Ex-Pens unhappy with handling of Bylsma; Daly responds to Fehr lockout comment; WJC viewing details (Puck Headlines)Jen Neale at Puck Daddy1 hr 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.
• Santa and his elves in LA [@LAKings]
• Former Penguins Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik react to Dan Bylsma’s firing. “The organization can say whatever it wants, that it wasn’t sure what it wanted to do, all that stuff,” said Niskanen. “But it was (bull)." [Trib Live]
Marek Vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Mike Heika on the Dallas Stars; Ryan Lambert on world juniors; Frank Seravalli on the FlyersGreg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
It's a (I don't like) Mondays edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Mike Heika on the Dallas Stars; Ryan Lambert on world juniors; Frank Seravalli on the Flyers.
• The Bartkowski hit.
• The playoffs race.
• News and notes.
Question of the Day: Who deserves coal in their stocking this hockey Christmas? Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Matt Bartkowski’s hit on Brian Gionta on Sunday was one of those moments when you wonder how it couldn’t be a suspension.
The velocity of the contact. The way the Buffalo Sabres forward's head flew back, before his body tumbled into the air, skates over shoulders, and he face-planted on the ice. The fact that he didn’t have possession of the puck, and the fact that the hit was so heinous that the on-ice officials handed him a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct. And the fact that Gionta was injured.
And yet, from the NHL on Monday: No hearing. No fine. No suspension.
According to the League, this was an attempt at a full body check from the Boston Bruins defenseman. The main point of contact was the shoulder; while the head rocked back, the League contends it was from the jolt of the check and not because Bartkowski’s hit principally connected with it.
Looking at it again, there’s also some question about whether this hit should have been a major at all. Gionta touches the puck – was that enough to give him some semblance of “possession” before Bartkowski railroaded him, i.e. was he “ eligible to be hit”?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Haven’t we all struggled in life? To find our footing? To accomplish something that might seem so perfunctory, so simple, so routine?
To that end: We are all Anton Khudobin.
The Carolina Hurricanes goalie battled the boards at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night, and the boards won. After stumbling in his attempt to climb onto the Canes bench, like a newborn fawn attempting to walk across a frozen pond, Khudobin finally flopped his entire body over the boards with the help of Cam Ward.
It was a perfectly symbolic moment for Carolina, considering they couldn’t get one over all night: The New York Rangers won, 1-0.
But as Anton Khudobin has taught us all, if at first you don’t succeed, do what ever you can to not embarrass yourself until your buddy literally drags you to safety.
Also, that the game is played on ice.Tue, Dec 234:00 PM PSTCarolina at New JerseyPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Combining the mind of Ilya Bryzgalov and the iconography of the Anaheim Ducks can only lead to one thing: an absolutely awesome goalie mask.
Like, for example, a Darkwing Duck tribute.
For the uninitiated, “Darkwing Duck” was a show that ran from 1991-95, back when Disney’s Duck-related programs ruled weekday afternoons. (See also: “DuckTales,” “TaleSpin”). It was a spin on golden age superheroes like The Shadow. The city he defended was St. Canard. One of his main adversaries was Negaduck, his evil doppelganger. It was pretty much the best.
Obviously, it made an impression on Bryz, too. He has Darkwing featured on his new mask riding his super-bike “The Rat Catcher,” which itself was a takeoff on Judge Dredd’s motorcycle.
From that mad genius Dave Gunnarsson, who designed the mask:
Ilya Bryzgalov´s new Ducks mask is here, and the mask is transformed into Darkwing´s awesome super bike ”The RatCatcher”! The mask is full of speed, action and burnouts…
Bad guys, watch out, Mr Darkwing is back in town, and of course Darkwing has his gas gun ready to take action on some bad guys…Mon, Dec 227:00 PM PSTSan Jose at AnaheimPreview Game
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)
Right now, the Los Angeles Kings are safely ensconced in a playoff spot, which is something you'd expect from a reigning Stanley Cup champion which returned just about everyone. But the fact is that that their grip on a wild card spot has been tenuous at best for some time now, with the club rarely gaining more than three or four points on the ninth-place team in the West.
And it doesn't make a lot of sense.
On paper, they're just as good as they were last year, more or less, when they were a 100-point club. In fact, some of their young players who are still in a position to be considered up-and-coming have developed nicely this year, and Jonathan Quick to this point has been playing some of the best hockey in his career, posting a .923 save percentage in 27 games.Mon, Dec 227:30 PM PSTCalgary at Los AngelesPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
The NHL’s leading scorer led the Stars’ rally in a 6-5 thriller over the Edmonton Oilers. Down three goals in the second period, Seguin assisted on a Jamie Benn power-play goal; he then scored goals Nos. 24 and 25 in the third period. He added a goal in the shootout, but it was former Oiler Shawn Horcoff that won the game in Round 8.
No. 2 Star: Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers forward scored goals Nos. 13 and 14 in their 4-3 comeback win over the Winnipeg Jets in OT. He opened the scoring in the first period and then potted the game-winner just 10 seconds into overtime, converting a Dustin Byfuglien turnover into an extra point for the Flyers.
No. 3 Star: Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche
Pickard made 34 saves in regulation and overtime and then outdueled Petr Mrazek in a nine-round shootout in the Avs’ 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Jarome Iginla had the shootout-winner.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Matt Bartkowski of the Boston Bruins delivered what could be kindly called a “controversial” hit on the Buffalo Sabres’ Brian Gionta on Sunday night, earning a game misconduct at 14:08 of the first period.
Gionta tried to snag a pass -- a really, really bad pass that put him on the trolleytracks -- and tapped it with his stick. Bartkowski skated over and cut him off, as Gionta skated towards the blue line, connecting with Gionta’s shoulder and, potentially, his head.
The aesthetics were damning: Gionta flipping skates-over-shoulders and crashing to the ice. Marcus Foligno immediately engaged Bartkowski in a fight, earning an instigator, fighting major and a misconduct himself.
Bartkowski was given a 5-minute major for interference, five for fighting and a game misconduct. Gionta did not return to the game. Foligno also suffered an upper body injury and did not return.
Head-shot or no head shot, Bartkowski is likely going to get something from the NHL for delivering this kind of his to a defenseless opponent.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
Some sad news out of Chicago.
Blackhawks assistant equipment manager Clint Reif, 34, died Sunday morning. Below is the release from Chicago.
“We are deeply saddened by the untimely loss of one of our own family members this morning, assistant equipment manager Clint Reif. Like all trainers and support staff within our organization, Clint was instrumental in helping our players and coaches prepare and compete both on and off the ice. Our sincerest sympathies go out to the Reif family.”
While the cause of death is still unknown according to reports, the below blurb was published in the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to a DuPage County coroner statement, Reif was found unresponsive in his Lombard home, where he was pronounced dead at 8:32 a.m. The death still is under investigation by the coroner’s office and Lombard police, officials said.
The above photo is a decal players wore for Reif on their helmets in Sunday's game against Toronto. The Blackhawks held a moment of silence prior to the contestTue, Dec 235:30 PM PSTWinnipeg at ChicagoPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Goalie Rob Zepp has played in Florida, Lowell, Finland and Germany. He’s been an Everblade, a Monster, a Polar Bear and a Phantom.
For the first time in his career on Sunday. Zepp will be something he’s never been before: a starting goalie in the National Hockey League.
Zepp, 33, is scheduled to make his debut for the Philadelphia Flyers at the Winnipeg Jets. He was the backup to Ray Emery in the Flyers’ wild 7-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, as Emery gave up four goals on 25 shots. With back-to-back games and with Steve Mason injured, Zepp gets the call.
“He showed me in preseason he is a capable goalie,” coach Craig Berube said. “Definitely [had] a good preseason. Moved really well in net, side to side. Good structure to his game.”
Zepp worked on puck-handling with the Phantoms and Berube feels he’s improved there.