- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Ken Hitchcock asked the assembled media how many minutes Vladimir Tarasenko played in Game 1 of the St. Louis Blues’ series against the Dallas Stars.
The answer: 21 minutes, 4 seconds.
“Oh, did he? Quite a bit, eh? Can we maybe shut that story up now?” asked Hitchcock.
This was an all-too-obvious reference to the controversy that roared in the Blues’ opening-round win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Fans fretted over Tarasenko’s ice time. Hitchcock explained the reasons behind it, and the basic message was “leave the driving to me.”
Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera were shut down in the Stars’ Game 1 win. Tarasenko as a plus-1 with seven shot attempts and played 19:38 at even strength, tops among Blues forwards.
So how did the Stars contain the 40-goal scorer?Sun, May 13:00 PM EDTSt. Louis at DallasPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
The NHL’s Department of Players Safety will have a phone hearing with defenseman Brooks Orpik of the Washington Capitals for his hit that took out defenseman Olli Maatta of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
It was in the first period of Game 2, just 4:13 into the game. Well after Maata released the puck in the Capitals’ zone, Orpik lunged at him in an effort to take him out the play. It was clearly interference – but Orpik’s left shoulder connected with Maatta’s head and dropped the Penguins D-man. Maata was woozy leaving the ice, and didn’t return to the game.
Orpik was given a minor penalty for interference.
Capitals coach Barry Trotz said that Orpik thought the puck was coming back to Maatta after a shot and a rebound. “There’s a real size difference, and Maata leaned into it a little bit.”
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told NBC in an interview that the hit deserved a major. He said after the game that Maatta is “obviously out” and that "I think it's the type of hit that everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game."
And that’s why Orpik will be suspended.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
Letang was a beast for the Penguins in their 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Due to the injury to Olli Maatta in the first period, the defenseman had to take on extra minutes on the ice. Like an insane amount of minutes - 35:22 in total. In that time he was a plus-2 with 6 shots on goal, 4 attempts blocked, and 1 missed shot. He also blocked 5 shots.
No. 2 Star: Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning
The forward recorded 2 goals and 1 assist in the Lightning's 4-1 drubbing of the New York Islanders. The series is now tied at 1-1 as it heads to Brooklyn.
No. 3 Star: Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins
The goaltender improved his playoff record to 4-1-1 as he held the Capitals to 1 goal on 24 shots. Check out this series of saves he made.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
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Braden Holtby can only do so much for the Washington Capitals. He can't be expected to go out and score goals, too.
It looked like it was going to be a tough night for the Pittsburgh Penguins after Olli Maatta was knocked out of the game by Brooks Orpik on a high, violent hit to the head. It was the young defenseman's second shift in the first period, leaving Pittsburgh to play the rest of the game with only five d-men. Kris Letang picked up slack with an insane 35:22 TOI.
After the game, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Maatta is out indefinitely and will know more on Sunday. He hammered home the hit was late and is something that should be eliminated from the league all together.
Requests to speak with Orpik following the game were declined by Capitals PR; however, Barry Trotz gave his opinion on what happened.
Barry Trotz on the Brooks Orpik-Olli Maatta hit: pic.twitter.com/0uMffpnaYn
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs finished with the worst record in the NHL and the League’s lowest point total. This was, of course, by design, as team decided to rid itself of veteran players in attempt to tank the season for a high draft pick.
“We explained to our fans beforehand that we were going to move some players, move some contracts, and we were going to struggle a bit,” explained team president Brendan Shanahan.
It was a tank, and the majority of Maple Leafs fans were behind it, even with the acknowledgement that literally nothing ever goes right for the franchise and neither would the draft lottery. In fact, the new NHL Draft Lottery rules made it more difficult than ever for the worst team in the draft to secure the first overall pick.
“It wasn’t, in my mind, the best year to have three separate lotteries,” Shanahan said. “But the rules were the rules, and there were no complaints on our part.”
So the NHL Draft Lottery commenced on Saturday night before the Washington Capitals’ Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. One by one, the teams with low odds were told they didn’t hit the lottery. The Winnipeg Jets, slated to pick sixth, moved up to the top three.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been dealt a devastating blow on defense at the hands of Brooks Orpik.
Orpik, in his second playoff game since returning from an upper-body injury, delivered a predatory head shot on Penguins' defenseman Olli Maatta. The Washington Capitals d-man made contact with Maatta's head using his elbow/forearm at high speed.
As the video shows, Maatta passes the puck and continues to watch the play in front of the Washington Capitals net. W ell after the puck had left Maatta's stick, Orpik's gaze did not leave the young defenseman as he ramped up for the hit.
Maatta had no idea what was about to strike him as Orpik lunged with full force into Maatta, making contact with his head. The Penguin dropped like a rock to the ice.
Orpik was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for interference and remained in the game.
As for Maatta, that was his second shift of the game. He was helped off the ice by teammates, and was clearly dazed. The Penguins insider account Tweeted there would be no update on Maatta until after his game, insinuating his return is unlikely.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
None of the Canadian teams made it into the playoffs, but in the end, Canada still won.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had the highest odds of winning the first overall spot, and this time the Edmonton Oilers didn't screw everything up. The Leafs will select first, and are likely take good American boy, Auston Matthews.
In the revamped version of the draft, the first three spots were drawn. The remaining two spots went to lottery winners: the Winnipeg Jets, who moved up from sixth to second, and the Columbus Blue Jackets who moved up from fourth to third.
Take a look at the odds of each team landing their spot and where they ended up:
Not sure how this all happened? Here's the NHL's explanation of the selection process overall:
The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery will assign the top three drafting slots in the first round of the NHL Draft – an expansion over previous years, when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection only.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
It’s Christmas morning in Canada, as the NHL Draft Lottery finally arrives.
We broke down which teams most deserved to win the lottery, which basically means everyone but Edmonton. We’ll be live-chatting the Draft Lottery beginning at 7:45 p.m., with the draft going off around 8:05 p.m. on NBC (the real one, not the cable one) and CBC in Canada.
Join us for all the shock, awe, laughs and Hamburger Women!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
When one breaks a limb, one gets a cast. Usually that cast gets covered with illegible scribbles from friends, as we all realize that Sharpies aren’t exactly made for writing on plaster.
But when one hockey player recently broke their leg during play – getting their foot stick between the boards and the ice, snapping it when attempting to clear the puck – their cousin decided to properly decorate the cast: as a Washington Capitals-influenced hockey skate.
If you're wondering about the buttom of the cast, "It is indeed a piece of rubber that the doctor attached to the cast so I could walk on it after about four weeks," said the player, via Reddit.
This is pretty awesome, ahem, breaking news.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The focus for defenseman Hampus Lindholm is on the ice. Ask him a question about his contract and the pending restricted free agent points to controlling only what he can control.
“At the end of the day I just want to play hockey,” Lindholm said. “Whenever (a new contract) happens it’s going to happen. It’s not something I’m thinking about right now. Whenever that conversation starts I’ll deal with that then.”
One day after Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray indicated he doesn’t want to be as liberal as before in giving out long-term contracts or no-trade clauses to his pending restricted free agents, Lindholm still believes everything will work out and he’ll get the contract he deserves.