Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Six

Was Mason Raymond injured on a dirty hit? Canucks believe so

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During tonight’s Game 6 that saw Boston beat Vancouver 5-2 to force a Game 7 on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET on NBC), the Vancouver Canucks saw their lineup depth take a shot in the early stages of the game.

Canucks speedy forward Mason Raymond was injured thanks to a hit from Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk on what appeared to be a rather innocuous play in the corner. Raymond was helped off the ice by teammates and was later taken to Mass General Hospital to be examined. While the play itself didn’t seem to be too dangerous or dirty, it’s shaping up that Raymond will miss out on Game 7.

Here’s video of the play in question.

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After the game, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault had no update on Raymond but TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted that the Canucks are not too happy with what happened.

No specifics on Mason Raymond injury,but I’m told it’s bad. More to come. Canucks furious over the hit because the puck was nowhere near

We’re sure that some fans will think that the Canucks could be politicking here and perhaps even crying wolf but given that Raymond was taken to the hospital and the grave seriousness in how the injury is being described, it leads us to believe that things are really bad with Raymond.

All that aside, taking a look at the hit we can see that it was delivered late but not in the same sense that Aaron Rome connected with Nathan Horton as Boychuk and Raymond were already engaged. Guys are taught to finish their checks and that’s what it appeared Boychuk was doing… It just happened that Raymond was in a very awkward position going into the corner.

With the Canucks as angry as they are, we have to assume the NHL may take a look at the play and see if there’s something objectionable enough to warrant action on Boychuk, but it would seem right now that we likely won’t see anything come of it.

Raymond’s loss to the lineup is a big one as he’s played well alongside Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins on the Canucks second line. Jannik Hansen took Raymond’s spot on the second line after he was knocked out of the game. Hansen played well with those two so it’s not unreasonable that he’ll be back on that line again in Game 7 provided Raymond is as hurt as reported. As to who might jump back into the lineup with Raymond out, Jeff Tambellini would be the likely choice.

The Canucks shouldn’t need added motivation going into a Game 7, but if Raymond is out and they feel it was a dirty hit, they’ve got that little bit of extra juice for their game now.

PHT Morning Skate: Sharks name stray cat after captain Joe Pavelski

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

–The stray cat that ran onto the ice prior to Game 1 between the Sharks and Preds has been named after Joe Pavelski. (Associated Press)

–Speaking of that black cat, here’s a mountain of pucks shaped like the cat. (The Score)

–When Lukas Head was younger, he played with Steven Stamkos and P.K. Subban. Here’s his story. (Toronto Star)

–Watch the highlights from yesterday’s game between the Stars and Blues. (Top)

–A look behind the scenes of the NHL draft lottery. (Canadian Press)

–Two-time Olympic gold medalist Sharon Szabados loves curing and the Oilers and she was forced to make a tough choice on Saturday. (Sportsnet)

Pascal Dupuis, who was named one of the Masterton Trophy finalists, is adjusting to retirement. (NHL.com)

Pavelski’s late goal helps Sharks grab 2-0 series lead over Preds

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The San Jose Sharks became the only team in the second round to jump out to a 2-0 lead in their series. The Sharks did it by beating the Predators 3-2 in Game 2 on Sunday night.

San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when Logan Couture buried a rebound by Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the point and extended his playoff point streak to four games.

The Predators finally got on the board at the 12:56 mark of the third period when Mattias Ekholm tied the game at one.

Here’s the goal:

Nashville’s good fortune didn’t last very long. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later.

Pavelski also picked up two assists in the game. The 31-year-old has at least one point in six of his seven postseason games in 2016.

Joe Thornton then added an empty-netter in the final minute of play before Ryan Johansen scored with four seconds remaining.

Despite the loss, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t too disappointed by the way his team played.

The Predators outshot the Sharks (39-25), they outhit San Jose (46-26), but they just couldn’t outscore them.

Like the old saying goes: “you’re not in trouble until you lose a game on home ice.” The Preds still haven’t done that, which means they’re not done yet.

The series now shifts to Nashville for Game 3, which will be played on Tuesday night.

Video: Marc-Edouard Vlasic saved by his visor after taking Shea Weber shot to the face

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It’s a scary night for players getting hit in the head with pucks.

After Brian Elliott was hit in the head by a Jason Spezza slapshot, it was Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s turn to narrowly avoid disaster.

In the third period of Sunday’s game against the Predators, Vlasic took a puck to the face. The end result could have been catastrophic had Vlasic not had a visor.

You can see the incident by clicking the video at the top of the page.

It’s nice to see that Vlasic was in a joking mood after the game:

Hockey Twitter breathed a collective sigh of relief after Vlasic got back up:

It sounds like Olli Maatta won’t be ready for Game 3

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You’ve all seen it by now (if you haven’t, click the video at the top of page). Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was forced to leave Game 2 against the Capitals after taking a late hit from Brooks Orpik. Not only was the hit late, but Orpik also caught Maatta in the head.

After the Penguins’ optional skate on Sunday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t optimistic about Maatta’s chances of playing in Game 3 on Monday night.

“Olli’s being evaluated as we speak, so I don’t have any real update as far as his status is concerned,” Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s being evaluated today, we’ll probably have more information in the morning.

“I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability. I’m probably not optimistic, though.”

After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz stood up for his defenseman.

“We’ll let the league handle it,” Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If you know anything about Brooks, he plays hard, he plays clean. He’s not a dirty player.”

And the league certainly did handle it, as they suspended Orpik for three games.

Related:

Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta