I asked Bob Cole how he’d sum up this past weekend in the world of hockey. He said, simply, “
Everything happened.” [Ed. note: I did not actually speak with Bob Cole] Here’s a list of the big stories, the tidbits, and the factoids from the past couple days. Most of which are, at the very least, mildly interesting. — The Canadian Olympic team named its official leadership group: Sidney Crosby gets the ‘C’, while Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber each get an ‘A’. Crosby will be the youngest captain (26) since a 24-year-old Eric Lindros captained the 1998 team in Nagano, Japan. (Lindros was given the ‘C’ on a team that included Wayne Gretzky, Joe Sakic, Ray Bourque, and a bunch of other guys who were more deserving than him.)
— Opinion: Jonathan Toews should be the captain. He was the best player in the 2010 tournament, while Crosby was mostly quiet until the Golden Goal. — Martin St-Louis scored a natural hat trick in the first period on Saturday against the Sharks, then added another goal a period later. It was the first four-goal game by a Lightning player since the first game in the franchise’s history, when Chris Kontos achieved the feat. — St-Louis, 38, became the oldest player in league history to score a hat trick in one period. He also became the second-oldest player to score four goals in a game. Johnny Bucyk did it 24 days older than St-Louis in 1974. — Tampa lost the game 5-4, thanks to Joe Pavelski scoring a natural hat trick of his own. — Opinion: Martin St-Louis is really good at ice hockey. Maybe he should have made Team Canada. — Nazem Kadri’s
dangle on Alexei Emelin was one of the best we’ve seen this season. The best part? Listen to the crowd. At least 10,000 of those fans reacted the same way: “OHHH!!” — After scoring the game-winner against the Habs, James van Riemsdyk imitated P.K. Subban’s logo-tugging goal celebration from earlier in the week against Ottawa. When asked about it afterward, van Riemsdyk said Subban chirped at the Toronto bench and fired them up. — Alex Ovechkin scored this weekend and still sits atop the league with 35 tallies, but he’s gone 18 games without a multi-goal performance. — Year after year, at least one goaltender comes out of nowhere and tears up the league. Cam Talbot won again on Saturday as the Rangers beat Ottawa 4-1. He’s 10-3 and sits first in the league in save percentage and goals-against average. Raise your hand if you called that. (Besides you, Cam Talbot’s mom.) — Steve Mason
signed a three-year extension with the Flyers on Saturday. Mason’s overall numbers are solid, but consider his month-by-month save percentages this season: .928, .938, .899, .881. Surely, that’s enough to frighten Flyers fans. — Carey Price
posed for a photo in Jacques Plante’s equipment. — Opinion: You drop Plante in today’s NHL with those pads and he’d have a GAA of 12.87 and probably be killed by a slapper. A Nathan Gerbe slapper. — Jamie Benn
elbowed Matt Cooke in the head, but somehow avoided disciplinary action (the play didn’t even get him a minor penalty). How? Benn’s elbow is considered “protective and defensive in nature,” as
this video explains. — Capitals 2010 first-rounder Evgeny Kuznetsov
promised he’ll come to the NHL next year, claiming he wouldn’t stay put in the KHL “for $10 or $15 million.” — The Red Wings tied the game late on Saturday against the Kings, but the goal
shouldn’t have counted. Niklas Kronwall’s shot was deflected sky-high and clearly hit the netting before falling back into play and trickling into the net. Because the refs didn’t get a clear look at the puck’s route and the play doesn’t fall under the umbrella of what’s reviewable, the goal counted and the Wings won in a shootout. — Opinion: Because rule changes are often spurred by controversial plays, you can be sure this one will be addressed by GMs at the next possible opportunity. Even baseball, the most old school of sports, has expanded their replay to ensure fair outcomes. The NHL will change replay rules to avoid future embarrassment. — The rink for the upcoming outdoor game in Los Angeles between the Kings and Ducks is being built, and I
still don’t understand how they can make outdoor ice in Los Angeles. — Devan Dubnyk debuted with the Preds on Saturday and he
didn’t have time to get a new helmet. — The Jets won again, moving to 3-0 and outscoring their opponents 13-5 with Paul Maurice behind the bench. — Fittingly, Minnesota native Nate Prosser scored the OT winner Saturday for the Wild to beat the Stars on Hockey Day in Minnesota. — Tampa Bay defenseman Mark Barberio vowed two years ago that he wouldn’t cut his hair until he scored an NHL goal. Sunday, in his 34th NHL game, he scored career goals No. 1 and 2 as the Lightning downed the Hurricanes 5-3. — The Bruins and Hawks faced off Sunday for the first time since Chicago captured the Cup at the TD Bank North Garden in June. Patrick Kane scored the shootout winner. But you’re not surprised, because Kane is masterful in the shootout. Right? Well, not this year. It was Kane’s first shootout goal in 10 attempts this season. Prior to this year he was 29 for 66. Despite the 10% success rate this year, he has the eighth most shootout goals ever. (Brad Boyes leads with 37.) — Jonathan Toews
flung a piece of his broken stick into the crowd, an action that comes with an automatic 10-minute misconduct. — With the win, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville moved into a tie for third place in all-time coaching wins. He’s tied with Dick Irvin at 692 victories. The 55-year-old will never catch Scotty Bowman (1244 wins), but he’ll catch No. 2 on the list, Al Arbour (782).
THE TORTORELLA SECTION — John
‘The Fonz’ Tortorella stole the show Saturday night when he took exception to Bob Hartley’s “truculent” starting lineup. Torts iced his own tough guys in response, leading to a line brawl right off the opening faceoff. After spitting venom at Hartley and the Calgary bench, Tortorella made his way to the Calgary dressing room at intermission and nearly came to blows with a mob of Flames players and staff. Tortorella coached the rest of the game, but all the talk from then on revolved around his blowup and the likely disciplinary fallout.
TSN put together a great video rundown of the events. — After the dust settled, 152 minutes of penalties had been dished out after two seconds had ticked off the game clock. — Tortorella will meet with Senior Executive VP of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell on Monday to face discipline for the incident. A fine and suspension is expected. — You’ve got to feel for Kellan Lain, the Canucks rookie who made his NHL debut Saturday night. He was part of Tortorella’s retaliatory tough-guy starting lineup. Lain, who flew several family members in for his big night, was ejected as a result of the brawl. — Tortorella on the decision to start Lain and inadvertently sully his debut: “That’s my biggest mistake, was putting Lain in that lineup. And I’ll kick myself forever for not having someone else there. But I’d do the same thing again if it came that way.” — Because of the ejections as a result of the brawl, several players logged a ton more ice-time than usual. Dennis Wideman, for instance, played 38:10. — Opinion: Torts is
obviously a good guy with a hot temper, but as his altercations mount, it’s more and more difficult to be a fan of his. If you believe that a person is largely defined by how they handle themselves under pressure, Tortorella doesn’t hold up well. (That link is a must-watch, by the way.
Here it is again.)