Author: James O'Brien

Mike Richards

So Mike Richards is skating again


Will we see Mike Richards play in the NHL in 2015-16?

There are still quite a few hoops to jump through, with sorting out legal issues being the most obvious hurdle to clear.

Regardless, it’s worth noting this report from TSN’s Bob McKenzie: Richards is skating with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers.

Seems like a mutually beneficial setup: Richards gets to stay in shape while OHL players maybe get to pick his hockey brain a bit.

It would likely be some time before Richards is even really an option for NHL teams – even assuming he wouldn’t face any sort of league discipline before returning – but is there a team that’s a good fit for the two-way forward?

Pascal Dupuis is back (and he already scored)


Not that far removed from a trip to the hospital to make sure he wasn’t dealing with blood clot issues, Pascal Dupuis is indeed back in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lineup on Wednesday.

The Pens host the Montreal Canadiens in what should be an interesting game.

It was expected that Dupuis might play after returning to practice on Monday, so here’s your confirmation.

Update: Wow, he did not take long to score, either. Check out the beautiful feed by Sidney Crosby and Dupuis goal in the video above.

WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Penguins – Wednesday Night Rivalry

Alex Galchenyuk, Derrick Pouliot

After a jam-packed Tuesday night of action, the league sets its eyes on two games (and net/goalie equipment size debates, apparently).

There’s quality even if there isn’t quantity, especially with the NBCSN contest as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Montreal Canadiens.

Aside from a hiccup against the Calgary Flames, the Penguins have been hot lately. That’s good for them, as the Habs are currently riding high as the top-ranked team in the NHL, not just the East.

It should be a lot of fun, and you can stream it via the link below.


Maple Leafs end another Stars’ winning streak

Byron Froese, Antti Niemi

DALLAS (AP) Jake Gardiner scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period as the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied for a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

P.A. Parenteau tied it with just under 7 1/2 minutes left in the third, and Peter Holland scored late in the first period for Toronto. James Reimer finished with 36 saves.

Patrick Sharp had the tying goal for Dallas in the final minute of the second period, and Vernon Fiddler gave the Stars the lead at 5:37 of the third. Antti Niemi had 27 saves and Jason Demers had two assists.

On the winning goal, Gardiner sent a slap shot from the right point over Niemi with 3:28 to go.

Gardiner also assisted on the game’s first goal, by Holland on the power play with 1:22 left in the first.

Toronto improved to 3-8-4 with its second win in nine days against Central Division-leading Dallas (12-4-0).

The Maple Leafs scored on the game’s first power play. Dallas’ Johnny Oduya was off for holding when Holland tipped in Gardiner’s shot from the blue line late in the first. With his stick, Holland directed the puck downward off Niemi’s left pad and between his legs.

Reimer’s toughest saves came early in the period, when he stopped Antoine Roussel and Mattias Janmark. Ales Hemsky shot high on another chance from in front of the net.

Dallas tied the game with 34 seconds left in the second period ended. Sharp hustled to beat the Leafs’ Matt Hunwick in a race for the puck. It went to Demers behind the net and the Stars’ defenseman passed to Sharp at the left goalpost, and he wristed the puck into the net.

Sharp’s goal was his seventh, all in the last eight games. He did not score in his first eight games.

Fiddler skated to a loose puck in the right corner and sent a backhand shot from a severe angle over Reimer’s left shoulder and into the short side of the net to put Dallas up 2-1 .

NOTES: The Maple Leafs have won four in a row against Dallas, by a combined margin of 16-6. … LW Antoine Roussel returned to Dallas’ lineup after missing two games because of an upper-body injury. … Toronto’s No. 1 goalie, Jonathan Bernier (lower body), made the trip to Dallas and Nashville. He hasn’t played since being injured Oct. 31, but could be close to a return.

Video: Alex Stalock allows long-distance goal


Martin Jones was pulled after allowing two Islanders goals on just three shots, and he might not have had the worst night of a San Jose Sharks goalie.

OK, Alex Stalock‘s been generally fine on Tuesday, but the Johnny Boychuk goal he allowed may just haunt his dreams.

Boychuk has a rifle of a shot, yet that won’t make Stalock feel much better about the goal he allowed from above the Sharks’ zone. You can watch it above.

The Sharks thought that there was a chance that the Islanders might have been offside on the play, allowing that moment to linger. That was an understandable choice by Peter DeBoer, but … ouch.

If that’s enough discomfort for Sharks fans, there are also Patrick Marleau trade rumors to make the night frostier.

Update: The Islanders ended up winning 4-2.

Good news for Stalock specifically? That fourth goal was an empty-netter. The bad news was that means the Boychuk tally was also the game-winner.

(Sorry Sharks fans.)