NHL unveils 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh

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The NHL held their press conference to introduce the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh today, and part of the fun, as always, is seeing just what the iconic logos each team will be using for the game. While the Penguins have done this all before back in 2008, this is new territory for the Capitals. Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider was on the scene today and 2011winterclassiclogos-tarik-el-bashir.jpg

Pretty snazzy looking and the Penguins logo in particular is interesting because it was the teams mark for just one season in the NHL, their first one. Sadly, the skating penguin with a scarf wasn’t a huge hit right off the bat. That’s no fun at all. If you’re curious about what jerseys the teams might be wearing, Puck Daddy has already dipped into the possibilities and it’s worth a look. Expect that the Penguins will go with the same jerseys they wore in that inaugural season to match the logo. The Capitals don’t really have too many options to run with for a legendary throwback look.

Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke briefly and was obviously very excited at the prospect of having the league’s two biggest stars face each other on arguably the league’s biggest mid-season stage.

 

While the press conference itself is always a bit of a snoozer, with it taking place at Heinz Field it offered the players the chance to take shots at the uprights on the field. No, seriously. The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Max Talbot, and Pascal Dupuis as well as the Capitals’ Dave Steckel and Mike Knuble all had chances to fire pucks through the uprights at Heinz Field and appropriately enough, the further back they got the more impossible  it became.

I didn’t think it would be possible for Sidney Crosby’s shot to look scary off the ice, but here we are and I think it might behoove the Steelers to at least ask Sid to try out for the kicking job. Or would it be hurling if he used a stick? Things to ponder for the time being at least. As you know, the Winter Classic will be on January 1, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and will be live on NBC.

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.