- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim defenseman had his first multi-goal game in the NHL, propping up the Ducks’ struggling power play with two goals in their 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues. Fredrik Andersen made 28 saves to move to 25-5-0.
No. 2 Star: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Quick made 40 saves as the Kings defeated the Minnesota Wild, 2-1. Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson had the goals.
No. 3 Star: Mason Raymond, Calgary Flames
Raymond had a goal and two assists at the Flames closed out a successful road trip with a 4-1 win at the Winnipeg Jets.
Honorable Mention: Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves at the New York Rangers blanked the San Jose Sharks, 4-0. Rick Nash scored his seventh and Carl Hagelin scored his first. … Jonas Hiller had 34 saves for the Flames; Kris Russell was a plus-3. … Mark Scheifele scored his first for the Jets.
Did You Know? Andersen joined Ross Brooks of the Boston Bruins in 1972-74 as the only goalies in NHL history to win 25 or more of their first 30 decisions. (AP)
Dishonorable Mention: Mirco Mueller, Chris Tierney, Eriah Hayes and Brent Burns were a minus-2 for the Sharks.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Defenseman Kristaps Zile delivered one of the strangest hits of 2014.
Unless you think carrying your opponent 20 feet into the boards on a hip check is the norm.
Zile plays for HC Riga’s farm team, which played an MHL (that’s the KHL’s second tier) game against HC Red Bull on Friday night. He delivered a hip check to Lukas Pozgay as the Red Bull was skating down right wing with the puck. That hip check transformed onto an impromptu piggyback ride into the end boards, where Zile finished a brutal hit.
Pozgay laid flat on the ice but returned to the Red Bulls’ bench. He didn’t play in the Saturday night rematch between the teams.
Here’s a Vine of the hit:
By the way: Zile is 16 years old, playing his second season of pro junior hockey.
No word if he charged Pozgay a fare for the ride, or if Pozgay tipped him. Although we doubt it.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
T.J. Brodie’s going to get paid, and rightfully so.
Elliotte Friedman reports that Brodie, 24, is going to ink a 5-year, $23.25-million contract extension with the Calgary Flames. He had six points in his first six games for the Flames this season, after getting 31 in 81 games in 2013-14.
He averaged 24:04 last season on average, up nearly four minutes per game over the previous lockout-shortened season.
That $4.65 million cap beginning in 2015-16 slots him right below Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers ($4.7 million).
Hopefully he buys Mark Giordano a steak dinner or something, considering that veteran’s impact on Brodie, who was second to Gio in Corsi relative to quality of competition last season.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
According to the estimable James Mirtle, the Minnesota Wild rank No. 24 in the NHL in average weight and No. 26 in average height.
They’re going to get knocked around and targeted, as they were against the Anaheim Ducks (average weight: No. 1).
Coach Mike Yeo knows this. And while he’d never, ever, ever criticize the NHL’s officials for not handing his team an appropriate amount of power pays, he sorta did in Los Angeles this weekend.
“We're a team that's built on speed and I think that style of hockey, that brand of hockey is very exciting for the fans," Yeo said. "I just felt in the game there were times where our speed was very frustrating for them and creating a lot of momentum for us, and there were times where they started to do things that should have warranted power plays for us.Sun, Oct 19Minnesota1 - 2Los AngelesGame Recap
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
So the Swedish Hockey League is in a bit of a hit-to-the-head rut.
Earlier this week, Johan Forsberg went high on an opponent, was ejected from the game and called with an apology. Now it’s former NHL defenseman Chris Campoli on the receiving end.
Campoli – who played for the New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens – is on HV71 in the SHL. After releasing the puck in a game on Friday night, he was hit high by Vaxjo forward Alexander Johansson.
Campoli said he suffered a concussion.
No question that Johansson finishes high, with his elbow, on Campoli. "It is disgusting to see such things. It can end a career," said forward Teemu Laine. “An elbow to the head is just cowardly. It is cowardly to lift his arms. And even if I do not sit in any disciplinary board so it must be very heavy penalties. It's the only way to get it off.”
