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Canucks' Leivo (kneecap) out 2-3 months – TSN

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Vancouver Canucks forward Josh Leivo will miss the next two to three months with a fractured kneecap, head coach Travis Green announced. 

Leivo was injured in the second period of Vancouver’s Wednesday night game against the Vegas Golden Knights, on a hit from defenceman Nick Holden

Levio was sent into the boards by the defenceman despite not having the puck and having his back facing Holden. 

Holden did not receive a penalty on the play, Levio left the ice favouring his right leg and slammed his stick into the boards before leaving the ice. 

The 26-year-old has seven goals and 19 points in 36 games this season. 

The former Toronto Maple Leafs forward spent parts of six years in Toronto before being trade to Vancouver on Dec. 3, 2018. 

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After dodging COVID-19 for months, the Raptors are feeling full force of pandemic – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Toronto Raptors had largely dodged COVID-19 for the first half of an NBA season reeling from the global pandemic.

But the Raptors are feeling the full force of it now, preparing to host the Detroit Pistons with a skeleton roster and coaching staff.

Starters Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, plus Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw have all been ruled out of Toronto’s rescheduled game Wednesday against visiting Detroit, along with head coach Nick Nurse and most of his coaching staff.

Asked what he’s learned from the team’s first major brush with the virus, GM Bobby Webster said: “That you don’t ever want to go through it again.

“It’s what you can imagine,” Webster said in a Zoom call with media on Tuesday night. “It’s the emotional stress of having colleagues that potentially, obviously, can be sick. The enormous amount of stress everyone feels, everyone’s walking a bit on eggshells here in the locker room and you can’t necessarily be as friendly . . .

“The basketball will go on, we’ll play the games, but just to maintain everybody’s belonging and familiarity is really important.”

Assistant coach Sergio Scariolo, who guided Toronto to a 122-111 win over Houston on Friday, will act as head coach again Wednesday.

Webster said players were cleared to do some individual work on the court Tuesday.

The big takeaway, he said, was that the team’s had “multiple days of no new cases.”

“It’s been a tough couple of days, to get to here and be able to practise, we had to clear a number of hurdles,” Webster said.

Webster believes the five players out Wednesday will still be unavailable for Thursday’s game in Boston. Jalen Harris and recently-signed big man Donta Hall joined the team from its G League affiliate, Raptors 905.

Scariolo said he’ll likely play De’Andre Bembry and Harris at point guard along with Kyle Lowry.

The Italian, who coached Spain to the 2019 World Cup title, said there was a definite mood of concern around the players who are cleared to play.

“Before practice we were always wondering how our buddies were doing – at home, and everybody is in touch with almost everybody,” he said. “(But) at this point the ones that are left have to focus on the basketball task and leave everything that happened out of our gym, at least for that hour, hour and a half, and (Wednesday) in those three hours.

“Even work harder to try to do our best for the guys who will not be able to be with us.”

The game was originally slated for Tuesday at Tampa’s Amalie Arena — the Raptors’ home this season due to Canada’s border restrictions and COVID-19 health protocols in Ontario — but was postponed due to what the league said was “positive test results and ongoing contact tracing within the Raptors organization.” Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bulls was also postponed.

The Pistons plane was delayed more than two hours leaving Detroit as the Raptors awaited the green light from the NBA.

Toronto had been one of just four remaining teams in the league that hadn’t had a game postponed until Sunday’s game against visiting Chicago.

The league has now had 31 games scrapped due to too few healthy players. There was a sense of not if but when it would hit the Raptors, particularly making their homes in Florida, a COVID-19 hotspot.

Assistants Adrian Griffin, Jama Mahlalela and Jon Goodwillie are all still sidelined under health and safety protocols, while Webster said one other assistant who coached Friday is now unavailable. He didn’t reveal who, but it would be either Jim Sann, Mark Tyndale, or Jamaal Magloire.

Webster said keeping the team’s spirits up has been a priority.

“It’s difficult, you can’t really see people, right? So a lot of it is done via Zoom, we held an all-staff Zoom (Tuesday) just to check in on people,” he said. “Some of it’s really as basic as just seeing everyone’s face and having some laughs and doing that.

“Nothing super complicated, nothing super psychological, just actually being there for people and having them know whether they’re in quarantine or they’re not in quarantine that they’re still part of the team.”

The Raptors at least have some time off coming up. Boston is their last game before the NBA all-star break.

Toronto tips off the second half of the season March 11 against the visiting Atlanta Hawks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021.

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Canadiens @ Senators Top Six Minutes: Finally a win! – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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Pre-game

  • The Sens are starting [insert name here] in net. Has anyone actually heard of him before today?
  • That being said, it will be doubly embarrassing if the Habs lose to some no name today.
  • Seriously, please don’t lose Habs. It’s humiliating enough living with insufferable Leaf fans, and they won’t let me live it down if you blow this.
  • At the very least, don’t give up a goal to the Sens in the dying minutes of a period again.

First Period

  • Of course Ottawa’s goalie would be from Boston, of course he would.
  • There is something strangely ominous about an opening sequence where both the Habs and Sens are evenly matched.
  • All I’d like is for Montreal to not take a penalty this period. As I typed that, Armia helpfully decided to hand Ottawa a double minor. Thanks Joel.
  • Romanov’s hit is the epitome of a clean, physical play. Take note, Sens.
  • You know, the Habs don’t look half bad when they go all out on offence.
  • Is it just me or do the Sens just really love to dump pucks in deep?
  • It was all Montreal after killing off the Armia penalty, but still no goal to show for it. Score Habs score!

