Kevin Bieksa

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


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.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella
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Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.