Top’o’the morning to you, dear hockey fans! (Sorry)
It’s Saint Patrick’s Day and you know what that means: novice drinkers making fools of themselves, the questionable misuse of green dye and police officers making their quotas in DUI charges. Oh, let’s not forget getting pinched.
Anyway, with this goofy holiday in mind, it’s not surprising that there are a few quirky news items today. Let’s start the medley off with something that’s not specifically related to the holiday (although, come on, there is Patrick Kane). Here’s the Making Sure We’re Wearing Green edition of Odd Bounces.
First, the Chicago Blackhawks appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” last night. Check out the video:
You know, Kane and Toews have solid comic timing. For hockey players, anyway.
It’s a big tilt between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New Jersey Devils tonight as the Devils can re-claim the Atlantic division lead with a regulation win. The real story, though, is that the Devils are rocking their retro green-white-and-red jerseys for the game. Tom Gulitti of the Fire & Ice blog has the story.
The Devils will wear their vintage red, white and green jerseys Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time since the 1992 preseason.
While wearing the red, white and green from 1982-93 to 1991-92, the Devils compiled a 285-422-93 record (last column all ties). Since changing to the red, white and black they are 742-430-178 (last column ties and OT/shootout losses).
Why was the impish Clancy wearing this jersey? The Leafs were hosting “King Clancy Night.” Clancy was as big a star as Toronto has ever seen. They honored him with the night, the jersey, and a number of stereotypical gifts that would keep any Irish eyes smiling.
Several junior players stepped on to the ice through large potato props. Red Horner emerged from a boxing glove. New York Ranger’s star Bill Cook hid in a shamrock. All the while the Knights of Columbus Minstrel Band played Irish music.
Ah, the good old stereotypical days. Feel free to share other St. Patrick’s Day related hockey memories and other cabbage-scented bits of nostalgia in the comments.
Predators survive Blues’ big late push to win Game 1
The Nashville Predators’ 4-3 Game 1 win against the St. Louis Blues makes it difficult to use “perfect.”
You could get away with using that word, mind you, as the Predators followed up their surprising sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks by going up 1-0 against the Blues in St. Louis. Still, the ride was so bumpy in the third period, it’s probably wiser to focus on the fact that Nashville is unbeaten.
Because, yikes, that third period was a roller coaster for Nashville.
Ultimately, the Predators received a game-winner from an unlikely source in Vernon Fiddler, gaining a 1-0 series edge.
Even so, few will talk about “mystique” after that shaky finish.
For one thing, both Rinne and Jake Allen allowed goals that they’d like to forget. Also, both squads experienced lopsided periods; Nashville dominated shots in the second (15-8) while the Blues almost doubled-up the Preds in the third (11-6).
It was a weird and often wild – sometimes nasty – contest, with the Predators ultimately coming out on top. There’s plenty of intrigue heading into Game 2, which airs on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. (You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App; here’s the livestream link.)
WATCH LIVE: Second round begins with Predators – Blues, Oilers – Ducks
The St. Louis Blues and their fans showed class in how they reacted to Kevin Fiala‘s very, very scary injury during Game 1.
Still, these are two physical Central Division rivals, so you expect to see some nastiness here and there between the Blues and Nashville Predators.
One moment that will likely divide onlookers came when Predators tough guy Austin Watson got a shot in on Vladimir Tarasenko, at least briefly hurting the world-class sniper.
It’s unlikely to be a big deal since Tarasenko seems to be OK, but there may be some debate here. On one hand, there are those who believe Watson got away with a cheap shot; on the other, some seem to imply that there was some embellishment. Maybe it’s even a combination of the two?
Either way, the Predators enter the third period up 3-1, so St. Louis will likely ask Tarasenko to focus on getting revenge by scoring goals.
Blues just have no answer for P.K. Subban right now
In the first round, P.K. Subban was dominant against the Chicago Blackhawks, but mainly if you look at “fancy stats.” There’s nothing wrong with two assists in that sweep, but those aren’t jaw-dropping numbers.
You don’t need to dig deep to see his impact on Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues. A mere glance at the box score – or a chance to see his blistering shot – and you’ll realize that the Nashville Predators defenseman has been a nightmare for Jake Allen & Co. so far on Wednesday.
No bother there. Subban gave the Predators a crucial lift shortly after player resumed following Kevin Fiala‘s horrifying injury, getting that first Predators playoff goal with another booming shot.
Subban managed to draw a slashing penalty on Scottie Upshall and also sent another huge shot to set up a James Neal goal. There’s no mistaking that P.K. has played a huge role in Nashville going up 3-1 so far; the Blues need to find some answers, and fast.
P.K. Subban is unstoppable tonight. 1 goal, 2 primary assists, a drawn call to create a 5-on-3. Holy hell.