Puck Daddy

  • The field for the 2017 Frozen Four is decided. With one exception, chalk walked in this past weekend’s regionals.

    Of course, it’s not always the best teams in the country that make it to the Frozen Four, because hockey is often random. But there are ways to make good guesses as to what kind of clubs are most likely to have success in the postseason.

    A few weeks ago, Travis Yost had an interesting post over at TSN that highlighted the statistical similarities between all the Stanley Cup winners from 2007 to last year, looking at what they generally did well. The answer, more or less across the board, was “everything,” but some things were more important than others.

    It was more important to generate shot attempts than scoring chances — weird, right? — and better to be defensively talented (in terms of save percentage, allowing scoring chances, conceding goals, and so on) than offensively.

    College is very different from the NHL, in part because there are far more teams, and also because

    Read More »from NCAA Hockey 101: What does a team need to make Frozen Four?
  • Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

    Fare thee well, Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets, eliminated from playoff contention after the St. Louis Blues’ victory on Monday night. May you find some semblance of inner peace, and also consistent goaltending …

    The Blues’ win was matched by the Nashville Predators’ victory over the New York Islanders, so the Preds remain one point ahead for third in the Central and a first-rounder against the Minnesota Wild. The Blues also remained two points behind the Calgary Flames for the first wild card, who defeated the Colorado Avalanche, as teams typically do when they play the Avalanche.

    Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.

    Here’s the Western Conference:

    As you

    Read More »from NHL Playoff Death Watch: Lightning try to pop East bubble; Pacific showdown
  • Alexei Kudashov was not a happy Kontinental Hockey League coach.

    His Lokomotiv team was down 2-0 in their Gagarin Cup series against SKA. Tensions were already high on Monday when the teams faced off again.

    In the second period, something – perhaps a crushing hit against one of his players in the attacking zone moments earlier – enraged him. Seeing as how a coach’s options in such situations are to (a) scream a string of profanities at the on-ice officials or (b) throw something from the bench like a petulant toddler, Kudashov’s choices for recourse were limited.

    He chose Option ‘B.’

    As you can see about 40 seconds into this video, Kudashov slams a water bottle on the ice in disgust. Ice having the properties of, well, ice, it slid over and made contact with an opposing player. So he didn’t technically throw the water bottle at a player, but he hit a player with a water bottle, if we’re arguing semantics.

    The best part of the video is the immediate aftermath of the incident, when his

    Read More »from KHL coach throws bottle, hits player, gets ejected (Video)
  • CALGARY, AB - MARCH 27: X #xx of the Calgary Flames skates against X #xx of the Colorado Avalanche during an NHL game on March 27, 2017 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
    (Getty Images)

    No. 1 Star: Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames

    Monahan scored his team leading 26th goal and added three assists in a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. With the victory, the Flames now have 90 points – one back of the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks for one of the top three spots in the Pacific Division. Monahan has 10 points in his last five games. 

    No. 2 Star: Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues

    Steen notched a career-high four assists to help St. Louis to a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Blues have gone 10-1-1 in their last 12 games and now have 88 points – 11 ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for the Western Conference’s final Wild Card spot. The victory was also the Blues’ 10th straight over the Coyotes.

    No. 3 Star: Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

    Hedman notched three assists in a big 5-4 overtime comeback win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Midway through the second period, the Lightning were down 4-1 before scoring four unanswered goals. With the victory,

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Monahan, Steen each notch four points; Lightning win in OT
  • NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 29: Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey addresses the media during a press conference at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 29, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Wages, marketing, and program development are all part of the National Team’s demands of USA Hockey. However, their decision to boycott and demand equitable treatment goes far beyond the tangible.

    The fight is about a culture change not only in USA Hockey, but in the way women’s sports are viewed as a whole.

    It’s difficult to understand a situation when you’re not directly impacted by it. Lucky for us, John Smallwood of Philly.com, has two articles giving his take on the situation with the US Women’s National Team and USA Hockey.

    These woefully under-researched, alternative facts-filled columns provides unique insight into what the Women’s Team is facing from an ideological perspective.

    It would be too easy to rip Mr. Smallwood a new one by dissecting each post, line by

    Read More »from Philly columnist illustrates culture change needed at USA Hockey
  • Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack, of Sweden, is removed from the ice following an injury during overtime in an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, March 27, 2017. Detroit won 4-3. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
    Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack, of Sweden, is removed from the ice following an injury during overtime in an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, March 27, 2017. Detroit won 4-3. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

    Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Eddie Lack was stretchered off the ice after Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou hit into the netminder on the game-winning breakaway goal Monday.

    In overtime, after Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek stopped Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, Athanasiou came down the ice with the puck at speed. As Athanasiou neared Lack, Hurricanes forward Victor Rask caught up to the Red Wings’ youngster and accidentally pushed him straight into into Lack.

    [Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

    Athanasiou then hit into Lack’s head and neck area, which sent the goaltender down to the ice writhing in pain.

    Here’s a still photo of the collision:

    Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack, of Sweden, is removed from the ice following an injury during overtime in an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, March 27, 2017. Detroit won 4-3. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
    Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack, of
    Read More »from Eddie Lack stretchered off ice after collision with Andreas Athanasiou (Video)
  • On Jan. 25, Jeremy Roenick made an illegal turn while headed to a New York Rangers game in New York City. But the traffic stop became something more than routine when the police discovered his driving privileges in the state had been suspended, and they arrested him at Sixth Ave. and W. 23rd Street, according to the Daily News.

    In true Dept. of Motor Vehicles fashion, this appears to have been a giant goof-up. The state was sending notices to an address Roenick hadn’t lived at since 1989(!) and then got on him for not alerting the state to his new address. He told Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday that there was no mention of an additional fine for suspended privilages when he paid a speeding ticket in Westchester County a year ago, for example.

    On Monday, Roenick appeared in court, paid his ticket and a $163 feed to the court clerk, according to the New York Daily News. And that was that.

    The NBC Sports analyst then expressed his frustration to the News about the ordeal, including

    Read More »from Jeremy Roenick rips NY DMV after being in ‘jail cell with cokeheads’
  • RALEIGH, NC - DECEMBER 19: Fans leave the building following an announcement that an NHL game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Detroit Red Wings is postponed due to a mechanical failure in the system that makes the ice surface on December 19, 2016 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
    RALEIGH, NC – DECEMBER 19: Fans leave the building following an announcement that an NHL game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Detroit Red Wings is postponed due to a mechanical failure in the system that makes the ice surface on December 19, 2016 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

    The Carolina Hurricanes have decided to poke some fun at the reason behind their Monday home game against the Detroit Red Wings.

    The game was initially supposed to be played on Dec. 19 but was postponed until Monday because a compressor in the PNC Arena’s ice-freezing machine blew out. So fans are being treated to free Kona Ice snow cone outside of PNC Arena entrances before the game. The slogan for the promotion says “don’t have a meltdown.”

    [Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

    Read More »from Carolina Hurricanes' promotion pokes fun at rescheduled home game
  • Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey: Monday picks

    SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 23: Goaltender James Reimer #34 of the Florida Panthers defends the net against the Arizona Coyotes at the BB&T Center on March 23, 2017 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Goaltender James Reimer #34 of the Florida Panthers defends the net against the Arizona Coyotes at the BB&T Center on March 23, 2017 in Sunrise, Florida. (Getty Images)

    By Chris Morgan

    Now we know which teams are in the Final Four, and the Frozen Four, but you should be focused on 12 other teams Monday — the 12 NHL teams that are in action. Here are some players to target, and to avoid, from those six contests.

    GOALIE

    James Reimer, FLA at BUF ($31): Reimer has a 2.51 GAA and a .920 save percentage on the season, and in his last six games he has a 1.98 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Buffalo has only scored 2.48 goals per game, so they don’t seem likely to threaten him too much. Additionally, the Sabres have allowed 2.80 goals and 34.3 shots on net per game, the latter of which is the most in the league. That likely increases Reimer’s chances of getting some offensive support, which in turn increases his chances of winning.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest now]

    GOALIE TO AVOID

    Read More »from Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey: Monday picks
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 22: Pyrotechnics explode as the Vegas Golden Knights name and logo is revealed during the Las Vegas NHL team name Unveiling ceremony on November 22, 2016, at The Park at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Josh Holmberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Pyrotechnics explode as the Vegas Golden Knights name and logo is revealed during the Las Vegas NHL team name Unveiling ceremony on November 22, 2016, at The Park at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Getty Images)

    The NHL still believes in the long-term success of the Vegas Golden Knights even with the NFL owners’ Monday decision to approve relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas.

    “This was always a possibility and that was something the (NHL’s Board of Governors) was aware of at the time they approved the franchise,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email to Puck Daddy. “We remain confident the Golden Knights will be successful, and that won’t change with or without an NFL franchise in town.”

    [Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

    The Raiders will stay in Oakland for the next two seasons before planning to move to Las Vegas in 2019. The Golden Knights will start play in the 2017-18 season.

    Overall, the Golden Knights initially

    Read More »from NHL still confident in Vegas Golden Knights after Raiders relocation vote
  • Curtis McElhinney has been named Tuesday’s starter against the Panthers. (Frank Gunn/CP)

    The Toronto Maple Leafs’ playoff fate will rest on the shoulders of veteran goaltender Curtis McElhinney — for one game, anyways.

    Mike Babcock announced at practice Monday that Frederik Andersen isn’t quite ready to play after sustaining an injury Saturday night, leaving McElhinney to hold the fort against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

    [Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

    Andersen hit the ice for an abbreviated practice session on Monday, along with McElhinney and Garret Sparks, who was recalled from the Toronto Marlies on an emergency basis.

    Both Babcock and Andersen refused to get into specifics about the injury, with the goalie offering only that he felt off after getting bumped early in the first period against the Sabres.

    Babcock sounded optimistic that the injury wouldn’t keep his No. 1 netminder out long term, while Andersen was a little more

    Read More »from Maple Leafs may have dodged bullet with Andersen injury
  • Micheal Haley sucker punch screen shot
    Micheal Haley sucker punch screen shot

    The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has suspended San Jose Sharks forward Micheal Haley one game for punching Nashville Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok in the face.

    The infraction occurred at the 12:56 mark of the third period of their Saturday game at Bridgestone Arena with the play in the San Jose zone. Jarnkrok had hit Haley hard into the boards as the San Jose player was trying to move the puck up ice. Because of this, the official raised his arm to call a penalty for boarding.

    After the hit, a clearly angered Haley dropped his gloves and went after Jarnkrok, punching the unsuspecting young forward in the face. Haley received a match penalty for roughing. In a video explaining Haley’s suspension, the Department of Player Safety said this type of play was completely unacceptable.

    [Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

    “It is important to note that while Jarnkrok did hit Haley before this altercation,

    Read More »from Micheal Haley suspended one game for sucker punch vs. Predators (Video)
  •  

    Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

    The Central Division has a little playoff mystery now, as we wonder who will play the Minnesota Wild in the first round and who will be in the wild card to face either the Chicago Blackhawks or the Pacific winner, given that the Pacific currently has more intense drama than Michelle Williams’s IMDB page.

    On Monday, you have the Nashville Predators, currently third in the Central, playing at the New York Islanders. You have the St. Louis Blues, in the second wild card, hosting the Arizona Coyotes, who are one Colorado Avalanche away from being the worst team in the NHL.

    Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.

    Here’s the Western Conference:

    If the Blues and

    Read More »from NHL Playoff Death Watch: East’s ‘in-hand’ night; Stars, Jets face abyss
  • WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 22: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a rally in front of the Capitol March 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sanders urged the U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to reject President Donald Trump’s nomination of Jay Clayton to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    The USA Hockey Board of Directors meet today to vote on terms negotiated with the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) in an effort to end the players’ boycott of the Women’s World Championships.

    A group of sixteen United States Senators came together to pen a letter to USA Hockey ‘reminding’ the organization not only of their ethical obligations to the USWNT but their legal obligations under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.

    The Senators pull zero punches.

    Here’s the text of the letter sent to USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean:

    Dear Mr. Ogrean,

    As Senators committed to gender equity in all realms of American life, we write to express our

    Read More »from 16 U.S. Senators reprimand USA Hockey on treatment of USWNT
  • Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid are the cornerstones of the rebuilds in Toronto and Edmonton. (CP)

    The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers have a lot in common.

    The salary cap era has not been kind to either club on the ice. Since the 2005 lockout, Toronto has appeared in the playoffs just once, falling to Boston in the first round of 2013. Edmonton too has one appearance, which while more successful (they went to the Stanley Cup Final) is also far less recent (in 2006). Poor management and failed rebuilding efforts have been the shared experience of both teams.

    Now the two clubs are turning the corner at the same instant in time. The Oilers will make the playoffs and perhaps even own home ice in the first round. The Leafs’ postseason hopes are less certain in the tougher Eastern Conference, but as of this moment it is probable that they will win one of the two spots being vied for by three bubble teams.

