Tag Archives: Hockey

Keefe after loss to Blackhawks: Leafs are being ‘an immature team’

Sheldon Keefe doesn't like what he's been seeing lately from his Toronto Maple Leafs.

Following the Leafs' 6-2 home loss against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, which came less than a week after an ugly 8-4 defeat versus the Florida Panthers, Keefe called out his team for being "immature."

"I think when you go through these types of things, such as Florida, such as this, it's just a sign of where you are, that you're not where you want to be," Keefe said. "Reality checks come. I thought we were an immature team down in Florida, I thought we were an immature team here today. That's how we're approaching these things. We're not performing, we're not playing with any level of discipline or consistency. That's what happens."

Saturday's loss was Toronto's fifth in its last six outings, and the game was out of reach early. Chicago took the lead 21 seconds into the contest and led 3-0 after the first period.

Making matters worse for the Leafs, the loss, paired with wins from the Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Columbus Blue Jackets, pushed them out of a playoff spot.

Toronto will have a long time to digest its recent performances, as the team's next game doesn't come until Jan. 27, after its bye week and the All-Star weekend.

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Akim Aliu: Bill Peters ‘ruined and deterred my career’

Akim Aliu says he believes Bill Peters' derogatory treatment of him played a big role in the defenseman never becoming an established NHLer.

Aliu sat down with Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean in an interview that aired Saturday night. He discussed what's taken place since he publicly accused Peters of racial abuse that occurred during their time together in the AHL in 2010.

"When you look at the stuff that happened with Bill Peters, I truly believe he ruined and deterred my career," said Aliu when asked if there should be a moratorium on misconduct. "But it's a tough question to answer for me because my career has gone out the window and he's been making millions of dollars in the NHL. But yeah, I really do believe that everyone deserves a second chance."

Aliu accused the former Calgary Flames head coach of saying the N-word toward him for his choice of music in the dressing room. Two players on the team corroborated Aliu's story, and in an apology issued as the Flames investigated the matter, Peters admitted to using the offensive language.

The former coach resigned shortly thereafter, and Aliu told MacLean interactions like what he experienced with Peters are holding back the growth of hockey's culture.

"Obviously I'm going to hit some nerves here and touch on subjects that people don't really want to talk about, but I feel like if a colored person or someone of minority does something the same as maybe a caucasian person it's looked at a little bit differently," Aliu said. "What they wear, how they act, what kind of music they listen to, how they speak.

"I felt for a lot of my career, I was walking on eggshells in the room."

The Chicago Blackhawks drafted Aliu in the second round in 2007. He only played seven NHL games - all with the Flames - but also appeared professionally in the AHL, ECHL, and in Europe from 2008 to 2019.

The 30-year-old met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in early December, and he said there's "big change coming" after the league called the discussion "productive and candid."

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Ovechkin passes Lemieux for 10th in all-time goals

Alex Ovechkin passed Mario Lemieux on Saturday to claim sole possession of the 10th spot on the all-time goals list with 691.

Ovechkin entered Saturday's contest against the New York Islanders needing just one goal to tie Lemieux. He scored early in the first period, and in the third, Ovechkin managed to bury his second goal of the game to pass Lemieux.

The 34-year-old has been on a tear. He's coming off a hat trick in his last game and has seven goals in his last three contests, bringing him to 33 on the year.

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Perreault after outburst: ‘I obviously wouldn’t slash anybody in the face’

Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault cleared the air one day after his outburst about catching an uncalled elbow to the head made waves.

Perreault was incensed when asked about a hit from Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen on Tuesday, and he called out the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

"Player safety, my ass" Perreault said afterward. "This is literally an elbow to the face of a guy that didn't have the puck."

"I can't really protect myself if the league's not going to protect me," Perrault continued. "I'm the smallest guy (on) the ice so I can't really fight anybody. The only thing I can do to defend myself is use my stick, so the next guy that does that to me is gonna get my f------ stick. And I better not get suspended for it."

On Friday, Perreault showed remorse for his comments.

"My emotions got a little high there," he told reporters. "I obviously wouldn't slash anybody in the face."

"That's just not who I am," he added. "I've never done anything like that in my career. So yeah, that was probably a little too much for me to say. I've always played a hard game between the whistle within the rules and never done anything to anybody really. That's just not who I am, so I wouldn't do anything like that. I'd like to take that back for sure."

The 32-year-old wasn't injured on the play, but Perreault has a concussion history and he was forced to miss time in December following a late hit from Joel Farabee that warranted a three-game suspension.

Perreault has appeared in 41 games for the Jets this season, posting six goals and six assists.

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Hurricanes’ Hamilton suffered broken fibula vs. Blue Jackets

The Carolina Hurricanes have been dealt a significant blow, as defenseman Dougie Hamilton suffered a broken left fibula Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, according to team writer Michael Smith.

Hamilton is being evaluated by doctors and could undergo surgery as early as Friday evening, with a recovery timeline to follow.

Hamilton, 26, is in the midst of a Norris Trophy-caliber season with 14 goals and 40 points through 47 games. He was named to the Metropolitan Division All-Star squad, but will teammate Jaccob Slavin will now replace him.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, find themselves in a heated playoff race; they enter Friday in a three-way tie with the Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers for the Eastern Conference's two wildcard spots.

Thankfully, the club has ample depth on the blue line. The Canes have been carrying seven capable NHL defensemen on their roster for the bulk of the season, and both Haydn Fleury and Trevor van Riemsdyk should expect to watch fewer games from the press box moving forward.

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