Mats Sundin

Sundin: Loyalty to Toronto “My strength and maybe my weakness”

Mats Sundin always said he loved playing in Toronto.

Looking back, maybe he loved it too much.

Prior to having his No. 13 honored on Saturday, the all-time leading scorer in Maple Leafs history addressed the criticisms he faced at the tail end of his career, when he refused to waive his no-trade clause for what many thought would be a key part of Toronto’s rebuilding process.

“My strength and maybe my weakness is that I’m a loyal guy,” Sundin said Friday. “I felt that you spend so much time in an organization and in Toronto, I always saw myself winning the Stanley Cup in Toronto.

“I wanted to do that and also [realized] it would never feel the same doing it somewhere else.”

Sundin did try it somewhere else — suiting up for 41 games for Vancouver in 2008-09 — but didn’t look or feel comfortable playing with anything other than a maple leaf on his chest.

“When you’re 22 or 23, it’s about winning the championship,” he said. “As you grow older you enjoy the journey, the travel and the grind of getting together a group of guys in the fall and build up to a goal in the spring. (That) was the thing that was great, the long-term commitment.”

Sundin will join the likes of Doug Gilmour (No. 93), Wendel Clark (No. 17) and fellow Swede Borje Salming (No. 21) as Leafs that have had their numbers honored by the club.

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci
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The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.