James O'Brien

Kindl’s OT-winner spoils Leafs’ comeback bid vs. Detroit

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Dion Phaneuf broke a 33-game goal slump at a highly opportune time, yet it only earned the Toronto Maple Leafs a “charity point” on Friday.

Jakub Kindl spoiled the fun for Toronto with a nice goal just moments after some impressive work by James Reimer, ultimately giving the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 win in OT.

As close as this was, it may just tell you what separates a bubble team from a possible lottery entry at this point. Consider their streaks at this point.

Red Wings: After a tough run of their own, the Red Wings are now on a three-game winning streak, netting them a 7-5-1 record. They play their next three games at home, too.

Maple Leafs: They’ve won just two games so far, falling to 2-8-3. They’ve lost two in a row and eight of nine. Toronto’s next three games take place on the road.

Toronto keeps showing some fight, exhibited by moments like Phaneuf’s near-last-minute goal. Even so, this must be getting awfully frustrating for Mike Babcock & Co., pain predictions and all.

Devils beat Blackhawks, who’ve lost four of five games


Things have been tough for the Chicago Blackhawks, but Friday may have been the roughest evening of this stretch.

The New Jersey Devils chased Corey Crawford from the net with three goals in the first period and then cruised to a 4-2 win against Chicago tonight. (The Devils did face a strange end, as Chicago emptied its net with about six-and-a-half minutes left.)

In doing so, the Devils continue to argue that they’ll be a tough out this season, as they’ve now won seven of their last nine games.

Chicago, meanwhile, is going in the opposite direction.

After winning four straight (and three in a row with Duncan Keith on the shelf), the Blackhawks have now dropped four of five contests, going 1-3-1.

They’ve also allowed at least four goals in those three defeats, although one can’t totally disregard beating the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 on Monday.

Still, it’s been a rough go, and they also lost Artem Anisimov to a lower-body injury in this loss.

It’s the kind of night that might get Jonathan Toews to drop the gloves, really.

Pascal Dupuis hospitalized, won’t play on Friday

Pascal Dupuis

Unsettling news from the Pittsburgh Penguins: Pascal Dupuis headed to a hospital and won’t play against the Edmonton Oilers tonight.

The more troubling part is that, although the situation is labeled as precautionary, the team didn’t reveal whether it’s related to his career-threatening blood clot issues.

Here is the full statement from the Penguins:

Pens forward Pascal Dupuis will not play tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.

Dupuis was taken to the hospital as a precaution prior to the game after experiencing symptoms that may or may not be related to his blood clot history.

“We’ve said all along that Pascal’s health is the highest priority,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “We will take every precaution necessary to ensure he is in good health.”

The team will have no further comment at this time.

One cannot help but wonder about Dupuis’ future in the sport, but that’s not something that would draw a likely decision tonight.

Update: The latest news is mostly good, as you can read about here.

Yeah, Reimer wants this Zetterberg goal back


In an age of short clips and highlight reels, a bad goal can overshadow an otherwise solid performance.

James Reimer might experience that feeling tonight, as the goal he gave up against Henrik Zetterberg (see video above) was just unsightly.

Reimer’s shown signs of brilliance with Jonathan Bernier banged up, yet the wins have only been there sparingly, and moments like these might just sink him.

So far, it’s a matter of good news for Zetterberg:

And troubling stuff like this collision:

Fight video: Jonathan Toews vs. Adam Henrique


Many roll their eyes when two heavyweights halfheartedly engage in a “staged fight.”

There’s some novelty when smaller-to-average-sized players square off, especially for guys who rarely do so … and especially when at least one of those fighters is a big star.

That happened on Friday, as Jonathan Toews dropped the gloves with Adam Henrique.

As you can see above, the usual give-and-take made way to a fight, which the officials allowed to take place (maybe with some bemusement?).

This was the fourth NHL fight, according to Hockey Fights.