Watch Ducks’ Rickard Rakell score gorgeous between-the-legs tip goal in Game 3 win

Rickard Rakell. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

So, that Rickard Rakell…pretty sure he has better than average hand-eye co-ordination. Maybe better than better than average.

Rakell, 22, has enjoyed a breakout 2015-16 season with the Anaheim Ducks. He hit the 20-goal mark for the first time and showed a knack for spectacular goals. He wowed us with a one-handed deflection against the L.A. Kings a few months back. The overtime winner against the Edmonton Oilers in February was just nasty.

For his next trick, Rakell opted for a between-the-legs deflection goal in Game 3 of the Ducks’ Round 1 matchup versus the Nashville Predators. Check it out:

Read more

Preds hang on for 3-2 win, take 2-0 series lead

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

For the first time in franchise history the Nashville Predators have a 2-0 series lead.

The Preds hung on for a 3-2 win on Sunday night in Anaheim.

According to Elias Sports, teams that take a 2-0 lead on the road in a best of seven hold an all-time series record of 65-18.

Captain Shea Weber scored the winner in the final minute of the second period and Pekka Rinne made 27 saves for the win.

Read more

Rumor Roundup: Steven Stamkos’ injury won’t scare away free-agent suitors

A rising salary cap could impact free agent negotiations, like those with Steven Stamkos (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Steven Stamkos’ recent vascular surgery comes as a blow to the Tampa Bay Lightning entering the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. With a recovery time frame of one-to-three months, the 26-year-old might not return in time to help the Bolts in the post-season.

Given Stamkos’ UFA eligibility in July, his lengthy convalescence creates more uncertainty over his future. The Tampa Tribune’s Martin Fennelly suggests Stamkos may have played his final game in a Lightning jersey.

TSN’s Gary Lawless doesn’t expect Stamkos’ surgery will scare away free-agent suitors or reduce what could be his expensive asking price. It’s expected he’ll make a full recovery from the procedure. Lawless wonders, however, if this will have an effect upon Stamkos’ future plans, and those of the Lightning.

Read more

Top NCAA free agent Jimmy Vesey wins Hobey Baker Award

Jared Clinton
Jimmy Vesey (via Hobey Baker Memorial Award)

One year after coming up short in his chase for Hobey Baker Award honors, Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey has been named the NCAA’s top player.

Vesey, 22, was awarded the Hobey Friday evening at a ceremony in Tampa, Fla., where the NCAA’s Frozen Four tournament is taking place this weekend. In his senior season with the Crimson, Vesey netted 24 goals and 46 points in 33 games, which put him into a tie for 17th in the nation in scoring, but only three points out of a top-10 finish. His offensive numbers weren’t the NCAA’s best, Vesey’s two-way game played into his selection as the Hobey winner.

“Vesey was an impact player in all phases of the game,” the award’s official release stated. “Regular shifts and power play duties were the norm, but he was often underestimated in his defensive responsibilities. Vesey was a fixture on the penalty kill and was widely recognized as the hardest worker on the team. His compete-level made Vesey a difference maker.” Read more

Watch Filip Forsberg show off slick hands, score awesome between the legs goal

Jared Clinton
Filip Forsberg (via NHL)

In only his second season in the NHL, Nashville winger Filip Forsberg is trying to make Predators franchise history with the most goals in a single season, and he inched that much closer to setting the franchise’s single-season goal mark Tuesday with a creative and skillful tally.

Forsberg had set up shop in front of the Colorado Avalanche net during a Predators’ 5-on-3 power play and he found himself in the right place at the right time. After a blast from the left circle came from defenseman Shea Weber, the puck ricocheted off of Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, off the foot of Nashville center Ryan Johansen and onto the stick of Forsberg who was drifting towards the far post.

If Forsberg would have fired a backhand on net, there’s little doubt Colorado netminder Semyon Varlamov would have been able to wrap up the shot and kill the play, but Forsberg wasn’t going to settle for giving Varlamov an easy stop. Without stopping his momentum, Forsberg slipped the puck between his legs and fired the puck high glove on Varlamov for a remarkable goal: Read more Roundtable: Which wild-card team will be the most dangerous?

The Nashville Predators celebrate (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

As the regular season winds down and we start looking ahead to the playoffs, it’s easy to look past the wild-card teams. Especially this year. With the Washington Capitals cruising to the Presidents’ Trophy and the traditional powers in the West battling for top spot, the wild-card teams are seen as cannon fodder.

But that won’t be the case this year. While we still don’t know exactly which teams will grab the wild-card spots — it’s especially close in the East — we do know one thing: you wouldn’t want to play these four teams in the first round.

Read more

Jimmy Vesey’s advisors say Predators knew college standout may not sign with team

Jared Clinton
Jimmy Vesey. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

It’s obvious the Predators are incredibly displeased with Jimmy Vesey’s decision to opt for free agency, but the college standouts advisors released a statement Wednesday that said Nashville’s recounting of the events leading up to Vesey’s decision to test free agency are “not accurate.”

In a lengthy statement, Vesey’s advisory group, Global Hockey Consultants, said that Nashville was told prior to the trade deadline that the signing of Vesey or his choice to opt for free agency shouldn’t have any impact on their moves at the trade deadline.

“Nashville now claims and it has been widely reported that they were without knowledge of this possibility (of Vesey becoming an unrestricted free agent) and that this lack of knowledge precluded the hockey club from acquiring a player at the trade deadline,” the statement reads, via ESPN’s Craig Custance. “This contention is not accurate. The Nashville Predators were informed prior to the trade deadline that they should conduct their business as they saw fit and that the potential of signing or not signing Jimmy Vesey should not be a factor in their decision.” Read more