The NHL leader in goaltender wins may not be atop the leaderboard much longer.
With 6:15 to go in the first period against the Florida Panthers Sunday night, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made a routine kick save, turning away a Marcel Goc wrister with his right pad. He immediately tried to push off with his left skate, but he couldn’t complete the movement, seeming to favor his right side as he collapsed. Read more
Five games this Sunday evening and here’s five things to get you set for the action.
Reminder of the meltdown
Toronto fans will get an up-close look at the team who broke their hearts in last year’s playoffs for the first time this season as the Bruins visit the Air Canada Centre. The Leafs clawed back in their first round series against the B’s to force an unlikely Game 7. They held a 4-1 lead in the third period, minutes away from closing out the series, before crumbling historically and falling in OT. HBO will be there to document the action in Toronto’s first Sunday home game since 2003. Last night, the Bruins pulled off another dramatic comeback when they tied with the goalie pulled and beat Pittsburgh with 13 seconds left in regulation. These teams last met Nov. 9 in Boston, the Bruins prevailing 3-1.
When the Hawks and Cats square off Sunday night, it will be Dale Tallon’s current team, not his former team, looking to extend a win streak. The Panthers have won two straight after beating their former Southeast Division mates in Winnipeg and following that with a road victory over Detroit. Trending the opposite direction, the Hawks are 0-2-1 in their past three games.
Staal stalled yet again
The Rangers have rounded into form after a rocky start, and they’ve done so with a healthy Marc Staal, who missed more than half of last season with a concussion. Unfortunately, the C-word may be an issue once again for Staal, who took a hit from New Jersey’s Reid Boucher and left the game last night. The prognosis for Staal should become clear by Sunday evening, but he likely won’t play Sunday against the Capitals. Bad news for the Blueshirts, potentially bad news for Team Canada.
Sruggling Sharks shuffle the deck
If they lose today, that’ll make three straight defeats for the Sharks, who lost 5-1 to Pittsburgh and 5-3 to Carolina this week. Allowing 10 goals in two games is a nasty blip in a season that has gone exceedingly well for San Jose. Coach Todd McLellan is shuffling his lines for this one, moving Joe Pavelski up to the second line with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau. His first line of Hertl-Thornton-Burns remains intact.
The battle for second place
The Rangers and Caps are separated by just a point in the Metropolitan Division and New York can leapfrog Washington into second with a regulation win this evening. This is the second of a nine-game homestand for the Rangers, who have the opportunity to capture some crucial points if they rebound from yesterday’s OT loss and capitalize on home ice advantage. These clubs are bitter rivals after matching up in the playoffs in recent years and they tend to produce tight, low-scoring games.
Adam Proteau has pulled ahead with the best record among THN’s four daily “Best Bet” game-pickers. Who does he and the others think is a sure-thing tonight?
Here are their picks, along with today’s TV schedule and probable starters.
San Jose @ Minnesota 6:00 PM ET
TV: CSN-CA, FS-N
Probable Starting Goalies: Antti Niemi vs. Josh Harding
Boston @ Toronto 7:00 PM ET
TV: RDS2, NESN, LEAFS TV
Probable Starting Goalies: Chad Johnson vs. Jonathan Bernier
Washington @ NY Rangers 7:00 PM ET
TV: CSN-DC, MSG
Probable Starting Goalies: Philipp Grubauer vs. Henrik Lundqvist
Florida @ Chicago 7:00 PM ET
TV: FS-F, WGN
Probable Starting Goalies: Tim Thomas vs. Corey Crawford
Colorado @ Vancouver 8:00 PM ET
TV: ALT, SNET-P
Probable Starting Goalies: Semyon Varlamov vs. Roberto Luongo
Sometimes men have a little trouble remembering things. Anniversaries and birthdays, for example, have a history of being bumped in the male brain for things such as which weekend the Super Bowl is being played on and how many paychecks have to be sacrificed in order to obtain that new set of golf clubs.
Mike Sillinger, who suited up for an NHL-record 12 teams, could be forgiven if some of the finer details of his family life have been lost in a haze of boxes and moving vans. But if Sillinger ever is asked to recall where each of his three sons was born, he’s got a visual reminder to rely on: the NHL jersey he was wearing at the time.
“One was born in Vancouver, so we have the Vancouver jersey in his room,” Sillinger said. “My other boy was born in Regina, but I played in Florida at the time, so he picked the Panthers along with my Team Canada (1991 world junior) jersey because he wears 16 (one of his dad’s old numbers) when he plays.
“And my other boy was born in Columbus, so he’s got the Columbus one in his room.”
While the discussion on Twitter didn’t reflect this, Pittsburgh-Boston wasn’t the only game last night. There were 10 other tilts, and here are the highlights. Read more
There weren’t too many people happy with the lunacy they saw in Boston Saturday night. You know something’s really bad when even the fighting zealots wag their fingers, all the while going through their predictable, ‘You-hate-to-see-that-happen-to-anybody” routine. Read more
Saturday night in Boston, Brad Marchand took what looked like an intentional knee to the head from James Neal which resulted in a stoppage at 11:06 of the first period. Read more