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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Hockey

Corey Crawford in goalie controversy with Scott Darling?

Corey-Crawford

The Chicago Blackhawks came from behind to win Game 1 of their playoff series against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night, thanks in large part to some stellar goalkeeping from Scott Darling.

Darling entered the game to start the second period after Corey Crawford played horribly in the first and dug the Blackhawks into a 0-3 hole. Nashville’s second goal was scored on a brutal turnover from Crawford behind his own net.

Through two full periods and one-plus overtime period, Darling managed to stop all 42 shots he faced. He made several phenomenal saves that allowed the Blackhawks to climb back into the game and begin their playoff series with some serious momentum. Where does that leave Chicago going forward?

As Steve Rosenbloom of The Chicago Tribune notes, the Blackhawks looked like they were sleep-walking in front of Crawford. One of the goals came on a deflection and another was caused by poor defense from Michal Rozsival. Crawford ranked sixth in the regular season among goalies with a .924 save percentage and 11th with 2.27 goals allowed per game. He has also led the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup championship.

The problem — for Crawford — is that the playoffs are all about momentum. Darling filled in admirably early in the season when Crawford suffered this embarrassing injury and compiled a record of 9-4 in spot duty, so the Blackhawks know he is capable of winning. The team clearly looked rejuvenated when Darling took over. That could result in head coach Joel Quenneville having to make a very difficult decision before Game 2.

Report: Patrick Kane expected to be ready for Game 1

Patrick KaneThe Chicago Blackhawks may be getting back their biggest weapon in time for the playoffs.

According to a report, Patrick Kane could be cleared to practice as early in Monday and might be probable for the team’s first-round playoff series against the Nashville Predators.

Kane has been out since breaking his collarbone after being checked into the boards in late February. Kane’s return would be a huge boost to the team and will come at a critical time as they enter the postseason having lost four in a row.

Ryan Reaves takes tooth out on bench after hard hit (Video)

Ryan Reaves of the St. Louis Blues ended Sunday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks with one less tooth in his mouth than he started with.

Reaves took a big hit along the boards from Brent Seabrook that resulted in the winger’s head getting smashed against the glass. It also loosened one of Reaves’ teeth. While later on the bench, Reaves did what you would expect any hockey player to do given the circumstances. He pulled it out so he could continue his evening without the distraction of a loose tooth in his mouth.

So far this season, Reaves has played in a career-high 77 games and has recorded six goals and six assists. He has also confirmed what we’ve known for years, hockey players won’t let much stop them from getting back on the ice.

ryan-reaves-tooth

Mike Weber rips Sabres fans for cheering loss: ‘This is a whole new low’

The Buffalo Sabres and Phoenix Coyotes are the two teams with the worst records in the NHL. On Thursday night, those two teams faced each other in Buffalo. Yet, the cheers from the crowd made it seem like a home game for the Coyotes.

Why? Because Buffalo fans want their team to finish last. The way the NHL draft lottery works, the team with the worst record is guaranteed one of the top two picks. That team would then have an opportunity to draft either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, two of the best NHL prospects in years.

That’s why Sabres fans booed when their team tied the game at 3-3 with less than four minutes remaining it regulation. It’s also why they reacted positively when Sam Gagner scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Sabres defenseman Mike Weber was disgusted with it.

“I’ve always spoken extremely high of our fans,” Weber said, as transcribed by Barry Petchesky of Deadspin. “I don’t even know if disappointed is the word. They score that first one, our fans are cheering. Late penalty, they cheer. They cheer when they score to win the game. I don’t even know what to say.”

Sabres-fans-pray-for-McDavid

Sabres fans even took the liberty of labeling Thursday night’s game “Tank Night.” Many of them held up signs with tanks on them while others taped Coyotes logos to the front of their Sabres jerseys.

(more…)

Nick Boynton suspended from radio job after allegedly biting casino security

Nick-Boynton

Former NHL defenseman Nick Boynton has been suspended from his job as a radio announcer for the Arizona Coyotes in the wake of a disturbing incident that took place at a casino early Thursday morning.

Boynton, who is in Buffalo for Arizona’s game against the Sabres on Thursday night, allegedly threw a fit after he was shut off at a Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino bar because he appeared heavily intoxicated. The Buffalo News reports that Boynton yelled at female employees and called them “vulgar names.”

“When a customer sitting on a chair in one of the game pits asked him to stop yelling and swearing, Boynton went over to the customer and shoved him off the chair onto the floor,” a police source told The Buffalo News. “I didn’t think someone could get so crazy on alcohol. He was cursing and shouting that he knew how to make money and the casino didn’t.”

Buffalo police officers who work inside the casino said Boynton resisted arrest and bit — that’s right, bit — the hand of one officer who was trying to subdue him. Boynton was taken to a nearby hospital after he told officers he is diabetic. His blood alcohol level reportedly registered 0.30, which is nearly four times the legal limit.

The 36-year-old was so intoxicated that police decided to wait until Thursday afternoon for him to be arraigned in Buffalo City Court. The Coyotes issued a statement after placing Boynton on a leave of absence.

“Early this morning, Coyotes radio color analyst Nick Boynton was involved in a situation at a Buffalo casino,” the statement read. “A police investigation is underway. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and until the continuing legal process is completed, we will have no further comment. Mr. Boynton has been placed on a leave of absence.”

Boynton played 11 seasons in the NHL for several different teams, including the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. We have heard some crazy stories from other athletes who caused problems inside casinos, but Boynton’s is up there with the best of them.

Senators to fans: Stop throwing hamburgers on the ice

Andrew-Hammond-hamburger

Ottawa Senators fans have started a unique trend over the past few weeks to celebrate their goalie’s incredible stretch of play. It involves throwing hamburgers onto the ice.

Senators goalie Andrew “The Hamburglar” Hammond has his team clinging to the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings with his 14-0-1 hot streak. During that span, Hammond has allowed just 1.67 goals per game and has a save percentage of .946. He has been showered in celebratory hamburgers for his efforts, and the team is urging fans to knock it off.

“We will continue to abide by both our own and the NHL’s policy to work in the best interests of the safety of our fans and the players — which does not permit items being thrown on the ice during play,” Senators director of communications Brian Morris told The Ottawa Citizen earlier this week. “There will be zero tolerance for any items thrown onto the ice during play.

“We are treating this seriously enough that we had Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot tape a bilingual message after practice today that will play in tomorrow’s game. The message will support the above asking fans not to toss anything on the ice during the game.”

Looks like somebody had a long chat with the Fun Police.

Rather than buying McDonald’s hamburgers just to toss them onto the ice, some have suggested Senators fans should be donating to food banks. Senators coach Dave Cameron agrees.

“I heard something on the way in today on the radio. I think there was a comment made on the radio that instead of throwing hamburgers on the ice, you make a donation to a food bank. I thought that was a great idea,” Cameron said Wednesday, per Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy. “Sometimes you appreciate the support and the enthusiasm of your fans too, but sometimes it can be channeled in a better way. And I certainly would back that up.”

While I certainly see the humor and originality in the hamburger toss, we’d hate to see an incident like this happen during a shootout. The Senators kind of have no choice but to crack down on it.

H/T Pro Hockey Talk

Mario Tremblay used P.K. Subban insult during DUI arrest

PK-Subban

Mario Tremblay is not a fan of P.K. Subban. The former Montreal Canadiens forward and coach has been critical of Subban several times when speaking to the media, but it became clearer than ever how much Tremblay dislikes the star defenseman when Tremblay was arrested earlier this year.

Tremblay was arrested in January after he was pulled over for speeding and refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. As the Globe and Mail noted, the police officer who arrested Tremblay said in his report that the 58-year-old insulted him using a Subban reference.

“’You can’t do that to me, I am Mario Tremblay,’” officer Constable Maxime Perron quoted the former Habs coach as saying. “He compared me to some hockey players, [saying] that I was ‘like ‘a P.K. Subban’, that I had no judgment and that I was being petty.”

This dude is getting booked for DUI and he still manages to take a shot at Subban? Maybe time to get over it, bro.

I don’t like Subban either, mostly because he is known for irritating antics like this. Still, Tremblay might want to speak to someone about his obsession.

H/T Puck Daddy