- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Kane was his usual dynamic self in Game 4 versus the St. Louis Blues, scoring twice, including the overtime winner in a 4-3 victory, and adding an assist. His game-winner was a remarkable bit of poise, as he backed off the defense before beating Ryan Miller high.
No. 2 Star: Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars
Skating a game-high 32:48 in the Stars' 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks that evened the series at two, Goligoski led the Stars with two points, a goal and an assist. Cody Eakin got the game-winner, but Goligoski's goal was the one that put the Ducks away. Check out the assist from Vernon Fiddler:
No. 3 Star: Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
There's an old saying when it comes to the playoffs: a series hasn't even begun until a team wins one on the road.
Supposing that's true, through four games, the first-round series between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues has yet to even begin. After going down 2-0 in St. Louis, the Blackhawks did what they had to, winning both of their home game.
The Game 4 victory came thanks to Patrick Kane, who gave them a 4-3 overtime win with this beautiful overtime winner:
You could see this one coming, and not just because we know Kane has a playoff gear because he has a playoff haircut, or because he was in that gear all night, with 2 goals and an assist.
He was dancing all overtime. You had to worry about what would happen if he got a little time and space, and what do you know, this is what happened.
There are few players in the NHL more terrifying on an odd-man rush, because Kane can just about do it all. We've seen him make incredible passes, and we've seen him deke his way through the defense to get to the goal, so you have to respect both options. That means he's almost always going to have time to shoot, if he wants.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
On two misplays, all the good will Marc-Andre Fleury had earned in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ division semifinal against the Columbus Blue Jackets was squandered. All the confidence evaporated. All the hope that he wouldn’t be a liability for the third straight postseason thrown into doubt.
Yes, he made 42 saves in the game, as the Blue Jackets desperately peppered him in a fight for their playoff lives on Wednesday night. But it’s the two he didn’t make with 24 seconds left in regulation and 2:49 into overtime that cost the Penguins the game, 4-3, and made this a best-of-three series.
His puck-handling gaffe behind the net with the Columbus net empty was inexcusable:
Why leave the net? Why attempt to make a play? And if there was a play to be made, why not ensure the puck is stopped for your defensemen to grind it out? Instead, he gift wrapped the puck for the best passer on the Jackets, Ryan Johansen, who found Brandon Dubinsky, who found the back of the net through two stunned Pittsburgh defenders who assumed their goaltender wouldn’t flub the lead away.
Then, in overtime, Fleury was beaten by a Nick Foligno shot that was launched somewhere near Cleveland:
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
Tyson Barrie won't return to the Colorado Avalanche's first-round series with the Minnesota Wild, after suffering an MCL injury on an ugly, knee-on-knee hit from Matt Cooke.
Unsurprisingly, neither will Cooke, who was suspended seven games by the Department of Player Safety on Wednesday.
The DOPS suspension video uses the word knee a lot. Makes sense.
"Cooke is leading with his left knee. After Barrie releases the puck, Cooke continues in this posture, further extends his knee, and makes contact wkith Barrie's left knee. This is kneeing."
That's from Patrick Burke, the knight who says knee .
Burke also explains away anybody who might be dumb enough to suggest that Barrie exacerbated the injury by trying to avoid the hit.
"While this evasive action might have worsened the extent of the injury, it should have been entirely predictable to Cooke that Barrie would attempt to avoid contact."
In other words, of course he tried to avoid the hit. Why the heck wouldn't he? That doesn't mean you can hang a knee.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
The Anaheim Ducks will be without captain and first-line centre Ryan Getzlaf for Wednesday night's pivotal Game 4 versus the Dallas Stars.
According to the team, Getzlaf will miss the game with an upper-body injury. He's listed as day-to-day.
His absence will likely be felt a great deal more than Teemu Selanne's.
It goes without saying that this is a massive loss for Anaheim. Getzlaf has 4 points in the series -- a goal and an assist in both Anaheim wins -- but we knew his value to the team long before the playoffs commenced. Getzlaf finished second in the league in scoring behind Sidney Crosby, and is soon to finish second in voting for the Hart to Crosby as well. He's invaluable, and he's irreplaceable.
One wonders if the upper-body injury is in the upper upper-body, like, say, the face. Getzlaf's been wearing a jaw protector since he took a puck to face trying to preserve the lead late in Game 1. There's a distinct possibility that it's broken, and he's playing through it.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
Part of growing up is making mistakes and learning from them.
Just ask Eemil Selanne, son of Ducks forward Teemu Selanne. He is learning a very important lesson today: whatever you say on the internet is here forever. Not only is it here forever, it travels very quickly around the world. And when your father is a future Hall of Famer already in the midst of a big news-cycle of his own, it spreads even faster. (That's what she said.)
The younger Selanne, 18, tweeted his displeasure over his father's healthy-scratch for tonight's playoff game against the Dallas Stars by way of a roster move I don't think is allowed under the current CBA.
ROSTER MOVE: Bruce Boudreau has been reassigned to Norfolk Admirals (AHL).
— Eemil Selanne (@EemilSelanne) April 23, 2014
It's not difficult to empathize with the teen's anger. To us, he's Teemu Selanne, hockey legend; to Eemil, he's dad.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
They say there’s no improving on perfection, and that’s probably true in most cases that don’t involve transforming a beer keg into the Stanley Cup.
Puck Daddy reader Damiën Valkenburg explains:
“I think some Dutch guys changed the game.
“I play with Nijmegen University Radboud Saints in the Dutch college-league. Every season we end with our playoffs, in which the grand prize is the Stanley Keg.
“Which is a Keg of "Olm"-beer turned into a shabby Stanley Cup replica.
“As with the real thing, champions engrave their players in the keg to remain forever a part of Dutch College Hockey history, for whatever that's worth. This year we were lucky (badass) enough to win it all.
“They made it a couple of years ago and it has become our holy grail ever since.
“I thought you might like the idea. Groeten uit Nederland!”
Now, by no means is this the only Stanley Keg we’ve come across. See also:
* The Stanley Keg of Tampa Bay, “a beer keg with a wood trophy box and a cup screwed to the top of the keg.”
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy14 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.
• More playoff ankle breakage. Here's Justin Braun turning Robyn Regehr inside-out. [Reddit]
• Ken Hitchcock on David Backes, who wasn't available for the pregame skate: “He’s not going to play unless he’s healthy. You never know. He could be skating in another rink. He could be somewhere else. You don’t know. There are a lot of other rinks here in Chicago. So he could be doing other things. But he’s not going into the lineup unless he’s a player. If he’s a player, the way he plays he’s going to have a huge impact on the series. If he skated somewhere else and is in fine-tuned conditioning, you’ll see him tonight.” So in other words, you'll see him tonight. [Sun Times]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
During the Sochi Games, when Teemu Selanne was helping to lead Finland to bronze with a stellar performance, a smart hockey person told me a curious thing: That they anticipated Selanne would be a healthy scratch in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Anaheim.
Again, this is was odd, because (1) Selanne was playing out of his mind in the Olympics and (2) because one of the cardinal rules of managing a successful hockey team is that you don’t make Teemu Selanne a healthy scratch. Ever.
And yet here we are: Selanne will be a healthy scratch in playoff game for just the second time in his career, deferring to young speedster Emerson Etem as the Anaheim Ducks try to get their offense rolling in Game 4 at the Dallas Stars.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: No one! Just your boys talking hockey.
• The Habs sweep.
• The Kings might get swept.
• The Calder Trophy
• Tonight's playoff action.
Question of the Day: Jeff and Greg are GOING POSTAL! Ask us anything! Email email@example.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
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