Czech Republic, Finland, Russia name final World Cup rosters (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 27 May 2016 07:39:29 PDT)
The Czech Republic will have to do without Jaromir Jagr at the World Cup of Hockey in September. Jagr retired from the national team after last year's world championship, and was not included in the first 16 players for the Czech's World Cup squad announced March 2. Jagr led the Florida Panthers with 66 points (27 goals, 39 assists) in 79 games in the regular season and added two assists in the playoffs.
Voynov named to Russian roster, status for World Cup unclear (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 27 May 2016 08:20:34 PDT)
Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov is no sure thing to play in the World Cup of Hockey despite being named to Russia's final roster on Friday. Voynov served two months in jail on domestic violence charges, was detained by immigration officials and voluntarily returned to Russia last year. ''We will obviously have to review his status with the Players' Association prior to the start of the tournament in September,'' NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.
Czech Republic names Jagr-less final World Cup of Hockey roster (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 27 May 2016 06:38:08 PDT)
Jaromir Jagr will not be playing the Czech’s at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey so he can rest up for the Florida Panthers’ season. Without the 44-year-old legend, they'll have to make do with a mostly NHL roster in a tough Group A with Canada, USA, and Team Europe. Here’s who the Czechs will be bringing to Toronto in September: (Ed. note: Bolded names are final additions.) G Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings G Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers G Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets D Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers D Michal Jordan, Carolina Hurricanes * D Michal Kempny, Chicago Blackhawks D Zbynek Michalek, Arizona Coyotes * D Jakub Nakladal, Calgary Flames * D Roman Polak, San Jose Sharks D Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay Lightning F Radek Faksa, Dallas Stars * F Michael Frolik, Calgary Flames F Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes F Ales Hemsky, Dallas Stars * F Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks F Dmitrij Jaskin, St. Louis Blues * F David Krejci, Boston Bruins F Milan Michalek, Toronto Maple Leafs * F Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning F David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins F Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens F Vladimir Sobotka, Avangard Omsk (KHL) F Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers • No Jiri Hudler, which, according to Czech national team coach Josef Jandac, came down to the pending NHL UFA and Dmitrij Jaskin, but the Blues forward was a better fit with what they were going with. • Other names not making the final cut Radim Vrbata, Tomas Fleischmann, Roman Cervenka, Michal Rozsival, Tomas Kundratek and Andrej Nestrasil, who is currently recovering from a broken vertebra. Marek Zidlicky was in consideration, but told Jandac that he isn’t sure if he’ll continue playing next season. Previously released final rosters: Team Finland Team Russia - - - - - - - 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 :
Russia names final World Cup of Hockey roster; NHL to ban Voynov? (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 27 May 2016 06:12:53 PDT)
The Russians went heavy on forward for their initial World Cup of Hockey roster, naming only three defenseman. So that left a few spots up front available and a bevy on the back end. Here’s who Russia will be bringing to Toronto in September: (Ed. note: Bolded names are final additions.) G Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets G Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche G Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning D Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens * D Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers D Alexey Marchenko, Detroit Red Wings * D Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens D Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals D Slava Voynov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) * D Nikita Zaitsev, Toronto Maple Leafs * F Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks F Evgenii Dadonov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) * F Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings F Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning F Nikolay Kulemin, New York Islanders F Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals F Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins F Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning F Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals F Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks F Vadim Shipachev, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) * F Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues F Ivan Telegin, CSKA Moscow (KHL) * • You may have scanned the forward group twice looking for a pair of specific names, but you’re not going to find them. Yes, The Russians are leaving both Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Radulov home. Did Kovalchuk’s behavior during the Gagarin Cup playoffs and Radulov’s desire to return to the NHL play a part in them being left off? • The interesting name that is on Russia’s roster is Slava Voynov, the former Los Angeles Kings defenseman who returned home last September after a nearly yearlong suspension by the NHL for domestic violence. Here’s where it gets interesting. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com's Scott Burnside , "We will obviously have to review his status with the Players' Association prior to the start of the tournament in September. It is not my current expectation that this player will be deemed eligible to play in the World Cup of Hockey." Remember, this is an NHL co-sponsored event, not IIHF, so if the league wants to take umbrage with this choice, they can. UPDATE : Told that NHLPA and NHL are jointly "reviewing" the matter of Voynov's eligibility to play in World Cup. — Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) May 27, 2016 Previously released final rosters: Team Finland - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :
Bishop out; why Sharks haven't choked; Marner to Marlies? (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 25 May 2016 12:13:21 PDT)
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 email@example.com . Tonight's towel for Sharks fans.... pic.twitter.com/3C73iauSsI — Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) May 25, 2016 • WHAT DID WE SAY ABOUT PUTTING SAXOPHONES IN THE SHARK TANK?! [ @Real_ESPNLebrun ] • "While previous iterations of San Jose’s hockey teams have tended to fade late in playoff series, if not outright choke, this version has shown a distinct ability to rise to the occasion when the temperature gets turned up." [ CSN Bay Area ] • Concentrating on playing defense first will with Game 6 for the St. Louis Blues. [ The Hockey Writers ] • The Blues believe a rested Brian Elliott is a better Brian Elliott. [ STL Today ] • Ben Bishop unlikely to play in Game 7 for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Steven Stamkos's status remains unchanged. [ Tampa Bay Times ] • Three reasons why the Pittsburgh Penguins will win Game 7. [ ESPN ] • Former official Kerry Fraser caught a missed power play opportunity for the Lightning when Matt Murray chucked his stick at the puck before Jonathan Drouin scored a goal that was eventually overturned. [ TSN ] • Pavel Datsyuk's agent says he's received an offer to play in the KHL, but he's going to take some time before deciding on what to do. [ Detroit Free Press ] • Arizona Coyotes have hired Ari Segal as COO. Segal was a chief architect in bringing the San Diego Gulls back to town as the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. [ Coyotes ] • According to Toronto Maple Leafs Assistant GM Kyle Dubas, wunderkind prospect Mitch Marner could potentially join the Marlies at the end of the Memorial Cup run. [ Toronto Sun ] • Should no teams be interested in the services of Max Talbot during free agency, he might try his hand at playing hockey in overseas. [ NBC Sports ] • The Ottawa Senators continue to pilfer from the Swiss league. First they took two coaches and now they've signed Tom Pyatt to a one-year deal. [ The Hockey News ] • Major front office shakeup at Monumental Sports & Entertainment - the Ted Leonsis led group that owns the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards. [ Washington Post ] • Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers could find themselves on the finalized World Cup of Hockey rosters when they're released on Friday. [ Philly.com ] • Relocating the Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate to Tucson is the best move for the entire organization. [ Five for Howling ] • Post Kevin Miller signing analysis: "For Don Sweeney's Bruins, it's the ugliest domino that falls first." [ Stanley Cup of Chowder ] • Seven factors for the Edmonton Oilers to consider when negotiating with Eric Gryba. [ Edmonton Journal ] • 'Stamkositis' is real and the some in the New York Islanders fanbase have it. [ Isles Beat ] • What it would cost the Montreal Canadiens to move up in the entry draft. [ EOTP ] • New York Rangers and Team USA defenseman Brady Skjei is home from Worlds. He reflects on his experience in Russia and the season ahead for him. [ Blueshirts United ] • Morgan Rielly was ‘jealous’ Mike Babcock spent more time with Auston Matthews at Worlds. [ Sportsnet ] • Keeping defenseman Tara Watchorn and goaltender Genevieve Lacasse are crucial for the Boston Blades going into next season. [ Today's Slapshot ] • Why obsessed hockey fans are updating 'NHL 2004' every single year. [ Digital Trends ] • Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie has inoperable brain cancer. He and the band's influence in Canadian culture and hockey culture is widespread. [ Leafs Nation ] • Finally, Hockey Night in Canada pays tribute to the Tragically Hip in their opening montage before Game 6 on Tuesday. The Hockey Night in Canada opening, set to @thehipdotcom . We're all thinking of you, Gord. https://t.co/3VKPeuqsCF — Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 25, 2016 - - - - - - - Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter! Follow @MsJenNeale_PD . MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:
John Brophy, legendary hockey coach, dead at 83 (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 23 May 2016 08:26:27 PDT)
John Brophy, the long-time hockey coach who spent three years behind the bench for the Toronto Maple Leafs, has passed away at the age of 83, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Brophy coached just like his played: with toughness. One glance at his career playing statistics will show you that he wasn’t one who would back away from a fight. You couldn’t fill out the “PIM” column on his hockey card without using three digits. His playing career in the Eastern Hockey League took him from Baltimore to Charlotte to New Haven and to Philadelphia before he settled in for parts of eight seasons with the Long Island Ducks. How intense did Brophy get at times? Val James, who played under him on Long Island detailed in his book. From the Toronto Sun : James tells of the short-fused Brophy getting so incensed at the Sherbrooke AHL team’s effort one day that he smashed a chalkboard over his own head during a dressing room rant and continued to berate the players while covered in white dust, then tearing his sportscoat to shreds. Toward the end of his career Brophy became a player-coach before moving full-time into the bench boss role. He spent some time in the World Hockey Association before taking on the head coaching role of the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens for three seasons. He would accept the Maple Leafs’ head job in 1986 and took the team to the playoffs in two of his three seasons there. No matter where he went, Brophy tried to instill his no-nonsense mentality into his teams. And when things didn’t go his way, Brophy was quite comfortable airing his grievances to the media following games. After one loss in 1988 the head coach let loose a legendary rant that included 72 f-bombs, which was caught on the recorder of Toronto reporter Lance Hornby and detailed in the book “Tales from the Toronto Maple Leafs Locker Room.” Fired 33 games into his third year in Toronto, Brophy ended up in the East Coast Hockey League with the Hampton Roads Admirals, where he’d spend the next 11 seasons, winning three championships. When Brophy retired, he was the ECHL’s leader in regular season games coached (882), regular season wins (480) and was given the honor of having the league’s “Coach of the Year” award named after him. He was also inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2009. “The entire ECHL is saddened to hear of the passing of John Brophy,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Brophy family. There was no greater competitor than John Brophy. He played a significant role in building the ECHL and our annual Coach of the Year award bears his name.” Brophy would leave the game of hockey with 1,027 professional coaching wins, second to only Scotty Bowman. Like I said, he was never one to back away from a fight, whether it was with a player half his age: Or with a contemporary, like Jacques Demers: Hockey has had its share of colorful personalities over the years and Brophy was certainly an unforgettable one. - - - - - - - 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 :
What We Learned: NHL free agent blues for Backes, Brouwer (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 23 May 2016 03:14:41 PDT)
(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.) The NHL is getting smarter every year. Despite that, some bad free agent decisions get made every summer. How many times has it happened that a strong playoff performance by an otherwise just-OK player results in too many dollars for entirely too many years? Yes, too many. You can be very, very certain that it's going to happen again. Two guys who certainly seem to fall into the category of “pending UFAs whose playoff performances are going to get them straight-up paid” are the big goal-scorers for the Blues. David Backes and Troy Brouwer both have seven goals in this postseason, tied with Vladimir Tarasenko and Logan Couture for fourth in the league. The latter two are guys whose career-long performance shows they can contribute at a high level. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] Backes and Brouwer, not so much. Greg recently highlighted both Blues forwards as guys who are going to cash in as a result of the playoffs. Not that anyone thinks they're going to pull something in the range of even Couture's $6 million a season, but these are two players you're going to want to be very careful about signing. Travis Yost had a good breakdown of why David Backes should give potential suitors pause this summer. I see Brouwer as being very much in the same category. Not salary-wise, obviously. There's a clear differentiation between how Backes — a proven leader and strong two-way player — is perceived in the hockey world at large. Most people wouldn't blink at someone giving him a sizable raise from his current cap hit of $4.5 million. Now, given that he's 32 and clearly trending downward at this point in his career (as most 32-year-olds are) I'd be dubious that any raise will end up being “worth it” sooner than later, but guys still get paid for past performance and it would be tough to say that there weren't at least a few seasons in the last few years in which Backes contributed more bang for the buck than the average comparable player. A smart GM probably wouldn't give him, say $6 million AAV for four years, let alone a Ryan Kesler contract, but there are some executives out there who will be just desperate enough for what Backes provides that the evidence at hand won't matter. He's a gritty leader who plays the full 200 feet and, as a bonus, scored a lot in the postseason. That gets a guy paid, full stop. Brouwer is a more interesting case, though. Backes has a semi-legitimate claim to getting paid. He's Olympian, All-Star, and frequent top-five Selke vote-getter who's scoring in the playoffs and will generally get you at least 50 points, historically speaking. That's a very valuable thing to have around in theory, but time catches up with us all and so on. How much longer Backes can be the idealized version of himself is very much up for debate. But what, then, is the idealized version of Troy Brouwer? Never an all-star, never received a single vote for any award, never a captain and a guy whose best statistical output doesn't match Backes' worst. Despite that, he's scoring a bunch in the playoffs and is, like Backes, seen as a gritty two-way guy. One can therefore reasonably expect that this postseason gets him a raise that is not commensurate with his actual value. We have plenty of evidence to show why he might not even be worth what he's paid right now. Take, for example, this new visualization from Carolyn Wilke. It compares a player's performance with other players in their cap hit range (as a percentage of the overall cap). The last “band” into which Brouwer falls is his current contract, and you can clearly see that he underperforms in comparison with the average player in the league who carries a similar cap hit: Troy Brouwer's postseason is probably going to earn him a raise he wouldn't get otherwise pic.twitter.com/yq9cow2Jnx — Carolyn Wilke (@Classlicity) May 22, 2016 That can be a little hard to read, but the message should be clear: Brouwer's teams get more heavily out-chanced when he's on the ice than when he's off, he doesn't score as much as similarly compensated players, and he doesn't generate enough chances of his own. Part of that is because he's used in a defensive role, which is going to depress his ability to score goals and create chances. But part of that is also that he's probably not good enough to be used in the way he has been for the last three seasons. All the 5-on-5 data over his current contract — the last three seasons, at an AAV of about $3.67 million — suggests he's roughly a lower-end third-line performer. And that's fine. If that comes with 35-plus points, you probably take the current contract as-is. Doesn't mean he's bad or anything, it just means that anyone who probably leaves you with better options for power play time and so on. His coaches, for whatever reason, haven't really found those options; he's played more than half of all his team's power play time over the last three seasons, and it was only this year that Ken Hitchcock started to reel things in after Washington really let him run wild on the man advantage (close to 65 percent of their PP minutes!). Even with Hitchcock reducing Brouwer's power play time, he still scored seven of his 18 goals on the man advantage, with three more going into empty nets. A guy logging as many minutes as he does at 5-on-5 shouldn't be scoring just eight goals over the full 82 games and then expect to get paid based on playoff performance. In fact, eight goals at full-strength this past season was tied for 10th-fewest in the entire league among all 116 forwards playing at least 1,000 minutes. He scored roughly the same number of goals per 60 minutes as Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Cody Eakin this season, and unlike those two his numbers are more likely to decline. Like Backes, Brouwer isn't getting any younger. He'll be 31 in August, and guys who play his type of game generally do not age well. It would be one thing to overpay him slightly, but any raise above and beyond what he already makes is going to be tough for a team to justify. He seems to have peaked in or prior to the lockout-shortened year, in his age-26 season (surprise surprise), and that's getting to be a while ago now. Because the league is getting smarter, there will be no Ville Leino contract . No one will give him a Dave Bolland deal. The overpayment will probably be a lot more modest in both term and dollars. But given the way the cap is moving (barely), and how much more efficiently teams are finding ways to spend money (much), even giving Brouwer an extra year or an extra $1 million would be worrisome. If his cap hit clears $4 million and he gets more than two or three years, it won't be the worst contract in the league, but it still won't be a good one. It's great for the Blues that he's scoring in the playoffs. He's a big reason they've gotten this far. But if there's anyone willing to pay him based on that, well, you know what they say about who is soon parted with his money. What We Learned Anaheim Ducks : Finally, the Ducks add a potentially high-end young defenseman . They've really been hurting for those lately. Arizona Coyotes : Having an AHL team in Tucson is a pretty good deal for the Coyotes. It's a two-hour drive as opposed to a five-hour flight. Saves a lot of money on call-ups. Boston Bruins : The Bruins may have to wait another year to get the compensatory second-round pick Edmonton owes them from signing Peter Chiarelli. Fun. Buffalo Sabres : Can you believe a kid from the WHL is named “Brycen?” Of course you can. Calgary Flames : Sean Monahan doesn't want a bridge deal . However, the two sides haven't really made a lot of progress either way, which seems crazy to me but hey whatever. Carolina Hurricanes : Well I mean, they shouldn't want Cam Ward back . Because he's not good any more. Chicago : Good luck improving that defense with that cap situation. Chicago's in a real tough spot on the back end. Again, that's the price of success. Colorado Avalanche : I still can't imagine why they'd trade one of their few good defensemen, but here we are . Columbus Blue Jackets : Columbus is apparently considering just LTIR-ing David Clarkson forever. This trade is working out great. Dallas Stars : The “ this ” in this scenario should be, “Getting a real goalie.” Detroit Red Wings : These guys really have their fingers on the pulse here. The Wings are dropping off? Wow! Edmonton Oilers : Benoit Pouliot was hurt for a good chunk of the season . Still a good player when he's healthy, but that's not often any more. Too bad. Florida Panthers : New logo and jerseys out June 2 , but you already know what they look like. Los Angeles Kings : Man, the Kings could only be so lucky as to have Dallas sign Milan Lucic for a ton of money this summer. Two years from now whatever deal he gets probably doesn't look very good. Minnesota Wild : If Bruce Boudreau can't make Jason Pominville effective in attack again , probably no one can. Montreal Canadiens : I mean, yes, but ... Nashville Predators : The Preds believe they will keep improving with this group. They also need to upgrade a few spots in the lineup. New Jersey Devils : How do the Devils have it set up so only like 11 guys are on their payroll for next season right now? That never happens. So yeah, lots to consider apparently . New York Islanders : Having the cap space and actually being able to sign a guy are two very different things. New York Rangers : Jeff Gorton sitting around his office like, “ But what if we got even more bad defensemen ?” Ottawa Senators : How many people on this list should the Senators actually target? Like, three? Philadelphia Flyers : Yeah, the Flyers probably don't trade up . What's the point if everyone's a project after, say, No. 5?
Canada to meet USA in world hockey semi-finals
(Thu, 19 May 2016 13:59:49 PDT)
Reigning world champions Canada boosted their hopes of retaining their title as they thrashed Sweden 6-0 at the ice hockey world championship quarter-finals in Saint Petersburg on Thursday. Canada joined Finland, the United States and Russia in the semi-finals which will be played in Moscow on Saturday after Finland saw off Denmark 5-1, while the USA beat Czech Republic 2-1 in a penalty shootout and Russia downed Germany 4-1.
Puck Soup Podcast: Actor Tom Cavanagh talks NHL, The Flash and 'Mystery, Alaska' (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 19 May 2016 10:07:59 PDT)
(WARNING: STRONG ADULT LANGUAGE AND HUMOR. LISTENER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.) PUCK SOUP is the new hockey podcast on the Nerdist network for Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski and Dave Lozo of Vice Sports, Uproxx and The Comeback. This is a hockey podcast, in the sense that the talk about hockey, both on the ice and about fan culture. That’s the “puck.” This is also a podcast about movies, TV, fast food, life lessons and general idiocy. That’s the “soup." In episode seven, Greg and Dave talk hockey with actor Tom Cavanagh ("THE FLASH," "ED") about Olympic hockey, the Montreal Canadiens, his sad tale about getting rejected for a starring role in “Mystery, Alaska,” comic book fans vs. hockey fans and why Zack Snyder made a huge mistake in not taking Grant Gustin as his “Justice League” version of THE FLASH. Plus, Stanley Cup Playoffs talk, an examination of Joe Thornton’s playoff beard, dissecting the problems with NBC’s NHL coverage, the Top 6 Greatest Playoff Disappointments of All-Time, Puck Soup listener mail and a silly movie name game. This episode is sponsored by Seat Geek : use promo code SOUP for $20 your first purchase! Follow @wyshynski , @davelozo and @PuckSoupPodcast on Twitter!
2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup: Homegrown Huskies march to first Cup appearance (Buzzing The Net)
(Wed, 18 May 2016 20:41:42 PDT)
NHL-National Hockey League roundup
(Wed, 18 May 2016 16:51:04 PDT)
May 18 (The Sports Xchange) - The Montreal Canadiens agreed to terms with forward Martin Reway on a three-year, two-way contract Wednesday. Reway, 21, completed the 2015-16 season with Fribourg-Gotteron in the Swiss National League A, posting 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 19 games. The 5-foot-9, 173-pound winger began the season with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga and registered 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 14 games. ...
Can Lightning overcome Ben Bishop's injury vs. Penguins? (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 18 May 2016 11:22:42 PDT)
What We Learned: Stop overpraising Blues, Sharks management (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 16 May 2016 06:24:05 PDT)
A thing you saw a lot this week, in the lead-up to Sunday night's Western Conference Final matchup between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues, is praise for the teams' respective general managers and fellow Dougs, Wilson and Armstrong. They have put together some good teams over the years, to be sure. Both rosters are talent-rich at all positions. Both have a healthy mix of older players who have been through the wars before and still contributing at a high level and younger players who are throwing in their own solid performances. Both are well-coached. Both are getting strong goaltending. But was either GM actually “patient” with their rosters? Probably not. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] The San Jose example is the one for which there was obviously no real patience displayed. Back in 2014, when the Sharks blew a 3-0 lead to the Kings, Wilson saw his divisional rivals go on to win the Stanley Cup, and thought, “There but for a lack of Leadership and Grit go I.” He tried to trade Joe Thornton. He tried to trade Patrick Marleau. Neither would wave their no-trade clauses. He also brought in some largely useless veterans (like future All-Star captain John Scott!) to try to move the needle and ended up setting his team back in some ways. If Wilson had gotten his way back in the summer of 2014, this Sharks team looks a lot different than it does now. And probably a lot worse as well. Who knows what selling low on Thornton and Marleau at that time gets him on the trade market, but when you look at the impact those two have had not only in this postseason, but in the last two years, you have to say that any return would probably have not produced commensurate numbers. The only thing you can say in Wilson's defense here, honestly, is that the no-movement and no-trade clauses he wrote into the contracts those two players signed for three years beginning in 2011 and 2014, respectively, prevented him from making his team worse. I'm not sure if that's patience. I'm positive it's not praiseworthy. Another thing Wilson did that wasn't exactly patience to actually help his team is go out and acquire a solid goaltender. Not that Antti Niemi was in any way bad for the Sharks on the whole, as he was perfectly fine in his time there, but “perfectly fine” doesn't usually win you many playoff rounds, as anyone can see. It should surprise you not at all that Martin Jones's save percentage in this postseason is the second-best any Sharks team has seen since the start of the Behind the Net era in 2007-08. Combine that with the transformation Brent Burns has given the Sharks on the blue line and yeah, it's inarguably a really good team. Wilson deserves praise for keeping that team together only insofar as he didn't do a good enough job convincing his veteran forwards to waive no-trades, and didn't do anything dumber. With the exception of Jones, I'm not sure he actively sought to improve the team or its core at any point in the last two years. He signed Paul Martin this summer, and Martin has been... fine? I guess? Which, okay, it's nice to have serviceable defensemen, but the price point and term is worrisome on that deal. He got rid of Brad Stuart and Scott Hannan retired. (Can we reasonably count that?) In fact, his big trade at the deadline, bringing in Roman Polak and Nick Spaling, has gone about as well as you'd think “giving up two second-round picks for Polak and Spaling” would go. But again, you can say Wilson made some moves to improve his team while accidentally sticking with a very good core. Not really sure you can say the same for Armstrong. The Blues made a number of transactions in the offseason, signing big-time contributors like Danny Kristo, Jordan Caron, Peter Harrold, Kyle Brodziak, Andre Benoit, and Justin Hodgman in July. He also added Scottie Upshall, Scott Gomez, and Martin Havlat in-season. Mostly depth moves, obviously. But of all those additions, only Upshall and Brodziak are still with the big club, and both are playing about nine minutes a night in this postseason. Further, Armstrong actively made his team worse this summer by trading T.J. Oshie to Washington for Troy Brouwer. The latter is a subpar possession player who didn't even crack 40 points this year. The former isn't exactly a possession driver but did okay relative to his club, and at least chipped in 51 points. That was a net loss for Armstrong, except it did save him a measly $500,000 or so against the cap. And let's not forget, it's tough to make trades in the NHL these days. St. Louis has some pricy contracts Armstrong has given out that are therefore difficult to deal even if the player in question is somewhat sought-after. In addition, there are also guys where it's just a no-brainer you don't trade them. Is that what we're qualifying as patience these days? Here are two actual smart things he did, but one would have to qualify “smart” as simply being “not dumb.” First, he didn't fire Ken Hitchcock, or let him walk without a new contract, when everyone thought he would. Fine. Second, he didn't try to upgrade from a great goaltender in Brian Elliott. Well, not especially hard anyway. Because man did they ever try really hard to give the starting job to Jake Allen over the course of the last two seasons, but Elliott was always there, being better. No “solutions” to a non-problem that didn't need solving. You just stick with your really good goalie. But should we really be praising someone for having the patience to keep one of the demonstrably best coaches in hockey around? Or for finally saying, “Ah hell, let's see what this above-average goalie does with the opportunity?” Come on. Hitchcock was better than anyone the team was reasonably going to get over the last few summers. Elliott is only now starting because of flameouts from Allen last year (.904 in six games), and Miller the year before that (.897 in six). In 2012-13, the only other season in which the Blues were especially good, they lost in six games with Elliott, but he was .919 against Chicago. Sometimes you run into a better team, especially in that conference. Sometimes the puck bounces the other team's way for years at a time in the postseason, until it doesn't. Smart general managers understand this and don't make over-reactive moves. Remember when the Capitals overreacted to Bruce Boudreau flaming out in the playoffs and then starting a little slow, and set their team back two-plus years? Their roster still has problems, especially on the back end, but there's no doubt they're one of the most talented teams in hockey. What's really worked out for the two general managers in this case is the fact that young talent which wasn't there a few years ago, at least not in any significant role, is now a major contributing factor to winning and losing. I guess you praise teams for identifying and developing those players successfully. But beyond that it's hard to give credit for “patience” in either case because that's the bare minimum any intelligent general manager with a good roster should do. And in both cases, it was only for a stunning lack of success in previous attempts to tinker that they finally arrived here in Patientville. Not-blowing-up good NHL rosters is like not-stepping in dog crap in the middle of the sidewalk. As long as you're paying the slightest bit of attention, you should be able to avoid it with ease. And certainly you don't deserve adulation for it. What We Learned Anaheim Ducks : I think we can safely file this under “ duh .” Arizona Coyotes : This is a truly shocking turn of events. Boston Bruins : Not surprising at all to see Joonas Kemppainen jump to the KHL . Bruins' goal getting awful crowded at all levels. Buffalo Sabres : Sam Reinhart is playing a marginal role for Canada at the Worlds, which is fine all things considered. Calgary Flames : The Flames are looking for a head coach who has “ been involved with winning programs .” Hey gang, Randy Carlyle won a Cup. Carolina Hurricanes : Major upgrades will be made to the Hurricanes' practice facility this summer, perhaps including no longer being the Hurricanes' practice facility because they might move to Quebec or Las Vegas. Chicago : This is embarrassing whining . Colorado Avalanche : This is the worst-run team in the league . Columbus Blue Jackets : The Blue Jackets' arena may host a playoff game after all . On Wednesday, if necessary, the AHL club will play Game 7 there because their usual building will be the site of a Carrie Underwood concert instead. Dallas Stars : This is going to get very expensive very quickly . Detroit Red Wings : In four years when these kids are all 26 they will finally get a shot with the Red Wings. Edmonton Oilers : Turns out Taylor Hall is really good . Who knew! Florida Panthers : I know we're supposed to be chagrined by all the changes the Panthers are making but like, I'm not convinced that getting the guy who gave out contracts to Dave Bolland and Shawn Thornton a little more removed from the decision-making process is such a terrible move. Los Angeles Kings : This is bad news for anyone hoping the Kings would completely fall apart this summer. Minnesota Wild : No way to anyone could've seen this coming . Montreal Canadiens : Okay so we're officially looking at another Offseason of No Good Decisions , eh? Nashville Predators : Just happy to be here . New Jersey Devils : The many 27-year-olds on the Albany Devils have pushed the youthful and mega-talented Toronto Marlies to the brink . New York Islanders : Going with Greiss as your No. 1 for a full 82 seems like a huge gamble but it's one that probably has to be made. New York Rangers : Hey can this kid play defense ? Ottawa Senators : The one word that came to mind when watching Guy Boucher's Lightning teams a few years ago was............... creative ? Hmm, no that's not it. Philadelphia Flyers : The good news is 10 to 12 weeks isn't a long time when you don't have another game until October. Pittsburgh Penguins : So would you say, then, that he in fact has not matured ? San Jose Sharks : Seems like the Sharks got the memo on “ cover that 91 guy .” Easier said than done, though. St. Louis Blues : Ken Hitchcock got a similar memo about the San Jose power play. Also easier said than done. Tampa Bay Lightning : I'm just gonna go ahead and say right now in advance that if either Andrei Vasilevskiy or Matt Murray gets lit up over the course of this series, any media backlash against them for “ inexperience ” or anything else is going to be silly and unreasonable. Toronto Maple Leafs : The “ or Laine ” here should be followed by a wink emoji. Vancouver Canucks : I feel like “ room for panic ” about the Canucks is the biggest understatement in league history. Washington Capitals : They really shouldn't say stuff like this when so many mitten-stringers are more than happy to say it for them. Winnipeg Jets : Not a lot going on between the Jets and Mark Scheifele, extension-wise . That's something that really ought to be prioritized. Play of the Weekend This finish from Jo Drouin with the puck still in the air is ridiculous. Gold Star Award
St. Louis and San Jose face off in Western Conference finals (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 15 May 2016 14:15:07 PDT)
Since entering the NHL as an expansion team in 1967, the St. Louis Blues have had some of the greatest players in league history, but nobody has been able to lead them to Lord Stanley's Cup.
Finland stay undefeated at ice hockey world championships after Slovak romp
(Sun, 15 May 2016 14:04:22 PDT)
Two-time former champions Finland thrashed 2002 champions Slovakia 5-0 in a world championship Group B match in Saint Petersburg on Sunday to chalk up their sixth straight win. Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov led the way with a goal and two assists, while Juuse Saros produced 14 saves to record a shutout. After a goalless first period, Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu broke the deadlock with a powerplay goal 11:07 into the second, 40 seconds before Antti Pihlstrom added his goal.
US quarterfinal spot in doubt at worlds after Germany defeat (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 15 May 2016 13:15:24 PDT)
Germany beat the United States 3-2 on a last-minute goal by Korbinian Holzer at the world ice hockey championship on Sunday, putting American qualification for the quarterfinals in doubt. The third defeat in six games leaves the U.S. fourth in Group B, one place behind Germany with one game remaining against fifth-placed Slovakia.
Czechs defeat Kazakhstan to keep unbeaten run at ice hockey worlds
(Fri, 13 May 2016 13:45:43 PDT)
Six-time former champions Czech Republic consolidated their Group A lead at the world ice hockey championship with a 3-1 win over promoted Kazakhstan on Friday. Skipper Tomas Plekanec scored twice to set up Czech Repubic's win, which left them five points clear of second-placed Russia, who have a game in hand. The Czechs, who also won six world crowns as part of Czechoslovakia, started lively and Plekanec put them in front 6:55 into the game sending home a rebound after Kazakhstan goaltender Vitali Kolesnik parried David Pastrnak's shot.
