- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy24 mins ago
It's a Thursday 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: Bill Ranford, former NHL goaltending great and current LA Kings goalie coach, talks about the rise of Martin Jones.
• Brian Burke fires Jay Feaster.
• The Blackhawks seem unstoppable.
• Sochi Watch continues.
• NHL news and notes.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
It was really a matter of when it would happen. So if you had Dec. 12 in the "When will Jay Feaster be fired?" pool, you win.
The Calgary Flames announced on Thursday that they had relieved Feaster of his duties as general manager of the team. Also gone is assistant GM John Weisbrod. According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, Feaster was in the final year of his contract.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Burke said he doesn't want to be the next GM, nor did he come to Calgary to take that position. "I'm not going to be the general manager other than for a short time."
(Oh, the irony of Burke's Christmas trade freeze going into effect this past Monday night, 10 days before the NHL's, and now Feaster is on his way out. He did say the fact that the Buffalo Sabres are currently looking for a new GM did play into the timing of this decision.)
Burke said he will be asking for permission for GM candidates beginning Thursday.
Capitals’ holiday video features bad sweaters, instrument playing and Troy Brouwer’s pajamas (Video)Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
It's mid-December and the holiday season is in full-swing. The Washington Capitals felt there wasn't enough holiday cheer going around, so Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Joel Ward, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Troy Brouwer, John Erskine, Tom Wilson and Aaron Volpatti put together a band for a rockin' out version of "Jingle Bells."
You can probably guess how it turned out.
Our five favorite things from this video, in order:
• Alex Ovechkin losing a jingle ball (:41 second mark) and not letting it affect his playing, like a pro.
• It's hard to pick a best bad sweater of the bunch because they're all so terrific, but Brooks Laich's elf one is the tops:
• Joel Ward unable to contain his laughter three seconds into the video. He knew what was coming. He knew how ridiculously funny this would be. This was probably their fifth take.
• Troy Brouwer's Uggs. Troy Brouwer's hat. Troy Brouwer's mustache. Troy Brouwer's flannel pajamas. Troy Brouwer's guitar-playing abilities.
• Finally, no NHL has been able to contain Alex Ovechkin on the ice this season, nor can anyone contain his enthusiasm off it:
- Dobber Hockey at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Dobber checks in every Thursday to force-feed you the latest fantasy hockey trends. The founder of and a columnist for The Hockey News website, he long ago immersed himself into this rollercoaster world and is unable to escape.
After seeing Cam Atkinson break out with a four-point effort Tuesday, I was quick to recommend him as a waiver pickup. Generally, the young, unproven skilled guys will get their points in clusters. And Atkinson is showing a lot of chemistry with Brandon Dubinsky and Matt Calvert. But it wasn't just the potential offense that led to the recommendation. It's also because the downside isn't so bad. At the very worst, Atkinson gets you zero points in the next two weeks and you drop him. But during those two weeks, he'll still provide you shots on goal. What's been under the radar with Atkinson is the fact that he is 22nd (as of Wednesday) in the league in shots on goal with 96.
Here are some other potential SOG help, looking at the leaders over the last three weeks, courtesy of Frozen Pool:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
As the calendar flips to 2014, we’ll know definitively which players will have made the cut for their respective countries in the Sochi Olympics. But in the closing weeks of this year, we’re getting a sense of which players still have that shot and which ones may have squandered it.
Here are 10 players that have seen their shot at Olympic glory tainted by their play this season. Some were injured. Some under-performed. Some simply saw others play better.
There’s still time to reverse some of these downward trends … but not much.
Justin Abdelkader, F, Detroit Red Wings
He was invited to the U.S. camp after a season that saw him earn top line minutes with the Red Wings. He looked like he could be a valuable role player for the U.S. His role has changed, his goals are down, and he’s not expected to be in the forward mix for the U.S.
Craig Anderson, G, Ottawa Senators
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Frozen Fenway is an event born out of the 2010 Winter Classic, which featured the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins skating in the middle of Fenway Park. The rink later housed Boston College vs. Boston University, and a new tradition was born.
