This morning skate takes on a different tact today. Not just a glance at the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL standings, but the state of those current standings in general. Some wild, wacky stuff.
Speaking of wild and wacky, remember the Vancouver Canucks victory over the New York Rangers back on Tuesday, November 2nd, when Thatcher Demko lost his stick and blocker in a mad scramble during a third-period penalty kill that had gone from 5-on-3 to 5-on-4 and he made a flopping, scorpion kick save to preserve the 2-2 tie only to have JT Miller dramatically win it in OT? Yeah, that one.
Well those same Rangers are now in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 54 points, the third most in the NHL. I don’t remember back then being all that impressed, although we did know New York had loads of young talent.
I happened to be standing outside their dressing room that morning after the Blueshirts skate with TV play-by-play man Sam Rosen when NYR President and General Manager Chris Drury suddenly walked by quickly with a smile and said “Phew!”
The next thing you know a little room in the bowels of Rogers Arena was the site of an impromptu press conference with reigning Norris Trophy winning defenceman Adam Fox announcing his new seven-year $9.5-million per season contract. He’s in the final year of his entry-level deal.
Has he lived up to the further expectations thus far?? The 23-year-old leads the team with 39 points, one off the lead for NHL blue-liners.
Pacific Nights (and Days)
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks find themselves in the Pacific Division race and can help their cause dramatically with a win Tuesday night in Nashville. It would mean completing their bear of a five-game road trip with a 2-and-3 record. Again, not bad at all, all things considered.
“We look at it as a good challenge right now,” Miller said Tuesday morning. “This is a hard road trip. We’re focused on the game tonight, if we get a win tonight we salvage a pretty decent road trip against some really good teams, so we’re just worried about tonight and whatever happens with the scheduling in the future is kind of out of our hands at this point.”
A victory would put Vancouver within 6 points of the third place Anaheim Ducks with two games in hand. The wild card slots between the two teams, between the Pacific and Central Divisions, is a wide open mess. By the way, the Predators are tied for second place in the Central with 51 points (24-13-and-3).
Oh Woe are We
It’s stunning to look at the Atlantic Division standings. Yes, the Habs have had some down seasons in recent years but this is beyond ugly, and particularly startling considering they made the Stanley Cup Final last season.
MONTREAL 37 GP, 7W, 25L, 5OT, .257 WIN %, 78 GOALS FOR, 136 GOALS AGAINST, –58 GOAL DIFFERENTIAL, 5-10-1 HOME, 2-15-4 ROAD, 1-7-2 LAST TEN
The legendary ‘Bleu, Blanc, and Rouge’, the club of Howie Morenz, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Guy LaFleur, the ghosts of the Forum, sinking to all-time depths. Regardless of Covid, injuries, personnel losses like Shea Weber (permanent) and Carey Price (temporary), it’s shocking.
There are some cohorts of mine in ‘La belle province’ who are simply speechless. They’re pretending the NHL doesn’t exist.
Oh well. Enjoy the Hockey Action !!