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from Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet,
This generation — and probably most importantly, the next several — needs its own version of The Golden Goal.
A Gretzky to Lemieux, in on goal, he shoots…he scores. Mario Lemieux has scored for Canada, explosion for the ages that will essentially become a historical films moment, one that will be played on a loop of highlight reels and YouTube channels for eternity.
That the best player on the planet, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, spoke so passionately on the subject in the wake of the World Baseball Classic was a massive step towards making this dream a reality.
And good on McDavid and others for speaking out.
Because for all of the hurdles on the horizon for bringing back the World Cup of Hockey and eventually the Olympics — and yes, we understand there are some significant hurdles — if the players truly want this, there will be a pathway to making it happen.
When it comes to helping grow the sport both within North America and especially globally, there is no better way to do so.
I recently heard someone say that Edmonton fans sure like to talk about “the good old days”. Well, on one hand this franchise “has” a past. Many NHL teams do not. I get a little tired of people who seem eager to dismiss that. The way I see it, it sure as hell beats the alternative. You don’t hear Toronto and Montreal try to distance themselves from theirs, both great NHL frachises.
-Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal where you can read more on the Oilers.
from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,
This is going from kind of fun to just kind of silly.
The Vancouver Canucks can’t lose.
Their professional, well-earned 3-1 road win Saturday against the playoff-bound Dallas Stars was the draft-lottery-bound Canucks’ ninth win in 11 games. The team that ranked 31st in the National Hockey League in defending — and was 27th in the standings — when Rick Tocchet took over as coach two months ago is 12-4-1 in its last 17 games and has allowed three or fewer goals in 14 of them.
With 10 games remaining, starting Sunday in Chicago against the hapless Blackhawks, the Canucks were in a tie for 23rd in the NHL. Vancouver will miss the Stanley Cup playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons, but if the Canucks finish 21st or higher they won’t be able to select Connor Bedard even if they win the draft lottery in May.
It doesn’t make sense — except for the legitimacy of their record the last five weeks. That makes sense.
from Jim Alexander of the LA Daily News,
Has the greater NHL community been overlooking the Kings?
Maybe. Maybe not. But we can say this with certainty: A team that is historically poor in day games was more than good enough Saturday afternoon in beating Winnipeg, 4-1. One game by itself doesn’t say much, but maybe it’s a sign something special is happening here, something lots of people are missing.
The Kings tied a franchise record for consecutive games with points, 11. They’ve done that four times in the franchise’s 56-year history, and the last time was early in the 2013-14 season, en route to a second Stanley Cup in four years. It is a feat, though Coach Todd McLellan and defenseman Drew Doughty both shrugged it off.
What does matter to them? In the most recent 10 games of that streak they’ve given up less than two goals per game, 1.9 to be precise, and gave up more than two only once.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
In 40 some years of being around NHL dressing rooms, I can’t think of anyone I had to deal with that I liked better than James Reimer. He was polite, available, professional, friendly and courteous, no matter what the circumstances happened to be. And in one night, with one decision, he changed what many people think of him by refusing to take part in the pre-game Pride ceremony of the San Jose Sharks.
All anyone wanted was for Reimer to be as welcoming and inclusive as he has been his entire career. Instead, he took a stance, the wrong stance, and his otherwise terrific reputation has now been soiled.
In Washington, the celebrations seem nonstop for Alexander Ovechkin as he continues his assault on the all-time goal-scoring records. What he thinks of inclusivity has never been at issue so it isn’t news of any kind: What he thinks about Vladimir Putin — now that’s problematic and upsetting and far too silent.
He has traditionally and spiritually been supportive of a Russian war monger who has attacked Ukraine and is currently avoiding the warrants for the numerous international laws against humanity he has broken.
We worry about Reimer and by extension Eric Staal and his brother Marc, because really, costs aside, hockey is for everyone. And we celebrate Ovechkin and any of his fellow Russian pro players who happen to support the warmonger, Putin and look the other way.
Neither side feels right to me.
And at the same time, the Maple Leafs play game after game with TikTok on their helmets, because the Canadian version of the Chinese company has paid for sponsorship rights. All this going on as the governments in both Canada and the United States have TikTok removed from their phones, and the U.S. is consumed with the potential spying going on through TikTok.
read on plus topics like this...
In each of the past several summers, Connor McDavid was asked what he could do to improve his game. And his answer was always the same.
“I want to score more goals.”
So instead of just saying it, McDavid did what McDavid does.
* The Devils hit the 100-point mark in franchise record-setting pace after clinching their first Stanley Cup Playoffs berth since 2018.
* Boston defeated Tampa Bay to secure the No.1 seed in its division for the seventh time in the past 20 years – tied for the second most among all teams over that span.
* Patrick Kane registered his 15th career 20-goal season and climbed two elite lists of U.S.-born players in the process.
* Sunday’s slate features five games, including a matchup between the NHL-leading Bruins and Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes.
via the YouTube page of Sportsnet,
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman join Ron MacLean to share some fresh NHL intel, including possible rookie signings out of the NCAA and CHL and the latest on the Ottawa Senators sale.
from Larry Brooks of the NNew York Post,
My opinion on the matter that is engulfing the NHL is that the Panthers organization showed great courage in holding a night in support of the LGBTQ+ community in a state where such corporate endorsement is not always looked upon favorably by governing bodies with power to punish.
I believe captain Matthew Tkachuk’s unambiguous support of inclusivity is significantly more noteworthy than the decision of Eric and Marc Staal to defer from participating in Thursday’s pregame warmups in which all of their teammates wore Pride-themed jerseys.
“A night like tonight, for me, is really about including everybody,” Tkachuk said. “In my opinion, it’s by far the greatest game in the world, and everyone’s invited in my locker room and our locker room as an organization.”
And I believe that the unqualified endorsement of the NHL’s initiative by Connor McDavid certainly outweighs the significance of San Jose goaltender James Reimer’s decision to opt out of pregame warmups when the Sharks held their Pride Night a week ago.
I am not sure how to recap this, but boy I sure would like to see a video without all the added graphics/cgi added in. But then, the NHL is not marketing to me.
No scoring in the first period, the Wings had 6 minutes of failed power play time.
The second period was almost a replay of the first except the Flyers scored with 36 seconds left. 1-0 Philly after 40 minutes.
The Flyers added an empty net goal in the third to win 3-0. Story of the game, 7 power play opportunities for Detroit, 8 shots but no goals.
Below, find two videos from Bally Sports Detroit.
Good day and welcome to all. I want to get all 19 of us set up for today’s game against the Flyers, and, I’m not going be around for a portion of this afternoon’s game. I guess I’m mailing it in today……
It’s the Wings vs the Flyers. The puck drops around 1:00 PM and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Detroit as well as WXYT-FM 97.1. Also available on NHLPP/ESPN+ and NBCSP.
It’s a Live Blog!
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
He said he knows there are still plenty of fans who like to see the fists fly. He also believes clubs with that certain toughness factor are tough to beat, especially come playoff time — even in a league that increasingly emphasizes speed and skill.
“So I don’t think it should ever leave,” said Marchand, 34, who grew up in Nova Scotia but played for three teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. “Again, I think it does hold guys accountable still, to a point where cheap shots are allowed or big enough hits and you can go after guys, and I think it does keep guys in check a little bit more.
“If you lose that ability, then it does open the doors to a whole other . . . you’re completely relying on player safety [in the NHL office] for each and every play, and then that’s going to get out of control.”
Some of what’s happening in the “Q,” mused Marchand, might simply be traceable to the province’s separatist yearnings.
“You know, they’re just a little bit different, those guys up there [in Quebec],” he said. “They’re on their own page. They want their own country. And maybe that’s all — they’re just trying to advocate for what they can.”
more and other topics too
from Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Tribune,
Jarry hasn’t displayed much consistency when he’s been available this season. He played 13 games since returning from his latest injury, getting pulled four times. His goals-against average on the year is 2.98, which ranks 32nd in the NHL. His save percentage of .908 stands 21st. So, Jarry isn’t sparkling when he can play.
Does Jarry have good moments? Sure. Every goalie does.
But Jarry broke into the NHL in 2017, and he’s never truly established himself as a No. 1 goalie.
There have been too many injuries, too many failures, and he’s never won a playoff series. Heck, he’s only played in eight playoff games, going 2-6.
Jarry played in one full series, a 2021 first-round loss to the New York Islanders. Jarry did a lot to lose that series, not least an awful turnover in the second overtime of Game 5 that gifted the Islanders the game-winning goal and a three-games-to-two series lead.
Jarry made two All-Star thingies, but who cares? Small potatoes.
Does Jarry help you win? The answer is no, not enough.
The decision to let Jarry go is made easier when you consider he reportedly wants a six-year contract worth $6 million per. Perhaps those demands come down given recent circumstances, but Jarry shouldn’t be retained at any price unless it’s so meager that the Penguins have money to sign a co-No. 1 goalie.
from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,
Did money play a role in the decision made by the Detroit Red Wings to deal veteran defenseman Filip Hronek to the Vancouver Canucks? Someone with impeccable hockey credentials is of the opinion that it did.
Speaking on the Donnie And Dhali podcast on Vancouver’s CHEK, Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, who guided the Red Wings to three Stanley Cups, felt that perhaps Detroit GM Steve Yzerman was looking ahead to a near future that will see him paying big bucks to both Moritz Seider and Simon Edvinsson.
“I guess Detroit, they were looking to the future,” Bowman reasoned. “Maybe they can’t afford to pay him what he’s gonna end up getting. They’ve got some young defensemen. They’ve got Moritz Seider, who’s there now, and they got a really good young guy, Simon Edvinsson.”
Hronek will be paid $5.5 million next season. He’ll be an RFA in 2024. That’s when 2021-22 Calder Trophy winner Seider will be up for his second contract. Two years later, it’ll be Edvinsson’s turn to get paid.
continue for prospect talk...
Some interesting answers, like Mitch Marner saying he would pay to watch himself play.
The last few weeks I've been laying low and dealing with health issues again. In and out and in again of emergency rooms and hospitals is not what I planned for but I am dealing with this as best as I can. Yes I am growing very tired of this but refuse to give in to this disease.
I've been experiencing stomach issues and now have been diagnosed with diabetic macular edema (DME). Basically fluid builds up behind the retina causing blurred vision. I am meeting with an eye specialist on April 10th and will know the course of action then.
I'm tired, drained and just want to feel better. Please keep me in your thoughts.
* Kent Johnson brought the crowd to its feet at Nationwide Arena when he scored the sixth ‘Michigan’ goal in NHL history on the 27th anniversary of when Mike Legg first introduced it to the world while playing for the University of Michigan – also Johnson’s alma mater.
* Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are set for their 65th regular-season matchup when the Capitals visit the Penguins during a primetime bout at 8. p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN+.
* A loaded 15-game Saturday will also feature the Bruins looking to secure the Atlantic Division title, while the Devils take another crack at clinching a spot in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
On the 27th anniversary of the original Michigan goal by Mike Legg.
NEW YORK (March 24, 2023) – The National Hockey League today issued the following statement regarding Arizona Coyotes’ minority owner Andrew Barroway:
“The National Hockey League is aware of the arrest of Arizona Coyotes’ minority owner Andrew Barroway. Pending further information, he has been suspended indefinitely.”
via the Aspen Daily News,
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Alex Nedeljkovic cut his hair and shaved his mustache, looking much different sitting in front of his stall in the Detroit Red Wings dressing room after practice Friday.
He hopes he will look different on the ice, too, Saturday in Philadelphia (1 p.m., Bally Sports Detroit) when he makes his first start for the Red Wings in 3½ months.
Different at least from how he started the season in Detroit, but similar to how he played in Grand Rapids, where he gained some rhythm and confidence.
“I’ve felt really good, especially these last 2½-3 weeks,” Nedeljkovic said. “I felt like I’ve kind of gotten back to myself, gotten back to what’s worked for me in the past and what’s made me successful.”
Nedeljkovic is back because Ville Husso is out with a lower-body injury. He will make his first NHL start since Dec. 8 because Magnus Hellberg was not sharp Thursday, when Nedeljkovic replaced him midway through the second period of a 4-3 loss to St. Louis.
“It’s unfortunate that Huss is dealing with something. You never want to see anybody get hurt,” Nedeljkovic said. “But that’s the job. I’m just thankful for another opportunity.”
Below watch Ned after today's practice along with coach Lalonde.
Ansar Khan tweet,
practice prior to playing in Philly tomorrow at 1 on @BallySportsDET
Seven D, including Edvinsson and Lindstrom, skating. Zadina not skating among the forwards, Erne is. Hellberg and Nedeljkovic in the nets. Husso still out.
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