Is Crosby's popularity at risk?

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I know that we’re all tired about hearing about Sidney Crosby, his
equipment and his ‘snub’ of Letterman last week. Even for the
non-haters, I’m sure it’s getting to be a bit much.

Just one more, but it’s topical.

Dave
Molinari answers a reader’s question
on whether Crosby’s Olympic
goal will hurt his overall popularity in the United States.

There’s no real precedent for something like this — no player who
was active in the NHL at the time (yes, that includes Peter Forsberg in
1994) has scored an Olympic goal like the one Crosby got in overtime of
the gold-medal game — so there’s no way of being certain how his
treatment by fans in U.S. cities will change, if it does at all.

The guess here is that the U.S. fans who disliked him before the
Olympics will continue to do so, and that those who liked (or, at least,
respected) him going into the Games aren’t going to have their opinion
seriously altered by his championship-clinching goal.

One would like to believe that rational people — and more than a few
fans have proven, with their words and deeds since the Olympics, that
their membership in that group has lapsed — understand that Crosby was
representing his country and wanted to do everything possible to help
his team win the tournament, just as every guy who pulled on a U.S.
sweater did.

Just judging by the comments over the past week on PHT, it’s obvious
that Crosby has a number of hockey fans that don’t like him, and I doubt
that he won many over during the Olympics. At the same time, I really
don’t see how the fact that he scored against the USA in the Olympics
will hurt his popularity in the U.S.; fans who want to hate him, will.

What the U.S. needs is an American superstar who is one of the best
players in the NHL scoring a bunch of points each season. Hmmmm…..

Habs grab rare back-to-back wins this weekend

Montreal Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens falls after making a save while facing the Carolina Hurricanes during first-period NHL hockey game action, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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The Montreal Canadiens were a bit like Ben Scrivens (in his near-ideal state) this weekend: not always pretty, but they got the job done.

A day after Scrivens thwarted his former team in the Edmonton Oilers in a 5-1 win, the journeyed goalie was integral in Montreal scraping out a 2-1 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Now, it’s easy to scoff at two wins against two teams who are – let’s be honest – pretty unremarkable.

The Canadiens aren’t really in a position to laugh off any victory, however. That’s especially true when you consider the fact that this is their first set of consecutive wins since late November.

Even through all this frustration, certain top Canadiens stand out as keeping the team afloat. Andrei Markov hit an impressive milestone:

… While Max Pacioretty scored his 20th goal in emphatic fashion:

As P.K. Subban‘s numbers argue, Montreal’s biggest problem has been getting results from more under-the-radar players. In Sunday’s case, Scrivens delivered.

Montreal still faces an uphill battle, but perhaps a weekend like this might serve as a catalyst for a nice climb?

Malcolm Subban in stable condition, suffered fractured larynx

malcolmsubbangetty
Getty
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The Boston Bruins updated Malcolm Subban‘s condition a day after the goaltending prospect was hospitalized after being struck in the throat with a puck.

“Malcolm Subban was struck in the throat with a puck Saturday night during pregame warmups. He was transported to Maine Medical Center and was diagnosed with a fractured larynx. He stayed overnight at Maine Medical Center and was transported to Mass General Hospital on Sunday for further evaluation. He is in stable condition and will be sidelined indefinitely. The team will provide additional details when they become available.”

Awful news, although at least he’s in stable condition.

PHT will stay tuned for further updates regarding the 22-year-old.

Subban did tweet a thanks for support:

A little context makes that a little sad, too.

P.K. Subban seems confident his brother will bounce back.

Fight video: Zack Kassian racks up penalty minutes, faces Brian Strait

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Pulling Anders Nilsson didn’t stop the bleeding for the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, it really just spread the “wealth.”

The New York Islanders are up 7-1, so don’t be surprised if there’s some ugly stuff in the final frame.

Zack Kassian is an author of at least one outburst, as he was tagged with 19 penalty minutes for a display that included fighting Brian Strait, as you can see in the video above.

It’s not the only fight stemming from the blowout, either, as Eric Gryba just tangled with Matt Martin.

Could there be more?

Update: The game ended on a muted note. The Isles ultimately won 8-1.

Isles chase Nilsson from Oilers’ net in less than 12 minutes

Edmonton Oilers goalie Anders Nilsson, of Sweden, makes pad save against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP
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There was a time when Anders Nilsson seemed like the best bet in the Oilers’ net this season. This … is not that time.

Less than 12 minutes into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead, and that was enough for Edmonton to give Nilsson the hook.

He allowed those three goals on 10 shots, so to be fair, that’s a pretty impressive chunk of chances (almost a shot on goal per minute).

Still, the Oilers were likely hoping to give Cam Talbot a breather, and instead he was rushed into action. Nilsson hadn’t played since Jan. 19, and he’s only appeared in three games in 2016.

As if this didn’t sting enough for Nilsson, consider the fact that he began his NHL career with the Islanders, who eventually decided he wasn’t worth keeping.