Greg Wyshynski

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  • NHL Power Rankings: Penguins persevere, claim top spot


    While the Washington Capitals have more points in the standings, it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins that have impressed us the most. They sit atop the latest Yahoo Sports NHL Power Rankings.

    Consider how good Sidney Crosby and Co. have had to be in light of the injuries they’ve faced. Consider how much better they’ll be once they’re healthier.

    That said, both the Caps and the Chicago Blackhawks are right near the top.

    These power rankings are a combination of performance on the ice, expectations before the season and expectations on where they’ll finish.

    The NHL Power Rankings from Yahoo Sports publish every other week. Stick with Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog for hourly news and views on the NHL.

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  • NHL Three Stars: Kucherov tricks Bruins in big Bolts’ win

     

    No. 1 Star: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

    Kucherov came through again when the Bolts needed him, tallying a hat trick against the Boston Bruins in Tampa’s 6-3 win. Jonathan Drouin and Ondrej Palat both had three points. 

    No. 2 Star: Jonathan Marchessault, Florida Panthers

    The Panthers forward scored twice in 26 seconds to put away the Arizona Coyotes, 3-1. He has 25 goals on the season.

    No. 3 Star: Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

    The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Dallas Stars, 3-2, in a shootout. Corey Crawford made 42 saves, including. Patrick Kane had a goal and a shootout goal. Crawford made six saves in the last 1:34 of overtime.

    Honorable Mention: Anze Kopitar, Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty all had a goal and an assist in the Los Angeles Kings’ 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. … The Edmonton Oilers scored five straight goals in the third period to defeat the Colorado Avalanche, 7-4. Jordan Eberle and Andrej Sekera had three-point nights. Connor McDavid had two

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  • Sidney Crosby basically hacked off Marc Methot’s finger (Video)

    During his career as one of the NHL’s most divisive players, Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby has been given plenty of fingers. On Thursday night, apparently he wanted to take one.

    The Penguins were visited the Ottawa Senators. In the first period, defenseman Marc Methot carried into the attacking zone during 4-on-4 play. Crosby laid a slash across his hands as the play was whistled offside. Methot pulled up, shook his glove, skated up to Crosby and shared some words. Crosby gave the hockey equivalent of an eye-roll and the officials broke up any potential conflict.

    After he took off his glove, Methot’s finger was a bloody stub.

    GRAPHIC IMAGE WARNING, BOTH HERE AND IN THE VIDEO!

    OK …

    Yikes. Someone’s been digging in the cherry pie before dessert…

    Methot didn’t return to the game. Crosby wasn’t penalized, much like he wasn’t penalized when he used his stick to scrape barnacles off the hull of Ryan O’Reilly the other night.

    Sidney Crosby. Hockey’s greatest heel. Never change, sir.

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  • NHL explains Rasmus Ristolainen suspension (Video)

    Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was suspended three games on Thursday for laying out Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel on Tuesday night, concussing him with an illegal interference play.

    The NHL announced the suspension before issuing its usual video explanation. Whether or not the immediate release of the video would have quelled some of the negative reaction to the ban from Sabres faithful is a point of consideration, but the bottom line is that the three games were seen as excessive.

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    A scan of social media reaction saw accusations of bias for the Penguins, proclamations of unfairness after Brandon Manning only received two games for this hit on Guentzel and even a report that the Sabres will appeal the suspension, even though there’s a better chance that Gary Bettman adds a second team to Glendale than overturns a reasonably justifiable three-game suspension to a player on a non-playoff

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  • Donald Fehr says players won’t bargain with Bettman for Olympics

    It’s become increasingly obvious that the NHL’s heel-dragging on Olympic participation has less to do with the deleterious effects the quadrennial break has on its regular season and more with how much the League can squeeze out of its thirsty Winter Games partners: The IOC, the IIHF, the television networks in Canada and the U.S. and, above all, the players.

    Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com asked NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr about that last group. The speculation for the last several months was that Commissioner Gary Bettman was holding Olympic participation hostage to squeeze two more years out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expires in 2022 but which has an opt-out for the players in 2020.

    Fehr told him “effectively a two-year extension of the agreement” didn’t interest the players.

    From ESPN.com:

    “I don’t know what it can be from the players’ perspective,’’ Fehr told ESPN in a phone interview Thursday. “Obviously the players are not about to engage in

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  • Puck Soup: Dimitri Filipovic talks stat nerd feuds, NHL teams using analytics

    (WARNING: STRONG ADULT LANGUAGE AND HUMOR. LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.)

