Ducks GM angry about the Olympics effect on his team

Here’s
a shocker
: Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray is angry about the Olympics,
and how the Ducks season has fallen apart after returning from the
break.

“We went in playing well and came out dead,”
Murray said,
referring to the team’s 14-6 surge before the Olympic break and an 0-4-1
nosedive in the Ducks’ first five games after the break. “We were
petrified of this (happening) because we had so many (Olympians). But
there’s no explanation for it. Disappointment is the best word I can
use.”

“Olympic hangover?” he said, repeating the words that
clearly were
repugnant to him. “Excuses are for losers. You knew the level of play
was going to be higher coming out of the Olympics than it was going in.
That’s just the way our game is. You have to want it bad. Bottom line,
we don’t have enough guys wanting it bad.”

As
soon as I heard Murray’s statement about excuses being for losers, my
mind instantly remembered this famous movie
quote
(NSFW). Are the Olympics to blame? Tough to say that’s not a
major factor in the Ducks falling out of the playoff hunt.

Yet the
players and the coaches are ultimately responsible for their own play,
and excuses have to be left in the locker room. Murray is exactly right:
the players just haven’t wanted it bad enough. It’s not like the rest
of the league is suffering from a post-Olympics letdown.

To make matters worse, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne were injured last night, and both are going to be re-evaluated today. Both could just be day-to-day, but it’s certainly just insult to, uhh,  injury at this point. And the Ducks actually won last night.

Scroll Down For:

    Pavelski’s late goal helps Sharks grab 2-0 series lead over Preds

    1 Comment

    The San Jose Sharks became the only team in the second round to jump out to a 2-0 lead in their series. The Sharks did it by beating the Predators 3-2 in Game 2 on Sunday night.

    San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when Logan Couture buried a rebound by Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the point and extended his playoff point streak to four games.

    The Predators finally got on the board at the 12:56 mark of the third period when Mattias Ekholm tied the game at one.

    Here’s the goal:

    Nashville’s good fortune didn’t last very long. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later.

    Pavelski also picked up two assists in the game. The 31-year-old has at least one point in six of his seven postseason games in 2016.

    Joe Thornton then added an empty-netter in the final minute of play before Ryan Johansen scored with four seconds remaining.

    Despite the loss, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t too disappointed by the way his team played.

    The Predators outshot the Sharks (39-25), they outhit San Jose (46-26), but they just couldn’t outscore them.

    Like the old saying goes: “you’re not in trouble until you lose a game on home ice.” The Preds still haven’t done that, which means they’re not done yet.

    The series now shifts to Nashville for Game 3, which will be played on Tuesday night.

    Video: Marc-Edouard Vlasic saved by his visor after taking Shea Weber shot to the face

    1 Comment

    It’s a scary night for players getting hit in the head with pucks.

    After Brian Elliott was hit in the head by a Jason Spezza slapshot, it was Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s turn to narrowly avoid disaster.

    In the third period of Sunday’s game against the Predators, Vlasic took a puck to the face. The end result could have been catastrophic had Vlasic not had a visor.

    You can see the incident by clicking the video at the top of the page.

    Hockey Twitter breathed a collective sigh of relief after Vlasic got back up:

    It sounds like Olli Maatta won’t be ready for Game 3

    9 Comments

    You’ve all seen it by now (if you haven’t, click the video at the top of page). Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was forced to leave Game 2 against the Capitals after taking a late hit from Brooks Orpik. Not only was the hit late, but Orpik also caught Maatta in the head.

    After the Penguins’ optional skate on Sunday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t optimistic about Maatta’s chances of playing in Game 3 on Monday night.

    “Olli’s being evaluated as we speak, so I don’t have any real update as far as his status is concerned,” Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s being evaluated today, we’ll probably have more information in the morning.

    “I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability. I’m probably not optimistic, though.”

    After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz stood up for his defenseman.

    “We’ll let the league handle it,” Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If you know anything about Brooks, he plays hard, he plays clean. He’s not a dirty player.”

    And the league certainly did handle it, as they suspended Orpik for three games.

    Related:

    Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

    Brooks Orpik suspended three games for hit on Olli Maatta

    81 Comments

    Brooks Orpik has been suspended for three games for his hit on Olli Maatta (top). The Caps defenseman will be forced to miss Games 3, 4 and 5 of the best-of-seven series against the Penguins.

    Orpik delivered a late, high hit to Maatta in Game 2. The Penguins defenseman was wobbly getting off the ice and he was unable to return to the game.

    Here’s how the Department of Players Safety saw the play:

    “Orpik steps up to pressure Bonino, who quickly moves the puck to Maatta. Orpik peels off Bonino to pressure Maatta, who releases a shot from the top of the circle. The two continue on their path toward the goal line, as the puck is kicked into the slot. A full second after Maatta releases the puck, Orpik delivers a high, forceful hit making significant head contact. This is interference.”

    To watch the NHL’s Department of Player Safety’s full explanation, click the video below.

    This is the third time Orpik’s been suspended in his NHL career.