When former Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke was fired before the start of the season, one thing many did was go over his legacy in Toronto. Part of that is scrutinizing any and all the deals he made during his tenure and the one to bring Phil Kessel to the Leafs from Boston stands out for a few big reasons, namely Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton.
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli says it’s not fair to judge him based on that deal alone. Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun has that story.
“When you are in this job, we all have made deals that we’d like to have back. We’ve all made deals that we’d like to have a do-over on.
“I’m not saying Brian feels that way about the (Kessel) trade. I don’t know that. I mean, they got a 35-goal scorer out of the deal.”
“Obviously, you can’t gauge a deal until all the pieces are in place and we see how everyone does long-term,” Chiarelli explained.
Since we’re all about snap judgments, it sure seems like the Bruins won that deal. That’s not to say Burke didn’t make other moves to the benefit of the Leafs, he did. Getting Jake Gardiner, Joffrey Lupul, Mikhail Grabovski, and James van Riemsdyk in separate deals all showed how good he was at making trades.
Like Chiarelli said though, sometimes there’s one you want to have back.
Drake Caggiula had to wait to make his NHL debut because of a hip injury suffered in pre-season. He had to wait even longer for his first NHL goal.
On Saturday, the wait for the latter ended.
Playing in just his eighth career NHL game, the North Dakota product and NCAA Frozen Four MOP — pursued by at least half a dozen teams as a college free agent — ripped home a wrist shot from the slot on the power play for career goal No. 1 in the big league.
That goal gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead over the visiting Anaheim Ducks.
Naturally, Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz would prefer his top line, which includes star Alex Ovechkin, score goals instead of glide to the penalty box.
On Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ovechkin took two minor penalties, while Nicklas Backstrom had another.
Tampa Bay’s power play struck once in three opportunities, as the Lightning prevailed 2-1 in the shootout.
The Capitals did manage to score — a power play goal from Backstrom — to end their recent goal drought. But the issue of penalties — Ovechkin has a team-leading 10 minor penalties — is something Trotz plans to address.
“I wasn’t happy with that. Our top line took three of the penalties today. They needed to score a power play for us,” he told reporters. “They’ve got to stay out of the box. I need them on the ice. So yeah, we’ll talk about it for sure.”
The Capitals have now lost three in a row.
They sit in the first Wild Card spot in the East, alongside the Lightning, while the Philadelphia Flyers are right there, too.
“From my standpoint, we’ll take a good point on the road. Obviously we’re disappointed we didn’t get two. But the effort and the mindset was correct,” said Trotz.
“When you’re not winning, it doesn’t do anything for your confidence.”
He’s done it before. He’ll do it again.
Patrik Laine scored another beautiful goal for the Winnipeg Jets, as he beat Carter Hutton with a wrist shot Saturday. But it was how he got into position for the goal that is so much fun to watch.
Laine dished the puck to Bryan Little in the neutral zone, then, after shaking off a St. Louis Blues defender, he knocked the give-and-go pass out of the air and immediately ripped his shot past Hutton.
That’s goal No. 16 for the rookie Laine.
That goal also tied him with Sidney Crosby for the league lead in that category. Not bad — for a rookie.
And then Laine did this in OT, setting up Little for the winner. He can pass, too.
Video: Laine’s goal was the game-winner (and mind-blower)
Video: Nothing lucky about Laine’s seventh goal of the season
We asked earlier tonight if the bad blood between the Canucks and Leafs would spill over into tonight’s rematch. It had been pretty tame — unlike what occurred last month.
But there were some fireworks and, as expected following the events of Nov. 5, the combatants were Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson and Maple Leafs tough guy Matt Martin.
The two dropped the gloves for a heavyweight scrap during the second period, with both landing some major shots.