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Canadiens @ Bruins game recap: Too Much Pasta – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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With Shea Weber out for a significant amount of time, his absence was likely to loom large over last night’s game and the rest of this critical week — unless, by some miracle, the Montreal Canadiens could triumph.

They could not.

The Boston Bruins owned the chances in the first three minutes, but Carey Price was one of the few players consistently on his game the whole night, and he turned them all away.

Unfortunately, a Jonathan Drouin turnover gave the puck directly to Brad Marchand, who made a great play to get around Jeff Petry and made a perfect pass to David Pastrnak to give the Bruins the lead. The Canadiens bounced back with chances from Brendan Gallagher and Nick Cousins (off a great feed by Nick Suzuki) but Tuukka Rask made the saves.

As the period headed into the final five minutes, the Habs won a faceoff following an icing call, and made up some ground in the shot department with several strong offensive-zone shifts.

With 1:12 to go, Marchand let Petry know he didn’t appreciate a hit he had taken. Petry let Marchand know he didn’t appreciate being speared, and the two tangled. It wasn’t much of a fight, but Montreal came out of it with a power play. Unfortunately, as they often have in recent weeks, the advantage didn’t result in a goal.

Pastrnak got his second of the game about four minutes into the second period, jumping on a Petry hesitation in the Bruins’ zone. Montreal came right back, as Marco Scandella wired a shot straight down the royal road and off Suzuki to break Rask’s shutout bid.

Price kept it a one-goal lead with a magnificent save, and things appeared to be going Montreal’s way, drawing a power play at 14:22. Off the faceoff, Zdeno Chara and Gallagher sparred, with Chara crosschecking Gallagher across the chin. Interestingly, both got penalties, but it remained a Montreal power play.

The Canadiens looked pretty good as the period progressed, but then got into more penalty trouble. With Drouin and Joel Armia in the box, Pastrnak completed the hat trick. The Habs responded with a strong shift as Max Domi rang one off the crossbar, but the puck didn’t deflect into the net.

The third period didn’t change things. Boston prevented much of anything from Montreal. The … interesting penalty calls continued, this time in favour of the Habs. Charlie McAvoy was dinged for shooting the puck out of play, despite replays showing the puck going off the glass and out. Domi’s woes continued with another ping off the post, and the Habs were unable to put anything together on the advantage.

Price was easily Montreal’s most engaged player throughout, and continued to be so in the third as the Bruins throttled the Habs in the neutral zone. However when the netminder was called to the bench to be replaced by a forward, Patrice Bergeron scored an empty netter to seal the 4-1 win, and take the season series by three game to one.

The Habs put up a respectable 29 shots, but allowed 38, and were increasingly shut down as the game went on. Montreal’s playoff hopes looked slim before the loss of Weber, and the loss in the gamegame, and after both they look much more grim.

Thoughts

  • Jeff Petry figured prominently into this game, both on the good and bad side of things, though the net result was unfortunately negative as he was on the ice for and (whether directly or indirectly) responsible for three of the four goals against.
  • The reffing was bad. Perhaps worse for the Habs, but definitely bad on both sides. The off-setting roughing calls against Gallagher and Chara were especially laughable.
  • There are still some fun players to watch on this team. If the playoffs are getting out of reach, at least there’s something to look forward the rest of the way.

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2021 Scotties tickets on sale on Friday – Tbnewswatch.com

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THUNDER BAY – As Krista McCarville and company inch their way toward a spot in the championship round at the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Heats, tickets for the 2021 event in Thunder Bay are about to go on sale.

Curling Canada on Wednesday announced the first 2,000 ticket packages will be available through a pre-sale, for $395 plus fees, starting on Friday morning at 10 a.m.

A limited number of VIP tickets, priced at $429, will also be up for grabs.

Diane Imrie, vice-chair of the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts said the announcement suddenly makes things real.

“My phone has been blowing up, my email has been blowing up because pre-sale tickets went on sale today,” said Imrie. “Curling Canada sent out the notification to people and people are buying their tickets and are getting ready for the 2021 Scotties.

“And it’s perfect timing because Krista is doing great out in Moose Jaw, so we’re hoping she’ll do exactly the same next year here in Thunder Bay.”