Evgeny Kuznetsov and rationalizing a Stanley Cup Playoff bust (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 12 May 2016 07:33:10 PDT)
The Washington Capitals failed to reach the Eastern Conference Final again. It was Alex Ovechkin’s eighth attempt at doing so, and the eighth time one of his teams fell short. Luckily for every rational observer of the NHL, the “Blame Ovechkin” bandwagon has lost a wheel and fallen over a cliff. He did everything he could to lead this team to victory: on the ice, off the ice, on the scoresheet. That there are finally more stories being written to preemptively dismiss criticism of his efforts than actual critiques of his efforts hopefully means the death of that trope. Their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins was extraordinarily tight. It was one goal that separated them in Game 6, and one goal that separated them in the series. The Capitals got the better of the 5-on-5 play overall, but they lost two of three overtime games, including the one on which the series pivoted: Game 4, as the Penguins missed Kris Letang and Olli Maatta but the Capitals couldn’t, well, capitalize. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] All of this is to say that one goal here or there and it’s a different series. As Justin Williams, who knows a thing or two about scoring a key playoff goal, said after Game 6: “You have to own big moments. We owned some of them. Just not enough of them. Obviously not the big one tonight.” When it comes to big moments, the expectation was that a player like Evgeny Kuznetsov would have provided them. His goal in Game 7 against the New York Islanders last postseason promised as much. His 77-point season, leading all Capitals players, promised more. Considering that, Kuznetsov was an epic disappointment in the 2015-16 playoffs: Two points in 12 games. A power-play goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3. A power-play assist against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2. And nothing else. There were games in which he disappeared, like Game 6 against the Flyers and Game 1 against the Penguins, when he didn’t hit the net with a shot. And there were games in which he was present but with nothing to show for it, like in Games 4 and 6 against the Penguins, when he had six shots on goal. But again: Your leading scorer had two points in the playoffs. Your leading scorer didn’t have a goal in nine straight games. Normally, this might get a player filleted. Like, for example, when Alex Semin followed his 40-goal regular season in 2009-10 with no goals in that seven-game disaster against the Montreal Canadiens, losing to an eighth seed. Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post called the Capitals a “regular season team” and suggested one remedy would be to “probably get rid of Semin, who is reluctant to go to the net, takes foolish penalties and squeezes his stick too tight under pressure with no goals in his last 14 playoff games.” Now, you’d have to be a [expletive] idiot to suggest the same for Kuznetsov, who’s a brilliant young talent who had a bad playoff season. But it doesn’t change the fact it was a bad playoff season – or does it? From Ian Oland of Russian Machine Never Breaks: Evgeny Kuznetsov Was Actually Really Good I get it. You love dashboard stats. Me too. We all love sick goals and fancy assists. Evgeny Kuznetsov led the team in regular season points. In the playoffs, not so much. He had two points in 12 games, the same amount as Karl Alzner. So clearly Kuzy was the reason for the Caps demise. Except he wasn’t. His underlying play, measured in shot attempts and scoring chances, was tremendous. According to Pat Holden, Kuznetsov’s offensive production actually increased from the regular season . It’s just that his line’s shooting percentage cratered. So don’t blame Evgeny Kuznetsov. Don’t worry about Evgeny Kuznetsov (unless you’re worried that he’s going to feel bad because he probably will because he’s Evgeny Kuznetsov and he cares so much). Kuzy’s a great player and he is going to be even better next year. It’s not his first rodeo. See, this is where the analytics movement runs into a brick wall trying to convert the naysayers: When your leading scorer has one assist in six-game a semifinal round series, and the argument is made that “his offensive production actually increased from the regular season.” When the third-best even strength player in points production in the NHL this season – 59 of his 77 points were generated there – doesn’t get one in 12 playoff games. But, you know, dashboard stats … Look, it’s not Kuznetsov’s fault the Capitals lost. But it’s foolish to think that had their leading scorer been able to create one or two more goals against Pittsburgh, it might have been a different series. And series outcome. Criticism of him can be tempered by the fact the Penguins’ own big guns didn’t fire. Perhaps there was an injury. Perhaps coach Barry Trotz should have put him in more offensively advantageous spots during the postseason. Perhaps we’re just numb to the idea that a leading regular-season player for the Capitals doesn’t produce similar results in the playoffs. Perhaps likeability trumps honest assessment. It’s just interesting to think about how Ovechkin and Semin used to have their numbers put through the ringer, and this disappointment by Kuznetsov is ignored or explained away. -- Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
Finland beat Hungary to go top of their world ice hockey championship group
(Wed, 11 May 2016 13:02:27 PDT)
Two-time former champions Finland consolidated their Group B lead at the world ice hockey championship with a confident 3-0 win over promoted Hungary at Saint Petersburg on Wednesday. Toronto Maple Leafs center Leo Komarov collected two points for assists, while goalie Juuse Saros made just 13 saves for a shutout setting up Finland's win, which lifted them top of their group, three points ahead of reigning champions Canada, who have a game in hand. The Finns outshot Hungary 38-9 in the first two periods but Magyar goaltender Adam Vay was catching and deflecting almost all the pucks thrown at him.
Former NHLer Nigel Dawes takes penalty with leaping dive (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 10 May 2016 12:03:27 PDT)
Former NHLer Nigel Dawes took a big dive in his 2016 IIHF World Championships preliminary round game. Dawes, who is playing for Kazakhstan, leaped through the air after Team Norway defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen tugged on Dawes’ knee with his stick blade. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] Dawes received a penalty for embellishment and Tollefsen took a hooking penalty. Norway ended up beating Kazakhstan 3-2 Dawes played 212 games in the NHL and notched 84 points between the New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers, and Montreal Canadiens. He has spent the last six years playing with Barys Astana in the KHL and has reportedly received Kazakh citizenship . The 31-year-old Dawes was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Kazakhstan team is also coached by Andrei Nazarov, who is known for some of the more outlandish behind-the-bench antics in hockey . MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper
Predators and survival; Blues on the edge (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 10 May 2016 10:30:44 PDT)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
2016 NHL Draft: First Round (Rotoworld)
(Tue, 10 May 2016 07:13:00 PDT)
Rotoworld takes its first look at the upcoming NHL Draft as the Maple Leafs should grab Auston Matthews.
