Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 hr ago
No. 1 Star: Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
The NHL’s leading scorer led the Stars’ rally in a 6-5 thriller over the Edmonton Oilers. Down three goals in the second period, Seguin assisted on a Jamie Benn power-play goal; he then scored goals Nos. 24 and 25 in the third period. He added a goal in the shootout, but it was former Oiler Shawn Horcoff that won the game in Round 8.
No. 2 Star: Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers forward scored goals Nos. 13 and 14 in their 4-3 comeback win over the Winnipeg Jets in OT. He opened the scoring in the first period and then potted the game-winner just 10 seconds into overtime, converting a Dustin Byfuglien turnover into an extra point for the Flyers.
No. 3 Star: Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche
Pickard made 34 saves in regulation and overtime and then outdueled Petr Mrazek in a nine-round shootout in the Avs’ 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Jarome Iginla had the shootout-winner.
Did You Know? Oilers rookie center Leon Draisaitl was a healthy scratch, despite not being loaned to play for Germany at the World Junior Hockey Championships
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 6 hrs ago
Matt Bartkowski of the Boston Bruins delivered what could be kindly called a “controversial” hit on the Buffalo Sabres’ Brian Gionta on Sunday night, earning a game misconduct at 14:08 of the first period.
Gionta tried to snag a pass -- a really, really bad pass that put him on the trolleytracks -- and tapped it with his stick. Bartkowski skated over and cut him off, as Gionta skated towards the blue line, connecting with Gionta’s shoulder and, potentially, his head.
The aesthetics were damning: Gionta flipping skates-over-shoulders and crashing to the ice. Marcus Foligno immediately engaged Bartkowski in a fight, earning an instigator, fighting major and a misconduct himself.
Bartkowski was given a 5-minute major for interference, five for fighting and a game misconduct. Gionta did not return to the game. Foligno also suffered an upper body injury and did not return.
Head-shot or no head shot, Bartkowski is likely going to get something from the NHL for delivering this kind of his to a defenseless opponent.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago
Goalie Rob Zepp has played in Florida, Lowell, Finland and Germany. He’s been an Everblade, a Monster, a Polar Bear and a Phantom.
For the first time in his career on Sunday. Zepp will be something he’s never been before: a starting goalie in the National Hockey League.
Zepp, 33, is scheduled to make his debut for the Philadelphia Flyers at the Winnipeg Jets. He was the backup to Ray Emery in the Flyers’ wild 7-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, as Emery gave up four goals on 25 shots. With back-to-back games and with Steve Mason injured, Zepp gets the call.
“He showed me in preseason he is a capable goalie,” coach Craig Berube said. “Definitely [had] a good preseason. Moved really well in net, side to side. Good structure to his game.”
Zepp worked on puck-handling with the Phantoms and Berube feels he’s improved there.
It’s been a rather unorthodox journey for Zepp to the NHL.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 15 hrs ago
This week, James Neal of the Nashville Predators became the first player in the NHL to be fined under the new diving punishment standards. He was given a warning, then was given a $2,000 fine and a heaping spoonful of public shame.
The question is: How many other NHL players have been warned on diving, and are set up for a potential fine?
According to Damien Cox of Sportsnet, there are 22 players that have receiving a warning about diving this season.
Cox explained the procedure for the NHL in ruling on diving:
“Here’s how it works: Every Monday morning, they all get together. Nine voters in all, some from player ops, some from hockey ops, and they look at these videos. You need six of them to say ‘yeah, that’s diving’ before you issue a warning or in Neal’s case, a fine.”
Say, were you on the fence about casting an NHL All-Star Game ballot for Jonathan Toews?
Perhaps you’re worried he can’t rock a headband. Or pump iron. Perhaps you’re concerned about him not being the Canadian dream.
Well, the Chicago Blackhawks are about to knock your backside off that fence. Because it’s time to Exercise Your Right To Vote!
(Well, clearly someone inside the Blackhawks video team is a Tim and Eric fan…)
The Blackhawks debuted the first in what we assume is a series of kitschy player-centric videos that feature headbands, tanktops, pastel colors and a 1980s aesthetic.
And if you’ve ever wanted to see a super-intense Patrick Kane in aerobics gear on a step machine winking at you, merry Christmas.
Is it uh hot in here did someone maybe leave the Yule log on a little too long swoon …
The lesson here, folks: Jonathan Toews is a comedy genius who chooses not to unleash his powers, and any time you mine the 1980s for comedy, it’s gold.
And yes, that is an excuse to run this Los Angeles Kings video again:
It's a (Gettin' down on) Friday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Chris Johnston of Sportsnet on the KHL crisis and the NHL in general.
• Marty Brodeur's rough night.
• Bruins, Blues talking trade?
• News and notes.
Question of the Day: GOING POSTAL! ASK US ANYTHING! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek . Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
The salary cap molds and shapes the future plans of NHL teams. Such is the case for the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and, potentially, T.J. Oshie.
Oshie is signed through 2017 at $4.175 million annually. He’s a well-liked player, meshes with David Backes and gives them an aggressive forechecker. And as we saw in Sochi, he's pretty OK in the shootout sometimes.
But where would you rank him among the best Blues forwards? He’s currently seventh among them in scoring with 12 points in 24 games. He’s been eclipsed by Vladimir Taresenko, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera. He’s not as vital as Alex Steen or David Backes. He’s probably ahead of Patrick Berglund, but mostly because Berglund’s been a dud this season.
About that salary cap: The Blues project to have well over $12 million in space next season, but with only 15 players under contract. Jake Allen needs a deal. Taresenko (hoo boy) needs a deal. Lehtera’s up in 2016 as a UFA. Schwartz is up in 2016 as well, as an RFA.
The Blues have to look to the future, and Oshie might not be a part of it.
So they’re listening to offers, and Elliotte Friedman says a lot of interest is trickling down from the Boston Bruins.
(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)
It hasn't been the busiest year for the NHL's Department of Player Safety, which is good news: It means players are getting it. Alas, as we see in this countdown, many do not. Including some that are one their way to the NHL one day.
Here are the top 10 most heinous on-ice acts of 2014:
10. John Moore’s head-shot on Erik Haula
The Rangers defenseman was given a 2-game ban for a hit on Dale Weise on the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Just 12 games later, he was given a 5-gamer for this hit on Erik Haula of the Minnesota Wild that had a little bit of that ‘ol Cooke-on-Savard black magic.
9. Mike Rupp’s head-shot on T.J. Oshie
8. Gianluca Curcuruto head-shots Travis Konecny
7. Ryan Garbutt gets trippy vs. Winnipeg
The Dallas stars pest had a two-fer against the Winnipeg Jets in December, with a straight-legged trip of goalie Michael Hutchinson and then a slew-foot that lifted the 526-pound* Dustin Byfuglien off the ice and then crashing down. He earned a 3-game suspension from the NHL.
4. Milan Lucic spears DeKeyser
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I’m the lead physician for Hockey Monitoring Mumps Measles, Muscus and Mirsey, a.k.a. HMMMMM…
“We’ve instructed the members of the National Hockey League to do what they can to stop the spread of infectious diseases, lest anyone wish to see Sidney Crosby do another media availability looking like he’s hiding a boomerang in his cheek.
“To that end, we present this short feature called ‘How To Not Spread Bodily Fluids And Be Generally Gross, Starring Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers.
“Here we see Mr. Giroux, once called the best player in the world by the current coach of the Nashville Predators, taking off his glove, bringing his finger to his face and then vigorously wiping his hand on the back of a linesman before a faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The common theory here is that Mr.. Giroux is applying a viscous colloid, a.k.a. a ‘booger’ to the official’s shirt, a common practice among second graders but a bit of a lost art in pro hockey.
“Later in the week, Mr. Giroux was playing the Florida Panthers when he leaned over and began gnawing on the sweater of defenseman Erik Gudbranson.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days ago
No. 1 Star: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Kopitar has a career-best 5-point night as the Los Angeles Kings won a wild 6-4 game against the St. Louis Blues and Marty Brodeur. Kopitar assisted on Marian Gaborik’s two goals, Jeff Carter’s game-trying goal and Jake Muzzin’s game-winning goal. He also scored a goal of his own in the second period, his seventh.
No. 2 Star: Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
Fleury made 29 saves for his NHL-leading sixth shutout as the Penguins defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 1-0. Blake Comeau had the lone goal.
No. 3 Star: Eric Fehr, Washington Capitals
After a brilliant set-up by Mike Green, Fehr’s goal at 42 seconds of overtime gave the Washington Capitals a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. He also assisted on Joel Ward’s opening tally in the first period. The Capitals ended the Jackets’ winning streak at seven games.
Did You Know? The Oilers only win over their past 18 games is against the Sharks.