Puck Daddy - NHL

  • The Detroit Red Wings are bursting with new life in advance of Game 4.

    On the ice, Henrik Zetterberg appears set to return, as coach Mike Babcock has him on the lineup sheet for Thursday night's pivotal contest.

    "When I asked him this morning he said he's going to the doctor," Babcock said. "Because we were even talking about it I put him on a line, put him on a power play. The doctors decide, not me. I'm hopeful, but who knows. We'll know at game time, after warm-up."

    If he goes, he'll be a welcome addition to a Red Wings' forward corps that's trying to stave off a 3-1 hole to the Bruins before the series returns to Boston. 

    Zetterberg, who hasn't played hockey since he suffered a back injury at the Sochi Olympics that required surgery, could line up alongside Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen. How much of an impact he'll be able to have in his first game back remains to be seen, but any boost is a welcome one. The Red Wings looked overmatched in Game 2, and they looked severely overmatched in Game 3, outpossessed handily by the Bruins. If Zetterberg can help them have the puck a little more, he'll have contributed immensely.

    Same goes for Todd Bertuzzi, who comes into the lineup in place of Tomas Jurco.

    Babcock knows the Bertuzzi move is a gamble. "We're taking out Jurco," he told the Detroit Free Press, "who's got great speed and plays real well. Why would you do that? That's a great question. I asked myself that 100 times yesterday and then, just before I was trying to fall asleep, I started thinking about it again, so then I didn't sleep proper. I don't know. I'm trying to do the right thing."

    So that's the on-ice new life. Off the ice, both Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall spent Wednesday's practice away from the team dealing with family matters. Datsyuk's wife just gave birth to a baby, and Kronwall's is nearing the finish line as well.

    After that practice, Babcock seemed confident that both his best forward and his best defenseman would be back for the game. "They're not giving birth," he quipped. "Their wives are."

    On Thursday, however, he issued an apology for the remarks after being chided by his wife for being flippant in regards to the miracle of life.

    "Just before we get started," Babcock told the assembled media, "I got an e-mail from my wife saying I'm not allowed to say the things I did yesterday about giving birth. So I apologize."

    Apparently, one of Mrs. Babcock's friends tipped her off to what he said. According to Babcock, the new rule regarding these types of comments is, apparently, "talk to me first".

    We now know the division of labour in the Babcock household. Lineup decisions are his. Childbirth quips are hers. Seems about right.

  • On Tuesday, Joey Hishon was skating with the Colorado Avalanche’s Black Aces in Cleveland. Afterward, he was called into the coach’s office and given the news that he was being called up to the NHL. 

    “I can’t even explain the emotion,” said Hishon on Wednesday after practicing with the Avalanche. “Very anxious, very excited.”

    The call-up meant much more than the team needing a new body in the lineup. Thursday’s Game 4 between the Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild will be Hishon’s first NHL game. It’s a debut that’s years in the making and one that was in serious doubt at one point in time. 

    During the opening game of the 2011 Memorial Cup, Hishon, playing for the Owen Sound Attack, took a hit to the head from Brayden McNabb of the Kootenay Ice. He would spend nearly two years trying to recover from the blow, at one point using the GryoStim chair, which Sidney Crosby famously was aided by during his concussion rehabiliation.

    From Tim Wharnsby’s CBC piece on Hishon from December:

    After about 10 months, Hishon eased his way back into the gym. He began to feel himself again, but he couldn't get over the hump. He felt about 80 per cent back. But because there was still debilitating neck pain, the last 20 per cent seemed insurmountable.

    If Hishon were to give up, it would have been back then. He had read plenty on concussions and knew the longer he remained on the sidelines, the slimmer his chances were to return.

    But he also talked to NHLers like Patrice Bergeron, Andy McDonald, Peter Mueller and Matthew Lombardi. 

    They, too, suffered concussions and had a similar message for Hishon."They basically told me to stick with it, stay positive and there would be a light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "I always believed someone was out there who would help me or the symptoms would clear."

    In March of 2013, Hishon, a 2010 draft pick of the Avalanche, finally returned to the ice with the Lake Erie Monsters, Colorado’s AHL affiliate. Nine games in, he took another blow to the head and was shut down for the rest of the season. 

    After a summer of recovering, Hishon was back with the Monsters for the 2013-14 season, playing 50 games and registering 10 goals and 24 points. Thursday night, his comeback will be officially complete.

    “I definitely took a different route than most guys do,” he said. “I missed a lot of time, but I’m feeling great right now.”

    Jumping from the AHL to the NHL is one thing. Doing so during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, while making your NHL debut at the same time is an entirely different one. 

    “I’ve done a lot of mental preparation and different things to be ready for a situation like [this],” he said. “The coaching staff and training staff down in Cleveland talked to you a lot and tries to keep you as ready as you possibly can be for a situation like this to happen.”

    Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy knows a thing or two about being a rookie in the playoffs and is confident Hishon will make the most of his chance. 

    “It ain’t gonna be easy for him,” said Roy. “You don’t always pick the right time. [If] it happens, it happens.  

    “This is an opportunity for him. Joey’s dream is to play in the NHL one day. Here it is. He’s having a chance to do it and with our situation, why not?”

    - - - - - - -

    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!

  • After falling behind 2-0 early in Wednesday night's Game 4 versus the Anaheim Ducks, the Dallas Stars got on the board thanks to a Jamie Benn goal. They never looked back, scoring thrice more to win the game and even the first round series at two games apiece. Some would probably say Benn's goal kicked off the rally. 

    But he didn't start the fire. As the Dallas News points out, it wasn't Benn. It was the Rally Belly.

    In the stoppage in play just prior to Benn's huge goal, the Dallas cameras found a group of kids up in the stands, one of which immediately lifted his shirt and started doing belly rolls. Proudly. Dedicatedly. Seriously. This kid rolled his belly like the Stars' playoff lives hinged on it.

    And it did. Benn scored. Then, six minutes later, Vernon Fiddler scored, at which point the telecast went back to the kid to acknowledge the inspiring presence of the #RallyBelly (and make one Hell of a Goonies reference).

    When Cody Eakin scored the eventual game-winner, it was time for the rally belly once again, because of course it was. With the Stars fanbase on the verge of hitting the panic button, this kid turned things around by hitting the belly button.

    It takes the heart of a champion to win a playoff series. And also the belly of one. This kid is a hero. If the Stars can punch their ticket to the second round, it's because of his shamelessly undulating torso.

    The team knows it, too. The kid, whose name is Jack Milson, has already been given tickets to Game 6, so the Stars can once again thrive on his magic tum-tum, according to his mother, Cara:

    Mrs. Milson also put together a Twitter account for her son. Now you can follow his adventures at @starsrallybelly.

    But don't just follow it. Join it. #RallyBelly needs to become a thing. The Stars fanbase has been given a moment, and it's time to seize that moment by seizing the hem of your shirt, lifting it up to your chest, and letting that belly roll, roll, roll, as the Stars do the same to their opponents.

    All hail the #RallyBelly. 

  • Patrick Kane has scored his share of big goals for the Chicago Blackhawks. Goals that win Stanley Cups in overtime. (Reporter: “Wait, WHAT?!”) Goals that win overtime playoff games. Many, many goals.

    But as far as goal celebrations captured in GIF form go, the competition is over. Via Stephen Marsiano and Pete Blackburn, here is Patrick Kane, dialing up excellence:

    Now, not to be that guy but he only punches around five numbers at the most. Of course, the phone’s not even connected, so that’s a moot point.

    Kudos to the creators for not having Kane drop 20 cents into the phone, which is totally what we would have done ...

  • 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.

    • Unable to grow a beard for the playoffs? Upload a photo to the website and create your own Build-a-Beard just like the Puck Daddy staff. [Beard-a-thon]

    • Interesting look at the complex relationship between hockey and hitting. Is Matt Cooke just a byproduct of the system? [Silver Seven Sens]

    • Eric Duhatschek believe the NHL is better served when Matt Cooke is no longer a part of it. [Globe & Mail]

    • In non-Matt Cooke news out of Minnesota, Mikael Granlund's has gone from freshman funk to sophomore sensation. [Aurora Sentinel]

    • We tease Pierre McGuire for being a walking encyclopedia of useless hockey knowledge. Here's an impressive compilation of just TWO DAYS worth of name dropping by Pierre. Keep your ears open for a four-in-one on a single player. [Awful Announcing]

    • To rub salt in the wound a little bit more, here's a compilation of Marc-Andre Fleury's worst moments. [The Score]

    • No reason to be worried, though. At least the Penguins have been in this position (last year) before and they still have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

    • Boston's Brad Marchand hasn't scored a goal yet, but he is still contributing by throwing the Red Wings off their game by being a jerk, "You know when I want to play that way, it’s good to see guys get off, get aggravated and stuff like that,” Marchand said. “But it allows me to play better, I get more into the game, more emotionally involved and I just feel like my game’s a little better when I do that.” [CBS Boston]

    • "Ignore him." That is Mike Babcock's advice for his team when it comes to Marchand's antics listed above. [NY Times]

    • For those of you who like to collect rare mineral specimens and love hockey, your two worlds just collided. A specimen called 'Godzilla the Hockey Goalie' is going up for sale. The mineral "came together in a bubble of a lava flow" and is considered one of a kind due to its unique form. [Live Science]

    • One of the biggest lessons learned in the first round of the playoffs: no lead is safe. [The Spin]

    • Down Goes Brown is forced to write nice things about the Montreal Canadiens after the Habs swept the series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. [Grantland]

    • Do a good thing today by donating to send the Michigan Mustangs Wheelchair Hockey Team to the 2014 North American Powerhockey Cup. [Go Fund Me]

    • Complexities of the New York Islanders ownership, present and future. [Islanders Insight]

    • Matt Read took out Dan Carcillo on a hit similar to the one Mike Rupp landed on TJ Oshie and the NHL DoPS did nothing; Bill Goldthorpe attempts to explain why. [Save by Richter]

    • Of the four major sports leagues, the Chicago Blackhawks come in at No. 1 on Bloomberg's Smartest Spenders in Sports rankings. The index is 'based on how much they spent in player payroll for every win during the last five seasons. Each team is compared against the average price per win in its league to produce a score ... The less a team spends compared with its peers, the lower its score. Playoff victories and championships get extra weight." The Boston Bruins (#3), Pittsburgh Penguins (#11), Los Angeles Kings (#13), and Detroit Red Wings (#15) round out the top five NHL clubs. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

    • University of Wisconsin's hockey program is as far reaching as it is legendary. This season 21 alums suited up in the NHL, second only to Boston College, and many more are on their way. [The Badger Herald]

    • Well this is shocking. A Flyers fan flips the double-bird to Dan Carcillo after he scored the fourth goal in the Rangers win over Philly. [Huffington Post]

    • Finally, Bailey destroys a Sharkie lookalike. He knocks his head clean off! That's a suspension for sure.

  • (Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers who hated them the most. Here is hockey writer Brian Palmer, who inexplicably requested the Tampa Bay Lightning. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)

    By Brian Palmer

    Ten years ago during the halcyon days of the clutch and grab NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning captured the imagination of dozens of Central Floridians and convicted felons with a wild run to the Stanley Cup Final.

    Led by opportunistic super fan and advanced stats guru Hulk Hogan (A player’s Hogan Rating is calculated by measuring the ratio of shots directed at the net to leg drops, brother), the Bolts beat the Calgary Flames in 7 games to claim the only Stanley Cup in the franchise’s 22-year history.

    “HoganClose rating is the number of Suburban Commando references in the third period of a one goal game”

    The NHL responded by shutting the league down for an entire season, hoping the hockey world would be cool about it, and forget that a team from Florida (gross) ever won the Cup. The Lightning franchise has done its part, barely making a peep for the last decade, save for the occasional Len Barrie punch line or bad breakup with a franchise icon.

    This year’s edition of the Tampa Bay Lightning has proudly carried on this tradition of anonymity. Swept in four easy games by the Montreal Canadiens, Tampa earns the dishonor of being the first team eliminated from the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Max Pacioretty’s power play game-winning goal with 43 seconds left was the final insult, allowing the Lightning to embrace their destiny to be quickly forgotten by everyone.

    “Who’d we beat in the first round PK?” “I’m not sure Carey. One great player, bad D, mediocre goalie; maybe the Capitals?”

    It’s fitting that following a season in which Martin St. Louis, their captain, leading scorer in team history, Napoleon Complex awareness spokesman, and one of only two Lightning players you’ve heard of, demanded a trade, the Lightning will suffer the indignity of being eulogized here by an unknown hockey writer. Tampa just doesn’t inspire strong feelings. They’re hockey’s “meh team”, the Bran Stark storyline of the NHL. They’re just the team you see when your family takes a trip to Disney World during March Break.