What We Learned: Dallas Stars burned by terrible goaltending (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 09 May 2016 06:56:46 PDT)
(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.) No one would argue that what the Dallas Stars are dealing with in goaltending this postseason is in any way helpful. Kari Lehtonen is checking in with a white-hot .901 save percentage through nine appearances, including the three goals on 21 shots he conceded in Saturday's 4-1 loss to St. Louis. Antti Niemi, meanwhile, has played in four separate games and sits at .872. That is flat-out not going to win you any hockey games, and it's a trend from the regular season that's only getting worse. Both played at least 43 games, and both were more or less the same goaltender: .906 for Lehtonen, and .905 for Niemi. When the league average goaltender is .915, it's safe to say that they cost their team — which by the way was quite good — plenty of games. Their play alone cost the Stars about 22 goals, or roughly four points in the standings, versus what a league-average netminder would have done. The good news for Dallas is that their offensive talent is so robust, even without Tyler Seguin, that it barely matters. Stars shooters tortured Devan Dubnyk for an .877 save percentage (21 goals allowed on 164 shots), but have run into a bit of a wall in Brian Elliott (10 on 158, or .937). And still, the series is 3-2. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] Now, it's absolutely unreasonable to expect any goaltender to match .937 over five games. That is steal-a-series goaltending, full stop. But you really have to say that Elliott isn't so much stealing things as Niemi and Lehtonen are giving it away of their own accord. You simply cannot allow 16 goals on 143 shots and expect to win much over any length of time. And really, it's easy to pinpoint where the Stars' troubles come from. It's the front of the net. Of the 18 goaltenders who have played at least 100 minutes in this postseason, Niemi has the worst high-danger save percentage at 5-on-5 of anyone. Lehtonen's is fifth-worst. And that's all you need to know about the situation, really. Combined, they've given up a postseason-leading 21 full-strength goals in 11 games, and all but four of them have been from high-danger areas. There is no defending these numbers. When looking at all the numbers, I wondered whether this was a product of the Stars — who don't exactly have a world-class blue line group — giving up a particularly large number of high-danger shots on goal. Looking at all the numbers that didn't seem like a particularly likely outcome, but it had to be investigated. They don't, though. The 7.6 conceded per 60 minutes is actually a little below the league average of 8.1, and they're also on the lower side in terms of high-danger attempts per 60 as well. In fact, Dallas is better than average at suppressing all qualities of shots. However, they do give up a larger percentage of high-danger chances than all but two other playoff teams still standing. In all, more than 29 percent of the shots they concede are from right around the net, and only Tampa (32.3 percent) and San Jose (30.3 percent) are worse. However, both those teams actually have competent goalies, and therefore seem well-positioned to move into the conference finals. It should be noted, too, that San Jose is the best shot-suppression team in the league this postseason, while Tampa plays higher-event hockey to begin with, out-run-and-gunning the Stars with more shots both taken and conceded per 60. So yup, Niemi and Lehtonen are just not very good. And at this point, it looks like that's going to be the reason the Stars lose this series, or even if they somehow advance (highly unlikely; most estimates only give them about 20 percent odds of winning the next two games), the reason they lose in the next round. Now if you're Jim Nill, you're looking at a very sticky situation going forward. Here are two goalies signed with massive cap hits for each of the next two seasons. Lehtonen is at $5.9 million (uuuggghhh) and Niemi at a slightly more manageable but still probably not too wise $4.5 million. Lehtonen also has a limited no-trade clause for the entirety of his remaining years ( uuuuuuuuuggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh ). That makes it one of the sneakiest bad contracts in the entire NHL, because it both pays a goalie who is clearly in decline too much money, and makes it difficult or even impossible to move him. Near as I can tell, the details of Lehtonen's no-trade clause are not publicly available and we therefore do not know exactly how many teams he can veto as potential trade destinations. Even if it's just, say, five other clubs, that significantly limits the number of potential suitors where he could end up, if Dallas could find a trade partner willing to take on the money. Which is a big if. What you have to keep in mind about Lehtonen is that he's dropped off a cliff in terms of quality the last two seasons. He routinely outperformed league averages prior to 2014-15, but since then he's been well below. And unfortunately, goalies on on the wrong side of 30 who have suffered plenty of injuries over the years tend not to rebound too well.
Canadiens sign forward Artturi Lehkonen to 3-year contract (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 08 May 2016 20:31:38 PDT)
MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens signed Finnish forward Artturi Lehkonen to a three-year, two-way contact Sunday.
Czechs beat Latvia to stay top of group at ice hockey world championships
(Sat, 07 May 2016 14:31:12 PDT)
Czech Republic, seeking their first ice hockey world title since 2010, maintained their lead in Group A of the world championships with a 4-3 shootout win over Latvia on Saturday. Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec scored twice in the first period to give the Czechs a comfortable 2-0 lead, but Latvia never gave up and levelled with goals by Roberts Bukarts and Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons.
What We Learned: How Lightning unlocked Jonathan Drouin’s dominance (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 02 May 2016 06:46:16 PDT)
(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.) That Jonathan Drouin has stepped up to become a big contributor for the Tampa Bay Lightning in this postseason should only be surprising because of how the team treated him this season. The story's been told over and over again, but Drouin had difficulty gaining the trust of coach Jon Cooper for reasons still unclear. Things got so bad that he requested a trade early in the season, and ended up being sent down to the AHL about two months later. Then there was the failure to report drama, and then the dominant performances with Syracuse — 11-2-13 and 55(!) shots on goal in 17 games — before he was recalled late in the season. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] Frankly, he was pressed into service by the revelation that Steven Stamkos needed surgery thanks to a blood clot. One imagines he would have gotten the call-up for the postseason anyway, given that Syracuse failed to make the Calder Cup playoffs, but certainly we can guess that he wouldn't be playing the role he has to this point for the big club. That role has been significant. He's got 1-6-7 with 19 shots in seven games, including his 1-1-2 performance in Saturday afternoon's win. In the first round, he was deployed by Cooper far more liberally than at any point in his career, pulling a little more than 18 minutes per night. In the second round against a better Tampa team, he's back down to less than 15, but is scoring anyway. Now, we can talk at length about the reasons why Drouin's career in Tampa is off to a disappointing start. He's played 91 games for the Bolts and piled up just 8-34-42, which isn't particularly good. He has been a bit unlucky in terms of the puck going in for him, but also doesn't generate a lot of shots. Further, because he's playing so few minutes per game — just 13:31 in the regular season for his career — one can reasonably assume the quality of competition he faces should give a player of his skill level a greater opportunity to pile up