March 17 2014 02:10PM
It's Monday and I didn't have any coffee. Here are some hockey-related things I've thought of today.
March 17 2014 11:28AM
The Tampa Bay Lightning are using Monday night's game against the Vancouver Canucks as an opportunity to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of that time they beat the Calgary Flames to win the Stanley Cup.
Over a handful of members from that squad are expected to be there - including luminaries such as Jassen Cullimore, Ben Clymer, Nolan Pratt, and Tim Taylor - and I'm sure it'll be a big ol' party. Lots of thought was put into this event, and it has been in the works for many a month now.
I'd imagine that the organization was working under the assumption that both John Tortorella and Marty St.Louis - two of the most important pieces of that championship team - would be in the building for the festivities. St.Louis is gone, but it really could've been even more awkward had the Canucks axed their coach amidst all of the rumblings that they were mulling such a decision over as recently as a week ago now.
Regardless, there's a cruel irony here, what with the Vancouver Canucks of all teams being the ones in the building for the night in which the Lightning give away these replica rings to all of their fans. I know what Brad Marchand would do with one of those..
March 16 2014 04:58PM
This was supposed to be a huge showdown: Roberto Luongo against the evil empire that held him captive for the better part of two years. But a pair of floundering franchises whose playoff aspirations are largely extinguished at this point and a noon-on-a-Sunday start went a long way to killing any Luongo-related buzz that there would have been for an otherwise non-notable meeting between the Vancouver Canucks and the Florida Panthers in the middle of March.
Fortunately, Nicklas Jensen continued his strong play, notching his second goal in two games as well as a beautiful shootout winner to help give the Canucks a 4-3 shootout victory. Please take a moment to appreciate Jensen's strong play before I mercilessly assassinate his character, much like I did with Bo Horvat, and read past the jump.
March 14 2014 09:14PM
If there's one thing I remember from the 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks season - other than the Roberto Luongo trade, Ryan Kesler wanting out, Alex Burrows needing 68 games to score his first goal, and Henrik Sedin finally missing a game (..fine, it's a longer list than I initially thought) - it'll be all of the moral victories they took home. If you got points for those sorts of things in the NHL, the Canucks would be right up there in the Presidents' Trophy picture, like the good ol' days.
I bring it up because they managed to rack up another one of 'em on Friday night in Washington, in a game which they lost by a 4-3 score to a mediocre Capitals squad despite a hurried 3rd period comeback. Despite the battle and resolve they showed in the final frame to charge back, all they have to show for their efforts is another loss. That's now 22 losses in their past 29 games, as the team now already has more regulation losses (29) than it has had in any season since '07-'08 (the last time they missed the playoffs).
"Well, you have to be a realist." Those were the ever-so-wise words by philosopher (and now proud owner of an NHL goal) Nicklas Jensen, following a moral victory that failed to get the team any points.
March 14 2014 03:03PM
That picture was sent out by the team's official account earlier today, and as Thomas Drance wrote, it's the perfect allegory for their dreadful season to-date. Well, it's not totally perfect. For that to be the case one of the players would've had to trip over the curb as they tried to hail and a cab, spraining their ankle in the process.
That photo was taken in Washington, DC, with the Canucks in town to take on the Washington Capitals for the second time this season (an October 28th win at home, which included this memorable Sedinery highlight). This is something of a throwaway showdown these days, but it wasn't too long ago that these two teams meeting up would've been all the talk of the NHL. Oh, how the times have changed.
Read on for more about the battle of two teams that just couldn't resist the urge to overreact to some unfortunate playoff outcomes.