If you judge Ron Wilson by his inability to bring the Toronto Maple Leafs to the playoffs, you’re ignoring a big chunk of his impressive coaching career. Perhaps the highlight of that time was when he helped the Washington Capitals make a surprise run to the 1998 Stanley Cup finals before the Detroit Red Wings dismissed them in little time. Combine that success and his ability to coach an attacking style (not to mention his willingness to embrace technology) and a reunion at least makes some sense.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie believes that there’s little chance of that actually happening, though.
“I know some are talking up Ron Wilson, Part Deux, in D.C., but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.”
McKenzie is probably correct, but it doesn’t change the fact that Capitals GM George McPhee has some really tough questions to answer this season – starting with his new head coach and what direction the team will take. There are mixed feelings about how long McPhee will take to choose the next bench boss – some say before the draft, McKenzie says it could happen as late as August – yet either way this looks to be a pivotal summer for a franchise suffering from a bit of an identity crisis.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.