- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche
Duchene was in on every goal in the Avalanche's 4-3 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets. He scored twice, assisted on another, and scored the shootout winner. Love this goal, where he steals a puck in the defensive zone, then rushes down the other way and scores.
He should be on Team Canada.
No. 2 Star: Rob Klinkhammer, Phoenix Coyotes
Klinkhammer had a three-point night for the Coyotes in their 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders, with 2 goals and an assist. What a pickup this guy was.
No. 3 Star: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
Pavelski scored twice as the Sharks ended their four-game losing streak, beating the Minnesota Wild, 3-1.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
Much is made of the Boston Bruins' toughness, but really, it's just based on two guys: Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic, both of whom take regular shifts, and both of whom are absolutely terrifying gentlemen with whom to trade fists. It's a great situation for everyone else. When you have a pair of guys with a reputation for rarely losing bouts that few are eager to test, the whole team can play bigger.
But occasionally, Lucic and Chara are going to have to prove they're still elite punchers of the face, and on Thursday night versus the Edmonton Oilers, Lucic was asked to do just that, squaring off with Luke Gazdic.
The fight was a true heavyweight tilt, with some absolute bombs thrown. But here's what makes this one really notable: You could argue that Gazdic won it.
I'm going to give the decision to Gazdic, but even if you disagree, I think it's safe to say he didn't lose. And that's something. Lucic is a terror.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
Above is a photo of Scott Hartnell talking to Alexei Emelin of the Montreal Canadiens immediately following a hit to the head of Flyers' forward Steve Downie. He appears to be suggesting something is tiny. Probably the difference between a clean hit and a dirty hit in today's fast-moving NHL. Probably.
Emelin was given a five-minute major for elbowing and tossed from Thursday night's game after a nasty hit along the near boards.
I'm sure some Montreal fans will accuse Downie of embellishment on this play, especially with that delayed reaction, but it looks to me like the hit really just stunned him. It's concerning, especially since he's already missed four games this season with a concussion suffered on a blow to the head.
But that one was from a punch, which the league casually condones. This time, it's an elbow, so Emelin should probably be somewhat concerned for himself as well. He may miss some time.
It looks to me like he threw a bit of a chicken-wing, and if he did, he's in some trouble. Any time the camera catches you going the extra mile to get the head, you can expect a call from the Department.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
Brian Burke had an eventful day. Firing Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster and assistant GM John Weisbrod. Naming himself interim general manger. Giving his kids a chance to joke about his mad scientist hair on Twitter.
Here are five things we learned from Burkie today about his job and the direction of the Flames.
1. His Opening Press Conference Was a Sham
Burke said his assignment from ownership, when he was hired, was to take 60 days and evaluate how the current management group had done.
“When I took the job, I told [Ken King] that you can’t evaluate an organization from the outside,” said Burke, in speaking about his decision to fire Feaster. His evaluation included an assessment of Feaster’s transaction history, which Burke felt should have yielded a better bounty.
This is completely not what Burke was selling when he was hired, which was that he and Feaster would be a management team together:
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
Create-a-Caption : "Matt Beleskey #39 of the Anaheim Ducks slides into the goal during the game against the Minnesota Wild on December 11, 2013."
• • •
Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Rangers, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Have you ever been on Twitter when news breaks, and everyone makes the same obvious joke but acts like they’ve just validated the existence of the Higgs boson particle? ( Raises hand as that person, with frequency .)
It's basically the same phenomenon as the “ugly Christmas sweater” trend in minor league hockey.
First came the Reading Royals of the ECHL:
And then the Knoxville Ice Bears of the SPHL:
And the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL:
Aaaaaaaand the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL:
And we're not even halfway through December yet ...
To this trend, we cry HUMBUG! And here's why:
1. The death of creativity. Oh, look, a couple are red and a couple are green. But it's the same collection of iconography remixed into seasonal colors. Reindeer jumping! Reindeer jumping over trees! Reindeer jumping into snowflakes! Snowflakes falling on trees! Trees falling on reindeer!
We all love a holiday cookie cutter, but c’mon already.
2. None of the reindeer are having sex. Somewhere, Michael Del Zotto weeps into his “HBO 24/7” sweater.
3. They’re not that ugly. Seriously, do any of these rise to the level of “ugly” as far as holiday sweaters go?
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
When playing road hockey, it's important to keep an eye out for automobiles. After all, you're playing on their turf, and they're much, much bigger than you. So when one happens your way, you shout "Car!" and you get out of the way.
Pond hockey players face no such hazards. Your chances of being hit by a car while skating on a frozen river are slim. But, as this video shows, you do have to keep an eye out for sliding helicopters:
Yes, you did just see a full-sized helicopter nearly score a goal in a game of pond hockey.
There's more to the story, though. This wasn't some act of recklessness that narrowly missed killing a group of northern Canadian puck heads, either by running them over or cracking the ice on which they skated.
As Bradley Friesen, the helicopter pilot who shot the video and was driving the copter, notes in an e-mail written to Transport Canada, this was a carefully orchestrated shot for what's sure to be one of the greatest hockey games ever put on film.
"I truly believe it was done in a safe, and responsible manner," he says, "without danger to the aircraft or crew-members on the ground."
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
“This is all about having a parade," Calgary Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke said while explaining his decision to fire general manager Jay Feaster.
A man who knows a thing or two about holding a Stanley Cup parade in Calgary is Joe Nieuwendyk, former team captain and ex-NHL general manager. According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the Dallas Stars, who fired Nieuwendyk last April after four seasons, granted permission for him to speak to the Flames about their open position.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy15 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.
• The Canucks broke out their ugly Christmas sweaters last night. Here's Zack Kassian rocking a vest. [PITB]
• Ever wonder what it's like to be a member of the DoPS Cops? Go inside the NHL's Department of Player Safety. As it turns out, the word that usually means an NHLer is screwed, suspension-wise, is "Thoughts?" [Boston Globe]
• A mystery owner wants a team in Hamilton. My money's on Jim Balsillie, having undergone extensive plastic surgery to look like Johnny Depp, like in that movie The Tourist . [The Spec]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
It's a Thursday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more: unappealing
Special Guest Star: Bill Ranford, former NHL goaltending great and current LA Kings goalie coach, talks about the rise of Martin Jones.
• Brian Burke fires Jay Feaster.
• The Blackhawks seem unstoppable.
• Sochi Watch continues.
• NHL news and notes.