Dustin Byfuglien Getty

Who were the biggest All-Star surprises?

12 Comments

The 2012 NHL All-Star game rosters have been announced, so now it’s time for the fun part — picking them apart! Here’s a look at some of the biggest surprises headed to Ottawa.

Goalies

Brian Elliott is an intriguing choice. He’s only started 20 games and his partner in the St. Louis goaltending timeshare, Jaroslav Halak, has solid numbers himself (2.19 GAA, two shutouts). Mind you, it’d be hard to dismiss Elliott given he’s second in the NHL in GAA (1.62), save percentage (.940) and shutouts (five).

Another eyebrow-raiser: Carey Price. No question he’s been a workhorse in Montreal, but he’s also 20th in GAA, 24th in save percentage and has as many wins as losses.

Defensemen

Dustin Byfuglien was brutal for the first month of the season, and now he’s hurt. The 24 points in 35 games are nice, but he’s still minus-8 and not that far removed from being called a disappointment.

I get the Dan Girardi selection and am glad he was recognized…but it’s a little like when Ben Wallace went to the NBA All-Star Game (and he went four times). It’s the square-peg-round-hole dynamic: Two guys that like being physical and blocking shots, stuck in a game where nobody cares about defense.

(Also, you could argue Michael Del Zotto should be the Rangers defenseman going to Ottawa.)

Forwards

Mikko Koivu is a surprise. He’s 51st among all forwards in scoring — anytime you’re looking up the points leaderboard at Curtis Glencross, P.A. Parenteau and Adam Henrique, you’re probably not expecting an ASG nod.

Not sure I agree with the Patrick Kane selection — he’s Chicago’s fourth-leading scorer and on pace for a career-low in goals. Makes a mean burrito, though.

It’s probably a PR nightmare to leave Alex Ovechkin off the All-Star roster (for the first time in his career), but I don’t see how he’s more deserving than his Washington teammate, Nicklas Backstrom. Mike Knuble said Backstrom’s been the most consistent player on an inconsistent team. Backstrom also leads the Caps in scoring and 15th in the league in points.

Speaking of teammates making it over more deserving teammates: I didn’t like Corey Perry over Teemu Selanne or Kane over Patrick Sharp.

Rookies

Justin Faulk wins this year’s Representing Awful Team With Token Rookie Game Appearance award (last year it went to Florida’s Evgeny Dadonov.) No way he should be there ahead of Marc-Andre Gragnani or Jared Cowen.

Feel free to add your own All-Star Game surprises in the comments section.

No hearing scheduled for Gudas after big hit on Sabres rookie

7 Comments

Flyers d-man Radko Gudas doesn’t have a disciplinary hearing scheduled for his hit on Buffalo’s Daniel Catenacci on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman has confirmed.

Gudas was given a five-minute charging major for laying out Catenacci late in the third period of Philly’s 5-1 win. The hit ended Catenacci’s night, a tough way for the 22-year-old to finish just his third NHL contest.

After the contest, Buffalo players and head coach Dan Bylsma didn’t mince words when it came to Gudas’ actions.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News. “I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

“That guy’s an idiot and stupid,” Foligno said of Gudas, per the Courier-Post. “He gets his hits in, he’s dirty and he’s been known for it. He goes after a rookie who plays in three games and goes right at his head.

“He’s an idiot, that guy.”

Gudas certainly has furthered his reputation as a dangerous hitter this season.

In December, he was suspended three games for a headshot on Mika Zibanejad and, earlier this month, was tossed from a game against Montreal for clipping, after delivering a low hit on Habs forward Lucas Lessio.

Report: The chances of Carey Price returning this season are ‘slim’

Montreal Canadiens' goaltender Carey Price looks on during a scrimmage game alongside goaltending coach Stephane Waite during NHL hockey training camp in Brossard, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Associated Press
5 Comments

Details surrounding Carey Price‘s injury have been scarce, but according to La Presse newspaper, the chances of him returning to the lineup this season are “slim” at best.

The 28-year-old has been out with a lower-body injury since Nov. 25.

His return date has been pushed back several times, and La Presse suggests that’ll happen again.

Originally, the Canadiens said Price would be out six weeks. Then, on January 21, General Manager Marc Bergevin said he expected his goalie to be out another three to four weeks, which means that he would be coming back sometime next week.

Price has been skating for a while, but he’s been doing so without his goalie equipment.

Basically, don’t hold your breath.

Here’s an excerpt from the story (quotes have been translated):

The possibility of Carey Price returning this season are so slim that people in the organization don’t even believe it’ll happen.

According to information obtained by La Presse, the Canadiens aren’t optimistic about their star goaltender’s chances of returning this season. He’s been out since November and the club refuses to confirm the fact that he suffered a right knee injury. 

The report goes on to say that Price is dealing with a Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) injury. The only good news is that he won’t have to undergo surgery.

“People in the Canadiens organization don’t believe he’ll  be back during the regular season,” a source told La Presse’s Richard Labbé. “They’re wondering if it’s even worth pushing him to come back, but they don’t want to admit anything publicly.

“They don’t want the fans to give up hope this season. There’s a marketing aspect to all of this.”

The story also mentions that Price is telling people that he’ll be healthy enough to represent Canada at the World Cup of Hockey next September.

PHT Morning Skate: Snoop Dogg wears OHL team’s jersey during a show

Snoop Dogg, aka Snoop Lion, arrives at Spike TV's Guys Choice Awards at Sony Pictures Studios on Saturday, June 8, 2013, in Culver City, Calif. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)
Associated Press
Leave a comment

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

–Snoop Dog wore a Mitch Marner London Knights jersey at his concert in London. (Bardown)

Brent Burns‘ son got a gift from Jaromir Jagr:

–Here’s Pierre LeBrun’s latest edition of Team Canada’s World Cup roster. (ESPN)

–The NHL completely ruined the Toronto Maple Leafs’ centennial season. (Puck Daddy)

–The Chicago Blackhawks will be going to the White House on Feb. 18. (Blackhawks.nhl.com)

–Wings goalie Petr Mrazek talks to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman about “doing the right things” and “working hard”. (Sportsnet)

Sharks scratch Flames’ big lead, Calgary wins anyway

Calgary Flames' Mikael Backlund (11) chases down the puck against San Jose Sharks' Tomas Hertl (48) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
AP
1 Comment

If you turned off Thursday’s Calgary Flames – San Jose Sharks game early, you’ll probably be stunned to see that Calgary won 6-5 via a shootout.

For instance:

  • A Sharks fan may have bitterly called it a night when Calgary went up 4-1.
  • Conversely, a Flames devotee might have retired after San Jose took a 5-4 lead, possibly with a broken remote.

The Flames only trailed for about two minutes before scoring the last “real” goal of the game, eventually taking their third straight win thanks to a shootout triumph.

It’s been a strange ride for Calgary, with its most recent win happening after Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma were punished with a healthy scratch. As strange as this game was, the “charity point” can leave both teams looking through a lot of film, yet with something gained as well.

Ultimately, the message may very well be: don’t sleep on these teams.

(In less positive news, Karri Ramo is injured, and it doesn’t look good.

Jonas Hiller closing out the game on a hot streak could be pretty important if Ramo’s out for some time.)