The Phoenix Coyotes should be a motivated team as they face elimination in Game 4 on Sunday and Martin Hanzal is likely to be among the most inspired. Los Angeles Kings sniper Jeff Carter told Rich Hammond that he expects the big center to make a big impact after sitting out Game 3 because of a suspension.
“He’s a big part of their team,” Carter said. “He’s shown that all year, and in the playoffs here. He kind of maybe settles their minds down a bit, gets people into the right places. We know that he’s going to be fired up, coming out with a strong game after sitting out last game.”
Hanzal has scored some big goals in the playoffs, yet the best sign that he’s “fired up” would probably be in how much he uses his large frame. More often than not, Hanzal makes an impact in more subtle ways (well, unless you’re going up against him).
Speaking of going up against him, Hammond reports that the Coyotes are likely to go with the lineup they had early in the series. That means Hanzal is expected to center a line between struggling wingers Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata.
If those two should-be top scorers feed off of Hanzal’s return, Phoenix could pose a pesky team to finish off.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.