- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy40 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 .
• Why San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is still the NHL’s most underappreciated star player. The 36-year-old Thornton had a renaissance year with 82 points in 82 games. [USA Today]Fri, Apr 2910:30 PM EDTNashville at San JosePreview Game
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy49 mins ago
Tom Wilson will be fined, not suspended by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for kneeing Conor Sheary of the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night.
The Washington Capitals forward will be docked a whopping $2,403.67 for the hit, which should certainly teach Wilson lesson. That dollar amount, of course, is the maximum allowable under the current NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement.
Via NHL.com’s Katie Brown, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz said he thought the hit was “OK, but not necessary.” Sheary was not injured on the play and remained in the game.
Will Wilson face repercussions in Game 2 Saturday night? It doesn't sound like it if you're asking Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan. “I didn’t get an explanation. I’m not concerned," he said. "We’re going to play hockey.”
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- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Less than 48 hours after the Anaheim Ducks were eliminated in Game 7 by the Nashville Predators, the team announced the firing of head coach Bruce Boudreau.
"I would like to thank Bruce for his hard work and dedication to the franchise,” said Ducks GM Bob Murray in a statement. “This was a very difficult decision to make. Bruce is a good coach and character person, and we wish him the best of luck in the future.”
In four and a half seasons in Anaheim, Boudreau posted a 208-104-40 record and led the team to four straight Pacific Division titles. The regular-season success, however, didn’t translate into the postseason as his Ducks teams only advanced beyond the second-round once, in 2015, before they blew a 3-2 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final.Wed, Apr 27Nashville2 - 1AnaheimGame Recap
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Depending on the day and to whom you’re speaking, the NHL is either going to totally expand – at the very least, to Las Vegas – or it’s going to hold off on it for the foreseeable future.
But if the NHL expands, and we suspect it will, one major hurdle towards the executive committee’s approval of it was cleared this week. Gary Lawless of TSN reports that the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed on the framework and format for an expansion draft.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, that format includes the protection of seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie, or eight skaters and a goalie. There’s an exemption for second-year pros, meaning that if the draft is held in 2017 neither Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel would have to be protected.
From Lawless, who believes that the decision on expansion will happen soon:
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Basically the second the Ducks went down 2-0 in Game 7 on Wednesday night, people began speculating whether this was it for Bruce Boudreau behind the bench in Anaheim.
You can see why they would. The guy loses Game 7 matchups on an alarmingly regular basis, and his teams so often seem to put up little or no fight to their opponents in the process. He's 1-7 in his career in such situations, and has dropped six straight. That kind of thing builds you a reputation in this sport, and it's a reputation you certainly do not want to carry.
In fact, in the last four Boudreau-coached seasons, the Ducks have found themselves in 2-0 holes less than 17 minutes into each of the four Games 7 they have played. They also faced a 2-0 deficit in 2010 against Montreal (2-1 loss) and were down 5-0 against Pittsburgh in 2009 before scoring (6-2 loss). Only Game 7 against the Flyers in 2008 (a 3-2 overtime loss) and Game 7 in the opening round against the Rangers in 2009 (a 2-1 win, but they conceded 5:35 into the game) blemish this otherwise ignominious record.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie was the hero of Game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins after he completed a hat trick with an overtime goal for the 4-3 win.
“Osh, right from the get-go, had good jump in his game,” said coach Barry Trotz.
Perhaps he took some inspiration from another Oshie and her performance against the Penguins earlier in the day.
T.J. Oshie said a neighbor left a Pittsburgh poster on the stoop of their house. So his wife, Lauren Cosgrove, and 2-year-old daughter Lyla, decided to make a statement with it … by having the young girl punt it
Now that’s inspiration. Although Oshie admitted that he doesn’t even know how the stars aligned for him in Game 1.
“Pucks just went in. They usually don’t,” he said.
Oshie’s goal at 9:33 of overtime was his third of the game and a controversial one that needed video review to be confirmed, as the puck appeared to just inch over the goal line past Penguins goalie Matt Murray.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
The Capitals forward tallied his first career playoff hat trick as Washington took Game 1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. After tying the game in the second period and giving the Capitals the lead early in the third, Oshie turned a neutral zone turnover into the overtime winner.
No. 2 Star: Nick Bonino, Pittsburgh Penguins
Bonino helped the Penguins stay in the game by recording two points — a goal and an assist — that evened the score both times with the Capitals. Down 1-0 midway through the second period Bonino set up Ben Lovejoy’s first of the postseason after a nice dangle through the Washington defense.
His goal came with Pittsburgh trailing 3-2 with 10:18 left in the third period.
No. 3 Star: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
The Penguins outshot the Capitals 45-35 and 36-29 at even strength. Holtby would stop 42 shots overall on the night, which included 27 combined in the second and third periods. Game 1 was only the third game all season Holtby was forced to make 40-plus stops.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
T.J. Oshie completed his hat trick to help give the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of their divisional semifinal against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
With the score tied 3-3 in overtime, Oshie, who tied the game in the second period and gave the Capitals the lead early in the third, took advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone and drove into the Penguins' zone. Skating around Brian Dumoulin, he wrapped around the Pittsburgh net and stuffed the puck under the pad of goaltender Matt Murray.
As hats rained down to the Verizon Center ice, officials reviewed the goal to ensure the puck had completely crossed the line. It was very, very close.
In the end, video review confirmed the call on the ice as a good goal as the Capitals took Game 1.
The goal, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, saw Oshie join Nicklas Backstrom and Dino Ciccarelli as the only players in Capitals franchise history to finish off a playoff hat trick in overtime.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
Washington Capitals blunt force object Tom Wilson was going to be a physical presence in their second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and didn’t waste any time in Game 1 making that presence known.
And, as Tom Wilson is one to do, crossing the line of legality in doing so.
As Wilson skated back to the Capitals bench on a change, he suddenly veered to this left so he could deliver a knee-on-knee leg-whip to Penguins forward Conor Sheary, who went back to the bench gingerly but played a regular shift in the third period after the hit.
No penalty was called on the play. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan emphatically informed the referees he was displeased with this at the next stoppage. Said Sullivan: “I didn’t get an explanation. I’m not concerned. We’re going to play hockey.”
Wilson earned a roughing call in a second-period tussle with Evgeni Malkin, who was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for diving.
Does Sullivan expect NHL Player Safety to get involved?
“I have no idea. But those guys are pretty diligent with their job and they’ll go what they think is appropriate.”
Here's the NBC analysis. It's weird.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
Here’s something you don’t see every night in the NHL: an entire stick getting caught in a player’s visor. That’s what happened to Jay Beagle of the Washington Capitals Thursday night.
During Game 1 of their series against the Penguins, Beagle collided with Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang, with Letang's stick getting lodged in the Capitals forward's visor.
Beagle, as you see, tried to pry it loose and remain in the play, but realized that wasn't going to happen and needed to skate back to the Washington bench to get some assistance from an equipment manager. Fortunately, he was OK and eventually got free from the giant splinter.
I think we all know now what will be the most popular Halloween costume in the D.C. area later this year.
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