Josh Elliott

Josh Elliott is a stay-at-home web editor for Post-to-Post on weekends and a contributor to The Hockey News magazine. From drafts to contracts to trades, he loves the business of hockey and plays nothing but Dynasty Mode in EA’s NHL video games. He’s a Western Journalism grad, a hockey addict and a closet comic book junkie.

Daniel Carcillo deserves a hefty suspension for his ‘hockey play’ hit on Mathieu Perreault

Josh Elliott
Dan Carcillo

Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo needs to rethink his definition of a “hockey play.”

The unrepentant on-ice cannon ball will meet with the league soon to learn his punishment for a dirty cross-check on Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault. The in-person hearing allows for a suspension of five games or more, so it likely won’t be a slap on the wrist.
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What if Joffrey Lupul stayed healthy as a Toronto Maple Leaf?

Josh Elliott
Toronto Maple Leafs' Joffrey Lupul

Back injury. Blood infection. Separated shoulder. Head injury. Arm injury. Lower body injury.

It’s never one thing with Joffrey Lupul – it’s everything. He’s not a banging, crashing, fighting kind of player, yet the 31-year-old Maple Leaf gets injured like he has glass for bones.

That’s not to knock Lupul’s dedication, fitness or work ethic. The guy tries hard. He’s got to hate being injured so often. He’s been a Masterton Trophy finalist, and at the rate he’s going, you could pencil him in as the Leafs’ nominee for the award every year.

But he’s also been one of the more effective points-per-game producers on the Toronto Maple Leafs since he was acquired by the team in 2011, and that begs the question: what could the former seventh overall pick be if he wasn’t always hurt?
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Rob Blake takes his ‘last shift’ as the L.A. Kings retire his No. 4

Josh Elliott
Rob Blake's number retired

With a pre-game tribute, some familiar faces and much fanfare, the Los Angeles Kings honoured one of their former greats (and current assistant GM) Rob Blake in a touching ceremony at the Staples Center in L.A. on Saturday.

“I kind of look at this as the last shift No. 4 will ever take,” Blake told the crowd at the Staples Center.

About 40 former Kings players were on hand for the ceremony, including Luc Robitaille, Kelly Hrudey, Dan Bylsma, Rogie Vachon, Warren Rychel, Mike Donnelly and Blake’s old defence partner, Mattias Norstrom. They all sat on chairs wearing Kings jerseys surrounding a stage with Blake’s No. 4 on it.
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Punchless Maple Leafs can’t even score their way out of trouble now

Josh Elliott
Toronto Maple Leafs Nazem Kadri

Forget the process, the promise of progress and the pleas for patience. How many more games will it take for Toronto Maple Leafs management to realize their squad is broken?

The offensively powerful Maple Leafs have wilted since Peter Horachek took over as coach, averaging just 1.33 goals per game in a season during which they’ve been much closer to scoring three a night.

They were shut out for the third time in four games on Saturday in a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues. James van Riemsdyk led the team with a minus-3, while linemates Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak were each minus-2. Morgan Rielly was the only defender who didn’t get tagged with a minus.

The streaky Leafs are streaking in the wrong direction, repeating their annual tradition of driving the 18-wheeler off a cliff to ruin all hope of a playoff berth.

Saturday was the end of a nightmare road trip that saw the Leafs score just one goal in games against the Blues, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks. Their lone goal came against the Sharks, by the way, who are the weakest of the four killer Western Conference teams.

But quality of competition is an excuse, not a reason for the Leafs’ failures.

The truth is they’ve been losing to everybody, from the lowly Carolina Hurricanes to the mighty Chicago Blackhawks, to teams who are fighting them for positioning like Florida and Washington.

The Leafs have now lost four straight, 12 of their last 15 and five of six games under new coach Peter Horachek.

Much has been made about the Leafs reducing the number of shots against per game, but they bounced back to their season average on Saturday in surrendering 33 to the Blues. And it doesn’t matter how many shots they prevent if they can’t put one past the opposing netminder.

They’re not getting better. They’re getting worse.

It’s a sign that the Leafs just don’t have the psychological fortitude to pull themselves out of these slumps. They can ride the roller coaster to the top of the hill, but all they do is throw their arms up and let it go crashing down on the other side each time.

And rumours of a Ryan O’Reilly trade won’t do anything to fix the Leafs this season. The guy’s a 23-year-old two-way forward with leadership ability, but he can’t be expected to fix this deeply flawed team on his own.

Horachek must be feeling the awful temptation to let go of his defensive demands with the hope that his players will score their way back to mediocrity again. Doing so could cost him control of the locker room, and put him in the same position as predecessor Randy Carlyle: shouting orders at the classroom while the kids continue to blow spit balls at each other.

Horachek loses either way, and in the long term, so does the franchise.

Something’s got to give here, and it won’t be the coach again.

The Leafs’ colossal skid started with a loss to Carolina last December, and they’ll get a chance at redemption against the Canes when they return to Toronto for a game on Monday.

Maybe they’ll find redemption. Or maybe they’ll see how far down this abyss goes.

Goalies scoring goals: a fluky and fabulous history

Mike Smith scores

Reto Berra joined some heady company on Friday when he scored a goal by shooting the puck down the ice in an AHL game. It’s a rare occasion when a goalie gets credit for the other team scoring on their own net, but it’s even rarer for a goalie to actually score on a shot.

It’s such a tremendous freak occurrence that each instance is a footnote in the history books.

Fourteen goalies have received credit for scoring a goal in NHL history, but only seven of those goals were scored by a goalie who actually shot the puck down the ice.

In honour of Berra’s great goal (and even greater celebration), here’s a look at those goals.

Note: If they sound repetitive, they are. The goalie’s team gets a two-goal lead, the goalie stops a dump-in, the goalie throws it over everyone’s heads and hits the net at the other end.

And yet it never gets old.
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Five unforgettable Rob Blake moments with the Los Angeles Kings

Josh Elliott
Rob Blake LA Kings

The Los Angeles Kings are writing some of the most memorable moments in their franchise history these days, but they’ll pause that process tonight to retire the number of Rob Blake, the best defenceman in Kings history so far.

Drew Doughty may one day usurp Blake of that mantle. But for now, No. 4 stands as the top blueliner in franchise history, and the Kings’ most recent contribution to the Hall of Fame.

That’s not bad for the hard-hitting Simcoe, Ontario native, who was drafted in the fourth round (70th overall) by L.A. in 1988.
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Goalie Reto Berra scores, skates along the handshake line to celebrate

Josh Elliott
Reto Berra

Colorado Avalanche/Lake Erie Monster goalie Reto Berra joined the likes of Martin Brodeur, Ron Hextall and Mike Smith on Friday by scoring a goal as a netminder in a professional hockey game.

Berra put the finishing touch on a 5-1 win by his Lake Erie Monsters over the Chicago Wolves by lofting the puck down the ice into an empty net.

The feat alone is impressive, but what’s more impressive is that it was no close call or technicality. Berra made a save on Chicago and immediately blasted the puck down the ice to hit dead center on the opposing net.
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