Price stops 40 shots to help Canadiens hold off Stars, 3-2 (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 27 Jan 2015 22:13:54 PST)
Montreal needed Carey Price to have a big game and the Canadiens' goalie came through. Price stopped 40 shots to help Montreal hold off the Dallas Stars, 3-2 on Tuesday night. Alexei Emelin, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher scored for the Canadiens, who were outshot 42-26. Fresh off his all-star weekend, which included a delayed flight back home and the prospect of being grounded in Columbus, Price showed no sign of fatigue en route to his 25th victory of the season.
Patrick Roy chimes in on Martin Brodeur retirement (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:19:11 PST)
NASHVILLE – There has always been symmetry between Colorado coach/HOF goaltender Patrick Roy and former New Jersey/St. Louis goaltender Martin Brodeur. The records, the style of play, the French Canadian bravado all come into mind. But when Roy retired after the 2002-03 season at the age of 37 it was a shock. He had a 2.18 goals against average and .920 save percentage. Sure, his body was breaking down, but he was still effective. With Brodeur, at the age of 42 and failing stats – it wasn’t a surprise at all. What is odd is that Brodeur has taken a job with the St. Louis Blues front office and not with his long-time team, the Devils (we'll get to that in a second). Roy had a messy split with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1995-96 season and was traded to Colorado but eventually had his jersey retired by Montreal. Brodeur has taken subtle digs at the Devils since he signed with St. Louis. Are there any parallels? “(New Jersey general manager) Lou Lamoriello is a super man. I mean … I’m sure the relation is very good with Marty. On my side it went really well as well,” Roy said. “They retired my jersey and met Bob Gainey and Pierre Boivin It was fun for me to be back in the family. It’s hard for me to answer that question because I’m not aware of anything else. I’m sure there’s a lot of respect between the two men.” It seems like a confusing situation for Lamoriello and Brodeur, but it sounds like he will return to the Devils eventually per the Bergen Record: The position will last through the remainder of the season. After that, Brodeur is expected to return to the Devils and become part of their front office. In fact, Brodeur and Blues general manager Doug Armstrong both discussed this position with Lamoriello before Brodeur made his decision. Also, Patrick … if you thought Lamoriello was a ‘super man’ you didn’t read this blog about him laughing at fired employees. Anyway, does this make Brodeur a Devils spy in St. Louis? Is this a ceremonial position? In all honesty it's probably the NHL old boys network thing, which makes it unexplainable. After his first game with the Blues in Nashville, Brodeur said, “We have skilled players and they make plays. It’s so different … I played in an organization that we were pretty limited in skill so we got the puck moving north all the time and didn’t really make plays. These guys, they’re talented, they’re making plays. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes we make mistakes. But I’m really happy with the way the boys played in front of me.” As for Roy’s own personal decision, he wasn’t one of those ‘hanger on’ type guys. When he was done, he knew it was over. “When I made my decision it was clear in my head,” Roy said. “It seems like Marty wanted to play more and he played I don’t know how many games with the Blues and he played well. He had a shutout against us and I think he wanted to give it another shot and I respect that as well. When you’re not ready I’m sure it’s a tough decision. But when you’re ready when I was, it was a lot easier. The tough part is you always need a ‘B’ plan – something to do after hockey and I was fortunate enough to remain in the game of hockey at the junior level and certainly helped take the transition a lot easier.” And as for Brodeur’s ‘Plan B’ for himself? It just adds to Marty’s strange and wild ride this year. But he officially enters the pantheon of players who looked extremely weird in different uniforms during unforgettable tenures. - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
What We Learned: Our 30-team second half preview; who wins the East? (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 27 Jan 2015 09:45:57 PST)
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.) As we begin the second half (and really it's more like the second two-fifths, but don't worry about it), there are a lot of questions facing a lot of teams in the league. The biggest one is, “What does the future hold?” Most teams in the league have about 35 games or so remaining on their schedules and some serious decisions to make as the trade deadline approaches over the next six weeks, we're almost certainly going to learn a lot about the quality of various teams around the league. The weird thing is both the East and West are kind of boring already; a lot of what we're going to see in the season's remaining games is a lot of jockeying for position. There aren't too many teams that are really going to be able to pry a playoff spot out of anyone's hands at this point, because already 13 of the league's playoff spots are all but assured (that is, that many teams have at least a 92 percent chance of making it according to Sports Club Stats and its invaluable projections). But even after that, there are really only teams in the West that have a lot to figure out, as Boston has a 70.8 percent chance of making it in the East, and the next-closest team is Ottawa with 16.7 percent. The jockeying out West is mainly between Calgary, San Jose and Los Angeles, three teams fighting for two spots, and while LA's the underdog in that race (46.8 percent) you still have to believe a lot more in their chances to pull things together than Calgary's, especially because the reigning champions trail the possession-deficient challengers by a single point in the standings (due entirely to their having gone 1-7 in shootouts this year). So neither of the races at the bottom are all that interesting, and it sure looks like Anaheim's going to run away with the top spot in the West as Nashville goes through its perhaps inevitable Rinne-less stretch. In the East, though, it's an entirely different story. Here we have three teams within a point of each other for the top spot, and two more within four. Five teams separated by a mere four points, and with the caveat that the leader has at least one game in hand on everyone behind it. Tampa's 64 points from 48 games is the third-best total in the league, but in terms of points taken per game, but it's seventh in the league . No one is saying the Lightning aren't a very good team, because they are. They're the second-best possession team in the league ( 54.8 percent fenwick for , even after adjusting for score effects) and they're dramatically outscoring their opponents at evens despite the fact that Ben Bishop hasn't really been that good this year. The effect of the team's shooting percentage — a second-in-the-league 9.3 percent — helps a lot. Mediocre special teams have been a problem, too, but not so much of one that it really matters all that much. They're the best team in the East. For now. Right behind them are the Islanders and Red Wings, and these are teams that also seem poised to overtake them. This is for two reasons. First, the Islanders and Red Wings have generally had more success in the games they've played, and have a better foundation for it than do the Bolts. Both are right around where they should be in terms of PDO (100.1 for the Wings, 99.5 for the Isles), as opposed to Tampa having been a little lucky. And likewise both are elite possession teams in the league (a No. 1 score-adjusted 55.3 percent for the Isles, and a No. 5 53.5 percent for the Wings). They're not simply getting the bounces, as Tampa kinda-sorta has, and they have the puck far more often than their opponents, which tells you a lot about how sustainable their success is. The other teams that are theoretically in the hunt for the East are, of course, Montreal and Pittsburgh, but I kind of reject the idea that they could make a push out of hand. While Pittsburgh has the possession numbers (ninth-ranked in score-adjusted fenwick), Montreal certainly doesn't (they're No. 21 in the NHL right now). That doesn't do a lot to guarantee the Habs' ongoing success, even in a relatively soft conference. And while Montreal at least gets by with the sustainably excellent goaltending of Carey Price, a proven elite netminder, Marc-Andre Fleury has kind of spent the last month regressing to what we know he is: a little better than average in the regular season. The Penguins have built their case of being one of the better teams in their conference mostly on the basis of Fleury being a .928 goalie for the first three months of the season, a full 17 points above his .911 over the first 514 games of his career. That he's gone .891 in the month of January, a tough stretch we can probably expect to continue as he regresses to his career average, should come as no surprise. With him go the Penguins' chances of realistically seizing the East by the scruff of its neck. (It should also be noted here that the Rangers are charging hard of late, and certainly putting in a credible performance, but their deficit is probably a little too big to overcome; six points is actually a lot, unless they keep up this recent run for another two months.) So the question here is whether it's the Wings or Islanders who sit in the catbird seat to overtake the Lightning and win the East. I think the answer is obvious. Even aside from Jimmy Howard's injury potentially putting a damper on the Wings' chances — which it unquestionably does — Detroit's underlying numbers haven't been good lately. In fact, like Tampa's, they've dropped of considerably while the Islanders remain more or less where they've been all year.
How the Erie Otters almost ended up in Hamilton, and are far from out of OHL limbo (Buzzing The Net)
(Tue, 27 Jan 2015 09:40:15 PST)
Dose: Snow Business (Rotoworld)
(Tue, 27 Jan 2015 06:08:00 PST)
We'll find out how the Islanders cope without Kyle Okposo ... but a blizzard might delay that process. Tuesday's preview-heavy Dose.
Stars-Canadiens Preview (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:04:06 PST)
Jason Spezza won't deny that his arrival in Dallas helped create expectations the Stars struggled to meet early in the season. He's just glad the weight wasn't enough to ruin the season before the Stars reached the All-Star break. Now, Spezza and the Stars emerge from the layoff looking to sweep the season series from the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at Bell Centre. "When you're a team that makes the playoffs and then you add a couple of pieces, the expectations take another step," said Spezza, who was acquired from Ottawa last summer, giving Dallas (21-18-7) more firepower to go with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.
Have a Hart: Time for NHL defenseman or goalie to win MVP? (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:22:11 PST)
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith can understand why the NHL's Hart Trophy is traditionally awarded to offensive-minded forwards. They see the red light go on,'' Keith said during the NHL All-Star festivities in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend. ''How did Lidstrom not win a Hart Trophy?'' Keith asked, referring to Niklas Lidstrom. The former Detroit Red Wings blue-liner won seven Norris Trophies from 2001-11, and was the 2002 MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Fantasy All-Access: Islanders' Bailey warrants add (NHL)
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:37:00 PST)
Every Monday NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey. Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen was named the MVP of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, but what does that mean for his fantasy value for the rest of the season? The last MVP in his home arena was Alexei Kovalev with the Montreal Canadiens in 2009. In 2011 Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp was MVP and followed that performance with eight goals and 17 assists in 25 games.
Thomas Vanek on the PP! (Rotoworld)
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 07:10:00 PST)
The Flyers and Red Wings are dominating the power play in the last month but Thomas Vanek has a surprising eight points since Christmas on the pp.
30 Picks in the Second Half (Rotoworld)
(Sun, 25 Jan 2015 13:22:00 PST)
Michael Finewax looks at a fantasy pick a team the rest of the way in The Week Ahead.
Acadie-Bathurst Titan's Jordan Maher nets first QMJHL hat trick: Saturday's 3 Stars (Buzzing The Net)
(Sun, 25 Jan 2015 06:00:00 PST)
World Cup returns, three 2016 outdoor games set
(Sat, 24 Jan 2015 14:31:18 PST)
The World Cup of Hockey, an infrequent global showdown of elite ice hockey talent last staged in 2004, will return in 2016 with eight teams competing over two weeks at Toronto. The National Hockey League announced Saturday that Canada, Russia, United States, Sweden, Finland and Czech Republic would be joined by Team Europe, an all-star collection from other European nations, and a 23-and-under team from the host region dubbed the North American Youngstars. The NHL also announced 2016 outdoor game plans, with the Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche set to host games next year. "We are thrilled to partner with the (union) in planning and producing what we expect will be the world's best international hockey tournament," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.
Bruins to host Canadiens in 2016 Winter Classic
(Sat, 24 Jan 2015 11:07:29 PST)
(Reuters) - The Boston Bruins will host longtime rivals the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic on New Year's Day at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced on Saturday. The Bruins will become the first team to host the showpiece outdoor contest for a second time, having beaten the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at Fenway Park in 2010.
NHL announces 2016 outdoor games in Boston, Minnesota and Denver (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 24 Jan 2015 10:26:01 PST)
The NHL formally announced their slate of outdoor games for the 2015-16 season, confirming what had leaked over the last few weeks. The Boston Bruins will host the Montreal Canadiens at Foxboro Stadium in the 2016 Winter Classic on Jan. 1. The Minnesota Wild will host the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21 in the Stadium Series. The Colorado Avalanche will face the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 27 at Coors Field. Coors is also the title sponsor of the Stadium Series. It’s the first outdoor game for both the Wild and the Avalanche. The Boston Bruins are making their second appearance and first since the Fenway Park game in 2010. The Canadiens will be making their third appearance, having appeared in the 2003 and the 2011 Heritage Classics. The Red Wings last appeared in the 2013 Winter Classic at the University of Michigan, and are making their third appearance overall. The Blackhawks will be making their fourth appearance in the outdoor games, and their third in three years. Is it unfair to have one franchise play in so many outdoor games? “Some teams are more comfortable playing in these games than others. We’re happy to have them. They’re a national draw,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Bettman said that the League “very much wanted” to play an outdoor game in Winnipeg next season, but couldn’t settle on a date with the Blue Bombers, the city’s Canadian Football League team. He also said that the number of outdoor games isn’t overkill. “I know some of these games have a dilutive effect. If you’ve been to one, you know that’s not the case.” MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :
NHL All-Star Skills Competition players announced; who wins? (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 24 Jan 2015 10:08:22 PST)
Team Foligno and Team Toews have selected their competitors for the Saturday night Skills Competition, scheduled for 7 p.m. ET at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Who wins? Check out the field. Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater Event description: Four players from each team will test their speed, facing off against an opponent in a two-skater race. The race track is the entire outside border of the ice. Timing devices will record each skater to determine who is the fastest. If a race ends in a tie, each of the teams will be awarded one point. If, at the completion of the event, the skaters who tied have the fastest overall time, the skaters will race again to determine which team receives the bonus point. Five team points are available. The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the fastest skater scores one bonus point. Team Foligno Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning Jiri Sekac, Montreal Canadiens Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo Sabres Team Toews Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars Mike Hoffman, Ottawa Senators Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers Vladamir Taresenko, St. Louis Blues Favorite: Seguin can flat-out fly. Darkhorse: This event favors young legs; it wouldn’t be a shock to see Drouin skate away with it. *** Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge Event description: A test of creativity a player can insert into a breakaway, three shooters and one goaltender from each team will participate. Columbus' Ryan Johansen was selected by fans to participate in this event in an online vote. Each skater will attempt three shots. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply. Fans in-arena and watching on television will be able to vote for their favorite player on Twitter by casting their vote using the hashtag that corresponds to the player of their choice. The shooter with the highest fan vote will score one point for his team. Team Foligno Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues (goalie) Team Toews Vladimir Taresenko, St. Louis Blues Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks (goalie) Favorite: The fan vote favors local boy Johansen, Ovechkin and Taresenko. Darkhorse: NHL leading scorer Voracek will still get lots of local love. *** DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting Event description: Four players from each team will compete, with two additional players serving as passers. This event will consist of four head-to-head match-ups, one shooter from each team per round. The goal is to hit four 15-inch diameter targets located in each corner of the net. The teams will be situated at opposite ends of the rink, and will alternate shot attempts. The first shooter to hit all four targets wins. Five team points are available. The winner of each match-up scores one point; the player who hits all four targets in the fastest time scores the bonus point. Team Foligno Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets Radim Vrbata, Vancouver Canucks Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers (passer) Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings (passer) Team Toews Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins John Tavares, New York Islanders Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks Rick Nash, New York Rangers (passer) Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils (passer) Favorite: Team Toews has some great snipers, including the captain, who is still seeking to win the even for the first time. *** Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay Event description: This timed relay event – involving 14 skaters and one goalie from each team – will consist of five challenges: One-Timers, with three shooters and one passer per team; Passing, with one passer per team; Puck Control, with one skater per team; Stick-Handling, with one skater per team; and Goalie Goals, with one goalie per team. Each challenge must be completed before moving on to the next one. The goal is to finish all five challenges faster than the opponent. Three team points are available. The team with the fastest time in each heat scores one point; the team with the fastest overall time scores one bonus point.
Canucks prospect Jake Virtanen dangles 2 defenders for spectacular goal (VIDEO) (Buzzing The Net)
(Fri, 23 Jan 2015 21:18:40 PST)
Sidney Crosby’s regrettable All-Star Game snub (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:12:12 PST)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sidney Crosby’s absence from the 2015 NHL All-Star Game is no doubt a disappointment to many fans. That includes one he’s currently chasing in the scoring race. “I actually, to this day, still have never met Crosby,” said Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars. “Never really had a conversation with him. I was looking forward to that, but obviously that's not going to happen.” Crosby pulled out of the All-Star Game on Thursday evening due to a lower-body injury, after his Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin did the same earlier in the day. That left goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as the team’s lone rep in Columbus. “I know they talked about they wanted to be here. Obviously they're taking that time to heal up. A little disappointed to not have my teammates with me, but I'm trying to make the best out of it,” Fleury said. Hey, we all are, MAF. Even if it royally sucks that your teammate skipped the All-Star Game because of a minor injury. The Penguins announced Crosby has a lower body injury and would miss a week, including a game against Winnipeg both he and Malkin were mandated to miss for pulling out of the All-Star Game so late in the process. Perhaps to confront the criticism over his absence, the Penguins clarified that Crosby had been struggling with the injury since a Jan. 10 game against the Montreal Canadiens, and took an injection to deal with it recently. “Crosby had attempted to play through the injury the past two weeks. He is expected to resume skating on Tuesday and could return to the lineup either Wednesday at Washington or Friday at New Jersey,” said the team. Which is to say that he opted not to play through that injury at the All-Star Game in Columbus. Or appear in Columbus to be part of the festivities even though he’s injured, as he did in 2009 when the game was held in Montreal, because Canada is not Ohio, at last check. "For the All-Star Game, it's important to get everyone on board, especially the players," Crosby said in January 2009 . "I was planning on being here anyway, [so] it wasn't a huge issue." It’s kind of a huge issue when the best hockey player on the planet and the face of your league – he literally looms large on the side of Nationwide Arena – has missed five straight All-Star Games and has only played in one during his 10-year NHL career. Some of this was out of Crosby’s hands. His high ankle sprain in 2008, keeping him out of the Atlanta All-Star Game, sidelined him for 6-8 weeks. In 2009, it was a left knee bruise, missing a game immediately before the All-Star break. In 2010, there were Olympics. He missed 2011 and 2012 with concussion symptoms, with talk that he was going to “boycott” the 2011 game in Raleigh. (A well-time media leak for effect.) Then another lockout. Then the Sochi Games. And now he misses the Columbus All-Star Game because of a minor injury. Minor to the point where the team says they expect him back next week, potentially missing two games but nothing more. Should Crosby be here? Of course. If only to do what he did in Montreal or, depending on the injury, at least take part in some non-strenuous skills competition fun. To put it in high-school terms: The other absences had doctor’s notes. This one feels like Sid took some vegetable soup, poured it into the toilet and told his parents he had the stomach flu. (I know this works. I tried it, to great effect.) I can’t recall another All-Star Game absence that had fans turn so negatively on Crosby, or had his peers gritting their teeth over his absence from the game. Said Alex Ovechkin, who has never missed an All-Star Game, on whether Crosby’s absence is disappointing. “Yeah, of course. For fans it's kind of a disappointing moment. I'm pretty sure lots of great players didn't make. It's kind of sad, but it is what it is.” ( Ed. Note: He did miss one in 2012 .) Said Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks, on stars showing up for the game: “I think it is important. As much as some guys need the break, it is important that you be here. This is a big event for the League and you want to have all the superstars here at the same time.” But Crosby’s going to also get some sympathy. From fans who think the All-Star Game is a three-day joke and only the NHL’s sponsors get the punchline; and from some star players that give everything they have to promote the League and sympathize with a competitor needed a break. Like when Jonathan Toews, who could play in his fourth outdoor game next season, was asked if he’s ever thought about getting an “injury” and hitting the beach during the All-Star break. “Aw, c’mon, you expect me to answer that straight up?” he said, smiling. “I’m only kidding. For anyone to have break like that, and we don’t play until next Wednesday, it is a good break for your body.” It helps Crosby and, in turn, helps the Penguins. But it doesn’t help the fans. It doesn’t help the League. And it doesn't help when players like Nick Foligno and Brian Elliott -- who left a vacation in Turks and Caicos to fill in as an injury replacement in the game -- exhibit the kind of enthusiasm for this even that we all wish the League's biggest star showed an iota of having. Being the best player on the planet means having the biggest set of responsibilities, from keeping your nose clean off the ice to promoting the game across the globe. There is no question Sidney Crosby does his part; but when you’re the NHL’s biggest name and you have as many appearances in the All-Star Game as Eric Brewer, there’s something wrong. It’s not like Crosby would be the only guy here wishing he could sit out and heal up for a week. But the point is that they’re here, and he isn’t. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
Pens' Crosby takes injection to treat lower-body injury
(Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:13:52 PST)
(Reuters) - Sidney Crosby has taken an injection for a lower-body injury that will keep him out of this weekend's National Hockey League All-Star Game, the team said on Friday. The Penguins said Crosby, the NHL's reigning most valuable player and face of the league, is expected to resume skating on Tuesday in hopes of returning either Wednesday at Washington or Friday at New Jersey. According to the Penguins, Crosby was hurt during a game against the Montreal Canadiens and has attempted to play through the injury the past two weeks.
The 10 NHL stars you assumed were All-Stars but never actually were (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 23 Jan 2015 08:01:39 PST)
The NHL All-Star Game is this weekend in Columbus, and thanks to changing dynamics in the League and some significant injuries, there are a number of players who are making their first appearances in the midseason classic. They should embrace it. They should cherish it. Because not every big name player gets their shot to be an NHL All-Star. Here are 10 players that you might assume had been NHL All-Stars but, alas, never were during their storied NHL careers. Please keep in mind we went with retired players or players that are near the end of their run; while there are some current players that have been snubbed mightily, they also still have a chance to make the cut. These guys never did ... Bob Essensa, G NHL Games Played: 446 A good goalie on some bad Winnipeg Jets teams, Essensa didn’t get the same all-star chance that his fellow second-tier NHL netminders in that era (Darren Puppa, Arturs Irbe) received. Not even a pity pick. Sigh. Kelly Hrudey, G NHL Games Played: 677 How many standout players who spend over a decade playing in New York and Los Angeles fail to make the all-star cut at least once? Better yet: How can a player make the cut for Team Canada in the 1987 Canada Cup but fail to be an NHL All-Star? Nutty. Chris Drury, F NHL Games Played: 892 A consistent goal scorer, including two great years for the Buffalo Sabres from 2005-07. But he was overshadowed by bigger stars with the Colorado Avalanche, was screwed over by there not being an all-star game right after the 2005 lockout and, in 2007, the NHL picked his teammate Daniel Briere instead. Well, at least he got paid. A lot. Brenden Morrow, F NHL Games Played: 921, through Jan. 22 Look, Morrow is a spare part player at this point, so we’re comfortable in saying he’ll not have an all-star season in him. Which means he’ll retire having never been one despite some strong seasons with the Dallas Stars. His best one, 2007-08, saw his teammate Mike Ribeiro get the nod instead. Morrow did appear in the All-Star Young Stars Game in his rookie season, but never in the Big Game. Petr Nedved, F NHL Games Played: 982 This one was a surprise. One figured Nedved was the type of player the NHL craves for its spotlight on skill, but despite a 38-goal season in 1992-93, a 45-goal season in 1995-96 and some other strong campaigns, he never made it. His best season came in a year when Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux all made the all-star team. So that’s understandable. Ed Olczyk, F NHL Games Played: 1,031 The NBC announcer broke 30 goals three times and 40 goals in 1987-88 for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Wales Conference all-star forwards that season? Well, check the list and you’ll see why he missed the cut. Geoff Courtnall, F NHL Games Played: 1,049 He had a few seasons of genuine offensive stardom, including 42- and 35-goal campaigns for the Washington Capitals in the late 1980s, as well as 31-goals seasons for the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues. But never got his All-Star Game invite. Insult to injury: His brother, Russ, was a 1994 All-Star for the Western Conference while with the Dallas Stars. Mike Ricci, F NHL Games Played: 1,099 Perhaps best known as a one of the preeminent pests in hockey history, Ricci was also a pretty dependable offensive player, scoring over 20 goals in his first four seasons and then doing it twice more with the San Jose Sharks. But his best offensive season (78 points) happened on a team with some dudes named Sundin and Sakic. Claude Lemieux, F NHL Games Played: 1,215 Granted, most of Lemieux’s best exploits were in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but he hit 30 goals four times and netted 41 in 1991-92 for the New Jersey Devils. But Scott Stevens was enough for the NHL from the Devils, and Claude missed the cut. Four Stanley Cups, no all-star games … maybe they were just worried about locker room chemistry. Guy Carbonneau, C NHL Games Played: 1,318 Look, incredible defensive players aren’t exactly known for making the NHL All-Star Game, which is why we didn’t blink when we saw guys like Adam Foote having never made it. But he was one of the most popular players in Montreal Canadiens history, and a legit star in his day. So while we understand the dynamic – 3-time Selke winner, never an all-star – it was still a little surprising.
Three Periods: All-star spotlight on Columbus; Vanek's vow; NHL notes (Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:28:09 PST)
Three Periods: Columbus has come a long way as a hockey market; Thomas Vanek knows he needs to shoot and score more for the Wild; NHL news and notes.
Take a look at the outdoor games on tap for the NHL in 2016 (NBC on Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 22 Jan 2015 07:33:38 PST)
A day after we learned due to scheduling conflicts the Winnipeg Jets will not host the Heritage Classic during the 2015-16 season, more details have emerged regarding next season’s outdoor games. Hockey insider Bob McKenzie joined the NBCSN panel to discuss the outdoor games to be hosted in both Minnesota and Colorado next season. McKenzie says the NHL will use the All-Star weekend to officially announce next season’s outdoor games. McKenzie reports the Red Wings will play in Colorado in one of the Stadium Series games while the Chicago Blackhawks will visit Minnesota in the other. He also confirmed Boston will play host to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium. The L.A. Kings and San Jose Sharks will play in the lone Stadium Series game this season on Feb. 21 at Levi’s Stadium. -- Dhiren Mahiban, ProHockeyTalk.com
Wild, Avalanche getting NHL outdoor games in 2015-16: Report (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 21 Jan 2015 17:22:09 PST)
The NHL is expected to announce its next slate of outdoor hockey games at this weekend’s All-Star Game in Columbus, and it’s going to be good news for two markets that have been craving them. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Minnesota Wild are expected to host the Chicago Blackhawks and the Colorado Avalanche will host the Detroit Red Wings in 2016 outdoor games. The venues have yet to be determined, although Target Field and Coors Field are the expected hosts for the Stadium Series games. The 2016 Winter Classic, in hockey’s worst-kept secret, will be held at Foxboro Stadium between the host Boston Bruins and the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 1. McKenzie believes that means the New England Patriots are likely on the road for the last two weeks of the NFL season, although perhaps there could be a Thursday night game in the mix. The Stadium Series games should bring a sense of relief to those markets who have felt they have all you need for a successful outdoor game – the venues, the markets and the weather – but weren’t deemed Winter Classic worthy. I guess the only drawback is that Blackhawks are once again a featured player in an outdoor game for the fourth time, which is getting a little stale. But lord knows there’s a better rivalry between the Wild and Blackhawks than there was between Chicago and D.C. It’s just … well … shoulda been you, Dallas (North) Stars As for the Avs and Red Wings … well, we assume Claude Lemieux and Kris Draper are both dropping the ceremonial first puck, right? So the only U.S. market that has the right weather, venue and fans to not get an outdoor game remains the St. Louis Blues. Maybe if Busch was an NHL sponsor rather than Coors. I wish I was kidding. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :
NHL Three Stars: Overtime heroes and Ovechkin breaks camera (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 20 Jan 2015 22:21:32 PST)
No. 1 Star: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens The Habs goalie made 36 saves in their 2-1 overtime win over the Nashville Predators, on a P.K. Subban power-play goal. That includes 27 saves in the first two periods as Montreal was limited to 13 shots. No. 2 Star: Carl Hagelin, New York Rangers Hagelin’s deflection of a Derek Stepan puck directed at Craig Anderson gave the Rangers a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. He also assisted on Kevin Hayes’ second-period goal. No. 3 Star: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers Giroux potted the power-play game-winner for the Flyers at 3:57 of overtime, converting a Jakub Voracek rebounded shot (and strange missing puck moment in Thomas Greiss’s gear) for a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Giroux also led the Flyers with 10 shots. Honorable Mention: Nice rally from the Edmonton Oilers, who scored two goals in the last 4:11 of the game to send it to a shootout vs. the Washington Capitals. Goals by Derek Roy and Teddy Purcell won it there, 5-4. Alex Ovechkin had two goals. … Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist scored in the shootout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild. Teemu Pulkkinen scored his first NHL goal. Zach Parise had two for the Wild. … Valtteri Flippula scored a goal and assisted on another in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. … Andrew Shaw had two goals and Patrick Kane had a goal (No. 200) and two assists in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-1 rout of the Arizona Coyotes. … Loui Eriksson scored against his former mates while Dougie Hamilton had a goal and an assist in the Boston Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Did You Know? Alex Ovechkin broke a camera. Dishonorable Mention: Zac Rinaldo was ejected for a hit from behind on Kris Letang. He’ll have an in-person hearing with the NHL. … Zach Sill and Michael Raffl, Jakub Voracek and Rob Scuderi, Steven Downie and Luke Schenn, and Pierre-Edouard Bellmare and Bobby Farnham all dropped the gloves. ... The Red Wings blew a 4-1 lead in the third period. … Vancouver and Tampa Bay were a combined 0-fo-12 on the power play. … Daniel Sedin was a minus-4, and Henrik Sedin was a minus-3. … David Moss, Brandon McMillian and Kyle Chipchura were minus-3. … Tyler Seguin vs. the Bruins: Nine shots, no points and a minus-1.
P.K. Subban scores in overtime, Canadiens beat Predators 2-1 (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:45:25 PST)
Goaltender Carey Price produced a 36-save gem in his return from an injury for the Montreal Canadiens. Price, who is headed to the All-Star game this week, saw his team outshot 25-4 through the first 30 minutes only to bounce back with a strong second half and pull out a 2-1 overtime win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. I think we grabbed more momentum after that.'' Alex Galchenyuk tied the game in the third period and P.K. Subban got the winner 4:09 into overtime, both on the power play, as Montreal (29-13-3) won a second game in a row and third in its last four. Mike Ribeiro finally beat Price on Nashville's 26th shot at 12:10 of the second period, but Montreal turned the tables.
Fantasy All-Access: Second-half stars to watch (NHL)
(Mon, 19 Jan 2015 14:00:00 PST)
Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.
Predators-Canadiens Preview (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:40:42 PST)
The Nashville Predators could head into the All-Star break sharing the league's best record, but Pekka Rinne's absence could make staying near the top quite challenging. The Montreal Canadiens, meanwhile, are hoping top goaltender Carey Price returns before the break. Nashville tries to avoid its first set of back-to-back defeats Tuesday night when it visits Montreal. The fact that the Predators (30-10-4) would end the first half tied for the most points in the NHL if they win this game and Anaheim loses in regulation Wednesday against Calgary comes as quite a surprise.
2016 Winter Classic will feature Bruins vs. Canadiens at Gillette Stadium (Report) (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:25:50 PST)
If you’re one that’s tired of seeing the same teams involved in the Jan. 1 NHL Winter Classic, prepare to continued to be upset. According to WEEI , the worst-kept secret in hockey will happen next season with the Boston Bruins set to host the Montreal Canadiens on New Year’s Day 2016 at Gillette Stadium. From DJ Bean: It is unknown how preparations for the event will affect the Patriots, as Jan. 1 typically falls right around Week 17 of the NFL season. After TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported in December that the Bruins were the favorites to host the game, Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy said that the Red Sox hoped to see the game return to Fenway Park, but acknowledged that Gillette’s seating capacity of 68,756 might make it difficult for the Sox and Fenway (37,400 capacity) to win the bid. ESPN Boston's Joe MacDonald Tweeted that the announcement will be made during All-Star Weekend. The NFL hasn't released its 2016 schedule just yet, but Week 17 will fall on Sunday, Jan. 3. That could mean the New England Patriots finish their season with back-to-back road games to give the NHL time to construct the rink and prepare Gillette Stadium. (Or the NFL schedules the Pats a Week 16 game for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, which fall on a Thursday and Friday.) The 2016 Winter Classic would mark Boston’s second appearance in the game after they hosted at Fenway Park in 2010. The Canadiens have not played an outdoor game on New Year’s Day, but were the visitors for the 2003 and 2011 Heritage Classics. With one domino about to fall, we’ll likely soon hear announcements about the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild hosting Stadium Series games, along with the Winnipeg Jets getting the Heritage Classic. A Habs-Bruins match-up could also result in pretty good television with a behind-the-scenes show like EPIX Road to the Winter Classic or HBO 24/7 . P.K. Subban. Milan Lucic. Zdeno Chara. Brad Marchand. Brendan Gallagher. Let the chirps begin! - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :
Streit on a Streak (Rotoworld)
(Mon, 19 Jan 2015 09:05:00 PST)
Mark Streit has been hot on the power play in the last two weeks. Read more in the Power Play Report.
What We Learned: Did Marc Staal deserve his new NY Rangers deal? (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 19 Jan 2015 06:58:00 PST)
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.) Hockey continues to have a weird fetish for defensive defensemen, and it's a market inefficiency that's difficult to understand. Remember this summer when Brooks Orpik signed that five-year deal with Washington that would inexplicably pay him $5.5 million per? And how everyone laughed? Those contracts are handed out more frequently than you think. Such is the case with Marc Staal, who signed a 6-year, $34.2-million deal with the New York Rangers on Sunday. Now, Staal isn't exactly Brooks Orpik-level ineffective at driving play — and Washington fans are learning to their chagrin just how much tread has come off the tire for this man who will turn 35 in September and still have four years left of hefty paychecks coming his way — but he's not as far off the pace as you might expect, either. The Rangers as a whole seem to overvalue grit and toughness, which explains why Tanner Glass has played rather a healthy portion of their games this season despite the fact that he's one of the worst players in the NHL and his only value comes in the form of his waning pugilistic prowess. Staal does more than that, obviously, but his actual on-ice value is not, unfortunately, what it's perceived to be. But why the rush on this deal? Why now? Well, apart from concerns that he might bolt elsewhere — say, Carolina — Larry Brooks says it might have something to do with the quality of his play over the last six weeks or so, during which time he has posted positive possession and goals-for numbers (though negative when compared to what his team has done while he's off the ice) and hasn't given up a ton of scoring chances despite eating the most minutes of any Blueshirt blue liner. And as those who watch the NHL regularly well know, teams love buying as high as possible on guys whose contributions are primarily judged using the eye test. Consequently, the thing is that this stands in stark contrast with what he's done for the entirety of the season, and most of the last several years in New York. Not including any of this the weekend's games (to better explain the Rangers' mindset here), there were 59 defensemen in the league that had played at least 700 minutes at even strength, which we can therefore safely categorize as “top-pairing defensemen” — i.e. 30 teams play two defensemen on their top pairing, thus, 60 guys in the league are top-pairing defensemen. Of that group, Staal ranks 18th from the bottom in terms of the corsi quality of competition he faces, which is to say that the 50.5 percent corsi rating opponents have against him is, as far as top-pairing D are concerned, rather poor and comfortably in the bottom third. So why, by that metric or any other metric, would you make him the 15th highest-paid defenseman in the league. Well, some of the names below him in terms of CF% are of note: Shea Weber, Andy Greene, Roman Josi, Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie and Ryan Suter take up six of the bottom seven spots, with Dion Phaneuf the lone outlier as a guy who probably doesn't deserve that role. Certainly, all these defensemen are well-paid and play what anyone would call very tough competition as far as the eye test goes. Some of them are considered among the best in the league at what they do, despite the fact that — at least in the case of Weber and Josi — viewings of how well they play don't always line up with the numbers. (Sam Page recently broke down why he thinks this is the case with Nashville's top pairing pre- and post-Suter.) A lot of times, these guys' issues can be excused pretty easily. Weber and Josi have trouble turning the puck over and taking it out of the defensive zone with carries, but don't really give up quality chances very often. Giordano and Brodie play on a garbage team and while their CF% is poor, their ratings relative to the rest of the team remain exemplary and have them in very serious contention for the Norris. Suter plays roughly a billion minutes a night. Greene has an awful team in front of him and is basically trying to bail out the Titanic's hull with a candy dish. Phaneuf played for Randy Carlyle. You can do this for most of the guys on the list who aren't pushing the puck in the right direction. But speaking of the eye test, is there any universe in which you'd as an impartial observer would put Staal and Dan Girardi in the same conversation as Weber and Josi or Giordano and Brodie? The answer is no, right? I often wonder how much of a team's deployment of its defense especially is based on capability versus perceived capability. In this case, we'd have to acknowledge that Girardi and Staal are, at best, the second- and third-best defensemen on the Rangers behind legit star defenseman Ryan McDonagh. And yet it's these two who get the toughest assignments by far. Then McDonagh is roughly in the same area (and indeed, suffering a bit of a tough season with worse possession numbers than Staal) if a little back in terms of stringent usage, and the rest of the Rangers' defensemen are being pretty heavily shielded. Why does McDonagh, who we'd all agree is better, get the protection? “Because of his offensive utility,” is likely the answer — you put him on the ice when the puck is in the attacking end because in theory he's more capable of both keeping it there and doing something with it — and because his reputation is not built largely upon his willingness to block shots and “play tough.” But what one has to understand about McDonagh is that in the last four seasons, only this one could be considered an abject failure to this point, in terms of personal on-ice success. And the Rangers still outscore their opponents when he's on the ice this year, albeit barely. Girardi and Staal never outscore their opponents in full seasons. Staal's plus-6 over 21 games in 2013 is the only time either he or his partner has had their heads above water in terms of relative goals-for in that time. And over that entire period, neither drives possession or goalscoring relative to the team (in 250 and 180 games for Girardi and Staal, respectively). This despite the fact that, prior to this year, Staal's most common pairing partner was possession-driving force Anton Stralman; in fact, for many of his most frequent collaborators, Staal serves as a bit of a possession and scoring anchor , which probably shouldn't come as a surprise. The Rangers have invested $11.2 million against the cap to these two defensive defensemen for the next five years — Girardi's will expire the year before Staal's would — whose numbers don't back up the cost. (The Maple Leafs made a similar mistake in extending Dion Phaneuf for big money.) Which is a long time to invest in guys who are going to spend the majority of those contracts on the wrong side of 30. Which brings us back to this six-week window in which Staal has been so effective and, apparently, earned six years of relative contract certainty and a much bigger paycheck. What's gone differently to launch his play to the “next level?” Wouldn't you know it, they've gotten him away from tougher assignments , essentially using and sheltering him like a second-pairing defenseman even if the minutes don't reflect that. Which, yeah, that's going to make you look a lot better. So good you might appear to deserve, say, a 40 percent raise. The problem for the Rangers too is that they clearly didn't feel they have a viable replacement on hand if they let Staal test the market, which is fair enough. You sometimes overpay to insulate yourself from the risk of going without — a lesson Glen Sather learned the hard way this summer when reliable “glue” guys like Stralman, Benoit Pouliot, and Brian Boyle bolted for more money elsewhere because the Rangers couldn't afford to pay them — but part of the issue is that