Olympic odds: Crosby, Ovechkin co-favorites for MVP


Canada’s Sidney Crosby and Russia’s Alex Ovechkin are the favorites to win tournament MVP at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to online oddsmaker Bovada.

Crosby and Ovechkin both came in at 7/1, followed by U.S. forward Patrick Kane, at 10/1. The field looks like this:

Alexander Ovechkin (RUS)         7/1
Sidney Crosby (CAN)                7/1
Patrick Kane (USA)                    10/1
Evgeni Malkin (RUS)                  12/1
Henrik Lundqvist (SWE)             15/1
Henrik Zetterberg (SWE)            15/1
Zach Parise (USA)                     18/1
Tuukka Rask (FIN)                     18/1
Ryan Miller (USA)                      18/1
Ilya Kovalchuk (RUS)                 20/1
Roberto Luongo (CAN)              20/1
Jonathan Quick (USA)               25/1
Jonathan Toews (CAN)              25/1
Steven Stamkos (CAN)              25/1
Semyon Varlamov (RUS)           25/1
Carey Price (CAN)                     30/1
Pavel Datsyuk (RUS)                 30/1
Phil Kessel (USA)                      30/1
John Tavares (CAN)                   30/1
Sergei Bobrovsky (RUS)            35/1
Erik Karlsson (SWE)                  40/1
Antti Niemi (FIN)                        40/1
Niklas Backstrom (FIN)              40/1
Henrik Sedin (SWE)                   40/1
Ryan Getzlaf (CAN)                   40/1
Ryan Kesler (USA)                     40/1
Daniel Sedin (SWE)                   40/1
Corey Perry (CAN)                     40/1
Patrick Sharp (CAN)                  50/1
Daniel Alfredsson (SWE)           50/1
Joe Pavelski (USA)                      50/1
Marian Hossa (SLO)                  50/1
David Krejci (CZE)                     50/1
Alexander Steen (SWE)             75/1
Marian Gaborik (SLO)                75/1
Rick Nash (CAN)                       75/1
Loui Eriksson (SWE)                 90/1
Mikko Koivu (FIN)                      90/1
Valtteri Filppula (FIN)                 100/1
Jaromir Jagr (CZE)                    100/1
Jussi Jokinen (FIN)                    150/1
Teemu Selanne (FIN)                  150/1

Some quick thoughts:

— The MVP doesn’t always come from the gold medal-winning team. In fact, the last two MVPs (Miller and Finland’s Antero Niittymakki) were on the silver-medal winning sides; the last guy to win MVP and gold was Canada’s Joe Sakic in 2002.

— Toews (25/1) led Canada in scoring at the ’10 Games in Vancouver.

— Karlsson (40/1) leads all NHL defensemen in scoring (53 points) and should play huge minutes on the Swedish blueline.

— If Quick gets the nod over Miller for the U.S. No. 1 gig in Sochi, he’s really good value at 25/1.

— Just a reminder that Finland won bronze in Vancouver, silver in Turin and silver in Nagano. The Finns always seem to be in medal contention, but I wouldn’t recommend betting on Niklas Backstrom because, you know, he’s not on the team and stuff.

BREAKING: Carey Price’s composure


Even the best goalie in the world – one who makes it look easy – can lose his cool sometimes.

(Heck, that used to be the domain of Patrick Roy, right?)

It was quite the sight on Thursday nonetheless: Carey Price absolutely lost his cool and went after Kyle Palmieri during the Montreal Canadiens’ game against the New Jersey Devils. You can watch that spectacle in the video above.

Palmieri received an interference penalty while Price received a roughing double-minor. Apparently fits of Price anger are rare:

By Hockey Reference’s numbers, Price has accrued 39 penalty minutes in 465 career regular season games and eight in 54 playoff contests before tonight’s outburst.

Here’s the moment in GIF form, too.

Video: John Tavares exhibits all-out-effort on this goal


Sometimes it feels like John Tavares is alone on an island. Even during such grimmer times, there are moments where it seems like he can do it all by himself, anyway.

The New York Islanders have been quietly getting it back together lately (4-0-1 in their last five games), with Tavares averaging a point per contest during that span. Still, he’s obviously been getting some help lately.

If you want an “all by himself” moment, look no further than the goal above, where he just out-efforts everyone. It’s an unusual sight, although especially jaded people may just come to expect this type of thing from Tavares. He’s that great.

Niskanen will miss at least one game from that Bergeron hit

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However you feel about the hit Patrice Bergeron delivered on Matt Niskanen, the bottom line is that the Washington Capitals defenseman is hurt.

The Capitals consider the valuable blueliner day-to-day with an upper-body injury and noted that he won’t travel to Buffalo for Friday’s game against the Sabres.

That only tells us so much, as the Capitals will face the Vancouver Canucks at home in their next game after that on Sunday. If that’s all he ends up missing, that wouldn’t be too huge of an issue. CSN Mid-Atlantic notes that he’s played in every game (all 189) since joining the Capitals, so he’s been healthy so far in his stay with Washington.

Washington called up defenseman Aaron Ness to help give them some depth.

As you may recall, Bergeron received a two-minute boarding minor for the check in question.

Bruised Blackhawks will be without Seabrook, Toews vs. Rangers

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 13: Brent Seabrook #7 and Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks
celebrate a second period goal by Seabrook against the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on February 13, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Scott Darling isn’t the only member of the Chicago Blackhawks who will be asked to step up with key players out of the lineup.

The Blackhawks have already ruled out Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews for Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, as CSN Chicago notes.

This will mark the eighth consecutive game Toews is missing, although the bright side is that Joel Quenneville didn’t dismiss the possibility of Chicago’s captain playing on Sunday.

Seabrook is considered day-to-day after being shaken up by this awkward spill from Wednesday:

A few days ago, Patrick Kane called upon others to step up with Toews out. That message can now apply to Chicago’s defensemen with Seabrook banged up.