Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
BROOKLYN – The puck rolled to Shea Weber and everyone in Barclays Center knew what was coming next.
Travis Hamonic did. The New York Islanders defenseman genuflected in front of goalie Thomas Greiss, turning his head away from the rocket blast he knew was arriving. In the process, he screened him, and Weber’s point blast on the power play at 17:03 gave the Habs the lead and eventually the win, 3-2, improving to 6-0-1 on the young season.
“It’s pretty impressive,” said Brendan Gallagher of Weber’s shot. “It’s a weapon that other teams have to be aware of. When you already have an extra guy on the ice, and teams have to overcompensate for it.”
It was Weber’s second point of the game, having previously assisted on Phillip Danault’s goal earlier in the third. That gave Weber nine points in seven games – the best offensive start in his career.
“I’m maybe [surprised] at the point total,” said Montreal’s Paul Byron. “He’s not really an Erik Karlsson, 80-point guy. But he always puts up the numbers.”
So far he has, skating 25:59 per game and putting up nine points.
His reasoning for the hot start?
Although sometimes it just takes a cannon on the power play, at the right time.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago
Before Justin Bieber became a global celebrity (for a variety of reasons), he was a moppet in a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, playing hockey in Canada.
It’s remained a part of his identity as an adult, or whatever. Bieber brings his gear on tour with him, and tries to get an opportunity to skate with a pro team wherever he can. “It’s a good release for him from the manic world he lives in, especially on tour,” said Neil Russell, general manager of the Manchester Storm of the Elite Ice Hockey League in the U.K.
Russell and his team found this out firsthand this week.
And in Denmark:
On Tuesday, he added Manchester to the list. And it was quite a frantic night.
Russell said he “popped an email off to the management company” for Bieber a few weeks ago, after seeing him skate with that team in Munich. “I didn’t hear anything back. I didn’t expect to hear anything back,” he said.
Guess who wasn’t at the rink?
Frantic as the moments were, the players arrived, and soon Bieber arrived to skate with them.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 19 hrs ago
The NHL announced on Wednesday that it’s entered into a “long-term agreement that expands the scale and scope of Fanatics’ relationship with the League.” As in Fanatics is “the official manufacturer of a broad range of NHL apparel and headwear, including replica jerseys.”
We checked with the NHL, and yes, this means what you think it means: When you buy a replica NHL jersey (for around $169.99), you will get a Fanatics logo on it. You’ll need to buy an authentic jersey (for around $359.99) to get the Adidas logo that’s on the sweaters the pros wear.
From the NHL:
Beginning with the 2017-18 season, Fanatics will become the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of all adult replica NHL jerseys, the top tier of which will be called “The Breakaway.” The replica jerseys will be produced by Fanatics Branded, the company’s merchandise division, and will be designed with fan-first features that are intended for enhanced comfort and versatility. Fanatics will also offer a line of youth replica NHL jerseys.
Here’s an example:
Fanatics is also taking over the Stanley Cup Playoffs gear and is basically powering the NHL’s e-commerce side, including Shop NHL, which has Fanatics branding on it.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago
In this edition of Marek Vs. Wyshynski, the boys are talking about:
– All the goals! There’s so much offense in the NHL this season, and we try to figure out why it’s happening.
– Are the Montreal Canadiens for real?
– Aaron Ekblad may have forced a sophomore salary cap on the NHL.
– Checking in on the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators’ starts.
– Reader mail!
– 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.]
When it became obvious Sidney Crosby would return to the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night after missing their first six games with a concussion, his teammates were rather happy.
“He’s the best player in the world,” said winger Carl Hagelin. “We’re happy to have him back and we need to get rolling here.”
Crosby didn’t waste any time to get rolling. He scored his first goal of the season in his first game back from a concussion suffered in a preseason practice. His power-play goal at 13:41 of the second period cut the Florida Panthers’ lead to 2-1.
And it got the Penguins rolling, too: Hagelin and Eric Fehr scored in the third period to complete the rally and earn Pittsburgh (4-2-1) the 3-2 win.
“I think timing and just as far as execution, I think I need to work on that a little bit,” Crosby said after the game. “But it’s been tough to get in any practices or any real game situations. I’ve pretty much just been skating on my own, so I kind of expect that. But I felt like things kind of slowed down as the game went along.”
Welcome back, Sid.
There are three conditions for the NHL to bring a team to a new market.
The first is that it’s a market in which they feel a hockey team could thrive. The second is a viable owner or ownership group that’s willing to pay the exorbitant expansion fee or relocation freight. The third is a viable, modern arena where the team can maximize revenue.
In the most recent round of expansion that yielded a team in Las Vegas starting next season, Seattle met the first condition. It failed miserably to meet the second condition, which was symptomatic of not meeting the third condition: Finding owners for a team without knowing the fate of billionaire Chris Hansen’s downtown arena project was impossible.
Well, that fate just gained some clarity.
In a stunning move on Tuesday, Hansen said his group is no longer seeking public funds to build the arena in SoDo. It would be privately funded, as will an overpass over Lander Street, which local opponents of the arena have fought for to ease congestion in around the Port of Seattle.
Hear ye, hear ye! Gather ‘round all ye kings, queens and commoners, for a hockey fight comes hither!
‘Tis the Elite Ice Hockey League – perchance you know it better as the professional league of ice hockey for the United Kingdom. Our combatants on this frigid field of battle are the Brave and Loyal BLAZE of COVENTRY vying against the Bold and Steadfast DEVILS of CARDIFF.
Whereas the commencement of this hockey match led to a pitch-kettled moment between two ruffians: A Lord, name of Andrew Lord of Cardiff by way of West Vancouver; and a Noble, name of Kevin Noble of Coventry by way of Sparwood, British Columbia.
Whereas Noble doffed his crown early in the fisticuffs, Lord took full advantage, landing blows with the ferocity of a battering ram into the Kenilworth gate. Perchance he had waited for this moment to assail Noble, a noted hufty-tufty in the EIHL. Mayhaps he just fancies a ruckus.
Or as the commentator hath proclaimed: “There were a few pushes and few nudges, and all of a sudden Lord and Noble … let’s be honest, there aren’t many people in South Wales who like Kevin Noble!”
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On Saturday night, venerable Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry ripped the Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltending, praising the departed James Reimer (a.k.a. a good Canadian boy!) and burying Fredrik Andersen (a.k.a. one of them Euros!), who’s been rather bad with an .879 save percentage in his first four games with the Leafs after signing a five-year deal last summer.
“The biggest mistake they ever made!” said Cherry of Andersen, who missed most of the preseason with an injury suffered in an Olympic qualifier with Denmark and, again, is being judged on four games.
When Don Cherry speaks, someone has to respond to his bloviating. So Ken Campbell of The Hockey News asked Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock about Cherry’s goalie evaluation at a media availability on Tuesday, and it went as expected.
BABCOCK: “Well, it’s five games in, isn’t it?
CAMPBELL: “Yeah, yeah it is.”
In the grand tradition of “Best In Show” and “A Mighty Wind,” Christopher Guest’s Netflix movie “Mascots” didn’t exactly set the comedy world ablaze.
But that’s OK: Even at his worst, Guest still manages to create a few memorable moments. (Like everything Catherine O’Hara did in “For Your Consideration.”)
Which brings us to “The Fist.”
That’s Chris O’Dowd from “Bridesmaids” and “Girls” as Tommy ‘Zook’ Zucarello (New York Rangers’ Norwegian Hobbit Wizard reference?), who portrays The Fist, a minor league hockey mascot. The movie is about how Zook and the rest of his wacky cohorts converge on the World Mascot Association Championship, competing for something called the Gold Fluffy Award.
Here is The Fist in action at said Awards, complete with expected NSFW site gag at the end of the routine:
Funny stuff, if you’re on this vibe. And by that we mean “seeing a mascot that’s a giant plush fist carrying the lifeless body of an on-ice official he just pummeled, and finding humor in it.”
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The Calgary Flames scored two goals in regulation against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night. Both were on the power play.
Neither should have surprised you, despite Calgary previously having gone 1-for-25 on the power play, because Chicago’s penalty kill is demonstrably the worst thing in hockey right now. Yes, they managed to kill a double-minor later in the game, but we’ll just go ahead and assume Glen Gulutzan just simply forgot to tell his team they were on the power play. Seems like a Glen Gulutzan thing to do.
Their PK is worse than the Los Angeles Kings’ goaltending situation. Yes, worse than the New York Islanders’ power play, which is at 6.7 percent. Yes, worse than the Arizona Coyotes, who have two points in five games. It’s unfathomably terrible right now.
A quick look at the standings!
At home, the Blackhawks have been shorthanded 18 times in five games, and have given up nine goals, the most for any team on home ice.
So let us count the ways. Why does the Blackhawks’ penalty kill suck right now?
Specifically, he feels they need to pressure the point men more.