The series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will be settled on the ice, but the "who's the better mascot" war will be settle right here, right now.
The series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will be settled on the ice, but the "who's the better mascot" war will be settle right here, right now. It's Blades vs. Youppi!. Who's better?
BIO (full version at bruins.nhl.com): Once, there was a bear -- a very special bear. He loved hockey. Having stumbled upon the game while searching for food late one very cold fall, he noticed a group of people playing a fantastic game with sticks and a puck on a frozen pond. The players, especially the children, glided along the ice, sometimes moving very fast, sometimes tumbling into each other, sometimes celebrating when the puck went into the goal. One of the players, who was a very good hockey player, was very kind to the children, and often stopped to help them with their sticks or with their skate laces or just to laugh. And boy, that nice man could laugh! He wore a snazzy jersey colored Black & Gold. It was decorated with a big B and a number '9' on it and everyone called him 'Chief.' The man named Chief was talking and laughing with the children and playing hockey on the frozen pond, so the bear snuck into the back of Chief's truck. After all, Blades wanted to know where the nice hockey player lived. But Chief was not going to his home; he was going to the Garden for a Boston Bruins game. Oh, what a surprise for the Chief when a large bear jumped out of his truck. But Chief, being the Chief, was not scared and realized that the nice animal was hungry and not a bit scary. So Chief went to the concession stand to get some pizza, some hot dogs, some popcorn and pop for his new friend. While the bear munched, Chief decided that the bear needed a name. So he went to the stands and asked some of the young fans what they should name the bear. One young girl from Winthrop named Jillian Dempsey, who was a hockey player herself, suggested 'Blades.' The Bruins players welcomed their new mascot and gave him his own XXXL jersey, some size 13 wide skates and a new hockey stick. Blades has been a fixture in the Garden ever since.
BIO (full version at canadiens.nhl.com): The 1979 baseball season saw the Montreal Expos welcome a new mascot to the team named Youppi! The lovable orange giant had the honor of throwing out the first pitch of the club’s April 14 home opener in front of 35,654 fans at Olympic Stadium; the Expos then proceeded to beat the Chicago Cubs, 2-0. Youppi! made Tommy Lasorda, Los Angeles Dodgers manager, lose his temper after dancing atop the opposite team’s dugout on the 11th inning. Youppi! was then thrown out of the game by the umpire, becoming the first mascot to ever be ejected from a Major League Baseball game. Not to be outdone, Youppi! later returned and quietly took a nap on top of the Expos dugout. The game ended in the 22nd inning, the longest match in Expos’ history, after Rick Dempsey’s homerun against Dennis Martinez led the Dodgers to a 1-0 win. A sad day for Montreal, Youppi! and his teammates bid farewell to their fans and the city of Montreal, following the re-location of the Expos to Washington, D.C. at the close of the 2004 season. Growing up in Quebec, Youppi! decided to stay home where, for over 30 years, he has made thousands of friends of all ages. As a free agent mascot, he was ecstatic to join the Canadiens, not only because it was an opportunity for him to pursue his role of crowd entertainer in a new home, but mostly because it gave him the chance to reconnect with his numerous friends. Thus, on September 16 2005, Youppi! made history two ways, becoming the first mascot to ever work in two professional sport’s leagues as well as becoming the first official mascot of the Canadiens in 96 years of existence. Time to make the call. Who's the better mascot? Vote below.
The Canucks goaltender made 31 saves in a 4-2 loss at Chicago's United Center on Sunday.
Jonathan Toews’ goal with 1:18 remaining in the third period helped the Chicago Blackhawks double up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Sunday night.
Toews put home the rebound off Richard Panik’s shot at 18:42 of the third period giving Chicago a 3-2 lead. Marian Hossa added his 18th, less than a minute later, into an empty net for the Blackhawks who have now won three straight.
Ryan Miller made 31 saves in the loss – his first regulation loss in 10 starts. Postgame Miller was none too pleased with the quality of the ice at Chicago’s United Center.
On the game winner, Panik's shot deflected off Alex Edler, bounced off the boards and to Toews, who buried his eighth of the season.
“That was the first flat puck all night,” Miller said per The Province. “This ice is the worst ice I’ve ever seen in my career. It was terrible and they’ve got to do something about it."
It was a milestone night for the Blackhawks. In addition to Toews’ seventh career four-point night, defenseman Brian Campbell picked up his 500th career point on Panik’s first period goal, Hossa’s empty netter was his 400th point as a member of the Blackhawks and Corey Crawford made 26 saves for his 200th career victory.
An already depleted Canucks blue line may be without the services of Edler. The veteran defenseman appeared to suffer a right wrist injury during the third period, but did finish the game.
“We have to wait and see, we are getting an update on him,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said per Jon Abbott.
Vancouver is already without defensemen Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Philip Larsen (concussion) and Ben Hutton (hand). Jordan Subban is the lone healthy blue liner on the Canucks active roster.
The Canucks continue their three-game road trip on Wednesday in Colorado.
The Blues face a tough decision with pending UFA defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk -- keep him and try to make a playoff run, or trade him at the deadline.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was the subject last summer of considerable trade speculation. For weeks, there was talk that Blues GM Doug Armstrong was shopping the 27-year-old rearguard, who's eligible this July for unrestricted free agency.
Armstrong apparently set a expensive asking price for the puck-moving blueliner: From the Boston Bruins, both of their first-round picks in the 2016 draft plus right winger David Pastrnak. The Detroit Red Wings, meanwhile, spurned Armstrong's request for promising left winger Dylan Larkin.
Unable to find any takers, Armstrong opted to retain Shattenkirk for this season. The trade chatter eventually faded. But with the March 1 trade deadline less than six weeks away, the rumors are resurfacing.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman wonders if Armstrong might shop Shattenkirk as a rental player to a playoff contender and use the cap savings to address other roster issues. With the Blues carrying Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko as right-shooting defenders, Friedman feels they've got sufficient depth to handle that move.
By peddling Shattenkirk to a playoff contender, the club getting him gets a boost while he bolsters his value in this summer's free-agent market. Friedman acknowledges Armstrong's previous high asking price, but wonders if he might lower it and use the cap savings to bring in something that helps the Blues now.
The Edmonton Oilers were linked to Shattenkirk last summer, but it's believed he was reluctant to go there. Friedman wonders if he'll reconsider joining them in a short-term situation.
TSN's Frank Seravalli also ponders the possibility of Shattenkirk becoming a playoff rental. He notes the Blues aren't as strong as they once were. With the Oilers in playoff position and considered buyers at the trade deadline for the first time in years, Seravalli proposes offering up a conditional first-round pick to the Blues.
Seravalli's colleague Darren Dreger suggests a “trade and extend” scenario could boost Shattenkirk's trade value. In other words, he gets dealt and signs a contract extension with his new club.
Dreger said the Blues defender is willing to consider several options. Among them, the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and even his former club, the Colorado Avalanche.
Of those on Dreger's list, all but the Sharks and Ducks need a top-four defenseman. San Jose is already solid on the right side with Brent Burns and Justin Braun. Anaheim's overstocked with good young defenseman and need scoring depth at left wing.
Pierre LeBrun believes the Blues could entertain offers for Shattenkirk. However, that doesn't mean they're keen to move him.
Trading a pending UFA would be an uncharacteristic move by Armstrong. He usually retains those players to help his club in the post-season, despite the likelihood of losing them for nothing to free agency in the summer.
Still, trading Shattenkirk before the deadline could be worthwhile to bolster a weakness elsewhere. While not as strong as in recent years, the Blues remain a playoff club. A significant move that addresses their weak points could improve their championship hopes.
If Armstrong moves Shattenkirk to a contender for a high draft pick, he could bundle that pick with a prospect and attempt to pry a quality player from a non-playoff club.
The Blues must improve at center, where the depth drops noticeably beyond Paul Stastny. If Armstrong wants a rental player, he could pursue Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes. If his preference is someone with term on his contract, Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche could be an option.
With goaltender Jake Allen struggling of late, perhaps Armstrong could use the freed-up cap room to bring in a reliable starter. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a playoff team, but they could attempt to move Marc-Andre Fleury to protect Matt Murray in June's expansion draft.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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The Canucks forward took a deflected Nikita Tryamkin shot to the back of the head.
Bo Horvat won’t let a few stitches to his head slow him down.
The Canucks forward took a deflected Nikita Tryamkin shot to the back of the head late in the first period of Friday’s 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers.
Horvat briefly left the game, but did return.
"I would assume he was forced out by the (concussion) spotter," said Canucks coach Willie Desjardins postgame. "I would think maybe our medical staff. Whenever you see something like that, you'll check it out, especially if he was bleeding too.
"I think they would want to take a look at him. They took a look at him and he was fine."
Horvat returned to the game in the second period and played another 12:19 over the final 40 minutes.
On Saturday, the team tweeted out a picture of the damage to the back of Horvat’s head, which includes multiple stitches.
“It’s a little sore to touch and put the helmet on right now, but we’re working on getting a little bit of a bigger helmet for my head — if that’s possible — but I’m ready to go,” Horvat told The Province.
“He threw the puck to Trammer (Tryamkin) and by the time I saw it coming high, I just wanted to get out of the way and turned and it nailed me in the back of my head.”
The 21-year-old is expected to be available to the Canucks on Sunday when Vancouver opens a three-game road trip in Chicago.
“I didn’t feel anything with concussion symptoms and I knew I would be back in and playing today,” said Horvat. “And if you can’t get up for a game here — especially with the (U.S.) national anthem — then you shouldn’t be here. We need this one.”
Horvat leads the Canucks with 13 goals and is tied with captain Henrik Sedin for the team lead in points (30) while averaging 17:41 a night in ice time in 47 games this season.