It’s hard to believe but the Vancouver Canucks are off again for the entire week until they play Saturday at home against the Ottawa Senators. The NHL, at the behest of the club, postponed this Wednesday’s home game against the New York Islanders because they’d rather play it later in front of a 100% capacity crowd instead of playing it in front of a 50% capacity crowd as presently Covid-regulated by the Province of British Columbia.
Of course the Canucks will still practice. Head Coach Bruce Boudreau says he’s planning on practice sessions for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. For all intents and purposes, with the holiday pause included, the Canucks will have had what amounts to a training camp under their new head coach. Boudreau took over December 6th and has a record of 8-0-and-1.
Let’s Skate!! …
Gain Ground While in Neutral
Most of the results around the NHL were favourable for the Canucks on Sunday as the teams they have in their sights lost. The Pittsburgh Penguins squashed the San Jose Sharks 8-5. The Sharks and Canucks both have 33 points, but San Jose sits in 6th place in the Pacific Division, the Canucks 7th, by virtue of the Sharks having played one less game. San Jose plays in Detroit on Tuesday and in Buffalo on Thursday.
The Los Angeles Kings, idle on Sunday, also have played one less game than the Canucks and are two points ahead with 35. They’re off until Thursday when the host the Nashville Predators.
The Edmonton Oilers have two games in-hand on the Canucks. They’ll make those up this week and it won’t be easy. The Oilers are in New York to take on the Rangers tonight and then Wednesday they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.
HIgher up the standings, the Vegas Golden Knights gained a point Sunday while the Calgary Flames earned two by beating the Chicago Blackhawks.
Bad Boy Bennett
Grab your chequebook, you’ve been fined $161,890.23. Ouch!
Not reality for you or I, but it is reality for Sam Bennett of the Florida Panthers after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety brought down the hammer Sunday for Bennett’s hit to the head of Cedric Paquette of the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. The repeat offender will sit out three games.
13-0 NHL Embarrassment
Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now tells a fun little tale, although it definitely wasn’t much fun at the time. It includes a scenario at the Canada-USA border that you’d likely only see in a sitcom. Oops. It culminates in the struggling NHL team getting trounced 13-0 and a coach getting fired, many years before the Red Wings franchise reeled off 25 consecutive playoff seasons.
The Global Mole
The heartwarming tale of Nadio Popovici saving Brian “Red” Hamilton’s life by pointing out a cancerous mole on his neck made the rounds to say the least. The story of the Seattle Kraken fan helping the Vancouver Canucks equipment guy could be read in media outlets in London, England or Sydney, Australia and all points in between. Good on ya both, as the might say ‘down under’.
Definitely a wonderful way to start the New Year.
Enjoy the Hockey Action !!