Jiri Hudler Named Finalist For Lady Byng

Ryan Pike
April 21 2015 04:55PM

A bit of pre-game news for you, and it's good news.

Calgary Flames winger Jiri Hudler has been named one of the three finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy. The news was announced on Sportsnet (and NBCSN's) pre-game coverage, and related by our pal Pat Steinberg on Twitter.

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Pre-Game Chatter - April 21 2015

Ryan Pike
April 21 2015 02:00PM

Anticipation is high for Game 4 between the Flames and Canucks!

Here's a brief snapshot of the chatter from in and around the Saddledome this morning follow each team's morning skates. Remember to treat everything you read with a grain of salt, particularly this time of year.

Playoff hockey!

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There are no saints in the playoffs

arii
April 21 2015 01:00PM

The latest chapter of the rivalry between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks has taken on a life of its own. It took a while to get going, but when it got there, it was out in full force. Kris Russell's last-minute game winner was stunning, but hardly the pinnacle of headlines.

That belongs to the fighting. And the goonery. And the hatred so strong it comes in waves off the ice and transmits through screens, not to mention the miles-long boxscores thanks to penalty minutes.

No saints, but no suspensions, either. Deryk Engelland was spared, as was Alex Burrows. Michael Ferland is not facing harsher punishments for his physicality, and neither is Dan Hamhuis. I can't think of a third Flame to mention here, so maybe my bias is showing, but hey, even Kevin Bieksa, who took his feelings of irrelevance and charged them into an outright ambush, is getting away with it.

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NHL Player Safety Just Keeps Getting it Wrong

Kent Wilson
April 21 2015 11:00AM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

As the clock wound down on the Flames recent 4-2 victory over the Canucks, the game descended into a series of flying body checks, chucked knuckles and post whistle scrums. This mirrored the previous game, a 4-1 Vancouver victory that ended in an ice clearing brawl and a $50,000 fine to Calgary coach Bob Hartley. 

That fine is the only supplemental discipline the NHL has handed out in a series that has featured gratuitous head shots, sucker punches, at least two last minute instigator penalties and numerous infractions that were ignored by the officials. It's been a rough series and because of the NHL's typically pedestrian response to the violence, it figures to get even uglier. 

The NHL's system of justice is broken. It's been broken for a long time. Here's how and why they keep getting things wrong. 

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Canucks recall Sven Baertschi

Thomas Drance
April 21 2015 10:58AM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks need goals. They need more of an offensive push from all over their lineup. They need Sven.

On Tuesday the club announced the recall of forward Sven Baertschi from the AHL's Utica Comets. Based on the timing of the recall - immediately before the club takes to the ice for the game-day skate on Tuesday - we can assume that he's in Calgary, and prepared to go in Game 4 if the Canucks decide they need him.

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