Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 15 hrs ago
Oh how we love manic Jack Edwards!
The Boston Bruins voice was in fine form on Saturday night, in their game at the Columbus Blue Jackets, as a Dougie Hamilton shot hit the netting behind goalie Curtis McElhaney. The puck bounced back into play and it continued until Matt Calvert scored at 19:09 of the second period.
“IT HIT THE BACK NETTING!”
“IT HIT LIKE A TRAMPOLINE!”
“THIS DOESN’T EXIST! THIS IS QUANTUM PHYSICS HOCKEY FOLKS!”
(Goal scores) “IT WON’T COUNT! THIS GOAL WILL NOT COUNT!”
“THIS IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS!”
“THIS IS UNBELIABLE THAT THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE HAS ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN!!!!”
“THEY’RE JUST GOING TO TURN THEIR BACKS ON IT!”
“START THE KALIOPE MUSIC! THIS IS A CIRCUS!”
Let’s start with the obvious: Jack Edwards was right. The on-ice officials completely blew the call.
Let’s see: Player shoots puck. Puck disappears from play. Puck returns to playing surface from an angle well above the goal cage, as if it had been dropped by a stork. It didn’t hit a post or the glass. And yet four men paid to follow the puck … did not.
But his larger point is a little more problematic.
“They can review this and they can correct the situation,” said Edwards.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. In that case, Lou Lamoriello has historically been hockey’s Thomas Edison ... if Thomas Edison occasionally invented crap like Hair In A Can.
The New Jersey Devils general manager fired coach Peter DeBoer on Dec. 26; one day later, he revealed his short-term plan for replacing him: naming Adam Oates and Scott Stevens as the new Devils coaches.
Not head coaches, although one might ascend to that position next season. Just … coaches.
Oates will coach the forwards, Stevens and Tommy Albelin will coach the defensemen. Mike Foligno and Chris Terreri will remain with the coaching staff, while assistant coach Dave Barr walks out the door behind DeBoer.
Oh, and for the time being, Lamoriello himself will step behind the bench, for the third time. He coached 50 games in 2005-06 and then three more in 2007.
More to the point, he wanted coaches to come in that were familiar with most of the roster. Despite some turnover, Oates still is, and Stevens certainly is.
OK, so what about these coaches?
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
Just as a canine’s life is measured in “Dog Years,” a New Jersey Devils coach’s tenure is measured in “Lou Years.”
With 248 games in four seasons before his firing on Dec. 26, Pete DeBoer would roughly be around Abe Vigoda’s age in “Lou Years.” It’s the longest streak of consecutive games for any coach Lou Lamoriello has hired, second only to Jacques Lemaire in total games coached (thanks to return engagements in 2009 and 2010).
What’s amazing about DeBoer’s run is that he presided over the last gasp of success for the Brodeur Era Devils, the 2012 Eastern Conference championship, and then two straight non-playoff seasons, the first time that’s happened since Lamoriello took over the team in 1987. In "Lou Years," another coach might not have made it past last season. But DeBoer was given another crack at it, and lasted 36 games, going 12-17-7.
He was a swaggery, egotistic coach. I didn't mind that. But that also manifested in pig-headed decisions as well as stubbornness that would make a mule seem easily swayed by comparison.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days ago
Merry Christmas, hockey fans!
As is tradition here on Puck Daddy, we'll be kicking back with presents and cookies and cookies we got as presents on Dec. 25. But no eggnog. Bleech ... eggnog is gross. Just give us the booze without that painty goop.
While we'll only be posting for breaking news, we do have to publish our annual Christmas tradition on PD ... THE FUNERAL BURGERS.*
In 2008, the story of the Chicago Blackhawks' surprise bus trip to the wake of then-General Manager Dale Tallon's father, and subsequent visit to a small-town McDonald's in Canada, became a national sensation after an anonymous email spun a tale of rickety bus rides (no heat!) and frozen landscapes and acts of generosity.
Merry Christmas from your friends at Puck Daddy, and thanks for reading and supporting this silly blog.
*As some might remember, this video used to have images to go along with the story. Alas, that video's gone missing on YouTube. Please just enjoy Wes's golden pipes.
As I look over at this tree to my left, I spy a few essential ornaments we hang from the branches every December.
There’s the baby’s first Christmas ones – the ratty ball of thread from my first, and the ceramic handprint from my daughter’s.
There are glass ornaments with the mirrored center that I used to pretend were gun turrets on a COBRA base when I’d play with my G.I. Joes during winter break.
