NHL: January 2023

How far downhill has the Winter Classic gone? Rather than being on National television, it’s on TNT and the same usual suspects. Get your credit cards out to buy yet another limited jersey if you’re a Bruins or Pens fan, but otherwise a yawn. Bell Biv DeVoe to sing the national anthem? Is this 1992?

At least the matchup should be decent and I definitely didn’t think the Bruins would be this good this season.

I hope the rumours of Kraken vs Golden Knights for next year is true, be nice to see someone else besides the same 6 teams and moving to out west will be good too.

Golden Knights vs Avalanche tonight should be more interesting and I wish that was the Winter Classic instead

Vegas Golden Knights vs Seattle Kraken confirmed as 2024 Winter Classic in Seattle.

Gotta say, this peeks my interest and I’d consider attending.

Interesting, Jakub Vrana returns from the player assistance program and immediately gets put on waivers? I would have thought he’d be given time to show improvement post treatment.

Well, it is the Dope, so:

should be “piques” :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m guessing they just made a switch decision to quickly get his skating back in the minors before heading back up again. (heh, granted he’ll earn the promotion)

Not NHL, but almost urgent: there’s a new Connor on the horizon.
Canadian 18 year-old Connor Bedard is essentially breaking almost every record in the World Juniors right now, scoring some very pretty goals.
Our next generational player.

ETA: Meanwhile the other Connor has the most goals and assists right now.

Which he still needs to do considering his first three games back with Grand Rapids hasn’t registered a point, with a minus 5 rating.
Derek Lalonde made the right decision.

Good news for the Caps as they get both Backstrom and Wilson back.

Blackhawks beat the slumping Avalanche, definitely didn’t have that on my bingo card.

The Chicago Blackhawks:: How bad are we?! :pensive:

There are some really bad teams in the NHL now just salivating over Connor Bedard. The Hawks would love him to step in as fresh blood while the Toews/Kane era ends.

Of course, maybe the Yotes get him and give us a reason to actually pay attention to the team.

Yet another injury for the Golden Knights as Mark Stone is now week to week. They’ve done well with all the injuries they’ve had, although Logan Thompson has come back down to Earth.

Well, the Pens lost grr, but It’s Friday the 13th…and Jason Zucker getting into a fight with Brenden Dillon was rather appropriate.

Not your usual hockey story.

Screw your religion, Proverov. It’s 2023.

Torts:

Wow, true to himself. So super-ultra blown away by such steely resolve.
Not only didn’t bench him but gave him a game-high 22:45 in ice time.

Such bad news for Max Pacioretty

Ovechkin out tonight for the Caps against the Golden Knights. I’ve had my eye on this game.

Well it won’t be the Vancouver Canucks who get him, I tell you what. They have what I call “The Curse of the Blue Uniforms” where they play terribly until they are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and then all of sudden become the best damn team in the league so as to lose at losing by winning (because they are too dignified to tank). Seriously, I almost started a thread on how and why this team is so absurdly bad. The coach Bruce Boudreau was having songs sung about him (“Bruce, There It Is!” which he apparently hated) last season but now he’s on the verge of being canned because the team forgot how to play hockey again. I swear to all gods great and small, if there was no salary cap and this team had infinite money and the first, second and third round draft picks they could not buy a win at any price. Instead, they’ll make terrible trades where they end up paying years of salary to players on other teams, they’ll draft normally talented players who will turn into potatoes as soon as they put the jersey on and they’ll end up being about 57th in the draft lottery even if they have the highest chance of winning it.

Indeed, the Canucks are in a boatload of trouble, and I’m foreseeing not much room for improvement in the future. My other team, the Flyers, could be in even crummier straights. With Van. I hope they at east hang on to Bear and Kuzmenko.
Well, let’s see how Rick does, I guess…
https://www.dailyfaceoff.com/news/report-vancouver-canucks-to-hire-rick-tocchet-as-new-head-coach

ETA:

I like this vieled quote, from the second-best winning percentage coach (after Scotty Bowman):

(Boudreau had not been officially replaced yet by Tocchet at the time of writing, but yeah, it’ll happen)

Looks like it’s official:

As someone who follows the current worst team in the NHL (the Blue Jackets), I’ve gotten tired of Columbus sportswriters urging the team to tank.*

Of all the teams who’ve gotten multiple #1 picks since 2010 (Edmonton 4, Buffalo 2, New Jersey 2), none have enjoyed marked playoff success and certainly none have won a Stanley Cup in that time. Being really shitty and lucking into a “generational” player is not a winning formula.

*they don’t need encouragement in that regard anyway.

So this means that (from what I have read) the Canucks are now paying salary to three coaches who aren’t with the team any longer and they have replaced a good coach with a bum who seems to have gotten the job because he’s friends with someone high up in the organization. And the new coach has a lucrative deal for three years which will pay the dude more than he used to make actually playing hockey.

Despite my earlier rant about how they can’t win for winning or losing, I agree with your philosophy here as it might apply to the Canucks. The problem doesn’t seem to be that they need just one Gretzky-caliber player to backpack them, it’s that they lack defense, offense and any kind of sense of urgency that might lead them in the general direction of victory.

I remember a news story from a few years back where a European player hung around with the Canucks on some hockey exchange program deal and he was astounded by how much partying and drinking they did. I’m also reminded of Zack Kassian who was on a downward spiral in his hockey career and his personal life until he got out of Vancouver and the curse was lifted.