Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago
It's a Tuesday 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 Star: Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press talks Red Wings.
• Boston vs. the Cats, and the Sens are waiting.
• The pesky Flames.
• Tank Talk.
Question of the Day: Which Stanley Cup Playoff matchup do you most want to see? 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 13 hrs ago
Matt Calvert hasn’t exactly earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to self-diagnosis.
The Columbus Blue Jackets forward, who plans on returning to the lineup against the New Jersey Devils, missed 15 games with a concussion and a neck injury. Calvert claims he didn’t realize he had concussion symptoms until the neck injury was diagnosed around Feb. 27. His coach, Todd Richards, said he wasn’t sure if Calvert was hiding those symptoms from the team in order to remain on the ice.
“But I do know, being a former player, that a lot of times you get hit … you’re a hockey player. You want to play,” Richards told the Columbus Dispatch. “I know for a fact that I had concussions and I played. Back then, it was just getting your bell rung. Times have changed. I don’t think there would be any guys that would do that, based on the knowledge we have today.”
OK, well, it happens all the time, but we’ll take your word for it, ‘Skip.
Does this give anyone else pause?
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 15 hrs ago
Jaromir Jagr is doing what Ponce de León couldn’t do over 500 years ago: Locate the Fountain of Youth in Florida.
Seriously, who saw this one coming? Jagr hadn’t scored a point for the New Jersey Devils in the eight games leading up to his trade to the Florida Panthers. His 29 points in 57 games had him on track for his lowest points-per-game in his 1,544-game NHL career.
When the Panthers acquired him, the best case scenario was a boost to the power play and put some extra fannies in the seats for an improbable playoff run. Well, Jagr made a better case: 12 points in 14 games, turning the team’s top line with Jonathan Huberdeau, 21, and Aleksander Barkov, 19, into an offensive juggernaut.
Yes, two players who were years away from entering the world when Jagr was debuting with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Two players that, combined, don’t equal Jagr’s 43 years on Earth.
The trio has 13 goals and 38 points in 14 games since the Jagr trade. The line is clicking thanks to Jagr’s leadership and … well, his assets. From the Sun Sentinel:
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago
Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
Like a bad rash, the Flames continue to burn and just won’t go away.
Calgary’s win over the Dallas Stars on Monday night gives them 91 points and an 84.6-percent chance of making the playoffs, now with a three-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for the No. 3 seed in the Pacific. The win brings them to 38 ROW, while the Kings have 35.
The win also has them keeping pace with the Vancouver Canucks, who also won again to move to 93 points. They have six games left, while the Flames have five.
Also with six games left: The Los Angeles Kings, and one of them is against the Flames in the second-to-last game of the season.
The key to this whole schmoz might be the Winnipeg Jets, who have 90 points with six games left. They don’t have a ROW advantage over the Kings (32). They do play Calgary in the season finale.
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their "Tragic Number" hits 0.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning
The winger scored two goals and added on assist in the Bolts’ 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens, despite the absence of his linemate Tyler Johnson. He played 13:57 and was a plus-3. The Bolts are now 5-0-0 vs. Montreal this season and clinched a playoff spot.
No. 2 Star: Andrej Meszaros, Buffalo Sabres
The defenseman did the Tank no favors, as he scored two goals in the Sabres’ 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes in the race to the bottom.
No. 3 Star: Richard Bachman, Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton backstop stopped 29 of 30 shots as the Oilers topped the Colorado Avalanche, 4-1. Brandon Davidson scored his first NHL goal in the win, and the Oilers scored two empty netters. Andrew Miller had three assists.
Did You Know? Ben Bishop had two penalty minutes and two assists along with 25 saves.
Dishonorable Mention: Alec Martinez was a minus-3. … Johan Klingberg, Cody Eakin and Tyler Seguin were all minus-3. … Kari Lehtonen was pulled in the second period after giving up four goals. He was quite bad. … Tyson Barrie was a minus-3, as was Matt Duchene.
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It’s always a scary scene: an errant, deflected puck flies in the air and into the face of an NHL player. He grabs his head, bends over in panic, and we all worry about the damage done.
Rarely does it end up being a comical situation. But then again, rarely does the player hit by the puck end up wearing it like an eye patch. Arrrrrrrrgh!
Patrik Nemeth of the Dallas Stars was skating back into his own zone Monday night when Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler’s dump-in missed its mark and hit Nemeth in the face. In a one-in-a-million freak of hockey physics, the puck became wedged under his visor over his left eye.
It eventually dropped out and Nemeth had a laugh about it, so we can all have a laugh about it too.
And here we thought Captain Hook was the ultimate hockey pirate ...
Sometimes you see a penalty during an NHL game and you’re positive, in the moment, that the penalty you just saw will result in a major and/or a game misconduct.
In real time, that was the reaction we had to seeing Brett Ritchie of the Dallas Stars go high on Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
And yet … it was a minor penalty for high-sticking.
Maybe we have it all wrong. The Dallas Stars intermission analysts seemed to believe so. They said Ritchie was trying to protect himself on the play … by connecting with Monahan’s head with either his forearm or the butt-end of his stick.
Which is nuts. Freeze the video at around 38 seconds: The puck is away, and Ritchie literally has his stick extended towards the head of Monahan.
Maybe the NHL will have a say about this after the game. But this play appeared to cross the line from self-defense, if that's what it was, to predatory.
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The contest goes by many names: “Score-O” or “Shoot The Puck” or “Fan Shootout.” It’s that intermission gimmick during hockey games in which fans attempt to fire a puck from center ice through a small slot in a board that’s placed in front of the net.
You’ve no doubt seen many adults clumsily flub their attempts, receiving jeers from the heartless crowd. They should take a lesson from 9-year-old Karleigh Nalette, who recently showed them how it’s done.
Karleigh is from Fort Mill, South Carolina, and attended the Charlotte Checkers’ home game on March 27. (The Checkers are the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate.) She got the chance to participate in the Killingsworth Komfort Air shootout between periods and, for what it's worth, she killed it.
Seriously, what a stone cold sniper: Shoots lefty, probably calls “bank,” scored the goal, walks away. No crazy celebration, no first pumps, not leaping up and down. Totally “act like you’ve been there” attitude.
But here’s the kicker: No one’s ever been there before for the Checkers.
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It's a (I don't like) Monday 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 Star: Paul Romanuk of Sportsnet on the Jets and Blackhawks!
• The fading Senators and surging Cats.
• Shane Doan on Letang.
• Wysh's President's Trophy idea.
• Wrestlemania that didn't suck.
Question of the Day: Which NHL player could cut the best WWE-style promo? Email email@example.com 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!
If you were asked to name the last 15 Stanley Cup champions, we’d wager most of you could meet the challenge. The images fly through your mind like the Cup Raise commercial. They’re indelible.
If you were asked to name the last 15 Presidents' Trophy winners, we’d wager you’d get, like, three or four, mostly because you said “the Red Wings” a few times; and then you’d cross your arms and leave in a huff muttering things about the regular season meaning nothing and “there’s a trophy curse anyway.“
To wit: Only eight teams since the award was handed out for the first time in 1985 have gone on to win the Stanley Cup, and two of them were the Red Wings (2001-02, 2007-08). Only 15 of the 28 teams managed to reach the conference final.
Which is to say that finishing first overall is a nice accolade that means absolutely nothing in the end, outside of the requisite home ice advantage bestowed upon a high seed.
Damien Cox of Sportsnet noticed this and wondered: In a year in which finishing No. 30 has been treated with some semblance of accomplishment, shouldn’t there be greatest incentive to finish No. 1?
That’s a gloriously nasty concept.
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