- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
After Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook freight-trained him with a charge to the head in Game 2 on Saturday, St. Louis Blues captain David Backes struggled to his skates and attempted to confront his assailant. He wobbled, his legs buckling. In our age of concussion awareness, it was a disturbing scene.
Or, alternately, a hilarious one for someone watching the play with Blackhawks allegiances. Check out the audio here, around the 45-second mark, as someone exclaims, “Wakey Wakey, Backey, Wakey Wakey!”
So the conventional wisdom since the end of the game is that it was Duncan Keith that uttered this mockery, because his lips are moving and he’s nearby and it sorta sounds like Duncan Keith and he’s the kinda guy that would say it.
I couldn’t confirm it from the clip – hell, it could have been one of those glass-banging Blackhawks fans watching the action for all we know – but I guess that’s what we’re going with.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
MacKinnon’s ankle-breaking goal tied the game. He assisted on Gabriel Landeskog’s two goals to grab the lead, and on Paul Stastny’s empty netter to end it. The Avalanche won 4-2 taking a 2-0 series lead over the Wild as MacKinnon had a 4-point night. He now has seven points in two games, tying the NHL record for most pts in first 2 playoff games of an NHL career.
No. 2 Star: Matt Calvert, Columbus Blue Jackets
Calvert scored a key shorthanded goal to close the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lead to 3-2 and then, in double OT, scored the game-winning goal to give the Jackets their first ever playoff win. Columbus knotted the series at 1-1.
No. 3 Star: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
Since their inaugural season in 2000-01, the Columbus Blue Jackets have played in 1,037 games. That includes five in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, all of them losses.
Game No. 1,038 was Saturday night.
Three periods and two overtimes later, and the Columbus Blue Jackets finally received a stamp of validation as an NHL franchise.
The first playoff win. The first time a Columbus Blue Jackets player was mobbed by his teammates as a postseason hero. The first time a series shifts back to Nationwide Arena with the Blue Jackets not facing a deficit. The first time a Columbus Blue Jackets fan wakes up the following morning – Easter Sunday, of course, because the “coming back from the dead of Game 1” allegories couldn’t be more on-the-nose – with that insatiable notion that creeps into the minds of every hockey fan in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
“We might actually do this. ”
Matt Calvert played the hero, scoring two goals in the game including the definitive one at 1:10 of the second overtime on Saturday night at the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here's his shorthanded goal that cut it to 3-2, a goal Coach Todd Richards said was "the difference maker in the game. It gave hope to our guys."
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
The St. Louis Blues have found the recipe for success against the Chicago Blackhawks: Score dramatic game-tying goals with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, and then win in overtime.
Granted, this recipe is about as stable as one for homemade nitroglycerin, but it’s worked in Games 1 and 2, as Vladimir Tarasenko’s power-play goal with just over six seconds left in regulation tied it and Barret Jackman’s seeing-eye shot at 5:50 of overtime won it on Saturday.
Here’s the Tarasenko goal:
Your browser does not support iframes.
And here’s the Jackman game-winner:
Your browser does not support iframes.
Obviously, the game turned as David Backes turned into a Brent Seabrook hit in the third period, knocking the Blues captain out of the game with an injury and the Blackhawks defenseman out of the game with an ejection for charging. Tarasenko’s goal came with 16 seconds remaining on the Seabrook penalty.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabook was ejected from Game 2 of their Central Division semifinal game against the St. Louis Blues after lining up and hitting center David Backes in the head late in the third period on Saturday.
The Blues tied the game with 16 seconds remaining on the 5-minute major penalty and 6 seconds left in regulation.
Here’s the hit, which earned Seabrook a game misconduct: Your browser does not support iframes.
It was a charging major at 15:09, which might have been an easier call than Illegal Check To The Head, which has that tricky “head targeted” aspect. Clearly, Seabrook traveled to hit Backes, who was prone and didn’t have the puck.
Backes left the game after attempting to get up and exact revenge on the hitter. The Blues' trainer smartly held him back.
The larger issue here is whether Seabrook will be available for Game 3 and beyond. The Department of Player Safety will review the hit, and it’s hard to imagine Seabrook won’t miss at least the next game in this contentious series for the hit on Backes. Question is, will it be more than that? Eric Gryba and Justin Abdelkader were both given two games last postseason for dangeorus hits.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
In an unprecedented move, the National Hockey League allowed its Chicago franchise to change its team nickname just two games into the postseason, in an attempt to convey to their opponents just how rough and tough they really are.
That, or someone at CBC Sports forgot to clear out a template with some hilarious results before Game 2 between the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago “Unsportsmanlike" on Saturday:
Full stop: That’s actually an incredible name for an NHL team.
Picture Oakland Raiders-like jerseys and a starting lineup of Raffi Torres, Patrick Kaleta and Zac Rinaldo, coached by Bob “Orchestrated Line Brawl” Hartley.
Picture the scene on draft day: “It’s been my dream every day since I was a child to become an Unsportsmanlike …”
If nothing else, we’re down with this name for the eventual irony party if one of the Unsportsmanlikes ever wins the Lady Byng …
This was a great gaffe. But it's still not the best flattering graphic blooper in NHL history ... right, Gary Roberts?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy23 hrs ago
It was the kind of loss that could have left another team devastated: Seeing a lead disappear with 1:46 left in the third period, and then losing in triple overtime in Game 1 on the road.
But this isn’t the Chicago Blackhawks’ first rodeo.
Please remember all the way back to 2013, when the Blackhawks dropped their first road game against the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins, and ended up winning the Stanley Cup.
“We've gone through some stretches where we've lost opening games. We've lost last year all four first games in their buildings and seemed to recover,” said coach Joel Quenneville, via ESPN.com. “That's something we can build on. It's a long series. We expected a tough series against this team. There's going to be no easy games, but it's a good example that going forward we've got to find a way to overcome our opponents."
Where can the Hawks improve as they take on the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 on Saturday?
Game 1 of the divisional semifinal series between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning was a nail-biter: a 5-4 win in overtime for the Habs on a Dale Weise goal.
But this was your proverbial “closer on the scoreboard than it actually was” kind of game, because Montreal dominated them in shots on goal (44-25) and possession (60 percent to 40 percent in corsi close, i.e. corsi in a 1-goal game). To those ends, it was a blowout.
Check out this shot attempt chart from Extra Skater:
And then check out what it looked like in their previous meeting on April 1.
So yeah, the Canadiens controlled this one.
The question then becomes “why?” As in, why did the 10th best team in the league in puck possession when the score was close in the regular season get dominated by the 26th-best team in that metric in Game 1?Sun, Apr 204:00 PM PDTTampa Bay at MontrealPreview Game
Torey Krug probably thought he was safe.
His employer, the Boston Bruins, were an Eastern Conference team. His childhood idols, the Detroit Red Wings, were a Western Conference team. The only time that odd collision of NHL career and hockey fandom would occur was in the Stanley Cup Final.
And then realignment happened.
And then the Red Wings finished in the last wild card slot, and the Bruins finished with the conference’s best record, and the Livonia native and Michigan State product was suddenly preparing for a playoff date with the Red Wings.
He was familiar with them, of course, having carried a broom around town as a kid when the Red Wings were on the verge of a sweep.
“My favorite on ice memory was Steve Yzerman’s overtime goal against St. Louis in 1996. That was a pretty special moment. Just how it brought the city together, the community,” recalled Krug to the Detroit News, which is pretty impressive considering he was around five years old at the time.Sun, Apr 2012:00 PM PDTDetroit at BostonPreview Game
In 1993, the NHL named its first commissioner in Gary Bettman, a former general counsel and senior vice president for the NBA. Among the motivations for the move was to change the very image of the League to attract a young, hip American audience.
And what better way to accomplish this than with a young, hip American commissioner, right?
This original black and white photo from the archives of The Sporting News was auctioned and quickly sold on eBay for $22.99.
And no, it’s not Michael Scott representing Dunder Mifflin at the 1993 NHL All-Star Game – it’s actually Gary Bettman!
Pretty amazing that even on his first day in office, Bettman was already supporting a cap for the NHL …
Here's hoping the winner of this incredible keepsake is able to get it autographed.
By either Bob Goodenow or Chris Chelios, we mean …