nickleddygetty

‘Hawks expect Leddy to ‘get back to playing’ after Game 4 benching

Nick Leddy will be in the lineup for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final and, according to his head coach, he’s actually going to play.

That’s what Joel Quenneville told reporters on Friday, saying the 22-year-old blueliner will be back in the mix after playing just four shifts for 2:37 of ice time in a Game 4 OT win against the Bruins.

“I think we expect Nick to get back to playing more in tomorrow’s game,” Quenneville explained. “I think as the game progressed last game, not getting him out there against the match-up that we were looking for was there, too. Then late in the game we didn’t go there.

“I thought the five guys in our rotation were getting the job done.”

Leddy went into Game 4 averaging around 16 minutes per game this postseason, down from 17-plus in the regular season.

He has struggled at times, especially offensively (zero goals, two assists) and his minus-7 rating likely wasn’t helping matters.

It was interesting to hear Quenneville speak about his confidence in a five-man rotation, because Leddy’s benching in Game 4 put an increased load on Chicago’s blueline.

Michal Rozsival, Johnny Oduya, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Duncan Keith all played over 25 minutes each — coincidentally or not, the ‘Hawks allowed five goals in a game for the first time this postseason — and some thought the ‘Hawks may go to veteran Sheldon Brookbank as Leddy’s potential replacement for Saturday.

Brookbank, 32, filled in for Keith during his one-game suspension in the Western Conference finals. That said, Brookbank only played 6:50 and finished a minus-2 in the contest, and hasn’t drawn back into the lineup since.

Overall, Quenneville committed to Leddy but stressed the young defensemen needs to do more offensively.

“He brings a nice guy from our back end that can move the puck and defend and do what we need him to do to get involved in the attack,” Quenneville said. “We’ll look forward to getting him more involved.”

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: