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  • Auston Matthews twists, falls and scores for Leafs (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago

    When one is vying for the Calder Trophy, one wants to amass as many memorable highlights as possible.

    So add another clip to the reel for Auston Matthews, as the Toronto Maple Leafs rookie sensation scored an aesthetically pleasing goal, even if it wasn’t the greatest hockey play.

    Check out Matthews’s 28th of the season on Sunday night, against the Carolina Hurricanes:

    The Hurricanes got caught on a change with an admittedly nicely timed pass from Jake Gardiner. That was left wing Phillip Di Giuseppe trying to use his stick like a velvet rope and keep Matthews out of the club.

    Instead, Matthews fell to the ice, twisting his body, and backhanding the puck through Cam Ward.

    Tremendous effort, aided by his opponents, and another chapter in his growing legend in Toronto.

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  • Should Jacob Trouba be suspended for this Mark Stone hit? (Video)

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 hrs ago

    Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators began the 2016-17 season recovering from a concussion. He’s gone on to be an integral part of their surprising surge in the Atlantic Division: 21 goals and 25 assists in 55 games, entering their game against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

    (He scored goal No. 22 in that game.)

    Which is why this hit by Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba in the third period was a scary one, given Stone’s history:

    Trouba was given a minor for an illegal check to the head.

    Stone was in a prove position after dishing the puck. Watch Trouba after the pass: He tucks his arm and appears to raise it up in anticipation of the collision.

    Shoulder to head. Nasty hit. Stone didn’t return to the game.

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  • Bye-week curse has NHL at a loss

    Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago

    The NHL instituted bye-weeks this season as a kickback to the players, in exchange for their agreeing to skate their hung-over asses off in a 3-on-3 All-Star Game tournament format. But the byes are also for the sake of player safety in the regular season, although there’s been some debate about that.

    The byes’ overall affect on the 2016-17 season continues to be a point of contention. The condensed schedule had been blamed for an uptick in injuries for some teams; Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock went as far as saying that the bye weeks were bad for player safety: “You’ve got so many games in such a short period of time and you’re jamming in more. To me, the more days rest you can have by not playing back-to-backs and jamming it in the healthier you have a chance to be I believe.”

     

    Again, the ultimate aftereffects and fate of the bye weeks will be sussed out in the summer. But one thing is clear this season: Teams coming off the bye are usually saying ‘bye bye bye’ to a victory.

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  • Missouri Mavericks honor Negro League's Monarchs with special jerseys (Video)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    The ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks won their sixth in a row with a 2-1 win over the Quad City Mallards Saturday, and before and during the game they paid tribute to a big part of Kansas City’s history.

    The Mavericks honored the 75th anniversary of the Kansas City Monarchs’ Negro League title by wearing jerseys in the design of the baseball team that gave us the likes of Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and Ernie Banks, among others.

    Even the Mavericks’ staff got involved, donning Monarchs gear while behind the bench.

    Mavericks netminder Josh Robinson wore this special mask that was auctioned off for $1,000 to benefit the Negro League Baseball Museum. The jerseys were also up for bid.

    — Shell Shock Designs (@ShellShockCo) February 18, 2017

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  • Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey: Sunday picks

    Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy 15 hrs ago

    By Sasha Yodashkin

    Sunday’s evening NHL slate consists of five games, with six others scheduled to begin before 7:00 PM Eastern time. There’s still plenty of value to be found in this modestly-sized slate, especially with six of the bottom 12 defenses in action.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest now]

    GOALIE

    Cam Ward , CAR vs. TOR ($24): Ward is too affordable to pass up against a struggling Toronto team. The Maple Leafs have dropped seven of their past 10 games heading into the weekend, and four of their past five on the road. Expect those struggles to continue on the second night of a back-to-back against Ward, who has held his last four opponents at PNC Arena to a total of six goals combined.

    Goalie to Avoid

    Ryan Miller , VAN vs. PHI ($41): Miller simply isn’t worth $41 regardless of his opposition, considering his past seven starts have yielded just one win, 23 goals against and a .901 save percentage. Jacob Markstrom isn’t any better of a deal at $36 given his 2.63 GAA and .910 save percentage.

    CENTER

    Center to Avoid

    WING

    Wings to Avoid

    DEFENSE

    Defensemen to Avoid

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  • NHL Three Stars: Stone's 5-spot for Sens; Roussel nets first hat trick

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago

    No. 1 Star: Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators

    Stone had a career night during Ottawa’s 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had a hand in five of the six Senators goals with a goal and four assists. Derick Brassard had two goals and an assist, while Kyle Turris chipped in three helpers himself. Ottawa is now two points behind Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead.

    No. 2 Star: Antoine Roussel, Dallas Stars

    Jamie Benn was the overtime hero, but it was Roussel who recorded his first career hat trick as the Stars beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3.

    No. 3 Star: Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

    The Devils built up a 3-0 lead on the New York Islanders and held on during a third period comeback for a 3-2 win. Cory Schneider made 40 saves, including a penalty shot stop on John Tavares, and Travis Zajac put home a shorthanded tally and added an assist.

    The Coyotes brought back the Kachina jerseys and honored members of the 1996-97 team prior to the game:

    — NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 19, 2017

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  • ECHL team raises player's retired number banner upside down (Video)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    It was a special evening for Colin Chaulk inside Fort Wayne’s Memorial Coliseum Saturday night. The longtime member of the minor league Komets was having his number retired by the franchise during a pre-game ceremony. But there was a slight issue before the banner featuring his No. 91 was raised to the arena rafters.

    It was unveiled upside down.

    Apparently, arena workers who prepared the banner were to blame, leading to an embarrassing few moments during the ceremony. But the most unbelievable part was that no one felt the need to stop and fix it. Instead, the banner went up, up and up upside down.

    Really.

    From the News Sentinel:

    “This is he most embarrassing thing I’ve ever been a part of in 27 years with the club,” said General Manager David Franke. “I feel bad for Colin and his family and his friends. It’s uncalled for.”

    The banner was fixed after the first period, but the Komets’ Twitter account didn’t forget as it directed its ire at the arena’s Twitter account.

    — Fort Wayne Komets (@FWKomets) February 19, 2017

  • Stars welcome Dave Strader back from cancer fight with OT win (Video)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    “Welcome to Dallas Stars hockey, I’m Dave Strader. Has it really been 283 days since I said that? How long I’ve waited to be here.”

    Antoine Roussel recorded his first hat trick and Jamie Benn ended the game in dramatic fashion with an overtime winner, but the biggest story out of Saturday night’s Dallas Stars game was the return of Dave Strader to the broadcast booth.

    Familiar position…it's been 283 days but I feel ready! Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes. @DallasStars pic.twitter.com/5wibKf8wer

    — Dave Strader (@TheVoiceDS) February 19, 2017

    Despite his cancer fight, Strader hasn’t been kept away from the Stars this season. In November, when the team was in Detroit, he visited with them before their game with the Detroit Red Wings and read off the starting lineup in the dressing room.

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  • Nazem Kadri's bank shot goal goes off Ryan Dzingel's head (Video)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Ryan Dzingel’s Saturday night was going pretty good. He had scored his 12th goal of the year late in the first period to give the Ottawa Senators a 2-0 lead in the latest edition of the “Battle of Ontario” versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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    Late in the second period, he showed off his defensive game after he made a diving clear with his glove as a puck squirted through Craig Anderson and traveled dangerously through the Senators’ crease. But moments later, as Dzingel was getting himself re-situated, Nazem Kadri’s quick-thinking led to a bank shot off the Ottawa forward’s head.

    The Senators would get the last laugh in the end, however. Mike Hoffman and Derick Brassard scored 54 seconds apart early in the third period en route to a 6-3 victory, moving them to within two points of the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens.

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  • Max Domi learning painful lessons about NHL fighting

    Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    LOS ANGELES – Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi was frustrated as he waited for his surgically repaired hand to heal earlier this season.

    It was the first time in Domi’s career that he was forced to sit for a prolonged period (23 games total in this case) because of injury, and he truly realized how much he missed the game and being able to help his teammates. Also the process of working his way back to 100 percent was both new and challenging for the 21-year-old Domi.

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    “I definitely have a whole new appreciation for guys who sit out of the lineup for that long and the work ethic you have to put in to get back,” he said. “It wasn’t easy by any means, but I’m happy to be back now.”

    “He’s a competitive guy, but that’s a situation you don’t want players of that stature getting hurt fighting, that’s for sure,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.

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