Archive for December, 2015

Top 10 games of 2015 (Puck Daddy Year in Hockey) (Puck Daddy)

By at 29 December, 2015, 3:21 pm

(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)    The year 2015 saw many memorable hockey games. From overtime thrillers in the playoffs, to big international victories and stirring championship wins, 2015 delivered. The Chicago Blackhawks were strongly represented in this year’s list. Not only did they play in important games, a lot of their contests were hotly contested and wildly entertaining. “When you’re playing in April, May and June all eyes are on you,” former Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said in a recent interview with Puck Daddy. Below are the top 10 games of 2015. 10. The 2015 Winter Classic (Jan. 1) The Washington Capitals beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in a tightly-played game between the two teams. Caps forward Troy Brouwer fired the game-winner with 12.9 seconds left in front of 42,832 fans at Nationals Park. Cold, dry weather led to solid ice conditions and better gameplay. The only problem during the game was a bright glare, that led to Caps defenseman Karl Alzner wearing sunglasses.   9. Nashville Predators at Los Angeles Kings (Jan. 3) The Los Angeles Kings were down 5-1 and 6-3 in a home game against the Nashville Predators, but stormed back in the final two minutes, on goals by Dwight King, Marian Gaborik and Jeff Carter,  to force overtime. The Predators won the game 7-6 on a Roman Josi score 18 seconds into the extra session. 8. New York Rangers at New York Islanders (Feb. 16) Both teams combined for 85 shots on goal in a rocking Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It wasn’t the final game between the two teams at the building, but it was the most memorable of the 2014-15 season. The Islanders held a 5-3 lead after Ryan Strome’s goal at the 3:43 mark of the third period. New York fired three unanswered goals, punctuated by Kevin Klein’s game-winner at the 15:28 mark to give the team a 6-5 victory.  7. Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators (March 19) The Ottawa Senators were in the midst of their unexpected march to the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, and broke a 4-4 tie with two third period goals, a score midway through the frame by Bobby Ryan and an empty netter by Kyle Turris, to beat the Bruins 6-4. This pulled the Sens to within two points of Boston for the postseason. After the game, hamburgers were thrown on the ice in honor of Ottawa goaltender Andrew ‘Hamburglar’ Hammond, whose heroics helped spark Ottawa’s run to the playoffs. 6. Team Canada erases WJC frustrations with gold medal win against Russia (Jan. 5)   Canada built a 5-1 lead over Russia in the WJC championship game, and held on for a 5-4 victory, ending the country’s gold medal drought that dated back to 2009. The win helped ease the pain of Canada’s 2011 loss where they blew a 3-0 third period lead to Russia in the WJC championship. Max Domi scored one goal and added two assists and teammate Anthony Duclair scored a goal.

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New York Rangers vs. the snowball effect (Puck Daddy)

By at 29 December, 2015, 9:30 am

The New York Rangers (44 points) are in a 4-10-2 plummet after Monday night’s loss to the Nashville Predators.  If they squint hard enough, they can see the Washington Capitals waving goodbye as they run away with the Metropolitan Division. Over their collective shoulders are the New York Islanders (43 points) in third place, with the New Jersey Devils (39 points) and Pittsburgh Penguins (37) within striking distance. There’s no panic in the words of the players, but the fans would like to see some urgency – if not from the Rangers, then from Rangers management, which can’t look at the way this team has played through 37 games and think it’s anything but a playoff elimination waiting to happen. They’re 28th in the NHL in Corsi percentage at 46.7 percent, ahead of only Ottawa and Colorado. Their defense has hung Henrik Lundqvist out to dry like a used bathing suit on a Marriott balcony. They thrived on being one of the better counter-punch teams in the NHL for the first two months of the season, before they went counter-punchless. But as Henrik Lundqvist, pulled again Monday night, said of the loss to the Preds:  “We did a lot of good things.  It was just a few minutes in the third, we get hurt big time. It’s been the case in too many games now and it’s extremely disappointing and frustrating.” Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News encapsulated what we’ve seen from the Rangers in the last month, writing about their 5-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Monday: Vigneault’s team resides in a dark place where mistakes regularly snowball into catastrophes. Derick Brassard’s “totally unnecessary” roughing penalty on Predators forward Miikka Salomaki (assist), in Vigneault’s words, led to Forsberg’s first-period goal. Kevin Hayes’ now-patented play – a turnover followed by failing to get back on defense – gave Neal the go-ahead goal at 13:48 of the second. From Andrew Gross of Rangers Rants: The Rangers continue to exhibit one of the most glaring weaknesses of a fragile team: When something goes bad, multiple things seem to go bad. The Rangers, trailing 2-1, caught a break when Filip Forsberg’s apparent goal at 5:18 of the third period was overruled via a coach’s challenge with Craig Smith in the paint interfering with Henrik Lundqvist. But the Predators still took a 3-1 lead at 7:34 and, in short order, that became a 5-1 deficit. The Rangers, playing for the first time since Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Ducks, got off to a sluggish start as they found their legs but were playing better by the end of the first period and even better still in the second period. But it unraveled so quickly in the third period and that’s just something that doesn’t happen with this alarming frequency to good teams. Snowballs turning into avalanches. Two-goal deficits ballooning to four-goal holes in a blink. Such are the Rangers at the moment. “Fragile” is a good term, too. The Rangers are still one of the best closers in sports: 14-0-0 when leading after two periods.  When trailing after two periods this season? They’re 0-10-1, one of only five teams that haven’t rallied for a win yet this season. (The others? Colorado, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Toronto.) The Rangers remain a team that, when they’re on, can look like a champion. Problem is that they’ve been “on” for about 10 minutes a game over the last month. Otherwise, they’re all waiting for that snowball to start tumbling down the mountainside.  ____ Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.  His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK , is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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NHL standings (Reuters)

By at 29 December, 2015, 12:45 am

Dec 29 (Infostrada Sports) – Standings from the NHL on Monday WESTERN CONFERENCECENTRAL DIVISION W L OTL GF GA PTS 1. Dallas 27 7 3 129 91 57 2. St. Louis 22 12 4 95 90 48 3. Minnesota 19 10 6 95 84 44 4. Chicago 20 13 4 97 89 44 5. Nashville 18 12 6 9…

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Islanders-Maple Leafs Preview (The Associated Press)

By at 28 December, 2015, 6:34 pm

While the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have finally found themselves, the New York Islanders are still lost. The latest chapter of each story features the other as the Maple Leafs will try to sweep a home-and-home set on Tuesday night against the vis…

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Top 10 fan moments of 2015 (Puck Daddy Year in Hockey) (Puck Daddy)

By at 28 December, 2015, 3:09 pm

(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)    There were plenty of of fan-related moments in 2015, some of which we’ve covered in previous top 10 lists. Carey Price and the in-game selfie with a fan? Dynamite. A Dallas Stars fan delivering Tyler Seguin In-and-Out burger during summer training? Fantastic. Hockey fans are certainly a unique bunch and these 10 moments from 2015 certainly show that. 10. New York Islanders fan proudly reveals location of where son was conceived (Vine via @KeithLHHockey ) Bless you, Joy Rosen of Long Island , for giving the world this memorable Nassau Coliseum story. 9. Pittsburgh Penguins come through for young fan after old man swipes puck  

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US falls to Sweden 1-0 at world juniors (The Associated Press)

By at 28 December, 2015, 2:58 pm

Linus Soderstrom made 46 saves and Alexander Nylander scored and Sweden shut out the United States 1-0 on Monday in the world junior hockey championship. Nylander scored on a second-period breakaway. The United States, which fell to 1-1 after beating…

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Murray calls out Ducks; Marchand’s rise; Wilson rips TSN (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)

By at 28 December, 2015, 1:31 pm

Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .   When Babs’ family has their #Babsocks pulled up, you know it’s time you do the same! #babsbuds #TMLtalk pic.twitter.com/6MkOb5tUv1 — Babsocks (@Babsocks) December 25, 2015 • Congrats to the makers of Babsocks . You’ve hit it big. [ Babsocks ] • General manager Bob Murray recently called out the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks started the year with championship aspirations but are currently out of a playoff spot. [ Orange County Register ] • An all-encompassing look at Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand – how he developed into one of the NHL’s top players this season.  [ Boston Globe] • Team USA World Juniors coach Ron Wilson said the Canadian television network TSN has “created this unconscionable amount of pressure on these young guys.” Wilson added, “The Canadian guys have to be squeezing their sticks today because of all the pressure that TSN puts on them.” [ Buzzing The Net ] • Swiss forward Chris Egli was suspended three games at the World Junior Championships for a blindside hit of Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander. [ Buzzing the Net ] • Ranking the top 10 players in World Junior history. [ Greatest Hockey Legends ] • Ever wonder about that cameraman at University of North Dakota games? “A number of quirky things happen each Friday and Saturday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena that make it a unique place to watch a hockey game. One of them is cameraman Marv Leier, standing in his prime spot between the benches with a different hockey jersey—whether it be from youth hockey, juniors, minor leagues, college, NHL or European teams—on each night.” [ Grand Forks Herald ] • Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov explains what it’s like to play hockey in Russia. [ Players’ Tribune ] • San Antonio Rampage mascot T-Bone decided to interact with Texas Stars players in their game last weekend. [ Wrong Side of the Redline ] • The Swedish players on the Nashville Predators have created quite a community. [ Tennessean ] • Former Boston Bruins tough guys Terry O’Reilly talks about fighting in hockey. [ WBUR ] • Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbhere finds inspiration from his sister. [ Philly.com ] • The Anaheim Ducks have recalled defenseman Shea Theodore from San Diego of the AHL. Ducks blueliner Cam Fowler suffered a sprained knee in the team’s Sunday win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Fowler is out an undetermined amount of time .  [ San Diego Gulls ] • Though the NHL has not made a formal announcement on expansion, prospective Las Vegas owner Bill Foley is still moving forward with plans that an NHL team will come to Sin City. [ ESPN ] • St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen noticed a dry-cleaning tag on a cameraman’s coat in a postgame interview. [ Blues ] • Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan praises his team’s young players. [ Mayor’s Manor] • Vancouver Canucks 27-year-old defenseman Alex Biega is finally living his NHL dream after playing 347 games in the American Hockey League.  [ Vancouver Sun ] • The New York Islanders’ rebuild is over. The team is a contender. How did their rebuild stack up with others in the NHL? [ Lighthouse Hockey ] • Reebok-CCM has been told they can’t claim their helmets can prevent concussions. [ CBC] • The top 10 hockey card and collectible stories of 2015. [ Puck Junk ] • A midseason report card for the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL.[ Today’s Slapshot] • Finally, Kari Lehtonen gets photobombed in a postgame interview. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY    

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NHL standings (Reuters)

By at 27 December, 2015, 10:49 pm

Dec 28 (Infostrada Sports) – Standings from the NHL on Sunday WESTERN CONFERENCECENTRAL DIVISION W L OTL GF GA PTS 1. Dallas 27 7 3 129 91 57 2. St. Louis 22 12 4 95 90 48 3. Chicago 20 13 4 97 89 44 4. Minnesota 18 10 6 92 83 42 5. Nashville 17 12 6 9…

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