Game recaps, including a stunning third-period collapse by the Canucks, plus the latest on Josh Gorges and Viktor Fasth, and HNiC’s new lineup is introduced.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Rogers yesterday introduced its new hockey broadcasting team, including the confirmation George Stroumboulopoulos will take over next season as the new host of Hockey Night in Canada. Current host Ron MacLean will still appear on the show but in a reduced role.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I intend to be open-minded about Stroumboulopoulos’ hiring. He’s an interesting choice to host HNiC as he has no previous sports broadcasting experience.
TORONTO STAR: Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak each had a goal and two assists while Jonathan Bernier made 43 saves as the Maple Leafs downed the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. It was Leafs coach Randy Carlyle’s first trip to Anaheim since he was fired as Ducks coach in December 2011.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks blew a three-goal lead, giving up seven (!) goals in the third period on route to a 7-4 loss to the New York Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was a collapse by a club which no longer believes in itself. It’ll take all coach John Tortorella’s skills to get this team back on track. It’s probably already too late.
WINNIPEG SUN: Matt Duchene’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, who dropped their fourth straight game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having entered the Olympic break among the league’s hottest teams the Jets are struggling to regain that form.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Goals by Jared Cowen, Marc Methot and Jason Spezza rallied the Senators from a 3-0 deficit to force overtime against the Nashville Predators, but Seth Jone’s OT marker gave the win to the Predators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a tough loss for the Senators, though they did get a point which keeps them within three points of a playoff berth. Still, they need more consistency down the stretch if they hope to clinch a playoff berth.
CALGARY SUN: Late goals by Mike Cammalleri and Brian McGrattan weren’t enough to help the Flames, who fell 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges (broken left hand) will sideline him for the rest of the regular season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Now we know why the Habs last week acquired blueliner Mike Weaver from the Panthers. Gorges should be ready to return for the playoffs.
EDMONTON SUN: New Oilers goalie Viktor Fasth is expected to get the start in tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild.