- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
The Florida Panthers didn’t really ‘need’ a win to stay within the realm of playoff possibilities in the Eastern Conference. With a loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, the Panthers still technically have a chance to make the playoffs. But it’s not looking good following a 3-2 regulation loss to Boston.
With 1:09 left in the third period Bruins forward Milan Lucic fired the laser … err wrister past Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, which prevented Florida (which came into the game four points back of Boston with six games left) from gaining any sort of ground or limiting losses with a possible overtime or shootout defeat.
Said captain Willie Mitchell to the Miami Herald:
“We needed a win. That was it,” Willie Mitchell said in soft, reserved tones.
“On to the next one, you know? We’ll be playing our tails off doing everything we can to put points on the board. That’s all we can control. On to the next one.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
No. 1. Star: Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins
In big games, your top players need to come up with the big plays. Lucic scored a goal and added an assist in a crucial 3-2 regulation win over Florida. The game-winner came with 1:09 left in the game. The victory essentially eliminated the Panthers from playoff contention, and kept the Bruins three points clear of Ottawa (who also won) for the final playoff spot.
No. 2. Star: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
The Caps’ sniper picked up his 50th goal in a season for the sixth time in his career. He also added an assist for good measure in a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Caps’ plus-37 goal differential ranks third in the Eastern Conference.
No. 3 Star: Nick Bonino, Vancouver Canucks
Notched two assists in a big 5-4 shootout win over the Nashville Predators. Bonino also played 19:05 in the contest. The victory further cemented Vancouver’s playoff status – seven points clear of Los Angeles, which is the final team out of the postseason.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
For at least a little while, it seemed like the Vancouver Canucks had changed their diving and ‘cheap shotting’ ways. This wasn’t the same type of group many despised, like the squad that lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final in 2011 and the LA Kings Twitter feed trolled in 2012.
But at least for one night, against the Nashville Predators in a 5-4 shootout win, the Canucks morphed back into that type of team in a few plays.
First, we take a look at Alex Burrows’ hit on Predators forward Paul Gaustad. (S/t Steph as always)
i really don't know what happened. i think it's just shoulder contact, but holding his face for no reason is absurd pic.twitter.com/0WMdT1rWTS
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
Dustin Byfuglien, why in the world did you crosscheck Rangers forward J.T. Miller in the head? We know you’re a bit of a bully,but that’s just plain wrong.
Check out the video from New York's 3-2 regulation win over the Jets:
The grainy Zapruder-like eyeball test indicates that there should be supplemental discipline on the play. I mean, he crosschecked the dude in the back of the neck/head area. Why? Brain fart? Who knows. Miller did stay in the game.
After the game, New York coach Alain Vigneault said the following per Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun:
“Violent,deliberate. Could have broken his neck. It was one of the most vicious cross-checks I've seen this year."
And especially with the Jets in the middle of a playoff race that’s likely going to come right down to the wire. Not a smart play by Byfuglien, at all …
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
Detroit forward Drew Miller, who wears a visor, took a skate from Ottawa’s Mark Stone. The play looked completely accidental as Stone was falling down when it happened. The photo of Miller (s/t @redwingsmemes) is above. Wow, that was incredibly close.
Anyway, here is the video:
From coach Mike Babcock after the game
Babcock said He doesn't know if Miller will be ready Thursday but expects to have more hands on deck.
Here is an update on Miller from our own Nick Cotsonika after the play:
Miller suffered two deep lacerations around his right eye, but apparently no damage to the eye itself.
Miller suffered two deep lacerations around his right team but no eye damage, the team said.
Skate injuries are awful, but thankfully it seems as if Miller will be OK. Yet another one of those 'could have been worse' type plays. Amazing at how close that was per the picture.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
Alex Ovechkin has done it again! For the sixth time in his career the Great Eight has scored 50 goals! Please read previous two sentences with loud screaming announcer voice...
And with this score (as shown in the below video against the Carolina Hurricanes) he also ties Peter Bondra for first on the all-time Washington Capitals goal scoring list with 472. It took Ovi 755 games to do this. It took Bondra 961 contests to equal that mark.
Other players who have scored 50 or more goals six or more times in their careers? Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy. No big deal, right?
Anyway, the video of his goal:
It’s just Ovi finding an opening and burying it. Oh, did you know he was also a plus-9 going into the game? So hence, this 50 isn't tainted as last year's was, according to the plus/minus truthers.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
(Welcome to the NHL Draft Tank Powerless Rankings, a weekly look at the race to the bottom in the League for the right to draft Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.)
If before last week's 'Tank Wars' match up between the Sabres and Coyotes, if I was to tell you Buffalo would get three points to Arizona's two, what would you say? You would believe me? You wouldn't? At very least, Sabres GM Tim Murray is probably slamming his head against a wall.
14. Los Angeles Kings (88 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 1.0 percent
Chances of making the playoffs: 51.7 percent
The Kings went 3-2-0 on their five-game roadtrip. That's actually pretty good ... but not when you're fighting to make the playoffs. If they win the lottery, it'll be like the Spurs getting Tim Duncan after one so-so year and then turning into arguably the greatest NBA franchise of the last 20 years.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy17 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 email@example.com.
• Gordie Howe at a pre-birthday dinner with his family in Lubbock, Texas. [Bill Roose]
• It’s Gordie Howe 87th birthday. This is truly a milestone considering all that Mr. Hockey has gone through this year. [Detroit Free Press]
• An inside look at the Gordie Howe hat trick. Despite the (fight, assist, goal) stat having his name, he only accomplished it twice in his career. [Third String Goalie]
• Tampa Bay looks for playoff redemption with a team worthy of a deep run. [Yahoo]
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
But with Jagr’s recently trade to the Florida Panthers, the group needs a new member. Enter the Panthers’ promotion department, who have stepped up to help fill the group’s empty spot. Before their game on April 2 against the Carolina Hurricane, the team will be holding tryouts for a “Non-Traveling Jagr” position.
According to the online job description, entrants must “lack of any knowledge of socially acceptable hairstyles,” have a “willingness to take many, many pictures with fellow Travelling Jagr members and fans,” and, of course, have “expert knowledge of the professional hockey career of one Jaromir Jagr.”
Vitally important: It's BYOM: Bring your own mullet. (We prefer 1990 NHL Draft Hair Jagr, ourselves.)
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 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: Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press talks Red Wings.
• Boston vs. the Cats, and the Sens are waiting.
• The pesky Flames.
• Tank Talk.
Question of the Day: Which Stanley Cup Playoff matchup do you most want to see? Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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!