The Vancouver Canucks moved to within three points of the 2nd wild card spot in the NHL’s Western Conference on Saturday, but for the moment they’re chasing a different team. Combined with Vancouver’s 4-1 victory over Dallas and Vegas’s 5-4 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Golden Knights hopped past the Stars into that playoff position with 76 points.
The Stars have 75, the Canucks 73, and the Winnipeg Jets 72.
By the way, with their 9-5 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, the Edmonton Oilers’ hold on 3rd place in the Pacific Division with 77 points looks a bit tenuous. Things are heating and tightening up. So what the heck …
Let’s Skate! …
It’s been awhile since we cruised around the National Hockey Now network, which is just a crying shame.
Steve Macfarlane of Calgary Hockey Now has more on the 14-goal night in Alberta, with a Dolly Parton reference. The Flames are pretty comfy with their 88 points atop the Pacific Division.
I’m not going to write out all of the national links, not when I have Dan Kingerski of PIttsburgh Hockey Now doing it for us. His click collection includes Hockey Night in Canada’s Jeff Marek describing the hot topic at the NHL GM’s meetings in Florida starting on Monday. It’s the Long Term Injured Reserve (LTIR) scam, for lack of a better word.
NHL team’s want this salary cap circumvention, made famous by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nikita Kucherov last season, fixed.
Dan’s potpourri also includes the tremendous sight of thousands of apples being thrown on the ice at the Washington Capitals game on Saturday. Actually, we’ll let Sammi Silber handle that one at Washington Hockey Now. Nicklas Backstrom had quite a night.
By the way, new Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin will be attending his first NHL GM meetings. He’ll have his old pal, former Pittsburgh Penguins cohort, and current Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin to show him around and introduce him to everybody.
Famous Fight Night
In 1996, the American magazine Sports Illustrated was still riding its height of popularity, best known for its famous annual swimsuit issue. Yet it infamously rarely covered hockey. That’s why when this periodical declared the Colorado Avalanche – Detroit Red Wings rivalry of the mid-1990’s the greatest in sports, it meant something.
That rivalry peaked on March 26th, 1997 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. It’s been written about from both team’s perspectives, I included it in a book from the officials’ perspective, and over the weekend our pals at Detroit Hockey Now handled the 25th anniversary of ‘Fight Night at the Joe’. Brush up with Bob Duff and Nate Brown as they take you back to the hate-filled days of Darren McCarty vs. Claude Lemieux.
And how about Mike Knuble … he was playing in his first ever NHL game. Whew!
Our Vancouver Canucks postgame on Saturday included a sidebar on JT Miller’s inevitable influence on the outcome. Enjoy the perusal, and of course …
Enjoy the Hockey Action !!