Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 8 hrs ago
Joe Pavelski put the puck over the Nashville Predators’ goal line with 15:52 left in the first overtime of Game 4 on Thursday night.
Unfortunately for the San Jose Sharks, he did so from his stomach, while laying on top of goalie Pekka Rinne, have barreled into him on a confusing, controversial play that ended with the Sharks have a goal waved off on the ice and then having the ruling confirmed by the NHL War Room.
It was a mess of a play.
The no-goal call was upheld, sending Sharks coach Pete DeBoer into a fury.
Was he checked from behind by a Predators player? Was he tripped onto Rinne by Shea Weber? Did he land on the goalie by his own volition?
According to the NHL Rulebook, a goal is allowed if it’s scored when the attacking player is shoved or fouled into the goalkeeper “after having made a reasonable effort to avoid contact, makes contact with the goalkeeper at the time a goal is scored.”
Two issues here. The first is whether Pavelski made a reasonable effort to avoid Rinne. The second is “at the time a goal is scored.” This isn’t a bang-bang play as the puck crosses the line, but rather a goal that was scored by the player literally pinning down the goalie with his body.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago
Like many hockey-obsessed 26 year olds, John Chayka would occasionally fire up his gaming system and play a little EA Sports NHL. Those games included a “Be A GM” Mode, in which you manage a team under the salary cap, make trades and even help facilitate locker room chemistry.
Unlike many hockey-obsessed 26 year olds, John Chayka now has a chance to do all of this in the actual NHL, rather than the pixelated one.
“I can certainly tell you from my experience here and around the league that, in general, it’s a much different approach to making a trade [than in a video game],” he said on Thursday, hours after being announced as the Arizona Coyotes new general manager.
Chayka becomes the youngest GM in NHL history, surpassing Gord Stellick, who was 30 when he was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1988. He replaces Don Maloney, who was fired after nine years at the helm. He joined the team last season as an assistant general manager with a focus on analytics, involved in all areas of hockey operations and player development.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 19 hrs ago
As we said in the opening round, the annual ritual for Washington Capitals fans in the last several postseasons has been figuring out the worst case scenarios for their team’s seemingly inevitable departure from the playoffs.
Previously, the worst case scenario in the Capitals' series against the Pittsburgh Penguins might have been a Game 7 loss on home ice, with Alex Ovechkin getting stopped on a breakaway and Justin Williams going scoreless and a minus-2.
However, that was before Game 4 on Wednesday night. That was before the Capitals faced a Penguins team that was missing Kris Letang, arguably their most irreplaceable player, as well as defenseman Olli Maatta and Eric Fehr, whose made his presence known in this series.
The weight of importance on this game was doubled – alright, tripled – by the weight of playoff disappoints of yore. Outside of the Capitals’ various Game 7s, it was the most must-win playoff games of the Ovechkin Era.
And they lost. In overtime.
How could they not take advantage of this?
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago
The flames have consumed houses, businesses and everything else standing in the path of the raging wildfire. Over 88,000 people have fled Fort McMurray, the quiet oil town in Alberta that’s become international news as the ash of 18,500 scorched acres continues to blanket it.
The videos emerging from the fire look like they could have been scenes from a disaster movie.
“A movie that I don’t really want to watch,” said Scottie Upshall of the St. Louis Blues. “I saw the freeway I usually used to drive in from the airport. Both sides of the road had 100-foot flames. I saw a couple of restaurants I used to go to, and they’re just … gone.”
Upshall grew up in Fort McMurray, playing with the city’s AJHL team the Oil Barons as a 16-year-old and leading them to a Royal Bank Cup championship.
He’s attempting to win a different kind of Cup with the Blues in the 2016 NHL playoffs. But his mind is back home.
“We’re in a real great spot here in the playoffs. But when lives are at stake, when a community has its backs against a wall, fighting for survival, it’s tough,” he said on Wednesday.
All in the spirit of helping those in need.
“The good thing is that the city will get through it.”
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
There’s no question that Connor McDavid is a better player than Artemi Panarin.
It’s entirely possible, in 10 years, that McDavid is en route to the Hall of Fame and Panarin has left for the KHL after several years toiling on lines that had a distinct lack of Patrick Kane.
There’s every chance that if the Chicago Blackhawks rookie is given the Calder Trophy this season, we’ll look back on it with the head-scratching curiosity that we do THE ENGLISH PATIENT defeating FARGO for Best Picture 20 years ago.
But none of this should matter in voting for the 2015-16 Calder, which is handed to “the most proficient player in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.” It’s about one rookie season, not a legacy. And when it comes to the seasons posted by Panarin and McDavid, the issue is that one had a season and the other is just over half of one.
Panarin played 80 games, scoring 30 goals and 47 assists for 77 points. McDavid, due to his broken collarbone, played 45 games with 16 goals and 32 assists for 48 points. Had he played 80 games, he probably wins this in a walk. But he didn’t.
Which, in the eyes of some, is just a technicality:
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
Brendan Shanahan was five months into his stint as the NHL’s vice president of player safety when we asked him how the department’s mission could be described.
"We're not in the business of punishing. We're trying to change behavior," he said.
Four years later, it’s obvious that the education facet of that mission has been successful. Blindside hits, thanks in no small part to Rule 48, are rare. Hits that target the head significantly are rare – many suspensions seem like they’re on head-shots caused by a combination of factors rather than Matt Cooke-ish head-hunting. Stretchers on the ice, thank the gods, are rare.
But let’s be honest: It was true four years ago as it is today that the NHL Department of Player Safety is in the business of punishing.
Then Kris Letang was given a one-game suspension for his hit on Marcus Johansson. The NHL said there was no injury on the play, but Letang was banned for a late, high hit that didn’t earn a major for interference in the game. Was this an attempt to change behavior? Was this a punishment that went beyond the ruling on the ice? Was this evening things out after Orpik?
Court of Appeals
When we last heard hockey talk from WFAN radio icon Mike Francesa, a.k.a. The Sports Pope, he was trashing the New York Islanders’ public relations efforts and calling it a “third rate” organization.
That prompted Rick DiPietro, former Islanders goalie-turned-radio host on rival 98.7 FM, to fire back that Francesa was a “fatso.”
On Tuesday, it was Francesa’s turn to lob some grenades in this New York sports talk radio war, first taking a shot at the Islanders, saying tickets were still available for their Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“They don’t know how to market, and the rink is run by a bunch of clowns. But otherwise, I think they’re OK,” he said.
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was suspended one game on Tuesday by the NHL Department of Player Safety for illegally checking Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson in the first period of Game 3 of their conference semifinal series.
Hence, Letang will miss Game 4 of the their series. Which is pretty significant when you consider defenseman Olli Maatta is also likely out for Game 4 after Brooks Oprik delivered a head-shot on him in Game 2, earning a three-game suspension for the Capitals defenseman.
That suspension prompted Washington coach Barry Trotz to hint that the NHL gives the Penguins preferential treatment. Less than 24 hours later, Letang gets a one-game suspension.
Here’s the NHL suspension video:
But as it stands, one game is about right.
And what a huge game it now becomes for the Capitals.
Matt Murray, Game 4 is in your hands.
The Boston Bruins announced some significant injury news on Tuesday. Since it’s May, we suppose it’s good news. Outside of the whole “missing the playoffs allows for longer recovery time” thing.
Center David Krejci is expected to have five months of recovery time after surgery on his left hip. He led the Bruins with 46 assists and was tied for second on the team with 63 points.
Not for nothing, but he had three goals in his last 23 games this season.
“It’s been bothering me for 20 or so games,” Krejci said during the team’s breakup-day media availability at TD Garden, via NESN. “I felt like I was still in decent shape to play games and help the team, and there’s been games where I’ve felt pretty good."
His hope is that he’s ready not only for Bruins camp, but for the World Cup of Hockey, having been named to the Czech Republic team.
Krug, meanwhile, had right shoulder surgery and will need six months to recover. Krug had career highs with 81 games played, 40 assists, 44 points and 33 penalty minutes.
He had two goals from Dec. 5 to the end of the season.
So did Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving fire his coach Bob Hartley on Tuesday because Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau became available roughly three days earlier?
“Today’s decision wasn’t based on anyone sitting in the on-deck circle. Today’s decision isn’t ‘is there a prettier girl at the dance?’” he said.
But seriously, was it about Boudreau?
“I don’t know Bruce,” he said. “We did this decision today with nobody else in mind. We’ll do a full search.”
Even if the availability of other candidates wasn’t a significant factor in the (convenient) timing of this decision, there were other reasons why the Flames decided to end their time with Hartley, who coached the Flames for four seasons and went 134-135-25 in winning the Jack Adams Award last season.
Like, for example, Treliving’s realization in speaking with the players after the season that Hartley had reached the end of the road with them.
“Bob has taken this team as far as I think he can take it. Every coach has his own style, his way of doing things. Bob is able to get a lot out of players, but I felt for us to move forward, it was critical and important for us to make this decision,” he said.
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