Kevin Bieksa

Bieksa calls out Thornton, Couture for embellishment, ‘lack of integrity’

33 Comments

Down 0-3 in their opening-round series against the Sharks, the Canucks went on the offensive on Monday.

Defenseman Kevin Bieksa called out San Jose forwards Joe Thornton and Logan Couture, suggesting both were trying to sell calls to officials.

“It’s a lack of integrity,” Bieksa said. “Couture has been snapping his head back. This isn’t my opinion. The evidence is in the video.”

Related: Sharks’ Couture on Sedin whack: ‘I’ll take it all day’ for PP chance

Bieksa also took aim at the pair’s “Canadian-ness,” — you know, the Don Cherry-esque theory where all good Canadian boys play the game honest and never dive to draw penalties — suggesting the Sharks forwards were, for a lack of a better term, frauds.

“Those are two Canadian guys who are supposed to be playing the game with integrity,” Bieksa continued. “Maybe our team has to do more of that.

“Thornton, another so-called Canadian — he gets slashed, takes his glove off, shakes his hand.”

When asked about Bieksa’s comments, head coach Alain Vigneault offered up “we’re the embellishers,” as his reply.

(Note: The comment was dripping with sarcasm. Also, embellishers isn’t a word.)

But staying on the embellishment front, it’s worth noting that Bieksa has gone down this road before.

During the 2011 Western Conference semifinal against Nashville, he warned that diving could damage the game and the reputation of the offending team.

“I know guys will do whatever it takes for a power play to win a game,” he told The Province. “But sometimes they’re crossing that line of integrity.

“I think for the better of the game, for the good of the game we need people to stay on that line and not cross it, and not dive and exaggerate for calls.”

The catch here?

Bieksa was responding to allegations the Canucks were embellishing to draw penalties against the Predators.

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP
Leave a comment

Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

From the NHL:

Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.

Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.

Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.

Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse

Malkin to miss third straight game with lower-body injury

Evgeni Malkin
AP
1 Comment

Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.

The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.

Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.

McDonagh out with concussion after Saturday’s altercation with Simmonds

Ryan McDonagh
Getty
7 Comments

The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.

McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.

Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.

Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

standings

Lucic’s plan is to ‘remain a King’ for remainder of career

Milan Lucic, Alex Burrows, Dan Hamhuis
AP
3 Comments

Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”

A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.

“Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”

Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.

Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.

Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA