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from John Lane of the NHL's website,
Artistic impression will come to life with the first live, animated NHL telecast when the Washington Capitals play the New York Rangers in the "NHL Big City Greens Classic" on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney+).
The alternate broadcast, inspired by Disney's Emmy-award winning comedy "Big City Greens," will feature live, real-time volumetric animation of players and teams modeled after characters on the show.
Steve Levy and Mark Messier will have the traditional broadcast of the regular-season game (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SNE, SNP, TVAS and SN NOW) from Madison Square Garden, while Drew Carter and Kevin Weekes will call the special broadcast. In ESPN's Studio Z this past Friday, each wore motion capture suits working to display animation and respective avatars for the simulation modeled after characters from the show.
"I really want my curiosity to be deep, my excitement for it," said Weekes, a former NHL goalie. "Hopefully that ends up translating into the broadcast itself because we're being transported, certainly for me, I'll be transported into a different world. And more importantly, we want to be able to transport the viewer, the listener, into a different world.
"Not only are the players the artists, but so too are the characters, and now we're going to kind of merge and integrate those two in the storytelling via the animation and via that technology."
from Charlie O'Connor of The Athletic,
Philadelphia Flyers culture. It’s a nebulous, multifaceted concept — but very, very real.
The Flyers are tough. They take care of their own. They promote from within. They spend whatever it takes to win. They don’t believe in taking steps back to take bigger steps forward. True stewards of Flyers culture, the thinking goes, carry the torch of founder Ed Snider, in a relentless march toward inevitable success.
In the 1970s and 1980s under Snider, the march began. It continued through the 1990s, even as Comcast entered the picture and purchased Snider’s Spectacor, keeping Snider as chairman. The collective of former players and executives even continued to successfully trudge forward in the early 2000s, as the Flyers made another Stanley Cup Final appearance.
But the NHL’s implementation of the salary cap in 2005 slowed the Flyers’ advance. Snider’s death in 2016, of course, took away the embodiment of said culture. And on March 10, 2023, the man handpicked by the organization’s remaining stewards — Chuck Fletcher — was released from his duties as general manager and president of hockey operations.
If ownership has the courage to accept hard truths, March 10, 2023, could also stand as the moment when the old Flyers culture — along with all of its remaining champions — was finally, mercifully deemed in need of retirement.
After all, the fingerprints of Flyers culture were all over Fletcher’s ultimately failed tenure as GM.
NEW YORK (March 13, 2023) – Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 12.
from Travis Yost of TSN,
A couple of years ago, amidst a surge in scoring across the National Hockey League, I argued teams with weak offences were increasingly being left behind. For a variety of reasons, the grind-it-out teams of the last 20 or 30 years have been left behind, with skill and up-tempo hockey being rewarded in the current environment.
A lot of the focus in this area has been at even strength, where the lion’s share of an NHL game is played. The teams that can fill the back of the net with regularity in the regular season, generally speaking, qualify for the playoffs these days. The teams that struggle to score are usually sitting at home come April.
Here is another wrinkle to consider: even-strength scoring has stabilized at multi-decade highs. What hasn’t stabilized is rate scoring on the power play, which continues to accelerate. This season has seen remarkable production on the man advantage – teams are not only scoring at blistering rates, but expected goals (which measures both shot volume and the quality of those shots) are moving in the same northward direction:
from Wayne Scanlan of Sportsnet,
Very early in the Vancouver game, Senators forward Claude Giroux found himself wide open in the slot and ripped a shot off the inside of the post.
The puck stayed out, bounding harmlessly through the crease. As the camera panned to Giroux back at the bench, he screamed a single word, apparent to all who can read lips: “FRICK!!” Or, something close to that which can’t be repeated in family publications.
The moment was fairly representative of the Ottawa Senators Lost Weekend out west – back-to-back losses to Vancouver on Saturday (5-2) and Calgary on Sunday (5-1).
NHL Highlights: Flames 5, Senators 1Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 5:34Loaded: 2.97% Fullscreen
Though the Senators hung on to beat Seattle 5-4 on Thursday, this trip began with a 5-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. So, the Sens have lost three of four and been outscored 15-3 in those losses.
