The Blackhawks trio of Patrick Sharp

5 Things to Watch on ‘Hockey Night in Canada’

The Leafs host the Washington Capitals; the Canucks take on the Blackhawks; Montreal takes on Pittsburgh; Ottawa vs Detroit

*In no particular order…

1. Mason Raymond’s Hot

Raymond enters Saturday’s contest against Washington on a five-game point streak, during which he’s scored six points. There’s been a bit made of Raymond’s “steal” status in 2013 with Toronto – they grabbed him for only a $1 million after Vancouver let him walk. That bit of news has gotten almost as much attention as Raymond’s last status in Vancouver – that of “disappointment”.

But, despite the feeling of many that Mason never quite panned out in Vancouver, he actually never really regressed. The forward’s one truly strong offensive season in Vancouver was four seasons ago, when he put up 53 points in 82 games. He kept his points up after… he was just wasn’t Alex Burrows. And now, not even Alex Burrows is Alex Burrows.

So far this year, Raymond has 17 points in 22 games as the Leafs keep pace with the rest of the Eastern Conference, and it’s not like his points streak is in jeopardy against the Washington defence that couldn’t stop a bird from getting in the house.

2. Roberto Luongo and Corey Crawford

Sure, these teams hated each other… in 2011. But things have changed.

Roberto Luongo went to hell and back only to wind up a starter with the Canucks yet again, and Corey Crawford – who didn’t arrive until the rivalry with Vancouver was in its denouement – is now a Stanley Cup champion. They could also both be on Team Canada come February.

It’s been three seasons since Vancouver and Chicago faced each other in the playoffs, and the cast of both camps has certainly changed. They shouldn’t really be thinking about each other. At all. But you know they are.

And you know the discussion will start and finish with the goalies.

3. Kyle Turris. Period.

Forget Daniel Alfredsson. He’s old and he chose to leave. You’ve just gotta let him go, Ottawa.

But Kyle Turris… there’s your future. The guy has turned out to be the sniper the Phoenix Coyotes hoped he’d be, and the Senators will need him to lead an underachieving cast of hopefuls against the Red Wings in the Joe on Saturday.

And why not against Detroit? Turris could learn a lot in the middle when he lines up across from Henrik Zetterberg and/or Pavel Datsyuk.

But, if you even get whatever fringe version of CBC might show Ottawa on a night Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver all play, you may as well watch to see if Clarke MacArthur and Turris can do this again:

4. The Penguins Powerplay

I have no idea if Pittsburgh has been impressive or underwhelming in 2013. I don’t get to watch them enough, at least not for a full 60 minutes at once.

But I have seen the highlights of the Penguins’ powerplay lately, and they look like this:

And this…

And Crosby can fire wrist shots while moving the other way like this…

5. Daniel, Henrik, Toews, Kane, Sharp, and Kesler…

Chicago and Vancouver have the firepower to win, maybe, any game.

But while the Canucks also get their scoring from the occasional Chris Higgins chip-in, Alex Burrows clapper, or Zack Kassian power move, they really depend on the Twins and Kesler. And while the Hawks can deploy Marian Hossa (out for tonight) or Brandon Saad, the team’s gameplan still comes down to Toews, Kane, and Patrick Sharp.

When the six of them go right at each other, blow for blow… well, that’s when hockey’s fun to watch.

 

Just Posted

Rossland’s farmer’s market is wilting, but organizers hope to spur new growth

12-year-old market considered taking a year off, says manager

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Rossland Legion supports Skool Aid

Skool Aid assists low-income families in the Lower Columbia

Bilingual child care spaces coming to Castlegar

New daycare opening this summer will teach kids French and English

Motion calls on Rossland city council to recognize ‘climate crisis’

Andy Morel wants to raise awareness of urgent need for action by higher levels of government

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

Most Read