Pekka Rinne

Predator goalie Pekka Rinne’s jersey is headed to outer space

While we know the stretch of the NHL to reach all parts of the globe is ever expanding, the limits of exactly where it can go are starting to reach even further than you could believe. Sure, the NHL has started their season in Europe and Japan in the past, but how about reaching out a little further? No, we’re not talking about going to South Africa or Australia (not yet anyway) but a small slice of the NHL is headed out to orbit.

The Nashville Examiner’s Jim Diamond tells us about how NASA is going to be bringing a small piece of NHL memorabilia with them to outer space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery thanks to U.S. Army Colonel Tim Kopra and his brother-in-law, Predators season ticket holder, Tim Morrell.

According to the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, “Discovery will deliver and install the Permanent Multipurpose Module, the Express Logistics Carrier 4 and provide critical spare components to the International Space Station.”

In addition to all of those vital items being carried to the International Space Station, a Nashville Predators third jersey with Pekka Rinne’s name and familiar number 35 will be making the journey as well. Yes that is correct, a Pekka Rinne jersey.

Join in fans of the Muppet Show, “And now, Peks in space.”

Shuttle astronauts are permitted to bring some personal items along with them, so when Predators season ticket holder Tim Morrell found out that his brother-in-law, Colonel Tim Kopra (U.S. Army), had been one of the astronauts selected for the mission, the longtime dweller of Section 111 had the idea to see if Kopra was willing to take a Rinne jersey along for the ride.

Diamond goes on to detail the rest of the back story as to how this all came to be, but the nod towards their Predators fandom is really quite something else and something that Rinne is immensely flattered about as Kopra has ancestors from Finland and his journeys into outer space have gotten a fair amount of attention there.

For the Predators, getting better exposure in the United States and Canada has always been an issue, but they’ve now gone completely over the top and have started aiming for the universe. The Predators just want to aim higher and go after the burgeoning space visitor market.

Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
Getty Images
1 Comment

With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.

Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 9.02.42 PM
3 Comments

A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”

Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.

Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.

DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

2 Comments

The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

Leave a comment

There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”