Puck Daddy - NHL

  • No. 1 Star: Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

    The Red Wings went into TD Garden and upset the Boston Bruins 1-0 in Game 1 thanks to a 25-save shutout from Howard. The game was scoreless until late in the third period when Pavel Datsyuk pulled some sorcerey for the game's only goal.

    No. 2 Star: Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

    The Anaheim captain has had an eventful three days. On Wednesday, he took a puck to the face. Then Thursday night, he and his wife had a baby girl. During Game 2 Friday night he scored a first period goal and assisted on what would eventually stand as the game-winner as the Ducks went up 2-0 on the Dallas Stars with a 3-2 victory.

    No. 3 Star: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

    Montreal took control of home ice against the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 4-1 win in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead. Price stopped 26 shots and Rene Bourque scored a pair of goals for the Canadiens. Bourque now has five goals in his last 12 playoff games.

    Honorable mention: P.K. Subban recorded a pair of assists on Montreal's first two goals ... Bourque's first goal came in pretty fashion ... Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots in a losing effort ... Frederik Andersen made 34 saves for the Ducks.

    Did you know? "Reilly Smith became the first Bruin to face his brother in a playoff games since Phil Esposito played against Chicago goalie Tony Esposito in 1975. Brendan Smith plays defense for Detroit." (AP)

    Dishonorable mention: Milan Lucic will probably be fined for this cup check on Danny DeKeyser ... Anders Lindback allowed three goals on 23 shots and was pulled late in the third period.

  • The way goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Tuukka Rask were playing in Game 1 between Boston and Detroit, you knew it was going to take something special to break the scoreless tie. Fortunately, that's sort of where Pavel Datsyuk excels.

    The Red Wings stole Game 1 of series with a 1-0 win Friday, and the difference, as he often is, was the wizardly Datsyuk, who scored the game-winner on a dazzling, beautiful individual effort with just over three minutes remaining.

    I was going to go out tonight. I think I may just stay in with this goal.

    So much beauty here, and it begins at the moment that Datsyuk corrals this puck. The play begins with a truly terrible pass from Johan Franzen, who tries to flip it to Datsyuk to start the breakout and winds up losing it in traffic. 

    But no matter. Already dashing through the neutral zone like a one horse open sleigh, Datsyuk reaches back behind him and snags the puck, dragging it between all three Bruins' forwards, then slingshotting it through his legs and up to his stick. He does all this at full speed.

    From there, he rocks into the Bruins' end, pulling the puck away from a Zdeno Chara pokecheck attempt before dancing across the zone and shooting it through a Justin Abdelkader screen and past Rask.

    Just an unbelievable play, and one of the reasons you shouldn't count the Red Wings out of this series. They may not have Boston's record, and they may not have Boston's depth, but as long as they have Pavel Datsyuk, they're a scary team.

    Don't just take my word for it. Colin Hanks agrees:

    Game 2 goes Sunday afternoon.

  • Before the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings play Game 2 on Sunday, Milan Lucic will be a few dollars short in the wallet.

    In the second period of Game 1 Friday night, Lucic had enough with Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser and decided to give up a cup check:

    That's just... with the amount of television cameras in NHL rinks these days, of course this was going to be caught. No penalty was called, but you can be sure Stephane Quintal and the Department of Player Safety will have something to say about it.

    Lucic is no stranger to the spear, having done something similar to Alexei Emelin of the Montreal Canadiens in March. He went unpunished, but this blatant attempt will likely not be dismissed.

    If Joel Quenneville is out $25,000 for grabbing his junk while arguing a call, what's the wallet hit on Lucic going to be?

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    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

  • As the Tampa Bay Lightning try to deal with the losses of Ben Bishop and Ondrej Palat, the Montreal Canadiens are taking advantage in their first round series. An overtime win in Game 1 has been followed up by a strong start in Game 2.

    David Desharnais tipped home a power play goal for Montreal early in the second period to open the scoring. It was their first goal with the man advantage in 28 opportunities. Eight minutes later they doubled their lead after a pretty series of moves from Rene Bourque.

    Here in all its glory is the RDS call:

    Montreal took a 2-0 lead into the locker room at the second intermission on Bourque's second goal since Feb. 4. Meanwhile, the injuries continued to build for the Lightning as forward J.T. Brown left the game in the second period after getting hit along the boards by Alexei Emelin.

    The Canadiens ended up winning 4-1.

    Do the Lightning stand a chance heading back to Montreal down 0-2 in the series?

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    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

  • The NHL announced a $25,000 fine to Joel Quenneville for "inappropriate conduct" Friday, after his double overtime tirade against the officials Thursday night ended in a crotch grab that would have made Michael Jackson proud.

    Quenneville had already apologized for the gesture. "It was a bush-league move on my part," he said earlier in the day.

    Now, we don't know about bush-league. It seemed just a little lower than that.

    Still. He wasn't happy with it, and neither was the league, who would prefer their coaches not do this.

    The Internet, on the other hand, loved it. Loved it. On Friday, Joel Quenneville was everywhere.

    Pete Blackburn had a ton of fun with it, noting that pointing that dramatic is better suited for John Travolta feature films than the NHL playoffs. Something tells me we'll be seeing a lot of this GIF in the playoffs, especially if the Blackhawks win an elimination game to stay alive, as it were.

    Thank goodness Game 2 goes Saturday during the day. That gives Quenneville plenty of time to get to a postgame dancefloor before Saturday night fever sets in.

    Anyway, while the pointing was Travoltian, the crotch grab brought another pop culture icon to mind:

    No, not the bear. The late Michael Jackson. 

    My only regret with this GIF is that it isn't accompanied by music. 

    Fortunately, these two Youtube videos are. There's no doubting that what Quenneville did was bad. But now it's "Bad" bad.

    It's the whip sound effects that make this one special.

    To my mind, though, nothing tops the brilliant (and brilliantly named) "Smooth Queminal":

    Who knew Joel Quenneville was such an amazing dancer?

    Actually, scratch that. Anybody who saw this GIF from the Blackhawks' Cup win knew full well that he could move.

    Look at him work those hips. More dancing Quenneville gifs, please.

  • Game 1 of the divisional semifinal series between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning was a nail-biter: a 5-4 win in overtime for the Habs on a Dale Weise goal.

    But this was your proverbial “closer on the scoreboard than it actually was” kind of game, because Montreal dominated them in shots on goal (44-25) and possession (60 percent to 40 percent in corsi close, i.e. corsi in a 1-goal game). To those ends, it was a blowout.

    Check out this shot attempt chart from Extra Skater:

    And then check out what it looked like in their previous meeting on April 1.

    So yeah, the Canadiens controlled this one.

    The question then becomes “why?” As in, why did the 10th best team in the league in puck possession when the score was close in the regular season get dominated by the 26th-best team in that metric in Game 1?

    Jon Cooper, coach of the Lightning, told the Tampa Times that his team can’t play into the hands of the Canadiens in Friday night’s Game 2.

    "I don't think our D was moving (the puck) fast enough and I don't think our forwards were helping out our D," Cooper said. "Our forwards have to find a way to get back a little harder and fight their way back so we can start going up ice instead of taking pucks while we're coming back. I think we played right into Montreal's game plan. We're a puck-moving team. We're fast. We've got speed and we can control it. I don't think we did that."

    No, they didn’t, and they’ll need to against a Habs team that’s looking to get an inexperienced Tampa team at Bell Centre, staring at a 0-2 hole.

  • Torey Krug probably thought he was safe.

    His employer, the Boston Bruins, were an Eastern Conference team. His childhood idols, the Detroit Red Wings, were a Western Conference team. The only time that odd collision of NHL career and hockey fandom would occur was in the Stanley Cup Final.

    And then realignment happened.

    And then the Red Wings finished in the last wild card slot, and the Bruins finished with the conference’s best record, and the Livonia native and Michigan State product was suddenly preparing for a playoff date with the Red Wings.

    He was familiar with them, of course, having carried a broom around town as a kid when the Red Wings were on the verge of a sweep.

    “My favorite on ice memory was Steve Yzerman’s overtime goal against St. Louis in 1996. That was a pretty special moment. Just how it brought the city together, the community,” recalled Krug to the Detroit News, which is pretty impressive considering he was around five years old at the time.

    He was an Yzerman guy and a Lidstrom guy when he was younger. Before he had to expunge such admirations from his mind, he was a Pavel Datsyuk fan.

    "It's just his creativity. He makes himself special; obviously when you watch him on the ice, he's a special player," Krug told Mass Live in January. "They say he's magic out there; he can do a lot of things with the puck that no one else can do. I think it's the creativity side that gets me excited about it. You try to always open your eyes to something new in the hockey world, and he's a guy who does that."

    But love of the Winged Wheel takes a back seat to dedication to the Spoked-‘B’ these days for Krug.

    “It’s exciting to play in that building (Joe Louis Arena) during the playoffs, and you understand the tradition that’s going on, but I’m focused on the Boston Bruins organization and excited about the opportunity,” Krug told the Detroit News.

    Sure, whatever you say, sleeper agent. You know, the H.Y.D.R.A. logo is an octopus, too …

  • Beginning next week, a unique piece of sports memorabilia will hit the auction block. Mark Pavelich, a forward on the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. hockey team, is selling his gold medal via Heritage Auctions.

    The auction will run through mid-May and likely sell for a couple hundred thousand dollars, if the price of the only other “Miracle” gold medal to be sold is any indication.

    In 2010, the gold medal of defenseman Mark Wells, who previously sold it to a private collector, sold his  through Heritage Auctions for $310,700. Now, his teammate on that legendary hockey team is doing the same with family reasons in mind. 

    “I’m doing a lot for my daughter here,” Pavelich said by phone on Wednesday. “I want her to get a step forward in life. That’s probably the biggest reason.” 

    It’s not the first time Pavelich is selling something from those memorable Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. He gave the jerseys he wore during that tournament to his nephews. One sold the jersey from the “Miracle” game against the Soviet Union at auction last year for over $130,000.  

    Pavelich said he has some other items from his hockey career that he may auction off in the future, but ones from his NHL days he said he’s going to keep. “I don’t think I’ll part with any Rangers stuff.”

    Two years ago, Pavelich’s “Miracle” teammate, Ken Morrow sold his jersey from Soviet Union game for over $104,000 as part of planning for he and his family’s future. The decision was an easy one in a way. He said that if he wasn’t taking the jersey out for a charity or school function, it was sitting on a hanger in his closet.  

    Pavelich’s decision to part with the medal was a similar one.

    “The only thing is you’re limited to what you can do with these things,” he said. “You keep it in a vault in the bank somewhere and you take it out once in a while and you look at it and you put it back in. You can’t put them in a house because it could burn or get stolen and it’s just gone and useless. It’s just an impractical thing.  

    “You can’t say that you never did win a medal just because you don’t have it anymore. You always can say that you got it.”

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    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

  • 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.

    • Fun with Google translations. [Expressen]

    • Steve Mason took shots Friday morning and said his goal is to start Game 2 vs. the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon. [Philly Inquirer]

    • Brad Richards was talked about as being a potential buyout for the Rangers last summer. He came up big in Game 1. [Bleacher Report]

    • In praise of Steven Stamkos's "subtle genius." [National Post]

    • Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said that Ondrej Palat is probably not going to play in Game 2 as he deals with an upper-body injury. [Tampa Tribune]

    • This alleged prototype would have made for an interesting Lightning jersey. [Icethetics]

    • After Joel Quenneville's, uh, grabbing of himself while arguing a call Thursday night, the NHL is reviewing the situation and a fine could be handed down. [CSN Chicago]

    • With Barry Trotz now gone from Nashville, will the Predators be replacing goaltending coach Mitch Korn anytime soon? [Tennessean]

    • If he had the chance to, Patrick Roy would probably pull his goalie in the first period. He's certainly not shy about making the move earlier than the norm. [SB Nation]

    • It sounds like the New York Islanders will be keeping their first pick this year and giving the Buffalo Sabres their no. 1 in 2015. [Islanders Point Blank]

    • Ben Scrivens, David Perron and Sean Monahan head up the first group of players committed to play for Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships. [Globe and Mail]

    • A former junior goaltender of Patrick Roy's wasn't too happy with his coaching. “He never tried to help me. By far one of the worst people I’ve ever met.” [Buzzing the Net]

    • Patrick Kane sure has matured over the years. [CBC]

    • Taking a deeper look at the Calgary Flames' one-goal games this season. [Flames Nation]

    • It's not too late to hop aboard an NHL team bandwagon for the playoffs. Here's a helpful guide to get you started. [The Active Stick]

    • Ranking Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys from worst to first. [Pensburgh]

    • Finally, via Les Satiriques, it's a Marc Bergevin dance party!

  • In 1993, the NHL named its first commissioner in Gary Bettman, a former general counsel and senior vice president for the NBA. Among the motivations for the move was to change the very image of the League to attract a young, hip American audience.

    And what better way to accomplish this than with a young, hip American commissioner, right?

    This original black and white photo from the archives of The Sporting News was auctioned and quickly sold on eBay for $22.99.

    And no, it’s not Michael Scott representing Dunder Mifflin at the 1993 NHL All-Star Game – it’s actually Gary Bettman!

    Pretty amazing that even on his first day in office, Bettman was already supporting a cap for the NHL …

    Here's hoping the winner of this incredible keepsake is able to get it autographed.

    By either Bob Goodenow or Chris Chelios, we mean …

    Puck Treasures looks to find those hidden hockey treasures from the past and present, and gives them their proper remembrance. Seen an interesting piece of hockey apparel? Send us an email at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com.

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