- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
Create-a-Caption : "Youppi, the mascot of the Montreal Canadiens pokes the zamboni driver with hockey stick during the NHL game"
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Preview: Montreal Canadiens at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at Detroit Red Wings, 8 p.m. ET
Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Calgary Flames, 10 p.m. ET
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Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...
1. Stingy Habs. As the Canadiens go for the home-and-home sweep of the Devils, they'll do so with one of the league's best defenses. According to the AP, opponents have failed to score more than two goals against Montreal in 10 of their last 11 games.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Unsurprisingly, these two guys got blamed for this goal.
Hockey is a beautiful game, played on a crisp sheet of ice by finely-tuned athletes that have perfected their strides, their passes, their shots. At times, watching a game of puck is like watching art unfolds in real-time.
At other times, however, it's pretty flipping ridiculous, and 2013 suffered no shortage of bloopers. It took some doing to get this down to a top 10 list -- we had to lose the official that called a phantom shootout goal, John Carlson's crazy bounce goal versus the Penguins, and a host of other nonsensical occurrences -- but we did it. We give you the 10 worst (or best) bloopers of the year.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Sergei Bobrovsky saved all 18 shots he faced against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, but didn’t earn a shutout. That’s because the Vezina winner was injured in the third period, and Curtis McElhinney went the rest of the way for the 1-0 win.
Jackets fans should get used to McElhinney, because The Bob has a groin strain that’s going to keep him out at least a month, and perhaps five weeks. As Aaron Portzline noted, that could mean 15 games without Bobrovsky for the Blue Jackets. Ouch.
Granted, Bobrovsky hasn’t exactly been in Vezina form this year, with a 2.72 GAA and a .909 save percentage. But we’ve seen what he can do when he’s rolling … and we’ve also seen what can happen in the Metro Division when a starting goaltender goes down for a significant period. (Looks down at Islanders …)
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
We've seen what kind of disastrous results throwing you body out to block a shot can have. Just ask Ian Laperriere or Trent McCleary. On Sunday, Tomas Pitule, a forward for HC Plzen of the Czech Extraliga found out.
During a game against HC Hradec, Pitule slid in front of a René Vydarený shot and was hit in the mouth with the puck, fracturing his jaw. Here's what he looked like after the stitches and after the swelling kicked in:
If you're counting at home, Pitule needed 78 stitches total, 60 inside his mouth and 18 on the outside, according to iSport.
Pitule said he didn't think the jaw was broken after he went off the ice. It was only when he saw the eyes of the doctor examining him that he realized something was wrong. He's expected to miss at least the next six weeks.
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Stamkos eyes February return; Bryzgalov out indefinitely; Hartley responds to ‘bully’ comments (Puck Headlines)Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy4 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.
• Who wants to add an autographed Dunkin' Donuts mascot costume to their collection this holiday season?
• Almost a month after he broke his leg, Steven Stamkos is reportedly eyeing a Feb. 6 return, just before the Olympic break. [TSN]
• Ilya Bryzgalov is out with what the Oilers are calling "concussion-like" symptoms or whiplash. "We always treat those immediately as a concussion, even though we’re not quite sure if that’s what it is or not," said head coach Dallas Eakins. [Edmonton Sun]
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
In case you didn't know, since the promotional campaign has been very, very understated, Will Ferrell recently made a second "Anchorman" movie. Again, this is all flying very much under the radar, but I've been told by sources that it hits theaters later this month.
Full disclosure: my source was Ron Burgundy himself, who's so omnipresent these days that he came to my house last night and begged me -- literally begged me -- to see his movie.
All this in mind, especially that last part about Burgundy's willingness to show up basically anywhere, including but not limited to a Canadian curling event, Emerson College, and a North Dakota news station, the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints are optimistic that they'll be able to lure him to the great state of Iowa for their aptly named "Ron Burgundy Night".
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
Jaromir Jagr is incredible, with 22 points in 28 games for the New Jersey Devils. Jaromir Jagr is also incredibly old at 41, which means he probably shouldn't have to carry as much of the offensive load as he has this season for the post-Kovalchuk Devils.
He’s averaging 18:43 in ice time per game, his highest since coming back from the KHL, and has played over 20 minutes in three of his last four contests.
The problem is that outside of Patrik Elias, Jagr is the only Devils player that makes opposing defenses wake up from their slumber and worry about a New Jersey scorer. Jagr has 11 goals; no Devil has more than six.
They’re relying too much on him. They’re going to burn him out.
At the very least, Coach Peter DeBoer knows this, via the Star-Ledger:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more: unappealing
Special Guest Star: It could be Bill Ranford; or, barring that, it could be Katie Strang!
• Henrik Lundqvist gets a massive contract; is that a good thing or a bad thing?
• The Roussel show in Chicago last night.
• Ducks vs. Kings.
• NHL news and notes.
- Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
None of the Russian NHL stars will become a flag bearer for their country in Sochi in a few months, the first time Russia will host the Winter Olympics in history.
(Come to think of it, there will be no NHL flag bearers for any country in Sochi.)
The speculation was that all – Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk - had great chances of becoming flag bearers.
“The opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Games will take place on February 7 at 20:14 Moscow time,” Team Russia 2014 media project manager Andrei Mitkov told Sovetsky Sport.
“By that time only KHL players will be in Sochi. The Russian Olympic team has a scheduled friendly game against Team Latvia on February 8, and one against Team Switzerland on February 9. The charter flight with NHL players will arrive in the Olympic capital only on February 10.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers have decided to end the wait, end the speculation and end the questions about whether or not a looming contract extension was weighing too heavily on the franchise goalie.
Lundqvist has agreed to a 7-year, $59.5-million contract with the Rangers that will run through his 38th birthday. He previously had a 6-year, $41.25-million deal that ran through this season.
That’s an average salary cap hit of $8.5 million, putting Lundqvist fifth overall in terms of cap hits for the 2014-15 season, when the contract kicks in. Only Alex Ovechkin ($9.54 million), Evgeni Malkin ($9.5 million), Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million) and Corey Perry ($8.625 million) carry a higher hit.
Lundqvist has the richest contract, from a cap perspective, in NHL history for a goaltender. Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators previously shared that distinction at $7 million.
A few thoughts/concerns/reactions to the deal …