James O'Brien

Montreal Canadiens defensemen  P.K. Subban (76) holds off Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Montreal, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (Graham Hughes /The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Habs’ win was a showcase for P.K. Subban, Connor McDavid


Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.

Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.

Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.

Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:

From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.

Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?

The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.

That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.

If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.

Return to form? Getzlaf, Ducks beat Kings for fifth straight win


The Los Angeles Kings enjoy enough of a cushion that they likely don’t need to worry about the Anaheim Ducks.

Well, in the regular season, anyway.

Facing the Ducks in the postseason is becoming an increasingly uneasy proposition for the Kings and other members of the West’s elite, as Anaheim’s playing more like the elite team people expected to see all along.

Thursday continued that pattern. The Ducks raced off to 2-0 and 4-1 leads to cruise to a 4-2 win against the Kings on Thursday. In the process, the Ducks won their fifth consecutive game ans seven in eight contests.

(Their only loss during that span: dropping a 3-2 decision to the Kings on Jan. 17.)

One big change is that David Perron has been a slam dunk in Anaheim after bunting his way through hit-or-miss Pittsburgh days. Perron scored a goal and two assists.

Ryan Getzlaf‘s return to elite play is most exciting, however, as he finally scored an even-strength goal this season and also notched an assist.

It was a rough night for Jonathan Quick, who was chased by a spry Anaheim attack. If this trend continues, he won’t be the last goalie dealing with Ducks-related headaches.

Jonathan Toews: Still lethal in overtime

Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates his goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Onlookers described the game as wild, yet the result was familiar enough that the tough-to-please may have yawned.

Yeah, yeah, it was a crazy game … but Jonathan Toews won it for Chicago, just like usual. “Captain Serious” earned his fifth overtime game-winner to help the Blackhawks edged the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 in OT.

Ho hum, right?

OK, well maybe it wasn’t all by-the-book.

Although, there was that one time that Coach Q got pretty mad and

Stars win in OT, but lose Spezza to lower-body injury

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (3) is congratulated by defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) and center Jason Spezza (90) after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers during the first period, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in New York.  (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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Thursday was a good news/bad news kind of night for the Dallas Stars in a 4-3 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche.

The good: John Klingberg exploited a Tyson Barrie turnover in overtime to score an unassisted 3-on-1 clincher, the sort of tally that probably leaves goaltenders muttering heinous things about the 3-on-3 format.

Check out that goal in the embed below via the NHL.

The bad: Jason Spezza left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return.

The team didn’t specify how bad the injury might be, so it’s too early to get especially worried. It’s certainly a concern, however, as the Stars have enjoyed the luxury of the secondary scoring Spezza often provides.

Video: Another NHL official gets checked


Here’s hoping checks on NHL officials don’t “happen in threes.”

It’s a little early to call it a trend, but another ref got bumped by a hockey player. Let’s go out on a limb and say that Brendan Smith‘s accidental hit was more, um, clearly accidental than what Dennis Wideman did.

(Feel free to disagree in the comments, though. You can see the video for yourself.)

The Florida Panthers ended up beating the Detroit Red Wings 6-3, so a bad night overall for Smith & Co.