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

No negligence in RCMP actions in B.C. teen’s overdose death: Watchdog

A Maple Ridge woman started an online petition called Justice for Carson Crimeni.

LETTER: Pitt Meadows should have lowest taxes

New council seems set on its own vision of a restyled Pitt Meadows.

Maple Ridge council wants a bolder vision for Lougheed corridor

Mayor wants big city plans for western area

RCMP Cram the Cruiser event tops last year’s

More food, cash collected in Pitt Meadows

Students take control of conflict resolution in SD42

A Restorative Justice program is being piloted at three SD42 schools

‘Kind of lacking:’ Injured Bronco wonders why Canada won’t fund spinal surgery

“I think if Canada can step in and advance this program”

Police negotiate with man barricaded in Victoria synagogue

Children evacuated from daycare on site

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

Don’t expect extra bus service during impending SkyTrain strike, CMBC says

Full SkyTrain shutdown is scheduled to start Tuesday morning

In surprise move, defence won’t call witnesses for accused in Abbotsford school killing

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

Surrey getting a new hospital, in Cloverdale

Premier John Horgan said the ‘brand new hospital’ will be built near Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Operation Red Nose Surrey-Langley could close for rest of season due to lack of volunteers

Organizers say they are struggling to keep up with high call numbers and long wait times

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read