Dan Hamhuis and Patrick Sharp will draw back in the Canadian lineup on Sunday, but it’s unclear who they’ll replace.
Canadian head coach Mike Babcock confirmed the move following Friday’s 6-0 win over Austria. Both Hamhuis and Sharp played in the tournament opener against Norway, but were dropped from the second game in favor of P.K. Subban and Matt Duchene.
Duchene — at 23, the youngest player on the Canadian team — acquitted himself well against Austria, finishing plus-1 with four shots on goal in 14:28 TOI. He received some power play time and looked good skating with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
Subban didn’t play much (11:14, least among the Canadian blueliners) and, following the game, received this review from Babcock:
Canada could drop Subban and Duchene from the lineup again, though there are other candidates to be scratched. Up front, Chris Kunitz hasn’t produced — no points and just three shots on goal through two games — and Jeff Carter, who scored a hat-trick against Austria, received a game-low 8:46 ice time on Friday.
On defense, Alex Pietrangelo and Marc-Edouard Vlasic were the next two lowest in ice time after Subban against the Austrians.
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”