Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Around the Atlantic: Maurice laughs off officiating, Kane joins Red Wings & Senators’ Smith on thin ice
By Shane Seney2 months ago
Welcome back to Around the Atlantic as we hit the quarter mark of the season for a number of hockey teams. The Atlantic Division is already stacked with talent and now there’s more being added to the fire.
For this week’s edition, we’ll make stops in Motown to check in on the Detroit Red Wings recent addition, we’ll see how the Ottawa Senators are making out from the bottom of the division and let’s start things off with one of the best quotes in hockey, Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice.
Maurice Has Now Seen It All
The Panthers were in Toronto to play the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night and let’s just say the game had a little bit of everything. Florida controlled the play for most of the game and were outshooting the Leafs all game but thanks to a stellar performance from Joseph Woll, Toronto remained competitive.
However, what happened in the later stages of the game has a number of people scratching their heads, including Panthers head coach Paul Maurice. Maurice wasn’t happy that the referees didn’t initially call a high-sticking penalty on Panthers defenseman Jonah Gadjovich, but then after the crowd erupted and the review was played on the big screen at Scotiabank Arena, the refs decided to huddle and review the play thanks to Noah Gregor bleeding his way to the Maple Leafs bench. Take a look:
From there it gets better. The game went into a shootout and just when the Panthers thought Evan Rodrigues scored to end the game and one team celebrated while the other made their way to the dressing room, not so fast. The goal was reviewed for a ‘double tap’ and sure enough, both teams were called back out to the ice and the Maple Leafs ended up pulling out the victory thanks to a nice rip from Gregor and a stellar save from Woll.
As expected, Maurice was pissed off and had this to say after the game on what took place in Toronto:
The Maple Leafs and Panthers now don’t see each out until a couple of games in April and expect those contests to have some serious positioning implications in the Atlantic Division.
Patrick Kane Signs in Detroit
After months of speculation and training videos circulating the air waves, free-agent forward Patrick Kane decided to sign a one-year deal for $2.75 million with the Red Wings.
Kane reunites with ex-Chicago Blackhawks teammate Alex DeBrincat and joins a Red Wings hockey club that is over achieving and currently third in the Atlantic with an 11-6-3 record. Kane’s expected to take a week or so to practice with the team and likely gets his first assignment alongside DeBrincat and Dylan Larkin to form quite an intriguing line for the Red Wings.
Why Detroit? Kane met with a number of teams over the course of the past few weeks and reports have surfaced that his short list included the Red Wings, Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s likely he had a multi-year offer on the table as well but decided against it and signing on for one season in Motown, to then reevaluate his options. Here’s Maple Leafs captain John Tavares on what Kane can bring to the Red Wings:
Kane spent last season split between the Blackhawks and New York Rangers and finished the regular season with 57 points in 73 games and another six points in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. He’ll look to help push a young Red Wings team forward as they look to use their hot start to solidify a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Senators Smith on Thin Ice
The Ottawa Senators are struggling this season and ownership has already made a change, firing Pierre Dorion as the GM, and replacing him with Steve Staios. Now all the attention is turning to head coach DJ Smith, who has led the Sens to a 8-9-0 record to this point of the season.
While Smith’s managed to fly under the radar for most of this season, after the team’s recent loss to the Florida Panthers, the Sens coach put his own struggles front and center. Smith spoke after the Senators were defeated by the Panthers 5-0 and admitted this loss was all his fault:
We weren’t ready to play at the start, and that’s on me. They come out and outshoot us 9-1 on the first shift. … It took us to the nine-minute mark of the first before we got real competitive. And then five-on-five we were fine, obviously. At 3-0, we came out with some really good shifts. We were aggressive, we were in the game. Lots of game left. And then you take a five-minute major and you’re completely out of sorts.
Smith went on to call the loss the ‘rock-bottom’ of the season and admitted his team showed a lack of maturity in defeat. For now, ownership is going to let this ride out a little bit longer but Smith’s job is on high alert. Ottawa is set to faceoff against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday and the Seattle Kraken Saturday and if the losses continue, another major announcement could be coming out of Canada’s capital.
There we have it folks, another edition of Around the Atlantic in the books. The Red Wings are starting to load up as they try to hang out to a top spot in the division, meanwhile a couple of head coaches are not happy with either themselves or the officials. There’s always lots of entertaining content coming out of the Atlantic, see you next week with more.
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