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Vancouver Canucks Prep, Fights!, Sassy Masse, Av’s Hurting



Vancouver Canucks foe, Zdeno Chara
Zdeno Chara of the Islanders, who will see the Vancouver Canucks in February, fights Pat Maroon of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Vancouver Canucks will skate at 11:30 am Tuesday at Rogers Arena, a practice in preparation for Wednesday night’s home game against the Colorado Avalanche, the team that beat them 7-1 last Thursday in Denver.

Pride is on the line, it’s a revenge game for the Canucks following the humiliating head-to-head match-up last week. It won’t be difficult to recognize who’s not fully committed, who’s unhappy with their situation or may or may not like their coach. True colours get revealed in times of crisis.

The other possibility; the Vancouver Canucks all decide they’ve had enough, everyone’s on board, and they win a hockey game. Enjoy watching the answer unfold. In the meantime…

Let’s Skate! …
Mitts … Dropped

Two entirely different kinds of fights in the New York Islanders – Tampa Bay Lightning game Monday night. Both entertaining in their own right. Even though Zdeno Chara wasn’t a member of the Islanders when they lost in the Conference Final in six games to Tampa in 2020 and then in seven games last season, he didn’t mind representing his club in this rivalry by putting-up-his-dukes right off the drop of the puck.

Not much came of it; Chara rocked the side of Pat Maroon’s helmet with a right hand and then curled him down to the ice, arm cocked.

The second one involved some good old fashioned hockey anger, leftover hatred from the postseason. Brock Nelson of New York delivered a late hit on Tampa’s Alex Killorn along the end boards, it was called a charge, and Anthony Cirelli took exception. He didn’t exactly “feed” Nelson, but Cirelli definitely won the fight and picked up the instigator penalty for his trouble. They both received fighting majors and Nelson picked up two minutes for the hit.

It was refreshing to see such passion.

Hall of Famers

It was a delight to watch part of the Hockey Hall of Fame induction Monday evening. I mentioned the six names of the inductees, and the media honourees, Vancouver Province’s Tony Gallagher for writing and Rick Peckham of Tampa for broadcasting, in a little wrap-up Sunday. What I didn’t mention was the name Kelly Masse, although you would have heard it multiple times during many induction ceremonies.

Masse has quite a distinction. No other human being has been thanked and mentioned more often during Hockey Hall of Fame induction speeches than her. It’s a record that should last forever because Masse’s been at it for many, many years and her impact is profound.

She and the rest of the crew work their tails off the entire long weekend to make sure it’s unforgettable for everyone involved, with Masse making sure each inductee and their families have every detail looked after. Her kindness, hard work, and her patience are truly Hall of Fame calibre. It’s an honour to be her friend.

And, oh, I’d like to thank Kelly Masse.

Dinged Denverites

Take help anyway you can get it, and that goes for the Vancouver Canucks. With an upper body injury, one of the Avalanche’s leading goal scorers JT Compher will miss Wednesday night’s game in Vancouver. Compher, a dynamic player, a pesky, hard worker, will miss a month. I recall watching him score two shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill at a game in Glendale, Arizona against the Coyotes back in 2018.

Superstar centre Nathan MacKinnon remains out of the Colorado line-up with a lower body injury. Rookie Bowen Byram is also missing. The defenceman is in concussion protocol after taking a hit from Bo Horvat in the game against Vancouver.

By the way, MacKinnon was already missing when the Avalanche beat the Canucks last week in Denver. The BC boys will get a second chance to take advantage of his absence, and now Compher’s and Byram’s as well.

Enjoy the Hockey Action !!

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