This isn’t exactly the prescribed recipe for grabbing ahold of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, losing three games to teams not currently in playoff positions themselves.
Ottawa is certainly not out of the race but they have certainly lost precious ground.
from Gilbert Ngabo of the Toronto Star,
John Tavares helped the Maple Leafs beat the Chicago Blackhawks. Then he helped create a memory that will last a lifetime for a young fan recovering from brain surgery.
Henry Pye, 11, had a large tumour removed last December at the Hospital for Sick Children. He couldn’t sit up, move his head, open his eyes or talk for several days after the operation. Once he started to make progress and regain strength, his family began to think about ways to celebrate his recovery.
They decided to take him to a hockey game.
“It was our first outing in real life after the surgery and it was his first time at a Leafs game, which was an amazing experience,” said Tanya Pye, Henry’s mother. “We were just so happy we could go out again.”
A fun night at Scotiabank Arena on Feb. 15 would become unforgettable for Henry’s family thanks to the “serendipitous, random act of kindness” of a stranger and the generosity of the Leafs captain.
Sean Reynolds and Elliotte Friedman preview this week's GM meetings, looking at the role of the executive committee leading up the meetings and what issues on and off the ice will be discussed throughout the week.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
"There’s a lot of pride in our locker room and that was a huge test, huge opportunity for us, that’s how we looked at it," captain Dylan Larkin said after Sunday's 5-3 victory. "We got back-to-back games with the same team and a team that is on a record pace. We had a great two games. We didn’t have a great second period (Saturday), but both games, we battled hard.
"Just incredible team effort both nights. It was a huge character weekend for us."...
"Two really big players for our organization and even better friends that we lost, but now we have to move on," Seider said. "I think it’s even more fun winning without those guys, to show how much character is in that locker room, to really push here towards the end of the season."...
"The one message I had with the group — we are up 4-1 after the second period and we were feeling good about the start of our third," Lalonde said. "I really thought we were leaning towards scoring our fifth goal. Instead we give up two really easy goals to make it 4-3. That was really disappointing and a little immature of our group, which is fine — we are still trying to grow. But if we are ever going to get somewhere as an organization, we will have to manage that much better. The good teams, the great teams, they manage those much better."
* Jack Hughes matched a single-season franchise mark with another multi-point outing as the Devils moved into a tie in standing points with the Hurricanes atop the Metropolitan Division.
* Kris Letang lifted the Penguins to victory with the winner in the extra frame and moved into third on the NHL’s all-time overtime goals list among defensemen.
* Maple Leafs look to set franchise benchmark for fewest games to 90 points in a season when they face the Sabres at Scotiabank Arena on a three-game Monday.
from Nolan Bianchi of the Detroit News,
"Great win. Really happy with it," Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde said. "We got rewarded today with an outcome, but our six periods on a whole, I thought, were great. Outside of the second period (Saturday) when we were really on our heels, I'm really proud of the guys and the effort and the approach this weekend."
"There's a lot of pride in our locker room and (this weekend was) a huge opportunity, huge test ... for us, that's how we looked at it," Larkin said. "We got back-to-back games with the same team, a team that's on a record pace. We had a great two games. ... I thought both games, we battled hard."...
"We're up 4-1 after the second period, and we were feeling good about the start of our third," Lalonde said. "But I really thought we were leaning towards scoring our fifth goal instead of just keeping them from scoring their second. We gave up two really easy goals to make it 4-3.
"It was really disappointing and a little immature of our group, which is fine. We're still trying to grow. But if we're ever going to get somewhere as an organization — if we put ourselves in those situations, we will have to manage that much better.
"The good teams — the great teams — they manage those much better."
After 20 minutes the Wings were up 1-0.
After 40 minutes the Wings were up 4-1.
After 60 minutes the Wings win 5-3.
Nice to see this team hold their own against the top team in the NHL.
Now bottle this motivation for the rest of the season.
Below, watch a thank you for Tyler Bertuzzi and the Detroit goals.
NEW YORK (March 12, 2023) – Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for slashing Edmonton Oilers defenseman Vincent Desharnais during NHL Game No. 1043 in Toronto on Saturday, March 11, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 3:41 of the third period. Tavares was assessed a minor penalty for slashing.
Good afternoon and welcome back. Once again we face off against the Broons in the second game of a back to back. We all watched as the Wings, who played well yesterday, couldn’t get the job done. I’m not slamming them. The effort was there, but, well, whatever…… I hope the Wings can turnaround and make the Broons pay.
It’s the Bruins vs the Wings in another Original Six matchup. The puck drops around 1:30 PM and will be broadcast on TNT, TVAS, SN360, and NESN. Also available on the Red Wings Radio Network (97.1 The Ticket in Detroit)
It’s a Live Blog!
from Colby Guy of Florida Hockey Now,
The Florida Panthers came into Saturday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets as the most penalized team in the NHL by a country mile.
A 20-penalty lead to be exact.
They took three more and allowed two power play goals that put them in a hole they struggled to get out of for most of the game.
The Panthers struck back with three power play goals of their own — including one by Matthew Tkachuk to cap off a two-goal comeback in the third period — but it was not enough as Mark Scheifele finished the game off in overtime as the Jets escaped Sunrise with a 5-4 win.
“It would be a bigger concern if we didn’t draw as many penalties as well,” coach Paul Maurice said.
”We are a high-event team for whatever reason; we get a bunch, we draw a bunch. We took nine penalties in four periods. We’re clearly aware of that.”
Game highlights are below.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Rye. Sourdough. Wheat. French. Buttered. Avocado.
Or maybe just plain burnt.
Any way you slice it, it sure feels like the Buffalo Sabres are toast. And that's a shame because this is a season that has already been filled with more good moments than most of the last five years combined.
Saturday's 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers made it 0-3-1 in the last four games and 1-5-1 in the last seven. You just can't stay close in the wild-card race when the Islanders, Penguins, Panthers and Senators keep winning and you're doing that.
Yes, there are still 17 games left. And the Sabres still have games in hand on the Islanders and Panthers. But the deficit is up to seven points, they're chasing multiple teams and it's going to take a long winning streak to get them back in the hunt.
The highlights from the game can be watched below.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Sun,
What the Ottawa Senators hoped would be a road to a chase for a wild card spot is fast becoming a road to nowhere.
For the second time in three tries on the pivotal five-game road swing, the Senators were sloppy and out of sorts Saturday, with bad discipline and pour positioning contributing to a 5-2 loss to a Vancouver Canucks squad that long ago gave up hopes of being involved in any playoff hunt themselves.
The Senators came into the late night contest with an opportunity to gain ground on their rivals in the tight race in the East, but they couldn’t find their footing until it was too late.
With even more question marks surrounding the club’s goaltending health — Saturday’s starter Mads Sogaard battled through to the end after being down on the ice following a collision in the second period — the challenge now is to immediately shake off another disappointing defeat before facing the Calgary Flames Sunday night.
It was another example of a young team losing its cool and its rhythm with a constant parade to the penalty box. As for the Senators power play, it has suddenly gone ice cold.
Game highlights are below.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Is it possible, and I am just throwing this out there, that the Rangers at this very moment are the third-best team in the Metro area in this season, in which all of our teams are in position to qualify for the playoffs for just the fourth time in the 40 seasons since New Jersey joined the fray.
Disclaimer: No one is handing out the Cup today.
The Devils have been among the NHL’s elite since the third week of the season, elevated by the acquisition of Timo Meier from San Jose in return for a package that no one in New Jersey will notice is missing.
They continue to impress even with Jack Hughes somewhat diminished since returning from a four-game absence on Feb. 18, No. 86 with nine points (1-8) in 10 games prior to Saturday in Montreal after having posted 28 points (17-11) in the 15 games before sustaining an upper-body injury. New Jersey is 7-2-1 in these contests.
The Islanders have re-established themselves as mentally as tough a team as there is in the NHL. They have survived the teeth of the winter in which they seemed tired, beaten down and done in this league dominated by high-end talent. They survived that — Bo Horvat might have had something to do with that — and are now thriving by getting to this small portion of the season in which everyone is trying to adapt to more of a playoff brand of hockey.
continued, plus more topics like this...
Finally, I don’t get it.
In his life away from hockey, P.K. Subban seems to have charity for all. Yet as a studio analyst for ESPN, he displays the same disrespect for his peers as he did while playing with reckless disregard for at least the final season of his career. Eye-rolling apparently is the (much less harmful) version of the slew-foot.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Ryan McLeod was like the kid who played with fire, and then watched the whole barn burn down.
And up in smoke with that barn went two points that the Edmonton Oilers absolutely wasted in a 7-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“Self-inflicted wounds,” was how Evander Kane best described it.
“You can't you can't give a team like that anything easy,” echoed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
With his team holding a comfortable 3-1 second-period lead, McLeod committed the cardinal sin. He passed the puck through his own slot.
Not up the boards. Not a bank shot off the end boards to the defenceman on the other side.
McLeod did what every Canadian kid knows to be the equivalent of, “Never lick the soccer posts on a cold winter day.” He moved the puck through the danger zone, which just happened to be inhabited by one of the most skilled hockey players on the planet — Mitch Marner.
Watch the game highlights below.
from Nate Brown of Detroit Hockey Now,
The Red Wings bulked up last offseason. Sitting with two first-round picks and three second-round choices, Detroit can add more to the prospect pipeline. There’s also the possibility of trading the capital, too.
But before those decisions even occur, how are the prospects in the system currently doing and might they find their way to Detroit next season? Here’s a look at a couple in a two-part series.
Stats: 51 Games; 23 points (8-15)
Kasper is a prototypical Yzerman pick. High hockey IQ, polished, and from the looks of it, excellent character.
Kasper was recently the recipient of the Granitpucken Award, which is given to a Rogle player every year. According to the team, Kasper has shown “incredible professionalism” and who leads with his “attitude and play.”...
Stats: 47 games; 26 points (5-21)
Probably the most anticipated prospect to make his Detroit debut, Edvinsson has gotten stronger as the year has gone on and will undoubtedly make his NHL start with the Red Wings when camp breaks next year. Then again if things continue on the positive track, might he make his way up for a cup of coffee this season?...
more on each of the above
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- Try explaining Erik Karlsson’s season in San Jose. You can’t. He has more even-strength points than McDavid and leads the NHL having been on the ice for 94 even-strength goals, 21 more than McDavid. The next 35 players with even strength points behind him are all forwards not defencemen. And yet on the other side of the ledger, Karlsson leads the NHL in being scored upon — 96 times in all. This isn’t like Bobby Orr’s 139-point season in Boston where he finished at plus-124 or even like Paul Coffey’s 138-point season in Edmonton, where he finished at plus-61.
- A long-time NHL evaluator says this about the New Jersey Devils: “Look at the Florida Panthers last year. Look at the Devils this year. Those are teams playing fast hockey. The common thread, Andrew Brunette was coaching in Florida last year and is coaching in Jersey now.”
- Please tell me that talk of further NHL expansion is just talk. Yes, expansion to Seattle and Vegas has been successful financially and on the ice in those markets and way beyond any expectations. It’s been a win-win for the NHL. But now discussion of Houston and Atlanta (again?) seems premature and unnecessary. The league needs to strengthen its own markets, not water down its product by adding additional cities
via Sportsnet's YouTube page,
On this edition of 32 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discuss Danny Briere's current interim GM status with the Flyers, whether he will stick around as full-time GM, some potential names that could join him in Philadelphia, and more.
* The Bruins became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the fastest club in NHL history to reach the 50-win mark in a season.
* AustonMatthews scored his 30th goal of the season and Mitchell Marner tallied a four-point outing as the Maple Leafs outdueled the Oilers and the NHL’s top two scorers: Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
* Dawson Mercer stretched his point streak to a dozen games to help the Devils move within two points of the top-seeded Hurricanes and set up a must-watch game Sunday between the two clubs.
* Sunday’s eight-game slate opens with an NHL on TNT doubleheader and features several teams looking to “Spring Forward” in the League standings.
via the YouTube page of Sportsnet,
Academy Award Nominated Filmmaker Sarah Polley lent her voice to this stirring Hockey Night In Canada intro and we challenge you not to get fired up!
Larkin, Seider and Lalonde. Below are the game highlights.
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