For the first time this season, the Leafs will head into a game with everyone they want ready to go. Offseason free agent acquisition Tim Connolly is finally healthy and set to join the Leafs when they take on the Rangers tomorrow night and for Connolly it’s a welcome relief to be back on the ice.
Connolly is much maligned when it comes to injuries and being out of the lineup more often than being in it makes life for him and his new team especially tricky. Making things even more curious about where to fit him into the lineup is how well Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul have been playing together. While it might seem irrelevant as to who centers those two, it has been Tyler Bozak most of the time, tossing Connolly into the mix on that top line could tweak the chemistry in the wrong way.
Coach Ron Wilson will have a handful of decisions to make with his lineup as it is anyhow, but finding the right place to slot in Connolly is chief amongst them. He’s being counted on to be one of their top centers eventually, but starting him there now and throwing him to the wolves against the Rangers may not be the right way to start.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger