Was this NCAA coach a “#$%^ing classless #@!hole” this weekend?

Ryan Kennedy
Quinnipiac's Rand Pecknold (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats stonewalled Cornell 1-0 on the weekend and even though Big Red coach Mike Schafer did touch on the lack of scoring from his team in the loss, it was far from his first topic of conversation in the post-game interview. No, Schafer was much more fired up about Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold:

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The five undrafted players making the biggest impact in the NHL

Tyler Johnson

For the better part of two seasons, when it comes to prospects the consistent names have been Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Both players stand to be NHL superstars and will almost undoubtedly go first and second overall in some order.

McDavid and Eichel are the type of players teams wait for – the type of player that you “build through the draft” with. But for nearly every team in the league, there’s a selection of undrafted talent that carries some of the load. In certain instances, they’re key cogs. In others, they’re depth players who contribute in ways you can’t find on the score sheet.

For the purposes of cutting out the established NHLers like Martin St-Louis and Mark Giordano, this list of the best undrafted players in the league today are the young guns that have broken into the NHL by unconventional means in the last five seasons: Read more

Watch AHL goaltender come up with inventive way to break up 2-on-0

Jared Clinton
LeggioNet

There’s a lot of ways to break up a 2-on-1, like sliding to block a pass or an aggressive poke check. When it comes to a 2-on-0, it gets a little bit more difficult, but veteran American League netminder David Leggio has a few ideas.

Leggio, who is playing his first season with Islanders affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers, had to think quickly as Springfield Falcons forwards Dana Tyrell and Lukas Sedlak came barreling down on him on a shorthanded 2-on-0: Read more

Saturday night match-up: Ovechkin vs. Stamkos

Bryan Mcwilliam
Tampa Bay Lightning v Winnipeg Jets

As always, Saturday night hockey will be a busy one with 12 games scheduled for tonight. On Friday, the match-up of the night was the Anaheim Ducks’ Corey Perry taking on the Dallas Stars’ Tyler Seguin. The Ducks walked away with a 2-1 victory thanks to a goal and an assist from Perry, so the match-up win goes to him.

Tonight, two of the great goal scorers in hockey square off as Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals take on Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The Capitals, under new coach Barry Trotz, are off to a so-so start with a record of 4-3-2 and this could be due to adjusting to a new style of play with more of an onus on playing defence, which Trotz was known for in his days behind the Nashville bench. They’ve also seen a recent dip in production from their biggest offensive gun Ovechkin.

After earning six points – five of which were goals – in his first four games, Ovechkin has been ice cold in his last five games with zero points and the Caps have lost three of those five games, while one of their wins was in the shootout over a bad Florida Panthers squad. Defence is great, but you need to put the puck in the net to win hockey games, so ‘Ovi’ needs to figure things out fast.

On the other side of the ice is Steven Stamkos, arguably the best goal scorer in the NHL and he’s not struggling one bit. After missing 45 games last season with a broken leg, the Lightning centre returned to close out the season on a high note. That momentum has followed through into this season and Stamkos is making goaltender’s lives miserable once again. He has 12 points in 11 games, eight of which are goals and the Lightning have established themselves as an early Stanley Cup contender. No one in the NHL has shot the puck more than Stamkos and there’s a very good chance that won’t change during the season, so expect to see the puck on his stick a lot tonight when the Lightning enter the Capitals’ zone.

Two goal scorers, one is on fire, while the other is an ice cube, who takes this match-up?

Prediction: Fire melts ice and that’s exactly what Stamkos and the Lightning are going to do to the Capitals. Stamkos will score at least one goal; look for two, and the Lightning will walk away with a big home win over the Capitals, improving their home record to 5-1-1 and increasing their winning streak to three games. Ryan Callahan, who is making his return to the Lightning line-up, will give them an added spark and Braden Holtby will be shaking his head after being pelted with shot after shot.

Hockey Canada gesture leaves Stamkos nearly speechless

Jared Clinton
Steven Stamkos (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

A broken tibia didn’t just derail Steven Stamkos’ 2013-14 season, it robbed him of the opportunity to represent his home country at the Olympics.

While there’s no telling the impact Stamkos may have been able to make during the Sochi games, his scoring ability surely would have been a welcome addition to Team Canada. Though he fought valiantly to rehab his injured right leg in time for the tournament, he was unable to reach full speed in time, and Team Canada named Martin St-Louis as his replacement. Read more

Watch Brian Boyle help push Lightning reporter through tough workout

Jared Clinton
BrianBoyleWorkout

Brian Boyle is, undoubtedly, one of the hardest working big-bodied forwards in the NHL. A defensive monster throughout his career, Boyle eats tough minutes and isn’t afraid to get in front of a booming shot.

Off the ice, however, Boyle works just as hard. To get an idea of how hard he’s pushing himself off the ice, the Tampa Bay Lightning had their reporter Michelle Gingras get into the gym with Boyle to see what exactly the power forward gets up to: Read more

Jonathan Drouin scores his first NHL goal on a slick snap shot

Josh Elliott
Jonathan Drouin (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

After spending last year in junior and missing the start of this season with a broken thumb, former Tampa Bay Lightning third overall pick Jonathan Drouin has his first NHL goal in just his third game.

With Nikita Kucherov holding the puck behind the Winnipeg Jets’ net, Drouin took a hit along the boards and peeled away from defender to go for the slot. Kucherov dished the puck out to Drouin for a one-timer and Drouin buried it over Ondrej Pavelec’s shoulder to give his Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 lead.
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Memorable night for young guns as three rookies register first point

Jonathan Drouin (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

In 50 years, there will be three separate sets of grandkids hearing tell of Tuesday night’s NHL action. The reason being for rookies Jonathan Drouin, Adam Lowry, and Seth Griffith, it was the night they registered their first NHL point.

The Bruins’ Griffith and Jets’ Lowry both registered their first of what will hopefully be many NHL goals, while the shifty Drouin notched an assist on the game-tying goal in Tampa Bay’s overtime victory over the Calgary Flames.

Drouin, who has been lauded for his playmaking ability, showed it off in fantastic fashion. The 19-year-old Quebec native won a puck battle below the Flames goal line, worked the puck up the boards, and made a seeing-eye backhand saucer pass that landed right on the tape of defenseman Jason Garrison:

Valtteri Filppula pushed the blast by Garrison home. In overtime, Drouin would get an excellent opportunity on a 2-on-1 with Steven Stamkos – with whom Drouin lined up with throughout the game – but was stopped on an incredible save by Karri Ramo.

For Griffith, he’ll be able to tell his children and grand children about an absolute laser of a shot:

A product of Wallaceburg, Ont., Griffith was a rookie sensation at the American League level last season, putting home 20 goals and 50 points. The goal couldn’t have come at a bigger time, either.

With the Bruins down 3-2 to the San Jose Sharks, Griffith’s big-league snap shot found the back of the net and brought the Bruins even. The Bruins would go on to win the game 5-3, thanks in large part to Griffith’s timely tally.

Finally, Adam Lowry, the son of former NHLer Dave Lowry, did what his father managed to 164 times at the big league level:

With the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps last season, Lowry stood out for his gritty play and nose for the net and was a large part of what made Winnipeg’s farm club so successful. As an AHL rookie, Lowry amassed 17 goals and 16 assists, good for 12th on the team in scoring.

His big body and powerful forechecking ability are what got him into the lineup with the Jets, but they certainly won’t shake a stick at him contributing in other ways on the score sheet. Lowry’s marker would stand as the game-winning goal.