As Jason Brough noted earlier today, the Toronto Maple Leafs have defied stats expectations by winning more often than not despite frequently being out-shot by opponents. Wednesday was a glaring example, as the Leafs beat the Flames 4-2 despite Calgary nearly doubling them up in that category.
The Flames fired 43 shots on goal to Toronto’s 22. In fact, the Flames almost had as many shots on goal in the second period (20) as the Buds had in the entire contest.
Goaltending and quality shooting – or puck luck, depending upon how you see it – keep going the Leafs’ way. Jonathan Bernier held serve after James Reimer’s shutout while Joffrey Lupul, Mason Raymond and James van Riemsdyk scored for Toronto (Paul Ranger got an empty-netter, too).
The Maple Leafs keep chugging along, drawing the line deeper in the sand between believers and those who expect Toronto to regress (while stats-inclined Leafs fans might feel conflicted).
With an Eastern Conference-leading 20 points (10-4-0 in 14 games played), Toronto has a nice head start, so perhaps a playoff berth may be in the cards even if they come back down to Earth.
The Rangers are getting ready for their second straight matinee game on Saturday, but head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t done addressing yesterday’s loss to the Bruins.
After Friday’s game, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn’t pleased with Henrik Lundqvist‘s “acting” that led to a goalie interference penalty being called on forward Brad Marchand (above) and he let everyone know it in his postgame press conference.
On Saturday, it was Alain Vigneault’s turn to lash out.
“Well, (the Rangers public relations staff) filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said via the New York Daily News. “I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”
The Rangers will take on the Flyers at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Dubinsky to have hearing for cross-check on Crosby
As you can see in the above video, Dubinsky delivers a two-handed cross-check to Crosby’s neck, so the fact that he’s getting a hearing is no surprise.
“There’s no secret. I try to play him as hard as I can,” said Dubinsky. “That being said, I don’t try and do anything dirty. I felt like my stick ride up his back a little bit. He’s kind of bent over there in front. But again, that’s not the type of player I am. I’m going to play hard, but try and play fair and play in between the whistle.”
Crosby isn’t willing to give Dubinsky the benefit of the doubt.
#Pens Crosby on Dubinsky hit: I'm OK. I'm not surprised. If I was going to get one of those shots, it was going to be from him -SK