- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
The Detroit Red Wings are bursting with new life in advance of Game 4.
On the ice, Henrik Zetterberg appears set to return, as coach Mike Babcock has him on the lineup sheet for Thursday night's pivotal contest.
"When I asked him this morning he said he's going to the doctor," Babcock said. "Because we were even talking about it I put him on a line, put him on a power play. The doctors decide, not me. I'm hopeful, but who knows. We'll know at game time, after warm-up."
If he goes, he'll be a welcome addition to a Red Wings' forward corps that's trying to stave off a 3-1 hole to the Bruins before the series returns to Boston.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
After falling behind 2-0 early in Wednesday night's Game 4 versus the Anaheim Ducks, the Dallas Stars got on the board thanks to a Jamie Benn goal. They never looked back, scoring thrice more to win the game and even the first round series at two games apiece. Some would probably say Benn's goal kicked off the rally.
But he didn't start the fire. As the Dallas News points out, it wasn't Benn. It was the Rally Belly.
In the stoppage in play just prior to Benn's huge goal, the Dallas cameras found a group of kids up in the stands, one of which immediately lifted his shirt and started doing belly rolls. Proudly. Dedicatedly. Seriously. This kid rolled his belly like the Stars' playoff lives hinged on it.
And it did. Benn scored. Then, six minutes later, Vernon Fiddler scored, at which point the telecast went back to the kid to acknowledge the inspiring presence of the #RallyBelly (and make one Hell of a Goonies reference).Fri, Apr 257:30 PM PDTDallas at AnaheimPreview Game
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
Patrick Kane played the hero for the Chicago Blackhawks in Wednesday night's Game 4 with the St. Louis Blues, scoring the 4-3 overtime winner to send the series back to St. Louis tied at two games apiece. His reward: a media scrum, where he would be asked questions about the goal he just scored.
One such question: "Patrick, was this your first overtime game-winner?"
"I'll have to check that," Kane responds, "I think I've got a couple."
Kane's actually got 4 overtime winners in his career -- three in the postseason, and one in the regular season.
You could expect someone to forget the regular-season one, which was his first one. It came over six years ago, on March 23, 2008, and even though it was the first OT winner of Kane's career, it was a regular-season winner in a year where the Blackhawks didn't make the postseason. That could slip one's mind.
But a few of the others are pretty memorable. Kane's got something of a reputation for scoring big goals.Fri, Apr 255:00 PM PDTChicago at St. LouisPreview Game
No. 1 Star: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Kane was his usual dynamic self in Game 4 versus the St. Louis Blues, scoring twice, including the overtime winner in a 4-3 victory, and adding an assist. His game-winner was a remarkable bit of poise, as he backed off the defense before beating Ryan Miller high.
No. 2 Star: Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars
Skating a game-high 32:48 in the Stars' 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks that evened the series at two, Goligoski led the Stars with two points, a goal and an assist. Cody Eakin got the game-winner, but Goligoski's goal was the one that put the Ducks away. Check out the assist from Vernon Fiddler:
No. 3 Star: Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
There's an old saying when it comes to the playoffs: a series hasn't even begun until a team wins one on the road.
Supposing that's true, through four games, the first-round series between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues has yet to even begin. After going down 2-0 in St. Louis, the Blackhawks did what they had to, winning both of their home game.
The Game 4 victory came thanks to Patrick Kane, who gave them a 4-3 overtime win with this beautiful overtime winner:
You could see this one coming, and not just because we know Kane has a playoff gear because he has a playoff haircut, or because he was in that gear all night, with 2 goals and an assist.
He was dancing all overtime. You had to worry about what would happen if he got a little time and space, and what do you know, this is what happened.
There are few players in the NHL more terrifying on an odd-man rush, because Kane can just about do it all. We've seen him make incredible passes, and we've seen him deke his way through the defense to get to the goal, so you have to respect both options. That means he's almost always going to have time to shoot, if he wants.
Tyson Barrie won't return to the Colorado Avalanche's first-round series with the Minnesota Wild, after suffering an MCL injury on an ugly, knee-on-knee hit from Matt Cooke.
Unsurprisingly, neither will Cooke, who was suspended seven games by the Department of Player Safety on Wednesday.
The DOPS suspension video uses the word knee a lot. Makes sense.
"Cooke is leading with his left knee. After Barrie releases the puck, Cooke continues in this posture, further extends his knee, and makes contact wkith Barrie's left knee. This is kneeing."
That's from Patrick Burke, the knight who says knee .
Burke also explains away anybody who might be dumb enough to suggest that Barrie exacerbated the injury by trying to avoid the hit.
"While this evasive action might have worsened the extent of the injury, it should have been entirely predictable to Cooke that Barrie would attempt to avoid contact."
In other words, of course he tried to avoid the hit. Why the heck wouldn't he? That doesn't mean you can hang a knee.
The Anaheim Ducks will be without captain and first-line centre Ryan Getzlaf for Wednesday night's pivotal Game 4 versus the Dallas Stars.
According to the team, Getzlaf will miss the game with an upper-body injury. He's listed as day-to-day.
His absence will likely be felt a great deal more than Teemu Selanne's.
It goes without saying that this is a massive loss for Anaheim. Getzlaf has 4 points in the series -- a goal and an assist in both Anaheim wins -- but we knew his value to the team long before the playoffs commenced. Getzlaf finished second in the league in scoring behind Sidney Crosby, and is soon to finish second in voting for the Hart to Crosby as well. He's invaluable, and he's irreplaceable.
One wonders if the upper-body injury is in the upper upper-body, like, say, the face. Getzlaf's been wearing a jaw protector since he took a puck to face trying to preserve the lead late in Game 1. There's a distinct possibility that it's broken, and he's playing through it.
Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• More playoff ankle breakage. Here's Justin Braun turning Robyn Regehr inside-out. [Reddit]
• Ken Hitchcock on David Backes, who wasn't available for the pregame skate: “He’s not going to play unless he’s healthy. You never know. He could be skating in another rink. He could be somewhere else. You don’t know. There are a lot of other rinks here in Chicago. So he could be doing other things. But he’s not going into the lineup unless he’s a player. If he’s a player, the way he plays he’s going to have a huge impact on the series. If he skated somewhere else and is in fine-tuned conditioning, you’ll see him tonight.” So in other words, you'll see him tonight. [Sun Times]
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy2 days ago
The NHL playoffs are now a little over a week old, and while this isn't quite long enough to determine who is heading to the conference finals, we have made some progress in our secondary mission of determining who is good ... and who is bad.
Not at hockey, mind you -- just in general.
The Dallas Stars?
After all, who would shamelessly target the the jaw of one of their opponents, as Dallas did to poor Ryan Getzlaf's puck-marked face in Game 3? Sure, it threw him off his game, and sure, he even lost his composure badly enough to take himself off the ice for the final two minutes of the second period, when the Ducks could have used his offence to cut a two-goal deficit in half -- and thus, wrest the momentum away from the Stars -- heading into the intermission.
But still, this was a Classless™ thing to do, and Getzlaf said so himself. From Defending Big D:
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy2 days ago
It's been six years and a day since the last time the Montreal Canadiens won a playoff series at home. On April 21, 2008, the Eastern Conference champion Habs closed out the Boston Bruins, 5-0, in Game 7 at the Bell Centre. It was a happy day for Montreal fans.
But not so much for Montreal police, who spent the rest of the evening trying to quell a downtown riot. From the CBC:
The jubilation degenerated into mayhem around midnight, however, as some hockey fans turned violent.
"It started pretty well," police spokesman Const. Laurent Gingras told CBC News Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, at a certain point some people gathered on Ste. Catherine Street. A couple fights broke out and police cars were also attacked at that point."