points. Data shows that, in terms of 5-on-5 points per 60, the only players to have outperformed Drouin over a period of two seasons at the time of his send-down was the original Triplet line. Drouin was scoring more — despite a crap shooting percent of 3.8 at full strength — than even Stamkos. Over his 89 games, in fact, his points per 60 total was one of the highest numbers in the league. Still, Cooper used him in much the same way as he did Cedric Paquette, which is to say “sparingly.” Which is to say “perhaps unwisely.” Now, you can't really argue with the results Cooper has gotten over that time, but one wonders whether the potential misuse of Drouin might have hindered his team at points anyway. How many of those losses or overtime results might have turned into wins had Drouin been put in an actual position to succeed? It stands to reason that if Drouin can score more proficiently than Stamkos at 5-on-5, even with his ice time coming mostly against fairly soft competition (his most common defenders faced in his career are Josh Gorges, Brendan Smith, Kyle Quincey, Torey Krug, and Rasmus Ristolainen), then a player of his obvious skill level should also be able to score pretty effectively on the power play. However, that really hasn't been the case for most of his career. In the last two regular seasons, Drouin scores fewer points per 60 than Ryan Callahan. One can assume there are a number of reasons for this, but perhaps the most glaring is his near-constant deferrals to other players. In about 168:30 of power play ice time over 89 games (about 1:53 per night), he has just nine shots on goal, a stunningly low number. Brett Connolly, who hasn't been with the club for more than a full season at this point, has more power play shots for the Lightning. He's attempted just 22. One wonders why that would be the case but obviously it was something that needed to be corrected. Maybe this is one of those issues where a problem like “a lack of confidence” comes into play, because it was fairly clear to everyone paying attention that Drouin didn't exactly have his coach's trust despite his overwhelming talent. Full stop: He shouldn't be getting a smaller percentage of his team's power play minutes than Jonathan Marchessault. Anyway, all that's in the past, etc. Because with Stamkos out, it's handy for Tampa to have had a high-skill forward sitting around who they weren't using too much, and his usage has consequently skyrocketed. Where before he was playing mostly third- and even fourth-line competition, he's now up on the team's second line. We're talking small samples against not-great teams here, so take all this for what it's worth, but while Triplets 2.0 are all scoring more than three points per 60 at 5-on-5 in this postseason, Drouin is the only other Bolt north of two. He's also been a possession giant (nearly 55 percent). Again, pushing around Detroit's second liners and all that, but you can only ask him to be better than his competition, and he plainly has been. But what's also notable is that in Stamkos's absence, Drouin is getting his power play minutes, and making hay with them. He's getting nearly two-thirds of all Tampa's PP TOI and leads Tampa forwards in points per 60 (at 8.76!) despite not scoring a single goal. That's roughly John Tavares territory, and ninth among all forwards in the league this postseason. Look how much of a difference he's seen:
Masterton Trophy Finalists: Dupuis vs. Jagr vs. Zuccarello (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 01 May 2016 13:42:26 PDT)
Pascal Dupuis of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers and Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2015-16 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Toronto win draft lottery, get first overall pick
(Sat, 30 Apr 2016 19:31:54 PDT)
(Reuters) - The rebuilding plans of the woeful Toronto Maple Leafs received a shot in the arm when they won the first overall selection in the National Hockey League draft lottery on Saturday. Although Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan would not reveal who his team will choose at the draft in Buffalo on June 24, American teenager center Auston Matthews, is the consensus top pick, followed by Finnish forwards Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi. "It’s a team sport and not about one guy," Shanahan told NBC Sports.
NHL-Toronto win draft lottery, get first overall pick
(Sat, 30 Apr 2016 19:17:29 PDT)
* Maple Leafs coming off another poor season * Expected to take American teenager Matthews * Draft scheduled for June 24 (Adds details, quotes) April 30 (Reuters) - The rebuilding plans of the woeful Toronto Maple Leafs received a shot in the arm when they won the first overall selection in the National Hockey League draft lottery on Saturday. Although Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan would not reveal who his team will choose at the draft in Buffalo on June 24, American teenager center Auston Matthews, is the consensus top pick, followed by Finnish forwards Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi. "It's a team sport and not about one guy," Shanahan told NBC Sports.
Maple Leafs, Jets and Blue Jackets earn top spots in new NHL Draft Lottery (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 30 Apr 2016 17:34:32 PDT)
Worst season of THE BACHELORETTE ever #NHLDraftLottery pic.twitter.com/tFY6KUcval — Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) May 1, 2016 None of the Canadian teams made it into the playoffs, but in the end, Canada still won. The Toronto Maple Leafs had the highest odds of winning the first overall spot, and this time the Edmonton Oilers didn't screw everything up. The Leafs will select first, and are likely take good American boy, Auston Matthews. In the revamped version of the draft, the first three spots were drawn. The remaining two spots went to lottery winners: the Winnipeg Jets, who moved up from sixth to second, and the Columbus Blue Jackets who moved up from fourth to third. Take a look at the odds of each team landing their spot and where they ended up: Odd of Team Winning 1st Drawing Results 1. Toronto Maple Leafs 20.0% 1 Toronto Maple Leafs 2. Edmonton Oilers 13.5% 2 Winnipeg Jets 3. Vancouver Canucks 11.5% 3 Columbus Blue Jackets 4. Columbus Blue Jackets 9.5% 4 Edmonton Oilers 5. Calgary Flames 8.5% 5 Vancouver Canucks 6. Winnipeg Jets 7.5% 6 Calgary Flames 7. Arizona Coyotes 6.5% 7 Arizona Coyotes 8. Buffalo Sabres 6.0% 8 Buffalo Sabres 9. Montreal Canadiens 5.0% 9 Montreal Canadiens 10. Colorado Avalanche 3.5% 10 Colorado Avalanche 11. New Jersey Devils 3.0% 11 New Jersey Devils 12. Ottawa Senators 2.5% 12 Ottawa Senators 13. Carolina Hurricanes 2.0% 13 Carolina Hurricanes 14. Boston Bruins 1.0% 14 Boston Bruins Not sure how this all happened? Here's the NHL's explanation of the selection process overall: The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery will assign the top three drafting slots in the first round of the NHL Draft – an expansion over previous years, when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection only. Three draws will be held: the first Lottery draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the second Lottery draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the third Lottery draw will determine the club selecting third overall. As a result of this change, the team earning the fewest points during the regular season will no longer be guaranteed, at worst, the second overall pick. That club could fall as low as fourth overall. The allocation of odds for the first Lottery draw will be the same as for the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery. The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the second Lottery draw, based on which club wins the first Lottery draw, and again for the third Lottery draw, based on which club wins the second Lottery draw. The 11 clubs not selected in the Draft Lottery will be assigned NHL Draft selections 4 through 14, in inverse order of regular-season points. The draft itself will take place June 24-25 in Buffalo, New York. - - - - - - - Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @MsJenNeale_PD . MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY: