While we’re never learn exactly what went wrong between Jamie
Langenbrunner and Jacques Lemaire — I’m sure Langenbrunner’s sub-par
play didn’t help — we do have some clues as to why Langenbrunner was so
upset after being scratched on April 3.
Lemaire scratched him
supposedly to send him a message after a number of poor performances as
the Devils fought for a division title. That alone would be enough to
anger Langenbrunner, but
according to Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger, Lemaire tried to give
the “C” to Colin White for that game.
Obviously, he didn’t take it.
“I look up to Jamie. He is our leader,” White said. “I’ve always
looked up to him and I’ve told him that. I don’t think our (team’s)
leadership can be challenged.”
Langenbrunner, as he struggles to recover from a
disappointing season, admits that things weren’t exactly cozy between
“There were some differences of opinion when it came to dealing with a
few issues,” Langenbrunner said. “There were some things that were done
that probably didn’t help the situation. For most of the season it was
fine, up until Christmas.
“There were a few things that happened, a few issues that were tough
for me to let go. I probably didn’t handle them correctly. Not all
personalities completely mesh, but they are able to work together. I had
no problems with the way he treated me. It was more about team issues
that we would never agree on.”
Despite their great regular season record, there was no doubting the
team’s issues once the playoffs began. Langenbrunner may say he didn’t
have much of an issue with Lemaire personally, but when things started
to go wrong Langenbrunner was the epicenter of the dysfunction
surrounding the team.
So while the team says that Lemaire would have been the coach next
season if he didn’t “retire”, a coaching change is likely exactly what
the Devils needed.
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.
If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.
The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.
After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.
If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.
Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.
If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:
“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”
The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.
Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:
With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.
Measuring stick stretch begins
Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.
This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.
It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.
In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.