All posts by Josh Gold-Smith

Reaves embraces ‘Muffin Man’ nickname, jokes he’d consider WWE

Ryan Reaves doesn't seem opposed to his newfound nickname.

On Wednesday, the Vegas Golden Knights forward responded to Evander Kane giving him the "Muffin Man" moniker one day prior.

"That's my new nickname, so you can call me that," Reaves told reporters, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal's David Schoen.

Reaves also addressed Kane's assertions that Reaves "sure does a lot of talking," and that "he thinks it's the WWE."

"If Vince McMahon wants to call me when I retire I could always use a few extra bucks," the Golden Knights agitator told reporters, according to The Athletic's Jesse Granger.

Reaves joked that he'd use his new nickname in the ring and walk out to the nursery rhyme, "The Muffin Man," which the Vegas DJ played when Kane was ejected from Game 4 on Tuesday night.

Before Tuesday's contest, Kane took a shot at Reaves' effort in their Game 3 fight.

"For the so-called toughest guy in the league, I don't know if he landed a punch," Kane said. "At times I thought I was fighting the Muffin Man. Didn't expect that, I expected more of a battle."

The two players finally fought with about two minutes left in Game 3 after jawing at each other for much of the contest.

Vegas shut out San Jose 5-0 on Tuesday to take a 3-1 series lead.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Flames rookie Valimaki to make playoff debut in Game 4 vs. Avs

Juuso Valimaki will get his first taste of postseason action Wednesday night.

The Calgary Flames defenseman is officially in the lineup for Game 4 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Colorado Avalanche.

Valimaki, a 20-year-old rookie, appeared in 24 regular-season contests for Calgary, chipping in three points and averaging 15:29 of ice time.

The Flames selected him 16th overall in the 2017 draft.

Colorado currently leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 after a 6-2 victory in Game 3.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Hurricanes’ Ferland unlikely to play in Game 4

Carolina Hurricanes forward Micheal Ferland is not expected to play against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

"I would say (he's) still a ways away," Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour told reporters, including ABC11's Joe Mazur, on Wednesday.

When asked if he was ruling the 26-year-old out for Game 4, the Carolina bench boss replied, "Pretty much."

Ferland left Game 3 on Monday night and didn't return with what the club classified as an upper-body injury.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Report: Only Crosby, Malkin ‘untouchable’ for Pens on trade market

The Pittsburgh Penguins reportedly view just two of their players as unavailable to other clubs in potential deals.

Only Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are considered "untouchable" when it comes to a potential Penguins trade, a team source told The Athletic's Rob Rossi.

However, the source said Pittsburgh is very unlikely to part with forward Jake Guentzel and goaltender Matt Murray, too, and that signing the netminder to a contract extension is "the No. 1 thing to get done" in the offseason.

Following a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders that swept the Penguins out of the playoffs Tuesday night, Phil Kessel was asked if he expects to be dealt.

"That's a tough question to start, but I don't know at this point," the forward said, according to Rossi. "We'll see how it goes this summer. I've never worried about it. Obviously, two years in a row it didn't go the way we wanted it to. We'll see."

The Penguins explored trading Kessel last summer, and he was agreeable to playing for the Arizona Coyotes, multiple sources told Rossi.

Crosby and Malkin both have full no-trade clauses and are signed through 2024-25 and 2021-22, respectively. Guentzel inked a five-year, $30-million extension with the club in December and Murray is under contract through 2019-20.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Marner not afraid to block shots: ‘There’s dentists for a reason’

Mitch Marner says he wasn't concerned about shielding his face as he blocked a pair of shots in the dying seconds of the Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-2 victory in Game 3 against the Boston Bruins on Monday night.

"I mean, there's dentists for a reason, so whatever," Marner told the media, including TSN, at practice Tuesday. "Luckily enough, it didn't hit me in the face, but it could have been a tough result if it had."

Marner laid out in front of two David Pastrnak blasts mere moments before the final buzzer sounded Monday night.

"I was already down there, I was right in front of him," added Marner. "I knew if (the puck) got in there, it was going to be kind of a tough shot for (Maple Leafs goaltender) Freddie (Andersen) to save. It was going to be low and hard, and I didn't know what would happen, so I just tried to sprawl out as much as possible. (I) put my arms out and lucky enough, it hit me."

Marner's teammates appreciated his efforts.

"Just a guy doing whatever it takes to keep the puck out of the net," Jake Muzzin said. "We need everybody to (have) that mentality and that mindset, so it was awesome to see (Monday) night."

John Tavares agreed.

"When you see a guy sacrificing their body to make a play that's obviously going to help the team, and there's some pain that obviously comes with that, no question, especially a guy like Mitch that obviously plays a big role for our team ... (to see him) make a key play there gives everyone a big boost, especially when it's able to help solidify a victory," he said.

Marner logged more ice time in Game 3 than all skaters for both clubs except Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly, and Bruins blue-liners Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy. His defense in the game is what stood out, but he also fired five shots on goal and notched an assist on Auston Matthews' second-period marker.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Hedman ruled out for Game 4 as Lightning look to avoid sweep

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without their best defenseman when they try to stave off elimination.

Victor Hedman won't play in Game 4 against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said after the morning skate.

Hedman also missed Game 3 of the first-round series Sunday with an undisclosed injury.

The reigning Norris Trophy winner notched 54 points in 70 regular-season games during 2018-19.

Cooper added Tuesday that Anton Stralman will also miss Game 4. Stralman has been out with what the club classified as a lower-body injury and last played in Tampa Bay's penultimate regular-season game on April 4.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Svechnikov in concussion protocol, doubtful for Game 4 after Ovechkin fight

The Carolina Hurricanes are playing it safe with Andrei Svechnikov after the 19-year-old rookie was injured in a fight with Alex Ovechkin on Monday night.

Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour said Tuesday he would assume Svechnikov is out for Game 4 against the Washington Capitals on Thursday, according to The Athletic's Chris Kuc.

Brind'Amour added that Svechnikov is in concussion protocol and went to the hospital Monday night, though everything "checked out," according to the team's senior web producer, Michael Smith.

"We're going to be real careful," the Carolina bench boss said Tuesday.

Ovechkin dropped Svechnikov to the ice with a hard right hand after the Russian countrymen engaged in the first period Monday night. Svechnikov did not return to the game.

The Capitals superstar said postgame that Svechnikov asked him to square off, but Brind'Amour seemingly questioned that statement Tuesday.

"There's two versions of that going around. I'll just leave it at that," the Hurricanes head coach told reporters, including NHL.com's Tom Gulitti.

Brind'Amour also expressed his feelings about fighting in hockey, in light of the circumstances.

The Hurricanes defeated the Capitals 5-0 on Monday night to cut Washington's series lead to 2-1.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Flyers name Vigneault head coach

The Philadelphia Flyers have hired Alain Vigneault as their new head coach, the club announced Monday.

Vigneault signed a multi-year contract. A source told TSN's Pierre LeBrun that it's a five-year deal worth $25 million.

He is the 21st bench boss in Flyers history and will succeed interim head coach Scott Gordon, who took over for the fired Dave Hakstol in December.

Vigneault spent five seasons at the helm of the New York Rangers, leading them to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2014. He was fired by New York on the final night of the 2017-18 regular season.

Before his Rangers tenure, he coached the Vancouver Canucks for seven campaigns, guiding them to the Cup Final in 2011.

Vigneault's first opportunity as an NHL head coach came with the Montreal Canadiens, whom he served from 1997-2000.

He will also guide Canada at the upcoming World Championship in Slovakia.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Predators lose Simmonds, Boyle to week-to-week ailments

The Nashville Predators will be without two veteran players for the foreseeable future.

Wayne Simmonds is week-to-week with a lower-body injury and Brian Boyle was given the same timetable after having an appendix procedure, the team announced Monday.

The Predators acquired both players in separate deals before the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Hedman doubtful for Game 4 vs. Blue Jackets

Victor Hedman appears unlikely to suit up in another critical game for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The star defenseman is doubtful for Game 4 against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said Monday, according to The Athletic's Joe Smith.

Hedman was held out of Game 3 with an undisclosed ailment.

Columbus took a 3-0 series lead over Tampa Bay with a 3-1 victory Sunday.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.