Monday night’s game between the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings is one of those you remember for many reasons once the season is over.
For the entire 64-minute contest, the action was great, fans got a glimpse of 3-on-3 overtime, and the finish was incredible. The only problem, however, was that Calgary’s Dennis Wideman was the only one who knew the game was over.
With less than a minute left in overtime, Wideman got the puck down close to the Los Angeles goal line and, with Kings netminder Jonathan Quick down and sliding across the crease, the Flames defenseman buried the puck in the top shelf. You can hear Wideman after the puck goes in, with his arms raised, hollering, “Yeah!” It would have been an incredible moment to end a fantastic game, but Wideman was the only one who knew he scored. Read more
Depending on which team you ask, the opening-whistle line brawl between Calgary and Vancouver last season was either a stupid distraction or just what the doctor ordered. When Flames coach Bob Hartley started noted heavyweights such as Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth, Canucks bench boss John Tortorella countered with enforcers Tom Sestito and Kellan Lain, who happened to be making his NHL debut. Westgarth lined up at center and was eventually greeted by rugged defenseman Kevin Bieksa – who, for posterity’s sake, won the draw – and the fists went a-flying.
The final score was 3-2 Vancouver, but that may have been the least important number that night in a game that featured a combined 204 penalty minutes. Due to ejections, Dan Hamhuis played 36 minutes for Vancouver, while Dennis Wideman led Calgary with 38. And then there was Tortorella, who ended up charging the Calgary dressing room between periods. It was not a normal night at the office. Read more
So apparently there’s a controversy out West because Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau and his agent decided to trademark the nickname ‘Johnny Hockey.’ This is a stupid, non-story.
You can debate whether or not the Edmonton Oilers were right to hold rookie center Leon Draisaitl out of the world juniors, where he would have been far and away Germany’s best player. And you can debate whether or not he should have been kept up by the Oilers as long as he was before they sent him back to junior in the Western League. But the trade that sent his rights (and consequently, him) to Kelowna from Prince Albert is huge in the WHL’s arms race. Just as big as the New York Rangers sending Anthony Duclair back to the Quebec Remparts.
The way Semyon Varlamov played on Tuesday night, you’d have to think the puck looked like a beach ball to the Colorado Avalanche netminder.
With 54 saves in a shutout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, Varlamov not only posted one of the best performances of this season, he posted one of the best in Avalanche history. He became only the fourth Avs goalie to ever make 50 stops in a game, and one of only four netminders with 54-plus saves in a shutout victory since 1995.
The incredible feat of puck stopping isn’t enough to take top spot on this list of the 10 greatest mid-season goaltending performances, however. That spot goes to a very special game that a certain San Jose Sharks netminder will never forget. Read more
The St. Louis Blues began this season considered among the Stanley Cup contenders, but of late they’ve been plagued by inconsistency. Entering this week, they won only four of their last ten games. The production of veteran scorers David Backes, Alex Steen, and T.J. Oshie is down from last season Goaltenders Jake Allen and Martin Brodeur struggled at times during that stretch.
Though the Blues began the week among the top-four teams in the Western Conference, their recent stumbles added fuel to the speculation a shake-up via trade could be coming. They’ve been linked to the Boston Bruins for several weeks, with Oshie and Patrik Berglund often mentioned as potential trade candidates. Read more
The Battle of Alberta wouldn’t really be without the Battle of Alberta without some animosity between the two teams, but the Department of Player Safety has come down on Keith Aulie for his hit during the New Year’s Eve game.
Edmonton Oilers blueliner Aulie, who has only played in 13 games this season and has failed to register a point, will sit for two games for this brutal check to the head of Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan. Read more
The New Jersey Devils recent coaching change could stoke trade chatter in the coming weeks if the move fails to lift the club back into playoff contention.
Earlier this month, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks advocated shedding veterans to improve the Devils chances of winning the 2015 Draft lottery. Brooks suggested forwards Jaromir Jagr, Michael Ryder, Martin Havlat and Steve Bernier along with defenseman Marek Zidlicky might attract interest from playoff contenders. He also wondered if long-time Devils star Patrik Elias might waive his no-move clause to go to a Stanley Cup contender. Read more