Preds coach Peter Laviolette at center of hockey’s first, uh, winking scandal

Adam Proteau
Peter Laviolette (Getty Images)

Many things get said between NHL coaches and on-ice officials during a game. But it’s safe to say the conversation that recently took place between Predators head coach Peter Laviolette and referee Kevin Pollock will not be seen again anytime soon.

During a game between the Blackhawks and Preds at the end of December, Laviolette took umbrage with what he perceived to be Pollock winking at the Blackhawks’ bench. And he did not take it well at all. At. All.
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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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Blackhawks create beautiful moment for young blind girl at her first NHL game

Jared Clinton
(via Chicago Blackhawks)

For several years, the Chicago Blackhawks have run a campaign titled, “One Goal.” That goal, the makeup of many smaller goals that the team’s players cite in TV ads, is the Stanley Cup. But for one young fan, her goal was simply to take in a Blackhawks game at the United Center.

As part of the Blackhawks “#WhatsYourGoal” campaign, 16-year-old Christina DeVries, a young woman who is blind and a massive fan of the Hawks, said her one goal was to finally attend her first game. Thanks to Patrick Sharp and the Blackhawks organization, her goal, and her wish, came to fruition in an extremely heartwarming video. Read more

Stats say MacKinnon, Hossa, Sharp could be second half studs

The Hockey News
Nathan-MacKinnon-3

By Dom Luszczyszyn

The first half of the season is officially in the books, which makes the perfect opportunity to look at who can bounce back after under performing during the first 41 games.

Thanks to recent advances in NHL analytics, it’s become much easier to pinpoint why certain players aren’t scoring at their normal rate. Whether it’s bad luck or bad play, the answer can usually be found in the numbers. Read more

10 milestones and records to watch in the second half of the season

Roberto Luongo (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

On Thursday night, with his win over the Vancouver Canucks, Roberto Luongo officially registered a win over every single team in the NHL and it was the 389th victory of his career.

The second number is the big one, as the win puts him into a tie with Dominik Hasek for the 11th most wins by a goaltender in NHL history. With 40 games remaining and the Panthers a serious threat to contend for a playoff spot, there’s a chance Luongo could find himself in the top 10 by season’s end. It’s not just Luongo, however. Here are several other milestones for both teams and players to watch in the back half of 2014-15. Read more

Suspend him or not: Thomas Vanek boards Marcus Kruger

Matt Larkin
Thomas Vanek is not expected to face supplementary discipline for his boarding play Thursday night. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

University of Minnesota alumnus Thomas Vanek’s homecoming hasn’t gone as planned. His point production is his weakest since his rookie season of 2005-06. When he finally did make a Wild headline Thursday night, it was for a morally questionable hit.

Let’s whisk ourselves to the Xcel Energy Center. It’s halfway through the first period. Chicago’s Daniel Carcillo stumbles as he enters the neutral zone with the puck and hands it off to Marcus Kruger. Just as Kruger looks back for the puck, he’s side-swiped by Vanek. Kruger flies face-first into the boards. The Blackhawks bench explodes in outrage. Vanek gets slapped with a five-minute boarding major. Have a look:

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Winter Classic success tied to revenue, spectacle, not just TV ratings

Stu Hackel
(Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

The successes of the 2015 Winter Classic included a superbly competitive game, excellent outdoor ice, a boost for the sport in Washington DC, a joyful experience for fans at Nationals Park and a lucrative payday for the NHL.

But things fell somewhat short with the U.S. national TV audience, which recorded its lowest audience figures on NBC since the event’s 2008 debut.

The final tally of 3.47 million viewers for the Blackhawks-Capitals game was a 21 percent decline over the Maple Leafs-Red Wings matchup a year ago at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, which drew 4.4 million, the highest ever posted for a Winter Classic matinee. Read more

Not mad, just disappointed: 10 players we expected more from this season

Alex Semin

There are two sides to the surprise coin. On one side, you have the players who outperform even your wildest expectations. This season, they’ve taken the form of Colin Wilson, Mathieu Perreault, and several others. On the other, you have players who haven’t come close to expectations.

At the midpoint of the 2014-15 season, there are more than a few candidates for disappointing player of the campaign, but only one can take the cake. While fans of every team have the players they wish they would get more from, the following 10 are the ones that are playing well below the expectations this season. Read more