- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
The day the Stanley Cup is presented is the best and worst day on the hockey calendar.
It's the worst because it signals the end of another NHL season and we then have to deal with three months of finding other things to do with our lives. It's the best because the Cup presentation ceremony -- from the tradition of booing Gary Bettman to the captain's first raise to the ensuing on-ice player parade -- is emotional and can't not put a smile on one's face.
What we see on the ice those nights has evolved over the years. As YouTuber lostcanuck shows, the on-ice tradition of presenting and celebrating with the Cup has changed a lot since the Toronto Maple Leafs won it in 1949:
• Taking off the top half of the Cup to celebrate just is not as cool as lifting the entire thing over your head. (Could you fill the bottom portion with booze, though? That could be a gamechanger.)
• Nowadays, the Cup is brought to center ice by one of its handlers and placed on display with a nice NHL table skirt. Back in the day, it appears the league used to borrow one of your grandparents' card tables.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
The Sharks forward recorded a two point night with a goal and an assist as San Jose beat the Los Angeles Kings in overtime 4-3 to take a 3-0 series lead. After Tomas Hertl's goal midway through the third period tied the game, it was Marleau who ended things 6:20 into the extra period:
No. 2 Star: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Rask stopped 23 shots as the Bruins shutout the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 to take a 2-1 series lead. The shutout was the fourth for Rask in his playoff career. Patrice Bergeron assisted on Dougie Hamilton's opening power play goal and later added an empty-netter, while Jordan Caron scored his first goal since Oct. 5.
No. 3 Star: Max Pacioretty, Montreal CanadiensThu, Apr 247:30 PM PDTSan Jose at Los AngelesPreview Game
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
It was looking like the Los Angeles Kings were going to fight off falling behind 0-3 to the San Jose Sharks when Jeff Carter tipped home a power play goal early in the third period for a 3-2 lead. The Staples Center was alive with hope.
Then it all came crashing down eight minutes later when Tomas Hertl scored after four whacks in front of Jonathan Quick to tie the game. In overtime, it was Patrick Marleau scoring his 60th career playoff goal to give San Jose a 4-3 win and commanding 3-0 series lead:
The Kings now must regroup for Thursday's Game 4 and hope to make history with a comeback in the series. But improvements need to be made if they're to have any chance.
Jonathan Quick has an .840 even strength save percentage through three games. Only Ilya Bryzgalov is worse (.818). Jeff Carter finally broke through with a goal, but when Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis are your leading goal scorers (two apiece), that's not going to help you beat the Sharks.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
Daniel Carcillo last scored a playoff goal on April 26, 2011 when he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Three teams later, you can excuse the Rangers forward if he felt a little exuberant after scoring a goal during New York's 4-1 win over the Flyers in Game 3. It wasn't just a big goal for Carcillo, who was making his 2014 playoff debut, it was also one for his team.
Aside from scoring in a big spot, Carcillo felt a bit of redemption.
Minutes earlier, Carcillo took a hit up high from Matt Read that went uncalled. He then found himself in the penalty box with 11:24 to go in the third period and the Rangers up 3-1. New York would kill it and not long after Carcillo would close out Game 3.
Steve Mason was well enough to back up and later replace Ray Emery for the Flyers. It'll probably be his net here on out as Philadelphia attempt to even the series Friday night in Game 4.
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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.
• Here is your all-important Patrick Kane playoff mullet update. Some decent business up front. So much party in the back. [@ChrisKuc]
• Daniel Alfredsson is out for Game 3 tonight against the Boston Bruins with a sore back. Joakim Andersson draws in. [MLive]
• Doing something he's done a few time this season, Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper popped into Steven Stamkos' media scrum on Monday. [Sun]Thu, Apr 245:00 PM PDTBoston at DetroitPreview Game
Philadelphia Flyers head coach Craig Berube accumulated nearly 3,200 penalty minutes during an NHL career that last 1,052 games. He earned all that time in the penalty box protecting each and everyone of his teammates. So, in 1990, when Berube saw his goaltender, Ron Hextall, get run by some young punk on the Chicago Blackhawks named Jerey Roenick, he knew what he needed to do.
Berube, however, didn't get his chance during the ensuing melee. He wouldn't get back at Roenick until the 2003-04 season.
Back when I played for the Hawks, I ran Ron Hextall in the crease and Holmgren wasn't very happy with me. Sent Berube out to teach me a lesson.
Tomas Hertl introduced himself to much of the hockey world back in October, where in his third NHL game he scored four goals against the New York Rangers and sent Marty Biron into the broadcast booth.
The hockey world then fell in love with the 20-year old San Jose Sharks rookie after his post-game interview where he described his memorable night with a simple: "This is dream!"
Hertl further endeared himself to us while he was going through rehab for a knee injury that cost him almost three months of the season. While working out in a local pool,he made some friends who helped remind him that "fun must be always :-))"
The latest tale in Hertl's life involves his continuing education about the culture on this side of the pond, specifically that of the restaurant/arcade chain Dave & Buster's, with help from roommate Matt Nieto.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy2 days ago
Darcy Kuemper stopped all 14 shots he faced after relieving Ilya Bryzgalov midway through the second period of the Minnesota Wild's 4-2 Game 2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Down 0-2 in the series, it was only a matter of time before Mike Yeo made some changes.
Kyle Brodziak and Stephane Veilleux are out, while Dany Heatley and Justin Fontaine are in. Joining the new-look Wild in Game 3 Monday night will be Kuemper, who earned this start with his relief performance.
Kuemper, who last started March 27 after missing most of April with a concussion, will be making his fourth playoff appearance in the past two seasons.
"It’s not just the saves he’s making, but the way he’s making saves," said Yeo after Monday's morning skate. "He looked really confident in practice."
Kuemper played well for the Wild in late-February, but then Bryzgalov was acquired and he finished the season strong, helping the team clinch a wild card spot.Thu, Apr 246:30 PM PDTColorado at MinnesotaPreview Game
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy3 days ago
The Philadelphia Flyers were the NHL's most penalized team during the regular season, so it was almost no surprise to see that a penalty -- a double minor, to be specific -- helped doom them in Game 1 Thursday night against the New York Rangers.
New York kept their discipline in tact, only giving Philadelphia a single power play on a Ryan McDonagh high-stick early in the third period. A similar infraction seven minutes later by Flyers forward Jason Akeson drew blood on Carl Hagelin and opened the door for two power play goals, giving the Rangers the lead for good.
“We’ve been whistle to whistle all year long," said Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault regarding his team's post-whistle discipline. "Nothing’s changed for us."
Special teams always play a big role in how series develop. The Rangers took advantage in Game 1. How will the Flyers respond Sunday afternoon in Game 2?
"It's something we've battled all year," said Flyers forward Matt Read. "If we don't smarten up it's going to cost us like it did last game.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy3 days ago
It may have been a bit of a circus on the ice for the AHL's last place Portland Pirates this season, but having an actual Big Top alter your schedule's end wasn't something many saw coming.
The Pirates lost their season finale Saturday night 5-4 to the St. John's IceCaps at MHG IceCentre. If you're thinking that name sounds like some sort of local practice rink, well, you'd be correct.
A scheduling conflict at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine saw the Kora Shrine Circus win out, forcing the Pirates to play in front of 550 fans at their practice facility, not the 2,000-plus on average they're use to.
Here's what it looked like: