NBC

The best hockey bloopers of 2017 (PHT Year in Review)

1 Comment

(Pro Hockey Talk is taking a look back at the year in hockey. We’ll be presenting you with the best goals, saves, moments, players and much more as we bring you the best of 2017.)

As a clumsy human, it feels awkward to spotlight the clumsiest moments of very-much-not-clumsy professional athletes. It’s the “glass houses” adage amped up by the fact that your walls are shattered.

Then again, maybe that’s the beauty of the blooper when it comes to professional sports or other high levels of activity. (People love blooper reels during movie credits, and often with good reason.)

For that split second, a star athlete or at least a handsomely paid athlete feels a version of the embarrassment and irritation you feel when you mess up your favorite shirt thanks to especially runny queso. These athletes aren’t “like us” – I’d wager none of them feel the same angst as clothes get tighter, if not inoperable, during the holidays – yet it’s enjoyable to see them humanized, nonetheless.

Speaking of bloopers, there’s a 100 percent chance I’ve missed a few, possibly some big step-on-the-rake moments. So feel free to share your own favorites in the comments, via email, or on Twitter.

OWNED BY OWN-GOALS

We must begin with the king of the own-goals, at least in the sense of drawing a lot of attention. Kris Russell‘s slapper costs the Oilers one, if not two standings points that could end up being precious, and even Nazem Kadri couldn’t believe it:

Speaking of defensemen who sometimes generate debates between traditional types and analytic-leaning observers, Dan Girardi‘s suffered some tough moments, with this recent flub:

Then-Dallas Stars forward Jiri Hudler tried to send a drop pass to his teammates. Instead, he sent it back into his own empty net in February.

Apparently you can win too much, at least when it comes to Nick Bjugstad sending a faceoff win into his own empty net in October.

CENTER-ICE BIFFS

P.K. Subban can really wire the puck when he wants to, but this center-ice goal from December is rough for Anders Nilsson, who’s had a rocky season for Vancouver overall:

It already must be exhilarating to score a goal from the middle of the rink. Imagine how great if felt for Dougie Hamilton to do so in March, with the huge bonus of it happening against his former team, as the Bruins decided to trade him:

Brian Elliott allowed this center-ice goal on the first shot he faced during a February game:

ASSORTED FUN

The falling bear is what 2017 really needed (sorry, falling bear). OK, technically this actually surfaced at the very end of 2016, but are you really going to complain?

(Oh, it’s the Internet and everyone complains here? Uh oh.)

Michael Del Zotto‘s misadventures being nice to an adorable Canucks fan, a two-act play from October:

During his Puck Daddy days, PHT’s Sean Leahy captured the story of an arena accidentally retiring a player’s jersey to the rafters … upside-down.

As is often the case with bloopers, the best part might have been the Twitter fallout.

If you ever had a tough day at the office …

Wes McCauley is weird.

***

Many mistakes were made in 2017, and again, some might have been made in the form of omissions in this post. So feel free to share some of your own favorites from the last 12 months.

Enjoy more sports strangeness below, too.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: PHT predicts Round 2

Getty Images
6 Comments

So after a Round 1 that was full of unexpected endings, what can even expect from Round 2? How many more brackets might get busted over the next two weeks — if they weren’t already busted after what we just witnessed?

Here are some fun facts about Round 1:

• 14 of the 16 top point producers from the regular season are not in the Second Round

• 5 of 8 winning teams overcame a series deficit

• 7 of the top 10 regular-season teams eliminated

• 3 Game 7s – most in the opening round since 2014 (3 Game 7s in entire playoffs last year)

• Ten games required overtime, matching the total from the entire 2018 postseason.

• For the first time in NHL history, the top team from each conference and all division winners were eliminated in the opening round. Washington’s defeat guarantees that there will be a new Stanley Cup champion for the 19th time in the past 20 seasons.

• Only three other rounds in NHL history have featured two Game 7s that required overtime, with each occurring on either the same day or on consecutive days: the 1997 Conference Quarterfinals (2 on April 29), 2011 Conference Quarterfinals (April 26-27) and 2012 Conference Quarterfinals (April 25-26). No postseason in NHL history has ever featured more than two Game 7s that have required overtime.

• Overall, 10 of 46 games required overtime in the First Round (21.7%), matching the total from the entire 2018 postseason (10 of 84 GP; 11.9%).

Now let’s move on to Round 2. Here’s who we think will advance to the conference finals. Who do you have moving on?

PHT’s Round 2 previews
Round 2 schedule, TV info

Questions for the final eight teams
PHT Roundtable
Conn Smythe favorites after Round 1

WATCH LIVE: Blue Jackets-Bruins, Stars-Blues kicks off Round 2

Getty Images
3 Comments

Game 1: Columbus Blue Jackets at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET
NBCSN
Call: Mike Emrick, Mike Milbury, Brian Boucher
Series preview

Stream here

Game 1: Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues, 9:30 p.m. ET
NBCSN
Call: Brendan Burke, AJ Mleczko, Pierre McGuire
Series preview

Stream here

Pre-game coverage begins tonight on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET with NHL Live.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and Connected TVs – will live stream all games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, and CNBC, via “TV Everywhere” throughout the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

PHT’s Round 2 previews
Round 2 schedule, TV info

Questions for the final eight teams
PHT Roundtable
Conn Smythe favorites after Round 1

Golden Knights’ owner says NHL executive apologized for Game 7 penalty

9 Comments

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The owner of the Vegas Golden Knights said Thursday a senior NHL executive phoned him to apologize for a penalty called during Game 7 of his team’s loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Owner Bill Foley said the call came the morning after Vegas lost 5-4 in overtime Tuesday night to end the first-round series. Foley said at a news conference the call came from an executive who is ”about as senior as you can get,” but he did not want to identify him.

The play in question was a major penalty on Cody Eakin of the Golden Knights that Foley described as ”infuriating.”

The owner said the executive admitted it was a ”bad call” and the league did ”acknowledge” it. Foley added that the apology made him ”feel a little better after that.”

Foley said he was sitting with injured forward Erik Haula in a suite at SAP Center when Eakin cross-checked Sharks captain Joe Pavelski in the chest with 10:47 to play. Paul Stastny bumped Pavelski as he fell to the ice, where he was knocked out and bleeding on the ice.

The officials conferred on the unreviewable play while a dazed Pavelski was helped to the locker room with a towel pressed to his head. Eakin was assessed a 5-minute penalty for cross-checking and a game misconduct. The Sharks scored four goals on the ensuing power play.

Series supervisor Don VanMassenhoven said the major penalty was given because the cross-check caused a significant injury.

”The game was ours, it was over, 3-zip,” Foley said. ”We were looking, saying ‘all we gotta do is play some defense, play defense and stay out of the box.’ Within 30 seconds, 5-minute major. It wasn’t a penalty. Painful.”

San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said Pavelski is listed as day to day but is not expected to be cleared for Game 1 of the second-round series against the Avalanche on Friday night.

DeBoer downplayed the league’s call to Foley.

”I haven’t gotten many of their calls where they made a mistake,” DeBoer said. ”There were a couple earlier in that series where I would have appreciated a call. We’re past that. We’re on to the next opponent now.”

AP sports writer Josh Dubow in San Jose, California, contributed to this report.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman needs surgery for torn knee ligament

1 Comment

TORONTO (AP) Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman has a torn knee ligament and is expected to miss a minimum of six months.

The team said Thursday he injured his anterior cruciate ligament during a playoff loss to Boston and will have surgery Monday.

The 26-year-old Hyman set career highs in goals (21) and points (41) this season. He had one goal during the seven-game playoff loss to the Bruins.

He has 115 points in 251 career NHL games.