This season’s event spans from Dec. 28, 2013-Jan. 9, 2014, and features local high school teams as well as Div. I and Div. III college teams playing on a rink placed across second base and part of the Boston Red Sox outfield.
Oh, yeah: The event will also feature a MONSTER SLED!
Fenway announced this week that there will be a 20-foot-high ramp built in the outfield for sledding and tubing.
From Fenway Sports Management:
The sled is the first of its kind at Fenway Park and will sit in the shadow of the ballpark’s left field wall. The sled’s 75 foot run features five separate paths and will end at the Red Sox bullpen. It will be constructed in partnership with StackBox Structures, a Scarborough, Maine, company that designs mobile structures using shipping containers and truss systems.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Why do we love the NHL?
There’s no definitive answer, but perhaps the most frequent one is “the players.” They’re not, by and large, the prima donnas and egotistical jerks that have come to define other sports. They embody, and uphold, their blue collar reputation. Somehow, we still feel like we’re connected with them, despite the distance between us economically and physically – what other pro sport has a pane of glass separating fans from athletes?
But that connection permeates that glass, as we’re reminded by this touching exchange between Charlie Coyle of the Minnesota Wild and a young fan from earlier this season that’s gone viral this week.
Awwwww … that’s pretty much the most adorable hockey image we’ve seen this year that didn’t involve puppies.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
The epitome of the holiday season is the ugly Christmas sweater. For this year's Dice and Ice charity event benefiting Canucks for Kids, the team donned their finest holiday wear for photos posted around the event.
If you can't tell already, Ryan Kesler is not amused. Torts just told him he can't have a Red Rider BB Gun.
The family photo is nice but like usual, Roberto Luongo takes the cake for the best tweet and photo of the night. This time Ryan Kessler is only slightly amused.
Every kiss begins with K........ pic.twitter.com/hEtzKFCj45
— Strombone (@strombone1) December 12, 2013
While the event is a great way to raise money for kids, auctioning off the head of Sarah McLachlan seems a bit excessive. But then again, this is Vancouver...
(Additional s/t to @CanucksForKids for sharing pictures)
NHL Three Stars: Philly lit up by Chicago; Jones wins again; Ducks remain perfect in regulation at homeJen Neale at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Martin Jones, Los Angeles Kings
The Kings backup-to-the-backup goaltender remains perfect on the season defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1. Jones stopped all but one of Toronto's 39 shots. Cody Franson scored on the power play in the second period, ending Jones' shut-out streak of 177 minutes and 12 seconds.
No. 2 Star: The Chicago Blackhawks
It's hard to pick one player that really stood out in a 7-2 thumping of this season's iteration of the Philadelphia Flyers. Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, Michal Handzus, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane all had multi-point nights.
No. 3 Star: Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
After running into teammate Hampus Lindholm's shoulder with his face, Perry took a few minutes to compose himself before scoring a ridiculous goal on a Lindholm rebound. This goal is Perry's eighth in the last seven straight games and it put him back into a tie for second place in goals (21) with Alexander Steen. Ryan Getzlaf's helper on the play extended the Ducks captain's scoring streak to 13 games.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
There have been five suspensions for boarding since the start of the NHL regular season. Two of them were for five games, not coincidentally the two that had victims of his ending up on stretchers. The other three were for two games each, again not coincidentally the three that did not involve a stretcher.
Richard Panik of the Tampa Bay Lightning hit Karl Alzner of the Washington Capitals into the boards on Tuesday night, earning a 5-minute major for a rather egregious hit. Alzner was shaken up but wasn’t seriously injured.
So no stretcher. Hence, two games from the Department of Player Safety. As the video shows*:
From the NHL:
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Richard Panik has been suspended for two games, without pay, for boarding Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner during NHL Game No. 459 in Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 10, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 16:31 of the second period. A major penalty for boarding was assessed to Panik on the play.