Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 6 hrs ago
At one point this season, quite recently, the Vezina Trophy race was a sprint to a coronation: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals goaltender and pupil of that Netminding Yoda Mitch Korn, had the trophy in the bag.
He had the NHL lead in wins. As he did for goals-against average. As he did for save percentage.
As for Feb. 12, he still holds onto one of those leads: Wins, with 35, four more than Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks. That’s 14 more wins than Petr Mrazek of the Detroit Red Wings – Holtby has started 44 games, Mrazek has 34 – but hey would you look at that: The Red Wings goalie leads the NHL in save percentage (.934) and GAA (1.94) heading into Friday night’s game hosting the Colorado Avalanche.*
The current stats picture, via War-on-Ice, at 5-on-5:
Here’s what they’ve done on the penalty kill:
The Red Wings have the 19th best penalty kill in the NHL; the Capitals have the fourth. Sometimes a kill works because of the goalie. Sometimes it’s the system and the personnel in front of him.
Which is, essentially, the same argument that can made with all goaltending stats, right?
Well, they’ve done OK with it.
So, that said, here’s Mrazek:
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price hasn’t played since Nov. 25, defeating the New York Rangers and moving his team to 17-4-2.
They’ve gone 10-20-2 since then, tumbling from first place in the conference down to three points out of a playoff spot.
But it is just three points. There is hope. And of course, there’s the hope that the reigning MVP and top goalie in the NHL will ride in and literally save the season.
It’s hope that the Canadiens have helped create by being coy with Price’s status. GM Marc Bergevin said in January that Price would be out at least another month – bad news in the context of the initial prognosis, but good news in the sense that he’d be back.
But La Presse reports on Friday that this is basically a ruse. Price is still suffering from an injury to the MCL of his right knee. They didn’t opt for surgery, but rather for rehab. It’s hasn’t worked, and the chances are “slim” that he’d be back for the end of the regular season or the playoffs.
From Richard Labbe:
Joel Quenneville lost a lot on Tuesday night.
He lost a goal from the scoreboard, as Brandon Mashinter's tally against the San Jose Sharks was overturned after a coach’s challenge, with the referees determining that Chicago Blackhawks forward Dennis Rasmussen interfered with Sharks goalie Martin Jones.
And then he lost his cool in the postgame press conference, storming out after declaring about goalie interference standards: "It has gone to a different level. I don't know the rules anymore or something has changed. … I think everybody has an interpretation, what's a good goal, what's a bad goal. But I can't believe it."
It was understandable that he was a little miffed, what with it being the second time in three games the Blackhawks had a goal taken down on a coach’s challenge.
So Quenneville spoke with the NHL this week, airing some grievances. According to CSN Chicago, they agreed with the Blackhawks coach that it wasn’t the right call:
Asked if the league agreed with the no-goal decision, Quenneville said, “Did they agree with the call? No.”
While there would be a no more appropriate way to honor the Toronto Maple Leafs at their centennial than with a box of broken hearts and crushed expectations, it appears the NHL’s refusal to give the Centre of the Hockey Universe all the events in 2017 has fans upset.
As in, we haven't seen this kind of entitled whining since our last episide of "Caillou." ("BUT MOMMY, ROSIE GOT THE ALL-STAR GAME!!!")
This hubris tracks back to 2012, when then-GM Brian Burke revealed the team was pushing for all three of the NHL’s annual signature events.
Please recall that the 2009 All-Star Game and the 2009 NHL Draft were both held in Montreal in honor of the Habs’ centennial. They did not receive an outdoor game, because Canada wasn’t allowed to have them again until the Winter Classic proved viable.
As of last weekend, Detroit Red Wings knew they were living in a new era: There was everything that came before Dylan Larkin’s teenage basement skills video went viral, and everything that shall come after it.
Please recall the incredible video in which a teenaged Larkin – the video is from Nov. 2010 – wears an American flag, calls himself “D-Boss” and puts on a “Snip Show” in the basement, which he and former Bantam teammate Evan Gizinski refer to as “the dungeon.”
He also says things like, “Tearing it up it all around the metro area, Detroit. Wrecking the ‘D’. Showing goalies what I got. ‘Tenders ain’t got nuttin.’” And, in unison, “1-2-3 LET’S HAVE FUN!”
It's pretty much the greatest.
The video was taken down for a bit – we’re guessing the processed involved a series of panicked text messages from an NHL rookie all reading ‘WTF DUDE?!?’ – but has been restored in all its glory by Gizinski.
"It's good that's what I was doing. I could have been doing anything else."
Which Canadian teams will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Will the Minnesota Wild fire coach Mike Yeo? Does a professional hockey writer still pay to go to games? Is Phil Kessel a bust?
And what’s the proper sequence to watch the STAR WARS’ series?
These are the questions that Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski faced in this week’s Two Minute Minor, courtesy of you, the dedicated puckheads.
The Two Minute Minor is our biweekly look at the NHL. If you have questions for Wysh, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #AskWysh.
No. 1 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Lundqvist made 34 saves as the King helped the Rangers shut down Sidney Crosby, ending his seven-game goal streak, and defeat the Penguins, 3-0.
No. 2 Star: Ryan Miller, Vancouver Canucks
Miller made 33 saves to improve to 9-1 against the Coyotes in his career and 6-0 in Arizona, as the Canucks defeated the Arizona Coyotes, 2-1.
No. 3 Star: Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
Zetterberg’s snipe at 2:01 of the third period gave the Detroit Red Wings a key insurance goal en route to a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Hayes, Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast had the Rangers goals. … Darren Helm and Danny DeKeyser scored for Detroit. … Zack Smith scored for Ottawa. … Jake Virtanen and Jannik Hansen scored goals and the Vancouver Canucks. … The Canuckswon a coach’s challenge against the Coyotes.
Did You Know? It was New York's first shutout at Pittsburgh since Feb. 27, 1971, when Ed Giacomin won 4-0. (NHL)
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
For years, whenever Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes would do anything of note offensively, it would be universally celebrated with the same pop culture reference:
The line from “Zoolander,” about Owen Wilson’s torrid male model, has become synonymous with the Coyotes center. On Wednesday night, the meme was taken to the next level by some Coyotes fans who not only declared that Hanzal – who scored the team’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks – was “so hot right now,” but they also dressed the part:
Derek Zoolander, Mugatu and Hansel himself, celebrating Martin Hanzal. And yet no “blue steel” from any of them.
“Zoolander 2” opens this week. According to the Tomatometer, you’d enjoy watching Martin Hanzal more, and that was his first goal since Jan. 9.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast, in which we discussed:
- Wysh and guest host Dave Lozo of Uproxx and Vice Sports are talking hockey!
- The Martin Brodeur number retirement ceremony, in all its glory.
- Oh, hey, the New Jersey Devils fans have a new vulgar chant about Sidney Crosby.
- Breaking down the Dion Phaneuf trade even more.
- The People vs. O.J. Simpson, Episode 2!
- Your listener mail, answered!
- News and notes from around the NHL.
The Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast is hosted by Jeff Marek of Sportsnet and Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports, breaking down the NHL on a (somewhat) daily basis with their particular brand of whimsy and with guest voices from around the hockey world. MvsW streams live while its being recorded: LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn't work, try here.]
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
When Brian Burke was hired as Toronto Maple Leafs general manager in 2008, he stood before two distinct paths.
One led to a burning city. Total destruction. An inhabitable place in the short term, but one that could be rebuilt from the embers into something glorious.
The other led to a rickety, termite-infested ranch-style home that smelled of sewage and had squatters that wouldn’t leave. He looked at it and said, 'Yes, this might do." He liked the foundation. Maybe he could figure out the squatter thing. Fresh coat of paint, some new sod on the lawn – no need to knock it down and rebuild. Flip this franchise!
And we know which path he took.
"I'm not interested ... in a five-year rebuild like some of these teams have done," said Burke in April 2010. "Maybe because of my age, maybe just because I know it doesn't have to be five years because it wasn't in Anaheim. I like the group that finished the year, I think just on internal improvement we will be better. I think we will be good enough with this group and a couple additions to say in training camp that the playoffs are a reasonable goal."
But it was the only path to take.