There are the ones that symbolize relatives I’ve lost, ones that symbolize loves I’ve gained. And yeah, there’s always room for that aluminum hot dog and that six-pack of beer with the piece of holly on it.
But there’s also room for our hockey ornaments. Being a two-team house, there’s a penguin in a Santa hat with a Chicago Blackhawks logo on it and a red ball celebrating the New Jersey Devils’ 2000 Stanley Cup championship. (One is more prominently displayed than the other, thanks to their current lots in life.)
For many of us, the things we display every holiday season are representative of who we are. So that’s why we wanted to know what hockey-centric decorations you bring out for this festive season.
Like this Philadelphia Flyers tree-topper from Lisa Waldschmitt:
(ED NOTE: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS)
Formulaic television can be comforting in its predictability.
For example, every episode of the NHL’s Winter Classic reality show franchise opens and closes with a soliloquy from the narrator, capturing the spirit of the road or the brutality of the sport or some other aspect of hockey life. It’s like reading a novel: We hear the opening chapter, and then 56 minutes later our eyes scan the final words and close the book.
Breaking that formula, then, can be dramatically jarring. Which is why the end of Episode 2 of EPIX’s “Road To The NHL Winter Classic” was so devastating.
This episode covered the sudden death of Clint Reif, 34, the Chicago Blackhawks’ assistant equipment manager. He traveled with the team from Columbus back to Chicago, and the players found out before a home game against Toronto that he had died.
(Because Ross Greenburg’s shows are so damn good at collecting every shred of footage it can, there’s actually a segment introducing Reif to us before his death.)
COORS LIGHT COLD HARD FACT
This is the greatest.
P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens decided to lay a holiday surprise on a group of local children. He was going to put them on a bus, take them to the Montreal practice rink, give them some quality swag (including Subban jerseys) and have them skate on the ice.
Oh yeah … he was also going to dress as an elderly security guard named Karl and shock the hell of them by ripping off the disguise and taking the ice.
How great was that scene when the kids catch wise to his ruse as he’s shedding his “Karl” outfit? How great was P.K. with those kids, playing without a stick?
And how great was that disguise?
(Extra points to Subban for the “soul glo” reference. Randy Watson would be proud.)
Remember during Subban's contract talks when we said you can't put a price tag on what he gives you off the ice? This is what we were talking about.
In any other season, the marathon 20-round shootout between the Keystone Ice Miners and the Johnstown Tomahawks in the North American Hockey League would have blown up, in a “leading off SportsCenter” kind of way.
Alas, it happened in the shadow ofthe 20-round, NHL-record shootout between the Washington Capitals and the Florida Panthers. Which is a little like opening an indie film about an obscure superhero on the same day as “The Avengers: Age Of Ultron.”
But this shootout from Saturday night in the junior league had its virtues.
About eight minutes in, during Round 11, there’s some great drama. Cameron Smith of Keystone puts on a brilliant move – forehand, backhand, forehand and boom, into the net. Only it’s waved off! The only thing we can figure is that he didn’t have forward motion through the move, but still, tough one to see get erased.
That’s hockey for you.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 days ago
Every day at practice, Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett watches Mike Smith work.
He sees that goalie whose potential was evident when Smith was a rookie and Tippett was head coach of the Dallas Stars. He sees that goalie who put together a career year in 2011-12, finishing fourth in the Vezina voting and back-stopping the Coyotes to the Western Conference Final. He sees that goalie that the organization rewarded with a 6-year contract worth $5.67 million annually.
Then the Coyotes take the ice against an opponent, and he doesn’t see that goalie any longer.
Smith has been, statistically, the worst goalie in the NHL this season. There isn’t another netminder that’s faced at least 600 shots that has a save percentage as low as Smith’s .884 or a goals-against average as high as his 3.48 in 23 games. Ditto his .886 save percentage at even strength. In adjusted save percentage – which takes into account quality of chances – only Darcy Kuemper of the Minnesota Wild has a lower one (.887) than Smith (.897) this season at even strength.
The question is how much blame he should take, and how much his teammates and coach should take.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 days ago
The hockey world produced an eclectic collection of stories in 2014 and Puck Daddy was there to cover them – from the hard-hitting to the sublime, from the heartfelt to the ridiculous.
Here are the 20 most-clicked Puck Daddy posts of 2014; keep in mind that many of the hockey stories from the Sochi Olympics ran on Fourth Place Medal and Yahoo Sports’ news section, like Canada’s stunning win over the U.S. women and T.J. Oshie’s masterful shootout against Russia.
But here are the most popular stories on Puck Daddy this year:
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