An Emotional Tuesday Night in the NHL
Tuesday might have been election day in the United States, but it was Kleenex night in the NHL as there were several tear-jerking emotional ceremonies throughout the NHL. They included two military celebrations in Canada, the honoring of Dale Hawerchuk and the one-of-a-kind Rick Jenneret to the Buffalo Hall of Fame and last and never least the St. Louis Blues honored the memories of Igor Korolev and Pavol Demitra who, as we know all too well, passed away in the Locomotiv Plan Crash.
Along with all that, there are two trades to report.
The Washington Capitals acquired defenseman Tomas Kundratek from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Francois Bouchard.
The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired a fourth- round draft pick in 2012 from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Mark Letestu.
The following are some thoughts about each of the nine games that took place on this emotional NHL Tuesday. Again, they are not recaps. If you want recaps, nhl.com is the place to go. These are my musings, thoughts, one-liners and some sarcasm about the night.
Winnipeg at Buffalo (5-6 OT) – On the night when they added Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jenneret to the Buffalo Hall of Fame (they get a Sabre – coolest honor maybe in all of Sports), the teams didn’t disappoint the already amped crowd. But first, no one is more linked to their fan base than this guy. He’s simulcasted on TV and Radio. When the Sabres score, they replay his call in the building so those in attendance don’t miss what crazy and more importantly FUN thing will come out of his mouth. MAY-DAY MAY-DAY MAY-DAY, Patty Lalalalalalafontaine and of course On THE POWAH PLAY! Plus, having worked with Rick, he’s a great guy as well. He’s as much fun off the air as he portrays on it. As for the game, similar to the Jets-Flyers game this one had back and forth action. Miller’s goaltending should become a concern even though they won in OT on a Vanek tip-in PPG. Enroth has out played him so far and should be given more of a chance. The Jets can score goals but they have almost no defense. At least it makes for fun action.
Florida at Toronto (5-1) No one does ceremonies like the ACC. If only they played as well as the show they put on before games they’d be multiple time Champions. Another emotional, powerful Remembrance Day celebration. I love and wait for it every year. Seeing all the different levels of military from the many different wars and generations is incredible and of course the reading of Flanders Field gets me every time. As for the game, without Reimer they have forgotten how to stop the puck. The Monster and the kid Scrivens were not very good letting three softies. This is the best Panthers team is a long while with castoffs Skille, Strum, Kopecky and Bergenheim all scoring tonight. 15 out of 20 new players and somehow the chemistry is working.
Dallas at Washington (5-2) The enigma that are the Caps. They took a step up in competition tonight and couldn’t handle the pressure. Neuvirth, now the backup, looked rusty in net. Good news, there was a Semin sighting in this one but Ovie was no where to be found. Keep your eye on this one after the comments by Mike Knuble postgame. He ripped the team’s defensive urgency and commitment to winning. Of course, Bruce will take the hit when it’s all said and done but it’s not his fault. As for the Stars, Jamie Benn is the best player you never heard of with 5-13-18. Michael Ryder scored two including a highlight reel goal and my old friend Eric Nystrom goes to Dallas and contributes with his 4th on a beauty. New Ownership in Dallas could keep this team motivated. I’m impressed with a coach I’ve never heard of before he got the job.
Carolina at New Jersey (2-3) Interesting game in that these teams seem like mirror images. Both can’t score, both have defense that is shaky and are looking at goalies that might be going the other way. But this night belonged to Adam Henrique who made up for the 2-2 goal going in off his foot by scoring the winner with under 4 minutes left. That’s two in a row for the kid and three straight for the Devils. So much for putting them in my bottom 5.
Edmonton at Montreal (3-1) The one game of the night I was really looking forward too was a dud. Edmonton wins by scoring 3 goals on 14 shots. The Bulin Wall is healthy, clean and back. A goalie with those kids. Look out playoffs. As for Montreal, they were booed the whole night by the loonies at the Bell Centre. Jack Martin, stick to that right now if I was you, might be the next coach on the electric chair. Although Scott Gomez will come back from injury and score NO goals and laugh on the bench about it. (oh wait.. that’s not helping)
Colorado at Detroit (2-5) New NHL Rule. When the Red Wings loss 6 straight please don’t say Lidstrom looks 41 and old cause you ticked him off and now he’s taking it out on NHL goalies. He scored his 6th goal tonight while the Mule, also criticized for being injured too much, pick up a Hat Trick. How about we just leave them alone and let them sort it out and oh yeah they were also in my bottom 5. Whoops! The Lanche are fun to watch but I don’t know if they have enough to be in the top 8 in a good Western Conference.
Chicago at St. Louis (0-3) I can not tell a lie and quite honestly there is nothing wrong with it but this 32-year old man cried like a baby watching the ceremony before the game to honor Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev. Having personally known several people on that plane, I can feel the Blues and Hawks pain tonight. Great job by both teams here. Brett Hull spoke out Korolev while Walt (Keith Tkachuk) spoke about his old linemate Pav. I was heartbroken watching Igor’s wife and 2 daughters hysterical during the ceremony. As for the game, Hitchy’s first game as Blues coach was a success. A shutout and he made the game boring as usual. Honestly, the Hawks might have taken one night off following that emotional start of the evening. I’ll judge this one as we move on.
Minnesota at Calgary (3-0) Another Remembrance day celebration here with the horns playing taps (always chilling). As for the game, Brent Sutter – would you please lighten up and smile. You are depressing your team. After the Wild jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Jerome Iginla fought Nick Johnson who received a match penalty for head butting Jerome during the fight. Just quite simply here, it’s a matter of when not if Sutter gets fired. The Flames need a major make over.
Nashville at LA Kings (3-4) The Kings picked up a much need win over the struggling Preds. If they can get the solid goaltending needed to advance, the Kings have all the pieces to make a big push for the Cup. They are loaded on the back end with Doughty, Martinez, Johnson and Mitchell. Up front is not too shabby with Kopitar, Richards, Brown, Gagne and Williams. I expect big things from this team, let’s see if they make the jump.