Author: James O'Brien

Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five

Boudreau has no clue when Perry may return

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One almost gets the sense that Bruce Boudreau needed a longer holiday break from the media. Either that, or he’s just really tired of not knowing when his star Corey Perry will return from a knee injury.

When asked if a Wednesday return might be “realistic” for Perry, Boudreau gave a pretty flustered response to’s Curtis Zupke.

“We’ve been talking about realistic for him coming back for two-and-a-half weeks … I don’t even know anymore,” Boudreau said. “There’s no set timeline. He’ll be back at least for April 1st. I’m giving him a little bit of leeway.”

Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy seemingly depicts grumpy Boudreau from earlier today:

Imagine how salty Boudreau would be if his team was losing …

Ducks’ defense steps up in OT win vs. Canucks

Vancouver Canucks v Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks carried much of the play on Sunday, but it seemed like Ryan Miller might steal one for the Vancouver Canucks. He grabbed Vancouver a standings point, yet defensemen Francois Beauchemin and Cam Fowler scored to give Anaheim a 2-1 OT win.

For Beauchemin, that tying tally was also his first goal of the 2014-15 season, thus providing quite the sense of relief.

In Fowler’s case, the overtime game-clincher was mainly … confusing.

Andrew Cogliano praised his team for doing a “great job defensively” and not panicking despite a considerable disparity in play. Head coach Bruce Boudreau is glad that Anaheim’s hard work and belief paid off.

“The last two periods, we really pressed them,” Boudreau said. “It was nice to see the guys rewarded.”

It was a nice win for the Ducks, but the Canucks seemed upbeat in some ways as well.

“We can feed off the fact they’re one of the best teams in the league and we got a point in their building,” said Yannick Weber, who scored Vancouver’s lone goal.

Ultimately, the Ducks keep finding ways to win, whether you chalk it up to self-confidence, Ryan Getzlaf’s continued strong play or any number of other factors.

Kane is questionable for Jets on Monday


Evander Kane might not be able to play for the Winnipeg Jets against the Minnesota Wild on Monday. The Winnipeg Sun’s Kirk Penton reports that Kane is currently listed as questionable for that game.

Winnipeg recalled Patrice Cormier in case Kane cannot play against Minnesota tomorrow. Penton points out that Mathieu Perreault didn’t practice on Sunday, yet that was just considered a maintenance day and he should be good to face the Wild.

Injuries and inconsistency have made for a rocky start to the season for Kane. The 23-year-old has six goals and 15 points in 26 games so far in 2014-15.

Bergeron, Lucic are day-to-day for struggling Bruins

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens

Scoring has been a struggle for the Boston Bruins, and it may only get tougher on Monday if Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic are unable to play against the Detroit Red Wings.

While head coach Claude Julien isn’t being particularly forthcoming about what, exactly, is ailing either forward, he did describe each of them as day-to-day, as reports.

Here’s what the Bruins’ forward lines looked like in practice without Bergeron and Lucic:





Matt Fraser was waived later on Sunday, so that could throw things further out of whack. Either way, the pickings would be pretty slim if Bergeron and Lucic cannot go; Boston would have to hope that Loui Eriksson really is rebounding, among other things.

While there are certain factors that seemingly point to a talent deficit, Julien thinks the Bruins’ tough times are a matter of desire and widespread underachievement.

“We just need to be better, collectively and individually,” Julien said. “There’s too much under-performing from our group right now. There’s everybody to blame from the goaltending, out to the defense and to the forwards. There is lots of blame to go around, so it’s important for us as a group to be better, and for us as individuals to be better.”

Having two rather important individuals out of the lineup certainly wouldn’t help matters.

Cardiac Cats: Panthers win as Reimer, Leafs fade in third

Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers

With Jonathan Bernier out sick, it looked like James Reimer might just nab a victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then the Florida Panthers’ domination of the third period happened.

The Maple Leafs carried a 4-2 lead into the final frame after a wild six-goal second period even though the Panthers generated a 29-13 shot advantage through the first 40 minutes of the game. Puck luck swerved sharply in the other direction during the final frame, however, as Florida won 6-4 after scoring four times on just six shots on goal.

Even with one of those tallies hitting an empty net, it’s likely that Reimer will feel the heat in Toronto after this loss.

He’d probably want a few goals back, including Dmitry Kulikov’s first tally of 2014-15:

Randy Carlyle wouldn’t even give Reimer a vote of confidence after tonight’s game, as TSN’s Jonas Siegel reports:

While much of the focus will be on Toronto’s troubles, the Panthers deserve some credit for being tenacious in recent close games:

As of this writing, the Maple Leafs would still grab the first wild card spot in the East while Florida would be on top of the bubble. The Panthers trail Toronto by three standings points, yet have three games in hand, so they might close in on the Buds in the standings in the same way they did during today’s game.