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Columnist implores Leafs fans to stop being so mean to Ron Wilson

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Yesterday wasn’t fun for Ron Wilson. The Leafs’ head coach had to watch his team lose its ninth in 10 games and drop even further out a playoff spot. And when the crowd at the ACC wasn’t busy giving the Bronx cheer to goalie James Reimer, it was chanting “Fire Wilson” as Toronto fell, 5-3, to Florida.

“It’s frustrating and understandable,” Wilson said when asked about the chant.

“Everyone is frustrated right now. We didn’t do anything at the trade deadline and we came out tentative to say the least. … we talked ad nauseam about the next 20 games (and the playoff push), and we came out like that. We didn’t help ourselves at all.”

But at least one newspaper columnist has Wilson’s back – the Toronto Star’s Cathal Kelly.

The mob is fickle, here and everywhere else. But there is nothing to be celebrated about the increasing certainty that another man is about to lose his job.

A job is a purpose. We all have a few really low points in life. If you’ve ever been terminated or made redundant or whatever the jargon is this week, that’s one of them.

… Those panting for the firing squad are saying more about themselves than about the team’s troubles. One gets the impression that in a different time and place, the same people chanting, “Fire Wilson,” would’ve been pulling harder for the lions than the Christians.

Maybe – but only if the Christians hadn’t made the playoffs in a long time.

Besides, Leafs general manager Brian Burke said back in December that “if the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Ron Wilson, he’d be working again in about two weeks.”

So no worries there.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: