Stanley Cup since the 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins (led NHL with 343 goals that season).

Since the 2002-03 season, six defending Cup Champions have lost in the first Round (previously called Conference Quarterfinals) of the playoffs and a seventh missed the playoffs entirely (Carolina Hurricanes in 2006-07).

• The Penguins have eight players on their roster with at least 80 games of playoff experience. Only two Columbus Blue Jackets players have played more than 30 career postseason games (Nathan Horton with 43 & Brandon Dubinsky with 31).

The league’s leading scorer during the regular season was Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby with 104 points. Since the 1987-88 season, only three players have led the league in scoring and won a Stanley Cup in the same campaign, two of which played for Pittsburgh.

• The Boston Bruins won the 2013-14 Presidents’ Trophy, the second time that they have claimed that award (other time was in 1989-90).

Since the Presidents’ Trophy was first awarded in 1985-86, eight teams have won it and the Stanley Cup in the same season. However, the Blackhawks won both trophies last season.

On the flip side, six Presidents’ Trophy winners have been eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including the Vancouver Canucks last season.

• The Montreal Canadiens are the only Canadian-based franchise in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It is the first time since 1973 that just one Canadian team made the playoffs. That year, the Canadiens were that lone Canadian representative as well and went on to win the Stanley Cup.

In addition, it has been 21 years since a Canadian-based team last won the Stanley Cup (Montreal beating the Los Angeles Kings in the 1993 Cup Final). Since then, Canadian teams have reached and lost in the Cup Final five times, with four of those series going the full seven games.

Other notes

• The Red Wings are making their 23rd consecutive postseason appearance, the longest active streak of its kind in the four major professional sports.

• Three teams are back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after long absences. The Dallas Stars are making their first appearance since 2008, the Columbus Blue Jackets are back for the first time since 2009, and the Colorado Avalanche are back in the postseason for the first time since 2010.

'Hawks quick turnaround clinches 5th Cup

June, 25, 2013
Elsa/Getty ImagesDave Bolland scored the game-winning goal to help the Chicago Blackhawks win their fifth Stanley Cup in team history.
For the second time in four seasons, the Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup champions.

The win was not short on drama: Bryan Bickell tied the game with 1:16 remaining and Dave Bolland scored the game-winner 17 seconds later.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that turnaround shattered the previous record for shortest span between game-tying and Cup-clinching goals in Stanley Cup history.

Of the four quickest such spans, the Bruins have one of them and have been on the receiving end twice.

Bolland’s goal was the latest Cup-clinching goal in regulation in NHL history, almost a full minute later than the previous mark, held by Bill Carson of the 1929 Boston Bruins.

Jonathan Toews scored Chicago's first goal and assisted on the game-tying goal by Bickell. It was Toews' second straight multi-point game.

The move to pair Toews and Patrick Kane on the same line before Game 4 seemed to pay off.

Of the Blackhawks' 12 goals over the final three games, Toews and Kane were on the ice together for eight of them (they were not on the ice together for any of the Blackhawks' five goals in the first three games of the series).

Kane didn't log a point in the deciding game, but was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner. He's the third straight American-born player to win the award, and fourth overall, joining Brian Leetch in 1994, Tim Thomas in 2011 and Jonathan Quick last season.

The Blackhawks are the eighth team to win the Presidents' Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season, and is the first to do so since the Red Wings won both in 2008.

The Stanley Cup has now been won on the road in five of the last six seasons. Only the 2012 Kings won the cup-clincher at home in that stretch.

Home ice was supposed to be an advantage for the goalie with the third-longest home shutout streak in a single NHL postseason.

But Boston’s Tuukka Rask struggled in his final two home playoff games after a dominating stretch that began in the Conference Semifinals.

Over a six-game home stretch from Game 1 against the Rangers to Game 3 against the Blackhawks, Rask allowed six goals and saved 97 percent of shots faced.

But in his final two home playoff games, Rask allowed nine goals and had a .885 save percentage.

The Bruins are just the third team in the past 25 seasons to lose the Final in six games after leading 2-1, joining the 1989 Montreal Canadiens and the 1991 Minnesota North Stars.

Six facts on Stanley Cup Game 1 classic

June, 13, 2013

AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhAndrew Shaw's goal in the third OT gave the Chicago Blackhawks a Game 1 win over the Boston Bruins.
Wednesday night’s opening game of the Stanley Cup finals, a 4-3 victory for the Chicago Blackhawks over the Boston Bruins, was a three-overtime instant classic.

Here are six notes off the game, one for every period that was played:

1.) Going the Distance
Andrew Shaw's game-winner for Chicago came 12:08 into the third overtime, ending 52 minutes, eight seconds of overtime after the traditional 60 minutes in regulation, making it the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup finals history.

It was just the eighth triple-overtime game in final history, but the first won by the home team.

2.) Blackhawks Shine in Multi-OT
There have been 18 games to go into multiple overtimes in Stanley Cup finals history, and the Blackhawks have won six of those. No other team has won more than two.

This is the second time the Bruins have been involved in a multi-overtime finals game. Their record dropped to 0-2 in those games.

3.) History Not on Boston’s Side
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bruins are the third team in history to lose Game 1 of a Cup finals despite holding a two-goal lead in the third period.

The others were the 1956 Detroit Red Wings and 2006 Edmonton Oilers. Both of those teams went on to lose the series.

4.) Glove Save ... And a Beauty!
The Bruins shot 14 times to Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford's glove side in regulation, and scored three times, all to the high side.

However, in overtime, Boston took 16 additional shots to the glove side (out of 29 total shots), but Crawford made the save on all 16.

5.) Losing Horton Slows Lucic
Milan Lucic

After scoring Boston’s first two goals for his first multi-goal game this season, regular season or playoffs, Milan Lucic didn’t even attempt a shot in the three overtime periods.

Lucic’s linemate, Nathan Horton, left the game in the first overtime period, breaking up Boston’s most productive line.

The line of Lucic, Horton and David Krejci was on ice for all three Bruins goals -- and 20 of the team’s goals in the first three rounds, most of any Bruins linemates.

6.) Chicago a Sure Thing?
This is the third time since 1927 that Game 1 of the Cup finals went into multiple overtimes, but the second time for each of these teams. In 1934, the Blackhawks beat the Red Wings, and in 1990, the Oilers beat the Bruins.

In both of those previous series, the team that won Game 1 went on to win the Cup.

Top things to know: Stanley Cup finals

June, 12, 2013
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals will take place Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Here are the top things to know about the series:

• For the first time since 1979, two of the Original Six teams will meet in the Stanley Cup finals.

• The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins will meet in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time.

• The Blackhawks won the 2012-13 Presidents’ Trophy. Since the Presidents’ Trophy was first awarded in 1985-86, only seven teams have won it and the Stanley Cup in the same season. The Blackhawks are trying to become the first Presidents’ Trophy winner to claim the Stanley Cup in the same season since the 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings.

• Since the Bruins tied Game 7 of their conference quarterfinal series against the Maple Leafs with 51 seconds to go in the third period, they’ve trailed for just 35:07 of the 604:58 they’ve played (5.8 percent). They haven’t trailed by more than one goal during that stretch.

• Both teams are coming in hot. The Blackhawks are 7-1 in their past eight games since trailing 3-1 to the Red Wings in the conference semifinals. The Bruins are 9-1 in their past 10 playoff games (won past five).

• The Bruins have won five of their six all-time postseason meetings against the Blackhawks. It’s been 35 years since these two franchises have met in the postseason. The last series between them was the 1978 quarterfinals, when the Bruins swept the Blackhawks 4-0.

• This will be the first time since 2008 (Red Wings versus Penguins) that the Stanley Cup finalists will be meeting for the first time that season.

Blistering Blackhawks run by the numbers

March, 8, 2013

Tommy Giglio/US Presswire
Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks have generated amazing numbers during their streak.

A by-the-numbers glance at the best notes during the Chicago Blackhawks' incredible points streak:

1 – Only team this season that has yet to face a two-goal deficit in the third period

2 – Players this season with a negative +/- (Dave Bolland -1, Sheldon Brookbank -2)

4 - Goals allowed vs Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 20. Only time Blackhawks have allowed 4+ goals this season

5 - Blackhawks wins by 3+ goals during streak

6 – Games this season that Blackhawks have trailed in the 3rd period

9 – Power Play goals allowed - only the Bruins (7) have allowed fewer

10 – Consecutive decisions won by backup goalie Ray Emery, the first goaltender in NHL history to win his first 10 decisions in one season (source: Elias)

11 – Consecutive wins, which is the longest win streak in franchise history

12 – Wins this season after trailing, the most in the NHL

13 – Times this season Chicago’s opponent has scored first

14 – Seasons in team history where they earned fewer than 45 points (which is how many they already have this season)

16 – Consecutive games to start a season with a point was the previous record (by the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks) before Chicago (source: Elias)

21 – Power Play goals allowed by the Avalanche (tied for the most in the NHL), the Blackhawks next opponent

25 - The day in March last year when the Blackhawks last lost a regular-season game in regulation

27 – Points this season by Patrick Kane, which leads the team

30 - Straight games with a point, 2nd-longest streak in NHL history
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

Josh Hamilton
1. HAMILTON MAKES HISTORY: Josh Hamilton became the 16th player in MLB history to hit four home runs in a single game on Tuesday night in Baltimore. He is the sixth player in American League history to do it, and the first since Carlos Delgado in 2003.

2. VERY RARE OCCASION: This is the first time in major league history that a pitcher has thrown a perfect game and a hitter has hit four home runs in a game in the same season. Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game earlier this season.

3. ANOTHER RECORD FOR HAMILTON: Hamilton's 18 total bases are an AL record, one shy of Shawn Green's MLB record of 19 in his four-homer game on May 23, 2002. The previous AL record was 16, done eight times.

4. COLLISON HELPS PACERS ADVANCE: The Indiana Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a win over the Orlando Magic. It is Indiana's first series win since the First Round in 2005 versus the Boston Celtics. FROM ELIAS: Darren Collison (23 assists, one turnover in series) is the first player in 22 years to have at least 20 assists and one or fewer turnovers in a playoff series. John Paxson did it for the Chicago Bulls in 1990.

5. THREE NBA TEAMS STILL FIGHTING: The Pacers were able to advance, but the Los Angeles Lakers, Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers were unable to close out their respective series, as each team lost its Game Five and must play on in the First Round. FROM ELIAS: This is the first time three teams avoided elimination on the same day since April 30, 2003. The Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers all won Game Fives on that date - only the Pistons used the momentum to come back to win the series (beat Magic in seven games).

6. DEVILS ADVANCE DESPITE ODD TREND: FROM ELIAS: The New Jersey Devils lost the opener of their conference semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers, then won the next four games. Even though Philadelphia scored the first goal in each game, New Jersey is the fourth team in NHL history to win four games in which their opponent scored the first goal in one series. Also, the Devils are the first team to do that in four consecutive games in one series. The other clubs with four such wins one series were the 1956 Detroit Red Wings (vs Toronto Maple Leafs), 1991 Edmonton Oilers (vs Calgary Flames) and 1995 Red Wings (vs Chicago Blackhawks).
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. SPURS FINISH OFF SWEEP: The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Utah Jazz, 87-81, finishing a four-game sweep to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals. This was the Spurs sixth postseason sweep since Tim Duncan was a rookie in the 1997-98 season. According to Elias, that ranks second in the NBA. Only the Los Angeles Lakers, with seven, have more over the last 15 seasons.

2. PAUL & GRIFFIN LEAD CLIPPERS TO VICTORY: The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 101-97 in overtime, to take a 3-1 series lead. According to Elias, the Clippers became the first NBA team to have a pair of players (Chris Paul, Blake Griffin), with at least 25 points and at least seven assists in a playoff game since they did it themselves back on May 14, 2006 (Elton Brand had 30 and eight and Sam Cassell had 28 and nine in a victory over the Phoenix Suns).

3. RANGERS EARN HISTORIC WIN: The New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-2 in overtime to take a 3-2 series lead. That win would not have been possible if Brad Richards hadn’t tied the game with seven seconds left in regulation. According to Elias, this is the first NHL postseason to have three games feature game-tying goals in the final 15 seconds of regulation. The first-two games in the Phoenix Coyotes - Chicago Blackhawks series also had such goals.

4. COYOTES IN UNCHARTED TERRITORY: The Coyotes defeated the Nashville Predators, 2-1, to win the Western Conference Semifinals in five games. The Coyotes advanced to their first Conference Finals since joining the NHL in 1979-80. Prior to joining the NHL, the franchise (then known as the Winnipeg Jets) reached the WHA (Avco Cup) Finals five times in seven seasons.

