Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while facing the most boring Sunday of the NFL season, the New England Patriots bye week.
*The World Cup of Hockey payouts in the CBA is pitting player vs. player for the money awarded to them.
*Here’s a nice, little update on the Providence Bruins and what’s been going on with the P-Bruins over the first month of the season.
*John Scott is apparently retiring from the NHL, and beginning post-career plan to brew his own beer. Okay then.
*The Ottawa Senators are in awe of Craig Anderson’s focus on his job while his family is dealing with the worst that could happen.
*PHT writer James O’Brien asks if the season is slipping away from the Vancouver Canucks after their eighth straight loss.
*Don Cherry said it’s “embarrassing” what Nazem Kadri was allowed to do to Connor McDavid when the Leafs beat the Oilers earlier this week. That sounds like a message for Milan Lucic, doesn’t it?
*For something completely different: while the polls say the Presidential election is tightening with voting day next week, there are forces that shouldn’t be underestimated like this one in Las Vegas.
TORONTO – Count Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock among the card-carrying members of the Brad Marchand Fan Club.
Perhaps it was a way to soften up the Bruins winger prior to Saturday’s puck drop after he dumped a couple of goals on the Blue Jackets and totaled five points in winning, dominant fashion on Thursday, but the Leafs bench boss and Team Canada head coach said he saw “a star” in the Bruins' impressive comeback win vs. Columbus.
It’s the exact same level of performance that Babcock watched in the World Cup of Hockey with Marchand posting five goals and eight points in six games for Team Canada.
“I thought Marchy was a star,” said Babcock of No. 63’s game vs. Columbus. “He was unbelievable. I thought Backes played really strong. It just goes to show that when you go to an event [like the World Cup] and you earn the confidence by playing really good, and feeling really good about yourself, you can carry that on to your team. We’re going to be sure that he doesn’t have a lot of room out there.
“[The World Cup] was just an affirmation of how good he is. He had 37 goals last year and that’s not by accident. You’ve got to earn those. [Patrice Bergeron] is a really smart player, but obviously Marchy bring a lot to the table too. Anytime you’re around the best players in the world and you feel like you’re an important player on the team, you learn how to win one more time.”
Babcock actually drew a comparison from Marchand to Patrick Kane in the way he was doing much more than simply skating his lane in the absence of Bergeron, and that perhaps comes from the growing confidence that he can take over a hockey game when his team needs it.
“Winning is an amazing thing, and so is earning that confidence. In the last game he played a little more even like a center going back and bringing the puck up a little bit,” said Babcock of Marchand, who leads the NHL with five points in the early going of the season. “It’s more like [Patrick] Kane does carrying the puck more where he used to be more of a fore-checking pest. He carried the puck more last game. He’s a really good player.”
Don’t expect Babcock to tell Marchand any of this in person, however. The coach said he and the Nova Scotia native spent most of their time talking about hunting moose while in conversation with each other and the Nose Face Killah confirmed that when asked about it following Boston’s morning skate the Air Canada Centre.