- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy29 mins 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 email@example.com.
• We already miss Bon Jovi Ron Duguay after he received a makeover Wednesday morning. [MyFoxNY]
• Ilya Kovalchuk on a possible return to the NHL: “I have two more years on my contract. Then, we’ll see.” Scandalous! [ESPN.com]
• Ted Leonsis has promised to shave his head if both his Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards make the finals in their respective leagues. [Washington Post]Wed, May 67:30 PM EDTNY Rangers at WashingtonPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy48 mins ago
It's a Wednesday 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 Stars: Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun on the Calgary Flames; Mark Lazerus of the Sun Times on the Chicago Blackhawks.
• The no-goal in Ducks vs. Flames.
• DeflateGate and cheating.
• Hockey News and Views
Question of the Day: What's your favorite kind of cheating in hockey? 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 Daddy1 hr ago
We begin with the caveat that needs to be given whenever we discuss a standout offensive player struggling in the postseason: The Minnesota Wild’s probable sweep at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks is not Thomas Vanek’s fault.
That established … woof.
Vanek signed a three-year deal worth $6.5 million per season with the Wild last summer. It was a redundant acquisition – the Wild didn’t necessarily need Vanek, whose best case for joining the team appeared to be an obvious connection to his college playing days – but added a dynamic offensive weapon to their roster. Well, when he’s on.
In the playoffs, he’s been off. Way off.
Vanek doesn’t have a goal his postseason for the Wild in nine games and is a minus-7. Going back to his ill-fitting campaign with the Montreal Canadiens last season, and Vanek has gone 15 playoff games without a goal. He has six assists in that span.
Here's Vanek after the St. Louis Blues series, via TwinCities.com:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Ever since it was teased in the since-settled Todd Bertuzzi lawsuit, I’ve had a hankering to see NHL commissioner Gary Bettman under oath and answering questions about the League’s culture of violence.
Not only because I think there’s a better chance of cracking Captain America’s shield than there is Gary Bettman in a lawsuit deposition, but because I’d like to hear him speak with as much candor as he can be compelled the muster about things like fighting and concussions.
Rick Westhead of TSN reported on Monday that the judge in the concussion lawsuit brought by former NHL players has ordered Bettman to testify in the lawsuit.
Westhead also published a few of the specific points on which Bettman will be questioned, and one can already see how this will play out.
In the case of the NHL People vs. Gary Bettman …
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
[Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]
6. Brandon Prust
Let's suppose for a second that Brandon Prust is 100 percent right. And he isn't because he can't be.
Let's suppose Brad Watson called him every name in the book then made up a few more on top of that. What does Prust going to the media and making a huge thing out of it really accomplish? All that stuff ex-refs have said about the boo-hooing making Prust a marked man — in that they're going to be on the lookout for every infraction for what could be the very short remainder of this series —is a best-case scenario.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Mikael Backlund, Calgary Flames
The forward’s goal at the 4:24 mark of overtime sent Calgary to a 4-3 win pushed the Flames’ second-round series with Anaheim to a 2-1 Ducks lead. Along with the big goal, Backlund played 24:46, most amongst Calgary forwards.
No. 2 Star, Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
In late February, it appeared bleak as to whether Kane could make it this far into the playoffs. He had just broken his clavicle and was out 12 weeks. Well, he’s back, and he scored the only goal in Chicago’s 1-0 win over Minnesota to put its series against the Wild at 3-0 in Chicago's favor.
No. 3. Star: Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
Crawford has come a long way since allowing nine goals against Nashville in Games 1 and 2 of the Blackhawks’ first round series. He stopped 30 of 30 shots on goal to carry Chicago over a desperate Wild team. The Blackhawks only mustered 22 shots on goal on Minnesota.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
There was no doubt about the game-winning goal in Game 3 for the Calgary Flames.
Mikael Backlund’s wrister at the 4:24 mark in overtime finished off a wild 4-3 comeback at Calgary and got the Flames back in their second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks.
“It was an exciting game for the team,” Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau said via the Calgary Herald. “We’ve been battling back all season long. We fell behind late in the game and found a way to tie it up. And found a way to score in overtime as well.”
With the Calgary win, the series is now 2-1 in favor of Anaheim. The loss was the Ducks' first in this playoff in seven games played.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
(Note: Some audio issues with the above video.)
Game 3 between the Anaheim Ducks and the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night was a tightly played one-goal game in the third period when Frederik Andersen made an impressive pad save on Sam Bennett of the Flames.
OR WAS IT?
The play was reviewed by the NHL War Room as the puck appeared to cross the goal line before it hit Andersen’s pad. At least that’s what a few of the straight-ahead replays showed; the ‘eye in the sky’ replay was inconclusive.
The wait was excruciating for the Flames and their fans. Finally, Kelly Sutherland skated out and announced that the footage was inconclusive and there was no goal scored.
Which didn’t sit well with Brian Burke.
And there were many boos.
Look, for the love of hockey, this should have been a goal. It was close enough, the War Room could have said “goal” and really the only people that would have cared were Ducks fans, and we would have had a tie game in a must-win for the home team. It’s a hockey fable!
Except … it wasn’t a goal.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
There was once a time when it seemed like Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane wouldn’t return from a broken clavicle until late May.
He came back at the start of the playoffs instead, and has made an incredible impact for Chicago, which beat Minnesota 1-0 Tuesday to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Wild.
Kane scored his sixth goal of the playoffs to give him 11 points in nine games played for Chicago. Kane suffered the injury on Feb. 24, underwent surgery shortly after. The Blackhawks said he would be out 12 weeks, but it has been way shorter, and Chicago is probably happy with this fact.
Kane has 102 points in 102 playoff games.
Via the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Sometimes you’re not playing as well as you think, but the pucks go in the net and it looks a lot better on the scoresheet,” said Kane, who has scored 102 points in 102 career playoff games, including 43 goals. “I’ve had some good looks, where guys have given me good opportunities to get some clear shots and I’m fortunate enough to see the puck go [in].”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman has been ordered to testify in a concussion lawsuit by 60 former NHL players according to TSN’s Rick Westhead.
Per the report:
In an eight-page ruling, Judge Susan Nelson wrote, "The court finds that Commissioner Bettman possesses unique or special knowledge relevant to this lawsuit."
"Commissioner Bettman may be deposed in July 2015, but no earlier," she wrote. "This should cause no hardship to plaintiffs, who will have an opportunity to first depose other witnesses. In addition, both parties will have the benefit of the production of relevant discovery from commissioner Bettman prior to his deposition."
Bettman was asked to testify by the players in February. Per the report the league balked saying that the information the players wanted could be acquired through asking others.
But there’s more according to Westhead. Below is part of a release the lawyers from the players.