Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy 35 mins ago
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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at email@example.com .
• Former Los Angeles Kings forward Justin Williams was nicknamed ‘Mr. Game 7’ for his gaudy numbers in Game 7s. [Jersey Fouls]
• Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden said that the Sedin twins are “not going anywhere.” As the Canucks have continued to founder, there have been questions on whether the franchise cornerstones would look to go elsewhere in search of a Stanley Cup. [Sportsnet]
• Tampa Bay Lightning players explain the NHLPA’s rejection of the NHL’s proposal of 2018 Olympic participation for an extension of the current collective bargaining agreement. [Tampa Bay Time]
• Finally, check out the Hershey Bears’ Teddy Bear Toss.
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Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 hr ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs were hoping that Jhonas Enroth would be the fit behind Frederik Andersen in their crease, but after four starts they’re ready to move on.
The 28-year-old Enroth was waived on Monday after posting an .855 even strength save percentage in six appearances. Toronto signed the netminder in August after trading Jonathan Bernier to the Anaheim Ducks.
Babcock on Enroth: "Lou met with him today. Obviously, wasn't going good enough. We're just in a situation where we're making a change."
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) December 5, 2016
Where will the Leafs go now? Well, Karri Ramo has been practicing with the team for a few weeks now, even gaining a dressing room stall as he works his way back from a knee injury that ended his 2015-16 season back in February.
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Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 3 hrs ago
Somehow, the dab celebration is still going on. Phenomenons like that tend to fizzle out after a while (Hi there, Mannequin Challenge!), but this one continues to have legs.
We’ve seen Dustin Byfuglien and Ryan Reaves dab over here in the NHL, and on Friday it reached the KHL.
Evgeny Korotkov of Ufa scored his first of the year to the tie the game against Dynamo Minsk and proceeded to incorporate the dab into his unique celebration.
Ufa would go on to win the game 3-2 after a shootout.
EA Sports added the dab to NHL 17 and already have a sliding on the ice celebration in the game. Maybe Korotkov will have some influence to get the dab slide into NHL 18?
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Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago
The NHL significantly changed its rules in the wake of the 2004-05 lockout as a means of engendering more goalscoring.
The effects were immediate: Lots more penalties in every game led to an increase of more than a goal a game, or half a goal per team. In the end, that means about 41 extra goals for every team over the course of the full season, on average.
But as any hockey fan is aware, the stringency of NHL officiating has declined ever since, and goalscoring slowly but surely crept back toward pre-shootout conditions. The league isn’t all the way there quite yet, with teams scoring about an extra tenth of a goal every game, but it’s pretty damn close.
Part of the reason for that is goaltending just keeps getting better, and offenses do as well. The average NHL team so far this season takes about 30 shots a game, and its goalies save about 27.4 of them. That gives you roughly a .915 save percentage across the entire NHL. It’s a far cry from pre-lockout averages, which tended to start in the nine-oh-blank range, and only once climbed to .911 (in 2003-04). Since then, it’s happened eight times, all in the past eight seasons.
What We Learned
Play of the Weekend
Gold Star Award
Jen Neale at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago
In Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, Connor McDavid stepped on Jared Spurgeon’s stick causing him to fall forward. McDavid’s chin/jaw/mouth made contact with ice and his head bounced up.
He looked stunned at first, but got up and skated off the ice holding on to his mouth.
The concussion spotter in attendance didn’t like what he saw. The spotter called down to ice level and had McDavid summoned back to the locker room to undergo the concussion protocol.
The young super star was clearly annoyed at having to leave to be checked out.
— Gene Principe (@GenePrincipe) December 5, 2016
After the game, McDavid spoke to the media about his reaction to being told he had to leave the game for evaluation:
“Sh***y time in the game too, I guess. It’s a little bit of a partial five-on-three and a power play late in the second period where if you capitalize, it could change the game.
Jen Neale at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Alexander Radulov, Montreal Canadiens
The career renaissance of Radulov continues as the Canadiens scored four goals against the Los Angeles Kings. Radulov assisted on Max Pacioretty’s two goals and added one of his own. In the shootout, he did not disappoint.
No. 2 Star: Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes
After going on a five game win streak, Ward dropped his next three. The goaltender needed a great game to right himself. The formidable Tampa Bay Lightning threw 30 shots on Ward through regulation and overtime before Phillip DiGiuseppe won it for the ‘Canes.
No. 3 Star: Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
In his triumphant return to the ice, the forward scored on his very first shot on goal of the game. It setup what would be a very long night for Jonathan Bernier and the Anaheim Ducks.
Honorable Mention: Paul Byron sank the game winner in the shootout for Montreal. The Kings scored three goals in the second period and didn’t take the lead in the game until Trevor Lewis’s gorgeous breakaway goal that beat Carey Price:
Did You Know?
The Predators will lose a home game in regulation for the first time since Oct. 18. First consecutive home losses this season.
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Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago
LOS ANGLES – Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty felt his confidence start to surge early in his team’s 5-4 shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
The sniper, who had scored just one goal in his previous seven games, took a feed from Andrei Markov and fired a shot past Kings goaltender Peter Budaj at the 2:20 mark of the first period to put his team up 1-0. After the puck went in Pacioretty started to feel more able to pump in another.
“I think any time in a game when you score an early one you’re going to be floating the rest of the game and just feel confident and you feel like the game comes easy,” Pacioretty said. “It’s just the way it goes for offensive guys. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing with, if you get one early you feel like you’re buzzing, so a couple of plays I would like to clean up personally but I feel pretty good about it.”
Sunday was the first game the Canadiens had put Pacioretty on a line with Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov, the team’s top two leading scorers, and the trio delivered in a big way.
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Jen Neale at Puck Daddy 19 hrs ago
On Friday, Mark Lazerus of The Chicago Sun-Times posted video of Jonathan Toews skating and puck-handling on his own prior to practice by the team. It appeared as if the Chicago Blackhawks captain was on his way back to game shape.
Coach Joel Quenneville slowed everyone’s roll on Sunday stating Toews’ injury is “not getting better.”
Toews, suffering from a reported back injury, skated on Sunday morning. But coach Joel Quenneville said later in the afternoon that the Blackhawks will keep Toews off the ice for about three days and then, “get a better assessment in the middle of the week.” Once listed as day-to-day, Toews, who was injured on Nov. 23, will now miss his sixth consecutive game.
In the five games without Toews the Blackhawks are 3-1-1.
The team is currently in first place in the Central Division with a three point lead over the St. Louis Blues.
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Jen Neale at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago
Earlier in the week, Calgary Flames President Brian Burke aired his grievances over Dougie Hamilton trade speculation. On Sunday, the team received a Festivus miracle – Johnny Gaudreau will return to the lineup three weeks ahead of schedule.
If there isn’t a Festivus pole in the Flames locker room, someone needs to rectify that immediately.
Gaudreau took to the ice for Sunday’s morning skate without a non-contact jersey. Afterwards he told reporters he was good to go for the game against the Anaheim Ducks this evening.
“I’m ready to play,” Gaudreau said. “I think the finger’s healed up pretty well there. I’m just excited to get things going here.
“I think they did a great job with my finger and we did a great job rehabbing it. They keep tell me it’s going to be harder to break the nine other fingers than to re-hurt this one. It feels good. It feels good when I shoot. I’m excited to finally get out there.”
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Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
No. 1 Star: Mike Cammalleri, New Jersey Devils
Cammalleri started and finished the Devils’ big comeback against the Nashville Predators Saturday afternoon. Down 4-1 in the third period, Cammalleri scored the first of three New Jersey goals in the final 20 minutes and then put home the winner with 18 seconds left in overtime.
No. 2 Star: Chris Kreider, New York Rangers
Kreider scored a pair of goals 4:46 apart late in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and power the Rangers to a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Derek Stepan picked up three points, including assists on both of Kreider’s goals and Mats Zuccarello chipped in a pair of helpers himself. New York is now 8-0-1 after losses this season.
No. 3 Stars: Mike Condon, Ottawa Senators / Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars
Condon earned his second shutout in five starts since joining the Senators as Ottawa blanked the Florida Panthers 2-0. Erik Karlsson and Derick Brassard did all the damage with goals 19 seconds apart in the first period.
The Stars shut out the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 as Curtis McKenzie, Tyler Seguin and Patrick Eaves scored in each period. Lehtonen made 23 saves for his first shutout of the season and 35th of his career.