James O'Brien

Dale Weise scores hat trick (!) as Habs humble Flames


The Montreal Canadiens bounced back from a two-game losing streak in a big way on Friday, to the dismay of the cracking Calgary Flames.

Granted, it wasn’t just about the usual suspects tonight.

Instead, Dale Weise – yes, that Dale Weise – was the headliner, grabbing a hat trick as the Habs pummeled the Flames 6-2.

Check out the trio of goals, the first of his career, in the video above. (Tonight also marked Mats Zuccarello‘s first hat trick, which you can witness here.)

Time to stock up

If tonight’s game wasn’t rewarding enough for Habs fans, their November schedule should produce plenty of smiles.

Their next four games come at home, along with seven of eight in Montreal. They only play four road contests through Dec. 3.

In other words … it’s a really good time for Montreal to be on a roll.

Marian Hossa suffers seemingly minor injury in Chicago loss

Marian Hossa

Friday was at times an evening of bad news for the Chicago Blackhawks, though not really major stuff.

Andrew Desjardins may or may not get suspended for his hit on Justin Fontaine.

The Blackhawks fell in a high-scoring affair to the Minnesota Wild, and that 5-4 outcome came in regulation to boot.

Sometimes such negative news comes in threes, so also note that Marian Hossa left the contest in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Again, this falls into the “likely not a big deal” category, at least according to early reports.

It’s not obvious how, exactly, he got hurt in this one (though if you noticed, feel free to share the cause in the comments).

Marchand spoils big night by boarding Kulikov


The Boston Bruins seem to be getting their games together, and Brad Marchand was a big part of their continued success on Friday.

Unfortunately for him – and maybe Dmitry Kulikov more than anyone else – Marchand marred a great two-goal performance with the boarding hit that got him tossed late from Boston’s 3-1 win against the Florida Panthers.

You can see the hit via the video above.

Marchand was whistled with a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct for that questionable hit.

Do you think he deserves a suspension and/or fine to go along with that punishment?

Andrew Desjardins on Justin Fontaine: suspension-worthy?


It’s a busy Friday, and that means we’ll have at least a few suspension debates to sift through.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild have engaged in a high-scoring affair, yet the largest debate may come from an Andrew Desjardins hit on Justin Fontaine.

Call it “knee-to-knee” or just “leg-to-leg,” but either way Fontaine seems shaken up by it.

No video of it just yet, but Stephanie “My Regular Face” has the GIFs as you might expect. Decide for yourself:

From at least one account, there might not be a suspension.

What do you think, though?

Update: Video added.

Minnesota managed a 5-4 win, by the way.

Ryan O’Reilly is really paying off for Buffalo

Ryan O'Reilly, Nick Schukltz

It might be hasty to wonder if the Buffalo Sabres are a playoff contender, but it’s almost beyond debate that they’re significantly better than the “historically inept” 2014-15 edition.

Jack Eichel is the sparkly, exciting new addition who will own highlight reels.

Ryan O'Reilly is one of those two-way players who get hardcore fans excited, a meat-and-potatoes player whose beard* screams … well, “meat-and-potatoes.”

The back-to-back stretch they just waded through provides great evidence of a) how far the Sabres have come and b) how much of a hot streak O’Reilly is on.

Yes, the Sabres lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, but Buffalo put together a resounding effort. Twenty-four shots on goal was an acceptable full-game effort for this team last season, yet the Sabres managed that many in one period and 53 overall.

MORE on Sabres’ shooting ways here

While they narrowly lost that Penguins game, Buffalo beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1, and O’Reilly factored into both great efforts.

He’s now on a five-game point streak in which he’s scored 10 points, with five coming in this two-day span.

Check out his face-off efficiency in this game log, too:


Impressive, right?

That’s the kind of work that endears a player to fans both casual and passionate.

It’s also the sort of production that makes you wonder how long Buffalo will be a waiting pattern as far as contending goes.

* – OK, it might not be at its lushest right now, but we’ve already seen it in that way in Buffalo