- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy20 mins 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 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 Daddy6 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 Daddy7 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 Daddy13 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.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five thing to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop by here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finish.
Create-a-Caption: "Goaltender Tim Thomas #34 of the Florida Panthers talks to linesman Jonny Murray #95 prior to the start of the shootout against of the Detroit Red Wings at the BB&T Center on December 10, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida."
Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:30 p.m. ET
Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:00 p.m. ET
Preview: Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks, 10:30 p.m. ET
Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
You know how this is going to go:
That Antii Raanta, who is already 4-0-1 on the season and hasn’t given up more than two goals in any of his six appearances, is going to take the goaltending reins for the Chicago Blackhawks with Corey Crawford on the shelf and go on some ungodly run that makes everyone Team Raanta and strengthens the chorus of critics wondering why Crawford is signed through 2020 ...
OK, maybe not.
When either Nikolai Khabibulin or Crawford heal up, Raanta’s back down the depth chart and, eventually, back down in the AHL. But in the meantime, the Blackhawks are going to get a glimpse of a goalie that swept nearly every available award in the Finnish League last season, as he's expected to start against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
(It’s Rivalry Night, don’t forget. I mean, the Flyers probably have, since most of the players from 2010 are gone or Chris Pronger. But hey, RIVALS, right?)
Justin Goldman of the Goalie Guild wondered if he’s the nest great Antti in the NHL (better than Miettinen?!):
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
One wonders which loss the Ottawa Senators are more embarrassed about: the 2-1 defeat at the hands of the 30th-place Sabres on Tuesday night, or the loss of Jared Cowen, who was suspended two games on Wednesday after a hit to the head of Sabres' forward Zemgus Girgensons during the game.
Since it was just Buffalo's seventh win of the year, we'll guess the former. But this hit's no good either, as Brendan Shanahan explains.
Even though Girgensons remained in the game, scoring the 10th-round shootout winner, you had to know there was no way Cowen was escaping supplemental discipline again -- not after he already got the benefit of the doubt on the hit that turned Pavel Datsyukinto a fisherman for two weeks.
And not after such an obvious headshot.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
On Tuesday night, Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin broke the team’s all-time power-play goals record previously held by Peter Bondra. The Capitals captain received a call from Bondra after the game to congratulate him, and their cameras caught the moment on film and in the photo above, which the team tweeted out.
Behind Ovechkin are his sticks, labeled with him number ‘8’.
But wait … what’s that one stick there? With the writing on it? It’s some sort of message …
Why, it reads: “MEASURE STICK DON’T TOUCH MOTHER [EXPLETIVES].”
Good to see NHL players feel the same way about their measuring sticks as most of us do about our staplers and high quality pens in the office.
But seriously: Who dared touch Ovechkin’s “measure stick” so often that he felt the need to police said action with a lewd warning? He’s the captain, for goodness sake; go steal Tom Wilson’s measure stick.
LaFontaine taking time on GM search; Frozen Four sites announced; Brassard’s ‘sore butt’ (Puck Headlines)Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy18 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.
• Pat LaFontaine won't name a new GM for the Sabres until after the new year. Added to his candidate list is LA Kings co-director of scouting Mike Futa. [Die By the Blade]
• Having already lost Marc Staal this week, the Rangers took another blow Tuesday night with the news that captain Ryan Callahan will miss the next 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprain. [ESPN New York]
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
The NHL online shop is a magical, wonderful place that has provided us with content for many years, as the various apparel and souvenir companies that pump out NHL merchandise every season also include some rather quirky items that really set themselves apart from the usual t-shirt, bobblehead, pennant items for sale.
With the 2014 Winter Classic three weeks from today, we figured we'd take a look at the some of the terrible items from the NHL online shop dedicated to the Jan. 1 outdoor game and those from the past. You know, stuff like...
While attending any NHL game, you'll see plenty of jerseys of players that formerly played for one of the teams involved. Instead of honoring Anson Carter's 54 games on Broadway with a jersey, New York Rangers fans could go outside the box and replicate his famous hairstyle. (The Sedin Wing-Men accessory comes separate.)