- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The flames have consumed houses, businesses and everything else standing in the path of the raging wildfire. Over 88,000 people have fled Fort McMurray, the quiet oil town in Alberta that’s become international news as the ash of 18,500 scorched acres continues to blanket it.
The videos emerging from the fire look like they could have been scenes from a disaster movie.
“A movie that I don’t really want to watch,” said Scottie Upshall of the St. Louis Blues. “I saw the freeway I usually used to drive in from the airport. Both sides of the road had 100-foot flames. I saw a couple of restaurants I used to go to, and they’re just … gone.”
Upshall grew up in Fort McMurray, playing with the city’s AJHL team the Oil Barons as a 16-year-old and leading them to a Royal Bank Cup championship.
He’s attempting to win a different kind of Cup with the Blues in the 2016 NHL playoffs. But his mind is back home.
“We’re in a real great spot here in the playoffs. But when lives are at stake, when a community has its backs against a wall, fighting for survival, it’s tough,” he said on Wednesday.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
It’s our semi-weekly Puck Daddy NHL mailbag, the Two-Minute Minor!
Among this week’s questions from the readers:
- The Force is with which teams?
- Should Islanders fans be sad about Jack Capuano?
- Better Drew Carey or Bob Barker as PRICE IS RIGHT host?
- When will we see Marc-Andre Fleury again?
- What kind of contract is David Backes earning this playoffs? Can Blues afford not signing him?
These are the questions that Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski faced in this week’s Two Minute Minor, courtesy of you, the dedicated puckheads.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins
Hornqvist scored his fifth of the postseason 2:34 into overtime to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals and a 3-1 series lead.
No. 2 Star: Matt Cullen, Pittsburgh Penguins
Cullen tallied his third goal of the playoffs and gave the Penguins their first lead of Game 4 in the second period.
No. 3 Star: John Carlson, Washington Capitals
That Penguins’ lead lasted 13 minutes when the Capitals took advantage of a Derrick Pouliot defensive zone turnover and Carlson beat Matt Murray to even the score.
Honorable Mention: Murray stopped 34 shots, while Braden Holtby made 30 saves … Pittsburgh snapped an eight-game playoff overtime losing streak with the win … Trevor Daley scored his first playoff goal since 2014.
Did You Know?
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
Patric Hornqvist pounced on a loose puck and beat Braden Holtby five-hole 2:34 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals in Game 4. The Penguins now head to D.C. on Saturday holding a 3-1 series lead.
In the overtime, Conor Sheary’s floater from the point was knocked down by Capitals defenseman Mike Weber, who was making his first appearance in the series. As Weber swiped at the puck trying to clear it to the corner he didn’t get all of it, and it went straight to Hornqvist who sent the CONSOL Energy Center crowd home happy.
Prior to Game 4, the Penguins had lost eight straight playoff overtime games.
"We have the game of our lives coming up,” Capitals forward Jay Beagle said afterward.
It started bright for Washington as they got on the board early when Beagle roofed a backhand past Matt Murray 2:38 into the game. But seven minutes later Trevor Daley would answer for Pittsburgh.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
The NHL announced Wednesday that Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, New York Islanders forward John Tavares and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber were finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, which is given “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season,”
Messier chooses potential candidates after taking suggestions from team and league personnel, along with NHL fans. He then chooses the winner.
So which one of these guys will win The Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award?
Why Alex Ovechkin Deserves The Messier Award
From the NHL:Thu, May 59:00 PM EDTSan Jose at NashvillePreview Game
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
John Chayka will be named the next general manager of the Arizona Coyotes, replacing Don Maloney who was fired on April 11.
The team has said it will have a “major press conference” Thursday morning where a source said Chayka will be announced as the team’s GM.
ESPN’s Craig Custance initially reported the news.
The rest of the structure of the team’s hockey operations will also be announced.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
There’s no question that Connor McDavid is a better player than Artemi Panarin.
It’s entirely possible, in 10 years, that McDavid is en route to the Hall of Fame and Panarin has left for the KHL after several years toiling on lines that had a distinct lack of Patrick Kane.
There’s every chance that if the Chicago Blackhawks rookie is given the Calder Trophy this season, we’ll look back on it with the head-scratching curiosity that we do THE ENGLISH PATIENT defeating FARGO for Best Picture 20 years ago.
But none of this should matter in voting for the 2015-16 Calder, which is handed to “the most proficient player in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.” It’s about one rookie season, not a legacy. And when it comes to the seasons posted by Panarin and McDavid, the issue is that one had a season and the other is just over half of one.
Panarin played 80 games, scoring 30 goals and 47 assists for 77 points. McDavid, due to his broken collarbone, played 45 games with 16 goals and 32 assists for 48 points. Had he played 80 games, he probably wins this in a walk. But he didn’t.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Everything that went down during the Jonathan Drouin saga earlier this season was quickly put in the past by the Tampa Bay Lightning. If there are grudges by his behavior in taking his puck and going home, they aren’t being shown.
What’s being shown is how valuable a productive Drouin can be to a Lightning offense that is missing Steven Stamkos.
After torching the AHL with nine goals in 10 games upon his return, Drouin has gotten over not being dealt at the trade deadline and been nothing but an asset for the Lightning. He scored twice in his first two NHL games after being recalled in April and followed that up with four assists in Tampa’s first-round series with the Detroit Red Wings.
It’s been the Round 2 series against the New York Islanders where Drouin has made the biggest impact. Through three games he has a goal and three assists as the Lightning have built up a 2-1 series lead.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
The NHL’s coaching carousel took an unexpected twist Tuesday when the Calgary Flames decided to part ways with coach Bob Hartley.
Until then, much of the offseason coaching drama was predictable.
• Dave Cameron was fired by the Ottawa Senatorsso new general manager Pierre Dorion could put his mark on the team. Also owner Eugene Melnyk’s recent comments about Cameron’s style made it seem like the writing was on the wall at the end of the year. Ottawa didn't make the playoffs this year.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
By Neil Parker
Wednesday's DFS contests are comprised of three games across two days. All three playoff games will be the fourth of their respective series, and each series is tied 2-1. Kris Letang 's one-game suspension will have a significant impact in the Pittsburgh-Washington bout, and after the dominance of the Capitals in losing fashion in Game 3, expect a deadlocked series after the outing Wednesday.