Each week, we’ll call on the wonderful people of the Internet to vote for the Bertuzzday award of shame. Matt Cooke received our first ever award for his non-suspended hit on Marc Savard. Unfortunately, the stream of dangerous hits continued throughout the past week. Let’s take a look at the list of nominees.
Alex Ovechkin – Obviously, Ovechkin’s hit is causing plenty of debate. You probably know by now that Ovechkin received a 2 game suspension for his check (from behind or from the side? Let’s get a computer to figure it out!) on Brian Campbell. It will be interesting to see if Ovechkin ends up taking the votes here (I imagine there might be some people in our nation’s capital voting for someone else).
Steve Downie – It’s surprising that this situation has been completely overshadowed by Ovechkin-Campbell. Naturally, it would have gotten a lot more buzz if Sidney Crosby ended up being injured, but the video is pretty jarring either way. I was pretty upset about it on Sunday night, for sure.
Edmonton Oilers – Hopefully more Bertuzzday candidates will be “comic relief” choices like this one. The Oilers didn’t do anything morally reprehensible (as far as I know) beyond simply subjecting their fans to such torment. The team is a horrible 1-14-1 in road games since mid-December. If that’s not shameful, I don’t know what is.
Other – Again, here’s your chance to insult me and all the things I stand for. As long as you admit that I have impeccable fashion sense and undeniable class. Of course, you could also name someone who was left out. Try to keep it to evil deeds from the past week, if you can.
Get set for the Heritage Classic with hot dog facts and more
The Winnipeg Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field this afternoon. You can watch it on NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2 or NHL.tv at 3 p.m. ET.
With that in mind, let’s get prepped with super-important stats about unhealthy food, interesting photos and fun facts.
Want to get an in-depth look at the rivalry between the Jets and the Oilers? NHL.com and Sportsnet both have some great retrospectives.
The CBC notes that there was rain ending in the morning but it’s expected to be cloudy. Overall, sounds like a nice climate for an outdoor hockey game. NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika wonders if the sun’s glare might cause some issues.
The Arizona Coyotes received (mostly) good news on Sunday: Mike Smith‘s injury isn’t believed to be “severe,” even if he’s considered week-to-week, according to reporters including TSN’s Darren Dreger.
While Louis Domingue and Justin Peters isn’t the sort of goalie duo that will make shooters think twice about firing the puck, they’re both at least fairly experienced netminders.
(Considering Smith’s struggles with injuries and inconsistency, it’s not surprising that Arizona invested in a little insurance in Peters.)
Domingue is slated to start in net for the Coyotes against the New York Rangers on Sunday. It’s been a bumpy start for him so far, but Arizona has at least a theoretical advantage in that the Rangers played on Saturday.
As far as when Smith will be back? Well here’s a slight idea.
Dave Tippett does not think Mike Smith will be ready for home game vs. Colorado on Oct. 29, but he is not far from getting back on the ice.
Chances are, plenty of hockey fans – and maybe some members of the Colorado Avalanche – were uttering that question after Saturday night.
Well, we know this about Shane Harper: he scored his first two NHL goals at age 27, helping the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.
You can watch both of Harper’s goals in the recap video:
Harper also drew enough ire from the Avalanche to get into a bit of a skirmish following a hit.
So, who is Shane Harper?
For one thing, he’s from Valencia, California and did not go drafted.
His best junior season came in 2009-10, when he scored 42 goals and 80 points for the Everett Silvertips. He’s become quite the seasoned AHL veteran since then, and while his numbers won’t wow you, he did do enough in 2014-15 to maybe turn a head or two. Harper scored 32 goals and 50 points for the Chicago Wolves that season.
You can tell his teammates were happy for him – gentle ribbing and all – when the media asked about his career milestone: