Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago
Ed. Note: We’re delighted to announce that Corey Hirsch has joined the Puck Daddy family for a weekly (or so) mailbag segment centered on, what else, goaltending. He played 108 games in the NHL, primarily for the Vancouver Canucks, before becoming a respected goaltending coach with Hockey Canada, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues. If you have goalie questions for Corey for a future segment of COREY EXPLAINS GOALIES, hit us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject: ASK COREY.
For one night, Pekke Rinne looked like Pekka Rinne again: Making 42 saves and earning the Nashville Predators a charity point against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
He had given up four goals in each of his last two starts. Combined with a .909 save percentage last season, his age (33) and the usual hand-wringing over bloated contracts for franchise goalies ($7 million against the cap for three more seasons), there’s been some concern about whether Rinne can lead the Predators as far as many assume they can go.
What do you like about him as a goalie?
Are we seeing a Pekka Rinne decline?
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago
After making history in the Southern Professional Hockey League, goalie Shannon Szabados saw her pro career dramatically halted earlier this week when she was released by the Peoria Rivermen just two games into the new season.
The release came after Szabados, the first woman to ever play in the SPHL, signed there as a free agent in September.
“After our first two games, I thought our goaltending wasn’t good enough to compete, and changes had to be made,” said Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel, whose name you might remember from a controversy last season. “We’re going to continue adjusting our roster as needed until we find a group on and off the ice that I feel can accomplish our primary goal here in Peoria, which is to build a winning team here in Peoria and bring our fans a championship.”
“All they wanted to do was play hockey together somewhere.”
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago
On HBO’s“Any Given Wednesday”this week, Bill Simmons sat down with Wayne Gretzky and comedian Bill Burr, a hockey fanatic, to discuss many things puck.
It’s always interesting to see how others approach the NHL, like watching Gretzky defend Gary Bettman to Simmons or watching all three debate the merits of Bobby Orr as a player.
But the most interesting discussion is here, with Burr and Gretzky discussing how to “fix” the NHL, with regard to growing the game in the U.S.
[ED NOTE: A FEW NSFW WORDS]
“My whole time watching hockey, from 1981 on, they’ve always had this conversation: ‘How do you fix the game? How do you take it to another level?’ Well, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I don’t think it’s a B-plus because it’s making any less money. That’s a whole marketing thing. ‘We’re only multi-multi-millionaires, how can we become billionaires?’ Why can’t you just be happy being millionaires?
To which Gretzky said, to laughter:
“I can’t imagine the Bruins or the Flyers wearing pink.”
OK, what about purple?
MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago
On Thursday, the New York Rangers dropped defenseman Dylan McIlrath on waivers, while the St. Louis Blues did the same with Magnus Paajarvi – again.
Let’s start with Dylan McIlrath, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2010 draft. I remember there being some surprise when he was selected, because the vibe at the draft was that either Cam Fowler or Brandon Gormley – both puck-moving defensemen in a League shifting in that direction – would have been the optimal choice. But McIlrath was 6-5 and could fight, earning the nickname “The Undertaker,” and apparently that’s what the Rangers valued at the time.
A roster numbers crunch meant the Rangers had to make a decision, and McIlrath was the odd-man out. According to the NY Post, there were a few things at play here:
That free-agency part could be a poison pill on the waiver wire.
As for Paajarvi, he’s on waivers because Jori Lehtera is back from injury. Also because he’s done nothing this season: three games, one goal, playing 9:16 per night.
MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
(WARNING: STRONG ADULT LANGUAGE AND HUMOR. LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.)
PUCK SOUP is the new hockey podcast on the Nerdist network for Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski and Dave Lozo of Vice Sports, Uproxx and The Comeback. This is a hockey podcast, in the sense that the talk about hockey, both on the ice and about fan culture. That’s the “puck.” This is also a podcast about movies, TV, fast food, life lessons and general idiocy. That’s the “soup.”
On this episode:
Start: It’s the Halloween Spooktacular, including spooky stories with Mike and the Mad Dog; whether one should be afraid of Jason or Freddie; the horrors of summer camp; and NHL horror stories.
8:00 – Shows that are on TV that no one actually watches, like “Blue Bloods” and “Last Man Standing.”
15:40 – The NHL season at the two-week mark, including teams that have surprised us and trends that may or may not continue.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
BROOKLYN – The puck rolled to Shea Weber and everyone in Barclays Center knew what was coming next.
Travis Hamonic did. The New York Islanders defenseman genuflected in front of goalie Thomas Greiss, turning his head away from the rocket blast he knew was arriving. In the process, he screened him, and Weber’s point blast on the power play at 17:03 gave the Habs the lead and eventually the win, 3-2, improving to 6-0-1 on the young season.
“It’s pretty impressive,” said Brendan Gallagher of Weber’s shot. “It’s a weapon that other teams have to be aware of. When you already have an extra guy on the ice, and teams have to overcompensate for it.”
It was Weber’s second point of the game, having previously assisted on Phillip Danault’s goal earlier in the third. That gave Weber nine points in seven games – the best offensive start in his career.
“I’m maybe [surprised] at the point total,” said Montreal’s Paul Byron. “He’s not really an Erik Karlsson, 80-point guy. But he always puts up the numbers.”
So far he has, skating 25:59 per game and putting up nine points.
His reasoning for the hot start?
Although sometimes it just takes a cannon on the power play, at the right time.
Before Justin Bieber became a global celebrity (for a variety of reasons), he was a moppet in a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, playing hockey in Canada.
It’s remained a part of his identity as an adult, or whatever. Bieber brings his gear on tour with him, and tries to get an opportunity to skate with a pro team wherever he can. “It’s a good release for him from the manic world he lives in, especially on tour,” said Neil Russell, general manager of the Manchester Storm of the Elite Ice Hockey League in the U.K.
Russell and his team found this out firsthand this week.
And in Denmark:
On Tuesday, he added Manchester to the list. And it was quite a frantic night.
Russell said he “popped an email off to the management company” for Bieber a few weeks ago, after seeing him skate with that team in Munich. “I didn’t hear anything back. I didn’t expect to hear anything back,” he said.
Guess who wasn’t at the rink?
Frantic as the moments were, the players arrived, and soon Bieber arrived to skate with them.
The NHL announced on Wednesday that it’s entered into a “long-term agreement that expands the scale and scope of Fanatics’ relationship with the League.” As in Fanatics is “the official manufacturer of a broad range of NHL apparel and headwear, including replica jerseys.”
We checked with the NHL, and yes, this means what you think it means: When you buy a replica NHL jersey (for around $169.99), you will get a Fanatics logo on it. You’ll need to buy an authentic jersey (for around $359.99) to get the Adidas logo that’s on the sweaters the pros wear.
From the NHL:
Beginning with the 2017-18 season, Fanatics will become the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of all adult replica NHL jerseys, the top tier of which will be called “The Breakaway.” The replica jerseys will be produced by Fanatics Branded, the company’s merchandise division, and will be designed with fan-first features that are intended for enhanced comfort and versatility. Fanatics will also offer a line of youth replica NHL jerseys.
Here’s an example:
Fanatics is also taking over the Stanley Cup Playoffs gear and is basically powering the NHL’s e-commerce side, including Shop NHL, which has Fanatics branding on it.
In this edition of Marek Vs. Wyshynski, the boys are talking about:
– All the goals! There’s so much offense in the NHL this season, and we try to figure out why it’s happening.
– Are the Montreal Canadiens for real?
– Aaron Ekblad may have forced a sophomore salary cap on the NHL.
– Checking in on the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators’ starts.
– Reader mail!
– News and notes from around the NHL.
The Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast is hosted by Jeff Marek of Sportsnet and Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports, breaking down the NHL on a (somewhat) daily basis with their particular brand of whimsy and with guest voices from around the hockey world. MvsW streams live while its being recorded: LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn’t work, try here.]
When it became obvious Sidney Crosby would return to the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night after missing their first six games with a concussion, his teammates were rather happy.
“He’s the best player in the world,” said winger Carl Hagelin. “We’re happy to have him back and we need to get rolling here.”
Crosby didn’t waste any time to get rolling. He scored his first goal of the season in his first game back from a concussion suffered in a preseason practice. His power-play goal at 13:41 of the second period cut the Florida Panthers’ lead to 2-1.
And it got the Penguins rolling, too: Hagelin and Eric Fehr scored in the third period to complete the rally and earn Pittsburgh (4-2-1) the 3-2 win.
“I think timing and just as far as execution, I think I need to work on that a little bit,” Crosby said after the game. “But it’s been tough to get in any practices or any real game situations. I’ve pretty much just been skating on my own, so I kind of expect that. But I felt like things kind of slowed down as the game went along.”
Welcome back, Sid.