Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago
John Tavares warned people not to let the New York Islanders’ 31-14-1 record at the All-Star Break obscure how much hard work it took to get there.
“There have been some ups and downs. But that is part of the process, part of the journey. It's still important to remind ourselves as a team with our group to remind ourselves there is still much we haven't accomplished,” he said.
And now, a down: Kyle Okposo, the team’s second-leading scorer, will miss up to two months with an upper body injury of an undisclosed nature.
"We had an idea something was bothering him before the break, but when you get the news, it's tough," said coach Jack Capuano to Newsday on Monday. "Kyle was leading the team in a lot more ways than just his production on the ice. His enthusiasm on the plane, in the room, he's been terrific in that regard."
He’s been as steady a hand at the wheel as a team can have, and had been established during his tenure with the Islanders, a leader behind the scenes.
So can the Islanders maintain their success through this injury?
Yes, and much like the rest of their success this season, they have Garth Snow to thank for it.
Like many six-year-olds, little Alex is losing his baby teeth.
Like any hockey player, he knows losing a Chiclet on a slap shot is a rite of passage.
So with some parental supervision -- and kids, don't try this at home without some -- Alex combined his passion for the game with some amateur dentistry and yanked his own tooth out.
By tying it “super tight” to a puck and then firing the disc at the goal.
(Has Shea Weber considered this as a side job?)
According to his father, the experiment was a success, and Alex now has an official hockey smile. And, not for nothing, an incredible hockey set-up in his basement. Things have come a long way since Sidney Crosby fired pucks at a washer/dryer.
Question is, does this moment put him on the road to becoming an oral surgeon or winning the shot accuracy contest at the 2030 NHL All-Star Game?
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Alex Ovechkin wanted a car in Columbus this weekend. Badly.
He lobbied to be the last pick in the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft on Friday, as the “Mr. Irrelevant” for each team was given a brand new Honda – a campaign hilariously chronicled on his Instagram feed, including a hand-written sign that read “I WANT TO BE LAST. I NEED A CAR.”
Alas, he was picked second to last.
On Sunday, he vowed to win the Most Valuable Player in the NHL All-Star Game, a wild affair that saw a new record established for goals scored in a game with 29.
Alas, he finished with three assists, but his linemate and local fan favorite Ryan Johansen won the car.
"I'm not disappointed,” said Ovechkin. “There's going to be a couple surprises."
“We didn’t find out the reason he wanted one until we connected with his agent.”
Ovechkin was surprised by the gesture, and was glad he could help the organization.
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 60th NHL All-Star Game was an offensive affair.
Take that any way you’d like.
The teams captained by Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks and Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets set a new League record for most combined goals in an All-Star Game, in a 17-12 victory for Team Toews on Sunday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
Patrick Kane’s (Foligno) goal at 13:09 of the third period was No. 27 for the night, breaking the 26-goal record set in 2001 during the North America vs. The World format.
We don’t want to say the 29-goal night was overwhelming, but at one point the Civil War-dressed workers that fire a cannon after every home-team goal seemed to simply forget to do so. Maybe they ran out of ammo; the teams certainly didn't.
John Tavares of Team Toews became the sixth player in history to score four goals in the NHL All-Star Game. Tavares scored once in the first period, twice in the second and another in the third period.
So basically it was the NHL All-Star Game.
The second period featured 11 goals, an All-Star Game record and a metric ton of sarcasm.
A few call-outs:
It's the 2015 NHL All-Star Game from Columbus and the Yahoo Sports crew is here to chat it up!
Team Foligno vs. Team Toews!
But the real intrigue is with some of the first timers at the game.
Twelve 2015 NHL All-Stars are under age 25. Thirty-two of the 41 players have yet to celebrate their 30th birthday. The youngest 2015 NHL All-Stars are 18-year-old Aaron Ekblad (2/7/96) and 20-year-old Filip Forsberg (8/13/94). Ekblad will be the second 18-year-old to skate in the past three NHL All-Star Games, following Jeff Skinner in 2011 in Raleigh, N.C.
So join the Puck Daddy crew and your Yahoo Sports friends for all the action at 5 p.m. ET.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In 1997, John H. McConnell gave the city he loved a franchise in a sport he didn’t love yet.
