Cooper for Adams; Nyquist rules; ‘Miracle’ stick missing (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)

By at 25 March, 2014, 1:29 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.

• Via Reddit, counting to 99 using hockey jerseys. Brian Savage sighting!
• Mirtle doing what Mirtle does best: breaking down what went wrong with the Maple Leafs. [ Globe and Mail ]
• Ryan Lambert on why Jon Cooper is the only choice for this year’s Jack Adams Award. [ Backhand Shelf ]
• Gustav Nyquist has gone from AHL call-up to the NHL’s hottest player in March. [ Yahoo ]
• Teuvo Teravainen will make his highly-anticipated debut tonight for the Blackhawks. [ ESPN Chicago ]
• Evgeni Nabokov has played well for the New York Islanders of late. Could the 38-year old be back with the team next season? [ Newsday ]
• Mike Richards on Jeff Carter being booed by Flyers fans Monday night: “I got it last time so I gave him a heads up. They boo Santa Claus, so they’re not going to not boo Richards or Carter.” [ South Jersey Times ]
• Which Buffalo Sabres goalie is their no. 1? Four have tended net since Ryan Miller was dealt to St. Louis. [ Buffalo News ]
• Here’s the 2014 NCAA D-I men’s hockey tournament bracket. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Boston College and Union are your no. 1 seeds. [ College Hockey News ]
• Did you miss the story of the QMJHL player who had his fingertip ripped off by a slap shot? [ Buzzing the Net ]

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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Dallas closes wild card gap; Eastern bubble bobble tonight (Puck Daddy)

By at 25 March, 2014, 7:40 am

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
The Dallas Stars’ 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets, combined with the Phoenix Coyotes’ overtime loss in New York, pushed them to within a point of the last wild card spot in the West.
Oh, and they have a game in-hand. Oh, and Mike Smith got totally hurt last night.
We look at another big night on the bubble in both conferences in today’s Death Watch
Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats ; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their “Tragic Number” hits 0.
Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1 st Wild Card

% Chance of 2 nd Wild Card B

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 1/80/28 (5H/6A)

39

21

Toronto Maple Leafs

WILD CARD 2/80/27 (5H/4A)

14

20

Washington Capitals

9th/79/25 (5H/5A)

19

8

16

Columbus Blue Jackets

10th/78/31 (6H/5A)

20

4

10

New Jersey Devils

11th/75/31 (6H/4A)

15

4

10

Carolina Hurricanes

12th/71/30 (5H/6A)

13

0

1

Ottawa Senators

13th/71/25 (7H/4A)

13

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/63/21 (4H/7A)

5

The four teams surrounding the bubble are all in action tonight.
The Red Wings and Blue Jackets face off in a critical game for both in Columbus. The Leafs host the St. Louis Blues, the best team in the West. The Capitals host the Los Angeles Kings, who are coming off a win in Philly last night.
Here’s how incredibly tight the Eastern Conference wild card is: Depending on the outcomes, the Leafs could find themselves in the first wild card or in 10th place by night’s end.
Higher in the standings, the Rangers regained a one point lead over the Flyers, but Philly has two games in-hand. Montreal’s shootout win over Boston tied them in points with Tampa Bay, who lost a shootout to Ottawa.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/85/30 (5H/5A)

71

21

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/80/29 (5H/5A)

14

35

Dallas Stars

9th/79/31 (4H/7A)

21

14

41

Vancouver Canucks

10th/76/28 (6H/3A)

14

0

2

Winnipeg Jets

11th/73/26 (3H/6A)

11

0

0

Nashville Predators

12th/72/30 (5H/5A)

12

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/67/24 (4H/6A)

7

0

The Jets played hard in Dallas, but their loss drops their tragic number to 11.
The Coyotes are in Pittsburgh tonight to face a Penguins team that’s 26-6-2 on home ice. The Stars are in Chicago tonight to face a Blackhawks team that’s 23-7-7 on home ice.
Keep in mind that these two knuckleheads close the season out in Phoenix, so we might be doing this dance until the end.

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Islanders blank playoff-hopeful Blue Jackets (The SportsXchange)

By at 23 March, 2014, 3:29 pm

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — For the New York Islanders, the tone of a frustrating season was set in their home opener Oct. 5, when they blew a two-goal third-period lead in a shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Almost five months later, one of the few …

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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Huge night for Leafs, Wings and Capitals (Puck Daddy)

By at 22 March, 2014, 7:19 am

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ loss on Rick Nash Appreciation Night dropped them down to the second wild card in the East again.
By the end of Saturday night, they could be on the outside looking in.
The Detroit Red Wings’ game in-hand on Columbus is tonight at the Minnesota Wild. A victory, and the Wings will fly over the Jackets into the final wild card spot, with both team having 12 games remaining.
If the Wings lose in regulation or overtime, the Washington Capitals can hop into the last wild card with 79 points with a win over San Jose – although both Columbus and Detroit will have two games in-hand.
Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats ; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their “Tragic Number” hits 0.
Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1 st Wild Card

% Chance of 2 nd Wild Card B

Toronto Maple Leafs

WILD CARD 1/80/27 (6H/5A)

25

21

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 2/78/31 (6H/6A)

16

17

Detroit Red Wings

9th/77/27 (6H/7A)

25

21

20

Washington Capitals

10th/75/26 (5H/6A)

21

4

9

New Jersey Devils

11th/73/30 (8H/4A)

19

5

10

Carolina Hurricanes

12th/69/29 (5H/7A)

15

0

0

Ottawa Senators

13th/69/25 (7H/6A)

17

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/61/20 (5H/7A)

7

0

Florida Panthers

15th/60/19 (8H/4A)

6

The Rangers face the Devils tonight in a critical game for both teams, as Jersey fights for its playoff life and the Rangers seek to leave the wild card bubble and try to pry home ice away from the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers host St. Louis on Saturday.
Montreal and Toronto play a game with plenty on the line. The Leafs could close within one point of the Habs for third in the Atlantic, which means a first-round battle against Tampa Bay rather than either Boston or Pittsburgh.
The Lightning are at the Penguins. Boston is at Phoenix, after clinching a playoff spot last night.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/83/29 (6H/6A)

72

22

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/79/29 (6H/6A)

18

43

Dallas Stars

9th/75/29 (6H/7A)

22

7

28

Vancouver Canucks

10th/74/27 (7H/3A)

15

0

2

Winnipeg Jets

11th/73/26 (4H/7A)

16

0

2

Nashville Predators

12th/70/29 (4H/7A)

13

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/63/23 (5H/7A)

10

0

0

Edmonton Oilers

14th/59/22 (8H/3A)

2

The Wild host Detroit while the Coyotes host the Bruins. Both West wild card teams have 12 games left.
The Dallas Stars have a game in-hand on both and host the Ottawa Senators tonight, needing a win after losing three games on an Eastern road trip.
A regulation loss for the Oilers to Calgary would eliminate them from postseason contention, as would any combination of two points gained by the Coyotes and lost by Edmonton tonight.

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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Jackets fall to wild card; Caps, Wings alive (Puck Daddy)

By at 19 March, 2014, 7:21 am

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
The Eastern Conference playoff picture was shaken up on Tuesday night thanks to Carolina’s surprising 3-1 win at Columbus.
The Blue Jackets plummeted to the last wild card slot thanks to their loss and the New York Rangers’ win over Ottawa. The Rangers (78 points) kept pace with the Flyers (79) in the second and third spots in the Metropolitan, which essentially means jockeying for home ice while avoiding a potential first round matchup with the Boston Bruins that awaits the lowest wild card.
Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats ; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their “Tragic Number” hits 0.
Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1 st Wild Card

% Chance of 2 nd Wild Card B

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD/76/30 (7H/7A)

10

14

Washington Capitals

9th/76/25 (5H/7A)

24

4

10

Detroit Red Wings

10th/75/26 (7H/7A)

27

16

20

New Jersey Devils

11th/71/29 (9H/4A)

21

3

8

Ottawa Senators

12th/69/25 (8H/6A)

21

1

2

Carolina Hurricanes

13th/69/29 (5H/8A)

19

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/61/20 (5H/7A)

9

0

0

Florida Panthers

15th/60/19 (8H/5A)

10

0

0

The Red Wings (+7.2 percent) and Capitals (+8.4 percent) increased their playoff chances with wins on Tuesday night, although the Caps are racing the clock considering both Columbus and Detroit have two games in-hand on them. The Devils, meanwhile, saw their playoff probability drop by 11.1 percent with their loss to Boston.
On Wednesday night: Another key showdown between the Tampa Bay Lightning (third in the Atlantic, 81 points) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (fourth in the Atlantic, first wild card, 80 points). The Bolts, however, have two games in-hand on the Leafs.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD/77/28 (7H/6A)

16

30

Dallas Stars

9th/75/29 (6H/8A)

26

12

37

Vancouver Canucks

10th/72/26 (8H/3A)

17

0

1

Winnipeg Jets

11th/71/25 (5H/7A)

18

0

1

Nashville Predators

12th/68/28 (5H/8A)

17

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/63/23 (6H/7A)

12

0

0

Edmonton Oilers

14th/59/22 (9H/3A)

6

0

The Stars remain two points out of the last wild card with a game in-hand on Phoenix, despite their loss to Pittsburgh. The Minnesota Wild have the first wild card with 82 points and 13 games remaining.
Meanwhile, Chicago (93 points) faces the St. Louis Blues (101 points) while the Colorado Avalanche (93 points) play at Winnipeg.

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Islanders fans chant ‘We want Moulson!’ in Wild’s victory (Video) (Puck Daddy)

By at 18 March, 2014, 8:02 pm

New York Islanders GM Garth Snow traded away a fan favorite when he gambled on the acquisition of Thomas Vanek earlier this season. The fan favorite came back to haunt the Isles on Tuesday night – and the New York fans let Snow hear their displeasure.
Winger Matt Moulson returned to Long Island for the first time since the Oct. 27, 2013 trade that sent him to the Buffalo Sabres in a multi-part deal for Vanek. Now with the Minnesota Wild, Moulson opened the scoring at 12:23 of the first period and closed it out with a power play goal at 16:34 of the third, as the Wild topped the Islanders, 6-0.
After cheering Moulson on both his goals, Isles fans had a full-on heel turn in the third, chanting “WE WANT MOULSON!” as the Wild mopped up the game.

Ouch.
Now, of course, this could mean that they want Snow to somehow convince Moulson to come back to the Islanders in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, which would likely involve massive amounts of groveling, Charles Wang money and promises that he’ll never leave John Tavares’s wing.
Or it could be a final punch to the gut over the Vanek trade, which ended with disastrous results for Snow.

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Matt Moulson returns to Long Island; ‘I guess they didn’t have the same plans’ (Puck Daddy)

By at 18 March, 2014, 1:40 pm

When Matt Moulson walked into Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday morning, he did something that he’d never done before: He entered the building as an opponent.
A weird feeling, for sure, especially after spending four seasons and 11 games with the New York I…

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Wild-Islanders Preview (The Associated Press)

By at 17 March, 2014, 11:32 pm

Matt Moulson was once part of the New York Islanders’ corps of young and talented scorers but is now trying to help the Minnesota Wild reach the playoffs for a second straight season. He’ll return to the Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night for the first t…

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Bobrovsky, Okposo, Niemi named Three Stars (The SportsXchange)

By at 17 March, 2014, 10:30 am

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo and San Jose Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi were named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week. Bobrovsky posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.58 goals-against average …

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Sharks stay hot, beat Islanders on road (The SportsXchange)

By at 14 March, 2014, 9:17 pm

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Unlike the handful of teams vying for the two Western Conference wild card spots, the San Jose Sharks’ place in the playoffs is secure. But as the Sharks have learned over the last six weeks, the intensity is the same at the top of …

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