Paul Maurice

Jets coach Maurice doesn’t relish playing spoiler to former team

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TORONTO — The Winnipeg Jets dealt a wicked blow to the playoff hopes of the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 4-2 win on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre.

Jets coach Paul Maurice was once the coach of the Maple Leafs from 2006-2008. When asked about whether or not he took any special feelings away from dealing his former team a blow that may keep them from the postseason, he was coy.

“No,” Maurice said with a wry smile. “You know what, it’s a lousy job. You don’t ever want to play spoiler. We’ve talked a lot about being where you are and that’s where we were tonight and we gave our best effort.”

Maurice’s Leafs team missed the playoffs in 06-07 on the final day of the season after the New York Islanders beat the New Jersey Devils in a shootout. Earlier in the day after the morning skate, Maurice reminisced about that day — a moment that still invoked emotion from him seven years later.

“I remember so clearly watching the shootout between  New Jersey and [the Islanders] and I knew Jersey had clinched and, who was it, Wade Dubielewicz, is that right? Wade Dubielewicz in net and the game just prior he poke-checked three of the guys and I knew that New Jersey hadn’t shown video on that, right? They were already in, they didn’t care. They showed five clips and out you go and play,” Maurice said. “I knew we were in trouble when the first poke-check came out, we were in trouble. That was tough, that was a tough day.”

Getting taken out by Wade Dubielewicz and Ted Nolan’s Islanders team in such a fashion would be enough to stick in anyone’s craw for years. When it means getting the chance to take the Maple Leafs to the postseason, it’s even tougher to swallow.

Now it’s current Leafs coach Randy Carlyle who might be looking back on this game with similar regrets.

Blues’ Shattenkirk suffers lower-body injury

Kevin Shattenkirk
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This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.

Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.

While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.

There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.

Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.

Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:

It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning


In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.