Forget the 'conspiracy', Canucks have other issues

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Canucks.jpgIt happens in all sports, not just the NHL. Fans become convinced
that there is a ‘conspiracy’ in place against their team, some sort of
call from a higher authority that determines the trajectory a team
takes. This is amped up even more, when penalty calls and decisions made
by NHL officials can have a direct result on a playoff series.

Detroit
Red Wings fans are convinced the NHL has it out for their team.

Dallas
Mavericks fans are convinced the NBA decided their loss to the Heat in
the finals (although with NBA officiating, that may have some merit).

Now,
it seems, the Vancouver Canucks could have a target on their backs. With Mike Murphy, former coach of the Kings, as the VP of hockey operations there are claims that he’s calling the shots in favor of the Kings.

I’m
not buying it.

Bad calls are made against every team, in every
sport, all the time. In fact, as
Greg Wyshynski puts it on Puck Daddy
, the War Room decisions are a
consensus of a group of people. It’s not just Murphy making the
decisions.

If the NHL really had it out for the Red
Wings, then the league wouldn’t have called back several borderline
goals by the Dallas Stars two years ago. They wouldn’t have given Todd
Bertuzzi a goal this season when he “kicked” it in when the back of his
skate.

What is really unfortunate, is when the media plays up the
conspiracy theories as well. From
Ed Willes of The Province:

Oh, the call on
Daniel’s non-goal will make for some talk-show fodder
today, particularly because it’s now clear the NHL wants the Kings to
win.

To be fair, Willes’ article harps on how the
Canucks are doing everything wrong if they hope to beat the Kings, and
that should really be the focus of this series. Forget the penalty calls
or the controversial goal; the NHL makes horrible war room decisions
all the time, not just against the Canucks or the Red Wings.

Let’s
talk about how Roberto Luongo looks just as bad as he did coming back
from the Olympics. How Henrik Sedin is struggling to live up
expectations. How the Vancouver defense is left standing around and
watching as the Kings forwards overmatch them game after game. That is
where the focus should be. Forget conspiracies, it’s just a way of
forgetting what the real issues are with your team.

Johansen is a ‘little disappointed’ the Blue Jackets didn’t recognize him in return to Columbus

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Johansen #92 of the Nashville Predators skates against Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on January 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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Ryan Johansen played 309 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets before a blockbuster trade to Nashville last January.

On Sunday, he finally made his return back to Columbus as a member of the Predators. However, he did not receive any sort of tribute whatsoever from the team that originally selected him fourth overall in the 2010 draft, and that is something that apparently bothered him.

“I am a little disappointed they didn’t put anything on the Jumbotron and say ‘thank you’ or anything like that,” Johansen told the Columbus Post-Dispatch. “I think we all know who made that call, but whatever.”

While Johansen enjoyed some productive seasons with the Blue Jackets, his time in Columbus, particularly his final months, were dogged with contentious headlines about his contract negotiations with the club and then his working relationship with coach John Tortorella.

Johansen, now 24 years old, has nine goals and 40 points in 58 games this season for Nashville. Currently in the final year of his three-year, $12 million contract, he’s a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Make that four straight wins for the Bruins

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Brent Burns turned in a dominating performance. But Brad Marchand had the last laugh.

Marchand scored his 25th goal of the season and, more importantly, the overtime winner for the Boston Bruins as they defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Sunday.

That’s Boston’s fourth consecutive win since the controversial coaching change — which took another twist earlier in the week when the rival Montreal Canadiens fired Michel Therrien and hired Claude Julien. Off a defensive zone faceoff, Marchand bolted up the ice for the breakaway pass, on what appeared to be a set play, beating Martin Jones through the legs.

The Bruins move back into third in the Atlantic Division, and are now only four points back of the faltering Habs for first.

Meanwhile, the Sharks were unable to fully capitalize on another freakish Brent Burns outing. He’s been dubbed ‘an unstoppable force’ in recent posts at PHT — a defenseman possessing great size at six-foot-five-inches tall and 230 pounds, but no shortage of mobility and offensive talent with 27 goals and 64 points in 60 games. Um, and did we mention he’s a defenseman. . . ?

Against the Bruins, he had 20 shot attempts — by far the most of any player in this game — in just over 26 minutes of ice time.

Given the final score, that probably doesn’t mean much to Brad Marchand.

Jacob Trouba will have a hearing for head shot on Mark Stone

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It appears Jacob Trouba will face supplemental discipline from the NHL.

The league’s Department of Player Safety has said in a Twitter statement that Trouba, the Winnipeg Jets defenseman, will have a hearing tomorrow for his head shot on Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone during Sunday’s game.

Trouba was assessed only a minor penalty on the play. Stone, who dealt with a concussion prior to the beginning of the season, stayed down on the ice before he eventually made his way to the dressing room.

The incident occurred when Trouba stepped up to throw a hit on Stone, but instead caught him in the head as he followed through, sending Stone to the ice.

Stone was one of three Ottawa forwards to leave the game because of injuries, which are piling up for the Senators.

Video: Drouin ‘wasn’t going to be denied’ on thrilling OT winner

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 30:  Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders  during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 30, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)
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The Tampa Bay Lightning needed overtime to defeat the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, but it’s a critical win for the Bolts as they try to chase down a playoff spot.

The hero? Jonathan Drouin, and he did so with a thrilling individual effort — making moves, then losing the puck and then immediately getting it back before he finally scored on the backhander.

That’s his 17th goal of the season. Tampa Bay gets a 3-2 win, which keeps them five points back of Toronto for the final wild card spot in the East.