Dave Bolland

Fences mended? Canucks reportedly initiate talks with Bolland camp

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Apparently time does heal all wounds.

On Wednesday, Vancouver’s News 1130 reported the Canucks made contact with pending UFA center Dave Bolland, who appears to be at a contractual impasse with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bolland, of course, has quite the history with Vancouver.

A thorn in Vancouver’s side during his time as a ‘Hawk — he has 17 points in 16 career playoff games against the Canucks — Bolland infamously ripped Daniel and Henrik Sedin during a Chicago-based radio appearance three years ago, which sparked a war of words between the organizations.

Here’s what then-head coach Alain Vigneault and d-man Kevin Bieksa said after Bolland called the Sedins “sisters” and suggested they share bunk beds.

Vigneault:

“They’ve both been probably two of the best players in the NHL for the last five years, they’ve won a gold medal, and they are really involved in the community. They are great examples for players in the NHL, and for young people. They are just two great young people.

“When you have comments like Bolland’s, he’s obviously an individual whose IQ is probably the size of a birdseed. And he has a face that only a mother could look at.

“You’re talking about two players who play with integrity, they play the right way, that are great examples of everything this game stands for. Then you have a birdseed like that making comments.

“Lucky his mother loves him.

Bieksa:

“I think he looks more like a girl than they do.

“I think if it weren’t for the twins, I don’t think anyone would hear about Dave Bolland. His matchup against them in the playoffs has put him on the map. If he doesn’t want them on his team, he’s crazy. It’s probably because he’d be out of a roster spot.”

So yeah, it’d be rather interesting to see Bolland join the room after this… though to be fair, it was three years ago and Bolland has since expressed major remorse. Also worth noting that Bieksa’s still there, but Vigneault is long gone.

As for the actual news at hand — per 1130, talks between Vancouver and Bolland appear to be in their infancy, and much hinges on what the Canucks do with Ryan Kesler, rumored to be on the move at this Friday’s NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia.

Related: Bolland, Leafs remain apart in negotiations: agent

Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.

Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut

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A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”

Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.

Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.

DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”