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  • Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, of Russia, (92) looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
    Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, of Russia, (92) looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

    Evgeny Kuznetsov is out $2,000 after he was nabbed a second time by the NHL for diving.

    The NHL announced the fine on Thursday after the Washington Capitals forward was caught during a Dec. 29 game against the New Jersey Devils. He was previously warned on Oct. 20, with the second offense earning him the loss of cash which goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

    Kuznetsov is the second Capitals player to be fined for diving since the league instituted the system following Tom Wilson in March 2015. That’s now two fines under Barry Trotz’s watch, which means if two more of his players earn embellishment fines then the head coach will be docked $2,000.

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    NHL

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    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at

    Read More »from Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov fined $2,000 for diving (Video)
  • 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.

    Instagram: Jersey Fouls
    Instagram: Jersey Fouls

    • Who told this dude that Kevin Hayes’s name is Willie Mays? The ‘Say Hey Kid’ never played for the New York Rangers. Probably because he’s baseball player. Oh and he wore No. 24 with the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets. This is terrible. [@JerseyFouls]

    • Marian Hossa is expected to return to the Chicago Blackhawks lineup on Thursday. Hossa hasn’t played since December 20 due to an upper body injury. [CSN Chicago]

    • Incredible story: After defying death, Arizona Coyotes minor leaguer Craig Cunningham has new lease on life. [ESPN]

    • Previewing the gold medal game between the United States and Canada. [USA Hockey]

    • Five takeaways from Team USA’s victory over Team Russia in the World Junior semi-finals. [United States of

    Read More »from USA vs. Canada preview; Hossa returns; Cunningham's new lease on life (Puck Headlines)
  • Toledo Walleye
    Toledo Walleye

    The Toledo Walleye lead the ECHL right now with 49 points, and on Saturday night they will host the Brampton Beast, who are not far behind them in the overall league standings.

    With that heavyweight battle about to go down, the Walleye will be in fighting mode and try and channel the spirit of an underdog boxer from Philly who rose through the ranks in the 1970s.

    That’s right, for “Rocky Tribute Night,” the Walleye will resemble the legendary “Italian Stallion” with this amazing look complete with championship belt, American flag shorts Balboa wore for his fight against Drago and socks that resemble boxing boots.

    As with many of these specialty jersey nights, they will be auctioned off post-game along with hockey pants with proceeds benefiting Heroes in Action, International Boxing Club of Toledo and the

    Read More »from Toledo Walleye's 'Rocky' uniforms are a knockout (Photo)
  • Getty Images

    Expanding the Stanley Cup Playoffs presents an interesting conundrum for Gary Bettman and the NHL Board of Governors.

    On the one hand, the current 16-team field isn’t a problem and doesn’t need fixing, even if the NHL’s stewards like to mess around with how those teams qualify every few years.

    On the other hand, restricting the field to 16 teams is sacrificing a pipeline of additional playoff revenue for teams, the League and their television partners. It’s said there’s nothing that matches the drama of a Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7, as teams face the end of their marathon with one loss – well, what do you think a playoff play-in game is, essentially?

    But in the perpetual tug-of-war between the classical and the commercial in hockey, will the NHL resist expanding the playoffs to include a play-in game eventually?

    Consider that we’re growing to 31 teams next season, and that total is eventually going to be at least 32 when the conferences are balanced. (Hi, Seattle.) Consider that the

    Read More »from Would NHL ever introduce Stanley Cup Playoff play-in games?
  • TORONTO,ON - DECEMBER 31: Jordan Greenway #12 of Team USA looks to steal a puck from Julien Gauthier #12 of Team Canada during a preliminary round game in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship at the Air Canada Centre on December 31, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The USA defeated Canada 3-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Jordan Greenway of Team USA looks to steal a puck from Julien Gauthier of Team Canada during a preliminary round game in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship at the Air Canada Centre on December 31, 2016, in Toronto. The USA defeated Canada 3-1. (Getty Images)

     

    For the fourth time in the 41-year history of the World Junior Hockey Championship, Canada and the United States will face off for the gold medal.

    Team USA owns the all-time edge, having beaten Canada twice in the first three winner-take-all games, including the past two gold-medal showdowns in 2004 and 2010. Canada defeated the U.S. in the first-ever championship game between the North American hockey rivals in 1997. Overall, Canada has won the world juniors 16 times, while Team USA has three WJC titles.

    Here’s a look at the all-time meetings between Canada and the U.S. at the WJC:canada-usa_head-to-head2-2

    Who will add to their gold-medal count in 2017? Here are three keys that could decide the big game:

    GOALTENDING

    It’s no secret that a hot

    Read More »from Three keys to Canada-USA showdown in WJC gold-medal game

  • With a 5-2 win over Sweden in the world junior semifinal, Team Canada is set to take on the Americans in tonight’s gold medal game.

    Team USA required a shootout to defeat Russia in the semifinal, setting up the fourth gold medal matchup between these two rivaled teams. The USA, which defeated Canada 3-1 in round robin play, has won two of the previous three gold medal games against the Canadians.

    With a storied rivalry set for renewal, the hockey world couldn’t be more thrilled with tonight’s matchup. Fans and pundits quickly took to Twitter to bask in the glory of the battle of North America.

    Read More »from Fans weigh in on Canada-USA rivalry ahead of gold medal game (Video)
  • Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey: Thursday picks

    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 04: Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings keeps the puck in at the point during the game against the Montreal Canadiens at Staples Center on December 4, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 04: Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings keeps the puck in at the point during the game against the Montreal Canadiens at Staples Center on December 4, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    By Chris Morgan

    While it’s not as busy as your typical Thursday in the NHL, there’s still seven games on the slate, which provides plenty of fantasy options. We’re here to help you parse those matchups to find the best values, and also the players to avoid…

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest now]

    GOALIE

    Corey Crawford, CHI vs. BUF ($36): The Sabres only average 2.19 goals per game, which ranks 28th in the NHL. That’s good news for Crawford, who doesn’t really need the help, as he’s got a .927 save percentage to go with a 2.31 GAA. Plus, while the Blackhawks have had some struggles on the road, they are 13-4-4 at home.

    GOALIE TO AVOID

    Braden Holtby, WAS vs. CLM ($35): No disrespect to Holtby, who has an excellent .926 save percentage,

    Read More »from Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey: Thursday picks

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets have lapped the field in the last month, going on an historic winning streak and climbing to the top of the latest Yahoo Sports NHL Power Rankings.

    The Jackets sit atop the NHL in points as of Thursday, and they moved ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and our last No. 1 overall the Montreal Canadiens to claim the top spot.

    [Follow Puck Daddy on Facebook!]

    The Chicago Blackhawks, who were beaten in the Winter Classic, are still in our top three – don’t worry, everything’s fine when Hossa gets back.

     

    NHL

    Watch the video above for the rest of the power rankings.

    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.

    Read More »from NHL Power Rankings: Blue Jackets streak to the top
  • MyFox

    James Lavin and Owen Higgins weren’t just teammates on the Falmouth High School hockey squad, but also best friends, to the point where coach Paul Moore said they were “connected at the hip.” They were standout senior athletes at the school, both on the football field and on the ice, where Higgins had recently been named captain of the Clippers hockey team.

    They were traveling back from practice on Dec. 22 when tragedy struck: Their car crashed into a tree, totaling it. Lavin, the driver, was killed instantly. Higgins died the next afternoon, two days before Christmas, after being taken to Rhode Island Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

    The mourning began for their classmates on that Friday, even though classes had ended for winter break. A large group of them met on the football field for an informal memorial, hugging and weeping. Grief counselors were available to help.

    Students turned out en masse for their funerals as well.

    Getty Images

    Then it was the hockey community’s turn to mourn

    Read More »from With jerseys behind benches, teams honor players tragically lost (Video)
  • DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 4: Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates a goal against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on January 4, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
    DALLAS, TX – JANUARY 4: Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates a goal against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on January 4, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

    No. 1 Star: Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

    For the second game in as many nights, the Habs’ captain played hero as he scored the game winning goal in overtime. He sets a new Canadiens overtime goal record with eight. It was also Pacioretty’s second goal of the game.

    No. 2 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

    This is as close to ‘normal King Henrik’ we’ve seen in a while. He made 30 saves; 24 of which came in the second and third period. The Rangers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2.

    No. 3 Star: Ondrej Kase, Anaheim Ducks

    The Ducks rookie is beginning to earn Randy Carlyle’s trust more each game. He assisted on Nick Ritchie’s goal to open the game and then scored one of his own to beat the Detroit Red Wings, 2-0. Kase’s goal came on an incredible,

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Pacioretty OT hero (again), King Henrik's triumph
  • 2017-01-04_21-25-21

    Last season hockey fans were introduced to the phenomena known as ‘The Puppy Challenge.’

    Children made posters and put them on the glass during warmups to show their favorite NHL players that they’d get a dog if said player scored during the game

    Both Bobby Ryan and Cam Atkinson came through when put to the test.

    In Vancouver on Wednesday night, Bo Horvat received the first Puppy Challenge of 2017; however, it was slightly different. The child above asked specifically for a wiener dog (or for you AKC buffs, a dachshund).

    Via dognation.net

    That’s a short-haired version. There are also long-haired breeds.

    The child also stipulated he’d name the dog ‘Horvat.’ Interesting since the first name ‘Bo’ seems like a standard dog name, but we applaud the kid of thinking outside the box.

    Anyway, the game between the Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes had less than 10 minutes to go and still no goal from Horvat.

    The Puppy Challenge will not be defeated, and Horvat made sure of it. He got in

    Read More »from Return of the puppy challenge: Wiener dog edition
  • Brendan Gallagher missed 17 games last season after breaking two fingers on a shot by Johnny Boychuk.

    In Wednesday’s game, he was tagged by friendly fire on the same hand. Even worse – it was a shot from Shea Weber.

    No one knows if Gallagher still has a hand that contains fully formed bones.

    Gallagher left the game shortly after returning to the bench, and the Montreal Canadiens announced he would not return. The team went on to beat the Dallas Stars in overtime.

    We’ll update this post as soon as news starts trickling out from the media scrums.

    UPDATE:

    Per Amanda Stein of TSN, Gallagher will not travel to Toronto for Saturday’s game against the Leafs. He will go back to Montreal to visit with team doctors.

    That’s not a great sign for the already broken and battered Habs.

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    Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter!

    Read More »from Gallagher takes Weber shot to hand, leaves game (Video)
  • MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 04: Dylan Strome #19 of Team Canada celebrates his third period goal during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship semifinal game against Team Sweden at the Bell Centre on January 4, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
    MONTREAL, QC – JANUARY 04: Dylan Strome #19 of Team Canada celebrates his third period goal during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship semifinal game against Team Sweden at the Bell Centre on January 4, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

    Canada will play for gold once again.

    In their best game of the 2017 world junior championship, the Canadians dispatched the favoured Swedes 5-2 in a semifinal showdown on Wednesday night. The victory sets up a rematch with Team USA on Thursday night in the gold medal game.

    “We played them and we learned a lot through the tournament,” head coach Dominique Ducharme told TSN in the post-game. “We learned a lot from them.’

    The Americans beat Canada 3-1 in the round robin portion of the tournament to win Group B. The Americans defeated Russia in their semifinal to play for gold.

    Canada last won gold in 2015 on home ice when the tournament was split again between Toronto and Montreal.

    The biggest surprise against

    Read More »from Canada sinks Sweden to set up gold medal showdown with USA
  • Military veteran Nevada Grassie attended his first hockey game at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Wednesday night. Along side him was another first time attendee, K-9 “Six,” Mr. Grassie’s service dog.

    Kyle Bukauskas of Sportsnet had a quick interview with the pair during a stoppage in the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens game.

    Grassie said Six accompanies him wherever he goes and ‘helps him out’ with whatever he’s in need of.

    The loud, rambunctious crowd is no problem for Six. Just look at how happy and calm she is as her human is interviewed.

    Screen cap via Sportsnet
    Screen cap via Sportsnet

    /dies of cuteness overload

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    Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter!

    Read More »from Service dog accompanies human to first game (Video)
  • (Photo from Pete Blackburn/Twitter via TSN)
    (Photo from Pete Blackburn/Twitter via TSN)

    Canada’s goaltending at the world juniors, in the last few years at least, has needed all the help it can get.

    In the second period of Canada’s semifinal with Sweden, defenceman Dante Fabbro came through with one of the biggest saves on the night, helping goaltender Carter Hart preserve Canada’s 3-2 lead.

    Fabbro, a first-round pick of the Nashville Predators, got his stick on the puck just before the goal line, allowing Hart to corral the puck before crossing and giving the Swedes a tie game.

    Honestly, you can’t get any closer than this.

    It was so close the play was reviewed, but as you can see by the overhead view, the puck never crosses the line. Good teamwork for a great save.

    Read More »from Watch: Defenceman Fabbro helps make goal line save for Canada
  • (Photo from Uffe Bodin/Twitter)
    (Photo from Uffe Bodin/Twitter)

    Much has been written about the Hockey Canada and the attendance problem at the 2017 world junior championship in Toronto and Montreal.

    The empty seats have become a story, particularly in Montreal, where fans haven’t been willing to pay NHL prices for junior hockey. There were reports that Hockey Canada had cut prices for Canada’s semifinal against Sweden on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre, but if they did, it didn’t seem to help early in the game.

     

    By the second period however, the crowd started to fill out a little more.

    Read More »from Plenty of empty seats despite reduced prices for Canada's semifinal
  • Getty Images

    An American skater eliminates Russia from an international hockey tournament, playing the hero with multiple brilliant goals in an overtime shootout.

    Sound familiar?

    In 2014, it was T.J. Oshie in the Sochi Olympics. In 2017, it was Troy Terry in the U20 IIHF World Junior Hockey semifinals, scoring three times to send the Americans to the gold medal game on Thursday night, against the winner of the Canada vs. Sweden showdown in the other semifinal.

    Terry scored three goals against Russian goaltending star Ilya Samsonov, including the game-winner in the seventh round of the shootout for a 4-3 win on Wednesday afternoon in Montreal. It was Team USA’s first ever win against Russia in the medal round of the World Junior championship, having previously gone 0-for-7.

    The Russians had a 1-0 lead in the shootout on Dennis Guryanov’s goal past Tyler Parsons when Terry snapped the puck through Samsonov’s five-hold to tie it. Russia’s Mikhail Vorobyov gave his team the lead again, only to see

    Read More »from USA plays for gold after Troy Terry’s shootout heroics vs. Russia (Video)
  • ST LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 02: Fans celebrate the St. Louis Blues 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium on January 2, 2017 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
    ST LOUIS, MO – JANUARY 02: Fans celebrate the St. Louis Blues 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium on January 2, 2017 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

    (In which Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.)

    8. Cash grabs

    Oh didn’t we all love the Winter Classic in St. Louis this year? Wasn’t it so good? Didn’t the Blues win?

    Well the Blues and city officials are so, so glad you liked it that they now want to turn that goodwill into the ability to renovate the rink. And all it will cost St. Louis and Missouri taxpayers is $138 million, though the team will pay about $90 million of that. So That’s it! What a bargain!

    The good news is the state’s new governor-elect is opposed to spending any taxpayer money on stadiums, but the Blues will meet with him soon and try to convince him it’s actually good to give millionaires more money from

    Read More »from Asking for taxpayer money, P.K. Subban and PDO (Puck Daddy Countdown)
  • BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 14: Alumni legend Milt Schmidt of the Boston Bruins poses in front of in front of the locker room prior to the game against the Detroit Red Wings at the TD Garden on October 14, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
    BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 14: Alumni legend Milt Schmidt of the Boston Bruins poses in front of in front of the locker room prior to the game against the Detroit Red Wings at the TD Garden on October 14, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Milt Schmidt, the Boston Bruins legend and Hockey Hall of Famer, has died at the age of 98.

    On Sunday, prior to the 2017 NHL Centennial Classic, Schmidt was named as one of the league’s 100 greatest players, and rightfully so. He scored 229 goals and recorded 575 points in 776 games, all with the Bruins.

    Schmidt joined the Bruins during the 1936-37 season and two years later helped the team to first place in the American Division. While Boston would fall short in the playoffs at the hands of the Maple Leafs, they would get revenge the following season by winning their second Stanley Cup with a 4-1 series victory over Toronto.

    The Bruins would win another Cup two seasons later, knocking out the Leafs in seven

    Read More »from Milt Schmidt, Bruins legend and Hockey Hall of Famer, dead at 98
  • Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Top scoring forwards and defensemen in 2016

    TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 17: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 17, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Penguins 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 17: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 17, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Penguins 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

    (Ed. Note: We’re once again pleased to partner with Dobber Hockey to provide fantasy hockey insight throughout the NHL season. Here’s Steve Laidlaw, the Managing Editor of Dobber Hockey, as your new fantasy hockey smarty-pants!)

    By Steve Laidlaw

    Happy New Year! As we head into 2017 it would be useful to look back on the year that was. Specifically, let’s look at the top regular season scorers from the 2016 calendar year and see who stands out. A huge calendar year isn’t necessarily indicative of things to come but it is an interesting exercise.

    First the forwards:

    GP Points P/G
    Sidney Crosby 76 100 1.32
    Patrick Kane 81 87 1.07
    Joe Thornton 83 81 0.98
    Connor McDavid 70 79 1.13
    Artemi Panarin
    Read More »from Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Top scoring forwards and defensemen in 2016