April 30 – Miller, the Future & a Flashback

Thursday’s Tap-in

GIB ME A BREAK: Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson made a TikTok video imitating other goalies, and it’s so funny we can’t even make a joke about it.

CUP RUNNETH OVER: There will be no Calder Cup run for any team this season, as the AHL announced Thursday it would not crown a champion for the second straight season due to pandemic scheduling concerns.

GONNA START C-RYAN: Goalie Ryan Miller, whose 390 wins are the most for any American-born goaltender, announced Thursday he will retire after this season. A Vezina Trophy winner, Miller was also named MVP of the 2010 Olympic games. Cheers to a stellar career!

A Generational Talent Named Connor….Nope, Not That One!

Here’s a name you should get used to hearing: Connor Bedard. The 15-year-old (yes, you read that right) center from North Vancouver, BC, was the first-ever player to be granted exceptional status in the Western Hockey League at his age, and boy, did he take full advantage.

In 15 games played with the WHL’s Regina Pats, Bedard ranks 11th in the league in goals (12), 17th in assists (16), and 10th in points (28). That would be impressive for anyone, let alone a rookie who, in most places, can’t even possess a driver’s license yet. The kicker? Bedard hasn’t played a game in the WHL since Friday, April 9. And he still ranks that high!

Bedard left the WHL to join Team Canada for the 2021 U18 World Hockey Championship, and has continued doing Connor Bedard things. Of course, these clips are not hard to find. Like, not difficult at all.

Bedard’s rookie point-per-game output in the CHL is greater than that of John Tavares, Shane Wright, and — you guessed it — Connor McDavid. It won’t be as long as you think before you see them playing in the same league.

TNT Still Learning This Hockey Thing

Check out the NHL on TNT, the new home of hockey superstars like Alex Ovechkin and… Andrew Ference? No disrespect to the now-retired 16-year league veteran, but a graphic shown on the TNT’s NBA post-game show likely confused the former Edmonton Oilers captain with the club’s current captain, Connor McDavid. You know, the best player in the game who holds a 17-point lead in the scoring race?

To Ference’s credit, the misidentified long-time blue liner absolutely owned the flub, hilariously tweeting, “…and my wife thought I was throwing money away with that Google Ad buy” with a Billy Madison GIF thrown in for good measure.

The real Connor McDavid (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

The graphic gaffe was compounded mere seconds later when the TNT NBA Postgame show crew put Shaquille O’Neal’s, ahem, hockey knowledge to the test. When asked to name three NHL teams, the Big Aristotle nailed his hometown New Jersey Devils, but things then fell apart when he offered up the “California Kings” and suggested “Bruins” when analyst Candace Parker prompted him with “Chicago”.

If you’re an NHL fan whose been leery about how Turner Sports might handle their NHL coverage since the announcement of the new TV deal, TNT’s Wednesday night bungling probably didn’t make you feel any better about what’s to come.

U-18 Men’s World Championship – Preliminary Round

 Germany 1 – 6  Russia |  Sweden 3 – 1   Switzerland

 Czech Republic 1 – 2  United States |  Belarus 6 – 2  Latvia

Learn more about the IIHF U-18 Men’s World Championship here

Flashback Friday

April can be one of the most exciting months in hockey. Teams are fighting to secure a playoff spot, or in some case preparing for a postseason run. Other players make their debut while some announce their retirement. Since the league’s inception in 1917 there have been many memorable moments. Below are some of our favorite happenings from the month of April.

April 16, 1949

The Toronto Maple Leafs completed the sweep of the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup. This will mark the first time in league history that a team won three consecutive years in a row. Could Lord Stanley make a return to Toronto this season?

April 11, 1989

Current Carolina Hurricanes’ Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour made his NHL debut for the St. Louis Blues. He wasted no time and scored his first NHL goal on his first shot. Yes, his first shot in his first NHL game. The Blues went on to beat the Minnesota North Stars, 6-1.

April 17, 1995

While playing for the LA Kings Wayne Gretzky set another record. During a game against the Calgary Flames he notched his 2,500th career point. Four years and one day later on April 18, 1999 he skated in his last NHL game with the New York Rangers. The Great One finished his career with an astounding 2,857 career points

April 20, 2017

2017 was a big year for the Nashville Predators. Before they reached the Stanley Cup Finals, they swept the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. This was their first series sweep in franchise history.