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  • Henrik Sedin has played 679 consecutive games. It's the NHL's sixth-longest Iron Man streak of all-time, and the second-longest active one, just behind Jay Bouwmeester of the St. Louis Blues, who's at 683.

    Unfortunately, Henrik won't be getting to 680. For the first time since February 23, 2003, the Canucks will play Tuesday night in Edmonton without the eldest Sedin.

    Thank God.

    Henrik has looked near death for weeks. Midway through the first period of Saturday's game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames, he was battling for a loose puck in front of the Flames' goal. (Yes, despite what you may have been told, some hockey happened during this game. Some.)

    He was pushed to the ground, and watching him get up was almost as painful for fans as it must have been for him. He shouldn't have been playing this weekend.

    John Tortorella knew it, too. The Canucks' coach could barely bring himself to send Henrik over the boards, only deploying his captain for 3:47 in the second

    Read More »from Henrik Sedin won’t play Tuesday, ending ‘iron man’ streak at 679 games
  • 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.

    Getty Images

    • "Two Florida Panthers fans dance during a break in third period action against the San Jose Sharks." [Getty]

    • Martin St. Louis on his recent play after being left off the Canadian Olympic team: "I wouldn't say that I'm motivated more now. That's far from the truth." [Tampa Bay Times]

    • St. Louis, Jonathan Quick and Corey Crawford are your NHL Three Stars of the Week. [NHL]

    • A good read on the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund and how does all that forfeited money help other players. The biggest contributor this season? David Clarkson and his $397,279.58. [Boston Globe]

    • Flames president and interim GM Brian Burke on his attempts to make a deal: “The bulk of my time is chasing GMs and trying to make deals. But so far, teams making us offers make no sense. We’re not going to do anything short-term.” [Calgary Sun]

    • Take the time today to read Katie Baker's great piece on traveling to Russia, exploring the KHL and speaking with Ilya Kovalchuk. [Grantland]

    •"The cost of concussions and other on-ice game-related injuries over the course of three National Hockey League regular seasons amounts to about US$653 million, a new study estimates." [CTV]

    Read More »from Marty’s motivation; costly injuries; Hamm, Ferrell to attend outdoor game (Puck Headlines)
  • It took extra balls for Martin Erat to request a trade twice in the same calendar year, and now we know how he did it: By harvesting them from opposing players with his stick, apparently.

    From Sunday night’s 4-1 New York Rangers’ victory, here is the Washington Capitals forward jabbing at the puck under Brian Boyle … among other things:

    Look, we know from “24/7” that the Boyle family has a rather deep roster, but seriously, Martin Erat: Focus on hockey, not population control …

    Or maybe he just wanted someone else to feel what it’s like to watch the Capitals at even strength this season …

    Erat was given a two-minute minor for slashing, while Boyle was given an ice pack and a pair to tweezers for splinters.

    s/t Deadspin

    Read More »from Martin Erat’s stick meets Brian Boyle’s stones, sparks confrontation (Video)
  • Getty ImagesOn Dec. 1, the Columbus Blue Jackets were three points out of the Metropolitan Division basement, giving up 13 more goals than they had scored and looking like an also-ran, despite being realigned to a weaker conference.

    As of Monday, Jan. 20, the Blue Jackets are in a playoff seed, sitting in the final wild card slot with 52 points. Their goal differential is now a plus-3 They’ve won an NHL-best six straight games.

    What the heck has gotten into the Columbus Blue Jackets? Here are seven factors in their turnaround.

    1. The Horton Effect

    The Blue Jackets have only played eight games with their prized free-agent acquisition in the lineup, having signed Horton to a seven-year, $37.1-million contract in the summer before his shoulder surgery.

    They’ve won seven of them.

    Horton has two goals and three assists in those wins, including three points on the team’s effective if inconsistent power play (19.0 percent on the season, No. 11 in the NHL.) He’s skating with Boone Jenner and Artem

    Read More »from Seven reasons the Columbus Blue Jackets have rebounded for wild card spot
  • LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn't work, try here.]

    It's a Monday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:

    Special Guest Star: Kevin Woodley, goalie guru and Canucks reporter for NHL.com, talks Torts with us.

    • The various fallouts and hypocrisies of the Flames/Canucks line brawl.

    • Wings win with puck off the netting.

    • Jamie Benn's defensive non-suspension.

    • NHL news and notes.

    Question of the Day: What is your favorite crazy goalie moment? Email at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!

    Click here to download podcasts from the show each day. Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or Feedburner.

    Read More »from Marek Vs. Wyshynski Podcast: Special noon edition; we may talk Tortorella
  • New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has a 2.54 GAA and a .915 save percentage this season, which is pretty impressive for the former Vezina winner.

    It’s especially impressive considering this stat revealed by NBC Sports Network* on Sunday night, because his last five games have allegedly been … porous.

    TwitterWhoa … did the NHL take our advice and count any goal scored off the netting as 10 goals?

    We’d need a NASA supercomputer to figure out that negative save percentage. That said: Imagine what his GAA would look like without that shutout …

    s/t @bronxmatthew

    (*We kid because we love. NBCSN does a terrific job covering the NHL and reducing these types of errors to a minimum. It's not OLN anymore...)

    Read More »from Henrik Lundqvist’s goals against are ridiculously high by NBC’s math
  • Getty ImagesWith the passage of time comes wisdom, or at least it should.

    The rumors that the Philadelphia Flyers would extend goaltender Steve Mason for a number of years have been swirling for a while now, culminating in Saturday's announcement of a three-year deal that would carry a cap hit of $4.1 million per. These rumors were all but confirmed long ago by Flyers owner Ed Snider, who couldn't stop using superlatives when talking about Mason's play. In addition, he was asked if he thought the organization had any hesitance about a big-money deal for a goaltender following the Ilya Bryzgalov disaster.

    "No," he said facetiously. "We never learn from our mistakes."

    Snider only thought he was joking.

    The interview in which he said that took place on Dec. 10, at which time Mason had played 29 games for the Flyers over last season and this one. In those 29 games, he had a save percentage of .931, despite having conceded 11 goals in his previous three games. This was a goaltender compared in the Philadelphia press as soon as seven games into his tenure as a Flyer to Bernie Parent, which is a ludicrous and almost blasphemous thing to do. You couldn't, though, argue that .931 wasn't the best Flyers save percentage in a long, long time.

    Of course, what that ignored — or painted over several times, at the very least — is that Mason had been an horrifically bad goaltender for pretty much his entire career, save for the first 27 games of his rookie season. Of the 33 goaltenders with at least 150 games played between 2008-09 and the end of last season, Mason's save percentage is 31st at .905, ahead of only Marty Turco (by that point a greybeard playing out the string) and Mathieu Garon (a career backup who is terrible).

    While it's one thing to think a change of scenery might do any player a little bit of good, since it's happened before, it's another to simply ignore the history screaming out that this kind of success wouldn't last. Especially in a place like Philadelphia, who goalies go to have their careers euthanized and ground up into sausage to be laughed over league-wide.

    That thing Snider laughed over, about never learning from mistakes, is the equivalent of having your car stolen 12 times because you park it in a bad neighborhood, with the doors open, the keys in the ignition, and a sign that says “Please steal me” in the window. Oops, it happened again!

    Read More »from What We Learned: It’s like the Flyers actively seek out bad goaltending
  • Getty Images

    No. 1 Star: Rick Nash, New York Rangers

    There was a good indication it was going to be a long night for the Washington Capitals when the Rangers scored their first goal 1:10 into the game. Rick Nash effortlessly picked off the puck from Nicklas Backstrom, drove toward the net all alone and flipped a backhand past Philipp (Mac)Grubauer.
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    Nash scored an additional goal in the first period, a 5-on-3 power play goal, that dribbled past the goalie. The Rangers ended up winning the game 4-1.

    No. 2 Star: Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins

    Despite being on the losing side of the 3-2 (SO) loss to Chicago, Marchand had a pretty good day at the rink. The second coming of Satan the little ball of hate, scored his first goal to tie the game on a perfect pass from Patrice Bergeron. His second goal gave Boston the lead; Reilly Smith spotted Marchand all alone at the top of the neutral zone and sent a diagonal stretch pass Marchand's way for the breakaway goal.
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    Marchand also scored the only shoot-out goal

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Rick Nash, the Canadian olympian that could; Brian Boyle’s blue…shirts
  • Getty ImagesIt doesn’t take much to rile up John Tortorella. An ill-timed question at a press conference. A questionable call by an official. Taunting from a fan behind the bench. Being Larry Brooks.

    On Saturday night, the world was reacquainted with two additional triggers for Torts, during the Vancouver Canucks’ shootout win over the Calgary Flames: Bob Hartley, and coaches using his own tactics against him.

    Hartley sent out his fourth line against the Canucks to start the game. Tortorella, concerned his skill players would be jumped should he send them out, opted to line up his own fourth line, with defenseman Kevin Bieksa taking the opening faceoff. (Moving a defenseman up to take the draw in this situation is a surefire way to spark a brawl, and as you'll see, something Tortorella has done before.)

    The result was a line brawl between the teams, with Tortorella chasing Hartley and the Flames coaches back to their dressing room between periods.

    It’s not the first time he and Hartley had a

    Read More »from John Tortorella’s awkward history with faceoff fights, Bob Hartley
  • In overtime on Saturday night, Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars was carrying the puck through the neutral zone when Matt Cooke of the Minnesota Wild lined him up.

    Benn lost the puck and delivered an elbow to the upper body of Cooke as he went through him. There was no penalty on the play, despite Cooke’s protest.

    So will the NHL step in to do what the referees didn’t do on this play?

    No, according to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, who reports that there’s no hearing for Benn and that with the Stars back in action on Monday, he doesn’t expect there will be one.

    Heika’s theory is that Benn was making a protective, defensive play against Cooke, rather than a predatory one.

    Yes, there is a difference. The NHL sees defensive plays as reactive rather than premeditated. It doesn’t mean these aren’t penalties – and it’s a total joke that Benn’s wasn’t – but under the current standards of player safety, a defensive hit like Benn’s isn’t subject to supplemental discipline.

    It’s all

    Read More »from Why did Jamie Benn escape suspension for this Matt Cooke elbow?

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