- Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo Sports32 mins ago
It’s the preseason, right? No big deal. Just another game.
Oh, that’s right: The last time the San Jose Sharks met the Los Angeles Kings before Tuesday night's exhibition game was the last game of their first-round series, and the completion of the Kings’ “reverse sweep” of the Sharks.
Oh, that’s right: The Kings’ star defenseman, Drew Doughty, infamously called out the Sharks’ leaders, saying that even after the Kings’ first victory in the series he knew they were afraid of losing. “You could see it in their eyes and their team and their captains and leaders that they were worried about us coming back. So we don’t want to give these guys any life,” said Doughty.
So just another game, right Joe Thornton?
“I’ve never really cared if people have compliments or people have jabs,” Thornton said on Tuesday. “It doesn’t change my mindset. You just go out and play. You don’t pay attention to that kind of stuff.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
It's a Tuesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Joe Haggerty of CSN New England on the Boston Bruins.
• Breaking down the Krug, Smith, Schwartz and Stuart signings.
• Vladimir Tkachev inks with Oilers.
• New Sportsnet studio.
Question of the Day: Which NHL with the greatest potential never met it? 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!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Mark Greenberg’s Times Square office sits across the street from what used to be a Virgin Megastore, a behemoth of commerce that tourists and locals used to swarm for the latest CDs and DVDs.
It closed in 2009.
It’s now a Forever 21.
“The world is evolving. How will you evolve with it?” is something Greenberg, the CEO of the Epix pay cable network, asks his potential partners. It’s something he asked NHL commissioner Gary Bettman when the two talked about bringing the League’s Winter Classic reality programming from HBO to Epix.
“[Our] CEO shows up to negotiations. I’m not sure that was the case with HBO," he quipped.
They both knew that HBO had provided a template for success in its “24/7” series, which aired three, four-episode seasons featuring six NHL teams. The results changed the way fans saw the players, coaches and hockey life – raw language, stunning imagery and editing that revealed off-the-ice drama to which we’d not previously been privy.
“They did a lot of smart things. Take the smart things that were there, and expand them,” said Greenberg.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
Last season, the Dallas Stars had a dynamic duo in Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, combining for 163 points.
Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators briefly had one of their own in Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky. Spezza finished the season with 66 points; Hemsky scored 17 in his 20 games in Ottawa.
The latter two players signed with the Stars in the summer. On Monday night, coach Lindy Ruff decided to empty his toy chest, putting all four of them on the same power play unit along with an incredibly lucky Trevor Daley. It was a group that hadn’t seen a minute of practice together in the preseason.
The result? Dallas scored two late power-play goals by Seguin, who had a hat trick, in rallying to beat the Florida Panthers.
It was one game, but you could see the puddles of drool collecting on the ice from agape mouths watching this unit find chemistry.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
Ilya Bryzgalov was the backup goalie for the Minnesota Wild in their 4-1 exhibition victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.
It’s the preseason.
He’s Bryz. He’s bored.
In the third period, a line of fans stood near the glass at the Wild bench, each one taking a selfie with everyone’s bear-fearing, park-loving goaltending Cosmonaut.
Like this one from liblawbs:
And this one from @tmg135:
"WHY YOU HEFF TO BE MAD? IS JUST A SELFIE!"
Props to the guy photobombing that fan's Bryz selfie. So many layers ... it's like "Inception."
Later in the game, after he had appeared on every Instagram account in the Twin Cities, Bryzgalov tossed his touque on the ice after Jason Pominville completed his hat trick.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Coming into this season, the Columbus Blue Jackets looked like they could have a formidable first line.
The current status of that line?
Nathan Horton is out with a degenerative back condition. Ryan Johansen is an unsigned restricted free agent in a brutal, contentious negotiation with the team.And now Boone Jenner will miss “significant time” with a broken left hand, according to Puck Rakers.
Jenner was injured when his hand was hit by a puck in a Sunday practice
He’ll be out for at least a month.
An actual quote from GM Jarmo Kekalainen: “That’s why we have a second line, a third line and a fourth line."
Denis is from Penza, Russia. It’s subtle, but he appears to be an Alex Ovechkin fan.
These photos appeared on Instagram (via Barstool) and show a tribute to the Washington Capitals star that extends from the shoulder to the elbow.
It depicts Ovechkin in his Russian national team jersey, which he’s worn during his greatest team achievements as a pro, a.k.a. winning gold at the IIHF world championship.
Denis decided on “skating away from the nipple,” which was bold.
FYI, if any of you intend to punch Denis in the face, make sure you hit him from the right side, because we imagine that arm can’t defend anything …
The Boston Bruins released Ville Leino from his professional tryout contract on Monday, and we’re sorta bummed about it.
It appears that Leino is going to go down as one of the biggest busts in recent NHL history. He parlayed a 53-point season with the Philadelphia Flyers into a six-year, $27-million deal with the Buffalo Sabres, back when Terry Pegula thought that throwing money at the problem would result in a Stanley Cup. He went on to score 46 points in 137 games, and was a healthy scratch last season before getting the last three years of his deal bought out.
But face it: The downfall of Ville Leino was because (a) he was handed an absurd contract that any of us would have signed and (b) the team that gave it to him made the still-baffling decision to slot the winger as their No. 2 center, and he fared about as well as asking Adam Sandler to play Hamlet.
So Leino gets cut from his free-labor contract with the Bruins and … now what?
The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Brad Stuart to a 2-year contract extension on Monday, and rightfully so. Who among us can forget his performance for the Avalanche in … uh … when … er … that preseason game recently?
OK, it’s not unprecedented that a team signs a new acquisition before he laces’em up for them. Clearly the Avalanche like what they’ve seen from Stuart so far, after trading a second and sixth for him from the San Jose Sharks; so they inked the 15-season veteran to a 2-year, $7.2-million deal.
He’ll be a top-pairing defenseman with Erik Johnson this season, and a physical presence that blocks shots. His possession numbers aren’t stellar in comparison to his teammates, at least during his time with the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks, but he brings much-needed experience to that blue line.
In reading and hearing so many hockey analytics naysayers over the last year, we’re convinced that the divide between the sides isn’t as enormous as it appears. Provided one side stops being so short-sighted and presumptive about the other.
To wit: One of the constant reactions from anti-stats people is that they’re somehow “replacing” good ole fashioned game watching.
Which they aren’t, at all – they’re augmenting what’s seen during games, seeking to guide coaches and scouts in what to look for in evaluating the performance of a team or player. What is the other team doing when he’s on or off the ice? Where is he starting the majority of his shifts, and what has he produced despite that advantage or disadvantage? And so on.
So we’re not going to label Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports analyst and Penguins general manager honorable mention, as an anti-stats guy, despite the negative reaction his words on TSN 690 last week have received.
They came to light in a Jack Todd piece on fancy stats published Monday, in which McGuire was quoted as saying: