Ron Francis speaks about handling of Peters situation while Hurricanes GM

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NHL Seattle general manager Ron Francis has responded to how physical abuse accusations against former Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters were handled when he was the team’s GM.

Speaking with The Seattle Times this week, Francis said he addressed the issue with Peters and defended giving him a two-year extension after the fact.

“We looked where the team was and how it was playing,” Francis said. “It was moving in the right direction. We’d made a huge increase from where it was the year before to where we were that year. And quite honestly, we looked at that (physical-abuse) situation, we addressed it and we felt it was behind him.”

“I think you deal with it the best you can with the situation you have at the time,” Francis said. “I think within the last week there have been some changes the league has made. I think that’s positive moving forward. I don’t claim to be perfect. I make mistakes. I try to learn every day from the people I talk with in situations. That’s what I try to do and take that knowledge moving forward. And hopefully you’re never in that situation again.”

Last month, after Peters was accused to uttering racial slurs at Akim Aliu, whom he coached in the American Hockey League, former Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan said that Peters kicked him in the back and punched another player during a game. The allegations for were confirmed by current head coach Rod Brind’Amour, who was an assistant under Peters.

Former Hurricanes majority owner Peter Karmanos told The Seattle Times that he would have fired Francis “in a nanosecond” had he been made aware of the allegations against Peters, even though Francis, who added there was a full vetting process during the hiring process, said he informed management of the situation.

Peters resigned as Calgary Flames head coach days after the allegations went public. In a statement that week Francis acknowledged he was made aware of the incidents and that he “took immediate action to address the matter and briefed ownership.” He did not reveal what he did to correct the matter in either his statement or in the interview with the Times’ Geoff Baker.

“When you look back, there were some things we did well and certain things we need to improve on to get better,” he said. “That’s part of the learning process, I think.”

The NHL revealed a four-point plan this week at the Board of Governors that will provide a guideline for teams in handling abuse allegations and other inappropriate conduct.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Canadiens coach Claude Julien receives stent, heads home

Claude Julien Montreal stent heart
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TORONTO — Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien is returning home to Montreal a day after a stent was placed in a coronary artery. The team said doctors expect a full recovery.

Julien was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto overnight Wednesday with chest pain. He had surgery Thursday.

“Coach Julien would like to convey his most sincere thanks to everyone at St. Michael’s Hospital for the wonderful care he received during his stay,” the Canadiens said in a statement Friday. “He also wishes to personally and sincerely thank everyone who has sent their well wishes during this time.”

Since Julien left the NHL bubble in Toronto, he will have to follow quarantine protocol if he wishes to re-enter it.

Team members wanting to return to the bubble must provide four consecutive negative COVID-19 tests carried out over four days. They will be quarantined for at least that time period, and possibly up to 14 days depending on risk of exposure while outside the bubble.

Kirk Muller will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers led the series 1-0 entering Game 2 on Friday.

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

Canadiens-Flyers stream: 2020 NHL Stanley Cup First Round

Canadiens-Flyers stream
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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with Friday’s First Round matchup between the Canadiens and Flyers. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Watch the Canadiens-Flyers stream at 3 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Montreal Canadiens look to even their series against the Philadelphia Flyers, following Philadelphia’s 2-1 win in Game 1. Carter Hart recorded 27 saves in goal for the Flyers in the win, topping his idol Carey Price. That said, Price had his moments, including making a highlight-reel save.

Even with that low score, Canadiens – Flyers Game 1 featured a lot of speedy action. Could we see players like Claude Giroux break out with bigger offensive displays in Game 2? Kirk Muller serves as Canadiens coach while Claude Julien recovers from being hospitalized with chest pains.

(The Canadiens announced that Julien is returning to Montreal “to rest following stenting of the coronary artery.”)

An hour-long edition of NHL Live will immediately follow game coverage at 5:30 p.m. ET.

WHAT: Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers
WHERE: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto
WHEN: Friday, August 14, 3 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
ON THE CALL: John Forslund, Mike Milbury, Brian Boucher
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Canadiens-Flyers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 8 Montreal Canadiens (PHI leads 1-0)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Philadelphia 2, Montreal 1 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Montreal at Philadelphia, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Sunday, Aug. 16: Philadelphia at Montreal, 8 p.m. ET – NBC
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Philadelphia at Montreal, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Wednesday, Aug. 19: Montreal at Philadelphia – TBD
*Friday, Aug. 21: Philadelphia at Montreal – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Montreal at Philadelphia – TBD

*if necessary

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• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

Coyotes-Avalanche stream: 2020 NHL Stanley Cup First Round

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with Friday’s First Round matchup between the Coyotes and Avalanche. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Watch the Coyotes-Avalanche stream at 2 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

After Darcy Kuemper held the Avalanche at bay for most of Game 1, Colorado broke through with three quick goals in the third period. Just like that, the fast-striking Avs built an insurmountable lead, winning Game 1 by a score of 3-0.

