In case you missed it, the Boston Bruins ran over the Atlantic Division leading Tampa Bay Lightning last night 3-0, pulling themselves to within two points of the division lead themselves.
Bruins sniper David Pastrnak kicked things off early, potting a beauty less than four minutes into the opening frame.
Check it out:
Veteran David Backes followed that up not long after, with his 12th goal of the season. Unfortunately for Backes, he would be forced to leave the game later on after suffering a scary cut just above the knee courtesy of Lightning forward Yanni Gourde.
Check it out:
Clearly this is an accidental play on Gourde’s part and it all indications are that Backes will make a full recovery. Still… scary stuff.
All in all, last night’s effort was a huge statement for the surging Bruins and one of the team’s most outspoken players, uberpest Brad Marchand, took to social media last night to rub salt in the wound of the Lightning faithful.
Just prior to Backes’ injury, Marchand crashed the net and ended up landing on top of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky which Lightning fans didn’t take to too kindly. One fan, Twitter user AmenaTBL, tweeted directly at Marchand to show her disapproval:
Ouch… tell us how you really feel Amena!
Marchand, never one to be outdone in the chirping department, fired an insult right back and ruthlessly shut down the exchange:
Boom! Roasted. To her credit, Amena admitted defeat:
No shame, Amena. Countless others have been rendered speechless by Marchand’s quick wit and sharp tongue. He’s not the NHL’s biggest agitator for nothing…
Insider Report: The reason why so many GMs are turning down the Hurricanes job
It has now been over two weeks since Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon has relieved franchise legend Ron Francis of his general manager duties.
In case you missed it, the Hurricanes technically “re-assigned” Francis within the organization by promoting him to the position of president of hockey operations.
But, what is technically a promotion is really a demotion, despite the flowery job titled. It’s clear that Dundon wanted Francis out, but because Francis is such a legend in Carolina, outright firing him was not an option. By promoting Francis and keeping him within the organization, Dundon can save a bit of face while still giving the team a new direction. So far, however, there’s no indication of who might replace Francis as the Hurricanes new GM or what the team’s timeline is for finding a replacement.
"Since I took control of the team, I've had a good chance to be around and assess the operations," said Dundon in a prepared statement. "There are a lot of good people working in the organization, but I feel that a change in direction is needed when it comes to hockey personnel decisions.”
“Ron is a smart and talented hockey man. I am glad that he will continue to be a part of the team, serving in this new role."
Last week Sportsnet analyst Elliotte Friedman reported that Dundon had set his sights on four current assistant GMs and one former assistant GM. The men in question, Tampa Bay Lightning AGM Julien Brisebois, Nashville Predators AGM Paul Fenton, New Jersey Devils AGM Tom Fitzgerald, Los Angeles Kings AGM Mike Futa and former Vancouver Canucks AGM Laurence Gilman.
This week, one by one, almost each candidate has dropped out of the race. First Julien, then Futa, then Fitzgerald… the reason? Cash.
"Apparently Carolina is not showing the money," Friedman’s Sportsnet colleague Nick Kypreos said. "I’m told in the ballpark of $400,000 a year, that’s where that job will start, and there’s just no way that they can attract good hockey people, credible people, experienced people, to take that salary.”
"Now whether or not it’s a lesser role still remains to be seen,” says Kypreos, “but it’s an nonstarter for many of the established that we’ve heard that are out there and that have shown interest."
Interesting. That “lesser role” comment is intriguing. Could the Hurricanes’ next GM act essentially as an assistant to Dundon himself? It’s no secret that Dundon is good friends with Dallas Mavericks (NBA) owner Mark Cuban, who operates his franchise in a unique way. Cuban himself makes player personnel decisions for his franchise… could Dundon be planning a similar management structure for his team?