The Calgary Flames lost to the Golden Knights in the desert. It’s the only sure bet in Vegas these days. But Andrew Mangiapane scored again on the road and that seems like a sure thing. Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks cleaned house on Sunday and swept out nearly everyone. Things were rough in Winnipeg and the NHL has started dishing out the punishments.
As for Mangiapane, his goal in the 3-2 loss to the Golden Knights in Vegas leaves him one short of his career high 18 but that was in 56 games in the shortened season last year. The previous season he had 17 in 68 games.
The crazy part is that all but one of them have come away from the Saddledome. He has one in nine home games and 16 in 16 on the road. That’s a wild difference in percentages.
His goal with just under two minutes to play in regulation on Sunday was a perfect shot on a feed from Johnny Gaudreau with likely Team Sweden Olympic starter Jacob Markstrom pulled.
“It’s pretty late to say that we were playing decent in the third,” Mangiapane said after the game. “There were spurts throughout the game where I thought we played OK. Just got to be more consistent.”
Oh Canada! Canada Hockey Now
Vancouver: Our colleague Rob Simpson is all over the firestorm in Vancouver. We’ll start with firing GM Jim Benning and his assistants. Canucks legend Stan Smyl is the interim GM, and Bruce Boudreau, who was a Calgary Flames consideration in the past few years, is the new Canucks head coach.
Toronto: Gong show in Winnipeg. Rasmus Sandin had to be helped off the ice as all hell broke loose. Toronto lost, and it got wild.
Today saw the first of what could be multiple suspensions. Neal Pionk was suspended for two games for his knee-on-knee collision with Sandin that sparked the chaos. Wayne Simmonds was fined for getting feisty, and Jason Spezza has an in-person hearing scheduled (which means he could get a longer ban for kneeing Pionk in the head in retribution).
Montreal: Already having gone through big changes, the Canadiens have some hiring to do themselves. They also have some big contracts to deal with and our guys at Montreal Hockey Now take a look at what the Habs should do with their five most expensive ones.
NHL News & National Hockey Now
NYI: The Calgary Flames rolled through and ruined opening night at their new rink and things haven’t gone well for the Isles since. Or before, really. The New York Islanders are winless in their last 11 after bowing to weak Chicago. Kyle Palmieri instead of Jordan Eberle doesn’t look great on Lou Lamoriello. And Barry Trotz may have worn out his welcome.
Vegas: Robin Lehner beat the Calgary Flames and countryman Jacob Markstrom. But Lehner said he would not play for Sweden in the Olympics because his mental health would be compromised, in part because of worrying about COVID. Read the game story from the other side, as well as the full Lehner report.
Unpopular opinion … Lehner didn’t want to make the trip unless he was sure he’d be the starter.
Boston: What’s the price on Jake DeBrusk on the NHL trade market? The Boston Bruins want “equal value” back. Hey, the Calgary Flames have a killer blueliner in Nikita Zadorov some fans would like to offer.