The NHL had plenty of anger in the air on Sunday.
Brad Richards and the New York Rangers were furious with Buffalo Sabres pest Patrick Kaleta for his nasty third period hit-from-behind on Richards.
Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault did his best John Tortorella impersonation with his shortest post-game press conference ever after a 4-2 loss in Calgary to the Flames. He was dismayed over a non-call on a high hit from Flames forward Matt Stajan on Canucks defenceman Chris Tanev.
Boston Bruins bench boss Claude Julien was downright irate after a 4-3 loss at home to the Montreal Canadiens. He was adamant the Canadiens should have won some Oscars at the Academy Awards a week ago.
The Bruins coach didn't like the turn of events late in the second period, when sniper Tyler Seguin was crosschecked by Canadiens defenceman Alexei Emelin. There was no call on the play. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara then went after Emelin and received an instigator penalty, a five-minute fighting major and a 10-minute misconduct.
Emelin only was hit with a fighting major. The Canadiens scored twice in the third period with Chara still in the penalty box.
Julien also accused Montreal defenceman P.K. Subban of trying to suck in officials for a penalty after taking a hit from Shawn Thornton.
"It's not about tonight," Julien said. "It's about the game and the embellishment embarrasses our game and we need to be better at that because it was pretty obvious when P.K. gets hit, he throws himself into the glass and holds his head.
"You know what? If we start calling those penalties for embellishment, maybe teams will stop doing it, but until we take charge of that, it's going to be an issue. It's frustrating because tonight as everybody saw, there's a lot of embellishment. And this is embarrassing for our game, the embellishing.
"And right now, they've got over 100 power plays -- so far -- and it's pretty obvious why. And we're trying to clean that out of our game. And it's got to be done soon because it's not about tonight, it's about the game. And embellishment embarrasses our game. And we need to be better at that."
The Canadiens have played 22 games thus far and, as Julien noted, have enjoyed a league-leading 100 power plays. By comparison, the Bruins have had a league-low 61 man-advantage situations in 19 games. Boston and the Los Angeles Kings currently have played the fewest games.
The Bruins also are the third-most penalized team in the league at 15.6 minutes a game. The Philadelphia Flyers (17.2) and the Toronto Maple Leafs rank 1-2.
Meanwhile, Vigneault claimed he didn't swear at referee Kelly Sutherland when he earned the Canucks' first bench minor of the season in the third period, in which Flames captain Jarome Iginla scored the game winner.
"The same accountability that is demanded of players and coaches is demanded of referees and that's not acceptable," Vigneault said. "There's no way we should lose this game on a call like that.
"All I did was stand on the bench and say, That's an elbow.' Not one damn word. Nothing. I didn't use the f-word. I stood on the bench for .5 seconds and I said, 'That's an elbow.' And that's how I got two minutes and that's how they scored the goal. I'm done here."
And Vigneault stormed off into the angry night.
Part of Vigneault's frustration also may have been with the difficulty the Canucks had travelling to Calgary because of a winter storm. Instead of arriving in Calgary after their win at home over the Kings on Saturday, they were delayed and didn't touch down until two hours before the game.
Then, the Canucks were beaten by the Flames' 26-year-old journeyman goalie Danny Taylor. He only was making his second career NHL start and third appearance overall in six years.
Since his three years of junior played with the Guelph Storm and Kingston Frontenacs, the former seventh-round selection of the Kings has played with 11 different pro teams in the ECHL, AHL, NHL and Europe in the past seven seasons.
"It's every kid's dream to grow up and play in the NHL and win games," he said. "It's obviously a dream come true, but I'm not satisfied. I want more. I want to win more."
Max Pacioretty's recent increase in production isn't the sole reason why the Canadiens have enjoyed an 8-0-3 run and hold top spot in the Eastern Conference as the condensed schedule nears the midway point. But when he came alive a couple weeks ago, his play certainly aided the Habs' cause.
This Friday is the second anniversary of when Bruins captain Zdeno Chara slammed Pacioretty into a stanchion that divided the home and visitor benches at the Bell Centre. The young Canadiens forward suffered a fractured vertebrae and concussion and needed six months to fully recover.
Just that he made it to the starting gate for the 2011-12 season was remarkable, but he went on to lead Montreal with an impressive 65-point season that included 33 goals.
His goal scoring, however, was missing for the first month of this season. He went 0 for his first 10 games. Then in the 11th game, he drifted a dump-in that bounced and bounced and bounced its way past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward.
Since that flukey goal, Pacioretty, 24, has scored seven times in seven games.
Blackhawks soar into history
With another win on Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks not only extended their record to start a season without a regulation time loss to 22 games, they are now entering all-time territory for point streaks in a season.
The Blackhawks need two more wins to have the third-longest point streak in NHL history:
35 -- 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers (25-0-10)
28 -- 1978-79 Montreal Canadiens (23-0-5)
23 -- 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers (17-0-6)
23 -- 1940-41 Boston Bruins (15-0-8)
22 -- 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks (19-0-3)
Looking ahead, the Blackhawks play host to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday and then engage in a home-and-home with the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday in Chicago and in Denver on Friday.
Forgive & Forget
The four-month lockout had little impact on hockey-related revenue in the NHL.
New York Post columnist Larry Brooks reported on Sunday that the NHL recently told the NHLPA that the shortened 48-game season and playoffs will result in $2.4 billion US.
Not bad, considering there was no revenue from cash cows events like the Winter Classic and all-star weekend. Yet, the $2.4-billion figure was not far off the NHL's record hockey-related revenue of $3.3-billion set in 2011-12.
Ready & Willing
When call-up Jacob Markstrom's pads did not arrive in time for Sunday's game between the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes, Panthers fourth-year goalie coach Rob Tallas had to dust off his gear.
Tallas, who turns 40 on March 20, took turns with Florida starter Scott Clemmensen in the pre-game warmup. He also sat at the end of the bench for half of the first period until Markstrom's equipment arrived. Markstrom was promoted from the AHL because the organization's No. 1 netminder, Jose Theodore, is out indefinitely with a torn groin.
Tallas has not played in a pro game since he suited up for 15 games with Salzburg in Austria in the 2004-05 lockout season.
It was miraculous that Tallas was able to play that year. In the previous season with HPK Hameenlinna, Tallas enjoyed a good start. But in late Novemeber, he experienced some chest pains that he initially thought was heartburn.
A hospital visit, however, revealed he had a swollen heart and was told to take a month off. When he returned to action, Tallas got through two games without distress and played well. But after a 45-minute bus ride after the second game, his heart acted up again.
This time, he made it to the hospital just in time for doctors to save him when he went into cardiac arrest. He eventually was diagnosed with viral myocarditis.
After some help from his former Boston Bruins teammate Raymond Bourque and Bruins trainer Don Del Negro, Tallas got proper medical treatment when he returned the United States. He took an entire calendar year off from the game, but felt good enough for his 15-game swan song late in the 2004-05 season.
By The Numbers
335:06 -- Minutes and seconds University of Alberta goalie Kurtis Mucha went before yielding a goal to Saskatchewan forward Andrew Bailey. The 5½ games of shutout hockey is a modern-day Canadian University play record and longer than any shutout streak in the WHL and NHL, but was 40 minutes shy of the NCAA record of 375:01 set by Lake Superior State's Blaine Lacher 19 years ago.
124:17 -- Minutes and seconds played in the deciding game of the best-of-three OUA East final when Pierre-Olivier Morin scored early in the fourth overtime to give the UQTR Patriotes a 2-1 win and a berth in the University Cup to be held in Saskatoon on March 14-17. Four of the six spots have been spoken for in the national championship tournament. Joining UQTR will be Canada West titleholders from Alberta, OUA West champs from Waterloo, the host team from the University of Saskatchewan, Saint Mary's and the University of New Brunswick.
1,000 -- Career NHL games for 34-year-old Marian Hossa when his Chicago Blackhawks squeezed out a 2-1 shootout victory at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday. He made it to the Stanley Cup final in 2008 with Pittsburgh and the 2009 final with Detroit before finally winning the prized championship trophy with Chicago in 2010.
79 -- More points Hossa needs to reach the 1,000-point milestone.
11 -- Games in a row in which St. Lawrence University sniper Greg Carey of Hamilton, Ont., scored at least a goal until his streak was stopped on Friday. He scored one final time in his regular-season finale on Saturday to leave the third-year forward with 26 goals in 34 games, tops in the NCAA this season.
Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC
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