Larry Brooks of the New York Post shares a rumor in his Sunday column that qualifies as curious.
Brooks says the Montreal Canadiens are getting calls on forward Max Pacioretty and both the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers are “taking serious runs at him.”
Pacioretty being mentioned at all in this light is fascinating because he’s on a cap-friendly deal that sees him get $4.5 million per season through 2018-19. Pacioretty also leads the Habs in goals scored with 15 and he’s missed nine games this season. He’s also led Montreal in scoring the past two seasons.
While all of those traits would make for great reasons why teams would want to pick him up, it doesn’t make a world of sense for Montreal to do it.
Ideally, Pacioretty is the kind of player Montreal GM Marc Bergevin would love to have around, but Brooks says coach Michel Therrien isn’t a big fan of his.
Teams will always call to find out about a player’s availability, but if there’s anything at all to this chatter, the reaction in Montreal won’t be positive.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is having perhaps his best season in the NHL.
He’s second in the league in points, trailing only Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, and he’s been getting it done both by scoring goals (21) and assisting teammates (27).
After putting the party-boy headlines in the past, linemate Kris Versteeg tells Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times Kane is all grown up now.
“I think he’s a bigger goal-scorer because his physical maturity has come a long way,” Versteeg said. “He’s turning into a man; he’s not a little boy anymore. He definitely has always been the best player I’ve ever seen in my life on edges and the way he can get away from guys and get away from checks and create room for himself. Now, when you get older and stronger, that’s just going to create more for him.”
Kane’s play this season has him in the discussion for the Hart Trophy. Being that close to Crosby in the points race will make that happen, but so will being fourth in the league in goals.
While he’s nine back of Alex Ovechkin in that race, he’s a major reason why Chicago is sitting pretty in the Western Conference.
TORONTO — Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer wasn’t pleased with his performance in their 5-4 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
Reimer was pulled after the first period when he gave up three goals on 12 shots and his team down 3-1. Jonathan Bernier relieved him and gave up one goal on 25 shots before losing in the shootout. After the game, Reimer vented some frustration.
“I don’t know if there’s a goaltender in the league that’s happy when they get pulled,” Reimer said.
When asked if he wanted to stay in an battle through it, Reimer said he wanted to do that.
“You want that chance to get in there and fight and battle for your teammates and try and get a win,” he said. “But obviously Randy [Carlyle] had other thoughts, and he’s the coach and he’s the one who makes those decisions. I just try and stop pucks.”
Carlyle was asked about his thought process behind switching out Reimer for Bernier and while he didn’t put Reimer down, he was critical of the goals he allowed.
“I thought the rebounds were bouncing away from him,” Carlyle said. “When a goaltender is in the zone, pucks usually don’t go through him, and their third goal went through him. I felt that the wrap-around goal was a stoppable wrap-around and his stick was extended and it hit the heel of his stick and went in the net. … So I made the decision if we got through the period that I was going to put Bernier in.”
Reimer allowed goals to Pavel Datsyuk, Joakim Andersson, and a spin-o-rama-like backhand by Tomas Jurco. The Leafs play again on Monday on the road against the Rangers. Reimer’s start last night was his third in a row. Perhaps Bernier gets the call once again.