The rumour mill is revving up again for one coach, a Swede and a Canadian got nasty with each other, while another Swede made history.
Here are three things we learned in the NHL Friday.
Julien on the hot seat…again
We’ve all heard this one before: The Boston Bruins go on a run of futility and rumours of head coach Claude Julien’s imminent firing spread.
Julien’s status as the Bruins’ coach has been a fierce debate going back to before Boston even won the Stanley Cup in 2011. But if Julien hasn’t found a way each time to right the ship temporarily, the general impression from the outside is that Boston would be hard up in finding a better replacement for him.
Julien currently sits 21st all-time in career coaching wins.
The Bruins are now 3-5-2 in their last 10 after a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night and have now lost three straight, giving up 11 goals in that span.
This one was well within reach, though. Tied 0-0 for over 58 minutes, the game was tilted when Marian Hossa scored with just over a minute left. What a gut punch for Julien and the B’s.
But don’t listen to me, reporters asked Julien after the contest about his status.
Damn media. It’s all our fault.
Maybe it is time to part with Julien but the supposition that there isn’t a better coach out there is correct. The Bruins better be darn sure they’re happy with his replacement if they decide to go that way.
Hornqvist vs. Ward
Ah, there’s nothing quite like a salty tete-a-tete between a crease-crashing forward and a pissed off goaltender.
Felix Potvin and Dino Ciccarelli, Patrick Roy and everyone — it’s not hard to summon up memories of skaters occasionally roughing up netminders.
And so, during the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 7-1 romp of the Carolina Hurricanes Friday, Cam Ward was bound to lose his temper about something. It all just happened to be expressed toward noted crease ruffian Patric Hornqvist.
The back-and-forth began midway through the second period when Hornqvist went a little deep into the blue and Ward responded with a paddling.
Then, after the Penguins scored their sixth of the game — and that will unsettle the best of goalies — Ward let loose. He punched Hornqvist in the head, earning him a two-minute minor.
That last detail is a little confusing as we just wrote earlier Friday night about Carey Price’s blocker-ing of Kyle Palmieri in December that only earned him a double minor. In fact, a Devils fan reminded Price of the fact that the rulebook says he should have been booted from the game.
Hornqvist finished pointless in the game while Ward was left with an unfortunate .829 save percentage. Chalk this one up for the Swede.
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This may be the greatest achievement for a player in Vancouver Canucks history.
There was Pavel Bure scoring 50 goals, a dramatic Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1994, and a Hart Trophy and Art Ross in the club cabinet, and then there was Henrik Sedin Friday night.
With a goal against his former captain Roberto Luongo, Henrik scored his 1000th career point, the first Canucks skater to do so and the fourth Swede in history to reach the milestone. Mats Sundin, Daniel Alfredsson, and Nicklas Lidstrom did so before him.
Sedin and Luongo had a moment after the occasion:
Brother Daniel now sits at 968 career points.
Stay Classy, Gene.