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Hump Day Skate: Canucks to Cali’, Crosby 500, USA-Canada Out

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The Vancouver Canucks did lots of conditioning drills at practice on Tuesday coming off Super Bowl Sunday festivities plus a day off on Monday.

“It’s important, if we want to be a really good team, to keep that pace up for sixty minutes,” said Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau after practice. “A lot of one-on-one (at practice). I thought there was a lot of, last game, where we just watched Toronto skate in our zone instead of initiating and going after them and dislodging the puck, which would have ended their long in-zone time.”

The Canucks will skate again at Rogers Arena today (Wednesday) and then board a flight for San Jose. Once there, they’ll meet up with freshly quarantined American defenceman Quinn Hughes, and ready themselves for the Thursday night game against the Sharks.

While we await the fun to continue, let’s take you on a morning spin …

Let’s Skate ! …

Sid’s No Kid

Can you believe it? Sidney Crosby, 500 goals! If you’re old enough to vividly remember him starting his NHL career in 2005, or back to his first Stanley Cup win in 2009, or the Olympic Golden Goal in Vancouver a year later, or two more Cups after forgetting how to play hockey for two months in 2015, then it’ll all seem to make sense.

It went by way too fast.

I worked his first ever home game at the old Igloo in Pittsburgh on TV. Penguins goalie Jocelyn Thibault got hurt at the morning skate. Christina Aguilera sang the national anthem. She has a first cousin in St. John’s, Newfoundland by the way, an accomplished blind musician named Jim Fidler.

Glen Murray scored the game winner for the Bruins in OT on a feed from Joe Thornton. I think I still have the game sheet.

How cool is it that Evgeni Malkin picked up the lone assist on goal 500. Fitting. The two have been frick and frick, yin and yang, Martin and Lewis since the whole thing started. Crosby gets plenty of respect, Geno not enough.

But this is about “the Kid”. Congratulations Sid.

By the way, 50 of those 500 goals, including the 500th, came against the Penguins cross-Pennsylvania rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers.

This story may have resembled stream of consciousness.

Buckle Up for the Ladies

Gold Medal game tonight. I believe it’s set for about 8 pm pacific. USA versus Canada in Beijing.

There have been six Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey championships with the Americans winning two, 1998 and 2018, and the Canadians winning four, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014.

Only once did the Gold Medal Game not feature these two countries; that was in 2006 in Torino, Italy when Canada beat Sweden for Gold.

It’s always entertaining and there always seems to be drama.

Stop chewing your fingernails!

((Late note: The USA Men got bounced by Slovakia in the Quarterfinals late Tuesday night pacific time. Shoot-out win for the Slovaks 3-2. Canada then lost to Sweden 2-0. The North American men are out of the Olympics))

Hot Flames

It’s hard not use a pun or some ridiculous word play when describing Calgary’s team, so there you go. But they really are hot. Calgary just won its seventh game in a row and jumped atop the Pacific Division standings with 60 points. The Vegas Golden Knights have 59 points and two games in hand.

Gee, remember that Tyler Toffoli trade way back on February 14th? As in Monday. Yeah, he scored a beauty in his first game with the Flames in their 6-2 Tuesday night win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

Notes:

In case you hadn’t heard, British Columbia lifted the capacity limits at sporting events, so the Vancouver Canucks will have a full house for Saturday’s urgent Pacific Division match-up against the Anaheim Ducks. No more random ticket cancellations. Have fun!

Me, I’m going snowboarding. Byeeee.

Enjoy the Hockey Action!!

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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