Kevin Bieksa

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

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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.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: