Cam Tucker

Nyquist offered in-person hearing for vicious high stick on Spurgeon

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Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist will face further discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for a vicious high stick to the face of Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon on Sunday.

The incident occurred in the first period. He was given only a double minor for high-sticking, however, the league just announced Nyquist has been offered an in-person hearing, which could mean a suspension of six games or more. The date and time of the hearing have yet to be determined.

“I didn’t mean to do that,” Nyquist told the Detroit Free Press. “My stick gets caught, I am trying to get body position on him. I’m happy he was out there again. I had no intention of doing that. My stick gets caught. It looks bad, but I’m happy he’s OK.

“Obviously, I’ve got to have better control of my stick.”

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk believed Nyquist should’ve been given a major penalty on the play.

“I just don’t understand how that’s not a five-minute penalty,” Dubnyk told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Obviously he’s not a player that is going to, I want to say do it on purpose except anybody watching the game … it’s a five-minute penalty regardless.”

And here is Bruce Boudreau’s take:

 

Shea Weber gained ‘instant respect’ with Habs

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June 29, 2016 was a crazy day in the hockey world. Actually, it was a crazy few hours that left everyone with plenty to take in, discuss and debate for the next few months.

Shea Weber will forever be connected to that day as one of its central characters in the blockbuster trade involving the Nashville Predators and Montreal Canadiens. Weber was sent to the Habs, with P.K. Subban going to Nashville.

Habs general manager Marc Bergevin certainly took his share of criticism for trading away a very popular and dynamic player in Subban for a player in Weber who has been known to physically dominate a game from the blue line, blast a slap shot in excess of 100 miles per hour and capable of breaking through the net, and was turning 31 years old with a contract until 2026.

But Bergevin was steadfast in his belief in Weber, referring to him as a “tremendous leader” and a “proven player,” and that line of thinking remains in Montreal with only two months left in the regular season.

“He’s added a presence to our locker room that’s hard to miss,” Habs captain Max Pacioretty told FanRag Sports Network. “He had instant respect from the team because of his past, but even more so now because of the way he carries himself and the way he works.”

In 57 games played for Montreal, Weber has 13 goals and 32 points, with 18 of those points coming on the power play. He also leads all defenseman with more than 750 minutes played at five-on-five with a 1.24 goals-against per 60 minutes rating.

The Habs, with only three wins in their last 10 games, face the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

 

WATCH LIVE: Habs at Bruins

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One of the most storied rivalries in hockey is renewed Sunday, as the Boston Bruins host the Montreal Canadiens.

The Bruins are searching for a third consecutive win since they made their controversial coaching change earlier in the week. The Habs have been struggling of late with only three wins in their last 10 games, although they still lead the Atlantic Division.

You can check out the action on NBCSN or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra (7:30 p.m. ET).

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Goalie Nods: Price looks to get Canadiens (and himself) back on track

NHL on NBCSN: Bruins go for third win in a row against slumping Canadiens

Bruins get rare win from backup goalie, second in a row under Cassidy

Marchand: Julien allowed him to be more than just ‘an agitator’

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Brad Marchand may be one of the most controversial players in the NHL.

He is a very productive player, scoring 37 goals last season. Only once in seven full seasons with the Boston Bruins has he not been able to score at least 20 goals in a campaign, and the only time he failed to do that was coming out of the lockout. But his rap sheet of transgressions and suspensions have made him a very polarizing individual around the league.

Speaking of controversy: The Bruins made just such a decision earlier in the week, giving long-time coach Claude Julien his walking papers. Not only was the actual decision picked apart, especially because Boston’s roster is in need of help and president Cam Neely has fully admitted that, but the timing also raised eyebrows because the news was released during the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade.

There is no doubt Julien left his mark on this franchise. He won coach of the year and a Stanley Cup in Boston. He also left his mark on Marchand, who, despite his run-ins with the Department of Player Safety, is a very valuable forward in Boston, and an elite forward in the league.

“He’s always come to my defense, even when I made it hard on him,” Marchand told NESN. “He allowed me to grow and he’s always tried to get me to be more of a player than an agitator. I think that’s really come out the last few years. A lot of coaches wouldn’t have given me that opportunity over time to grow and mature like that and putting me in the position to succeed.”

Marchand was a critical component to Boston’s championship team, and again in its run to the Stanley Cup Final two years later. But his offensive totals have taken off in recent seasons. He also has 12 points in his last seven games.

The Bruins are going for a third consecutive win since making their coaching change on Tuesday.

High-scoring Wild light up the Red Wings

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Every time the Detroit Red Wings inched closer, the high-scoring Minnesota Wild once again pulled away.

For the Red Wings, this loss represents another blow to their playoff hopes, as they are in serious danger of seeing their streak of post-season appearances end at 25 consecutive years. Among the top-five teams in overall scoring, the Wild continued to pile up the goals in a 6-3 win, this time making a long afternoon for goalie Jared Coreau.

The Wild established two-goal leads four different times, with the Red Wings closing that gap on three occasions. But they couldn’t get the equalizer. More accurately, they couldn’t stop Minnesota’s potent offensive attack.

Helping matters — or hurting them, depending on your perspective — was the fact Minnesota’s power play scored three times on just four chances.

Last week, the terrific season of Mikael Granlund was discussed at PHT. At the age of 24, he’s going to shatter his previous career bests for goals and points in a single season. Well, you can make that same point for Charlie Coyle under Bruce Boudreau.

He entered today’s game with 42 points, which equals his previous career best accomplished over 82 games last season. This season? He needed only 54 games to hit that same point total. He has now established a new individual standard. On Sunday, he registered two more points, including Minnesota’s third goal of the afternoon.

But the big story from this game occurred in the first period. Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist was given only a double minor for a vicious high-stick on Jared Spurgeon. Nyquist could be facing further discipline from the league’s Department of Player Safety.