Claude Giroux pulls elementary school gag, wipes snot on referee before faceoff

Jared Clinton
Giroux

We’ve all been there: you’ve got to blow your nose or wipe it and you’re scrambling around looking for something to use. On Tuesday night, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux came up with his own solution.

In the dying minutes of the first period, as a faceoff was about to happen in the Tampa Bay zone, Giroux saw the referee turn to face the Lightning center Brian Boyle. Giroux quickly wiped his nose and patted the linesman on the back, the old elementary school gag: Read more

Top 10 Calder Trophy candidates: Can anyone catch Filip Forsberg?

forsberg2

There’s been no shortage of great stories this season, but one of the most surprising things is the cast of rookies who have quickly made names for themselves in the league.

The thing with rookies is they’re one of the most difficult groups of players to accurately forecast. With little known about how well adjusted they’ll be to the NHL, they can either boom or bust, and in some cases an injury or unfavorable situation can send the early Calder Trophy favorite to the bottom of the ballot.

Take Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, for instance, who some people thought would run away with the award but doesn’t even appear on our list. Or John Gibson, the THN consensus pick for the Calder, who had a shot at leading the Ducks this season before injury derailed his season.

These are the top 10 Calder Candidates at this point in the season: Read more

Caps & Cats make history in 20 rounds during NHL’s longest-ever shootout

Nick Bjugstad scores the game-winning shootout goal on Braden Holtby. (Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

When you look at the list of shooters who took part in Tuesday’s shootout between Washington and Florida Panthers, you can be forgiven for thinking it looks like the roster lists for both teams. But it may as well be, because the two teams combined to make history, shattering the old NHL record for longest shootout by battling for 20 rounds before the Panthers emerged victorious over the Capitals by a 2-1 score.

The previous record for longest shootout was the 15-round showdown between the Caps and New York Rangers on Nov. 26, 2005 and two Washington players – Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich – can now lay claim to having taken part in the longest and second-longest shootouts. Tuesday’s marathon session lasted a whopping 17:43, and saw the Capitals score five goals, only to have the Panthers reply with five of their own to extend the shootout to Round 20. At that point, Florida center Nick Bjugstad stepped up and beat Washington goalie Braden Holtby to win it for the home team, give the Panthers their 13th win of the season and push them ahead of the Bruins for the final wild card berth.

Here’s video of the entire shootout. Be sure to pack a lunch and hydrate regularly once you begin watching. Read more

Kings unveil new Stadium Series jersey…but about those pants…

Adam Proteau
Kings Stadium Series jersey (image via L.A. Kings)

The Los Angeles Kings unveiled their new Stadium Series jersey Tuesday night – and while it’s up for debate whether they’re a fashion crime or not, the hockey pants that go along with them need to be imprisoned for life.

The sweaters themselves – which will debut at California’s Levi Stadium when the Sharks host the Kings in an outdoor game Feb. 21 – aren’t eyesores, even if the actual design takes some getting used to:

L.A. Kings Stadium Series jerseys hang in the team store. (image via L.A. Kings)

(image via L.A. Kings)

However, the overall look – specifically, the white pants that match the bottom part of the jersey – just looks wrong. I’m not going to say they appear diaper-like, but they do smack of Cooperalls, and that’s reason enough to demand a redesign: Read more

What would it take for Ted Nolan to win coach of the year?

Jared Clinton
nolan

With the Buffalo Sabres eking their way into playoff contention, coach Ted Nolan has a shot, no matter how small it may be, at making this season Jack Adams Trophy worthy.

Traditionally, winners of the yearly award for best coach are those who are the bench boss of teams that finish atop the standings or make the playoffs while exceeding all expectations placed upon them. It’s in that last point that Nolan’s hope at his second Jack Adams becomes a reality. Read more

Upper-body injury sidelines Jets’ Trouba until February

Jared Clinton
Jacob Trouba

Just as things were starting to look like they were going the Winnipeg Jets’ way, the team announced today they will be without Jacob Trouba until February with an upper-body injury.

The 20-year-old Trouba’s injury adds to what is already a thinned out blueline as the Jets are already missing top-four defensemen Zach Bogosian and Toby Enstrom, both of whom are out with lower-body injuries. Bogosian has been absent from the lineup since Dec. 4 and isn’t scheduled to return until at least the second week of January, while Enstrom’s injury dates back to Nov. 23 and he’s not expected to return this month. Read more

Replacement coach power rankings: It’s Dan Bylsma, and…

Matt Larkin
Dan Bylsma is the biggest fish in the pond of replacement NHL coaches. (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

The writing was on the wall. It’s since been wiped clean by the custodian.

Goodbye Paul MacLean. Goodbye Dallas Eakins. The Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers were the first teams this season to fire their coaches. Though both have filled their positions – Ottawa with Dave Cameron, Edmonton with the Craig MacTavish/Todd Nelson Sith Lord apprenticeship – axing MacLean and Eakins got the hockey community chattering excitedly about best and biggest names next in line for head coaching gigs.

With that, I present the Replacement Coach Power Rankings. Excluded from the list are any NHL head coaches currently employed but nearing the end of their contracts (i.e. Mike Babcock). That leaves (a) unemployed coaches; (b) Gainfully employed coaches in other leagues (AHL, KHL, etc.); (c) active NHL assistant or associate coaches.

Read more

Infographic shows AHL’s 3-on-3 is effective at ending games in extra frame

Jared Clinton
AHL Overtime Featured Marlies Kozun

Thanks to an infographic released by the AHL, it looks like Ken Holland’s overtime brainchild may be closer to coming to life.

For years now, the AHL has been the testing ground for potential NHL rules. From thicker bluelines to the introduction of the trapezoid, before a rule is made a rule in the big leagues, it gets a look in the AHL. This season’s big change has been the introduction of a seven-minute overtime that changes from 4-on-4 to 3-on-3 in the frame’s final three minutes. Read more