Author: James O'Brien

Michel Therrien

Therrien steams after blown lead, says Habs didn’t deserve a point


No one likes blowing leads, particularly in the third period. The Edmonton Oilers served up a bitter 4-3 OT loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, and head coach Michel Therrien clearly wasn’t happy about it.

“We didn’t deserve a point tonight,” Therrien said, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.’s Arpon Basu notes that it’s rare for the occasionally grumpy bench boss to be so frank with his criticisms of the team at large:

There are a few reasons why one would assume that it was an especially irritating loss.

For one thing, the Oilers obviously aren’t the type of opponent who fill you with fear. Beyond that, it certainly seemed like Edmonton brought more effort to the table; the Oilers generated a 38-26 shot advantage in the game.

Then again, maybe it was just the way the game ended.

Tomas Plekanec had a chance to ice it with an empty-net goal, yet he hesitated at first in looking to set up a teammate for that gimme, ultimately getting his shot blocked. Moments later, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his second of the night with less than 30 seconds remaining to send it to OT.

Anton Lander scored the OT winner as Dustin Tokarski looked rather baffled, and just like that, the Habs saw a regulation win turn into an overtime defeat.

Montreal had a chance to improve its situation in a tight race for the Atlantic Division crown. Instead, they unraveled in the closing moments and left their prickly coach fuming.

Kessel almost seems resigned to Toronto-less fate

Phil Kessel

Whether he likes dealing with the Toronto media or not, Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel can’t ignore the headlines any better than anyone else.

That probably explains the seemingly defeated comments Kessel made following Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, as he almost seemed to shrug his shoulders – if sadly – at the prospect of being traded.

TSN’s Mark Masters has the quote: “I go where they want me. I love Toronto. If it’s not here it’s not here.”


It was a mixed bag of an effort for the Leafs in tonight’s loss against the Islanders; one might give them a seven on the “give-a-blank meter.” Still, Toronto lost its 21st of its last 25 games and there were sloppy moments like the opening goal:

When Kessel signed a contract extension with the Leafs, some were surprised that he was OK with signing on to continue the soap opera in Toronto. As it turns out, he might not be long for the market anyway.

Related: Are we seeing the last of Kessel in Toronto?

Ducks ride Gibson’s strong performance to break slump

John Gibson

The way Ilya Bryzgalov had been playing, a Frederik Andersen-less Anaheim Ducks team seemed to have a shaky short-term future. Good thing John Gibson’s back in the mix, then.

In just his second appearance since Oct. 30, Gibson absolutely carried the Ducks to a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, breaking Anaheim’s three-game losing streak in the process.

The shot differential was significant. Carolina generated a 36-17 disparity in the game with a 29-13 advantage through the first 40 minutes being the most glaring. Even so, only Jeff Skinner’s power-play goal bested Gibson tonight.

Matt Beleskey scored the game-winning, which impressively gives him an NHL-leading eight game-winners this season.

It’s pretty obvious that the Ducks have Gibson to thank for this win, but he took the typical humble hockey player approach after the game:

The Ducks expected to trot out a platoon with Andersen and Gibson in net, but injuries opened the door for Andersen through much of this campaign. Perhaps the reverse might open the door for Gibson?

Either way, Ducks brass has to feel a little bit better about this situation after that display.

Timeout: Blackhawks send Teravainen to AHL

Arizona Coyotes v Chicago Blackhawks

Remember when Teuvo Teravainen was the next big thing for the Chicago Blackhawks? The future isn’t quite now, it seems, as’s Tracey Myers reports that he was demoted to the AHL on Thursday.

In exchange, the Blackhawks brought up Ryan Hartman and Kyle Cumiskey, according to Myers.

The 20-year-old really hasn’t made much of an impact, especially lately. He’s currently on a six-game pointless streak and has only managed four points in 15 games.

He’s not really getting much ice time on a loaded Chicago offense, so maybe it really makes sense to send the 18th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft to the AHL where he can regain some confidence and be the BMOC (if you will).

There’s plenty of time for him to convert his robust skills to the NHL game, and there’s always the chance that Chicago may get a boost from him later this season (or perhaps in the playoffs?).

Still, the review seems to be “not yet” so far when it comes to “Teuvo Time.”

Video: Steen’s stellar stretch pass sets up Jaskin goal for Blues

St Louis Blues v Washington Capitals

Dmitrij Jaskin has been having a nice run lately for the St. Louis Blues. It probably doesn’t hurt that the Blues employ some impressive forwards to support him, with Alexander Steen being among the standouts.

The stretch pass Steen sent to Jaskin was a work of art on Thursday:

The Blues have largely been taking it to the Tampa Bay Lightning so far tonight. We’ll see if that carries over through the remainder of the game.

Update: St. Louis won in an impressive fashion by a tune of 6-3.