Rory Boylen

Rory Boylen is the editor of Post-to-Post and has been with The Hockey News since 2007. A former OMHA referee for 10 years out of Coldwater, Ont., he grew up an unlikely fan of the Florida Panthers and - perhaps even more unlikely - was crushed by Uwe Krupp in 1996. Toss out Big Lebowski lines and he'll be your friend for life.

Milan Lucic fined $5,000 for cheap, unpenalized groin slash on Danny DeKeyser

Rory Boylen
lucic-185677962

As the second period of Friday’s Game 1 between Boston and Detroit wound down, Milan Lucic gave Danny DeKeyser a nasty slash to the groin from behind. The Red Wings defenseman dropped to the ice and Lucic was not penalized.

But he was fined $5,000 for the infraction Saturday and discussed it with the media after practice. He did not call DeKeyser a chicken. Read more

How early should you pull your goalie? Patrick Roy’s gamble paid off, with a little luck

Rory Boylen
Colorado Avalanche

How early should you pull your goalie?

Almost every coach does it with about one minute left in a one-goal game, and maybe around 1:30 in a two-goal deficit. But not Patrick Roy.

The Avalanche coach is known as an aggressive individual and his coaching style is the same – he’s been known to pull his goalie earlier than is conventional. Once, when he still coached major junior in the QMJHL, his Quebec Remparts were in a semifinal series against the Shawinigan Cataractes. The series was tied 1-1 and Shawinigan led 3-0 in the third period, when they took two minor penalties less than a minute apart. So, with a 5-on-3 advantage already, Roy decided to go the extra mile and opted to pull his goalie for a 6-on-3 advantage.

There was more than 12 minutes left on the clock.

It didn’t work that time, as Shawinigan scored into the empty net and went on to win the series.

And it didn’t work just last month when Roy pulled Semyon Varlamov with five minutes left of a 2-0 game against Boston. Though the Bruins didn’t score, neither did the Avalanche. No harm, no foul.

It did work in early February against New Jersey, when Roy pulled his goalie with two-and-a-half minutes left in a 1-0 game. They tied it up with less than two minutes left and Ryan O’Reilly buried the overtime winner.

And it worked again in Game 1 of Colorado’s Stanley Cup playoff series against Minnesota. Read more

Alex Steen scores in third overtime, but Ryan Miller saves the day

Rory Boylen
Alex Steen

St. Louis’ Alex Steen has had a rewarding season. He set a career high with 33 goals and 62 points in 68 games, gained some traction as a Selke candidate and signed a three-year extension worth north of $17 million. In Game 1 against Chicago, he put another egg in his basket.

The Blues-Blackhawks series is going to be a brutal one…in a good way. With so many banged up stars and gruff bruisers battling for pride and glory, the immense skill and ruthless carnage mix for a perfect playoff painting. The opening game of this series was physical, full of offensive chances, great saves and was a test of endurance.

The Blues and Blackhawks were on their way to playing two games Thursday night, but Steen put the game, and everyone watching it, to bed, only 26 seconds into 3OT. Read more

Can the Blue Jackets keep Sidney Crosby off his game?

Brandon Dubinsky

A few thoughts after Night 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs…

• Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson is a polarizing player.

On the one hand, he’s an offensive defenseman who is capable of hitting or approaching 40-point seasons. He led the Blue Jackets with 24:40 of average ice time this season, which is actually more than a minute less than he was pulling in a season ago. He’s a guy the emerging Blue Jackets lean on, even though he’s their third-highest paid defenseman at $4.357 million against the cap through 2017-18.

On the other, he can be a liability at times. His negative Corsi for relative percentage this season was worse than every Blue Jackets defenseman and second-worst to only R.J. Umberger on the team. The volatility in his game, especially this season, was a reason why he wasn’t included on Team USA’s Olympic roster this time around.

But Johnson is a competitor. And when it comes to the playoffs, he’s a scorer. Read more

Dale Weise flips over the boards, scores overtime winner for Canadiens

Rory Boylen
Dale Weise

It was a back-and-forth Game 1 between Tampa Bay and Montreal Wednesday night – and an up and down game for the Canadiens’ Dale Weise.

First, he put himself on the low-light reel with this hit-and-miss bodycheck on Lightning rookie Cedric Paquette. (And actually, the most eye-popping part of this video is how close Weise’s skate comes to J.T. Brown’s face.)

GIF: In between the benches with...Dale Weise? on Twitpic

(That gif is courtesy @PeteBlackburn who, if you’re not yet following, you should)

But later on, he went and totally redeemed himself. Read more