For now, only full week packages will be made available.

A block of weekend single-day tickets are expected to be put on sale in October.

“These are full-event packages right now and it’s a great deal, if you think about all those games you get to see for a great price,” Imrie said, “It’s tickets for everything.”

Kent Maarup, vice-chair facilities for next year’s event, said it’s a great day for curling.

He cautioned the public not to wait too long, because the next block of tickets won’t be nearly as large is this one.

“We have to keep so many for media and also for families and everybody else. So they hold off a good 500 tickets just for that,” Maarup said.

Tickets will be available online and at the Fort William Gardens box office as well. Tickets can also be ordered by phone at 625-2929. Tickets prices are subject to standard facility and ticket service fees.

Imrie said she expects information on volunteers will be made public in the coming weeks, but encouraged anyone interested to sign up as soon as possible at that time as the opportunities will be open to curling fans across the country.

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Trade Buzz: Tatar trying to ignore rumors, help Canadiens – NHL.com

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Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are four days remaining until the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline on Monday at 3 p.m. ET, and NHL.com has all the important news, rumblings and analysis heading toward the deadline.

Here’s a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:

 
Montreal Canadiens

Tomas Tatar is trying to focus on helping the Montreal Canadiens win, and the forward and isn’t worrying about trade rumors involving him.

“I’m trying to block these things out, but obviously we wanted to be in a better spot than we are,” Tatar said after the Canadiens morning skate at Capital One Arena, where they will play the Washington Capitals on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSWA, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV). “But you just have to go out and play and battle, battle for the logo.”

The 29-year-old is signed through the 2020-21 season, but with the Canadiens eight points behind the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division, they appear to be looking toward the future. Montreal traded defenseman Marco Scandella to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday for a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

Tatar leads the Canadiens with 54 points (21 goals, 33 assists) in 62 games and would be a valuable addition for a contender looking for more than a rental player.

“To be honest, I don’t really want [Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin] to come down and talk to me,” Tatar said. “I’m trying to play my game and focus on my team, and if something happens, that’s just the way the business works.”

Tatar has been in this situation before, getting traded by the Detroit Red Wings to the Vegas Golden Knights prior to the 2018 trade deadline.

“I kind of gained experience from that first trade,” he said. “I’m not too worried now. It’s just part of the business. The first one kind of teaches you how things are. Now I’m just thinking it would be part of the business. Anything can happen obviously. No one’s really safe, I want to say, and it always depends on the offer and what the GM or the organization decides to do in a certain moment.”
 

Colorado Avalanche

General manager Joe Sakic said he’s known for about a month what players the Avalanche would like to add to their roster and is taking a practical, open-minded approach to the deadline.

“We know the guys we think would be a good fit to our team,” Sakic said Wednesday. “If it works out, great. There’s obviously things we’re not willing to move, but if there’s a deal that makes sense for us we’d like to do it.

“I’d rather not [trade a first-round pick], but I won’t rule anything out. It all depends on what packages are out there. To be honest with you, I prefer a hockey trade rather than going in the rental market. We’re going to be open to the rental market as well. What’s the cost going to be? I’m not here just looking short term; I’m paid to look after the big picture.”

One area the Avalanche would like to upgrade is their goalie depth. Philipp Grubauer is out indefinitely because of a lower-body injury sustained during the third period of the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series game against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Hunter Miska, who has one game of NHL experience, was recalled from Colorado of the American Hockey League on Sunday to back up Pavel Francouz, who is in his first full NHL season. 

“We’re going to pursue, see if we can add a depth goalie for us,” Sakic said. “We’ll see where that goes. We’ve had injuries in that department, not only here but with [AHL Colorado], so ultimately we’d like to see if we can add a depth goalie just for protection.”

New Jersey Devils

Goalie Louis Domingue won’t play against the San Jose Sharks at Prudential Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, NBCSCA, NHL.TV) for precautionary reasons that aren’t connected to an injury.

“Precautionary reasons and for potentially a roster move,” coach Alain Nasreddine said. 

The Devils did the same thing with forward Blake Coleman prior to trading him to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. 

Domingue is 3-8-2 with a 3.79 goals-against average and .882 save percentage in 16 games this season but has 138 games of NHL experience and was the backup to Andrei Vasilevskiy when the Tampa Bay Lightning reached the Eastern Conference Final in 2018.

Veteran goalie Cory Schneider was recalled from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to back up Mackenzie Blackwood on Thursday.

Calgary Flames

How active the Flames are before the deadline could be determined by the health of defensemen Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic.

Giordano has been out since Feb. 4 with a hamstring injury but could play during the Flames’ five-game road trip, which starts Sunday. Hamonic is week to week with an upper-body injury sustained Feb. 8 but is expected to play again this season.

“We’re going to get both guys back, it’s just when,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said Wednesday. “Does it affect what we’re doing the next couple days? Yes and no would be the best way to describe it. We’re looking to see if there’s ways we can help ourselves in a way that makes sense. Chasing it with high prices for rental players, I don’t know if that’s a direction that we’re in favor of. But if there’s ways to help us we want to do it. Next few days will determine that.”

In addition to adding on defense, right wing has been an issue of need. With Derek Ryan injured, the Flames’ only right-shot forwards are Elias Lindholm and Buddy Robinson, who has played five games this season.

“When Elias Lindholm plays right wing you have more depth there than when he plays center,” Treliving said. “You focus on the last 25 games you have left but you’re looking long term and it’s a position we need to upgrade moving forward. Whether we’re able to do that between now and Monday, we’ll see. 

“But we’ll do what we always do, which is always try to be real aggressive in seeing what’s available, seeing what those prices are and if they make sense. And if we can get something done that makes sense we will, and if we can’t then we won’t.”

Chicago Blackhawks

Erik Gustafsson would like to remain with the Blackhawks but the defenseman is prepared for anything that may happen.

“I don’t know if it’s nerve-wracking or something like that,” he said Thursday. “Whatever happens, happens. I want to stay here. But we’ll see what happens.

“I kind of try not to look at the phone or hear anything on the TV or radio or anything, but it’s hard. … It’s something I can’t control. Like I said before, I want to stay in Chicago. I like it here.”

Gustafsson leads Blackhawks defensemen with 26 points (six goals, 20 assists) in 59 games and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

NHL.com staff writers Tom Gulitti and Tracey Myers and independent correspondent Rick Sadowski contributed to this report

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Saskatchewan, B.C. win tiebreakers to advance to Scotties championship round – CBC.ca

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Host Saskatchewan is moving on to the championship round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Robyn Silvernagle secured the final spot in Pool A with a 9-7 victory over New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford on Thursday morning.

Crawford was light with her final throw of the extra end, giving Silvernagle the winning deuce.

WATCH | Saskatchewan skip Robyn Silvernagle secures spot in championship round:

Saskatchewan skip Robyn Silvernagle beat New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford in a tiebreaker, 9-7 in an extra end, to advance to the championship round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. 0:43

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B with a 5-4 tiebreaker win over Nova Scotia’s Mary-Anne Arsenault.

The top four teams in each pool advanced to the championship round starting Thursday afternoon.

The playoffs begin Saturday and the final is set for Sunday at Mosaic Place.

WATCH | Corryn Brown’s B.C. rink defeats Nova Scotia’s Mary-Anne Arsenault:

Corryn Brown’s B.C. rink defeated Nova Scotia’s Mary-Anne Arsenault 5-4 in a tiebreaker to advance to the championship round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. 0:35

Grand Slam of Curling adds U.S. event

The Grand Slam of Curling circuit is going international. Las Vegas has been added to the six-event Slam calendar for the 2020-21 season.

Sportsnet, which owns and operates the series, says the Meridian Open will be held Jan. 12-17 at the Orleans Arena.

The venue has previously hosted the Continental Cup, most recently in 2019.

“We’ve always been looking for new opportunities to grow the Grand Slam of Curling — both the tour and the brand — and also to help push and build curling internationally,” said Rob Corte, vice-president of Sportsnet and NHL Productions. “For the last five years, we’ve seen some really positive momentum on many fronts in the Grand Slam of Curling.

It will be the first time that a Grand Slam event will be held outside of Canada since the series made its debut in 2001-02.

Next season’s Slam schedule will begin with the Oct. 20-25 Masters in Sarnia, Ont.

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