The Coyotes only ended up firing 14 shots on goal against Philipp Grubauer in Game 1. Even as a defense-oriented team, Arizona will need to create at least a little more offense to keep up with the well-rounded Avs in Game 2 on Friday.

Will the Coyotes’ bigger names like Taylor Hall, Clayton Keller, and Phil Kessel make an impact? After collecting two assists in Game 1, what does Nathan MacKinnon have in store for Game 2? We’ll get a better sense of where this Coyotes – Avalanche series after Friday’s action.

WHAT: Arizona Coyotes vs. Colorado Avalanche
WHERE: Rogers Place – Edmonton
WHEN: Friday, August 14, 2 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
ON THE CALL: Kenny Albert, Pierre McGuire
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Coyotes-Avalanche stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 7 Arizona Coyotes (COL leads series 1-0)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Colorado 3, Arizona 0
Friday, Aug. 14: Arizona at Colorado, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Saturday, Aug. 15: Colorado at Arizona, 3 p.m. ET – CNBC
Monday, Aug. 17: Colorado at Arizona, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Wednesday, Aug. 19: Arizona at Colorado – TBD
*Friday, Aug. 21: Colorado at Arizona – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Arizona at Colorado – TBD

*if necessary

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

The Wraparound: Short turnaround for Stars-Flames after dramatic Game 2

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The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down all of the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

• Check out NHL Bubble Wrap to look back at all of Thursday’s action.

• Claude Julien was hospitalized with chest pains and will not coach the Canadiens for the remainder of the First Round.

Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom is out for Game 2 and in concussion protocol after taking an Anders Lee hit early in Game 1.

NHL GAMES TODAY

Game 2: Coyotes vs. Avalanche (COL leads 1-0) – 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN; live look-in streamIt wasn’t until 53 minutes had gone by that the Avalanche finally broke through. Scoreless through more than two and a half periods, Colorado got on the board with Nazem Kadri’s power-play goal and then doubled its lead 10 seconds later when J.T. Compher scored. Mikko Rantanen scored his first goal of this postseason 1:13 later, for a total of three goals in 83 seconds, and Philipp Grubauer stopped all 14 shots he faced for Colorado’s second shutout win this postseason.

Game 2: Canadiens vs. Flyers (PHI leads 1-0) – 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN; livestream: The top seed in the East came out strong in the opening period, scoring on a Jakub Voracek power-play goal and holding the Canadiens to just five shots. Shea Weber’s goal late in the second period marked the first time this postseason that any Flyers opponent scored and tied the game. It was short lived, however, as rookie Joel Farabee netted the game-winner 16 seconds later and Philadelphia’s D held Montreal to just six shots.

[Full NHL First Round schedule]

Game 2: Canucks vs. Blues (VAN leads 1-0) – 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN; live look-in stream: The Canucks beat the defending Stanley Cup champs 5-2 in Game 1 on Wednesday. The game was tied 2-2 going into the third period before Vancouver scored three goals in the final 20 minutes to seal the win. Vancouver lost their first game of the qualifying round versus Minnesota, being shut out in a 3-0 loss. Since then, they have won four straight games, scoring three-plus goals in every game.

Game 2: Capitals vs. Islanders (NYI leads 1-0) – 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN; livestream: T.J. Oshie scored two power play goals in the second period to put Washington ahead 2-0 before the Islanders scored four unanswered to take Game 1. Anders Lee was heavily involved in the action, laying a big hit on Nicklas Backstrom in the first period. Backstrom did not play in the final two periods and has been ruled out for Game 2. Lee was assessed a minor penalty for interference on the play, and then received another two minutes for roughing after being challenged by John Carlson. He then fought Tom Wilson later in the period.

Game 3: Stars vs. Flames (Series tied 1-1) – 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN; livestream: It’s a short turnaround for both teams after their dramatic Friday night finish. Jamie Oleksiak‘s goal with 40 seconds left gave the Stars a 5-4 win to knot their series at one. Both teams have question marks heading into Game 3. Stephen Johns was “unfit to play” after taking part in Game 1, while Matthew Tkachuk left Game 2 early in the third period and did not return.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

SATURDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 3: Bruins vs. Hurricanes (Series tied 1-1) – 12 p.m. ET – NBC
Game 3: Avalanche vs. Coyotes (COL leads 1-0) – 3 p.m. ET – CNBC
Game 3: Lightning vs. Blue Jackets (Series tied 1-1) – 7:30 p.m ET – NBCSN
Game 3: Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights (VGK leads 2-0) – 8 p.m ET – NBC

PHT’s 2020 Stanley Cup playoff previews
Flyers vs. Canadiens

Lightning vs. Blue Jackets
Capitals vs. Islanders
Bruins vs. Hurricanes

Golden Knights vs. Blackhawks
Avalanche vs. Coyotes

Blues vs. Canucks
Stars vs. Flames

First Round predictions
Power Rankings: Best First Round matchups
Conn Smythe Watch: Korpisalo, Aho leading entering First Round
Roundtable: NHL playoff surprises; vulnerable top seeds