August 29 — Tracking Stanley & a Dexter Lineup

Last Night’s News 📰

MERCER ON THE MIC: Sunday saw the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and the Devils made the celebrities feel welcome. Forward Dawson Mercer joined television personality Arthur Kade to interview attendees as they hit the red carpet. 

LONDON’S CALLING: Nazem Kadri made history during his day with the Stanley Cup on Saturday. Born and raised in London, Ontario, Kadri returned home to celebrate the accomplishment with his community, including the Cup’s first-ever trip to a mosque. 

CANADA CRUISES: After controlling the flow of play in a 4-1 victory over Switzerland, Team Canada routed Japan 9-0 in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship. Canada currently leads Group A with a 3-0 record and a plus-15 goal differential, with one game remaining on Tuesday against the U.S.

AMERICAN AMBUSH: Also featured in Group A, the United States dominated Finnland 6-1 on Saturday to remain undefeated, outshooting the Finns 72-16. Goaltender Anni Keisala made 66 saves against the Americans, who have games remaining against Switzerland (Monday, 1:00 p.m. ET) and Canada (Tuesday, 2:00 p.m. ET). 

New Guy in Charge – Part 1

Shout out to the summer of new coaches! All told, 10 NHL teams will start 2022-23 with a different head honcho behind the bench than the one who wrapped up the 2021-22 season. With a changing of the guard impacting roughly one-third of the league, there stands to be a pretty broad range in the level of success and impact that each new guy will bring, to say nothing of the varying expectations faced.

In the first of what will be a two-part feature, here are five of the 10 situations with new head coaches taking the helm (from earliest to most recent hire):

Lane Lambert, New York Islanders

Lane Lambert would probably love to kick off his tenure as an NHL head coach with Johnny Gaudreau or Nazem Kadri in tow, but such is life. He can, however, lean on a roster largely intact from a 2021 Eastern Conference Final berth. The challenge, however, will be returning to that level following a disastrous 2021-22 season that cost Barry Trotz his job.

Bruce Cassidy, Vegas Golden Knights

Bruce Cassidy (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Vegas Golden Knights wasted little time scooping up Bruce Cassidy following his surprise firing by the Boston Bruins. Cassidy’s hire sparked hopes of a rebound from a tough 2021-22 season in Vegas and a return to postseason success—until news broke that Robin Lehner underwent season-ending hip surgery.

John Tortorella, Philadelphia Flyers

John Tortorella’s coaching record has shown that he is an effective motivator who gets relatively quick results, even if his abrasive style tends to have a shelf life. Philadelphia is counting on the first part of that, as they return a veteran-laden roster that has missed the postseason three of the past four years in hopes that Torts can light a fire. 

Pete DeBoer, Dallas Stars

Pete DeBoer, then head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Following a much-maligned campaign in Vegas, it can be easy to forget that Pete DeBoer boasts a remarkable record of leading his teams to the postseason. Before last year’s dud, DeBoer’s teams had made the playoffs six of the past seven years, with the follically challenged veteran coach overseeing a whopping 99 playoff games in that stretch. Dallas should benefit, as the Stars are no stranger to the postseason, with appearances in three of the past four years.

Paul Maurice, Florida Panthers

Florida boasts a marquee offseason addition in Matthew Tkachuk, one last hurrah for Marc and Eric Staal, and a new man behind the bench in Paul Maurice. Challenges for the Panthers include transitioning from Jonathan Huberdeau to Tkachuk and elevating their play in the playoffs. But let’s be honest here, moving to sunny Florida to coach the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners is a pretty plum gig for Maurice.

Where in the World Is the Stanley Cup

Since the Colorado Avalanche beat the Tamp Bay Lightning on June 26 to win the Stanley Cup, the famous trophy has taken quite a journey. Here are a few notable places Lord Stanley’s Cup has visited in the past couple of months.

The Amalie Arena Ice

Immediately following the Avalanche’s Game 6 victory over the Lightning in Tampa Bay, the team took to the ice to celebrate and receive the Cup. Within minutes of being presented with the prestigious trophy, Colorado forward Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, now a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, dropped it on the ice while preparing to pose for the team photo. The fumble left a dent in the trophy but didn’t put a dent in the players’ joyous celebration.

Colorado Avalanche on June 26, hiding the dent. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Coors Field

Stanley’s first public appearance with the Avalanche was at Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies. Before the Rockies’ game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, June 29, Avs players walked onto the field and took turns raising the trophy. Team captain Gabriel Landeskog threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland.

The Wrong House

As is tradition, every player on the Cup-winning team gets a day with the Cup. This year, Stanley has traveled across North America and Europe to the hometowns of Avalanche players and head coach Jared Bednar. However, when it was time for Landeskog, who resides in Denver, to spend a day with the prize, it was delivered to the wrong address. Instead of going to Landeskog’s house, it went to a random person living in the same neighborhood, who got a photo with the trophy before reuniting it with Landeskog. 

A Finnish Sauna

The farthest the Stanley Cup traveled this year was to Finland, as Avalanche forwards Artturi Lehkonen and Mikko Rantanen are natives. Lehkonen spent July 29 with the trophy, taking it to different places in his hometown of Piikkiö, including his childhood home, the local ice rink, and a sauna. He must’ve thought the Cup needed to sweat off some calories after multiple other players ate and drank things out of it.

The London Muslim Mosque

Forward Nazem Kadri, who signed with the Calgary Flames on Aug. 18, got to spend last Saturday with the Stanley Cup, and he brought it to the London Muslim Mosque in London, Ontario, a place of worship that he has attended since he was young. It was a special moment for Kadri and the Muslim community in London and believed to be the first time the Stanley Cup ever visited a mosque.

NHL Starting Lineup – Dexter

Summer is slowly coming to a close, while hockey fans are counting the days until they are back at their home arena cheering on their favorite team. One thing that helps get us through the offseason blues is binge-watching our favorite shows. With hockey at the forefront of our minds, it’s only natural to fantasize about what a starting lineup involving the cast of our favorite TV characters would be. In this segment, we’re focusing on the hit Showtime series “Dexter” starring Michael C. Hall. Let’s get into it.

Goaltender: Angel Batista

As New Jersey Devils fans know, if a team does not have reliable goaltending, there is zero hope for a postseason appearance. A consistent player in the crease is imperative for success, and Angel Batista is by leaps and bounds the most dependable character throughout “Dexter’s” run. He never lets his partner down and is a ride-or-die teammate. Angel is not afraid to take accountability, and with everything on the line, he is the only guy you would want in net.

Defense: Arthur Mitchell & Miguel Prado

Two of the biggest villains in the series would make for one heck of a duo on the blue line. Arthur Mitchell is a veteran with a high (hockey) IQ. Thanks to his smarts, he could easily defend against the league’s best and is always in the right place at the right time, making it difficult for opponents to get around him. Miguel Prado, listed as 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, may not have the wits of his defensive partner, but he plays with a ton of emotion and has no problem laying out some big hits. Opposing players should keep their heads on a swivel with these two.

Left Wing: Dexter Morgan

Dexter Morgan has spent his entire life perfecting his craft. He is underrated among his colleagues, precisely why he is so deadly on the ice. Even though Dexter doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with his center off the ice, they have proved to have chemistry when it’s all on the line. Dexter plays an incredibly sneaky game and gives opposing blueliners a difficult time, as he is always where you least expect him.

Center: James Doakes

James Doakes is a natural leader and has no problem keeping his team focused on their mission. Of course, rumors swirl that he is a locker room cancer, but at the end of the day, his coach appreciates that he will get the job done no matter what obstacles are in the way. Doakes is not afraid to stick up for his teammates, and his overall prowess makes him a danger in all areas of the ice.

Right Wing: Debra Morgan

Debra Morgan is a heart and soul kind of player. She may not be as talented as her teammates, but no one works harder than her. Coaches know Debra gives 100 percent as soon as her line jumps over the boards and will not shy away from getting physical with her opponents. Over the past couple of seasons, she has built a lot of chemistry with Doakes, providing a solid one-two punch in the offensive zone.