    PUCK SOUP is the hockey podcast on the Nerdist network from Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski and Dave Lozo of Vice Sports, Uproxx and The Comeback. This is a hockey podcast, in the sense that the talk about hockey, both on the ice and about fan culture. That’s the “puck.” This is also a podcast about movies, TV, fast food, life lessons and general idiocy. That’s the “soup.”

    Get it on iTunes here!

    In Episode 43, Greg and Dave welcome Sportsnet hockey analytics smartypants Dimitri Filipovic for a chat about the warring factions of stat nerds, his work with an NHL team, what numbers we should trust, the media’s ignorance and whether you can sell hockey with math. Plus,the boys debate the Olympics and the NHL; look at the Vezina Trophy field, and ponder the merits of Corey Crawford as a franchise goalie; give a March Mute-This tournament update; play a round of ‘London Tube Stop, U.K. Crime Series or Sexual Slang’;

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  • Jaroslav Halak returns to play hero of Islanders’ playoff push

    The New York Islanders won a huge game on Wednesday night, defeating the New York Rangers and moving two points out of the last wild card spot (80 points) behind the Boston Bruins (82 points). They have a game in-hand on the B’s, and a game remaining with them on Saturday night.

    The problem is that they also have two more really, really difficult games surrounding that showdown: Friday night at Pittsburgh, with the Penguins in the thick of the conference championship race. Then on Monday they face the Nashville Predators, who are in their own playoff tangle in the West.

    They also have back-to-backs against the Flyers and Devils, and then the Devils and Senators to end the season.

    The good news is, like against the Rangers, Thomas Greiss can have his strong nights. The troubling news is that they’re not all strong: He has a sub-.900 save percentage in the last two months. The bad news is that he’s human, and hence can be afflicted by fatigue; and that Jean-Francois Berube clearly isn’t

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  • NHL Three Stars: Leafs, Ducks, Isles get big wins

     

    No. 1 Star: Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks 

    The Ducks defenseman had a goal and two assists, the best offensive game of his NHL career, as Anaheim moved into second place in the Pacific with a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

    No. 2 Star: William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs

    The Leafs other, other rookie sensation, assisted on Auston Matthews’s 33rd of the season and then sniped this awesome goal for his own 20th in the Leafs’ 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    No. 3 Star: Anders Lee, New York Islanders 

    The Islanders forward had a goal and an assist in their big 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. It was his 27th goal of the season.

    Honorable Mention: Nazem Kadri scored goal No. 30. … Ryan Getzlaf had three assists. … Rickard Rakell scored goal No. 32. … Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists. … Thomas Greiss was great with 34 saves. 

    Did You Know? The Rangers have lost seven straight home games (0-5-2).

     

    Dishonorable Mention: Roman Polak earned a five-minute major and a

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  • Mike Babcock admits actual human flaw in Leafs' penalty box goof

    Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock is, as you know, the smartest coach in the NHL, or at least that’s what he’d tell you.

    He’s a master tactician. He has a post-grad degree in sports psychology from McGill University. He invented Post-Its, or at least the glue they use on Post-Its. (Still fact-checking that last one.)

    But even the biggest brains can goof up sometimes, and Babcock had a mea culpa after the Leafs’ big 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday:

    He made a mistake. An actual mistake, made by humans.

    One minute into the third period, defenseman Roman Polak took a bad penalty, boarding Oliver Bjorkstand. He earned a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

    But the Leafs opted not to put one of their players in the penalty box to serve the penalty. For some reason.

    As a result, Toronto played an extra minute and 45 seconds shorthanded after the five-minute major was over. Luckily for them, the Blue Jackets were unable to convert on their super-sized power play.

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  • Goalie, shooter get skates jammed together in hockey oddity (Video)

    Kevin Dayer is a forward for HC Sion-Nendaz 4 Vallées, a Swiss Division 1 team. Sebastien Pittet is a goalie for Star-Forward, a Swiss Division 1 team, which we know is confusing because he’s a goalie playing for “Star Forward,” but whatever.

    We don’t know if they’re friends or acquaintances off the ice. But after this play in a March 14 game, they share a bond.

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    Namely the one that formed when their skates were wedged together in a moment of pure hockey absurdity.

    Take a look:

    As you can see, they had to dismantle Pittet’s skate in order to free it from Dayer’s. We’ve seen two skaters get hung up like this before, but rarely a skater and a goalie.

    Our only regret is that they didn’t keep spinning around and around like Jack and Rose in that scene from “Titanic.” The dancing scene. Not, like, the “people falling off a disintegrating ocean liner” one.

    Unfortunately, there wasn’t a goal scored on this play,

    Read More »from Goalie, shooter get skates jammed together in hockey oddity (Video)

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