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Report: NHL linesman Don Henderson files $10.25M lawsuit against Dennis Wideman

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Almost 15 months after Dennis Wideman knocked NHL linesman Don Henderson over with an apparent cross check, there has been another development in the infamous case.

Per TSN’s Rick Westhead, Henderson has filed in a Calgary court a $10.25 million lawsuit against Wideman. The report also states that the Flames are listed as defendants, as well.

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According to his lawsuit, Henderson suffered injuries to his head, neck back, shoulder, and right knee. He also allegedly suffered a concussion, pain, numbness and tingling in his right arm and hand, shock anxiety and depression, headaches and permanent and partial disability.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. No statements of defence have been filed. A Flames spokesperson did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

The incident occurred during a game between the Flames and Nashville Predators on Jan. 27, 2016, leading to litigation between the various parties for more than a year. The league suspended Wideman for 20 games.

The length of the suspension was eventually reduced on appeal, leading the league to file a suit in order to get the ban restored to 20 games.

However, last month, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ruled in favor of Wideman and the NHLPA, ultimately keeping the suspension at 10 games — much to the disappointment of the NHL.

Video: Shaw and Smith drop the gloves, tempers flare between Habs, Rangers

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Quite an eventful first period between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers.

With the series tied 2-2 and Game 5 in Montreal on Thursday, tempers were short in the opening 20 minutes. A massive scrum started in front of Henrik Lundqvist, leading to Andrew Shaw and Brendan Smith dropping the gloves in a spirited fight inside the Rangers’ zone.

More bad blood as the period ended with Shea Weber and Rick Nash getting tied up beside Carey Price.

The Habs jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the first period. Artturi Lehkonen opened the scoring for Montreal, and Brendan Gallagher restored the Habs’ lead 24 seconds after a short-handed goal from Rangers forward Jesper Fast.

It certainly gave the Habs a boost when Price made an absolutely amazing left-pad save on Mats Zuccarello just 40 seconds into the game.

 

2017 Calder Trophy finalists: Patrik Laine, Auston Matthews, Zach Werenski

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The NHL has announced the finalists for the 2017 Calder Trophy, given to the league’s top rookie.

Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets, Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets were named finalists for the award.

Laine and Matthews were obvious choices given their exciting penchant for scoring, but there were several young players — William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Sebastian Aho to name a few — that could’ve easily been named the third finalist. Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted their votes at the end of the regular season.

Matthews and Laine went No. 1 and No. 2 overall in last year’s draft, prompting incredible anticipation around the league for what they could accomplish this season. And they didn’t disappoint.

Matthews, 19, led all rookies in scoring, with 40 goals and 69 points, helping the Maple Leafs to a playoff position. His NHL career began with a record-setting debut and he continued to delight from there. He finished tied for second overall in goal scoring alongside Nikita Kucherov. Matthews ended the season only four goals behind Sidney Crosby, this year’s Rocket Richard Trophy winner.

Laine, who just turned 19 years old on Wednesday, finished fifth in overall goal scoring and second in rookie goal scoring. He tallied 36 goals, showing off an incredibly accurate and quick wrist shot. He also had 64 points, second behind Matthews in the rookie race.

Werenski, also 19 years old, had an impressive rookie season on defense for the Blue Jackets. He had 47 points in 78 games, averaging almost 21 minutes of ice time per game. His freshman campaign bodes well for the future in Columbus, especially since he plays such a difficult position for younger players in the league. Not only did he play, but he often excelled. Unfortunately, he suffered a facial fracture in Game 3 of the Blue Jackets’ first-round series with Pittsburgh, ending his season.

The winner will be announced June 21 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Carlyle: Injured d-men Vatanen, Fowler should be available for second round

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Reinforcements could be on the way for the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of the playoffs.

The Ducks swept the Calgary Flames in the first round, which gives them some additional time off until the next round. And that time off could be beneficial for a pair of injured defensemen — Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler.

Vatanen played just over 22 minutes in the series opener versus Calgary but hasn’t played since then because of an upper-body injury. He was considered day-to-day as a result. Fowler hasn’t played since April 4 because of a knee injury — suffered against the Flames.

Both defensemen are productive offensively, but they also eat up valuable minutes for the Ducks. Fowler led the team in ice time during the regular season, playing nearly 25 minutes per game, while Vatanen was third in that category. Naturally, both are relied upon for the power play and penalty kill.

Although Anaheim awaits its next opponent, it would be a huge boost for the Ducks to get Vatanen and Fowler both as healthy as possible and back into the lineup.

As of Thursday, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said there is no specific timetable for either blue liner, however they should both be available for the second round.

Stanley Cup pressure on Ovechkin? ‘I’m sure he’s feeling it a little bit,’ says Kadri

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) Barry Trotz is wondering aloud if Washington Capitals have been the victim of some bad bounces against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“They’ve got some strange goals, and that sometimes can play in your mind a little bit and we fought through that,” Trotz said Thursday. “We’re getting really mentally tough in this series because we’re working, and you create your own luck.”

With the series tied 2-2 going into Game 5 in Washington on Friday, the Capitals are facing a bigger test than anyone ever imagined. Morgan Rielly said the Maple Leafs have earned the right to feel confident, and players don’t believe they’re all even in this series because of luck.

Quite the opposite. Echoing their coach, who noted they weren’t at their best and still were within a goal in the Game 4 loss , defenseman Connor Carrick called Game 4 an “opportunity missed.”

“We didn’t play anywhere close to what we’re capable of,” goaltender Frederik Andersen said.

Had the Maple Leafs erased a 4-1 deficit to take command of the series, the pressure would have been squarely on the Presidents’ Trophy winners with the checkered playoff past.

Read more: Capitals flex muscles, tie series with Leafs, despite some Game 4 drama

Already the Capitals were looking tight and the expectation is still on them to win and advance.

“I think we got our heads on straight right now on how we want to play, and unfortunately it’s taken us a couple games to get there,” right winger T.J. Oshie said after the game. “So we want to improve on (Game 4) and get even better, but I think (Wednesday night) was a right step breathing-wise.

Breathing is essential for a team that hasn’t made it past the second round in the past decade with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, and is facing major roster changes this summer no matter the result. This is Ovechkin’s best chance at the Stanley Cup, and everyone knows it.

“Yeah, I’m sure for him it’s hard not to think about that type of thing,” Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri said. “But I think he’s not the only desperate one that’s going to be out there. I think we’re going to be a desperate team fighting to bring the series back to Toronto up a game. It’s desperate for both groups, but yeah, I’m sure he’s feeling it a little bit.”

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs are at the start of their contending window. They’re playing with house money and sound like the more confident bunch.

“We’re capable of winning this series,” winger Matt Martin said. “We just have to stay the course.”

Washington defenseman Karl Alzner‘s status is unclear after missing the past two games with an upper-body injury. He skated with a handful of other players Thursday, and Trotz termed him “day to day.”

Braden Holtby, who has allowed 14 goals in four games and has a .902 save percentage, also skated. Trotz called it “a pinball machine out there” and said he wasn’t worried about Holtby but didn’t exactly give his reigning Vezina Trophy winning goaltender’s play in this series a ringing endorsement.

“It’s hard to gauge it because they’ve had a lot of strange stuff,” Trotz said, praising Holtby for being hard-nosed to handle bad bounces. “During the year, goalies, they do everything on predictability and there are a lot of things that aren’t very predictable right now and that’s what at times makes Braden look like he’s not there.”

Who’s actually not there are winger Brett Connolly, who played 4:26 in Game 4, and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who saw 12:18 of ice time with just one power-play shift. Depth was considered one of the Capitals’ advantages, but Trotz shortening his bench bears watching.