Jonathan Bernier

Will Bernier’s reported trade request complicate efforts to deal Luongo?

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Jonathan Bernier doesn’t want to be a backup goaltender forever, and given that the Los Angeles Kings have already committed to Jonathan Quick through the 2022-23 campaign, Bernier reportedly wants to be traded. Which begs the question: Could this turn of events hurt the Vancouver Canucks’ efforts to trade Roberto Luongo?

It might, but it’s not likely.

The number of teams that seem to have an appetite for Luongo’s services are pretty thin as it is, but it looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, and Chicago Blackhawks are among the most probable destinations.

If we just look at that list, we can pretty much immediately dismiss the possibility that the Panthers would be interested in Bernier. They already have Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen under contract, not to mention a pretty good and nearly ready prospect in Jacob Markstrom.

Florida could potentially justify getting Luongo because of how big an upgrade he’d be, but why would they go after an up-and-coming, but still unestablished netminder at this point?

The Toronto Maple Leafs are even less likely to pursue Bernier given that GM Brian Burke has already stated that he doesn’t want another promising, but unproven goaltender.

Chicago’s situation is a little like Toronto’s in terms of goaltending, though the main difference is that they’re in a position to win the Stanley Cup this season – especially if they add Luongo. In their situation, adding an all-star goaltender would seem to make more sense than throwing another up-and-comer into the mix, but maybe they’ll express an interest in Bernier anyways.

It’s hard to say where Bernier will go at this point, because there isn’t a team that has an obvious interest in a promising backup that wants to compete for a starting job. At one time the Columbus Blue Jackets or Tampa Bay Lightning might have been interesting destinations for him, but both teams already acquired young goaltenders this summer and probably don’t have a lot of appetite to add another one into the mix.

Ultimately, even if Bernier wants to be put into a situation that’s better for his career, there might simply be no opportunities for him available at this stage of the summer.

Latest way the Wild lost? Killed by penalty kill

Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk sits on the ice after giving up a goal to St. Louis Blues' Jori Lehtera, of Finland, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.

As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?

Actually …

If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.

Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.

Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.

The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.

On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.

Statement in Blackhawks’ blowout of Stars? Coach Q says they’re even

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Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.

The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.

You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.

At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.

Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.

(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)

As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.

Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.

Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

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Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.