James O'Brien

Daniel Carr speeds way to his first NHL goal

Hey, do you love bad puns? Well, Daniel Carr got to his first NHL goal really fast, so … yeah.

(Wait, you don’t like puns? Uh oh …)

Seriously though, it’s quite the debut for the Montreal Canadiens youngster. NHL.com’s Arpon Basu captured the spirit nicely:

Carr, 24, was off to a pretty fabulous start in the AHL, so maybe he’ll ride this momentum to more than a mere cup of coffee. Either way, it’s a really cool moment.

Shea Weber ruins own-goal jokes with hat trick


Brad Richards‘ first goal of the 2015-16 season is a clip that probably would have burned Shea Weber for some time … if Weber didn’t bounce back so quickly, and forcefully.

(You can watch that accidental bounce off of Weber’s skate in the video of Richards’ goal above.)

The hard-hitting, hard-shooting Nashville Predators defenseman answered that frustrating moment with the first hat trick by a blueliner in Preds’ franchise history.

Jeez, Shea, at least give us a little time to make fun of you first …

Update: Weber became the first Predators defenseman to score a hat trick.

Despite that hat trick, the Red Wings managed to beat the Predators 5-4 in OT.

Fight video: David Backes vs. Nazem Kadri (yes, seriously)


In one corner, you have David Backes, a player so agitating that it’s surprising he isn’t goaded into a fight more often.

In the other: Nazem Kadri, a guy who has some fire to his game, but you wouldn’t necessarily expect him to drop the mitts.

The St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs are engaging in a pretty interesting contest on Saturday, as the Buds currently hold the lead. That fight above might be more surprising than Toronto’s current lead, though.

Interesting nugget:

It wasn’t the only noteworthy clip of the contest, as Steve Ott seemed to be hurt pretty badly here:

He won’t return because of that lower-body injury.

Sign Kings are climbing: Lucic revs up underrated Doughty talk

Anze Kopitar, Milan Lucic, Drew Doughty

Sure, you can look at the standings and see if the Los Angeles Kings are doing well.

A more entertaining barometer for a Kings’ hot streak comes when people discuss how people just aren’t discussing Drew Doughty‘s greatness enough.

That happened during the Kings’ previous Stanley Cup runs, and it appears to be surfacing again, as Milan Lucic pumped his tires after Los Angeles nullified the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 5-3.

Ah yes, it’s been a while since someone Kings-related trotted out the ‘ol East Coast bias routine, right?

(Not that they’re necessarily wrong, mind you …)

The Kings really are heating up again lately. They’ve now won three games in a row and are currently on a five-game point streak (4-0-1), only losing in a shootout to Tampa Bay on Nov. 25.

There’s no denying the notion that Doughty is one of the catalysts, if not the engine, as he keeps hovering around 30 minutes of ice time each night.

It was really a nice day for the Kings defense in general, too:

At one point, the Penguins looked especially pitiful:

Sidney Crosby did provide this balm in the form of a pretty goal, though:

Pittsburgh saved face at least on the scoreboard, but there’s no doubt which team looked better today. And Doughty’s a huge part of that, no doubt.

Jets end Caps’ winning streak after deeply bizarre goal review

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There was some rough stuff between the Capitals and Jets early in Saturday’s game, but the contest ended in an even rougher fashion.

It only makes too much sense that the on-ice official oddly stuttered in announcing that Mark Scheifele‘s overtime game-winner counted, as it was a very … stilted review process.

You can see the decisive goal (and much of the strange theater) in the video above.

Here’s the league’s official explanation via its Situation Room Blog.

At 4:40 of overtime in the Capitals/Jets game, the Situation Room initiated a review under the terms of a Coach’s Challenge to examine whether Winnipeg was off-side prior to Mark Scheifele’s goal.

Review was not conclusive in determining whether Winnipeg was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “If a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the On-Ice Official(s) will be instructed to confirm their original call.”

Therefore the original call stands – good goal Winnipeg Jets.

Controversy and confusion aside, the goal did count, so Winnipeg’s 2-1 OT win ended Washington’s winning streak at six games.

That funky finish was a field day for those who have issues with the review system, particularly with offside calls leading to more than a few controversies early in 2015-16.

Goalie duel

That strange bit of drama took some of the spotlight away from two H-named goaltenders who are on impressive hot streaks.

It’s no surprise that Braden Holtby is playing well.

Holtby stopped 34 out of 36 shots in this one, and while his eight-game winning run ended along with Washington’s team streak hitting a wall, he’s playing at the level we saw in his near-Vezina-caliber 2014-15 campaign.

The more fascinating story might be Connor Hellebuyck.

He’s now on a three-game winning streak in which he’s allowed a single goal in each victory. This marked his best work yet, as he turned aside 37 out of 38 shots.

With Ondrej Pavelec hurt and Michael Hutchinson struggling, Hellebuyck may just fuel more changes in Winnipeg’s net. Considering how brutal the Central Division is right now, it’s likely that Paul Maurice will be happy to ride the hot hand.

There’s no doubt that Hellebuyck is that play right now.