- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy46 mins ago
Having covered Alex Semin with the Washington Capitals for several seasons, the Carolina Hurricanes’ decision to hand him a 5-year contract in 2013 was fraught with potential disaster.
One the one hand, Semin’s line with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty was downright dominant in 2012-13; at the time of the contract, he led the team with 22 assists and was second in points and plus-minus. Then the injury bug hit, and hit again the following season, when he was limited 65 games, scoring 22 goals.
On the other hand, he’s a player whose motivation and preparedness have been at issue throughout his career. So far this season, it’s been disastrous: One goal in 22 games, several healthy scratches and Coach Bill Peters calling out his effort in what’s been a lost season for the Canes.
From the News & Observer, Peters torched Semin on Tuesday:Tue, Jan 274:30 PM PSTTampa Bay at CarolinaPreview Game
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio — At this time last season the Washington Capitals were on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, a photo they wouldn’t get a chance to be in come mid-April. After a summer of change, they sit in a pretty comfortable position as the second half begins.
The Capitals didn’t head out on their All-Star Weekend vacations on a good note. They lost three in a row, allowing 13 goals in that stretch after winning six of seven. Two of those losses came at the hands of the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers, two teams not in playoff position in the West. The other defeat came against head coach Barry Trotz’s old team, the Nashville Predators. The homecoming ended with a sour taste after Matt Niskanen’s turnover allowed James Neal to pot the winning goal with 1:40 left in the game.
But the the six-day break did allow for them to rest up, decompress and take their minds off those losses. Washington re-grouped Monday in Columbus ahead of their game against the Blue Jackets, a team desperate for points.Tue, Jan 274:00 PM PSTWashington at ColumbusPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The NHL hasn’t released a video explaining Zac Rinaldo’s eight-game suspension, which was for “charging and boarding” Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins last week. But one assumes Rinaldo didn’t do himself any favors with his behavior after the game.
Please recall Rinaldo making light of the incident after the game, an incident that sparked a fight-filled second period between the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. “Yeah, I changed the whole game, man. [Expletive], who knows what the game would have been like if I didn’t do what I did?” he said.
The NHL Department of Player Safety quickly announced he’d have an in-person hearing for the hit.Tue, Jan 274:00 PM PSTWinnipeg at PittsburghPreview Game
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 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.
• Brian Elliott had quite the All-Star weekend [Brian Elliott on Twitter]
• Kings center Mike Richards clears waivers. Manchester is the next stop for the expensive center. [Los Angeles Times twitter]
• Dean Lombardi explains the Richards move the only way he can … using a baseball analogy. [Orange County Register]
• The NHL All-Star Game is horrible for many reasons but that's not a big deal. [Sporting News]
• NHL All-Star weekend is perfect the way it is. [SB Nation]
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
NASHVILLE – There has always been symmetry between Colorado coach/HOF goaltender Patrick Roy and former New Jersey/St. Louis goaltender Martin Brodeur. The records, the style of play, the French Canadian bravado all come into mind.
But when Roy retired after the 2002-03 season at the age of 37 it was a shock. He had a 2.18 goals against average and .920 save percentage. Sure, his body was breaking down, but he was still effective.
With Brodeur, at the age of 42 and failing stats – it wasn’t a surprise at all. What is odd is that Brodeur has taken a job with the St. Louis Blues front office and not with his long-time team, the Devils (we'll get to that in a second).
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Blue Jackets face a daunting task in their final 37 games. They sit 14 points out of a playoff spot. They have six players currently on injured reserved. Included on that list is goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who will miss 4-6 weeks after injuring his groin last week.
Last season, the Blue Jackets had a reported 169 man-games lost to injury. This year they’re already at 170, as of last week, third-most in the NHL.
Since before the regular season even began, starting with Nathan Horton, the hits have just kept coming for Columbus. Seemingly every week there’s a player getting dinged and needing to miss time. No team will ever use injuries as an excuse, but what’s happened to the Blue Jackets this year has definitely stalled the momentum built up from last season’s playoff appearance.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
It's a Tuesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Rich Hammond on the LA Kings.
• Brodeur retires.
• The World Cup of Hockey.
• News and notes.
Question of the Day: Your thoughts on Marty Brodeur as he retires. Ask us anything! Email email@example.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!Wed, Jan 287:30 PM PSTChicago at Los AngelesPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Martin Brodeur is finally calling it a career.
Yes, the Blues. Not the New Jersey Devils, where he spent 24 seasons and a team that has been fairly consistent in bringing back the franchise’s legendary players work with the organization. Which is a little awkward, considering Devils GM Lou Lamoriello’s comments about Brodeur just last September:
“Yes. He knows that he will be a Devil for the rest of his life. He’s said it publicly and we’ve talked about it,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello confirmed. “What Marty has done, the type of personality he is and what his experience has been, it’s really a no-brainer. He’s a Devil.”
Hmmm…Wed, Jan 284:30 PM PSTToronto at New JerseyPreview Game
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)
As we begin the second half (and really it's more like the second two-fifths, but don't worry about it), there are a lot of questions facing a lot of teams in the league. The biggest one is, “What does the future hold?”
Most teams in the league have about 35 games or so remaining on their schedules and some serious decisions to make as the trade deadline approaches over the next six weeks, we're almost certainly going to learn a lot about the quality of various teams around the league.Tue, Jan 274:30 PM PSTDetroit at FloridaPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
You know, the NHL and the KHL have a lot in common. Alex Radulov. Shady ownership. Hatred of the IIHF.
And, of course … MASCOTS!
They’re a little creepy. Some of them have the dirty charms of a Times Square costumed performer, and some of them look like generic versions of other better mascots, and some of them are OMG DEMONIC SNOWMAN!!!!
The KHL All-Star Game was last weekend, and the League’s furries were front-and-center during the event. Featured in the clip above: a mascot shootout. Which, in all honesty, should probably replace the regular-season shootout.
How does one measure the effectiveness of a shootout move? When the goalie literally loses his head:
In which thousands of young fans run screaming from their seats at the arena, and thousands of ice cream bars are purchased by nervous parents.
But here’s the thing: When you try to bring demon snowmen and a moose and a bear and a puma with a butterfly face together on the same ice, you can’t expect them to all get along.
Which brings us to another highlight of the KHL All-Star Game – MASCOT BRAWL!
Needed some confetti. That would have clinched it.