    But after much digging, I found four reasons to hate the Lightning:

    They hate proper grammar: Writing “the Lightning are” just feels weird and wrong.

    They ruin divisions: The awesome “Chuck Norris” Division of the 80’s was besmirched when Tampa joined Detroit, Toronto, Minnesota, St. Louis, and Chicago in 1993. Now they play in the Atlantic Division, when they’re clearly on the Gulf of Mexico.

    They’re the Dawn Summers of the NHL.

    “Things were great before you got here Tampa Bay. Now it’s only intermittently good with frustrating character development.”

    Horrible owners: Somehow the Southern parody that called Vincent Lecavalier the “Michael Jordan of hockey” is only the third worst owner in team history. (Yakuza ties and hiring Barry Melrose to coach in 2008 are tied for worst).

    They erected a statute of Phil Esposito: Presumably for acquiring Chris Gratton. Twice.

    “This statue has some great stories about the Bobby Orr statue in Boston.”

    Now that your blood is boiling with hatred for the Florida team that sucks less often than the other one, let’s remember everyone that contributed to the latest Tampa failure.

    General Manager Steve Yzerman

    Stevie Y inexplicably didn’t include the moody Martin St. Louis on the initial roster for Canada’s Olympic team, despite being the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner and pleading desperately to be included. This led directly to the messiest divorce this side of Victor Newman (Blatant pandering to Tampa’s senior citizen population, which comprise 75% of the Lightning’s fan base).

     

     “What Gary Bettman sees when he looks in the mirror.”

    Apparently St. Louis' massive thighs hide a fragile soul, because he immediately demanded a trade closer to his home in the Shire. And because Yzerman skipped the Conflict Resolution class at GM school, he had no choice but to deal the heart and soul of his franchise to the Rangers. In return he got a pending UFA and couple of draft picks that will become players just as Yzerman is becoming the President of Hockey Operations for the Ottawa Senators. (He grew up there! And the Lowe Act, recently passed by Canadian Parliament, requires all Canadian NHL teams to be run by local boys in order to bring about a culture change.)

    What brings this to a Mike Milbury level of stupid is that Yzerman weakened his own team for ultimately little gain. St. Louis remains an elite player and having him on Canada’s roster would have been easily defendable. What’s more, Canada was so stacked that John Scott could have been the 13th forward and they still would have won gold. Have fun explaining the lost playoff revenue to your owner, Stevie!

    Head Coach Jon Cooper

    Considering the best coach in Lightning history is John “Loose Cannon” Tortorella, the Brian Pillman of NHL bench bosses, Jon Cooper doesn’t really have a lot to live up to in Tampa. Yet after curiously trolling the Habs after going down 2-0 in the series, Montreal scored 11 seconds into Game 3 and never looked back.

    As an encore, Cooper decided being down 3-0 was the perfect time to practice his comedy skills by pretending to be a reporter interviewing Steven Stamkos.

     “The man Louis CK looks up to.”

    They lost Game 4 too.

    Jon Cooper is going to be a great addition to Sportnet’s 2015 Trade Deadline coverage team.

    Last Superstar In Town Steven Stamkos

    Selfishly broke his leg and missed half the regular season.

    Although he kind of looks like circa 1984 Wayne Gretzky, he probably knows now that it’s easier to lead your team to victory when your teammates are Mark Messier and Jari Kurri and not something called an Ondrej Palat.

    Goaltender Ben Bishop

    Speaking of selfish injuries, Bishop picked a horrible time to hurt his elbow. Unless of course it was part of his master plan to show Vezina voters how bad Tampa’s defense actually is. Be sure to thank Anders Lindback in your speech too, Big Ben!

    Formerly Relevant Ryan Callahan

    Faster than you can say “David Clarkson”, pending UFA Ryan Callahan has gone from indispensable captain of the New York Rangers to pointless in 4 playoff games.

    Sadly, the Oilers just lowered their July 1st contract offer to Callahan down to $52.5 million over 7 years.

    Other Lightning Forwards

     

     

     

     

     

    Nope, they didn’t show up here either.

    The 2013-14 Tampa Bay Defense Corps

    Are Eric Brewer and Sami Salo really part of Tampa’s top six defensemen? Is Joe Reekie back there too? Only the most hardcore Lightning fans would be able to tell you for certain, but he’s working late tonight at Denny’s so you’ll just have to trust me that Brewer and Salo are totally defensemen on a playoff team in 2014. It’s amazing they didn’t lose this series in three games.

    Victor Hedman’s there too, whose mention would make Lightning fans angry that the team passed on Matt Duchene with the second overall pick in 2009, if they had ever seen a Western Conference game and knew who Matt Duchene was.

    Whether old and useless or young and useless, every Tampa defenseman came together to leave Lindback hung out to dry as much as possible. Apparently they didn’t realize that, much like the dancers at Chez Parée, you can make contact with the Montreal forwards.

    Final Thoughts

    This is the most anyone has ever thought about the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 2013-14 edition of the squad will be quickly forgotten by the hockey world, as well it should be. Not good enough to be lamented, not horrible enough to be interesting, the 2013-14 Tampa Bay Lightning are the most Lightning team that ever Lightninged.

     ***

    Brian Palmer (@the_real_palmer) is a freelance hockey writer from London, Ontario. He holds an English degree from the University of Western Ontario, which he parlayed into a cushy Toronto marketing job after only 8 years of bouncing around. Cursed by his father to be a Maple Leafs fan, he now takes pleasure in the misfortunes of other NHL failures.

  • LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn't work, try here.]

    It's a Thursday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:

    Special Guest Star: Rick Tocchet on the Rangers and Flyers.

    • Stunners for Stars and Jackets.

    • The Matt Cooke suspension.

    • The Selke Trophy

    • Tonight's playoff action.

    Question of the Day: Who is your Conn Smythe Trophy leader? Email 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.

  • The NHL did a smart thing on Wednesday night.

    It wasn’t the Matt Cooke suspension, at least in the eyes of those who feel he got off lightly, but it was the timing of that suspension announcement: Well after the East Coast news cycle, well into that night’s action in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    Instead of having hockey fans pouring rage all over social media during the day about Cooke’s punishment, the news dropped within hours of two overtime thrillers and a stunning upset in Dallas. Matt Cooke’s suspension was now, at best, the fourth headline of the evening.

    That’s not to say fans and media weren’t outraged over the Minnesota Wild forward getting off with an “inadequate” and a “joke” of a suspension. But after predictions ranging from two rounds to the rest of the playoffs, seven games felt … anti-climatic.

    The question then becomes why Cooke, who had been suspended six times in his career, didn’t face the same harsh punishment as, say, Raffi Torres did for putting Marian Hossa on a stretcher.

    So how did the NHL arrive at seven games?

    The Incident

    Here’s the Player Safety video on the hit:

    The comparable play for the NHL was Kevin Porter’s knee-on-keen with David Booth in 2011, which earned him four games:

    Now, Porter might have actually made more of an effort to deliver a check than Cooke did, but the plays are similar: Leading with the knee. In Cooke’s case, there was a sense that Tyson Barrie tried to avoid the hit, which no doubt contributed to the injury – but what else was he supposed to do?

    The Penalty

    Simply put, the NHL sees the severity of the crime differently when it comes to kneeing vs. hits to the head or dangerous plays on the board.

    As has been pointed out, Cooke’s seven games is the second-longest ban in League history for kneeing after Bryan Marchment’s eight games in 1998 for a hit on Kevin Dineen. The biggest suspension for kneeing given out by the Department of Player Safety since its founding was five games for James Neal on Brad Marchand, but that was a knee to the head.

    So this was a massive suspension, given the previous rulings on the infraction.

    The Philosophy

    The Department of Player Safety’s philosophy under Brendan Shanahan was that the incremental increases for suspensions were for specific repeated behavior. Torres, for example, couldn’t stop hitting people in the head, so when the Marian Hossa hit happened it was, like, ‘Strike 10.’

    Cooke had a similar body of work: Elbows and boarding penalties and head shots, illegal and whatever the hell the NHL determined the Marc Savard hit to be. But not kneeing, which meant that the escalating suspensions for his illegal hits didn’t necessarily extend to this incident.

    Maybe you agree with that approach, maybe you think criminality is criminality, but that’s the way the NHL sees it.

    Also keep in mind that despite having a few hits that involved the knee recently, Cooke had not been formally warned by the NHL not to deliver them. Please recall Alex Edler of the Vancouver Canucks had been warned about “reverse hits” before he kabonged Tomas Hertl. If Cooke had been warned, it was through informal communication with the League and Shanahan.

    The Aesthetics

    You have to boil down the NHL’s approach to massive suspensions to this, but there’s getting around it: Stretcher equals severity.

    Torres put Hossa on a stretcher. Shawn Thornton put Brooks Oprik on a stretcher. Max Lapierre put Dan Boyle on a stretcher. And so on.

    If Tyson Barrie had to be carted off the ice because he was unable to walk, I’d wager we’d see a larger suspension for Cooke. It’s just the way things roll in the NHL. But he hobbled off the ice.

    ***

    Was seven games enough for Cooke?

    We figured it was going to be in the range of 11 games, which would have been the rest of this round and the next. Seven games comes in under that, but still puts him out for this round and three playoff games in the following round if the Wild advance.

    As we said, the last three years earned Cooke the benefit of the doubt on his being a “reformed” player. Seven games for Cooke, despite his past, would seem to indicate the NHL believes the same -- or at least believes that a knee is different than the head.

    UPDATE: Here's Cooke's statement today, via Michael Russo:

    “First and foremost, I want to say that I’m disappointed and sorry that Tyson Barrie can’t play for the Colorado Avalanche tonight. I wish that he could. Unfortunately, it was not my intent to collide with him knee-on-knee. It was my intent to finish my check. Playoffs are a hard and physical time and it’s my job to be physical. I’ve led my team in hits in all three games and it’s an intense time. I’ve led my team this year in hits and in this series. 

    “Since March 20, 2011 (the elbow to Ryan McDonagh that resulted in a 17-game suspension), I’ve been a changed player. I’ve approached the game differently, I think differently about the game. That stats that I’ve collected over those three seasons prove that I’m a changed player and the plays that I make and the plays that I don’t make prove to that point as well. At the end of the day, this situation was not my intent.”

  • Patrick Kane played the hero for the Chicago Blackhawks in Wednesday night's Game 4 with the St. Louis Blues, scoring the 4-3 overtime winner to send the series back to St. Louis tied at two games apiece. His reward: a media scrum, where he would be asked questions about the goal he just scored.

    One such question: "Patrick, was this your first overtime game-winner?"

    "I'll have to check that," Kane responds, "I think I've got a couple."

    Kane's actually got 4 overtime winners in his career -- three in the postseason, and one in the regular season.

    You could expect someone to forget that last one, which was his first one. It came over six years ago, on March 23, 2008, and even though it was the first OT winner of Kane's career, it was a regular-season winner in a year where the Blackhawks didn't make the postseason. That could slip one's mind. 

    But a few of the others are pretty memorable. Kane's got something of a reputation for scoring big goals.

    Off the top of my head -- and most every other hockey fan's head, for that matter -- is the one he scored that won the Chicago Blackhawks the Stanley Cup back in 2010. That was a fairly notable overtime game-winner. Again: it was immediateiy followed by the raising of the Stanley Cup:

    It's hardly the only one, though.

    Last postseason, when the Blackhawks also won the Cup, Kane scored the series winner in overtime in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final versus the Los Angeles Kings.

    Considering it was also a hat trick goal, it came in double overtime (which tends to be twice as memorable), it propelled the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Final, and it was basically the impetus for Kane winning the Conn Smythe trophy six games later, you'd think that one wouldn't have escaped someone's memory.

    Especially not someone based in Chicago, let alone someone who's been there to interview Kane for both of his other playoff overtime goals:

    Kusinski, who works for NBC Chicago, explained in a tweet, since deleted, that she was trying to lead Kane into talking about his past winners.

    "I did ask Kane about GW in OT, trying to lead him into talking about the others - He didn't, and question fell flat," she tweeted.

    Fair enough. One would argue that the question fell flat because it sounded like you didn't know Patrick Kane had ever done this before, and it's hard to give a credible answer to a question so incredible.

    s/t to Deadspin.

  • Whether or not you’re pulling for the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round 1 vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins, let’s agree on one thing: Seeing this long-suffering fan base finally get a taste of playoff drama, let alone success, is a heartwarming thing.

    So maybe it’s that or maybe it’s the unrivaled moment in pro sports that is a Stanley Cup Playoffs overtime goal … whatever it is, this raw audio of the Nationwide Arena crowd after Nick Foligno’s overtime goal gave us the chills:

    If nothing else, the goal ensured we get to see and hear these Jackets fans again for Game 6.

    Thanks to 97.1 The Fan for the clip and No Slack Delta for the scoop.

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