Second Period

  • There is something about second periods that seems to suck the energy right out of the Canadiens. They always look like a shell of their first period selves. (edit: I take this back after watching the second half of the period)
  • Drouin rings one off the post and then gets high sticked minutes later. Poor guy can’t catch a break.
  • The power play isn’t broken anymore? Praise be to Alex Burrows!
  • Having had a taste of things to come on the Habs power play, the Sens high-sticked Brendan Gallagher to put the Canadiens back on the man advantage for 4 more minutes. How thoughtful of them.
  • THE HABS ARE 2/2 ON THE PP?!! PRAISE BE TO ALEX BURROWS!!!!!
  • This has got to be the 100th delay of game penalty called against Montreal this season.
  • And damn it, the Habs gave up a goal in the dying minutes of a period…again.

Third Period

  • Is it really necessary to bring up the fact that the Habs have dropped 3 of 4 games to the Sens this season, so many times?
  • I swear Sens, if you break Nick Suzuki, the Hockey Gods will smite you.
  • Who is this Edmundson and what did he do with the real Edmundson? He has been looking sharp all game long.
  • Normally, I’m not a fan of players getting hit by pucks…but since it’s Austin Watson, I’ll make an exception.
  • There’s nothing quite as dread inducing as hearing the words, “Price misplayed it”.
  • It’s a 1 goal game with less than 3 minutes to play a.k.a. time to watch in absolute terror and pray that the Habs don’t let in a backbreaking tying goal in the dying minutes of the frame.
  • Tyler Toffoli’s empty net marker almost looked like it didn’t go in. But that goal was enough to finally put the Senators away for good.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) Life is good again


2) Some great quarterbacking tonight

1) It’s amazing what a good power play can do


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Canucks answer success with inconsistency yet again as Jets rebound – Sportsnet.ca

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Everyone knows the Vancouver Canucks have a young core, but at some point they have to learn to count higher than one.

Another one-game winning streak ended Tuesday when the Canucks were handily beaten 5-2 by the Winnipeg Jets, 24 hours after Vancouver’s 4-0 win in Manitoba marked one of its best performances in what has been a pretty dismal National Hockey League season.

It was the same story two weeks ago when the Canucks returned home from a 5-1 win in Calgary and were shut out 2-0 by the Jets. Vancouver followed its 4-1 win in Winnipeg on Jan. 30 by getting embarrassed by the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, who combined for five straight wins over the Canucks by an aggregate score of 26-10.

As needy as anyone for a winning streak, the Canucks have not managed consecutive victories since January. Each time they appear to make a turn upwards in the standings, the Canucks just keep rotating until they’re facing straight down again. Two 180s equal 360 degrees.

Monday, they were terrific. Tuesday, they were mediocre. Thursday against the Maple Leafs, who knows?

“I thought Winnipeg played better than us, quite frankly,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “I thought we made a couple of soft plays with the puck that cost us a couple goals. I didn’t like our second period. And the third period was an average period (and)… we didn’t have enough good, solid play to make a comeback.

“I just thought that Winnipeg was a little harder on the puck than us, harder in the one-on-one battles, stronger in certain areas. And the night before, we had a good night in those areas.”

Green went with convention over numbers by starting backup goalie Braden Holtby over Thatcher Demko, who posted a 27-save shutout on Monday. In six starts over the previous three weeks, Demko’s save percentage was .927. In his previous five starts, Holtby’s save rate was .879. Their form hasn’t been close to comparable.

But Green followed the NHL playbook and split the back-to-back starts, and sure enough Holtby allowed a couple of goals to leak through him. After a series of comedic errors by the Canucks, Mathieu Perreault somehow found himself on a breakaway in the final seconds of the first period and beat the buzzer with a backhand that drifted between Holtby’s arm and torso.

That broke a 1-1 tie. And the Jets’ Kyle Connor made it 3-1 on a power play at 5:04 of the second period, shooting through the goalie’s pads when Holtby’s moved across his net with the grace and sturdiness of a newborn fawn.

“I have to make those stops tonight,” Holtby said. “That’s about as simple as it gets. Going back to back, a game we felt like we needed to win, myself and I think most of us, I think we need to be better.”

This loss, however, wasn’t on Holtby, who faced 39 shots from a Winnipeg team that maintained control of the game – and scoring chances – even as Vancouver was supposed to be chasing it.

J.T. Miller’s power-play one-timer brought the Canucks within a goal, down 3-2, with five seconds remaining in the middle period. It could have lifted the team, allowed the Canucks to at least salvage something from a night when they were second-best.

Instead, the Jets badly outplayed them in the first half of the third period and Paul Stastny’s goal made it 4-2 at 9:13.

Incredibly, the Canucks are now 0-13-1 this season when trailing after 40 minutes. They’ve pocketed one point out of 28 in those games. They are also a perfectly awful 0-13-0 when the opposition scores first. Not a single point this season after trailing 1-0.

“I feel like today, we didn’t give ourselves a chance to win,” centre Elias Pettersson said after scoring in the first period to briefly get the Canucks back into a tie. “I think they were the better team. We turned over the puck, didn’t win enough puck battles. We’ve got to bring a better effort than what we did today to be able to win.”

Miller said: “We get a chance to kind of hang around a game, 3-2 going into the third. We need to come up with at least a point today, at least just put a better effort on the ice than that. We’re not in a position to not bring our best.

“We’re not in a position to be splitting series. We need to win. We can fall back on that we’ve been playing pretty darn well for the last couple of weeks, three weeks, but… we have to win games right now.”

The Canucks are 9-15-2, and their players are the only ones in Vancouver still talking about the playoffs.

“I think every game we lose at this point is a missed opportunity,” Holtby said. “We’ve put ourselves in a spot where we need every game. That’s the mentality we have to have in order to get ourselves back in this.”

Winning two in a row would help. How else to dream about three?

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