Nolan calls out Stewart, winger responds with fight after telling media to “ask Lucic how soft” he is

Chris Stewart

Amid rumors that Chris Stewart and the Buffalo Sabres are in their last days together, it appears the big bodied forward and coach Ted Nolan aren’t seeing eye-to-eye.

On Tuesday, the 27-year-old forward was scratched for the Sabres game against the Los Angeles Kings. When asked about removing Stewart from the lineup, Nolan said the Sabres winger hasn’t been playing the way the team needs, and that, “he’s a big, powerful forward, but powerful forwards can’t be playing a soft game.”

Stewart, who avoided media on the day he was scratched, spoke on Wednesday and you could say he took exception to the comments of his coach. Read more

Slovakian goaltender leads fans in on-ice Macarena post-victory

Jared Clinton
Julius Hudacek and some Orebro fans high-five after a win (via YouTube)

Julius Hudacek is becoming somewhat of a star in Sweden and it has just as much to do with his post-game celebrations as it does with his goaltending.

Hudacek, 26, is in his first season with Orebro HK, and though his 2.10 goals-against average and .921 save percentage are making him a fan favorite in goal, what has rocketed him to SHL stardom is his knack for entertaining the crowd after a victory. It was no different on Thursday when, after a victory over Frolunda, Hudacek put on another patented #HudaShow: Read more

Jets’ Ladd and Avs’ Landeskog throw down in slugfest between captains

Jared Clinton
ladd

If this fight between Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd and Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is any indication, there may be a new rivalry budding in the Central Division.

During Thursday night’s contest, with the score tied at one apiece midway through the second period, you could see Landeskog and Ladd talking to each other a bit as they made their way to the faceoff circle to the left of Avalanche goaltender Calvin Pickard. As soon as the puck was dropped, the mitts were off, and the two leaders threw bombs trying to spark their respective teams: Read more

Bobby Ryan’s brilliant goal a bright spot in a bad stretch for Senators

Bobby Ryan (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators have won just twice in their past 10 games, fired head coach Paul MacLean Monday, and lost 5-3 Thursday to the Los Angeles Kings in the debut of MacLean’s replacement, Dave Cameron. However, Sens star right winger Bobby Ryan played the silver lining in his team’s clouds with a stunning goal that ranks among the best he’s ever scored.

The Senators were trailing 2-0 with six minutes remaining in the second period at Canadian Tire Centre when Ryan picked up a pass on Ottawa’s side of the center ice line, broke into the Kings zone, deked L.A. defenseman Brayden McNabb into next week, and does the same to goalie Jonathan Quick: Read more

Jonathan Toews suffers apparent head injury on brutal hit – so why was he playing immediately after?

Adam Proteau
Jonathan Toews (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

You want to believe the medical officials entrusted with NHL players’ health are always erring on the side of caution. Then you see Jonathan Toews returning to play immediately after taking an absolutely brutal hit from Boston’s Dennis Seidenberg Thursday, and the doubts don’t creep in – they stampede over you.

The Blackhawks captain and NHL star was driven headfirst into the boards at an awkward angle by Seidenberg midway through the second period of Chicago’s game against the host Bruins, and the result was enough to turn your stomach regardless of whether you’re a Hawks fan:

We can sit here and argue about the cleanliness of the hit itself – and the play will be reviewed by the league – but the fact Chicago’s medical staff and coaches allowed Toews to play his next shift is even more troubling. If this wasn’t the time to have Toews – a superstar who has a history of concussions – sent to the quiet room to be evaluated, then there isn’t ever a good time to do so. But what likely happened was the Hawks trainer asked Toews if he was good enough to continue with his next shift – and, just as every NHLer has been conditioned over the course of his life to answer, Toews said yes. He eventually left the game, but the sight of a star player being left open to additional injury (and perhaps an early end to his career) because nobody had the stones to tell him to get off the ice for his own good was and is deeply disturbing.

Even if you presume Toews wasn’t in a haze and knew full well what he was saying, his word alone isn’t good enough for him to continue playing after a hit like that. Read more

Reimer steals win for Leafs; where does he rank on list of goalies available via trade?

James Reimer (Getty Images)

Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer has lost the starter’s job to Jonathan Bernier, but despite not starting since Nov. 18, he stopped 41 of 42 shots Wednesday to steal two points in a 2-1 shootout win over Detroit:

That won’t change his status with the Buds, who are committed to Bernier for now and the future, and Reimer is well-aware his best chance to start on a regular basis again lies outside Toronto. But where does Reimer rank among goalies who are or might be available on the market between now and the March 2 trade deadline? Let’s have a look at who else is out there:

– Carolina’s Cam Ward has a winning pedigree, but the 30-year-old’s stock has plummeted in recent years and he still has another season left on his contract at a $6.3 million salary cap hit. He’s played decently at times, but that salary alone will make teams in need of netminding hesitant to take a chance on him when there are cheaper options available.

Read more

Suspend him or not: Matt Martin’s elbow on Wild defenseman Keith Ballard

Adam Proteau
Matt Martin (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Islanders left winger Matt Martin has made a name for himself as the NHL’s annual hits leader for the past few seasons. However, Martin’s hit on Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard Tuesday resulted in a horrendous on-ice scene and could result in disciplinary action being taken against him.

Ballard had just made a pass midway through the game when Martin attempted to finish a check on him. Ballard turns away in an attempt to avoid it, but Martin’s left elbow follows through and makes contact with Ballard’s head, knocking his head directly into the boards and rendering him unconscious. Read more

Canadiens say goodbye to icon Jean Béliveau in unforgettable pre-game ceremony

Adam Proteau
The casket of Canadiens great Jean Béliveau's lies in wake at Montreal's Bell Centre. (Paul Chiasson-POOL/Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens played their first home game since the Dec. 2 death of franchise legend Jean Béliveau at age 83. And, in keeping with the spirit of arguably the most gracious men ever to play hockey, the organization honored him with an unforgettable pre-game ceremony that will bring tears to the eyes of even the most hardened heart.

After Béliveau lay in wake at the Bell Centre for the past two days, the pre-game ceremony began with a three-minute video tribute screened on the ice of the arena and a beautiful instrumental track. It continued on with tributes to the former Habs captain in both of Canada’s official languages and an extended look at his life, which he lived with extraordinary dignity on a public stage. Read more