May 11 – Progress, Pekka & Canadiens Trivia

Monday’s Moon Shots

PRICE IS RIGHT: Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who has been out since April 19 due to a concussion, is expected back for the playoffs, along with forward Brendan Gallagher. Getting healthy at the right time!

HATS OFF: Ottawa’s Tim Stützle was celebrated by the kids in his neighborhood after recording his first-ever hat trick in an empty arena on Saturday.

BUTT OUT: Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards had some very strong feelings about Islanders forward Leo Komarov’s after-the-whistle shenanigans on David Pastrnak.

PUTIN IT IN THE NET: Russian President Vladimir Putin scored eight goals in a 13-9 victory yesterday, and it certainly, definitely, undoubtedly had NOTHING to do with the defense that stopped playing anytime he had the puck. Good thing it wasn’t sudden death!

CLIMB THE PEKK-ING ORDER: Preds goalie Pekka Rinne recorded his 60th career shutout in Monday’s 5-0 win over the Hurricanes, tying Tom Barrasso for 19th all-time with 369 wins.

Trivia Tuesday

Do You Know Your Montreal Canadiens’ Trivia?

  1. Who was the first Montreal player to have his number retired?
    • Maurice Richard
    • Howie Morenz
    • Jean Béliveau 
    • Guy Lafleur
  2. Ken Dryden is a six time Stanley Cup Champion. What number did he wear?
    • 35
    • 33
    • 31
    • 29
  3. The Habs were founded on December 4, 1909 and are the longest running pro hockey team. What percentage of Stanley Cups has Montreal won?
    • 25%
    • 15%
    • 30%
    • 40%
  4. What was the fastest goal scored to start a playoff game?
    • 4 Seconds
    • 15 Seconds
    • 7 Seconds
    • 12 Seconds
  5. Which Montreal Canadien has his name on the Stanley Cup the most?
    • Larry Robinson
    • Jean Beliveau
    • Henri Richard
    • Maurice Richard

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

History Made

With the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers set to meet in the first round of the NHL Playoffs, Florida’s 4-0 win to close out the regular season would not ordinarily steal a lot of the headlines. Monday, though, was anything but ordinary.

The real story from Tampa Bay’s regular season finale against the Panthers actually comes from the game’s beginning. Three Lightning forwards – Mathieu Joseph, Gemel Smith, and Daniel Walcott – skated to center ice for the opening face-off and made history as what’s believed to be the NHLs first all-Black line to start a game.

On the heels of a Stanley Cup championship, Tampa Bay elected to send out a groundbreaking lineup — fielding the second known all-Black line in pro hockey in recent months. The Ontario Reign, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, sent Quinton Byfield, Akil Thomas, and Devante Smith-Pelley over the boards together back in March.

According to the Reign, that trio represented the first all-Black linemates to take the ice in a professional hockey game since Herb and Ossie Carnegie suited up alongside Manny McIntyre as the “Black Aces” during the late 1940s. That Joseph, Smith, and Walcott took to the ice as members of the reigning Stanley Cup champions only adds to the historical gravitas of the moment.

It is also noteworthy that Jon Cooper’s staff includes two Black coaches — video coach Nigel Kirwan and goaltending coach Frantz Jean. Joseph, a veteran of 163 games with the Lightning and the older brother of Pierre-Olivier Joseph of the Pittsburgh Penguins, credits the club’s progressive coaching staff for the groundbreaking achievement.

Mathieu Joseph, Tampa Bay Lightning (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“It was pretty awesome,” Joseph said after the game. It’s a step in the right direction. You have to thank the coaching staff for that. I don’t know if it was the first time but I was glad to be part of it.”

Monday’s game is not going to be remembered for the final score — or its implications in the win/loss column — because something much bigger happened before any goals were even scored. Yes, the NHL still has work needed to be done to ensure hockey fosters and promotes equality, diversity, and inclusion. We hope Monday’s starting lineup was a sign that the league will continue to embrace that responsibility.

Trivia Answers

  1. Howie Morenz
  2. 29
  3. 25%
  4. 7 Seconds
  5. Jean Beliveau

Click here for more Canadians trivia!