- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
Huge night of action in the playoffs races on Saturday night, and there are a few teams that can end any uncertainty about their participation in the postseason.
* The Canadiens would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Panthers in any fashion OR if the Rangers defeat the Bruins in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Panthers AND the Bruins defeat the Rangers in a shootout. * The Ducks would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Islanders in any fashion OR if they lose to the Islanders in overtime or a shootout. * The Lightning would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Red Wings in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Red Wings AND the Rangers defeat the Bruins in any fashion OR if the Rangers defeat the Bruins in regulation. * The Predators would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Capitals in any fashion.
The St. Louis Blues can clinch with a win over the Blue Jackets.LiveTampa Bay0 - 3DetroitFollow Game
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
In which we recap the day’s events in the NCAA tournament.
MANCHESTER, N.H. — The danger was clear: Yale might shut down the BU top line.
The danger was also remote, sure, but you’re talking about Yale, the No. 1 defensive team in the country. And yeah, you’re also talking about BU, the No. 1 offensive team in the country, and a top line centered by Jack Eichel, which entered the game having outscored opponents by 39 at even strength this season, and which carried a possession share in excess of 60 percent when it was on the ice.
An unfortunate tendency toward slow starts in the first period appeared to have long since been vanquished, too.
Yale, meanwhile, was a strong possession team in their own right (53.1 percent corsi, 19th in the country) with a lights-out goaltending and a clear disposition toward … well, not necessarily stifling attempts per se, but certainly limiting second- and third-chance opportunities. Alex Lyon, as good a goalie as there was in the country this season, was the national save percentage leader for a reason. For 35 minutes or so, things seemed to be working Yale’s favor.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild
Both Minnesota and Calgary are hanging on to playoff positions by their finger tips. Minnesota moved within 1-point of Chicago for the final spot in the Central in their 4-2 win over Calgary. As has been the norm since the trade, Dubnyk backstopped the Wild to victory against an always dangerous Flames team.
No. 2 Star: Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets
Against Chicago, Atkinson netted his second career hat trick. The Jackets may be out of it, and did their best to play spoiler on the Blackhawks after putting up 4 goals in the first period, and finally winning the game 5-2. Of Atkinson's 3 goals, one was a breakaway while shorthanded, and resulted in Corey Crawford being pulled:
No. 3 Star: Richard Bachman, Edmonton Oilers
If the Oilers are supposed to be tanking, no one relayed that message to goaltender Richard Bachman. (You'd think they'd know how to do it correctly by now...) The backup-to-the-backup netminder stopped all 29 shots from Dallas, and delivered a serious blow to the Stars already slim playoff chances with the 4-0 win.Sat, Mar 288:00 PM EDTLos Angeles at MinnesotaPreview Game
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
Phil Kessel angry. Phil Kessel doesn’t like getting hit by David Booth in practice. KESSEL SMASH!
Yes, Phil Kessel went from Bruce Banner to Hulk in a Maple Leafs practice Friday in the above video. He appeared to not like some sort of puck battle drill with Booth and the two came to blows.
Tweeted the one and only Chris Johnston, who was on the scene for Sportsnet:
There weren't any big punches thrown in the Kessel-Booth dustup, but tempers were running hot and #leafs teammates had to separate them.
Let us dissect Kessel’s form, shall we? Notice the bear hug around Booth’s head. It seems as if Kessel has learned from his dust up with John Scott in which he tried to counter Scott by Kessel swinging his own stick. Boxing lessons perhaps for Kessel? Probably not. Scott is enormous and is a little more intimidating than the 6-foot, 212-pound Booth. Kessel is 6-foot and listed at 202 pounds, though he may pack a few more lbs officially.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford clearly has strong emotions for armed forces, USA Warriors ice hockey and former Blackhawks equipment manager Clint Reif, who died earlier this year.
Crawford’s new mask supports all. Check out the photo above, and below:
The theme represents all 4 branches of the US military which I designed to mimic as a patches.
Our friends at the USAW also wanted to give notice to their military brethren north of the border with a shout out to Soldier On which I proudly displayed on the backplate.
The mask, which is designed to look similar to these USA Warriors jerseys, will be worn Friday night’s game against Columbus. It is the only night it will be worn. It will then be auctioned off to the Clint Reif memorial fund.
Per Arrigo again:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy23 hrs ago
Make sure you feign shock and awe when Patrick Kane inevitably makes his return to the ice earlier than anticipated during the Chicago Blackhawks’ playoff run.
We all know that’s how it’s going down, right? Kane had surgery on Feb. 25, one day after the then-leading goal scorer in the NHL broke his collarbone. The recovery prognosis was 12 weeks, which means the Blackhawks would have him back for a potential conference final series against the LA Kings a Western Conference foe.
Coach Joel Quenneville said on Friday that the timetable for Kane remains the same, but that he “always hoped” his recovery could be expedited.
From ESPN Chicago, as Patrick Kane begins skating again:
“I think it’s still the same timetable, but how well he’s skating and how well he’s doing, I think he feels real good about where he’s at,” Quenneville said.
“It’s just a matter of when he gets that green light is probably going to be the hurdle. But we like his approach, and he’s doing a lot of things out there that he wants to do or is able to do. That’s a good sign.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy23 hrs ago
In the words of Kenny Loggins “This is it” for the Calgary Flames on their upcoming roadtrip.
There are just eight games left for the advanced stat non-darlings and six come away from the friendly Scotiabank Saddledome confines.
And there is some pressure on the guys with the flaming Cs on their unis to get a ‘W’ in regulation against the Minnesota Wild and Iron Man goaltender Devan Dubnyk on Friday.
The Los Angeles Kings swept a tri-state area three game stretch as part of what was considered to be their five-game roadtrip of death. At very least this means the defending Stanley Cup champs will finish this trip with an over .500 record – which is more than we expected for Los Angeles, who has had a ‘meh’ road record all year.
Currently, the Flames have 87 points to the Kings’ 88 in 74 games played, but Calgary has one more regulation and overtime win, which could potentially help in the end heading toward the final Pacific Division playoff spot.
According to Sports Club Stats, with a regulation loss to Minnesota, Calgary’s playoff chances will drop 12.6 percent off 58.9 percent.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 day ago
You’d figure if a player on the Washington Capitals was fined for diving/embellishment, it would be Alex Ovechkin. Nope, in this case it’s tough guy Tom Wilson, who got nailed for his second offense for a game March 19 against Minnesota.
Check out the video of the second such play which led to the $2,000 fine...
The release from the NHL please …
Wilson was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 936 against Toronto on March 1. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 1057 at Minnesota on March 19. Wilson received a minor penalty for embellishment on the play, at 14:45 of the second period.
So another fine by a player on the Caps, and they’re one away from coach Barry Trotz being clammed with a $2,000 fine as part of the NHL’s more public crackdown on diving/embellishment. Now we will truly see if Ovi and Barry Trotz truly do get along as well as they say...
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy1 day 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jaromír Jagr and Paul Coffey after 25 years:))))))) pic.twitter.com/zgWADsVHy2
• Paul Coffey and Jaromir Jagr reunite for a photo-op after 25 years. Coffey's flow back in the day was SICK, and that's saying something in comparison to Jagr. [Jaromir Jagr]
• Jagr, meanwhile, thinks he can play seven (7!!) more years. We wouldn't put it past the 43-year old. [Sportsnet]
• Dreger: Vegas owners confident in move towards NHL franchise. (It would be more concerning if they weren't.) [TSN]
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 day ago
The U.S. women’s national team wrapped up their pre-World Championships camp on Wednesday at Twin Rinks on Long Island, not far from Nassau Coliseum. There wasn’t much time, however, to catch an Islanders game or hop on the Long Island Rail Road and check out New York City. It was a business trip, as captain Meghan Duggan described it. Aside from a team dinner one night, the focus was on their two practices a day and the challenge that lay ahead in Malmo, Sweden.
Beginning Saturday, the U.S. women look to defend their 2013 gold medal at the Women's World Championships. There was no top division competition involved last year due to the Sochi Olympics, so the Americans are hoping to continue their run of taking home gold, which they’ve done in five of the last seven tournaments.
Even with the vast experience on the roster, there are a number of first-timers involved for the 2015 tournament.