An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• An absolutely terrific hockey game between the Stars and Hawks was marred by a gruesome injury to Dallas defender Stephane Robidas. Mike Heika does a great job with the game recap as always but, under the pressure of deadline, doesn’t get the description of the incident quite right. The injury may have been compounded by the hard slide into the boards, but from my seat in the press box it was evident it occurred as Robidas was striding through the face-off circle. A freak glide into a rut, perhaps? Either way, tough to see such a ferocious warrior go down–and unimaginable that Dallas’ already-suspect defense can hold together without his considerable presence.
• Ok, so forcing goalies to wear smaller equipment hasn’t exactly had the desired effect of creating more goals. In fact, scoring is at its lowest level since the 2004-05 lockout. So now what?
• If you’ve ever wanted to see Tyler Seguin nude, or Zdeno Chara or Sheldon Souray, for that matter, you’re about to get your chance.
• Not that Washington Capitals video coach Brett Leonhardt doesn’t work hard on most game nights, but this double-duty effort will go down as one of of his most memorable. This is the second time in his “career” that he’s had to don the tools of ignorance under emergency order. Maybe the third time he’ll see more action on the ice than behind a desk.
• Want to know how much money NHL players are really making? CBC offers up this infographic to show what they earn when you combine their salaries with their off-ice side gigs. Side gigs? Hey, a guy has to cover for all that money he’s losing to escrow.
• Take a lesson from the Winnipeg Jets: the key to a successful pregame nap is to take it, you know, before the game starts.
• Even the miraculous return of Zach Parise couldn’t inspire the Minnesota Wild to pull out of their recent tailspin. He made a strong, but accurate assessment of the team’s play after the game: they’re way, way too soft on the puck. Minnesota is too easy to play against right now.
• Now this is how you put together a Gordie Howe hat trick:
• Dave Stubbs has the story of Connie Broden, a Montreal Canadiens legend who owns a Stanley Cup record that will never be broken.
• Rosie DiManno disagrees with my assessment that Rogers needs to keep Don Cherry on board for Hockey Night In Canada … and she offers a suggestion for his replacement. I’ll stick with my take, but I gotta agree–this would be a great choice.
• HBO’s “24/7″ cameras are about to descend on Toronto, but as Mike Harrington notes, the bumbling Maple Leafs aren’t ready for their close-up.
• Here’s one name that won’t be found when Team Canada’s selection camp roster is announced on Monday. A bit surprising, considering he watched last night’s game from the press box.
• They didn’t look the part last night, but according to James Mirtle, the Buffalo Sabres might be the worst team yet in the three-point era.
• With the Rangers and Canucks set to face off again Saturday afternoon, here’s a statistical look at how the two teams match up since swapping coaches.
• George Malik offers up some hot sports opinions on Daniel Alfredsson’s return to Ottawa on Sunday, his first time back since bolting for the Red Wings over the summer.
• Sidney Crosby earned his 700th career point, Marc-Andre Fleury posted another shutout, and what’s the story out of Pittsburgh last night? Tim Peel calling a penalty.
A veteran like Peel doesn’t make this decision on a whim. The rule’s been ignored in virtually every game since Carolina’s Alex Semin was called for it in the preseason, and all of a sudden it deserves a whistle? The order for a crackdown had to come from the league and that’s just brutal.
• The NHL isn’t alone in feeling the wrath of some ex-players lately. The NHL Alumni Association is coming under fire as well. This is a fascinating look at a group that appears to be unraveling at the seams.
• Even if you don’t normally watch curling…you have to watch it for this, don’t you?