Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 58 mins ago
The St. Louis Blues are in very real danger of going from first to worst in goaltending, as Jake Allen melted down again on Thursday night.
The Blues had a .919 team save percentage last season. Heading into their game against the Washington Capitals, it stood at .892.
Then Jake Allen was pulled in a 7-3 loss to the Capitals. Twice.
And for the fourth time in his last six starts.
“I don’t know how far it sets him back. There’s a lot going on right now. A lot in his head. He’s locked up mentally, and he’s going to have to fight through this,” said coach Ken Hitchcock.
Allen was pulled after allowing two goals on three shots in the first period. Backup Carter Hutton came in for 2 minutes and 22 seconds, and then Allen returned. It’s something Hitchcock has done before to give him goalies a mental break.
But then he was forced to completely pull Allen after giving up a fourth goal, 7:33 into the second period. He’s now been pulled in three straight starts.
“It went south when it went to 4-1,” said Hitchcock.
Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy 8 hrs ago
About six weeks ago, the American Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls prepared for the San Diego Chargers to make a decision on if they wanted to stay in the market.
The Gulls had two plans once the Chargers made their choice, one celebrating the team staying and another lamenting their decision to leave. The NFL gave the Chargers a mid-January deadline to determine if they wanted to relocate from San Diego and Qualcomm Stadium and the Gulls had this timeframe in mind.
“We wanted to be at least knowledgeable of our local market so we were ready for either scenario,” Gulls president of business operations Matt Savant said.
The Chargers decided to move to Los Angeles and this choice put plans in motion by the Gulls to create a situation where local sports fans could get together, talk, commiserate a little but also check out the area’s other pro contact sport.
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 8 hrs ago
The NHL released details on its All-Star Game Skills Competition next Saturday night in Los Angeles. We’re going to have all the usual fun, and one new event that’s going to replace the glorious prop comedy of the Breakaway Challenge (RIP).
Keep in mind this is a divisional format, with the overall winner picking which team they wanted to face first in Sunday’s 3-on-3 tournament.
So this season, we’ll have:
Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay. The one with the one-timers, the puck control around traffic cones, the stick-handling, the goalie goals and those dumb passing into mini-nets. Points Available: 3 – The team with the fastest time in each heat scores one point; the team with the fastest overall time scores one bonus point.
DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting. Jonathan Toews, shooting at Styrofoam. Points Available: 6 –The winner of each match-up scores one point; the player who hits all four targets in the fastest time scores the bonus point for his team. If a player breaks Daniel Sedin’s record of 7.3 seconds, they score one bonus point for their team.
Finally, here are the details on the new event, the Honda NHL Four Line Challenge.
From the NHL:
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Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago
A charter bus carrying the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League rolled over on I-74 as they were en route to Illinois for this weekend’s games against the Peoria Rivermen.
According to the Rivermen, there were 24 members of the organization on board, from players to coaches to staff, and all were brought to a local hospital for examination.
All 24 were transported to the hospital, an Illinois State Police spokesman said. Two had to be extricated from the vehicle and were transported immediately to the hospital, while the others followed later in another bus. Morton Fire Chief Joe Kelley said his firefighters had to cut out holes in the top of the bus to remove the two. The rest were able to get out on their own.
According to Andy Kravetz, three people are in serious condition with the rest dealing with minor injuries.
The Cottonmouths released a statement on Thursday afternoon:
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Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 9 hrs ago
[Breaking down the plausibility of the week’s biggest rumor.]
With NHL Trade Season now finally upon us — less than six weeks to the deadline, gang! — and more than half the season gone, we’re starting to get a good idea of what teams will be looking to buy or sell. And more to the point, we’re getting an idea of what teams need.
A team with a very clear need right now is Chicago.
Their lead in the Central has all but evaporated after another incredible start. They opened the year 22-8-4 but have since gone a more pedestrian 6-6-1, though that includes a four-game winning streak. Moreover, the degradation of the team’s depth has been a lot more noticeable this year, with a rough season from Jonathan Toews and some of the team’s lower-level players masqueraded by another dynamite season from Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin, as well as both Corey Crawford and Scott Darling combining to be one of the best goaltending tandems in the league.
