Louis Leblanc is finding that being the hometown hero in Montreal is a roller coaster of emotions.
Last night during the second period of Montreal’s 4-3 loss to Philadelphia, Leblanc scored his first NHL goal in front of the adoring home fans. The same fans that went wild when he was drafted there in 2009. The same fans that saw Leblanc play just 49 seconds in the third period.
With the frustrations Habs fans have had with their team this year and seeing the team struggle with scoring goals, you’d think seeing a rookie take charge and score his first goal would result in being rewarded with more ice time. Instead, coach Jacques Martin kept his lines together and rolled them out in machine-like fashion.
Leblanc being on Montreal’s fourth line with Mike Blunden and Yannick Weber meant that in a close game they weren’t going to see much action. Leblanc’s ability to create offense apparently not as important to Martin as his ability to sit on the bench and watch the game. Martin sure knows how to twist fans into a knot.
Curious what a standing ovation for scoring your first goal looks like? Check it out.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.