Mike Modano

Mike Modano wasn’t a big fan of traveling in the playoffs with Detroit


Mike Modano’s season last year in Detroit went about as poorly as you could imagine. For a guy that was 40 years-old and perhaps looking to play his swan song season in the NHL, getting his wrist sliced open by a skate and missing most of the season and then winding up a healthy scratch for most of the games after he returned it made for a rough season.

When the playoffs rolled around, Modano found himself in the press box more often than not and while that was disappointing enough for the 21-season veteran, apparently he didn’t care too much for how the Red Wings went about getting from Detroit to both Phoenix and San Jose.

Steve Schrader from The Detroit Free Press tells us about how Modano didn’t much care for the rigors of travel with the Red Wings and their team airplane while not actively helping them out on the ice.

“Back and forth to Phoenix and back and forth to San Jose?” Modano said in that interview with a Dallas radio station.

“On that little puddle-jumper they got? We gotta stop in Nebraska and refuel? Fill up the gas tank and go the rest of the way to San Jose? That bird can’t make it on one tank of gas. They got a new one this summer.”

What, Redbird, the pride of the Little Caesars fleet?

“So going to San Jose, say we leave at probably noon Detroit time — that’s 9 o’clock out there,” Modano said. “We roll in around 4 or 5 o’clock San Jose time.

“When I first heard that, I was like, ‘I never heard that story from anybody else,’ ’cause I never talked to Hullie and all these guys about playing in Detroit.

“Brett brought up the plane, you know, wait till you see this thing, but he never mentioned if you go to the West Coast, you gotta stop somewhere to get some gas. I’m like, what?”

All right so it wasn’t premium accommodations but it’s not as if the pilot of the plane started taking a bat to it to “make it look mean” either.

While Modano is still making up his mind whether or not he’s going to retire this summer, he’s still technically a free agent. Chances are if there’s not a spot for him in Detroit, he’s likely done in the NHL as Detroit was his “homecoming” place to go before last season. Finding a spot on anyone’s roster for a 41 year-old center coming off a year that saw him play just a handful of games thanks to injury and couldn’t crack the lineup in the playoffs doesn’t seem too likely.

Modano probably wanted to go out riding a little bit higher into the sunset, but unless he takes a pay cut or doesn’t mind being a part-time player, this could be it for him. It’s up to him to decide if he wants to stick around but if he does want to keep playing, other teams might make the decision to retire for him.

Tyler Johnson’s injury: One of several ominous signs for Tampa Bay

Carl Gunnarsson, Tyler Johnson
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The gloom only seems to lift from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s cloudy season in small drizzles.

Sure, they’re on a three-game winning streak, but the Washington Capitals seem to be on the verge of ending that with a thud (they’re currently up 3-0 going into the third period).

That’s the least of the Bolts’ concerns right now, really, as Tyler Johnson left Friday’s game seemingly injured.

The word seemingly comes into play because details are scarce, as reporters note.

/ominous music plays

If you look at Tampa Bay’s upcoming schedule, things could get downright stormy.

They face the Islanders at home, but they do so tomorrow so they won’t be well-rested. It gets worse from there.

Dec. 2 – 6: Three-game road trip against the California teams

Dec. 10 – 12: Two home games (one vs. Ottawa, one vs. Washington)

Dec. 14-18: Another three-game road trip

Long story short, they close up a back-to-back set at home tomorrow and then play six of eight on the road.

/even more ominous music

The end of 2015 looks friendlier, but for a team that seems to be cratering here and there … things look a bit morbid.

We’ll see if they can keep fighting, perhaps with a comeback tonight?

The ghost is here: Another OT-winner from Flyers’ Gostisbehere

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Here’s an easy way to remember how to spell Shayne Gostisbehere’s maddening last name (and even his first name can trip you up).

Ghost-is-be-here, without the h.

Not too bad, right?

If you’re more of the slogan type, it’s getting to be the point where “Tough to spell, tougher to stop” may be a pretty good one-liner.

The Philadelphia Flyers phenom has made a habit of scoring overtime game-winning goals on the power play lately. Friday’s version was the decisive tally in a 3-2 OT win against the Nashville Predators, which you can watch up top.

As you can see in comparing that goal with the one below (which made the difference against the Carolina Hurricanes), opposing coaches may want to make it a point to emphasize stopping this setup, even if it means writing “Don’t let that Ghost kid free.”

All three of his goals are on the power play so far.

Will he breathe life back into the Flyers’ man advantage at this rate?

Julien says Lundqvist’s acting ‘doesn’t need to be on the ice’


The goalie interference penalty called on Brad Marchand late in Friday’s Thanksgiving Showdown didn’t sit well with the Bruins.

Marchand, whistled after making contact with New York’s Henrik Lundqvist midway through the third, said he thought “it was a bit of a weak call,” adding “[Lundvqist’s] out of the crease, and he lightly gets touched.”

While Marchand took issue with the call, his head coach took issue with King Henrik.

(In Julien’s defense, Lundqvist does have a pretty lengthy IMDB page.)

The interference penalty was nearly disastrous for the Bruins, as J.T. Miller scored on the ensuing power play to given the Blueshirts a 3-2 edge.

However, Boston replied with a power-play goal of its own — Ryan Spooner, at the 16:14 mark — which set the stage for David Krejci‘s dramatic game-winner with just under two minutes to go.

So, to recap: Today’s game had the Beleskey hit on Stepan, the Marchand-Lundqvist theatrics and a dramatic come-from-behind victory for Boston.

And so, to answer your next question:

These two teams next meet on Monday, Jan. 11, at MSG.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Video: Peluso, Gabriel throw down in spirited heavyweight tilt


The big boys got after it early in Minnesota today.

Wild forward Kurtis Gabriel — all 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds of him — picked one of the toughest opponents in hockey on Friday, throwing down with Jets enforcer Anthony Peluso early in the first period.

And it was a pretty good tilt.

Peluso, one of the league’s most feared fighters, was coming off two pretty heavy scraps — one against Columbus tough guy Jared Boll, and another in which he landed some serious shots on overmatched Canucks d-man Luca Sbisa:

Of course, Gabriel’s no slouch.

He had one previous fight in the NHL this year (against Peluso’s teammate, Chris Thorburn) and five in the American League, where he’s spent the majority of this season.

Given the fisticuffs that occurred earlier in the Bruins-Rangers game, it seem the NHL has really gotten into the spirit of Black Friday.

(All videos courtesy HockeyFights.com)