<span class="vcard">James O'Brien</span>


Video: John Tavares slew-footing Brad Marchand


In mid-January, Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand received a two-game suspension for slew-footing. Will New York Islanders star John Tavares get some league attention for doing the same on Marchand?

Judge for yourself in the video below from Saturday’s eventual 2-1 win for Boston:

A few things to consider:

  • There was no penalty on the play.
  • Tavares hasn’t been suspended before.
  • No word on if this is under review (although it’s also worth noting that two key Player Safety Twitter accounts have been silent since Jan. 28, anyway).

Check out this video explanation for Marchand’s two-game suspension for comparison’s sake:

Wild are still really good at shutting out the Avs


The Colorado Avalanche have played three games against the Minnesota Wild during the 2014-15 season. Maybe one of these days they’ll even score a goal against them.

This time around, it was Devan Dubnyk shutting the door on the Avs, as Minnesota won 1-0 on Saturday.

Actually, come to think of it … Dubnyk’s been excellent at blanking opponents since putting on a Wild uniform. He’s now on a two-game shutout streak and has generated three goose eggs in the past four games. He also has four shutouts in his nine Wild games.

Shutouts aren’t the only way Dubnyk has been impressive, as he’s won five games in a row, only allowing three goals in that span. He’s generated a standings point in all but one start for the Wild.

Here’s a little more on his dominant run, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo:

Apparently, he’s even making a little history:

Of course, there’s the flip side of that coin: the Avalanche are really struggling to score. While failing to net a single goal in three games against Minnesota is bad enough, NHL.com’s Rick Sadowski points out that the problems go deeper than just a tough matchup:

Considering where the NHL standings sit, this disparity could very well be the difference between a playoff berth. That said, Minnesota might need some more Dubnyk magic to get all the way, as they still find themselves looking up at the West’s wild card teams.

Sharks scratch Vlasic because of illness (Update)

San Jose Sharks v Arizona Coyotes

Marc-Edouard Vlasic is one of the San Jose Sharks’ scratches on Saturday, and it’s unclear if it’s a healthy scratch, injury-related or had something to do with a moistened tracksuit.

Update: No locker room drama here, unless Vlasic shared a drink with someone and got another Shark sick. It looks like he’s just ill.

As CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz notes, it’s unclear what is wrong at the time, as Vlasic participated in the Sharks’ morning skate.

At least the series of assumptions regarding Vlasic also inspired a solid “Office Space” joke from Kurz:

This post will be updated when more is known regarding why he isn’t playing against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.

Leafs win! Leafs win!

Phil Kessel

For the first time since Jan. 9 and only the second time in 2015, the Toronto Maple Leafs won a hockey game.

They ended an 11-game losing streak on Saturday night, an accomplishment that probably won’t be tarnished by the fact that it came against the lowly Edmonton Oilers. At least, it probably won’t tarnish it for the Leafs’ players and executives, who must feel an incredible sense of relief right now.

(Brendan Shanahan looked that way when shown in the press box, at least.)

Fittingly, it was this close to being a perfect victory, but Luke Gadzic scored with seconds remaining to spoil James Reimer’s shutout bid. Still, a 5-1 victory prompted cheers from the home crowd.

MORE: Click here for Morgan Rielly’s stupendous goal.

The Leafs would have to pull off a momentous run to make this more than a mere face-saving victory. Reimer seems to have some belief that Toronto can do just that:

They have a long, long way to go for that to be anything more than wishful thinking. Still, a win’s a win, and this one was a fairly impressive one in that. At least after a pretty weak overall first period.

(Note: apologies to Cam Tucker for swiping his headline format.)

Ruff break: Stars squander precious points against Sabres

Lindy Ruff

Lindy Ruff isn’t unfamiliar with the feeling of losing a frustrating game in Buffalo, but Saturday’s defeat had a uniquely irritating tint to it.

Ruff’s Dallas Stars lost to his former team the Buffalo Sabres – aka a squad that’s been called “historically inept” – by a score of 3-2 tonight. Worst yet, the Stars failed to even grab a standings point in overtime or via a shootout.

You’d think it was an ideal night to get a little confidence for befuddled backup Anders Lindback. That wasn’t the case, as the Sabres generated a 3-0 lead about six minutes into the second period, a lead that they were able to hold onto for the win.

Jhonas Enroth was one of the standouts, stopping 38 out of 40 shots. Chris Stewart continues to quietly heat up, too, grabbing an assist on all three goals.

It will go down as a bitter loss for Dallas any way you slice it, but don’t blame Tyler Seguin. He scored a goal and fired 10 shots on goal while winning more than half of his faceoffs. John Klingberg stood out too, generating two assists.

Then again, maybe we should have seen this loss coming for the Stars:

The Stars may very well make a big run or sputter out completely. Still, if they end up barely missing the playoffs, remember this night.

Lindy Ruff will probably try to forget it.