Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago
On April, 30, 1987, Lou Lamoriello was named the third general manager in New Jersey Devils history. Just over 28 years later, they have a fourth.
In the span between Lamoriello taking over the Devils and relinquishing his job to former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, New Jersey has experienced (in particular order):
- Three Stanley Cups, won in the span of eight seasons.
- Five conference championships.
- Nine division titles.
- Three major work stoppages.
- Four ownership groups.
- Moving to a new arena.
- The franchise-shifting thievery of Scott Stevens from the St. Louis Blues, as compensation for Brendan Shanahan.
- The drafting of Martin Brodeur and Scott Niedermayer, both as the result of trades.
- Twenty-one head coaches named to the job, including Jacques Lemaire and Lamoriello himself three times.
- The establishment of the team’s defensive philosophy, which would be its calling card for over two decades.
- One 17-year, er, 15-year contract to a player now in Russia.
- The departure of at least a dozen other players, chasing the money to places like Madison Square Garden and Minnesota.
- From 1987-2012, qualifying for the playoffs in 21 seasons out of 23.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 6 hrs ago
The New Jersey Devils announced a hasty conference call on Tuesday. Speculation was a contract extension or Martin Brodeur’s inevitable job with the organization would be announced.
Instead, it was a bombshell: Lou Lamoriello was giving up his job as general manager, which he’s held since 1987, and handing it to former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, effective immediately.
Lamoriello will remain with the team as team president on the hockey side, and will work with Shero. But he said Shero has the final call in matters like hiring the Devils’ next coach.
“It was a big attraction for me to have Lou stay on,” said Shero, who was fired by the Penguins last summer. “It’s a great situation for me. I’m really looking forward to it.”
The Devils, once a dominant organization that won three Stanley Cups in the span of eight years, have missed the playoffs in three straight seasons. The fired head coach Pete DeBoer this season, replacing him with a three-headed monster of Lamoriello, Adam Oates and Scott Stevens behind the bench.
Shero was fired last summer by the Pengujns after having built a Stanley Cup winner in Pittsburgh after being hired in 2006.
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
Last week we published an image of an enterprising young man who used Chicago Blackhawks player namesas puns on a prom proposal sign.
Kane you believe it went viral? Oduya know that didn’t make us Saad at all?!
We asked for the backstory on the proposal, and we received an email from Dawn Starr, who is a bit of an insider on this subject – being that her son Joe Starr is the one who created the Blackhawks prom message.
He's an 18 year old LaGrange resident and is a senior at Lyons Township High School. He's headed to Ball State University in the fall to study sports management. The girl is Valeria (Val) Garcia from Cicero who attends J.S. Morton High School.
They met through friends, but the relationship is fairly new. Joe played water polo at Lyons Township for two years on the J.V. team, and he has volunteered at Morton High School for the girls water polo team for the past two years.
However, my husband Joe wanted to let you know that he thought it a "Magnuson" idea!
Ha, well done!
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago
It's a (I don't like) Mondays edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Stars: Sean Gordon on Montreal Canadiens; Katie Brown of NHL.com on Washington Capitals
• Updates on all four series.
• Brandon Prust vs. referees.
• McLellan and Oilers.
• Avengers review.
• Hockey News and Views
Question of the Day: How do you watch hockey in 2015, from a technology standpoint? 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 Daddy 10 hrs ago
There are two charming things about TSN analyst Kerry Fraser’s transformation from perfectly coiffed on-ice official into the hockey media’s leading voice on referee matters.
The first, of course, is that one of the NHL’s more problematic officials during his tenure with the league has been recast as a paragon of virtue. If reading Fraser's "here's what I would have done" analysis gives me the chuckles, I can't even imagine the guffaws from his peers in zebra stripes.
The second is Fraser’s absolute candor in that NHL officiating is problematic, due to their inherent humanity and fallibility and biases and outright lust for revenge on certain players.
Which brings us to Brandon Prust.
According to Kerry Fraser, revenge is a dish best served cold, and it’s very cold in the referees’ dressing room. From the National Post:
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago
Welcome to the latest edition of our Conn Smythe Watch, which chronicles the ever-changing race for playoff MVP. Keep in mind that we factor in the probability of a long playoff run into these choices. Who are the current favorites for playoff MVP? Glad you asked.
1. Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Perry has 13 points in six games for the Ducks, which is a rather robust points-per-game pace. That includes four power-play points. He’s also a plus-6. He’s also undefeated. Life’s been pretty … ducky (groan).
2. Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning forward leads the playoffs with seven goal and is second with 10 points. That includes an OT game-winner. Hopefully now that Stamkos scored, some of the pressure’s off the Triplets to carry the offense.
3. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Two goals and eight assists to lead all playoff defensemen, and he’s averaging 30:54 TOI. Has that triple-OT game-winner on his record, too.
4. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
King Henrik won the Rangers Game 2 with a stellar effort, and has a 1.67 GAA and a .938 save percentage for the postseason, to go along with that flawless beard.
5. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago
Depending on what his former boss with the Detroit Red Wings decides, Todd McLellan could be the rock star of the NHL coaching free agent pool this offseason. Which is why it would be wise to snatch him up fast ... which is why Peter Chiarelli met with the former San Jose Sharks coach in Prague.
Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun reported, in a roundabout way, that the new Edmonton Oilers GM met with McLellan, who is currently coaching Team Canada in the IIHF world championships. Jones dropped that nugget after reporting that Chiarelli left Prague before Mike Babcock – currently of the Red Wings – arrived.
McLellan, you’ll recall, mutually uncoupled from the San Jose Sharks last month after seven season. He had already been in contact with the Oilers, speaking with president Bob Nicholson and former GM Craig MacTavish. This was reportedly the first time he met with Chiarelli.
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NEW YORK – Derick Brassard felt terrible.
The New York Rangers forward tried to slow down Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals with a little good ol’ fashioned interference, which is a bit like trying to lasso a freight train. The referees caught Brassard and sent him to the penalty box at 3:57 of the third period, giving the Capitals’ high-octane power play their first chance of Saturday afternoon’s Game 2, trailing 2-1.
“I was feeling not very good, actually,” said Brassard. “But I was confident in our penalty kill. And when I came out of the penalty box I had some jump, had some energy."
When he emerged from the penalty box, he transitioned to offense. Martin St. Louis confidently slipped a pass from the top of the Capitals’ zone through the outreached sticks of Jay Beagle and Matt Niskanen to Brassard, who quickly slammed the puck through the pads of Braden Holtby for his fourth of the playoffs and the eventual game-winner in their 3-2 victory in Game 2 of the Metro Division championship series.
“Got a lucky bounce, and it went in,” he said of the goal, scored 10 seconds after his penalty ended.
It wasn't a strong start for the Caps.
Alex Ovechkin was overheard saying “all series, baby … all series” to New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, right after scoring a brilliant goal against him in the Washington Capitals’ Game 1 win.
In Game 2 on Saturday, Ovechkin made you believe it might not be an empty promise.
Ovechkin scored another classic at Madison Square Garden as the Capitals trailed 3-1. He tried to split defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi – two players credited through the years for having effectively shut him down in previous battles.
He fell to the ice, but managed to get a shot off.
GIF: holy Ovi pic.twitter.com/BwUGdRCS7Z
Which, of course, ended up being a perfectly placed shot over the right shoulder of Lundqvist into the top corner of the net.
You know, no big deal.
It was Ovechkin’s fourth goal of the playoffs in nine games. Here's what he did in Game 1:
“I get lucky,” Ovechkin said after Game 1. “It was kind of hard angle, but sometimes luck step on our side.”
Alex Ovechkin has 475 career goals, three Hart Trophies and four goal-scoring titles during his NHL career. What he doesn’t have: an appearance in the Eastern Conference Final, let alone a Stanley Cup ring.
His career has been as characterized by his incredible regular-season performances as it has been by the Washington Capitals’ playoff failures. It’s not for a lack of production by Ovechkin, who now has 68 points in 66 career playoff games, including 34 goals.
It’s not for a lack of desire, either … although that desire can sometimes hurt more than help.
Ovechkin tried to do too much on his own in the past. Tried to take the team on his broad shoulders and carry it. Tried to force the issue in tight games, leading to ineffective performances in their many Game 7s.
Meanwhile, he played for three different coaches in a short span; by the time Adam Oates reached his end with a non-playoff year, Ovechkin sounded like he was at his wit’s end after a minus-35 season with 51 goals.
Ovechkin had been making noise for the last few years about not wanting to be THE GUY in the playoffs. That he’d rather be a team player in the postseason rather than a one-man show.