Last Night’s News 📰
GOAL-VECHKIN: On Saturday, Alexander Ovechkin notched his 20th goal of the season and the 750th in his career. Ovi is one of four players to score at least 20 goals in each of their first 17 seasons, joining Marcel Dionne, Jaromir Jagr, and Mats Sundin.
FOLLOWING GRETZKY’S FOOTSTEPS: Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL, wore special cleats inspired by Wayne Gretzky’s Nike Zoom Air skates from the 1990s for Sunday Night Football. Kelce, a noted fan of the Great One, took part in the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” event to raise money for his charity, 87 & Running.
GUESS WHO’S BACK: For the first time since being injured with a lower-body injury on Oct. 16 and having surgery on Oct. 26, Nikita Kucherov skated with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Kucherov has one goal and three assists in three games this season and is expected to be out for another 2-4 weeks.
CANNED-NUCKS: The Vancouver Canucks dismissed head coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning late on Sunday night. Early reports have come out that Bruce Boudreau will take over as head coach, with the Canucks currently in last place in the Pacific Division with a record of 8-15-2.
Bruce Is Back
On Sunday, Elliotte Friedman reported that the Vancouver Canucks hired Bruce Boudreau as their next head coach, parting ways with Travis Green after four seasons. This is great for the sport, as Boudreau is a solid coach and an even better character around the league.
Let’s take a look at five of the most memorable moments from Boudreau’s 13 seasons behind the bench with the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, and Minnesota Wild.
Game 7 Curse
One thing that will haunt Boudreau for the remainder of his career is his inability to win in Game 7s. Diving into the numbers, he has a record of 1-7 in the series finale as a head coach. He was known for being especially bad in the early days of his career, where he lost six Game 7s in a row on home ice.
Motivational Speech in 2010
If there is anything that can best describe Boudreau, it’s that he cares about his players deeply and is very expressive when he is angry. One of the first instances that got him nationally noticed was his motivational speech to the Washington Capitals. During the second period of an eventual loss to the Florida Panthers in 2010, he dropped 15 f-bombs and made his message very clear that the team looked like they didn’t want to win.
Master of Pre-Game Interviews
The Vancouver media is probably the most excited to see Boudreau in their town, as he’s known for dropping hilarious quotes during his pre-game interviews and press conferences. For example, before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game when Sidney Crosby returned from an injury, the head coach stated, “I really can’t wait. Is Mario dressing for tonight’s game, too?” His sarcasm is unmatched when It comes to active coaches in the league.
Boudreau vs. Roy
Perhaps his most famous incident was his battle against former Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy when Boudreau was still with the Ducks. During a game between the teams on Oct 2, 2013, the two head coaches started pushing the glass between the benches at each other in anger, as their teams were in a scrum in front of the benches.
Vandalizing an NHL Ref’s House
Boudreau shared in an interview on Sportsnet that when he was the head coach of the Capitals, he was so angry at former NHL referee Paul Devorski over a call that was made in Game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers that he vandalized Devorski’s house. At the time, the two were next-door neighbors and Boudreau decided to toilet paper the ref following the double-overtime penalty, which resulted in a Flyers goal on the ensuing power play. Nobody else in the league is as theatric as Boudreau, especially when he is in the heat of the moment.
By the Numbers – Monthly Motown Magic
So far this season, the NHL’s Rookie of the Month award has been planted firmly in the Motor City. Moritz Seider, the Detroit Red Wings’ sixth-overall pick in the 2019 Entry Draft, took home the October honors, while teammate Lucas Raymond, taken fourth in 2020, emerged as the November winner. If you want to go even deeper, Red Wings netminder Alex Nedeljkovic, who already claimed a monthly award last season with the Carolina Hurricanes, has also been a worthy candidate.
Yeah, these young Wings are pretty impressive, and the early returns on Seider and Raymond offer some seriously tantalizing hopes for the future of a franchise accustomed to success. However, the back-to-back accolades don’t just bode well for the future, they mark a pretty rare and incredible achievement in the present too. How rare? Perhaps By the Numbers has the answers!
1 in 20: As in, an NHL squad has had separate back-to-back Rookie of the Months on just one other occasion in the past 20 seasons. In 2016-17, the monthly honor was bestowed upon Toronto Maple Leafs rookies Auston Matthews (December) and Mitch Marner (January). Incredibly, neither Matthews, the eventual Calder Trophy winner, nor Marner even wound up with as many monthly rookie awards that season as their other first-year teammate, William Nylander (October and March).
10: Goals scored by Raymond this season, leading all rookies.
14: Assists registered by Seider this season, also leading all rookies.
57: Number of years since the Red Wings’ organization has had a Calder winner (Roger Crozier, 1964-65). Yes, even Steve Yzerman’s 1983-84 season (39 goals, 48 assists) was only deemed worthy of a second-place finish to the Buffalo Sabres’ Tom Barrasso.
15: Fewer games that it took Detroit to hit the 13-win mark this season than it did last year. The club’s recent five-game win streak has given the Wings 13 wins through 25 games, compared to 2020-21, when they got win No. 13 in their 40th game. It may not be good enough for a postseason return, but it’s certainly a sign that Seider and Raymond have things headed in the right direction.
Holiday parties, family memories, and a night out with friends. Is there a better way to kick off December? Let’s find out, as we take a look at what NHL players and fans were up to over the weekend.
Hockey and the City
Chase Stokes, Carlacia Grant, and Madison Bailey were spotted at Madison Square Garden rooting on the New York Rangers. From the OBX to MSG, the trio was missing Rudy Pankow, Madelyn Cline, and Jonathan Daviss to make it a true Pogue party. With the Rangers on a six-game win streak, there is plenty to celebrate in the Big Apple.
Looks Like Christmas
Filip Forsberg and his fiancé Erin Alvey are in the holiday spirit. The couple was photographed wearing matching candy cane designs, giving off the perfect December aesthetic. It has not been confirmed if this was the Nashville Predators’ holiday party, but if this is a preview of what’s to come, I’d say we are in for a holiday treat.
A Christmas Star
I think it’s safe to say we are all here for Carey Price content. The Canadiens goaltender gave his daughter Liv a boost in putting the star at the top of the Christmas tree, and yes, it is as adorable as you think. Videos have surfaced of him skating in Montreal and, especially during the holiday season, fans can’t show Carey and his family enough love or support.