So what does Chicago need? Someone to potentially bust Toews out of his slump and fill that left wing slot that’s become something of a John Tavares-like black hole in terms of finding a workable partner.
And it’s one on top of a few that already exist.
Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago
LOS ANGELES – San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton truly meant what he said about teammate Brent Burns in mid-December when he called the defenseman the “best player in the world.”
To Thornton, this wasn’t just some hollow ‘pumping up my teammate’ type of hyperbole. It wasn’t supposed to be some subtle dig at Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who led his team over the Sharks in six games in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Thornton believed that Burns was playing at a level he hadn’t seen in all his years of pro hockey, and he wanted to let people know how he felt.
“Just the amount of minutes he plays every night, what he means to our team, what he does out there – I think it’s something you probably haven’t seen too many defensemen do over the last 100 years to be realistic,” Thornton said of the 31-year-old Burns. “I think he’s a special type of player and I get to see him every night so I know how talented he is but I said he’s one of the most dominant players in the game and I really, truly believe that.”
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Jen Neale at Puck Daddy 10 hrs 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Jamie Benn: a good looking guy in the least flattering photo ever. The ‘best of the worst’ of 2016-17 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey cards. [Puck Junk]
• The firing of Claude Julien feels inevitable at this point but it doesn’t make it right. [Bruins Daily]
• “The Bruins have no idea what they’re doing.” [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
• The NHL sets Feb. 4 as the debut date for the slimmed down goaltender pants. [In Goal Mag]
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Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago
Friends has been off the television airwaves for the last 13 years, but there’s not a day that goes by that you can’t find a re-run somewhere on television or find our pal Dave Lozo talking about it on Twitter.
Now we have videos from fans that create their own opening to the show set to the famous Rembrandt’s tune “I’ll Be There For You” using NHL players. YouTube user “Polish Thrasher” has created one featuring the antics of the likes of Auston Matthews, Sidney Crosby, Brent Burns, Brad Marchand and P.K. Subban.
Of all the hockey clips and commercials out there, there has to be one that features several NHLers dancing around in a fountain, right? We get naked Zdeno Chara but no fountain hijinks?
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago
(WARNING: STRONG ADULT LANGUAGE AND HUMOR. LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.)
PUCK SOUP is the hockey podcast on the Nerdist network from Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski and Dave Lozo of Vice Sports, Uproxx and The Comeback. This is a hockey podcast, in the sense that the talk about hockey, both on the ice and about fan culture. That’s the “puck.” This is also a podcast about movies, TV, fast food, life lessons and general idiocy. That’s the “soup.”
Here’s the rundown of today’s episode:
Open: Ilya Bryzgalov and Patrik Laine discuss the dangers of bears in schools and the necessity of having guns to kill them.
7:00 – Jack Capuano is fired by the New York Islanders.
11:30 – Lozo reports an amazing rumor he heard about why Garth Snow hasn’t been fired. (Hint: It involves a DiPietro-like contract.)
Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago
By Chris Morgan
Thursday brings with it eight games, and that includes the two teams that give up the most goals on average in the NHL. That should be enticing for your daily fantasy lineups, and we’re here to help you find solid value and avoid some less-enthusing matchups…
Pekka Rinne , NAS at CGY ($32): Rinne has been quite strong in his last six outings, posting a 1.63 GAA and a .946 save percentage. That recent uptick in play has raised his overall save percentage to .921. The Flames are 20th in goals per game (2.60) and they also only take 28.9 shots on goal per contest. Rinne comes at a middle-of-the-road price, which gives him more upside in terms of value than some other netminders. If he continues to play as he has recently, he could end up being quite the steal.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Ben Bishop , TAM at SAN ($34): Yes, the Sharks will be on the second night of a back-to-back, but expected starter Aaron Dell has a 1.96 GAA. Bishop, meanwhile, has a 2.64 GAA and a .910 save percentage. The Lightning are also 9-12-3 on the road, while San Jose is 15-6-1 at home.
CENTER TO AVOID