Both the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs faced must-win situations in Game 6’s on Sunday and each squad found ways to win some tight games. In the case of the Maple Leafs, they beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in Toronto.
Let’s chat, shall we?
Like Henrik Lundqvist at Madison Square Garden, James Reimer came up huge on the big stage at home on Sunday. He stopped 29 out of 30 shots, only yielding to Milan Lucic with about 30 seconds left. Is this the game that establishes him as a legitimate No. 1 goalie or does he need to win Game 7 to really capture the hearts of Leafs fans and respect of critics?
Nazem Kadri had his second point of the series, assisting on Dion Phaneuf’s game-opening goal. Can he break out in Game 7 after struggling mightily?
Phil Kessel ended up getting the game-winner. Will this reduce the amount of times he needs to cringe and answer questions about the Tyler Seguin/Dougie Hamilton trade? If not, could this at least turn down the volume of the heckling?
Which team do you expect to advance with a Game 7 win?
Tuukka Rask was in net when the Bruins gave up a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 and faces the possibility of seeing a 3-1 series lead dissolve against Toronto. If that happens, will he be labeled a choker? Could it even convince Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to go with a different option in net?
Which Game 7 are you looking forward to the most on Sunday?
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.