Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

Cunneyworth likes Bourque’s nasty streak


There’s been plenty of debate surrounding Michael Cammalleri, Rene Bourque, and the trade that was designed to shake-up two organizations north of the border. The next step in the process is watching the two players attempt to fit in with their new teammates. While Cammalleri is set to appear with his new team against the Kings tonight in Calgary, Bourque practiced with his new team for the first time on Saturday morning.

Bourque is unavailable for the Habs tonight against the Senators as he serves the final game of his five-game suspension for delivering an elbow to Nicklas Backstrom’s head. He’ll be available to Randy Cunneyworth and the Canadiens starting tomorrow night against the Rangers.

Even though he’s sidelined from tonight’s actions for the dirty hit he made while with the Flames, Cunneyworth is excited to add that type of player into the mix.

“It’s an expensive mistake, but you’re playing hard, rugged, there’s a bit of reckless abandon,” Cunneyworth told The Hockey News. “But that’s OK as long as you’re going to those other areas and making sure they pay offensively.”

“It makes others wary a bit when you know that a guy has that reckless tendency and if other guys shy from that, that’s where you win those battles.”

When Bourque is at his best, he is a forward that can fill up the net while he’s playing with an edge. He’s shown in the past that he’s capable of playing the type of game that physically punishes the opposition on the ice, while adding more punishment on the scoreboard. That’s when he’s at his best.

When he’s at his worst, he’s a player that isn’t as engaged as his coach, teammates, or fans would like him to be. What makes it even worse is that he’ll show glimpses of his potential, and then frustrate people by floating though extended periods of a given game. Or worse yet, extended periods of multiple games.

If he can put it together and play with consistency, he should be a good fit for a team that could use a physical presence. That’s exactly what Mr. Gauthier and Mr. Cunneyworth are betting on.

Tyler Johnson’s injury: One of several ominous signs for Tampa Bay

Carl Gunnarsson, Tyler Johnson
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The gloom only seems to lift from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s cloudy season in small drizzles.

Sure, they’re on a three-game winning streak, but the Washington Capitals seem to be on the verge of ending that with a thud (they’re currently up 3-0 going into the third period).

That’s the least of the Bolts’ concerns right now, really, as Tyler Johnson left Friday’s game seemingly injured.

The word seemingly comes into play because details are scarce, as reporters note.

/ominous music plays

If you look at Tampa Bay’s upcoming schedule, things could get downright stormy.

They face the Islanders at home, but they do so tomorrow so they won’t be well-rested. It gets worse from there.

Dec. 2 – 6: Three-game road trip against the California teams

Dec. 10 – 12: Two home games (one vs. Ottawa, one vs. Washington)

Dec. 14-18: Another three-game road trip

Long story short, they close up a back-to-back set at home tomorrow and then play six of eight on the road.

/even more ominous music

The end of 2015 looks friendlier, but for a team that seems to be cratering here and there … things look a bit morbid.

We’ll see if they can keep fighting, perhaps with a comeback tonight?

The ghost is here: Another OT-winner from Flyers’ Gostisbehere

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Here’s an easy way to remember how to spell Shayne Gostisbehere’s maddening last name (and even his first name can trip you up).

Ghost-is-be-here, without the h.

Not too bad, right?

If you’re more of the slogan type, it’s getting to be the point where “Tough to spell, tougher to stop” may be a pretty good one-liner.

The Philadelphia Flyers phenom has made a habit of scoring overtime game-winning goals on the power play lately. Friday’s version was the decisive tally in a 3-2 OT win against the Nashville Predators, which you can watch up top.

As you can see in comparing that goal with the one below (which made the difference against the Carolina Hurricanes), opposing coaches may want to make it a point to emphasize stopping this setup, even if it means writing “Don’t let that Ghost kid free.”

All three of his goals are on the power play so far.

Will he breathe life back into the Flyers’ man advantage at this rate?

Julien says Lundqvist’s acting ‘doesn’t need to be on the ice’


The goalie interference penalty called on Brad Marchand late in Friday’s Thanksgiving Showdown didn’t sit well with the Bruins.

Marchand, whistled after making contact with New York’s Henrik Lundqvist midway through the third, said he thought “it was a bit of a weak call,” adding “[Lundvqist’s] out of the crease, and he lightly gets touched.”

While Marchand took issue with the call, his head coach took issue with King Henrik.

(In Julien’s defense, Lundqvist does have a pretty lengthy IMDB page.)

The interference penalty was nearly disastrous for the Bruins, as J.T. Miller scored on the ensuing power play to given the Blueshirts a 3-2 edge.

However, Boston replied with a power-play goal of its own — Ryan Spooner, at the 16:14 mark — which set the stage for David Krejci‘s dramatic game-winner with just under two minutes to go.

So, to recap: Today’s game had the Beleskey hit on Stepan, the Marchand-Lundqvist theatrics and a dramatic come-from-behind victory for Boston.

And so, to answer your next question:

These two teams next meet on Monday, Jan. 11, at MSG.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Video: Peluso, Gabriel throw down in spirited heavyweight tilt


The big boys got after it early in Minnesota today.

Wild forward Kurtis Gabriel — all 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds of him — picked one of the toughest opponents in hockey on Friday, throwing down with Jets enforcer Anthony Peluso early in the first period.

And it was a pretty good tilt.

Peluso, one of the league’s most feared fighters, was coming off two pretty heavy scraps — one against Columbus tough guy Jared Boll, and another in which he landed some serious shots on overmatched Canucks d-man Luca Sbisa:

Of course, Gabriel’s no slouch.

He had one previous fight in the NHL this year (against Peluso’s teammate, Chris Thorburn) and five in the American League, where he’s spent the majority of this season.

Given the fisticuffs that occurred earlier in the Bruins-Rangers game, it seem the NHL has really gotten into the spirit of Black Friday.

(All videos courtesy