Guinness sobers up numbers for ‘Big Chill’; certifies that 85,451 fans attended event

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It’s not often that Guinness plays the role of party poopers.

Yet when it comes to its treasured book of world records, the brewers/fact-keepers are sticklers for the truth over “sweetened” numbers. James Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press reports that while University of Michigan media people reported a crowd of 113,411, the Guinness World Records folks “only” certified 85,451 people.

Despite this discrepancy, Jahnke reports that a crowd of 85,451 is still constitutes a record audience for a hockey game, besting the 77,803 drawn during the IIHF World Championships in Germany last summer.

Fudging the numbers seems like a time-honored attendance tradition, but 27,960 is a pretty “creative bit of accounting.” Jahnke’s story provides at least a little reasoning behind some of the difference.

“We will continue to work with Guinness to identify the exact number of people that went through the scanners and those who had their tickets torn,” said Matt Trevor, assistant media relations director for U-M hockey. “We knew we would end up with two different numbers because of different standards used.”

Trevor said Guinness doesn’t count those who were working the game, including media, staff and concession workers. Michigan does include those people in its attendance figure.

The Cold War between U-M and MSU in 2001 at Spartan Stadium drew 74,554 fans.

While saying you drew 100,000 fans to a hockey game obviously has a special ring to it, it’s still incredible that the “Big Chill” brought in more than 85,000. Ultimately, the rest is just gravy … the Guinness people just seem a bit more judicious in how they weigh it.

Erik Karlsson played through hairline fractures in foot to help Sens advance

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Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins.

It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.

Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).

There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.

Hmm.

Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.

Gaudreau, Granlund and Tarasenko: 2017 Lady Byng finalists

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The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.

The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)

For more on the three finalists, click here.

MacArthur, Senators end Bruins’ season in OT after controversial calls

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It’s a feel-good story, especially if you can look beyond questions of officiating.

Clarke MacArthur could have very well never played another NHL game considering his lengthy battles with concussion symptoms. Instead, he drew a penalty on the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 6 and then managed to score the series-clinching goal.

Now, this isn’t to say that MacArthur didn’t rightfully draw a penalty; it most clearly was. And, in the bigger picture, it’s one of those stories that almost makes you wonder if real-life sports actually do follow Hollywood scripts.

People just wonder about some other decisions during that overtime, in particular, making it frustrating for some Bruins fans to see the season end in such a way.

Whether they like it or not, that is the case, though.

The Senators took Game 6 by a score of 3-2 (OT), winning their series 4-2. They can breathe a sigh of relief in avoiding a Game 7, an especially valuable bonus since Erik Karlsson had been pushed hard lately, logging more than 40 minutes in a recent game.

Ottawa avoids a do-or-die contest. Instead, they’ll face the New York Rangers in the next round while the Bruins enter the summer following an up-and-down campaign.

Bergeron takes advantage of slow Sens change, sends Game 6 to OT (Video)

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Every game in this Senators – Bruins series has been decided by one goal, so why not send Game 6 to overtime?

Oh, and speaking of overtime, this contest going beyond regulation makes it 17 OT games, tying an NHL record for the most in a single round.

Ottawa appeared to take a “lazy change” with a 2-1 lead, and Patrice Bergeron made the Senators pay, putting in a rebound to collect the goal that eventually sent this contest to overtime.