Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens

Habs to retire Lapointe’s jersey

13 Comments

The Montreal Canadiens are retiring another jersey. This time, it’s the No. 5 worn by Hall of Fame defenseman Guy Lapointe.

Now, the Habs already retired the No. 5 when they retired it for Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion in 2006, but this is about Lapointe’s name going up in the rafters of the Bell Centre (sometime next season), along with a whole bunch of other former greats.

In all, the Canadiens have retired 15 numbers, in honor of 17 players. (Eighteen players now, counting Lapointe.)

For you youngsters out there, Lapointe was one of hockey’s elite blue-liners during the 1970’s — a decade in which the powerhouse Habs won six Stanley Cups, including four straight from 1976-79.

Hall of Famers Serge Savard and Larry Robinson were also on that Habs blue line, and have already had their numbers (18 and 19, respectively) retired.

Together, Lapointe, Savard and Robinson were called the “Big Three.”

From a 1977 Sports Illustrated article:

“How can one team have three defensemen like that?” asked the Islanders’ confused Lome Henning.

All three stand at least six feet tall and weigh at least 200 pounds. All three are extremely fast and mobile, and at the whim of Coach Scotty Bowman they occasionally take a shift on one of the wings. Robinson, in fact, regularly moves to a forward position on the Canadiens’ power play and places his immovable body at the goaltender’s doorstep, where he can screen the goalie’s vision and also pick harassed defensemen and force them out of the play.

“Those three guys do so many things, they make it easier for everyone else,” says New York’s J. P. Parise. “Except for Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt and Jacques Lemaire, the Montreal forwards are a bunch of plumbers, just like us, but with those three defensemen on their side they can take a lot of chances.”

There’s been a push in Montreal to have Lapointe’s jersey retired, led by his daughter, Stephanie, who tweeted the following today about the news:

Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win

106 Comments

The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.

Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.

With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.

It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.

Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.

The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?

Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:

If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.

Sidney Crosby looks hurt (and furious) after Alex Ovechkin slash

ovicrosbynbcsn
NBCSN screen
17 Comments

Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.

An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.

After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.

You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.

Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.

Dirty or not? Evgeni Malkin’s hit on Daniel Winnik

16 Comments

Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.

Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.

Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.

Blues aim to raise money for victims of Fort McMurray fires

An evacuee puts gas in his car on his way out of Fort McMurray, Alberta, as a wildfire burns in the background Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The raging wildfire emptied Canada's main oil sands city, destroying entire neighborhoods of Fort McMurray, where officials warned Wednesday that all efforts to suppress the fire have failed.  (Jason Franson /The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
AP
3 Comments

Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.

Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:

Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.

Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.

“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”

Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”

People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.