It’s the All-Star saga that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
On Friday, the Arizona Coyotes traded John Scott, voted to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game as the captain for the Pacific Division, to the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs have declared their intentions for Scott to join their AHL team in St. John’s, which puts the enforcer’s status for the upcoming All-Star Game in Nashville in jeopardy.
Naturally, this latest development has drawn the ire of fans and members of the media who wanted to see Scott compete in the three-on-three event. It was reported on Twitter by TSN’s Bob McKenzie that both the Coyotes and NHL talked to Scott about bowing out of the event, but he refused.
On Saturday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet spoke with Coyotes general manager Don Maloney, who shed light on the situation.
“We have (the maximum) 23 players on our roster,” Maloney told Sportsnet. “Someone had to go. When you look at our lineup, he made the most sense. To suggest that this was part of us not wanting him in All-Star, or to be working in the NHL…I’m dumbfounded by that.
“We wanted Tinordi, we think our coaching staff can work with him.”
Darryl Sutter can be blunt sometimes.
Such was the case Saturday, after his L.A. Kings coughed up a two-goal lead in the third period in what turned into a 5-3 Ottawa Senators victory.
On the same day they locked up Anze Kopitar to an eight-year, $80 million deal, the Kings gave up four unanswered goals in the third period on their way to defeat.
And despite seven wins in their last 10 games and a sizable lead in the Pacific Division standings, Sutter wasn’t letting his team off the hook at all for recent performances he clearly hasn’t liked.
“We had lots of guys just playing shinny out there,” said Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider.
“We’ve been playing sloppy for quite a few games now. I think we’ve used fatigue as an excuse the last three or four games, and … we didn’t get much from top to bottom today.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins could be without defenseman Kris Letang versus the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. Then again, he could still play.
Letang was hurt after taking a hit along the end boards during Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He did remain in the game, after having an X-ray, according to the Penguins’ website, but was seen in pain on the Pittsburgh bench after taking the hit.
As per reports, he did not skate Saturday.
“Tanger’ was being evaluated today,” said head coach Mike Sullivan. “We haven’t gotten any definitive results, so right now he’ll be a game-time decision for tomorrow.”
Well, that was fast.
Patrice Bergeron gave the Boston Bruins a 1-0 lead just 45 seconds into Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, as he completely fooled goalie Jonathan Bernier with a move to the backhand and tucked the puck into essentially a wide open net.
Two other notes on this goal:
— That’s a heads-up stretch pass from Torey Krug.
— That’s not a good line change from the Leafs, leading to the Krug stretch pass.
It was all looking so good for the L.A. Kings.
Tyler Toffoli had just given them a two-goal lead early in the third period against the Ottawa Senators. It was a beauty goal, too. Milan Lucic‘s cross-ice pass off the rush was right on the mark to Toffoli, who re-directed the puck past Craig Anderson. Vincent Lecavalier scored his first goal of the season — and first since April 1, 2015. And the Kings had a 26-12 edge in shots on goal after 40 minutes.
Then it all fell apart.
The Senators scored four unanswered goals in the third period to take a 5-3 victory.
Bobby Ryan got the comeback started. Just 26 seconds later, Jean-Gabriel Pageau tied it. And Mika Zibanejad gave the Senators the lead less than five minutes later. Meanwhile, Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick allowed four goals on just 22 shots faced.
That furious third-period comeback victory puts the Senators within a point of the Montreal Canadiens for the final Wild Card spot in the East.