Some players like to beat the clock with a shot on goal.
Ryan Kesler tried to beat the clock on Friday night with a shot on Mikael Granlund.
As the clock read zeroes to mark the end of the Anaheim Ducks’ 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild, Kesler sped across the ice and blasted Granlund against the side boards.
That led to chaos, as the two teams came together in a scrum. Kesler was given a boarding major and a game misconduct. Zach Parise, his Team USA teammate, was given a cross-checking major and a game misconduct.
At the end of the game, Ryan Kesler, being Ryan Kesler, took a gigantic long run at Mikael Granlund and creamed him along the boards. Parise immediately jumped to Granlund’s defense.
Kesler got a major for charging and Parise a major for cross-checking and a game misconduct. We’ll see if anything comes of that Saturday.
“Game’s over. It’s stupid,” Parise said of the Kesler cheap shot at Granlund.
As Russo pointed out, the Ducks got physical with some of the Wild’s “lesser players” in the second half of the game.
Darcy Kuemper’s Minnesota Wild franchise record shutout streak of 163:46 ended against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night in a 2-1 loss, but he managed another save for the highlight reel.
With the score tied 1-1 in the third period, Corey Perry of the Ducks sent a pass to the crease to a cutting Matt Beleskey. It appeared to go off the skate of Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, but Kuemper was ready -- he dove to his right with this stick and prevented the puck from entering the net, reaching back to send it out.
As he teammate Charlie Coyle said:" He’s been great for us. A few bounces either way and it’s in the back of the net. He’s playing great, and he should keep his head up. We have a lot of confidence in him and he should keep that confidence going forward."
Minnesota was the fifth NHL team since 1943-44 to begin the season with two shutouts. Kuemper topped Niklas Backstrom's franchise-record streak of 157:44 in the second period vs. Anaheim. Andrew Cogliano's goal at 4:02 of the third period ended it.
No. 1 Star: Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings captain had a 4-point night, assisting on all of Detroit’s goals in a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had the primary assist on the Red Wings’ first three goals, two from Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyqvist’s fourth.
No. 2 Star: Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers
Luongo’s 67th career shutout, 1-0 over the Buffalo Sabres, moved him past Patrick Roy in the all-time list to No. 13. Sean Bergenheim had the lone goal.
No. 3 Star: Ryan Miller, Vancouver Canucks
Miller made 28 saves as the Canucks shut out the Edmonton Oilers, 2-0. Radim Vrbata and Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist.
There’s a storied history between hockey players and cute dogs, whether it’s Joe Juneau’s hockey card or David Backes saving the strays of Sochi from Putin’s canine death squads or the Washington Capitals’ annual players and pups calendar, shooting now.
But all of those are irrelevant now because OMG ANZE KOPITAR BEING TACKLED BY A POOCH!
This is Gustl, who is Kopitar’s golden doodle. You may remember him from his appearance with Kopitar, eating from a tiny Stanley Cup.
Now … well, he’s basically a dog-sized Stanley Cup in his dad’s arms. All the feels…
Our friends at Winging It In Motown cooked up an amazing social experiment on Friday involving hockey’s favorite awkward older brother, Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The simple concept: Take the photo of Kessel shown here, and ask those in your life that may not have let the light of hockey into their hearts (yet) what it is he does for a living.
The responses have been incredible, ranging from “guilty CEO” to “Verizon salesman” to “axe murderer.”
So, again, your mission should you choose to accept it:
1. Save this picture of Kessel.
2. Send this picture of Kessel to a non-hockey friend (or relative).
3. Ask them what they think he does of a living.
4. Screencap their response.
5. Post it to social media, and be sure to alert the good people at Winging It In Motown that you have.
6. Giggle. (This probably could be an earlier step.)
Anything we can do to let the rest of the world know about the dishelved glory of Phil Kessel is time well spent.