- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy21 mins ago
The Buffalo Sabres on Saturday and to the extent that they only ever had a 20-percent chance of winning it, general manager Tim Murray was for second place.
He was so disconsolate about not getting Connor McDavid that his exit interviews at the lottery came with the deadened intonation of a hostage reading a list of demands.
“I'm disappointed for our fans,” he said of the people who cheered for his team to lose games down the stretch. Later, when it probably dawned on him that he was, ahem, settling for Jack Eichel, he also added “We're happy with second; two franchise-changing guys in this draft.”
Franchise-changing indeed. I can't speak to the quality of Connor McDavid personally, having seen him zero times live and probably only six or seven on television, but what I can tell you about Jack Eichel is that there has probably never been a draft-eligible freshman in NCAA hockey of his caliber. It might not, in fact, even be close.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Perhaps not since “have another donut, you fat pig” has a bizarre food-related non-sequitur entered the collective conscious of hockey fans.
After the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Game 3 loss to the New York Rangers on Monday night, kindly old GM Jim Rutherford decided to let off some steam at the expense of Rob Rossi, caustic Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist, Penguins naysayer and occasional guest on the Marek Vs. Wyshynski podcast (in full disclosure).
It was there, in the bowels of the arena, where Rutherford delivered a dish best served cold:
After exiting a media elevator and while walking with other reporters to the Penguins' dressing room, Rutherford addressed this columnist, a frequent critic since his hiring last June, in an obscenity-laced diatribe.
“Thanks for your support,” Rutherford said repeatedly.
“You're a (expletive) jerk,” Rutherford said repeatedly.
Rutherford followed the jerk comment with a suggestion to “go sell ice cream now,” then a challenge to look him in the eye, which I did while explaining my role as Trib Total Media's lead sports columnist.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
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The Winnipeg Jets keep breaking hearts all over Manitoba in the playoffs.
Winnipeg held a lead entering the third period for the third straight game in this first round series against the Anaheim Ducks. And the Jets were totally going to not blow it this time, like they did in Games 1 and 2. Right? Wrong. Totally wrong. They somehow did it again in a 5-4 loss to Anaheim.
Now, Winnipeg is down 0-3 against the Ducks. The Jets franchise – which goes back to the Atlanta Thrashers – has yet to win a playoff game.
"We don’t stop believing in that room," said Ryan Kesler per the Winnipeg Free Press. "It has been like that all year. To do it in the playoffs in three straight games, it’s pretty special, and there is something special growing in that locker room right now."
Kesler scored the game-tying goal for Anaheim with 2:14 left in regulation. Rickard Rakell tipped in a Francois Beauchemin shot at the 5:12 mark of OT for the game-winner.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
No. 1 Stars: Zach Parise/Jason Pominville/Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild
The Wild went up 2-1 in their series versus the St. Louis Blues with a big 3-0 shutout Monday night. The Parise/Pominville/Granlund line combined for both Minnesota goals in the second period, which were scored in a span of 2:05. Devan Dubnyk earned his first career playoff shutout with 17 saves.
No. 2 Star: Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks spoiled the first Stanley Cup playoff game in Winnipeg since 1996 with a 5-4 overtime victory. Silfverberg scored a goal and assisted on two others, while Andrew Cogliano had a trio of assists. Francois Beauchemin recorded two helpers, with his second coming on Rickard Rakell’s overtime winner:
No. 3 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
King Henrik made 23 saves, including 12 in the final period as the Rangers edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 to take a 2-1 lead in their series. Carl Hagelin opened the scoring in the first and Chris Kreider doubled New York’s lead in the second:
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
That sound you heard earlier Monday night? It was probably eminating from MTS Arena in Winnipeg, where the Jets hosted a Stanley Cup Playoff game for the first time since 1996 when they faced off against the Anaheim Ducks.
Scoring the first playoff goal for Jets 2.0? That would be Lee Stempniak, who gave Winnipeg a 1-0 lead midway through the first period of Game 3 and caused the decibel levels to spike.
Nineteen years ago next Tuesday, Norm McIver scored the final goal in the history of Jets 1.0 before the franchise moved to Phoenix to become the Coyotes. Since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipe in 2011, Jets 2.0 failed to reach the playoffs until this season.
Despite the franchise history not connecting, the Jets and their fans brought back the whiteout tradition (even as the team wore their blue jerseys) and the arena looked like Winnipeg Arena of the 1990s.
Fans got creative in their whiteout attire, like this guy, who dressed as the Queen:
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
Dustin Byfuglien totally learned from his crosscheck to the back of the head of J.T. Miller that he will never try to create any blunt force trauma to the noggin of an unsuspecting player ever again. Wait, no he didn’t learn.
Check out this sucker punch of Corey Perry after the Anaheim forward put the Ducks up 2-1 in Monday’s Game 3 against Winnipeg. Byfuglien was assessed a 2-minute minor for a rough.
Just dumb stuff again from Big Buff. Is Perry known as a guy who dives a bit? Yeah, he is. But when you’re hit to the back of the head and not prepared for it, of course you’ll drop. Not to make this all about Byfuglien and his in-game ability to be brain dead at points, but between the Miller crosscheck and now this, dude needs to learn a little.
But there’s another day for that argument on Byfuglien. As of this moment, Perry is still in the game, as is Byfuglien, and there was discipline on the play in the game.
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- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
Since Devan Dubnyk took over the starting job in Minnesota on Jan. 15, he hasn’t lost consecutive games in regulation. That streak has continued into the playoffs.
Behind Dubnyk’s 24 saves, the Wild took a 2-1 series over the St. Louis Blues with an impressive 3-0 victory Monday night.
After a scoreless first period, the Wild blitzed Jake Allen with a pair of goals in 2:05 after some solid work by the line of Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Mikael Granlund:
The shutout was the result of a big bounce-back performance by the Wild, who lost Game 2 4-1, thanks to a Vladimir Tarasenko hat trick. The Russian sniper didn’t get a shot off Monday night as the Blues lost their ninth straight playoff road game.
Game 4 is Wednesday night back at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota.
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MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
The New York Rangers took a 2-1 series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night with a 2-1 victory.
For the third straight game New York scored the opening goal. Keith Yandle took advantage of the Penguins while on a line change midway through the first period and sprung the speedy Carl Hagelin:
The Rangers kept the Penguins’ big guns at bay, holding Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to a combined two shots. Pittsburgh's only goal came via Patric Hornqvist during a third period press where they put 13 shots on Henrik Lundqvist, who ended with 23 saves.
New York had a 2-0 lead by that point, thanks to Marc Staal's perfectly placed shot wide of Marc-Andre Fleury, which bounced right to Chris Kreider, who was in front to bat it home:
Game 4 is Wednesday night back at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
For the 16th time in their past 24 games the Penguins failed to score more than two or more goals. The disappearance of their offense was a key factor in their 4-9-2 finish to the regular season and a reason why they've dropped Games 1 and 3 against the Rangers.
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- Nicholas J. Cotsonika at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
WINNIPEG – The NHL will not announce the awarding of an expansion franchise to Las Vegas when the board of governors meets there in June. But the league could announce the start of a formal expansion process if the board decides to proceed. It is unclear how long that process would take.
Potential Las Vegas owner Bill Foley has been running a season-ticket drive to gauge the viability of the market since Feb. 10. His stated goal has been to gather 10,000 commitments from everyday people and land a franchise that would begin playing in 2016-17 after a new arena is completed on the Strip.
Foley announced March 16 he had reached 9,000 commitments. He hasn’t announced anything since, but ESPN.com reported March 30 he had gathered more than 10,000 commitments and now was reaching out to large corporations, including casinos.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
Last week we said the Sharks were like the movie “Highlander” between Todd McLellan, Joe Thornton and Doug Wilson.
In that case, McLellan, now the former head coach, got his head chopped off, and it’s between Thornton, the superstar player, and Wilson, the general manager, to duke it out for “The Prize.” Because in this case with the Sharks, in the end “there can be only one” guy remaining out of this trio. So, McLellan is Sunda Kastagir – the guy who loses before the final showdown between Connor MacLeod and the Kurgan.
On McLellan’s conference call, he was already getting questions about possibly coaching Connor McDavid with Edmonton and his relationship with Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan.