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

PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Shane Doan took a friendly jab at the the movie “Miracle” and the Miracle on Ice. (BarDown)

–The best of the worst Upper Deck hockey cards from 2015-16. (Puck Junk)

–Here’s a list of the top 50 players in WHL history. (WHL)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A sad story about how Chris Phillips feels helpless as his hometown of Fort McMurray burns. (CBC)

–“You want to get back into things right away (but) I think these last four or five months have been good for me.” Former Penguins coach Mike Johnston is ready to coach again. (Local XPress)

–Blues forward Jori Lehtera is in a pretty random commercial:

Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win

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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

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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

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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.