- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
There have been five suspensions for boarding since the start of the NHL regular season. Two of them were for five games, not coincidentally the two that had victims of his ending up on stretchers. The other three were for two games each, again not coincidentally the three that did not involve a stretcher.
Richard Panik of the Tampa Bay Lightning hit Karl Alzner of the Washington Capitals into the boards on Tuesday night, earning a 5-minute major for a rather egregious hit. Alzner was shaken up but wasn’t seriously injured.
So no stretcher. Hence, two games from the Department of Player Safety. As the video shows*:
From the NHL:
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Richard Panik has been suspended for two games, without pay, for boarding Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner during NHL Game No. 459 in Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 10, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 16:31 of the second period. A major penalty for boarding was assessed to Panik on the play.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
You know how this is going to go:
That Antii Raanta, who is already 4-0-1 on the season and hasn’t given up more than two goals in any of his six appearances, is going to take the goaltending reins for the Chicago Blackhawks with Corey Crawford on the shelf and go on some ungodly run that makes everyone Team Raanta and strengthens the chorus of critics wondering why Crawford is signed through 2020 ...
OK, maybe not.
When either Nikolai Khabibulin or Crawford heal up, Raanta’s back down the depth chart and, eventually, back down in the AHL. But in the meantime, the Blackhawks are going to get a glimpse of a goalie that swept nearly every available award in the Finnish League last season, as he's expected to start against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
(It’s Rivalry Night, don’t forget. I mean, the Flyers probably have, since most of the players from 2010 are gone or Chris Pronger. But hey, RIVALS, right?)
Justin Goldman of the Goalie Guild wondered if he’s the nest great Antti in the NHL (better than Miettinen?!):
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
On Tuesday night, Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin broke the team’s all-time power-play goals record previously held by Peter Bondra. The Capitals captain received a call from Bondra after the game to congratulate him, and their cameras caught the moment on film and in the photo above, which the team tweeted out.
Behind Ovechkin are his sticks, labeled with him number ‘8’.
But wait … what’s that one stick there? With the writing on it? It’s some sort of message …
Why, it reads: “MEASURE STICK DON’T TOUCH MOTHER [EXPLETIVES].”
Good to see NHL players feel the same way about their measuring sticks as most of us do about our staplers and high quality pens in the office.
But seriously: Who dared touch Ovechkin’s “measure stick” so often that he felt the need to police said action with a lewd warning? He’s the captain, for goodness sake; go steal Tom Wilson’s measure stick.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more: unappealing
Special Guest Star: Joe Beninati, voice of the Washington Capitals, joins us to talk about Alex Ovechkin and the NHL.
• Feeling the Florida Panthers' pane.
• Iginla returns to Calgary.
• Gary Bettman on expansion.
• NHL news and notes.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
1. Snow believes Cap has gotten a raw deal.
Snow’s contention to TSN is that he’s as much the problem as his coach, taking responsibility for the team’s dismal play (9-18-5, last in the Metroterrible and above only Buffalo in the East). The Islanders have struggled through significant injuries (Visnovsky, Nabokov) and poor performances (so long, Pierre-Marc Bouchard), and that’s not on Capuano, whom Snow believes in. So he’ll set out to improve the team through trades, and Capuano is safe.
2. Snow just gave Capuano the kiss of death.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
You’re watching a Florida Panthers game. Suddenly, a puck breaks the glass in front of you. You wait, expecting another pane to be sent out from the back to replace it, as happens in every NHL arena every season at some point. But the replacement ends up being a large slab of opaque obstruction, and suddenly it’s like standing behind Dustin Byfuglien at a rock concert ...
So, what the heck happened at the BB&T Center during the Panthers’ game against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night? Why did the arena crew replace the glass with what, on television, looked to be plywood?
According to George Richards of the Miami Herald, the “plywood” was actually a pane of plexiglass that had the protective backing still stuck to it. The Panthers originally tried to use a piece that had the backing stripped from it, but that pane broke on the way to the ice and this was the “third string” glass. And much like a third-string quarterback, it was annoying and ineffective.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen needs a time out.
His elbow that concussed Pavel Datsyuk last month was seen by the NHL Department of Player Safety as “a natural reflex for a defenseman” and not a “predator-like elbow.” Essentially, they gave Cowen the benefit of the doubt on a play that injured one of the Red Wings’ star players.
Cowen squandered that reprieve on Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres, with a head shot on Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons in the third period. Girgensons remained in the game, and there wasn’t a penalty, but Cowen has a Department of Player Safety hearing on Wednesday for this hit (found at 1:15 of the following video, via Kukla’s Korner):
No question that the head is the principle point of contact there.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
There’s no ranking. No list. No line. No formal order of National Hockey League expansion destinations.
That’s according to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday, speaking after the Board of Governors meeting in Pebble Beach.
Has there been expansion discussion? He won’t say. Will the NHL listen to pitches from potential expansion cities?
“We listen when somebody wants us to listen. That's all [I’m saying],” said Bettman.
Seattle, Quebec City and Toronto are at the forefront of the NHL expansion chatter, which wasn’t exactly tempered when the League realigned into conferences of 16 and 14 teams. Because we’re not math majors, but to balance those conferences …
What Bettman would confirm is that expansion won’t happen for the 2014-15 season – despite reports to the contrary – and that the League has talked with potential expansion cities.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
The Winter Classic Alumni Game at Comerica Park was going to feature a number of Detroit Red Wings greats. But it felt incomplete without one of the greatest: Steve Yzerman, the team’s captain from 1986-2006.
Yzerman original said he wouldn’t play in the game, telling the Detroit News on Feb. 9, 2012:
"At this time I don't plan on participating in the alumni game but hope to watch the Classic on TV."
One year later, he had been non-committal about appearing in the Dec. 31 game, telling DetroitRedWings.com in November:
“I haven’t given it really much thought,” said, Steve Yzerman, the general manager of both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Team Canada. “I’ve been pretty busy with our team and watching a lot of hockey games for the Olympics so I haven’t really looked that far ahead.”
… It’s been more than seven years since the former captain last skated in any kind of organized game.
“I’ve had skates on like three times to do something minor,” Yzerman said. “I’ve just kind of moved on a little bit. I don’t have time to skate and don’t really have a real desire to.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
He may be the interim coach, but Ted Nolan has reached a rite of passage for any bench boss for the Buffalo Sabres: Like the two men who came before him, he has made Ville Leino a healthy scratch.
The Sabres have probably been off your radar since the end of Pat LaFontaine’s press conference, so here’s what Leino’s done this season: Not much. Five assists in 18 games with nary a goal, good for a 0.28 points per game average. And he’s a minus-3 in his last two games.
So he’s a healthy scratch.
“I don’t know about losing patience. Certain players with a certain skills set, they have to bring it,” Nolan said. “Sometimes it’s better to sit and look and observe for a while and hopefully when he gets back he’ll play the way he’s capable of playing.”
Nolan said Saturday’s loss to Montreal and a bad practice led to the scratch. “It’s how you lose games. It’s not giving them away. We want to see guys with effort on a consistent basis.”