Simmer’s Skate: Canucks Calls, Coach Canned, Connor Crowned
Alliteration anyone? We begin with a mild recap of our Vancouver Canucks Roll Calls up until now, with a dandy defenceman coming up later today.
Check out season recaps and future prognostications for Brock Boeser, JT Miller, and Thatcher Demko.
In case you went to bed early and didn’t hear, the Vancouver Canucks Pacific Division brethren and the lone remaining Canada-based team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers, got bounced Monday night with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Game-4 of a four-game sweep in the Western Conference Final.
Artturi Lehkonen, who sent the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final last year with an overtime goal in Game-6 of their Semi-Final against the Vegas Golden Knights, did it again at the 1:19 mark of overtime, cashing in on a rebound from his own tip, off a point shot from Cale Makar.
The Avalanche will face the winner of the Eastern Conference Final between the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, a series the Broadway Blueshirts presently lead 2-games-to-1.
The Habs remain the most recent Canadian franchise to win the Stanley Cup, a victory that came back in 1993. (Who coached the Habs that year? Answer at the bottom of the page)
It was a hell of a run in Boston for now ex-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. The journeyman bench boss who made stops in the ECHL, the old International Hockey League (IHL), and the AHL, never quite got over the ultimate hump in Beantown, losing the Stanley Cup Final to the St. Louis Blues in 2019 and otherwise failing to get past the second round in five other playoff seasons.
He won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach-of-the-year in 2020, a season that ended when the Bruins got bounced in Round-2 by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Lightning.
Boston Hockey Now has three ‘under-the-radar’ candidates to take over the Bruins.
Connor Gets Bynged
Left wing Kyle Connor of the Winnipeg Jets beat out co-finalists Jaccob Slavin of the Carolina Hurricanes and captain Jared Spurgeon of the Minnesota Wild to win the 2022 Lady Byng Trophy given “annually to the NHL player voted to best combine sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability.” Both the latter two are defencemen.
The NHL’s announcement on their website best summed up his credentials:
Connor, who was assessed two minor penalties in 79 games, led Winnipeg and set NHL career highs in goals (47), assists (46) and points (93) this season. He also led Jets forwards in ice time per game (career-high 21:47) and was 12th in the NHL in takeaways (66).
The 25-year-old Michigander has played five+ seasons in the NHL after being drafted 17th-overall by the Jets in 2015.
Game-4 of the Eastern Conference Final begins a few minutes after 5 pm Pacific time Tuesday evening.
Enjoy the Hockey Action !!
((Answer to question above: Jacques Demers head coached the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in 1993))