this, in turn, means that you can't spend the money on the players who actually deserve to be paid it. Most of the Rangers' core is locked up, but there will be some hard decisions to make in the next few years, and the Staal and Girardi contracts will probably start to look and feel more and more like particularly cumbersome albatrosses as time goes on. You don't always get what you pay for in the NHL, but it's often because you're buying something you haven't really valued or evaluated properly. What We Learned Anaheim Ducks : Frederik Andersen is being hailed as something of a savior in Anaheim, largely because he has a .925 save percentage and has yet to lose in January. Which will make anyone look good. Arizona Coyotes : Shouldn't of traded Dubnyk . Boston Bruins : This dude obviously didn't get the memo that the Bruins are winning now because of how good David Pastrnak is. Turns out Tuukka Rask is good. Hmmmm. Buffalo Sabres : The Sabres have now lost 11 in a row in regulation and hey wouldn't you know it they're back in 30th in the league. Congratulations, guys. Mission accomplished. Calgary Flames : Joni Ortio has been excellent since his call-up from the AHL and the Flames are riding him for all he's worth. We're talking .953 even after giving up three on 22 to San Jose Saturday night. Much more of this and Karri Ramo's probably going to be on the trading block. Carolina Hurricanes : Speaking of which, it would be nice if Anton Khudobin could continue his strong run of late . He's stopped 105 of the last 111 shots he faced (.946) after starting the year winless in his first 10 starts (when he stopped just .900). Chicago Blackhawks : Good one, Danny. Good one . Hope he's suspended for a good long time here. No reason for a player like him to even be in the league at this point. Colorado Avalanche : Ryan O'Reilly to the Leafs would be quite the coup, for not-the Avs. Especially if Toronto gets Sakic and Roy to take Tyler Bozak off their hands . Columbus Blue Jackets : The state and local government in Columbus are rather wisely using All-Star Weekend as a means of getting NHL owners to think about putting some more of their other businesses in the Columbus area. Yeah but no it totally matters who makes the All-Star Team. Dallas Stars : The Stars scored goals 16 seconds apart early in the third period to make this one academic, even after the Caps cut it to 3-3. Dallas is 10-4-2 in their last 16. Detroit Red Wings : Decent goal from Tomas Tatar for his 20th(!?) of the year. Edmonton Oilers : Man what a great place to play Edmonton must be. Florida Panthers : If one guy is good at playing defense as an 18-year-old, why do we even think most 18-year-old D aren't NHL ready ? Good argument here. Los Angeles Kings : The Kings of this year are the Devils of the last two: They haven't scored on any of their last 22 shootout attempts . Minnesota Wild : Devan Dubnyk isn't a great goalie but he's both playing well right now and better than Niklas Backstrom. And hey what do you know he's helping the Wild beat (bad) teams for once. Montreal Canadiens : Congratulations to the Canadiens on being “ unheralded .” By whom? Tough to say. But they're unheralded despite being one of the best teams in hockey from the start of the season to right now and also being the most mythologized team in league history and also not being very good apart from getting a season and a half's worth of bounces to go the right way. Nashville Predators, America's Favorite Hockey Team : If the first period on Saturday was any indication, it could be a long couple of weeks until Pekka Rinne's back. New Jersey Devils : You thought things in New Jersey were bad before? Cory Schneider's hurt now, and it might be a concussion or something . Any amount of time he's out is going to be one in which the Devils are even more likely to lose. New York Islanders : The Islanders finally lost on Saturday , 6-4 to the unheralded Canadiens, snapping a four-game winning streak despite Carey Price being out for the night with an injury. They're still fourth in the league. New York Rangers : Kevin Hayes has been pretty damn good for the Rangers so far this season, 15 points in 39 games in a third-line center role with basically no power play time all season (okay, 5:34). But still, Ottawa Senators : Basically Mika Zibanejad wants to be like Jason Spezza . And by that I assume he means “get the hell out of Ottawa.” Philadelphia Flyers : Facing one of the longest scoring droughts in franchise history? All you gotta do is play the Buffalo Sabres . Club record was 199:43, but the Flyers eked in under the wire when RJ Umberger scored in the second period just 168:50 into the latest streak. Pittsburgh Penguins : The Pens just bought as high as possible in signing Marc-Andre Fleury to a four-year extension . He's playing some of the best hockey of his career right now. Let's get a contingency plan in place, I guess. San Jose Sharks : The Sharks put up just 22 shots on goal — only four in the first, 10 in the second, eight in the third, and none in less than half a minute of overtime — at home against Calgary , so the fact that they even got a point out of the game was probably charitable on the Flames' part. St. Louis Blues : Shout out to Ken Hitchcock, now No. 5 all-time in coaching wins . Dick Irvin is up next and only seven wins away. Tampa Bay Lightning : The stretch pass from Anton Stralman on this Ryan Callahan goal is out of control. Toronto Maple Leafs : Sounds like the Leafs are giving up on the season after this 0-for-4 West Coast trip. They should never have fired Carlyle!!!!!! Vancouver Canucks : Ryan Miller is on two straight shutouts and all he had to do was play Philadelphia and Carolina. What a life goalies in the Metro lead that they get so many games against those teams all the time! Washington Capitals : Hope this bum goes to the KHL soon he never plays defense and he can never learn !!!! Winnipeg Jets : I guess I didn't realize how imperative getting on top of things was going to be for the Jets in the coming offseason. Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, and Michael Frolik will become UFAs after 2015-16. How much do you have to spend to keep them ? Play of the Weekend Yo shout out to Reto Berra. Gold Star Award
Peter Laviolette rages at referee for winking at Blackhawks bench (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 18 Jan 2015 20:19:46 PST)
It’s subtle, but one gets the idea that Peter Laviolette is rather distrusting of the National Hockey League’s on-ice officials. This is the man who introduced the concept of “Montreal Typical!” into the hockey lexicon, accusing the refs of favoring the Canadiens during games at Bell Centre. That happened when he was coaching the Philadelphia Flyers on “HBO 24/7”; and once again, reality show cameras have caught Lavy getting candid. The Nashville Predators have a show called Beneath The Ice that offers candid looks behind the scenes of the team. A recent episode captured Laviolette during a Dec. 29 game at the Chicago Blackhawks, in which he accused referee Kevin Pollock of … "winking" at the Blackhawks bench. Seriously. “YOU DID WINK AND EVERYONE HERE SAW IT” said Laviolette, hilariously, as Pollock defended himself and then threatened to kick the Predators coach out of the game if this line of accusations continued. Laviolette countered by asking him not to “lie” to him about winking at the Blackhawks bench. Awesomeness No. 1: Watching Eric Nystrom (24) attempt not to openly guffaw at this situation. Awesomeness No. 2: Hearing Seth Jones narc’ing on Pollock, saying he just saw him wink to the Blackhawks bench. Our love for this video knows no bounds. For the record, both teams had five power plays in the game. But seriously, why didn’t Pollock use the obvious cover story? “Yes, I winked at the Chicago bench. Have you seen Patrick Sharp?” s/t Eye On Hockey, via reddit MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :