- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman went all in at the trade deadline. He made some odd moves (Kimmo Timonen) and a few that made sense.
Of the latter, he acquired Antoine Vermette to sure up the 'Hawks down the middle. Perhaps in preparation for a series like the one he's playing in now against Anaheim's two Ryans.
In order to get pending UFA from the Arizona Coyotes, Bowman had to pay a steep, steep price. Chicago parted with their 2015 first round pick and heralded prospect pick Klas Dalbeck. In return, they received a prized rental center who had 35 points in 63 games with the fledgling Coyotes.
Instead of lighting up the Blackhawks, Vermette sputtered recording only 3 assists in 19 games. His lack of offense bled into the playoffs with 2-points through 10 games played.
Following the marathon triple overtime Game 2, where Vermette played 21:14, the lowest time on ice of the forwards, he learned he would be scratched for Game 3. Naturally he was not thrilled with the decision and his emotion took over.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Antoine Vermette, Chicago Blackhawks
Vermette was displeased after being healthy-scratched in Game 3. In Game 4, he made sure Joel Quenneville would not make the same mistake again. Vermette was 14-6 on the face-off dot. Oh, and scored the game winner in double-overtime to even the series at two games each.
No. 2 Star: Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks
After a career high season in points, Saad had been relatively non-existent on the score sheet in the playoffs with only 3 goals total prior to Game 4. Saad doubled his playoff point total with a 3-point night. He scored a short-handed goal and 2 assists in the Blackhawks win.
No. 3 Star: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
In the much discussed match-up between Toews and Ryan Kesler, Toews appeared to get the upper-hand on his counterpart. He had a goal and an assist, in addition to winning 65% of draws, many against Kesler (31%).
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
Antoine Vermette went from a healthy scratch in Game 3 to the double-overtime hero of Game 4 in the Western Conference Final.
The Chicago Blackhawks forward netted his second goal of the playoffs at 5:37 of double-OT to win a wild battle with the Anaheim Ducks, 5-4, on Saturday night, to even the series at 2-2. Game 5 is scheduled for Monday night in Anaheim.
“It’s not the ideal situation. You make sure you come prepared, keep a good attitude,” said Vermette, who was held out of Game 3 by coach Joel Quenneville.
The game-winning play began with Vermette keeping the puck in the attacking zone, and sending it deep behind the net to Patrick Sharp. All five Ducks converged around the goal, watching Sharp; that left Vermette wide open in the slot to receive his pass from behind the net.
His shot was blocked in front of the crease by a diving Rickard Rakell, but it rebounded to Vermette who beat Fredrik Andersen (35 saves) at 5:37 of the second overtime.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
In the third period of their Western Conference Final Game 4 against the Anaheim Ducks, the Chicago Blackhawks were feeling, well, ducky.
They had extended out to a 3-1 lead, and it looked like the Blackhawks would cruise to a win on home ice.
Then the Anaheim Ducks embarked on the second-fastest three goals scored in a Stanley Cup Playoff game in NHL history.
Center Ryan Kesler went to the net, banging his stick on the ice asking for the puck. It was Jakob Silfverberg that eventually found him, as Kesler snapped the puck past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to cut the lead to 3-2 at 8:42.
Then it was Matt Beleskey, making a mockery of the Blackhawks’ trade deadline acquisitions to tie the game. He stripped Antoine Vermette of the puck, and then scored around Kimmo Timonen to knot the game at 3-3 at 9:05 of the third period. It was his sixth of the playoffs.
Fourteen seconds later, Ducks star Corey Perry scored his ninth of the postseason, sneaking behind Duncan Keith to collect the rebound of a Ryan Getzlaf shot and tuck it past Crawford for the 4-3 lead.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
Sometimes the best passes in hockey aren’t made with one’s stick.
Witness Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks making a glorious kick-pass to Marian Hossa that eventually led to Jonathan Toews’ goal in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.
In the third period, Duncan Keith made a brilliant play to keep the puck in the Anaheim Ducks zone, and passed it on the left wing boards to Saad. He immediately kicked it over with this right skate to Hossa, who fed Toews to the right of the Anaheim goal, patiently waiting before scoring the goal at 2:38.
Here's another look:
another look at Toews goal, including Saad kicking puck to Hossa http://t.co/U0nP4rPC8s
Saad earlier had a great shorthanded breakaway goal for the game’s first tally.
Best kick-pass of the postseason? Well, most effective. But it’s still hard to beat Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning throwing a check and kicked the puck to Steven Stamkos without a stick in Game 2. That was greasy.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
Before Anaheim's Western Conference Final series with the Blackhawks, the Ducks were seen as a pretty good team and an even match for Chicago.
Now, after three games in the Western Conference Final and a 2-1 series lead, one has to wonder if the Ducks were underrated going into this match up.
Anaheim is 10-2 in these playoffs. One loss was against Calgary, and came off a fluky set of events that led to an OT winner. Anaheim’s other defeat was in triple overtime against the Blackhawks in Game 2 that was a post or two from a Ducks win.
Twelve games two losses, and it took extra sessions to beat Anaheim, which goes into Game 4 at Chicago up 2-1 in its series.
It doesn’t take a ton of advanced metrics to know that’s pretty good. Though we will get into some of the advanced stuff further down in the story.
“The will on this team, I've said all year from day one, you could see it in training camp, you could see it in the pre-season games,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “You guys would talk to me and say there's a different aura about this group. We haven't won anything, but there is a resiliency that's as good as most.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
Enforcer Derek Boogaard’s overdose death was one, which initially led to the question of hockey players taking prescription pills. When it was found his young brain had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease linked to head trauma for which there is no known cure, this created another wrinkle and questions about fighting’s place in the game – a query that still lingers.
The passing of former Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador was the most recent hockey tragedy. His death, and , have led to more questions about how the NHL and NHLPA protect their players in this dangerous game.
brought up questions about post-retirement preparedness for players by the NHL and the NHLPA.
A lawsuit has made us wonder if the NHL or hockey culture is to blame for head injuries amongst some of the game’s top players.
When NHL commissioner Gary Bettman met with reporters in Chicago on Thursday night, he was asked about Montador, head injuries and how they contribute to CTE, he said
“From a medical science standpoint, there is no evidence yet that one necessarily leads to the other…”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
Unlike many analytics gurus, John Chayka has an Internet Hockey Database player page. It’s not exactly a storied career – 101 games with the Woodstock Slammers of the junior Maritime Hockey League – but it’s something.
Perhaps that made the world safe for a guy with no previous front office experience to land an assistant general manager gig with in NHL: He’s not just a stats nerd, he’s a former jock that became a stats nerd!
According to Aaron Ward of TSN, Chayka has been hired by the Arizona Coyotes as their new AGM to general manager Don Maloney.
Chayka is co-founder of Stathletes, a Canadian firm that uses video analysis to offer a complete picture of a player’s game and has “over 100-times the statistical resolution of typical tracking methods.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
“How did you see it play out?”
Any time a coach answers a question with a question it’s squirmy. And it rarely ever happens when the query and the response are grounded in happy feelings and optimism.
As it was, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper was asked how he saw the second period of their 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday, where the Bolts gave up two late goals in backbreaking fashion.
Sarcastic and exasperated as the reponse was, he answered the question with a question, and then was questioned again.
“Maybe some tough luck?” responded Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.
“OK, I’ll start there: Maybe some tough luck,” said Cooper. “I'll go beyond the second period. I thought for 45 minutes, we did everything but put the puck in the net. We had some really good looks. It's tough to have a period like we did in the second period. Nine times out of 10, you're coming out with the lead probably by multiple goals. Instead you come out of that, like you lose the period. It doesn't happen very often.”Sun, May 248:00 PM EDTTampa Bay at NY RangersPreview Game
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy1 day ago
No. 1 Star: Rick Nash, New York Rangers
Nash has been heavily criticized during his time in New York for his lack of playoff production. He took a step in the right direction Friday night with 2 goals and an assist against Tampa. Nash's first goal was beauty on a break away.
No. 2 Star: Keith Yandle, New York Rangers
Like Nash, Yandle had a 3-point evening. The defenseman scored a goal, 2 assists, and was a plus-2 in 18:16 TOI in the Rangers 5-1 drubbing of the Lightning.
No. 3 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
There were some clamoring for King Henrik's removal from net to start Game 4. He proved his crictics incorrect as he made 38 saves, allowing only 1 goal against as the Rangers tied up the series heading back to New York.
Honorable Mention: The Rangers power play went 2-for-5 with Nash and Martin St. Louis getting the tallies. The goal scored by St. Louis - much to the chagrin of the paying/booing TBL faithful - was his first of the playoffs. Steven Stamkos scored the lone goal for the Lightning: