Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby

Come on down! Crosby, Ovechkin, and Roenick to appear on The Price Is Right

The Winter Classic is just two and a half weeks away and the NHL is finding a new and inventive way to promote the game. They’re sending the game’s biggest stars Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby along with Jeremy Roenick to The Price Is Right to give away a trip to the 2011 Winter Classic and assorted other NHL and sponsor goodies.

No, this is not a joke. This is very real and very awesome.

The release from the NHL says this:

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and former NHLer Jeremy Roenick are guests on the Monday, Dec. 20 edition of THE PRICE IS RIGHT (11:00 AM-12:00 Noon, ET; 10:00-11:00 AM, PT) on the CBS Television Network. The trio will introduce an NHL-themed showcase that includes a trip to Pittsburgh for the highly anticipated 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, played outdoors at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day.

Host Drew Carey, Roenick, Crosby and Ovechkin will unveil the showcase that features tickets to watch the Penguins play against the Capitals in the historic outdoor game; VIP passes to the NHL’s New Year’s Eve Bash; field/ice-level access during the Capitals and Penguins team practices at Heinz Field on Friday, Dec. 31; and a brand new 2011 Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid car.

Roenick also will introduce an NHL® prize that includes a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the 2011 Stanley Cup® Final and NHL-licensed products. Other NHL-related prizes include items from NHL partners Bridgestone, Reebok, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, LG and Starwood Hotels.

Growing up being a kid who spent every sick day from school locked on to the TV at 11 am to watch The Price Is Right, this is pretty damn awesome to see them joining up on the show to do this. Of course, it’d be way more fun if we could see Crosby, Ovechkin, and Roenick get outbid by a dollar by a wily member of the studio audience just to see how they’d react to such shenanigans. Would Sid yell to Drew Carey about it? Would Alex look to drop the gloves with the contestant? How about Roenick getting teary-eyed about not making it on stage to play a round of Plinko? The possibilities are endless.

This isn’t the first time the NHL and The Price Is Right have teamed up. Back in 2008, members of the Los Angeles Kings appeared on the legendary game show to give away a hockey-themed showcase in the showcase showdown. We’re suspecting that Crosby, Ovechkin, and Roenick will have just a little bit more pull in the popularity department than Derek Armstrong, Denis Gauthier, Kyle Calder, and Dustin Brown did two years ago.

As for the games we’d love to see these guys play, here’s a short list:

  • Alex Ovechkin playing That’s Too Much. Hearing him yell the catchphrase to win a prize would be well worth it.
  • Sidney Crosby playing Clock Game. Sid on the spot trying to guess the price of a grandfather clock? Game on, brother.
  • Jeremy Roenick playing The Grocery Game. Come on, when’s the last time JR went to the grocery store? The guesses would be worth it.
  • Sid and Alex taking turns on the punch board for $10,000. Come on boys, let’s see those lefts and rights put to good use.

Still… A perfect mix of game shows, nostalgia, and hockey makes for a great morning of awesomeness on Monday. Time for that DVR to get a workout.

 

‘It looks like a disaster’ — Senators could be facing more injury problems

BOSTON, MA - MAY 27:  Head coach Guy Boucher of the Tampa Bay Lightning speaks to the media after their 0 to 1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 27, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Not only did the Ottawa Senators lose on Sunday, but three different forwards left the game because of injury.

And that was after they had already lost forward Bobby Ryan indefinitely because of a hand injury. In a 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, the Senators had Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone and Tommy Wingels leave with injuries.

Hoffman suffered a lower-body injury in the first period, while Stone was caught with a hit to the head from defenseman Jacob Trouba. That infraction might result in Trouba getting further supplementary discipline from the NHL.

“Tough day with the loss of Bobby and then we lost another bunch of guys. At some point I felt, there was nobody on the bench,” said Senators coach Guy Boucher, who appeared furious with the officials’ decision to give Trouba only a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head.

“I can give you an update – it doesn’t look good. We have to wait until tomorrow to be clear and precise about all these guys.

“Right now, we could be losing quite a few guys … It looks like a disaster. We’ll see tomorrow and maybe the disaster is not as bad as we think but you’ve got to be ready for anything.”

What especially hurts for the Senators is that Hoffman, Stone and Ryan are three very capable offensive players, and if all three are out long-term, that’s a good chunk of scoring suddenly gone from their lineup. Stone leads the team with 22 goals, while Hoffman is tied for second in that category with Kyle Turris at 19 goals.

The Senators had a chance to take over top spot in the Atlantic Division. With a win, Ottawa would’ve tied Montreal with 70 points, but taken first in the division because of fewer games played.

Blackhawks snap Sabres winning streak

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The Eastern Conference playoff race is tightening up, especially when it comes to the wild card.

The Buffalo Sabres, thanks to a three-game winning streak and six wins in their last 10 games prior to Sunday, have suddenly jumped right into the thick of that race. But with a chance to win four in a row and tie, at least temporarily, the Bruins at 64 points, the Sabres ran into the Chicago Blackhawks.

And that proved problematic.

After Evander Kane scored the equalizer with 5.6 seconds left in the first period, Chicago took over through the second half of the game, scoring four unanswered goals for a 5-1 victory to move within seven points of the Minnesota Wild in the Central Division.

Patrick Kane put a stamp on this one. Given an absurd amount of time in front, Kane was able to put on a stickhandling clinic before beating Robin Lehner on the backhand.

It further hurt Buffalo’s cause that it was unable to capitalize on a lengthy five-on-three in the first period.

“I thought our opportunity was that 5-on-3, to get not just one goal, maybe two. We gave them too much,” said coach Dan Bylsma, per the Sabres.

The Sabres now enter their bye week. They play the last-place Colorado Avalanche next Saturday. The time off might provide a rest in the middle of a grinding season, but teams have struggled immediately out of the break and the Sabres can ill afford a set back in the playoff race.

Video: On Hockey Day in America, Auston Matthews did this . . .

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 11:  Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre on November 11, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Flyers 6-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Born in Scottsdale, AZ., Auston Matthews has taken the NHL by storm in his rookie season as an elite talent headlining an impressive freshman class.

Taken first overall last June, Matthews made history with four goals in his debut, surely a dizzying experience for Maple Leafs fans accustomed to heartbreak and frustration. And he really hasn’t slowed down since.

On Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes — and on Hockey Day in America — the 19-year-old Matthews once again put on a show, scoring his 28th goal of the season. That gave Toronto a two-goal lead.

As he’s often done in his brief time in the NHL, this goal was of the spectacular variety, as he broke in off the left wing and, as he was getting hauled down to the ice, slid the puck five-hole on Cam Ward.

Related: Auston Matthews is having a rookie season for the ages

Video: After a slow start, Evander Kane is on a roll for the Sabres

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For about a month now, Evander Kane has enjoyed a particularly productive stretch for the Buffalo Sabres.

Kane scored with 5.6 seconds remaining in the first period of Sunday’s game versus the Chicago Blackhawks, converting on a nifty pass from Jack Eichel and going top shelf on Scott Darling.

He now has goals in three straight games, and 15 points in 14 games as the Sabres have fought their way back into the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.

Of course, this latest run comes just before the trade deadline, and Kane’s name has consistently been in speculation about a possible move — in addition to off-ice issues. While GM Tim Murray has said earlier this month that he’s not actively shopping Kane, he also didn’t absolutely rule out trading the 25-year-old left winger, now into his second season in Buffalo.

(Murray: “Is there a crazy deal that somebody could throw at me that would force me to do it? I guess there is.”)

Most impressive about Kane’s numbers — remember he missed time earlier this season with a rib injury and then had a slow start, which drew the ire of the coach — is that he’s done the vast majority of his scoring, 20 of 21 goals, at five-on-five.