5. WEAVER PERFECT 5-0: Jered Weaver allowed one earned run in six innings, as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Minnesota Twins, 8-3. For the third time, Weaver has started a season 5-0. According to Elias, he joined Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Christy Mathewson as the only pitchers to start 5-0 in three seasons.

6. RED HOT ROOKIE: The Boston Red Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals, 11-5 to snap a five-game losing streak. Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks remained hot, going 3 for 5, with two home runs and five RBI. According to Elias, he tied the MLB record for most RBI (nine) in a player’s first four games to start career.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

1. SPURS CLINCH TOP SEED: The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 124-89, and clinched the top seed in the Western Conference. Last season, as a one-seed, the Spurs were eliminated in the first round of their playoff series with the Grizzlies. It was the fourth time since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams that a one-seed lost to an eight-seed.

2. COYOTES FINALLY WIN A SERIES: The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-0, to win the Western Conference Quarterfinals in six games. It’s the franchise’s first playoff series win since 1987. According to Elias, their streak of 23 consecutive seasons without winning a playoff series (1987-88 through 2010-11) is a NHL record.

3. KREIDER TO THE RESCUE: The New York Rangers defeated the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, to force Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. 20-year old Chris Kreider scored the game-winning goal. According to Elias, Kreider is the third Rangers player to score a playoff goal, before playing in a regular-season game.

Derek Jeter
4. JETER HITS HOLLAND: Derek Jeter went 4-5 in the New York Yankees’ 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers. All four of Jeter’s hits came off Derek Holland. According to Elias, that tied Jeter's career high for hits off the same pitcher in one game. He had previously recorded four hits in a game against Greg Maddux and Bob Tewksbury.

5. ROSS SHOWS POWER: Cody Ross hit two home runs in the Boston Red Sox’ 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins. Ross tied the game in the seventh inning with a two-run blast, then hit a solo shot in the ninth to put the Red Sox ahead. According to Elias, prior to Ross, the last Red Sox player with a game-tying and game-winning home run, each in the seventh inning or later, was Dwight Evans on June 23, 1990 against the Orioles at Fenway Park.

6. PANDA KEEPS HITTING: Pablo Sandoval recorded hits in both games of the Giants-Mets doubleheader on Monday (Giants won both games). Sandoval has hit safely in his first 16 games this season. According to Elias, he tied the second-longest hit streak to start a season by a Giants player since 1900. The record of 18 was set by Johnny Rucker in 1945.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

1. HUMBER SIMPLY PERFECT: Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber became the 21st pitcher to throw a perfect game in MLB history. FROM ELIAS: Entering Saturday’s game, Humber had 11 wins in 29 starts. That is the third-fewest starts and second-fewest wins prior to a perfect game in MLB history.

2. YANKEES MAKE IMPROBABLE COMEBACK: The New York Yankees trailed 9-0 against the Boston Red Sox before scoring 15 unanswered runs in a 15-9 win. FROM ELIAS: It is the second time in the modern era that a team trailed by at least nine runs and ended up winning the game by at least six runs. On June 12, 1938 the Detroit Tigers trailed the Washington Senators, 11-1, but rallied to win, 18-12, on the strength of a seven-run ninth inning.

3. BLACKHAWKS FORCE GAME 6: The Chicago Blackhawks stayed alive, winning 3-2 in overtime against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Blackhawks have played in seven consecutive overtime games, the longest streak in NHL playoff history. FROM ELIAS: This is the second playoff series in NHL history in which each of the first 5 games went into overtime. The other was the 1951 Finals when the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs went to OT in all five games.

4. ANDERSON BLANKS RANGERS: Craig Anderson made 41 saves to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 2–0 win at Madison Square Garden in Game 5 of their series against the New York Rangers. FROM ELIAS: Anderson was the first NHL goaltender to make at least 40 saves in a road shutout in the playoffs since Ed Belfour of the Dallas Stars made 48 stops in a 1–0 triple-overtime win at New Jersey in Game 5 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Final. Before Anderson, the last goaltender to do that in a road playoff game that did not go to overtime was Toronto’s Felix Potvin with a 42-save, 3–0 shutout at Chicago in 1995.

5. RONALDO SETS RECORD: Cristiano Ronaldo scored the game-winning goal in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Barcelona. It was Ronaldo’s 42nd goal of the season, setting the record for most goals scored in a season in La Liga history.

6. BATTLE OF WESTERN POWERS: The Los Angeles Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder at 3:30 ET on ABC. That game will feature the top-2 scorers in the NBA. Kobe Bryant (27.9 PPG) leads Kevin Durant (27.8 PPG) by 0.1 PPG. Durant is trying to become the first player to win three consecutive scoring titles since Michael Jordan from 1996-98. The Lakers have two games remaining while the Thunder have three.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. FORGET REGULATION: The Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks have offered extra playoff hockey every time they’ve met this series. FROM ELIAS: It’s just the second playoff series in NHL history where each of the first four games went to OT. That also means history for the Blackhawks – they’ve now gone to overtime in six straight playoff games dating back to last season, an NHL record.

Dwight Howard
2. HOWARD OUT: Dwight Howard will miss the rest of the season, the playoffs and the Olympics this summer as he plans to undergo back surgery. Howard had been incredibly durable over the course of his career, but this year is the exception. He’s already missed eight games this season, one more than he missed in his first seven seasons combined. In his first four seasons, he didn’t miss a game.

3. HEAT CATCH FIRE: The Chicago Bulls were once against without Derrick Rose, and the Miami Heat took advantage with an 11-point win. The win pulled the Heat to within just a game and a half of the Bulls for the top spot in the East. And that could be crucial since all four meetings this season between the teams were won by the home team. As for the Bulls, they’re 17-9 without Rose this season. But against teams .500 or better, they are just 3-4 with three of those losses coming by double figures.

Curtis Granderson
4. THE GRANDY MAN CAN: Curtis Granderson accomplished something that had never been done in New York Yankees history. He had five hits including three home runs. Granderson just missed joining an elite club – Lou Gehrig is the only player to hit four home runs in a game with the Yankees.

5. TROUBLE IN THE WINDY CITY: Blustery times in the Windy City. The Blackhawks loss puts them on the brink of elimination from the playoffs. The Bulls lost to the Heat, failed to clinch the East’s top seed and saw their lead for the top spot shrink to a game and a half. The Cubs and White Sox both lost on Thursday, making Chicago’s baseball teams a combined 9-16 this season.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. WORKING OVERTIME: The Phoenix Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in OT to take a 2-1 series lead. FROM ELIAS: All three games in the Chicago-Phoenix series have been decided in overtime. It’s the fifth series in NHL history in which each of the first three games were decided in overtime. The other four were Boston-Toronto in 1933, the Montreal-Toronto Stanley Cup Final in 1951 in which all five games went to OT, Edmonton-Los Angeles in 1991 and Colorado-Minnesota in 2008.

Jamie Moyer
2. HISTORIC WIN: Jamie Moyer gave up two runs (both unearned) in seven innings to get the win as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3. Moyer is the oldest pitcher to win a MLB game at 49 years, 151 days old. Jack Quinn was the oldest pitcher to win a MLB game at 49 years, 70 days old on September 13, 1932.

3. PANTHERS COME BACK: FROM ELIAS: The Panthers trailed 3–0 after only 6:16 had been played in Game 3 of their series against the New Jersey Devils but Florida made a goaltending change at that point and Scott Clemmensen blanked his former team the rest of the way while the Panthers rallied for a stunning 4–3 victory. It was only the second time in the last 25 playoff years that an NHL team won a playoff game in which it trailed by three goals in the first seven minutes. The Flames did that in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Sharks in 2008. San Jose scored three goals in the first 3:33 but Calgary came back to win 4-3.

Carmelo Anthony
4. 'MELO GETS HELP: Carmelo Anthony recorded his second career triple-double as the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics. Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak each had 20-point games with Smith and Novak doing so off the bench. FROM ELIAS: The last time an NBA team had a player score 30 points in a triple-double while three of his teammates scored at least 20 points in a non-overtime game was on January 15, 1991 when the Trail Blazers did it in a 132-117 win at Minnesota. Clyde Drexler had the 30-point triple-double while Mark Bryant, Jerome Kersey and Terry Porter all scored at least 20 points.

5. RED SOX HAMMERED: The Texas Rangers hit six home runs on their way to an 18-3 rout of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. FROM ELIAS: It was the 10th time in Red Sox history that they lost a game by 15 or more runs in a game played at Fenway Park, with the last such embarrassment coming on June 19, 2000, when they lost 22-1 to the Yankees.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. BLACKHAWKS SCORING LATE: The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3, in overtime. FROM ELIAS: This is the first time in NHL playoff history that a team has scored the game-tying goal with 15 or fewer seconds left in regulation in consecutive games. The Blackhawks forced OT in Game 1 when Brent Seabrook scored a goal with 15 seconds left (Coyotes won game in OT).

2. SPURS, CELTICS CLINCH: Two NBA clinchings took place on Saturday. The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Phoenix Suns, 105-91, and clinched their 18th division title over the last 35 years. The Boston Celtics defeated the New Jersey Nets, 94-82, to secure their fifth straight playoff appearance. Prior to the start of the Pierce/Garnett/Allen era (2007-08), the Celtics had just four playoff appearances in the previous 12 seasons.

3. TURNING ON THE POWER: FROM ELIAS: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Aviles, and Cody Ross all homered at Fenway Park in the Boston Red Sox' 13-5 romp over the Tampa Bay Rays. It was only the third time that a team managed by Bobby Valentine hit five home runs in a home game. It happened previously at Arlington Stadium (Sept. 20, 1985 against the Mariners) and Shea Stadium (June 26, 2000 versus the Marlins).

4. LIGHTNING QUICK: Greg Biffle won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The race was run at a blistering pace. It set track records for fewest cautions (two), fewest caution laps (10), and average speed (160.575 MPH). The previous track record for average speed was 152.7 MPH (about 8 MPH slower).

Brian Wilson
5. WILSON OUT: Giants closer Brian Wilson will likely miss the remainder of the season. Wilson has “structural issues” in his right elbow. Wilson’s 164 saves since 2008 are the most in Major League Baseball. Mariano Rivera is second with 162.

Playoff woes lead to Dany Heatley trade

July, 4, 2011
Dany Heatley
The San Jose Sharks entered the 2009 playoffs as the Western Conference's No. 1 seed after winning the Presidents' Trophy given to the team with the NHL's best record. What followed was a stunning first round exit at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks, another in a long line of postseason disappointments for the franchise.

Dany Heatley was acquired by the Sharks that offseason to help remedy the problem and lead the franchise to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance.

So how come after two seasons in which he ranked second on the team in goals scored (65) and points (146) -- ranking in the top 20 in the NHL in both categories -- does he find himself headed to the Minnesota Wild?

Heatley was a great producer for the Sharks in the regular season, but his production really took a hit come playoff time.

While the Sharks made consecutive conference finals appearances in his two years with the team -- San Jose made one conference final appearance in the teams first 17 seasons -- Heatley scored only five goals in 32 playoff games.

To give that some perspective, among players who played 20 postseason games over the last two seasons, Heatley was tied for the 47th-most goals scored. That's not something you would expect from a player who averaged more than 40 goals per season the past six years.

Heatley scored 14 game-winning goals in his two seasons in San Jose, including an NHL-best nine in his first season with the team. However it never carried over to the playoffs as he didn't score a single game winner in the postseason for the Sharks.

What the Wild do get is a player who can produce with the man advantage. Heatley scored 29 goal on the power play in his two years with the Sharks, third-most in the NHL. The Wild's top player in that span, Andrew Brunette, just signed with the Chicago Blackhawks when free agency opened this past Friday.

According to, Heatley will be the seventh-highest paid forward at $8 million this season. His cap hit of $7.5 million (average annual value of his contract) also ranks seventh among forwards for this upcoming season. He automatically becomes the Wild's highest paid player, topping Mikko Koivu's $6.75 million cap hit.

The Sharks are taking a bit of a risk with this deal as Martin Havlat, the player they received for Heatley, has posted similar career postseason numbers. While Havlat -- who was a teammate with Heatley for one season with the Ottawa Senators in 2005-06 -- has scored more playoff goals, he has accounted for eight less points despite playing in one more playoff game.

However Havlat's last two postseason appearances were impressive as he notched 15 points in the Blackhawks' conference finals run in 2009 and scored seven goals in the 2006 postseason with the Senators.