James O'Brien

Could Gostisbehere be the Flyers’ first Calder winner?


When you look at pure impact, Shayne Gostisbehere is right up there with the best rookies in the NHL so far this season.

The Philadelphia Inquirer brings up a fascinating question, even if it’s a far-flung concept: could he be the first player to win the Calder as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers?

The problem is in the name: he hasn’t been “here,” in the NHL, that long.

Just look at the top scorers among rookies. At a first glance, coming in at 12th overall seems to make his case laughable; Gostisbehere’s 19 points are a far cry from Artemi Panarin‘s rookie-leading 45.

Still, it’s resounding what he’s accomplished for the Flyers, especially in a short time.

In 27 games, he has three game-winning goals, all in overtime. His 10 power-play points ties him with Max Domi for third place among rookies.

It’s not on voters to penalize other rookies for playing in far more games, but Gostisbehere’s per-game impact really stands out. There are only two first-year players who’ve played in 10+ games who have more each night than Ghost’s .70 per game: Connor McDavid (.92) and Panarin (.88).

Like any good difference-maker, he’s generating a rave review quote from an opposing player, via the Inquirer:

“His shot … he’s got a bomb,” Kris Letang said. “For a young guy to come into the league and manage a power play with that much talent on it, it’s impressive.”

No doubt about it, “Ghost” is a long shot to win the Calder … or even be a finalist. Perhaps he should get a little more consideration, however, and that’s especially true if he keeps up this pace through the rest of the season.

Should this (gorgeous) Charlie Coyle goal actually count?


One way or another, Marco Scandella and Charlie Coyle showed some insane skill on this play.

Scandella’s remarkable flip-pass set things up, but Coyle kept his cool to control the puck and make enough moves to beat Jonathan Quick for a goal … that was very close to not being a goal.

You can see multiple replays of that moment in the video above. Initially, people were doing some freeze-framing to see if the play was onside:

Apparently that debate wasn’t necessary, as the NHL explained in its Situation Room Blog:

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Coyle had possession and control of the puck as he entered the attacking zone, even though his skates preceded the puck over the blue line. According to Rule 83.1, “a player actually controlling the puck who shall cross the line ahead of the puck shall not be considered ‘off-side,’ provided he had possession and control of the puck prior to his skates crossing the blue line.”

Therefore the original call stands – good goal Minnesota Wild.

Interesting stuff. It’s yet another example of how tricky the goal review process can be, and that seeing these tallies (or non-tallies) over and over again won’t necessarily end all debates.

Is this getting too frustrating, or is it worth it to (ideally) get more calls right?

Video: Slap shot catches Matt Hendricks below the belt


Matt Hendricks has had tough luck lately, and apparently having little choice but to fight a much larger man (see here) wasn’t the worst of his troubles.

He took a puck “where no man wants to” on Thursday night, as you can see from the video above.

The Dallas Stars held off Hendricks and the Edmonton Oilers to win 3-2, ending their four-game losing streak and spicing up the race for the Central Division crown.

(Chicago leads by three standings points, but Dallas holds two games in hand.)

With the loss and that unlucky moment, it was definitely a tough night to be Matt Hendricks.

Update: As Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski pointed out, Hendricks had a good sense of humor about it:

Lightning end Blackhawks’ winning streak at 12, extend own run to 7


Putting together a big winning streak is often about taking advantage of good luck and shaking off the bad bounces.

Thursday was a great example of that, as the Tampa Bay Lightning showed some resiliency (yet also exploited their situation) to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1. With that, the Lightning have now won seven straight games while bringing the Blackhawks’ franchise-record 12-game winning run to an end.

The Lightning are one win shy of their own club record of eight straight wins.

The bad bounce: Just 43 seconds into the game, Artem Anisimov scored a 1-0 goal to give Chicago the lead.

Taking advantage of the situation: Even so, the Lightning managed to grind out a win, taking advantage of a less-than-ideal Blackhawks lineup (which introduced Rob Scuderi, occasional winger).

Tampa Bay imposed its will, most obviously seen in the 33-18 shots on goal differential.

Two big contributors in the Bolts’ winning streak came up big tonight; Nikita Kucherov scored the game-winner for his 20th goal of the season and Ben Bishop shook off that Anisimov tally, improving to 19-13-3 on the season.

So, sometimes it’s also about your big guns coming through, too …

Daniel Sedin stands alone in Canucks history with 347th goal


An up-and-down night for the Vancouver Canucks features quite the high: Daniel Sedin scored the 347th goal of his career, becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in that category.

Markus Naslund was the previous leader (and then was previously tied with Daniel Sedin, obviously) with 346.

You can see a few of the other top guys in Canucks history in the tweet below and the goal itself in the video above.

Again, it wasn’t all smiles for the Canucks. This clip shows a tough moment, as Chris Tanev was shaken ip during the same shift that the Boston Bruins scored a goal:

Tanev helped Sedin score that milestone goal, so perhaps he’s OK.

Update: He already padded his lead with No. 348, an empty-netter.

Vancouver ended up beating Boston 4-2.