- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy29 mins ago
So did the NHL just hurt or help the Washington Capitals?
Defenseman Brooks Orpik has been suspended three playoff games for his head-shot on Olli Maatta of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The incident occurred at 4:13 of the first period. Orpik was assessed a minor penalty for interference
Capitals coach Barry Trotz said that Orpik thought the puck was coming back to Maatta after a shot and a rebound. “There’s a real size difference, and Maata leaned into it a little bit,” he said after Game 2.
The NHL saw it differently
It was easy to see that Orpik was going to be suspended. It violates two basic tenets of Department of Player Safety dogma: It’s a hit that shouldn’t have been delivered, and it was a hit that caused significant contact with an opponent’s head, injuring him.
“This hit is forceful, unacceptably high and excessively late,” said the ruling.
What’s surprising is that Orpik was given three games for it, considering he hasn’t been suspended since the 2005-06 season. (Although we don’t know how many warnings he’s received.) Using the unofficial playoff game multiplier, that’s a six-gamer in the regular season.Mon, May 28:00 PM EDTWashington at PittsburghPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Kari Lehtonen chased after the first period. Jamie Benn completing a Dallas Stars rally to earn overtime. A controversial penalty. A David Backes power-play goal. A series tied.
Yeah, Game 2 between the Stars and the St. Louis Blues was somewhat eventful.
The Blues captured that game on Sunday afternoon, 4-3, after blowing a 3-1 lead they established by scoring three goals on five shots against Lehtonen in the first period. The winner of Game 1, Lehtonen was pulled in favor of Antti Niemi, who stopped the next 12 Blues shots.
“It really wasn’t his night,” said coach Lindy Ruff of his starter.
He only have to stop two shots in the third, as the Stars took the game over and rallied with 13 shots and two goals: Mattias Janmark at 4:35, and then Jamie Benn at 17:24, his fifth of the playoffs.
In overtime, the Blues outshot the Stars, 8-5. But it was the second of two Dallas penalties in overtime that proved costly.
Roussel was just trying to say onside, but if it was going to cause an odd man rush..oh man and they just scored. pic.twitter.com/pQz4HI59L6
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Pascal Dupuis of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers and Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2015-16 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Who wins the Masterton, which is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association?
(A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.)
Why Pascal Dupuis deserves the Masterton
The NHL says:
Dupuis earned the Masterton nomination for the Penguins for his determination in rejoining the team after nearly a year of rehabilitation, training, medical testing and monitoring in caring for multiple injuries and blood clot concerns. He appeared in 18 games before a pair of medical scares convinced him to make the difficult decision to retire. At the request of GM Jim Rutherford, Dupuis remains with the Penguins to assist in a new capacity. He is with the team on a daily basis, attending games and providing feedback to the coaching staff and players.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- On Friday, Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray called out his players for forcing his hand when it came to firing Bruce Boudreau.
It was a move that didn't appear to catch anyone on the Ducks roster by surprise.
“I think losing that Game 7 was, you know, the nail in the coffin," said Ryan Kesler at the team's breakout day. "It's obviously tough to see your coach fired. I think the onus goes on us. It was a tough year. It was a tough year for everyone I think."
Ending his first year on the Ducks, Kevin Bieksa concurred.
"There’s always change," he said. "When there’s disappointment, when there’s high expectations there could be change right away."
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
The New York Riveters made Amanda Kessel the highest paid player in the NWHL signing the Minnesota Golden Gophers forward to a one-year $26,000 contract the team announced Sunday.
Kessel is one of the top players in women’s hockey, recently completing her career at the University of Minnesota with 248 points in 136 games played. In her time with the Golden Gophers, Kessel was a two-time All-American and 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner.
Kessel scored the game-winning goal in leading her team to a national championship over Boston College this year.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
The Nashville Predators couldn’t adjust to the attacking style of the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of their second-round series.
Unlike Nashville’s first-round opponent, the Anaheim Ducks, the Sharks throw different layers of players at a team’s defense, and this proved the difference as San Jose won 5-2 and took a 1-0 series lead. The Predators had one day to figure out how to counter the Sharks, and will try to use the knowledge they took from the first game towards finding a different path to victory Sunday at SAP Center in Game 2.LiveNashville0 - 0San JoseFollow Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
Five years ago on May 1, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, had been killed by “a small team of Americans.”
Five years ago, I witnessed hundreds of Americans converge on the White House for a celebration that went deep into the night.
Five years ago, before all of it happened, I was at a hockey game.
The Washington Capitals faced the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series – not exactly the most memorable affair, as it resulted in a Tampa Bay sweep. Vincent Lecavalier had two goals, including the overtime game-winner around 9:59 p.m. EDT.
The assembled reporters went through the postgame motions, with the player and coach interviews, before returning to the writers’ room at Verizon Center. It was then that an announcement that the President would address the nation was made, and naturally our imaginations ran off since we were basically in a bunker a few blocks from the White House.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
Ken Hitchcock asked the assembled media how many minutes Vladimir Tarasenko played in Game 1 of the St. Louis Blues’ series against the Dallas Stars.
The answer: 21 minutes, 4 seconds.
“Oh, did he? Quite a bit, eh? Can we maybe shut that story up now?” asked Hitchcock.
This was an all-too-obvious reference to the controversy that roared in the Blues’ opening-round win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Fans fretted over Tarasenko’s ice time. Hitchcock explained the reasons behind it, and the basic message was “leave the driving to me.”
Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera were shut down in the Stars’ Game 1 win. Tarasenko as a plus-1 with seven shot attempts and played 19:38 at even strength, tops among Blues forwards.
So how did the Stars contain the 40-goal scorer?
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
The NHL’s Department of Players Safety will have a phone hearing with defenseman Brooks Orpik of the Washington Capitals for his hit that took out defenseman Olli Maatta of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
It was in the first period of Game 2, just 4:13 into the game. Well after Maata released the puck in the Capitals’ zone, Orpik lunged at him in an effort to take him out the play. It was clearly interference – but Orpik’s left shoulder connected with Maatta’s head and dropped the Penguins D-man. Maata was woozy leaving the ice, and didn’t return to the game.
Orpik was given a minor penalty for interference.
Capitals coach Barry Trotz said that Orpik thought the puck was coming back to Maatta after a shot and a rebound. “There’s a real size difference, and Maata leaned into it a little bit.”
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told NBC in an interview that the hit deserved a major. He said after the game that Maatta is “obviously out” and that "I think it's the type of hit that everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game."
And that’s why Orpik will be suspended.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
Letang was a beast for the Penguins in their 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Due to the injury to Olli Maatta in the first period, the defenseman had to take on extra minutes on the ice. Like an insane amount of minutes - 35:22 in total. In that time he was a plus-2 with 6 shots on goal, 4 attempts blocked, and 1 missed shot. He also blocked 5 shots.
No. 2 Star: Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning
The forward recorded 2 goals and 1 assist in the Lightning's 4-1 drubbing of the New York Islanders. The series is now tied at 1-1 as it heads to Brooklyn.
No. 3 Star: Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins
The goaltender improved his playoff record to 4-1-1 as he held the Capitals to 1 goal on 24 shots. Check out this series of saves he made.