Ageless Dominik Hasek signs with Spartak Moscow of KHL

Hasek.jpgClearly Dominik Hasek wasn’t content with just being part of a Stanley Cup winning team in 2008. Nor was he content with winning a Czech league title this year. If you’re a legendary goaltender, even a 45 year-old one, you want to just keep playing and that’s precisely what Hasek is going to do next season.

Having won virtually every award in the game, Dominik Hasek appears ready for a new challenge as the 45-year old netminder signed a one-year deal with Spartak Moscow of the KHL.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion, six time Vezina trophy winner and Olympic gold medalist came out of retirement last year to play for his hometown team, Pardubice in the Czech league. He posted a .921 save percentage and 2.26 goals against average while leading Pardubice to their first title in 16 seasons.

If you’re looking for a great look at what motivates a man like Hasek, I’ll just send you to Dmitry Chesnokov over at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy and ask that you read the whole interview. For me, Hasek is perhaps the most interesting player to come out of the 1990s/2000s NHL.

While Martin Brodeur put up the crazy numbers with the Devils in their militant defensive system, Hasek worked his brains out with the Blackhawks, Sabres, Red Wings (two times over) and Senators. While you may not remember him with the Blackhawks and Senators, his years in Buffalo were where he became a legend and Detroit is where he won his two Stanley Cups (in 2002 and 2008). Add a 1998 Olympic gold medal to that resume and you’ve got a guy that goes down in the annals of history as one of the greatest goaltenders we’ve ever seen.

While Buffalo fans will snarl their teeth at any mention of Hasek (I guess that Slava Kozlov for Hasek deal didn’t work out so hot) he is the goalie that brought the Sabres to their last Stanley Cup final in 1999. I guess being thought of as being better than Martin Brodeur or Patrick Roy will only satisfy some fans so much.

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    Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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    For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

    They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

    • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
    • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
    • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

    Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

    Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

    Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

    Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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    The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

    (Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

    Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

    You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

    It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

    Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

    Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

    Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

    Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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    If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

    You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

    The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

    For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

    (Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

    The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

    Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

    Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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    It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

    The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

    The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

    One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.