The Canucks are in a dogfight for a playoff berth, and are battling division rivals Calgary, San Jose and Los Angeles – as well as Winnipeg and the hard-charging Minnesota Wild – to make it back to the post-season after missing out in 2013-14. And although they beat the New York Islanders Sunday night, they lost star goalie Ryan Miller to an injury that may seriously impact the rest of his season – and the odds of Vancouver making the playoffs.
Adam Proteau, currently the brand's columnist/writer, has worked for The Hockey News since 2002 and won the Professional Hockey Writers' award for best column in 2006. He also won the Esso Medal of Achievement for most improved player as a 13-year-old at the 'A' level in 1985, but he's less proud of that.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has had his share of meltdowns prior to Sunday’s game against the Blackhawks. But when the star netminder snapped after surrendering a goal to Jonathan Toews late in the first period, his stick-swinging freak-out managed to take down Hawks winger Kris Versteeg with a nasty slash.
Rask had taken a penalty for playing the puck in the restricted area with eight seconds left in the first – and just six seconds after Chicago’s power play began, the Hawks capitalized with his 17th goal of the season with 1.4 seconds remaining. The veteran Finnish goalie was less than pleased: (via Reddit user Sunjot) Read more
Veteran Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is famous for his willingness to block shots. But it takes a special kind of NHLer to put his body in front of a slap shot from Bruins behemoth Zdeno Chara. And as he showed Sunday by taking a shot from Chara directly in the stomach, Hjalmarsson is one of those special kind of guys.
Chara – who still holds the NHL All-Star record for hardest shot (108.8 km/hour) – wound up and fired toward the Hawks net, but Hjalmarsson was directly in the line of fire and took the puck right in his mid-section: (GIF via Reddit user ersal) Read more
Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly made a mistake in front of a reporter on Friday. People make mistakes every day in every profession, but the public nature of Rielly’s job propels into the spotlight everything he does, whether it’s good or bad.
And don’t fool yourself: what he said on Friday was a mistake. We should take him at his word when he says he meant no disrespect, but in making a throwaway comment denigrating women as lesser than men, Rielly was absolutely wrong. That doesn’t mean he needed to be suspended, imprisoned or crucified, or that nobody will ever forgive him for it. It means he was wrong.
I said as much in a series of Tweets, and then a very strange, sad and telling thing happened. In replying to the tweets, two larger groups formed: women who agreed Rielly’s use of the word “girl” as a pejorative was a problem; and men who angrily lashed out just at the thought of having a discussion about it, let alone actually taking any steps to address it.
Go look at the conversations for yourself. The only conclusion you can arrive at is there’s a stark separation in reaction, and it happens across gender lines. If that fact on its own doesn’t tell hockey’s power brokers (who are, for the record, men) there’s a chasm of understanding that needs to be bridged, nothing will.
Now, that didn’t stop some men – including the usual toadies to power and status quo sycophants in the sports media – from falling on their backs, pounding their fists into the floor, dropping their soothers and crying out about their personal boogeyman, “The Outrage Police”.
If you’re unfamiliar with the embarrassing concept, The Outrage Police is an imaginary constabulary formed by people with whom you don’t agree on a particular subject. Read more
Veteran Flyers goalie Ray Emery is a 10-year NHL veteran who will turn 33 in September. But as he showed in spectacularly robbing Buffalo’s Tyler Ennis of a shootout goal Thursday in Philadelphia, Emery has still got the capability of rising to the occasion and getting the job done.
The Sabres and Flyers were tied at two goals apiece after overtime, and with Philly still within six points of the final wild card berth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the extra point mattered for the home team. That urgency was reflected in Emery’s play when Ennis stepped up to take Buffalo’s third shootout shot of the night: Read more
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is playing his tenth NHL season. And thanks to his actions in Thursday’s game against Columbus – a game in which Crosby got into a showdown with Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky – the superstar center is edging closer to averaging one fight per year after recording the seventh fight of his career.
Crosby’s first fight of this season occurred late in the second period of the game at Consol Energy Center when he and Dubinsky became tangled up in the corner. The nastiness quickly spiked, but what ensued was mostly just thrown gloves and a whole bunch of clutching: (video via SomeHockeyVideos) Read more
New York Islanders forward Mikhail Grabovski has a long history of head injuries over the course of his eight NHL seasons, and he had another incident to add to the list Thursday after absorbing a massive check from Nashville winger Eric Nystrom.
The Isles had a 1-0 lead approaching the midway point of the first period at Nassau Coliseum when Grabovski grabbed the puck deep in his own zone and took it to the top of the circle with his head down. That’s when Nystrom laid into him: (video via Somehockeyvideos) Read more
Normally when news breaks on a Friday afternoon, it’s a negative sign for all involved parties. But when the NHL’s website makes news tomorrow by announcing significant alterations – namely, the addition of a slew of advanced statistics – it will be for a positive reason. It represents the vindication of and a step forward for a group of fans and observers who see value in metrics foreign to the mainstream. It will offer more information – a.k.a. fuel for debate and analysis that drives interest in the sport – to a consumer base with an insatiable appetite for it.
It won’t be a perfect announcement, of course – the advanced stats commonly known as Corsi and Fenwick will respectively be renamed “shot attempts” and “unblocked shot attempts,” irking some in the fancy stats community – but in the bigger picture, the nomenclature used by the NHL is of little consequence. In the big picture, this is the official dawning of a new day in league history, and that’s to be celebrated.
People, hockey leagues and their on-ice product all evolve organically. Statistics are no different. Read more