Miracle? Japan beats Canada in sledge-hockey

The term “miracle on ice” is thrown around a bit too much these days,
especially with the USA making it to the gold medal game in this year’s
Olympics. This time, I think it’s warranted.

Not enough attention
is given to Paralympics, and sledge-hockey certainly doesn’t get the
attention it deserves. It may not be as fast-paced as ice hockey (how
could it be) but it’s certainly just as exciting. And now we have
another miraculous win on ice, as Japan took down Canada 3-1 to move on
to the gold medal game.

Yes, Japan.

“My head
went blank,” said [Japanese coach Kojin] Nakakita, when asked how he
immediately after the game ended.

“I knew if we played
Canada 1,000 times we were going to lose 999 times. But not this one. We
had a huge loss against the U.S. [6-0 on Tuesday] but we came back very

I’m sure Canada would have loved to take
home another gold medal on home ice, but how great is it that Japan is
the team that knocked them into the bronze medal game?
Unlike…some….I am all for the spread of hockey around the world and
the improvement of the sport in non-traditional markets and countries.
And it’s great to see a country like Japan, where hockey is trying hard
to catch on, be the team that is able to take that next step.

courtesy of Terry Bell, Camwest News Service

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    Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf out with upper body injury

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks awaits a face off against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on April 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. the Ducks defeated the Avalanche 5-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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    Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf was banged up in his team’s overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night and it is bad enough to keep him out of the lineup entirely on Wednesday when they host the Nashville Predators.

    The Ducks announced the news just before puck drop on Wednesday.

    Getzlaf played only 10 minutes on Tuesday night before exiting the game.

    The Ducks are also playing without goaltender Jonathan Bernier who was also injured on Tuesday, resulting in the team calling up Dustin Tokarski for Wednesday’s game. Tokarski will serve as the backup for John Gibson.

    Getzlaf is definitely the bigger loss here for the Ducks on Wednesday, not only because Gibson was likely to start this game anyway, but because Getzlaf is one of their absolute best players.

    Still one of the NHL’s top playmakers, Getzlaf has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in the Ducks’ first seven games. That includes a three assist game against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.


    Video: Pastrnak penalized for illegal check to head

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    Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak has had a busy night on Wednesday.

    After opening the scoring just 10 seconds into their game against the New York Rangers, he might have brought some unwanted attention upon himself when he was given a two-minute minor penalty for an illegal check to the head of Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi in the second period.

    It all happened as Girardi was attempting to knock a puck down out of mid-air when Pastrnak came in with a crushing high hit. Girardi was shaken up as a result of the hit and briefly exited the game before later returning after missing a couple of shifts.

    The Bruins ended up successfully killing the two minute penalty to Pastrnak, but quickly gave up a pair of goals later in the period to allow the Rangers to take a 3-2 lead.

    The next question now is whether or not the NHL’s department of player safety steps in and issues any additional discipline. Any further discipline would seem like a real long-shot at this point.

    Pastrnak still had a skate on the ice at the time of contact with Girardi, and while there was contact with Girardi’s head there was also contact with his chest as well. Girardi also returned to the game, and whether or not there is an injury does play a role into the decision.

    Canadiens win again thanks to another thunderous Shea Weber goal

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 26: Shea Weber #6 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates this game winning powerplay goal at 17:03 of the third period against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on October 26, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  The Canadiens defeated the Islanders 3-2.(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    For the second year in a row the Montreal Canadiens are storming out of the gate to open the season.

    Thanks to their 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night the Canadiens are off to a 6-0-1 start and have the best record in the league through their first seven games.

    Even though Wednesday’s game was only decided by a single goal, it was a particularly strong effort and perhaps one of their best of the young season. The biggest reason the game remained so close for so long was because of the play of Thomas Greiss in the Islanders crease during the second and third periods where Montreal had a commanding edge on the shot chart. This game could have easily shifted heavily in Montreal’s favor, and the fact it did not is a testament to the way Griess played.

    But the star of the night was — once again — Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber as he continued his incredible start with his new team.

    With less than three minutes to play in regulation, Weber broke a 2-2 tie with his third goal of the season on a shot that seems like it was probably close to breaking the sound barrier.

    OK … maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but just look at this thing.

    How do you stop that? Why would you want to get in front of it?

    Weber also assisted on Philip Danault‘s goal earlier in the period. He now has nine points in his first seven games with the Canadiens.

    As we saw a year ago with the Canadiens won their first nine games (and then missed the playoffs) a fast start doesn’t guarantee anything over the course of an 82-game season. But this year’s Canadiens should have something last year’s Canadiens didn’t have over the final five months of the season — Carey Price. These guys might be pretty good.

    Video: Pastrnak scores 10 seconds into game vs. Rangers

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    After getting blown out on Tuesday night and having to go with a rookie goalie making his first career start in New York on Wednesday, the Boston Bruins really needed a strong start against the Rangers.

    That is exactly what they got when David Pastrnak gave them an early lead just 10 seconds into the game when he capitalized on a Nick Holden giveaway.

    The play all started right off the opening faceoff when Holden gave the puck away to Zdeno Chara in the neutral zone. Chara quickly moved it along to Marchand who drew both Rangers defenders leaving Pastrnak wide open for a one-on-one chance against Henrik Lundqvist.

    The result: Pastrnak’s fifth goal of the season and an early 1-0 lead.