    Yet there are differences, too.

    Edmonton’s turnaround was driven more by

    Read More »from Who's closer to the Stanley Cup: Leafs or Oilers?
  • 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com

    Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams.
    Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams.

    • Washington Capitals forwards Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky rock some interesting hairstyles at team photo day. [WUSA9]

    • Patrick Eaves has found a nice fit on the Anaheim Ducks’ top line. He has six goals in 13 games since a trade to the team from the Dallas Stars in February. [Orange County Register]

    • Five NHL players who have had the biggest breakouts this season. [The Hockey News]

    [Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

    • Are the Minnesota Wild showing signs of breaking out of their slump? [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

    • How can general manager Ken Holland fix the Detroit Red Wings? [Detroit News]

    • The Florida Panthers will start a four-game road trip Monday

    Read More »from Eaves' Anaheim fit; NHL's biggest breakout players (Puck Headlines)
  • Getty Images

    One of the less talked-about aspects of the NHL season has been the utter failure of the Dallas Stars, a team that was one win away from a Conference Final just last year.

    They’re 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, but that includes a three-game losing streak. In fact, the Stars have seven streaks of at least three losses this season. They’ve only won three in a row once.

    The extent to which this club struggled was, as I’ve said many times, foreseeable. You knew the goaltending situation was going to be horrendous, and here we are with a team .900 save percentage versus a league average of .913. Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi have cost the team a collective 28 goals, probably about nine points in the standings, give or take.

    [Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

    But those nine points only get the Stars to 80 in 74, which still isn’t close to a playoff spot here. You’re not wrong to blame the goaltending, but the problems go much deeper. The

    Read More »from What We Learned: What's next for the Dallas Stars?
  • ANAHEIM, CA – MARCH 26: Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks celebrates his second period goal during the game against the New York Rangers on March 26, 2017 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

    No. 1 Star: Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

    The Ducks captain handed out four assists in Anaheim’s 6-3 win over the New York Rangers. Patrick Eaves continued his strong play with a pair of goals as the Ducks took over sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division. The four helpers helped Getzlaf reach the 50-assist mark for the seventh time in his career.

    No. 2 Star: Andreas Athanasiou, Detroit Red Wings

    The Red Wings beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in a Sunday matinee because Athanasiou got time and space in overtime, which means bad news for opponents.

    No. 3 Star: Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars

    The Dallas Stars capitalized on their power play chances when Ales Hemsky tied the game late in the third period and Seguin needed only 20 seconds

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Getzlaf dishes assists; Athanasiou, Seguin OT heroes
  • national anthem new jersey devils dallas start nhl
    Sparsh Shah, a 13-year-old boy who was born with a rare condition known as osteogenesis imperfecta, wowed the Prudential Center on Sunday with a stirring performance of the national anthem. (Photo from New Jersey Devils/Twitter)

    Whether you love it or hate it, the pregame national anthem is a staple before sporting events in North America. Often it goes without a hitch, and sometimes we get a laughable moment or two out of it. And every once in a while, there’s a performance that induces chills for both players, fans, and everyone watching at home.

    That’s what happened Sunday when Sparsh Shah – a 13-year-old boy who was born with a rare condition known as osteogenesis imperfecta – wowed the Prudential Center with his rendition of The Star Spangled banner before the New Jersey Devils’ game against the Dallas Stars.

    Read More »from Watch: Young fan wows with incredible anthem performance
  • MANCHESTER, NH – MARCH 26: Andrew Oglevie #15 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates his overtime winning goal against the Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks during the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Northeast Regional Championship final at the SNHU Arena on March 26, 2017 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Fighting Irish won 3-2 and advance to the Frozen Four in Chicago. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

    In which we recap the day’s events in the NCAA tournament.

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — In a lot of ways, this seemed predestined.

    Since Notre Dame came to Hockey East four years ago, there’s no team they’ve played more than UMass Lowell, and no team has run their show to such a dramatic extent. Entering Sunday’s contest, to determine who would go to the Frozen Four, the Fighting Irish had just two wins and two ties in 13 meetings with Lowell. They were outscored 36-18. The River Hawks eliminated them from the conference playoffs three times in as many meetings.

    [Follow Puck Daddy on

    Read More »from NCAA Hockey: Notre Dame, Denver grab final two Frozen Four spots