For the most part, players are standing behind Donald Fehr in the continued CBA discussions, but some are faltering here and there.
Roman Hamrlik goes far enough to wonder if if Fehr should be ousted if the season gets totally canceled, while Paul “Biz Nasty” Bissonnette admitted on Sirius XM’s Home Ice that he’d take a salary rollback on Wednesday.
Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski transcribed some of his most notable comments:
“We’re a union. We have to stay together,” Bissonnette said. “If anything, it’s the opposite of greedy. We’re not asking for more money, we’re just asking for what we signed for. At this point, would I take a little bit of a rollback? Absolutely, just to get back playing. But we trust what Fehr’s telling us, and the way he’s leading us. And that’s that.”
Unlike many others, he’s not beating up on Gary Bettman, who Bissonnette believes is “just trying to do his job.”
Instead, he critiques (but doesn’t slam?) Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs.
“I’m more upset with a guy like [Boston Bruins owner Jeremy] Jacobs,” Bissonnette said. “It just sounds so hypocritical for him to think the last CBA was so awful and how garbage it was, and then go out and sign three of his top guys right before the last one expired. If it was that bad, why rush to sign those guys?”
The outspoken enforcer doesn’t reprimand Fehr like Hamrlik did – there’s plenty of common themes in his comments – but admitting he’d take less money (and not bashing Bettman) emphasizes that there are some different views among players.
Well, that was quite a third period.
For the Boston Bruins, it was disastrous. For the Tampa Bay Lightning, it propelled them to a critical victory in the playoff race.
Nikita Kucherov completed the hat trick with a pair of goals in the final period and Jonathan Drouin scored what would eventually be the winner, as Tampa Bay snapped its own three-game losing streak in a 6-3 victory, putting the Bolts within three points of the final wild card spot — held by the Bruins — in the Eastern Conference.
The Drouin goal — his 18th of the season but first since Feb. 19, a span of 13 games — is probably one Tuukka Rask would like back.
Drouin teed up the slap shot from the faceoff circle, beating Rask under the left arm.
And just like that, the Bruins have lost four consecutive games. On Saturday, they face the New York Islanders, another team looking to catch Boston in the wild card race.
Read more: Remember this stretch if Bruins settle for a wild card spot (or worse?)
The Islanders are only two points back of Boston.
Despite the win, there was bad news for the Lightning during this game, as defenseman Jason Garrison left with an injury.
The play occurred behind the Lightning goal, Garrison appearing to get his left leg rolled up from behind by a Bruin. Garrison had to be helped off the ice by Anton Stralman and Brayden Point and headed back to the Bolts’ locker room.
The team announced during the second intermission that Garrison sustained a lower-body injury. He did not return to the game.
As promised, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin rocked a pair of custom skates in honor of Russian Heritage Night on Thursday.
On his right skate, he paid tribute to the United States with a custom design, and paid tribute to his home nation on his left skate while taking the pre-game warm-up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets.
He’ll be auctioning off the skates, as well.
From CSN Mid-Atlantic:
The skates were painted by noted custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, whom Ovechkin personally selected. The skates feature the U.S. and Russia flags as well as the Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Sidney Crosby has made news lately for his goal scoring and his use of the stick.
He speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt the other night, and on Thursday he delivered a slash to Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who has since not returned to the game.
The slash rendered a finger on Methot’s left hand bloodied and injured. It certainly didn’t look good as Method (calmly) skated to the bench.
There was no call on the play.
Updated: Methot won’t return to this game.
Toronto’s talented rookies were back at it again Thursday, as William Nylander and Auston Matthews combined to set up the Maple Leafs’ first goal versus the New Jersey Devils.
Nylander added the second assist on the power play goal, giving him 35 helpers on the season.
That’s significant for a couple of reasons: He extends his point streak to 10 games, which sets a new Leafs rookie record. And the assist reportedly secured him another entry-level bonus: