- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Have the St. Louis Blues gone from a team with Stanley Cup aspirations to one that just wants to make the playoffs?
Probably not, but the opening messaging of Ken Hitchock’s news conference, announcing the coach had been re-upped for a year by the Blues had that weird kind of feel.
“I know there’s going to be questions about next year’s playoffs, but unless we come prepared to work in September, that won’t be an issue for us because we won’t make the playoffs,” general manager Doug Armstrong said. “We have to come ready to play. We have to prepare.”
The Blues have been postseason flameouts with Hitchcock as coach. They haven’t made it past the second-round, in spite of having some dominant teams in the regular season.
There were questions about Hitch’s ability to push this group onwards and upwards, especially after such a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Wild last playoff.
“This is a really good team trying to become a great team. I think I have the tools and expertise to help them along the way,” Hitchcock said.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
TAMPA BAY -- On Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to do what they’ve done in their two previous rounds of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is close out their opponents on their Amalie Arena ice.
Well, eventually they did: The Lightning had a chance to go up 3-2 against the Detroit Red Wings, but lost Game 5 of that series in a 4-0 shutout. They needed wins at the Joe in Game 6 and then at home in Game 7, which they obviously they received.
They sprinted out to a 3-0 lead against the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals, with defenseman Jason Garrison talking about a “killer instinct” for Game 4 at home. They were blown out, 6-2, then lost again at Bell Centre before closing out the Canadiens at home in Game 6.
“This was our Game 7, we were talking and referring to it as our Game 7, we just kept looking back at the way we played, especially in the later half of the Game 7 against Detroit and we wanted that same mentality, and we had it,” said Steven Stamkos at the time.LiveNY Rangers2 - 1Tampa BayFollow Game
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
As a hockey community, collectively, we look at what Matt Beleskey is doing in this postseason and say, “Well, someone's going to overpay him this summer.”
And as is usually the case with pending unrestricted free agents who overperform during deep playoff runs, that belief is correct. Someone is going to look at what Beleskey is doing — and let's be honest, a 7-1-8 line in 14 games really isn't that great — and say, “Yes please, here's a bunch of money.” Almost every year, without fail.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
Wyatt Arndt’s piece on VanCityBuzz about advanced stats vs. narratives will likely ring true to anyone that doesn’t always appreciate when the facts get in the way of romanticism, hyperbole and archetypes in hockey.
My first bout with this collision between reality and escapism was when the salary cap was instituted and every trade proposal made on NHL message boards, going forward, had to pass a financial litmus test.
The first response was no longer “why in the hell would Team X make this trade?” but “why in the hell would Team X make this trade, considering their cap situation makes it literally impossible without several other dominos falling and a brief fit of insanity from their trading partner?”
The only rejoinder would be a half-hearted “well let’s say they find a way to make it work” before that’s shot down faster than the ‘NHL 94’ A.I. could say “TRADE DENIED.”
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy6 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at .
• Rex Ryan attends New York Rangers game. Judging by the face of the guy in front of him, it's not a pleasant experience. [Getty]
• Convicted pedophile, former junior hockey coach Graham James faces more charges. [Canadian Press]
• "Until recently, it was considered inevitable the Tampa Bay Lightning will re-sign superstar captain Steven Stamkos. Several factors, however, could make this a difficult decision." [Spector's Hockey]
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
By now, we’ve all come to realize the true hero of last night’s Anaheim Ducks overtime win – Emilio Estevez.
Prior to Game 5 puck drop, the original (Mighty) Ducks coach, Gordon Bombay (aka Emilio Estevez), took to Twitter to lend inspiration to the team he birthed from his movie loins.
GO GET 'EM TONIGHT DUCKS!!! @AnaheimDucks#GordonBombay
Naturally, the hockey blogosphere went nuts. What an endorsement in a destined series:
Even though the matchup was fated in The Mighty Ducks, Game 5 felt much more like D2: The Mighty Ducks for everyone, including Bombay.
The boost in confidence was immediately evident in the Ducks. In the first five minutes of the game, they scored 2 goals just 32-seconds apart against the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago? More like Trinidad and Tobago.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
Whenever Vladimir Sobotka decides to return to the NHL, he owes the St. Louis Blues at least one year of service. That was the result of the qualifying offer sent his way last summer and the arbitration hearing that awarded the forward a one-year, $2.725 million contract. The only problem? The restricted free agent has two years left on a deal with
Now that both St. Louis and Omsk have seen their seasons come to a conclusion, GM Doug Armstrong is hoping to lure Sobotka back as soon as next season, which would be a nice start to a roster remodeling now that head coach Ken Hitchcock isn't going anywhere.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
Sofie Ruther from Sweden is going to have the coolest date to prom in her class.
Mathias Tjärnqvist, who played 173 NHL games between the Dallas Stars and Arizona/Phoenix Coyotes organization is set to take Ruther, who has Down Syndrome, to her prom.
Tjärnqvist is supposed to dress up in a matching outfit to Ruther’s and pick her up in a convertible. Ruther lives in Hjärnarp.
The 36-year-old Tjärnqvist also played 394 games in the Swedish Hockey League, and the story in The Local, a Swedish publication, calls him “a former international hockey star who lives in her home town.”
The date was arrange by Sofie’s father Joakim who knew Tjärnqvist when Sofie Ruther was a child.
Via The Local
"It's always special going to the prom but to be escorted by a star makes it even more special," Ruther told The Local.
"Mathias and Sofie first met when she was five, now they say hi when they meet on the street," he continued, explaining that he was so grateful for the player's help that he wanted him to win a "Nobel Prize for kindness".
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
It's a Tuesday 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. Over the phone. For the best sound quality available.
• The Conference Final coverage!
• Hitchcock stays, Bylsma to Buffalo?
• Hockey News and Views
Question of the Day: What's your prediciton for Game 6 tonight? 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!
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
You can cross another name off the list of potentially available NHL head coaches. On Tuesday, the St. Louis Blues and Ken Hitchcock announced they've agreed to a one-year extension.
From the Blues:
Hitchcock, 63, was originally named the 24th head coach in Blues history on Nov. 7, 2011. Since, he has guided the Blues to four straight postseason appearances, three 100-point regular season campaigns and two Central Division championships. In 2014-15, he captured his second Central Division title with the club, while logging the third-best regular season record in franchise history (51-24-7, 109 pts).
With both GM Doug Armstrong and Hitchcock ending the season not committed to another year together, the Blues looked elsewhere for a moment, asking the Detroit Red Wings for permission to speak with Mike Babcock. After the Toronto Maple Leafs won that sweepstakes, bringing Hitchcock back seemed inevitable.