Success in the faceoff circle is a key element in today’s puck possession crazed NHL. The Bruins have the best in Patrice Bergeron, but the Blackhawks made a bold statement when they acquired Arizona center Antoine Vermette in a deadline deal to solidify their status as one of the deepest teams down the middle.
By Joshua Kloke
George Henderson didn’t think it would happen where it did. He’d been a professional cheerleader for years, but the co-ordinated momentum that built through the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver Nov. 15, 1979, was entirely different. “The Wave” has become a staple of large, primarily summertime sporting events and many point to an Oct. 15, 1981 playoff game in Oakland between the Athletics and the New York Yankees as its debut.
Henderson, better known as ‘Krazy George’ and the inventor of the wave, remembers its origins differently.
“It actually started at a Colorado Rockies hockey game,” he said. “I had been doing it there for two years, but there was always such a small crowd that I never had it documented.” Read more
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch lists the San Jose Sharks, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames “and possibly” the St. Louis Blues as teams that could seek goaltending this summer.
Free agency is one reason these clubs could be shopping for depth between the pipes. San Jose’s Antti Niemi, Buffalo’s Anders Lindback, Edmonton’s Viktor Fasth and Calgary’s Karri Ramo are eligible to become unrestricted free agents in July. If they test the market they’ll have to be replaced. Read more
The top-seeded Boston University squad earned a trip to the NCAA Northeast Regional Final with a spirited overtime win against Yale on Friday. San Jose Sharks prospect and right winger Danny O’Regan provided the heroics when he buried a rebound on a shot from the point by top draft prospect Jack Eichel just 7:27 into overtime.
To what standard does Jaromir Jagr, future first-ballot Hall of Famer, hold himself and his peers? Consider what he had to say after his Florida Panthers’ road game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night:
“I don’t think we had the legs. I don’t think our line played very well. It’s our job to score goals for this team. Coach gave us the opportunity to play together. Our line didn’t do a good job the first period, but we got the legs back. We had a few good shifts, and it helped.”
“It was a tough loss in Tampa Bay. I feel like we outplayed them. We just made some tough mistakes that cost us the game. And just, emotionally, I could tell I was tired. We were on such a high note, we played all the games good and just made bad mistakes.”
“I’ve been here 12 games and, in my opinion, we could’ve won all 12.”
Hmm. Not quite the typical response from someone whose team just won 4-1. Especially when his line scored two goals in 30 seconds, including the game winner. But that never-satisfied mentality has made Jagr the legend he is today. Tuesday’s crushing loss stays with him more than Thursday’s win. A poor first period overshadows a dominant second period. And the hunger to be better inspires those trademark late-night workouts of his.
In a discussion with a GM recently, this is how he described Connor McDavid: “When you draft a guy, you hope that maybe someday he’s going to be an all-star. You look at this guy and you’re thinking Hall of Fame.”
This is not some crazed fan or a yahoo who calls into sports talk radio. This is a person who makes player personnel decisions for a living and has seen thousands of prospects over the years. And he’s bang-on in his assessment. Read more
A sure sign that a team’s situation is reaching its boiling point is when fights start to break out in practice. That’s exactly what happened this afternoon in Toronto, and from two unlikely combatants.
During Maple Leafs practice Friday afternoon, Phil Kessel and David Booth — they of seven combined NHL scraps — got into a dust up and had to be separated by teammates. Toronto is in the midst of a seven-game slide, and there’s little doubt the fight was nothing more than frustration boiling over in Toronto. Footage of the wrestling match between the two surfaced thanks to Toronto’s Global News: Read more