Jen Neale at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Jason Pominville, Minnesota Wild
The Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks battled for supremacy in the Central Division with Minnesota coming out on top, 3-2. Jason Pominville broke a 19 goal-less streak with what would be the game winner early in the third.
No. 2 Star: Patrik Berglund, St. Louis Blues
The forward netted two goals in the 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. His second goal came 51-seconds into overtime.
No. 3 Star: Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils
Hall turned an overtime goof into an amazing goal thanks to the play of teammate Travis Zajac as the Devils beat the Vancouver Canucks.
Honorable Mention: Philipp Grubauer stopped all 24 shots he faced in the Washington Capitals 5-0 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s the ninth win in a row for the Caps. Justin Williams and Matt Niskanen scored two goals each … Patrick Kane netted both of the Blackhawks goals. Kane had 12 shots on goal in the game. Mikael Granlund led the Wild with 6 SOG. Devan Dubnyk earned his 23 win of the season making 33 of 35 saves … Loui Eriksson and Kyle Quincey were the other goal scorers in the Canucks-Devils game … Rickard Rakell scored his 18 goal of the season for Anaheim.
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Jen Neale at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago
The hits just keep coming for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team announced Ryan Callahan will be out four weeks with a lower-body injury.
Callahan continues to be bothered by his hip, which was surgically-repaired back in June. He’s played in just 18 games this season, the last coming Jan. 7 in Philadelphia. It’s been frustrating for Callahan, who can’t seem to shake the soreness. He’s tried resting it, missing over a month from Nov. 28-Jan. 3. But after playing in just three games, Callahan is out at least another month.
Back in June, Callahan underwent successful surgery to repair a labral tear in his right hip. The expectation was that Callahan would be out five months for healing and rehabilitation.
He missed eight games to start the 2016-17 regular season and re-entered the Lightning lineup just over one month ahead of schedule.
The return was short lived.
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago
In 2003, Craig MacTavish was coaching the Edmonton Oilers when Calgary Flames mascot Harvey the Hound taunted him at the bench.
The Flames were winning 4-0. MacTavish was pissed. So when Harvey mocked him yet again, MacTavish reached up, grabbed its tongue, yanked it out and threw it into the crowd.
It was pretty much the greatest thing ever:
In 2016, MacTavish is Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers. He apparently still has a grudge against Harvey. And much like Darth Sideous groomed Darth Maul as a lethal weapon against the Jedi, MacTavish apparently has been programming his nightmare fuel new mascot, Hunter The Canadian Lynx, to become a tongue-ripping killing machine.
(Hunter, forever known around these parts as “the cover model of an issue of ‘Cat Fancy’ guest-edited by Guillermo del Toro.”)
Here’s the video evidence from the Oilers:
Kudos for the “JFK,” “Psycho” and 1980s training montage references. And for the amazing set decoration in the “Calgary Flames offices,” i.e. that one jersey.
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Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago
By Sasha Yodashkin
Sunday’s NHL slate is a modest one, with just six teams scheduled to take the ice. There are few obvious sources of production, with just two of the league’s top 14 offenses in action, but there’s still value to be found if you know where to look.
Cory Schneider , NJ at VAN ($26): Schneider makes for a strong play against his former team, given his combination of affordability and current form. While the veteran slumped to finish 2016, he has gotten off to a fine start in 2017 with just 10 goals allowed in six appearances and four performances with a save percentage of .953 or better. Vancouver’s offense ranks 24th with 2.41 goals per contest, so another excellent outing for Schneider should be expected.
Goalie to Avoid
Center to Avoid
Wings to Avoid
Defensemen to Avoid
Steve Santini , NJ at VAN ($17): Santini is going to have trouble continuing to live up to his $17 salary considering he has averaged just 15:12 of ice time per game. Wait for the rookie’s price to drop and better reflect his usage before putting him in your lineup.
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Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago
Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham was back at Tucson Arena Saturday and watched his teammates score three times in the opening period en route to a 3-2 win over the Texas Stars.
Cunningham, who suffered cardiac arrest on the ice during warm-ups before a Nov. 19 game, surprised his teammates with the visit, giving them a bit of an extra boost.
— Tucson Roadrunners (@RoadrunnersAHL) January 15, 2017
After spending a little over a month in the hospital, Cunningham was discharged to a rehab center where he’s working on getting used to living without part of his lower left leg, which was amputated out of fear of infection.
