Game recaps, including the Maple Leafs upsetting the Blackhawks, the Canucks thumping the Bruins, and Sam Gagner struggling to elevate his game.
TORONTO SUN: Joffrey Lupul and Mason Raymond had four point games and Peter Holland scored twice as the Maple Leafs upset the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Is this a fluke or a sign of a long-awaited turnaround in the Leafs fortunes? Tune in this coming week to find out.
VANCOUVER SUN: Six different Canucks scored (including Henrik Sedin, Jannik Hansen and David Booth) as the Canucks downed the Boston Bruins 6-2 in the first matchup in Vancouver between the two clubs since Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Bruins forward Brad Marchand’s attempts to taunt the Canucks and their fans with references to the Bruins 2011 championship didn’t sit well with Boston coach Claude Julien.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Marchand spent as much time scoring as he did talking trash, maybe he wouldn’t be struggling so much this season. Yes, Brad, you’ve got a Cup ring, but what have you done for your team lately?
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Max Pacioretty scored in overtime and Carey Price made 21 saves as the Canadiens blanked the New York Islanders 1-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the win snaps the Habs two-game losing streak, it wasn’t much to get excited about. Since winning nine of ten, the Canadiens have struggled to score in their three games since.
CALGARY SUN: Paul Byron scored the game-tying goal and assisted on Matt Stajan’s OT marker as the Flames edged the Buffalo Sabres 2-1.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Craig Anderson was yanked after giving up two goals on his first four shots, setting the stage for the Senators falling to the LA Kings 5-2. Anze Kopitar scored twice for the Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks wonder why I consider Craig Anderson trade bait this season. This game gave a brief example why.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets dropped their sixth straight home game falling 6-4 to the Dallas Stars. Jets forward Blake Wheeler lashed out at his performance and that of his teammates during a post-game interview. “What I say doesn’t matter. It’s what you do out on the ice. You can blow smoke as much as you want out in the media, we’ve been blowing smoke for three years. Myself and everyone who has stood in front of a microphone for three years, we’ve said the same shit”, complained Wheeler.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things are getting ugly in Winnipeg. The Jets are losing ground in the standings and show no sign of the oft-anticipated improvement into a playoff contender. A team with the core of talent like the Jets shouldn’t be struggling like this. Changes could be coming, and they’ll have to come soon for this club to turn things around and save the season.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers center Sam Gagner is struggling to retain his form since returning from a broken jaw earlier in the season.