- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy42 mins ago
(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)
Sometimes images stay with you longer than a video. A single moment in time, whether funny or poignant, could tell a bigger story. The game of hockey provides such stunning photography that choosing the best 10 in 2014 wasn't an easy task.
Here are the top 10 hockey photos of 2014.
10. Orebro fans' touching tribute to player's mom (STA via Aftonbladet)
Jared Aulin has spent the last four years playing for Orebro of the Swedish Hockey League. Last spring, he found out his mother had been diagnosed with cancer, a battle she would sadly lose in October. Before a game in March, Orebro fans showed support for one of their own by unveiling this banner in one end of the rink.
9. Team USA's women see golden dreams dashed by a post. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Steve Moses of Jokerit is one of the KHL’s leading offensive players this season: 43 points in 39 games, including 26 goals. He’s a scoring machine; alas, that includes his own net.
In a game against Slovan on Monday, goalie Riku Helenius made a terrific pad save on Vaclav Nedorost. The puck rested on the goal line, its momentum stopped.
That’s when Moses decided to liberate the puck from the crease. And it worked out about as well as it did for the Egyptian army crossing the Red Sea.
Our hero pulled the puck back off his goalie’s elbow. It bounced back to the goal line. He tried to bring it out again … and he put it into his own net.
Helenius was, uh, not amused, smacking his goalie paddle against the cage in frustration.
Or maybe he's angry he hasn’t gotten a check in two months. Thanks, Ruble.
Memo to Leominster's own Mr. Moses: STOP TRYING TO BE SO HELPFUL. You're the guy who tries to save a kitten from a tree and drops the poor thing into a sewer.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
It’s pretty easy to connect the dots that would bring Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock to take over the Edmonton Oilers:
These are obviously concrete, unwavering connections between the Oilers or their geographic home and the best coach in the NHL.
Does that mean he would ever, ever coach the Oilers? Even if the other 29 teams contracted the mump and the NHL was reduced to Edmonton intrasquad games?
Why in the world would Babcock even consider coaching a team which four good men — Pat Quinn, Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger and Dallas Eakins — couldn’t win with?
Well, what if they finished 30th and won the draft lottery?
Connor McDavid is supposedly a generational player the likes of Sidney Crosby. And the consolation prize, Jack Eichel, is supposed to rank up there, too. Even if that didn’t happen, Babcock would certainly have an idea what’s involved with this team having hired Renney as his associate coach in Detroit after he was fired by the Oilers.Thu, Dec 187:30 PM PSTEdmonton at San JosePreview Game
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators
Anderson posted his third shutout of the year and 29th of his career during a 2-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. He turned aside 34 shots to earn his second win in three starts. Kyle Turris scored early in the first period and put the game away with an empty-netter with one second left in the game. Anderson almost got in on the scoring himself with attempt at the empty net late in the game:
No. 2 Star: Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars
The Stars opened up a three-game western Canada road trip with a 2-0 shutout of the Vancouver Canucks. Colton Sceviour opened the scoring early in the second period and then Antoine Roussel turned off the lights with an empty-netter late in the third period. Lehtonen made 27 saves and recorded his second shutout of the season and 29th of his career.
No. 3 Star: Niklas Svedberg, Boston Bruins
Loui Eriksson’s goal 1:30 into overtime helped the Boston Bruins beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 and earn their first win in four games. Svedberg was excellent between the pipes, stopping 35 shots for his second win in three starts.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
Binghamton Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond had a short night on Wednesday against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. After facing three shots in the game's opening 36 seconds, he allowed three goals. If that wasn’t bad enough, the three goals came in a span of 21 seconds.
Yes, three goals. Twenty-one seconds. Petr Straka, Jason Akeson and Andrew Gordon were the history makers.
Said Gordon afterward, via the Phantoms' YouTube page: "I've never even done it in a videogame!"
The rest of the period was dominated mostly by the Senators, who finished the first out-shooting the Phantoms 15-6, but remained off the scoreboard until late in the second period.
The feat tied the AHL record for fastest three goals by one team, which was set by the Hershey Bears in 1962. The record for fastest three goals in an AHL game is 20 seconds, set by the Worcester IceCats and Springfield Falcons in 1997.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
The Calgary Flames have been one of the NHL’s feel-good stories during the first two months of the 2014-15 season. The scrappy bunch have posted a 17-14-2 record and are tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the last wild card spot in the Western Conference. Mark Giordano is again in the Norris Trophy conversation; youngsters Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan are producing; and Jonas Hiller is providing quality goaltending, something the team hasn’t seen since Miikka Kiprusoff retired.
If you’re Bob Hartley, despite a current six-game losing streak, then you’d want to parlay that early-season success into a contract extension. And that he did.
The Flames announced on Wednesday that they’ve signed Hartley to a multi-year extension after guiding the team to a 71-79-13 record over the last three seasons.Fri, Dec 196:00 PM PSTDallas at CalgaryPreview Game
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
James Neal has been fined $2,000 by the NHL for diving/embellishment. And when you see the play that led to the issue, you'll probably know why.
Behold Neal pull a 'cannonball' leap at the 19:39 mark of Nashville's Saturday game against San Jose after Barclay Goodrow gently tapped him on the leg.
The video please...
Despite the fact that Neal has gone to great pains to reconstruct his 'bad boy' image around the NHL, this certainly doesn't help. The three prior suspensions also adds a little tarnish as well. But if there were Vegas-like odds on a player to be named first in the NHL's new diving crackdownNeal would have been a good bet.
Former NHL referee Paul Stewart took Neal to the woodshed a year ago for his takedown of the then Pittsburgh forward on Hockeybuzz.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
The “Wednesday Rivalry Night” franchise for NBC Sports Network tapped into something every hockey fan loves about the NHL: The storied blood feuds between franchises, and games where animosity is assumed and intensity is expected.
It’s not an exact science. The Detroit Red Wings faced the Buffalo Sabres on “Rivalry Night” in 2013, right after the Wings realigned from the West for the first time in decades. The Wings also faced the Washington Capitals on “Rivalry Night” this year, rekindling the intense emotional war we all witnessed when the Wings swept the Capitals in the … the … some Stanley Cup Final in the late 1990s.
On Wednesday night, the gimmick’s concept will be stretched like taffy as the Minnesota Wild take on the Boston Bruins. As Stanley Cup Of Chowder cheekily noted, these teams don’t really have a rivalry outside of “NBC said we do.”
This is, of course, shortchanging the storied history between the teams, including:
- Having had players like Brian Rolston, Shane Hnidy, Chuck Kobasew and Randy Robitaille spend time with both teams.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
People come to our games or tune into our games to get away from real life. It doesn’t have to be so serious all the time. That’s what they’re doing … coming to be entertained. They want to watch the game, they want to see a win hopefully and they want to have a few laughs. That’s all you try to provide at the end of the night.
Hospital visits canceled after mumps concern; Canada hoping for Lazar; Sharks watch 'Holiday Sweater' (Puck Headlines)Jen Neale at Puck Daddy22 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.
• We knew Emerson Etem had the mumps, but we didn't think it was THIS bad... [@brianrowland]
• The mumps strike again in Pittsburgh! Beau Bennett and an intern for the Penguins are the latest victims. Marc-Andre Fleury, Olli Maatta and Roberto Bortuzzo were being the latest players to be tested. [Tribune Live]
• With all the concern about the mumps epidemic in the league, teams are being cautious and postponing holiday visits to hospitals. [ESPN]
• For NHL players and other athletes, blood clots provide a deadly threat. [SI]