Thursday, 6 May 2021

The Hockey Show - Episode 450

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight as Teebz and Jenna reconvene for a chat about the fastest game on ice. There has been some good news this week from a few places, but the obvious topic we have to cover is the Tom Wilson craziness that happened on Monday and Tuesday, and why the NHL's response to the incident was wrong. There's also some Canada West news about the upcoming schedule for the 2021-22 season, and you'll want to hear this because Canada West is making some adjustments to the hockey season this winter. It's a big show, so let's break this down!

Look at this clown. Teebz and Jenna have a discussion about Tom Wilson's antics on the ice on Monday and the fallout of the NHL's response to what happened in that game with examples of similar situations and why the Department of Player Safety missed an opportunity to draw a line in the sand as to what's acceptable behaviour from the players. Beyond that, the two hosts also send out congratulations to Peyton Krebs for his first NHL game and first NHL point, discuss Milan Lucic waiving his no-trade clause for the upcoming expansion draft, chat about Abbotsford officially becoming the new home for Vancouver's AHL franchise, send out some well-wishes to former Manitoba Moose defender Maxime Fortunas who announced his retirement this week, shout-out to Collin Shirley for his ECHL debut and his first professional goal, ridicule the QMJHL for their latest decision, talk about a potential August PWHPA stop coming up, and there's a solid examination of the Canada West hockey season. We cover a lot on tonight's show, so make sure you tune in on one of 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via UMFM.com at 5:30pm CT!

We're still looking to help St. Adolphe so they can bring hockey back in October. The St. Adolphe Community Club has started a crowdfunding effort on Amilia to help raise some money. The cool part is that if you donate $50 or more, not only are you helping St. Adolphe reach their goal so they can make repairs, upgrades, and improvements, but you'll also receive a tax receipt as well! Make sure you check out their website, their Facebook page, and follow both the St. Adolphe Twitter account and Instagram account for all the lastest news on their fundraising efforts and the repairs to the rink!

Where's the best place can you hear tonight's show if you're outside Winnipeg or not near a radio, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, so if you want to stream the show I'd recommend Radio Garden to do that as it works nicely with Safari. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Jenna discuss bad decisions, missed opportunities, first games, first points, last games, new homes, forced moves, upcoming schedules, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the UMFM.com web stream!

PODCAST: May 6, 2021: Episode 450

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Nice Guys Don't Finish Last

It's hard not to like Marc-Andre Fleury. The guy just seems to be one of the nicest guys to ever have played in the NHL, and he seems to truly appreciate the effort that people take when it comes to honouring him. I know there are hockey teams who have been beaten by Fleury in big games who may feel differently about Fleury the hockey netminder, but the man inside the mask seems truly down-to-earth while being a ton of fun when it comes to his personality. Fleury is the kind of person we need more of in professional sports, so seeing him pick up a new honour for his work only makes his win tonight that much better. And he'll be the last guy to point at his own stats rather than crediting the teams in front him for helping him achieve this honour.

Fleury started the evening tied with Roberto Luongo at 489 wins in his career as a goaltender in the NHL, and, with an Alex Pietrangelo game-winning goal in the 3-2 Vegas win, Fleury ended the evening with 490 wins to move into sole possession of third-place all-time in wins for an NHL goaltender. He still trails second-place Patrick Roy by 61 wins and Martin Brodeur's 691 wins seems untouchable based on Fleury's age, but for Marc-Andre Fleury to be among names like Brodeur, Roy, Luongo, and Belfour proves that he's one of the best to ever have tied the pads onto his legs.

Again, Fleury would be the first to credit his teammates for helping him earn that number. 375 of his 490 wins happened over 13 seasons with the Penguins, and it's only gotten better since joining the Vegas Golden Knights as he's averaged 29 wins per season in his four seasons in the Nevada desert. He's played in Winter Classics, Stanley Cup Finals, and a host of other big games for the Penguins and Golden Knights, and he's never lost that trademark smile of his despite the ups and downs of his NHL career.

"He's always there for his friends, his family," Sidney Crosby told William Ramirez of Knights On Ice. "You can talk to him about anything, whether it's hockey or life in general, I think he's just an easy guy to talk to.

"He really, genuinely cares about every single guy, whether you're a first-year player or you've played with him for multiple years, he just wants the team to win."

Winning is something he's done often as his numbers show despite his abilities often being questioned after stumbling in one playoff game or "looking off" in the regular season. Through it all, though, Fleury never went to the media and demanded that he start nor did he throw a tantrum when being told he was being relegated to the back-up role. He quietly voiced his unhappiness with the decision, but remained a team-first guy.

"Certainly he was disappointed that he wasn't starting in the next series after playing so well in the first two rounds," then-Penguins GM Jim Rutherford told Sports Illustrated's Matt Larkin about Matt Murray taking over for Fleury in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. "Quietly, he said that, but certainly not to the point where he was creating any issues. He's the best team player in pro sports the way he's handled everything here."

It's not often one finds a professional athlete whose humility might be better than his athletic ability, but it's pretty obvious that Marc-Andre Fleury is quietly confident in his abilities even when doubters are screaming the opposite. However, the likeable netminder isn't naive as he told Larkin that he was aware of who was ahead of him on the all-time wins list back in 2018 when he moved to Vegas.

"Yeah, I took a look at it," he said. "It's pretty cool. I've been lucky to play with a lot of good players and win some games. I want to keep winning, not to get up there, not to get No. 3. I just want to win so our team's successful, to get in the playoffs and have success in the playoffs. That's what matters."

Here's a guy whose greatness is being acknowledged with his body of work and statistics in the NHL, and he's deflecting it back to team success and winning as a team. This is why Marc-Andre Fleury is so well-liked by players, coaches, management, and staff in the NHL - he's never made it about himself when it comes to success.

It's refreshing to read just how humble Marc-Andre Fleury is as a player and person, but I'm going to buck the trend here and celebrate what Fleury accomplished tonight because 490 wins at the NHL level is mighty impressive. Congratulations, Marc-Andre, on all of your success that has come through a lot of team success, and I wish you many more wins in the future.

Honestly, it sincerely couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Until next time, keep yout sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

May The Fourth

According to the calendar, it's May 4 today which means it's a big day if you're a Star Wars fan. Personally, the three movies that were made in the 1970s and early-1980s were good enough to stand on their own over the course of time, but my feelings on every movie that has spawned since The Return of the Jedi aren't important here. What is important is that we have a little fun today with some Star Wars-inspired creativity on behalf of Canada West and the great hockey programs seen there.

One of the great things that the Star Wars franchise does in every movie is each movie leading off with the iconic music and text setup of where the story begins. You know exactly what you're getting into in terms of the story, and the music sets the stage for what you're about to see on the screen. Before we get going too far here, though, I should lay down a disclaimer and say I own none of this, and that all rights to everything Star Wars belongs to the Walt Disney Company.

In disclaiming that, what if we made a scrolling text introduction like we see in Star Wars for the upcoming season of Canada West hockey?
How's that for a little "May The Fourth Be With You" fun? Personally, I'm excited for the upcoming season. While we still have a ton of work to do in reducing case numbers across western Canada, the fact that there's real hope and opportunity for a season to begin in October has me fired up for some live hockey after the rinks have sat quiet for far too long.

I had planned to make up all the various logos as Canada West teams before realizing that there aren't good examples for a handful of teams. For example, there were no dinosaur logos in Star Wars, so the Dinos would have needed a lot of creative liberties to exist. Instead, I opted for the scrolling text and the iconic music to get us ready for another Canada West season!

Besides, when you have Baby Yoda as a fan, you already have an edge on every other team!
Until next time, may the Force be with you!

Monday, 3 May 2021

All The Highlights A Blog Can Handle

It's not often that I post video highlights two days in a row, but you know a goalie goal will always get a video clip out of me. Today, though, we don't have a goalie goal to see. Instead, we have a couple of other fantastic moments that should be seen because they warrant a little recognition! There are some good stories that need to be shared that happened over the last 24-hour period, and there's one rather ugly incident that should have a player sitting out for a long, long time. We'll look at all of that today using video clips!

The First Of Many

I had mentioned on Friday that former University of Saskatchewan sniper Collin Shirley had signed with the ECHL's Allen Americans and appeared in their game that night where he recorded just two minutes in penalties. I had mentioned that I hoped Collin would have success with Allen, and it seems he's fitting right in based on this highlight he produced last night!
We saw Collin Shirley score a pile of goals in Canada West like that where he gained a head of steam before showing his soft hands to light the lamp! Shirley's first ECHL and first-ever professional goal comes at the 1:11 mark of the first period where he scored, unassisted, on Wichita Thunder goaltender Hayden Lavigne on May 2, 2021! How cool is that?

While Shirley didn't factor into any additional scoring or penalties in this game, he's now 2-0 with the Americans as they downed the Thunder by a 4-3 score in overtime in this game, moving the Americans to within five points of second-place Wichita with three games in-hand. With the conference being decided by points percentage thanks to Fort Wayne's lack of games played, Allen can make up some ground on Wichita as they welcome the 25-24-8 Tulsa Oilers to Allen, Texas on Wednesday before meeting with Wichita again on Thursday.

Those two wins would move Allen into second-place in the conference based on points percentage, so it's a big week for Collin Shirley and the Americans in trying to earn a better playoff seeding. HBIC will be cheering for the Americans on both days! Congratulations, Collin, on scoring your first professional goal!

The Solo Lap

Peyton Krebs has been an impressive player with the WHL's Winnipeg Ice in his time with the club, and his short stint with the Henderson Silver Knights showed that he wasn't going to be intimidated in moving up to a higher level of hockey. He recorded one goal and four assists in five games with the Silver Knights, so the point-per-game-in-the-AHL Krebs looked like he had a bright future ahead of him.

With the WHL gearing back up, however, he had to be returned to the Winnipeg Ice due to the AHL-CHL agreement for players under the age of 20. Krebs came back, though, and showed his true professionalism by playing lights-out hockey, scoring 13 goals and adding 30 helpers in just 24 games! In some games, he truly was a man playing amongst boys!

The WHL season has come to a close, though, and the Vegas Golden Knights wanted a closer peek at their first-round pick from 2019, so they called him up and he played in tonight's game between the Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild! Here's Krebs taking the solo lap as the rookie as per tradition in the NHL!
Gotta love how Krebs went out on the ice and got down to business! We weren't done with Krebs yet, though, because the rookie lap is one thing, but how about scoring your first point in your very first NHL game? Krebs can claim to be a point-per-game player in both the AHL and the NHL now because he got in on the scoring in today's game!
That is a big-league pass from Krebs as he goes cross-ice to hit Alex Tuch in flight, and Tuch finishes off the play with a beauty of a shot under the bar to give Krebs his first NHL point! Officially, the play sees Tuch score his 18th goal of the season from Peyton Krebs and Nicolas Roy at 12:20 of the first period as Krebs has a new puck for his mantle!

With Vegas and Minnesota meeting again on Wednesday, might be we see a Peyton Krebs goal that night? HBIC will be watching! Congratulations, Peyton, on your successful NHL debut!

Ten Games

Tom Wilson has been suspended on five separate occasions for spans of two games, four games, three games, twenty games, and seven games for extremely questionable hits on rather defenceless players. If you're reading this and the first thing that pops into your head is "But Teebz...", feel free to launch your internet-enabled device out a window. He's likely going to be suspended again.

Tom Wilson lost his mind tonight against the New York Rangers, and this one should cost him in a rather substantial way. I'm not talking a handful of games; rather, this one should require him to get anger management training before he can return to the ice. Here's the video, and I'll run down the stupidity below.
Can I just say I hate Craig Laughlin's broadcasting? Outside of Jack Edwards on the Bruins' broadcasts, this guy is the biggest homer on the broadcasting circuit. That fact aside, here's a breakdown of what is seen on the video above:
  • Pavel Buchnevich falls to the ice in the crease where Wilson punches him once clearly in the back before Wilson is tackled by Ryan Strome to prevent Wilson from punching Buchnevich.
  • As more players pile on, Wilson gets free and throws a fairly weak punch at Strome who is at the bottom of the pile.
  • Artemi Panarin pulls Wilson off the pile which seemingly angers Wilson. Trevor Van Riemsdyk joins the fray as Buchnevich also re-engages while Adam Fox is trying to play peacekeeper in the middle of it all.
  • Brendan Dillon and Mika Zibanejad join the dance, and that allows Wilson and Panarin to break off the scrum.
  • It's at this point where Tom Wilson throws Panarin to the ice, driving his helmetless face and head into the ice, before punching Panarin in the face with his gloved fist while Panarin is trying to get up.
  • Panarin gets pushed back down to the ice by Wilson as the two linesmen jump on top of Wilson to try and end his reign of terror on the prone Panarin.
  • Zibanejad tries to get at Wilson as he's being held by the linesmen while Buchnevich does, but Wilson won't let go of Panarin who is trying to get up.
  • Nic Dowd jumps into the mix to try and pull Buchnevich off Wilson.
  • As the scrum begins to break up, Panarin almost gets to Wilson before the stripes skate Wilson out of the middle of the donnybrook. Cooler heads begin to prevail, but the damage has been done.
First off, there was no reason for Wilson to punch Buchnevich after he was already on the ground. That's just asking for trouble when you take a liberty like that, and Wilson had to know that. And since he does know that, he's the instigator for this entire melee through which the NHL's Department of Player Safety will have to sort.

Where this goes off is that Wilson instigated the fracas as I pointed out above, he took a swipe at Ryan Strome who was coming to help the defenceless Buchnevich, and he could have seriously injured Artemi Panarin who had come to help a defenceless Strome. What is it with Tom Wilson taking swipes at players who are defenceless and/or considerably outside his weight class? None of the players he punched in that one-minute highlight are even close to being classified as a roughian, yet Wilson punches three of them while they're down on the ice.

Four games and the entire first round of the playoffs. That's what he should serve. The Capitals have four games remaining in the season, and they're going to make the playoffs where Wilson should be forced to sit for the entire first round. Wilson's pocketbook isn't going to be ruined by the four games, but the Capitals will have to open the playoffs without one of their more relied-upon players.

Of course, the Capitals are 8-0-1 this season without Wilson in the lineup and they're 55-31-10 without him all-time, so perhaps the NHL suspending Wilson for this stupidity we saw tonight is a blessing in disguise for a team looking to win a few games in the playoffs. Regardless of those statistics, Tom Wilson's back to being stupid, and he should pay for that stupidity.

There's all the video from a fun 24-hour period in the hockey world! Congratulations go out to both Collin Shirley and Peyton Krebs for their accomplishments on the ice while Tom Wilson can spend some time wallowing in his own stupidity for the circus act he performed in tonight's game against the Rangers. My hope is that everyone is alright after that encounter, and here's hoping the NHL says "enough's enough" when it comes to those antics.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Goalie Goals Are The Best!

While the image to the left shows a goalie scoring a goal, that's technically not a goalie goal since the goalie won't get credit for scoring it on himself. Instead, it goes to whomever touched the puck last on the opposing team. But today's article isn't about own goals, though, because we've actually seen a goalie goal already this season, and now we have one north of the border as the QMJHL celebrated one on Friday in a playoff game between the Quebec Remparts and the Drummondville Voltigeurs! And the coolest part of the whole thing is that he actually has a tie to U SPORTS hockey!

With Quebec up 3-1 in Game Three of the best-of-five series which they led 2-0 over Drummondville, Drummondville pulled their goaltender with five minutes to play in the third period as they had to find goals to keep this series going. As you might expect, the puck came to Thomas Sigouin, the netminder for the Quebec Remparts, and he did this.
How cool is that? Sigouin made it a 4-1 game for the Remparts, but the night was hardly over. Drummondville would score with 1:33 remaining to make it a 4-2 game before Quebec iced it with 26 seconds to play with their fifth goal of the night.

What you just witnessed, folks, was a little history because Sigouin's goal was the first QMJHL goalie goal to be scored in a playoff game! I don't know if head coach Patrick Roy - yes, THAT Patrick Roy - will do anything special for his goaltender for achieving that little piece of history, but I'm hoping there's a plaque with the puck in commemorating the night. Sure, Quebec eliminated Drummondville on Friday, but we all got to witness a moment of history that can never be erased!

As stated above, there is a U SPORTS tie-in as well as Thomas Sigouin will play hockey for the Concordia Stingers next season! Sigouin, who played his first three seasons with the Sherbrooke Phoenix, will close the book on a four-year QMJHL career with the Remparts after the Phoenix dealt him to Quebec for a third-round pick in the bantam draft in 2022 this past summer. After going 14-9-5 for the Remparts following his three Sherbrooke seasons where he posted a 20-7-2 record, it seems that the Stingers are getting themselves not only a solid puck-stopper, but a guy who can shoot the puck as well!

Congratulations go out to Thomas Sigouin, the first QMJHL to ever score a goal in the playoffs! Here's to many great years with Concordia, and good luck in the rest of the QMJHL playoffs!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!