“I can't say I'm a fan because we never had hockey here,” said McConnell, the steel industry magnate who brokered a deal with the NHL to bring the Columbus Blue Jackets to reality.
But that’s how you make hockey fans, right? You bring hockey to them, bring them into the arena, get them hooked on a game whose addictive qualities are a natural fit for a Midwest U.S. town with cold weather and sports obsessions. (See Buckeyes, THE Ohio State University.)
Starting in 2003, Rick Nash was central to that recruiting mission. With due respect to Ray Whitney and Geoff Sanderson, Nash was the first star the franchise had – a hulking forward taken first overall in the NHL Draft, and a player GM Doug MacLean traded up to select.
He worked hard at growing the Jackets, growing the game and connecting with fans until 2012, and a contentious split between the franchise and its franchise player. Nash was traded to the New York Rangers, and the cheers turned to boos whenever he stepped on the ice.
Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, echoed that sentiment this weekend.
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Nikita Gusev is a 22-year-old forward in the Kontinental Hockey League, drafted at No. 202 overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012.
He made its all-star squad after 28 points in 45 games for Yugra. He was an entrant in their shootout skills competition this weekend and, well, he stole the show.
Gusev put the puck between his legs and pressed his stick blade down behind him, trailing him like a tail. He then lifted the puck back through his legs on his stick blade, spun to his right and fired a lacrosse shot into the net with his blade facing downward.
In real time, it looked like an attack move out of Street Fighter.
It was awesome.
It also made us wonder where the heck the spin moves were this weekend in Columbus during the shootout events. Like, it’s banned in the NHL, but does that mean that it’s banned in the skills competition exhibition too? Because, you know, they allowed players to use little kids and blindfolds and such.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Think of Zemgus Girgensons like a political candidate who won a Senatorial election without actually campaigning.
So he walks into Congress, looks around at the famous (and infamous) faces, and wonders ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ while at the same time acknowledging that, in the end, they’re all just politicians and he should just enjoy the rest of his term.
That’s pretty much the Buffalo Sabres forward’s 2015 NHL All-Star experience.
He admits to wondering if he belongs here, and it's a question some in the media have asked as well.
He’s 168th in the NHL in points at 22 and 61st in goals at 13, meaning most of the defensemen here have better offensive credentials. In an event typically reserved for the League’s elite performers, Girgensons … well, is not one.
“I have thought about it,” he said, “but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter,''
It doesn’t matter because Girgensons has another number attached to his name: 1,574,896.
“They’re crazy fans, I can tell you that. They always cheer no matter what the score is,” he said.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2015 NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition featured some friendly rivalry, dazzling individual performances and the goofball wackiness that’s come to characterize the event.
Here’s how it shook out for captain Jonathan Toews and captain Nick Foligno's teams:
Jonathan Drouin won’t be playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game, so he did all of his work during the Skills Competition. The Tampa Bay Lightning rookie won the Fastest Skater competition with a time of 13.103 seconds.
The event featured an opening leg battle between Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel, one night after the two were traded for each other. Well, again. Kessel got the best the Dallas Stars star, 13.596 to 13.631.
The goofiest event of the night featured some of the greatest highlights.
Team captain Nick Foligno was second overall with a time of 13.674.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition has an event called the Breakaway Challenge that affords players the chance to act like prop comedians.
On Saturday night in Columbus, Johnny Gaudreau was that aforementioned prop.
Ryan Johansen, the Columbus Blue Jackets star, did was fan favorites do and invited a child to participate in his shootout routine. He skated the puck near the crease, stopped, retrieved the son of his team trainer, and then had him shoot the puck home. It was all quite adorable.
Jakub Voracek, the NHL’s leading scorer from the Philadelphia Flyers, needed some way to trump that attempt. So he decided to borrow that idea by using the smallest skater he could find to take the shot.
That would be the diminutive Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau.
“He came up and asked me first if it was all right. I thought it would be pretty funny to do something like that,” said Gaudreau.
“To be honest, it was actually Ryan Suter’s idea. He came up to me and he said I should do it,” said Voracek. “I think that little kid was bigger than [Gaudreau]. Let’s be honest."
“I asked one of the player safety guys here and they said no,” he said.