Habs need to take advantage of home ice

plekanec.jpgAmazingly, the Monteal Canadiens haven’t played all that well at home
in front of their enthusiastic home crowd, something that will certain
have to change if the Habs hope to avoid slipping into another 3-1
series deficit.

For some reason the Candiens have yet to take
advantage of the energy generated by their home crowd, winning just once
in their last eight playoff games at home and using a much more
conservative approach on home ice than they do on the road. It’s odd to
see such a flip flop, especially when you consider how electric the Bell
Centre atmosphere can get.

From Pat Hickey, Habs playoffs
spokesman
Tomas Plekanec agrees that something needs to change.

“With the crowd we have behind us, we definitely should make it be
our advantage,” Plekanec said. “I remember from previous years, we
haven’t been able to take advantage of that. It seems on the road we’re
defending the lead and playing strong defensively and we’re able to
score on the rush and on the power play. Maybe we play a different game
at home.”

The Canadiens seem to be happy with their effort in Game 3, despite
playing  a very conservative game that resulted in just 18 shots and no
goals. It was a close game until the latter stages, but at some point
the Habs will have to start taking risks with their attacks on the
Penguins. Jordan Staal is likely to return tonight, giving the Penguins
more depth at center and despite how well the Habs have held back Sidney
Crosby, they’ll need to do more to keep the rest of the team in check.

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    Burrows on waiving his no-trade clause: ‘I’ve never talked to management or coaches about it’

    Vancouver Canucks' Alex Burrows celebrates his goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)
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    Alex Burrows doesn’t want a trade out of Vancouver and he wants to make sure everyone knows it.

    On Saturday, Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman reported that Burrows was potentially willing to waive his no-trade clause if a deal came up.

    When asked about the report, Burrows went into denial mode.

    “There’s no truth to that,” Burrows told beat reporter Ben Kuzma. “I’ve never talked to management or coaches about it.

    “Last time I talked to my agent was to wish him Merry Christmas.”

    Whether or not Burrows is willing to accept a deal out of Vancouver may be irrelevant.

    The 34-year-old has seven goals and 16 points in 53 games this season, and he comes with a cap hit of $4.5 million dollars next season.

    That’s pretty steep for a guy who’s on pace to score just 25 points this year.

    If the Canucks want to find a taker for his services (assuming he’s willing to go), they’ll likely have to take a good-sized contract back or they’ll have to eat some of his remaining salary.

    Marchand scores fastest goal in Bruins’ history; Datsyuk’s 900th point

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    It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.

    Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.

    (You can see that goal in the video above.)

    Watch that three-goal burst in this video:

    The two teams weren’t done then. Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 while Pavel Datsyuk scored his 900th point to make it 3-2.

    Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.

    Kinkaid blanks Kings, Devils move into playoff position

    New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) watches a shot on goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, in Newark N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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    When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.

    Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.

    It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.

    This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.

    That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.

    Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
    Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
    First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP

    So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.

    The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.

    WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings on NBC

    Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green (25) battle for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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    The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.

    It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.

    You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE