Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
The NHL Draft Lottery is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night, and there’s unprecedented hype for it. Connor McDavid, the brilliant junior hockey star, is the top prize; Jack Eichel, the brilliant NCAA hockey star, is a heck of a consolation prize.
The NHL is so super concerned about transparency, it's released the number combinations for all teams in order for them to win the lottery. It’s also filming the lottery, lest anyone believe it’s been fixed to benefit a particular team.
But which teams deserve to earn the first overall pick, and which ones should we pray don’t win the right to draft McDavid?
Here’s a quick guide to the teams in tonight’s lottery, and their virtue:
14. Boston Bruins
Odds of Winning Lottery: 1.0%
Connor McDavid’s Nickname If Drafted: Connor McDunkin’
Why We Should Pray They Don’t Win Lottery: Because the native Boston tongue wrapped around the name “Connor McDavid” is about as charming as hearing that Dropkick Murphys’ song for the 600th time.
13. Los Angeles Kings
Odds of Winning Lottery: 2.0%
Connor McDavid’s Nickname If Drafted: King Connor
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago
On Friday, the Washington Capitals recalled goalie Philipp Grubauer from the AHL, which caused some panic. Starter Braden Holtby was ill, and had been ill since before the end of the regular season.
Don’t worry, they said. Holtby is totally playing in Game 2 against the New York Islanders, they said.
Well, turns out the panic was legit: The only thing keeping the Capitals from going down 0-2 in their series against the Islanders is one Phillip Grubauer, as the team announced Holtby is out tonight an undisclosed illness.
From the Capitals:
The most exciting German visitor to D.C. since Angela Merkel!
Now, Grubauer played pretty darn well for the Capitals back in 2013-14, when Michal Neuvirth went down with an injury. This isn’t an epic downgrade at the position, at least on paper.
But there’s no question Holtby was the Capitals’ third most vital player behind Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom this season. The soft goal he gave up to Brock Nelson in the first in Game 1 did the team no favors, but a strong redemptive game from Holtby from Game 2 could have been in the cards.
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: Stephen Whyno on hockey!
• The Stanley Cup Playoffs!
• The firing of Craig Berube!
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Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby sat out practice on Friday morning ahead of Game 2 of their series against the New York Islanders, feeling under the weather.
Hershey Bears starter Philipp Grubauer was recalled from the AHL as a precaution.
According to Coach Barry Trotz, Holtby missed Thursday’s optional skate for this very reason, and the Capitals saw little value in having Holtby tax himself the next morning with such a critical game around the bend. So they recalled Grubauer, who drove into town Thursday night.
Holtby still attended meetings and “got a little bit of movement today,” Trotz said, but any on-ice work will come during pregame warmups. “When you’re not feeling well, no sense draining yourself anymore,” Trotz said.
Basically, everyone in the Capitals locker room expects Holtby to get the start in Game 2, after the Islanders took Game 1 of the series, 4-1. Trotz also said that Holtby’s status shouldn’t be affected by the illness.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Wednesday said the fate of his coach Craig Berube would be determined after a “methodical” evaluation process.
“I'm not going to make a quick decision to appease people, or to follow along like it's supposed to be done. I'm going to do everything I can to do the due diligence that's appropriate to make the decision. Once I get there, then we'll let people know. I'm not going to make a hasty decision and look back and regret it. I'm going to do everything I can to gather all the information out there and make the right decision,” he said.
This intense process took … under two days.
Berube was fired on Friday by the Flyers, going 75-58-28 as head coach, the 18th the organization has had. (This was also Berube’s 18th year with the Flyers as a player and a coach. And Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln! Spooooky!)
All of that was a distant memory this season, as the Flyers finished sixth in the Metro going 33-31-18.
So who might take over in Philadelphia?
Chris Pronger: A boy can dream.
MORE AT YAHOO SPORTS
Does a three-point NHL standings point system appeal to you?
Then you’re probably not a Calgary Flames player, coach or fan.
The Flames would have missed the playoffs under a system that awarded three points for a regulation win, two points for any type of overtime win and one point for an overtime loss. They would have finished ninth in the West, two points in back of the Winnipeg Jets and three points in back of the Los Angeles Kings, whose overtime failures would have been overcome by 37 regulation wins.
In the East, everyone who made the cut would have still made it. Sorry, Boston.
That’s via Hockey Standings, which has several variations on the current points system.
If we still had ties and no overtime? Boston makes the playoffs over Ottawa, and Chicago would have been a wild card while Winnipeg would be out. If we had ties after overtime? The Penguins would have played the Capitals in Round 1, and Winnipeg would be out again.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:
No. 1 Star: Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Perry had two goals and two assists in the Ducks’ 4-2 Game 1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. That included two third-period goals, one of which needed a video review for confirmation. He also assisted on goals by Sami Vatanen and Ryan Getzlaf.
No. 2 Star: Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings goalie made 44 saves as they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, in Game 1. It was Mrazek’s first postseason start.
No. 3 Star: Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild
The Wild forward made a great individual effort to open the scoring in Minnesota’s 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1. Zucker’s wraparound goal came at 2:47 of the first.
Honorable Mention: Derick Brassard and Ryan McDonagh scored for the New York Rangers as they outlasted the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1. … Marc-Andre Fleury had 36 saves in the loss. … Drew Stafford and Adam Lowry had goals for the Jets. … Jason Pominville had a goal and an assist. … Kevin Shattenkirk had two assists. … Pavel Datsyuk had two goals.
Jake Allen will start Game 2 for the St. Louis Blues. That’s good news. That means the goalie wasn’t the problem in their Game 1 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Now, they just have to work on the other things that have plagued their playoff disappointments: Struggling to generate offense with any consistency, and demonstrating a killer instinct.
The Wild took Game 1, 4-2, a score pumped up by a pair of empty net goals by Minnesota and a shorthander by the Blues in the last 1:13 of the game. They played a quintessential road game – limiting the Blues’ chances, and during the second period, completely snuffing out their offense.
The Blues were outshot 14-4 in the second period, and were dominated in puck possession (62.50 percent Corsi-For, in favor of the Wild). Matt Dumba’s power-play goal in the second built on Jason Zucker’s first-period goal for a 2-0 lead they’d never relinquish.
The coach said the Blues’ early struggles on offense made his players overthink plays, eschewing simplicity to make “two or three extra plays.”
Vladimir Tarasenko didn’t have a shot. Ditto linemate Jori Lehtera. Backes had one.
NEW YORK – It was a parade down Broadway, but not one the Pittsburgh Penguins wanted to participate in.
Four times in the first period, their players skated to the penalty box; and while the New York Rangers only capitalized once on their power plays, it was enough for the 2-1 margin of victory in Game 1 of their Metro Division series at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s the postseason. Every little thing matters, and we gave up a lot of momentum in the first period,” said Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi. “The offensive zone penalties. Penalties behind the play. We just don’t need that kind of stuff.”
The Rangers opened the scoring just 28 seconds into the first period as Marc-Andre Fleury did as Marc-Andre Fleury is wont to do in the postseason.
Rick Nash’s blast from the left wing thumped off Fleury’s pads, as the Penguins goalie angled the puck back to the slot to a wide-open Derick Brassard, who scored an easy one. Take a bad decision by Fleury, mix in sleepwalking defense, and it’s a recipe for a Rangers’ lead in the first minute of the series.
“I tried to stick it to the corner, but a slap shot’s not easy [to handle],” said Fleury, who was otherwise stellar with 36 saves.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
The St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings no longer share a division, but this postseason they share a particular circumstance: Having two goaltenders that are steady if never spectacular veterans, and have middling postseason track records; and two other goalie that lack experience but – in theory – could win you a series.
Or lose one, too.
But Brian Elliott of the St. Louis Blues will watch from the bench as Jake Allen is given first crack against the Minnesota Wild in Game 1. And Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings will watch from the bench as Petr Mrazek gets the nod against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1, as both series open on Thursday night.
“If this was something that was obvious to the whole world, you guys wouldn’t be asking me the same questions about it over and over again,” said Mike Babcock, right before enthusiastically announcing Mrazek for Game 1 this week.
“I like what he’s done for us thus far. He’s a good puck handler, he’s a competitive kid. Their skill sets are different.”
The same holds for Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues.
The Red Wings and Blues have placed their bets. Can't wait to see what the payouts are.