No. 1 Star: Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Playing in his 500th NHL game, the Little Ball of Hate had two goals and three assists in the Bruins’ 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Both of his goals were unassisted, including an empty netter for his 17th goal of the season.
No. 2 Star: Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings
Carter was the hero again for the Kings, as they defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 3-2. His OT goal was his 23rd of the season.
No. 3 Star: Brock McGinn, Carolina Hurricanes
The 22-year-old forward scored a goal and had three assists in their 7-4 win over the New York Islanders. John Tavares had two goals in the loss.
Did You Know? Four-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser, a trail-blazer in women’s hockey who announced her retirement on Friday, was honored by the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames prior to their game at Rogers Place on Saturday. (NHL)
Joe Thornton was sitting in the penalty box for the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night, having been whistled for an infraction against Paul Stastny of the St. Louis Blues.
Perhaps he thought it was a roughing call, because when he heard that he had received a five-minute major for spearing and a game-misconduct, he seemed generally stunned by it.
Here’s the play, and the reaction:
Stastny gives him a tap, and he retaliates with his stick. It’s not a vicious spear, but a spear nonetheless, and the referees rung him up. The Sharks ended up losing 4-0 to goalie Carter Hutton and the Blues.
As you can see, Thornton got into it with the Blues bench on his way out.
Here’s how captain Alex Pietrangelo reacted to the incident:
That Alex Pietrangelo. So itchy.
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We’re two weeks away from the NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, and apparently the League felt the only way to match the solemn self-importance of its 100 Greatest Players Of All-Time Presented By Molson Canadian is to smother the most entertaining portion of the Skills Competition with a pillow.
The Breakaway Challenge is apparently dead.
Long live the Breakaway Challenge.
Nick Kypreos reported on Hockey Night In Canada that the prop comedy competition, which last season gave us the most memorable All-Star moment not named John Scott, is done.
“They’re getting rid of it in the skills competition. No sunglasses. No hats for Ovie. No Superman cape for Kane. No mini-sticks for Corey Perry,” he said.
The Breakaway Challenge was reintroduced in the 2008 All-Star Game as a “slam-dunk competition” for the NHL, with trick shots and wacky props and players helping each other do wacky things.
At its best, it was … basically the best thing of All-Star Weekend, pre-3-on-3 tournament format.
Rick Nash scored the NHL equivalent of a layup against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, into an open net. How the net was left open, however, was a point of controversy, because it sure did seem that Kevin Hayes of the New York Rangers dragged Canadiens goalie Carey Price out of the way with his skate.
Here’s the play in question, which is now a footnote thanks to the Canadiens’ stirring 5-4 win over the Rangers, thanks to three quick third-period goals.
The Canadiens challenged the play, but the goal was upheld. The NHL’s explanation:
At 6:20 of the second period in the Rangers/Canadiens game, Montreal requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Kevin Hayes interfered with goaltender Carey Price before the puck entered the net.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee confirmed that the incidental contact outside the crease between Hayes and Price did not constitute a goaltender interference infraction.
Therefore the original call stands – good goal New York Rangers. Since the Coach’s Challenge did not result in the original call being overturned, the Montreal Canadiens forfeit their time-out.
Who’s the fastest player in the NHL?
Connor McDavid gets a lot of love in that debate, mostly because of the way he exhibits blazing speed while slashing through opposing defenses. But as Andreas Athanasiou of the Detroit Red Wings showed against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a spectacular goal on Saturday night, he very much belongs in that conversation – and might be the ultimate answer.
Check out Athanasiou breaking down the Penguins defense on his ninth goal of the season:
Oh, wow, that was gorgeous.
Athanasiou takes the puck behind his own net, motors to center ice – past Evgeni Malkin, who waves at him with his stick – and then into the Penguins zone. He had Justin Schultz and Carl Hagelin in front of him, and just slices through them like Morimoto cutting salmon sashimi, maintaining control of the puck.
Lest anyone think Athanasiou is all skate, no finish, he roofs it past Marc-Andre Fleury for the early goal of the year candidate.
That gave Detroit the lead, and the eventually earned a 6-3 win over the Penguins – snapping their three-game losing streak, and extending Pittsburgh’s losing streak to three.
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