In all the breakdowns we’ve done of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers going into the Stanley Cup finals, there’s one debate that seems to really draw the line between the two cities. No, it isn’t the debate between the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and the Chicago deep dish pizza (come on, they’re both delicious), it’s the debate over who honors America/fires up the home team the best way possible.
For years, Chicago has honored America by singing the National Anthem while the hometown fans at the Madhouse on Madison roar, cheer and go out of their mind “bizonkers” as Gary Bettman would say. For those of you doubting how long this has been going on, check out this footage from the All Star Game back in the early 90s at the old Chicago Stadium.
Crazy, right? And I don’t just mean the mullets on some of those fans’ heads either. Thankfully Patrick Kane is representing for them now.
As for the Flyers, they’ve been honoring America by having the long-since departed Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” before games since the mid-1970s. She became the Flyers good luck charm of sorts during the Broad Street Bullies days when she would come out to center ice and sing it back then, but now it’s a duo with a recording of Kate Smith teamed up with the live singing of Lauren Hart and it’s done pretty well.
So, now the question for you lovely readers of Pro Hockey Talk, who does it the best? Obviously we know where Philly and Chicago supporters will decide and some of the readers at NBC Sports have weighed in already.
Roberto Luongo leaves game with apparent injury, as Panthers fall to Penguins
Luongo immediately went down to the ice in pain. A replay from above the net showed Luongo’s right hand getting caught in an awkward position against the post after coming into contact with Sheary as he cut through in front of the crease in pursuit of the puck.
Bob Boughner did not have an update on Roberto Luongo. #FlaPanthers
The injury forced James Reimer off the bench and into the game with the Panthers trailing by a goal. MacKenzie Weegar tied the game for Florida before Sheary scored the eventual winner about eight minutes later, on a night when the Penguins fired 48 shots on the two Panthers goalies.
Luongo gave up three goals on 36 shots before leaving the game. The Panthers now head out on the road. They’ll visit the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Vancouver appeared to take the lead on a Daniel Sedin goal. However, Buffalo coach Phil Housley challenged the play for offside, after replays showed Jake Virtanen may not have had complete control of the puck as he broke in over the blue line.
The following challenge resulted in a brutally long review. For Buffalo, it was also unsuccessful as, surprisingly, officials deemed Virtanen did have control of the puck as he entered the zone. The goal counted, Vancouver took the lead.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the Linesman, NHL Hockey Operations staff confirmed that Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen had possession and control of the puck as he entered the attacking zone prior to the goal. According to Rule 83.1, “a player actually controlling the puck who shall cross the line ahead of the puck shall not be considered ‘off-side,’ provided he had possession and control of the puck prior to his skates crossing the blue line.”
Therefore the original call stands – good goal Vancouver Canucks.
The contract stalemate between the Detroit Red Wings and Andreas Athanasiou is finally over.
On Friday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that the two sides struck a deal that will see the 23-year-old forward back in the lineup, at least for this season. It’s a one-year deal worth $1.387 million.
Due to Detroit’s tight salary cap situation, the deal has not been officially registered with the NHL because general manager Ken Holland needs to free up space in order to fit Athanasiou’s contract.
Athanasiou, who was a restricted free agent this summer, was seeking a two-year deal worth around $2.5 million per season. The Red Wings, meanwhile, were holding firm on a one- or two-year deal carrying a $1.9 million AAV. As the stalemate dragged on, he began practicing with Swiss side HC Lugano, but did not sign a contract. He had until Dec. 1 to make an NHL return in order to be eligible to play this season. The KHL card was played, but as Torey Krug showed, that move is always a clear bluff.
The one-year pact is essentially a “show-me” deal for Athanasiou, who scored 18 goals and recorded 29 points last season. He finished second on the Red Wings in even strength goals (17) in 2016-17 and tallied a pair of overtime winners. A good year and with some salary off the books next summer, he can cash in with a longer-term contract. He’ll once again be an RFA next summer, so Detroit will control his rights, but he’ll have arbitration rights.
According to MLive.com’s Ansar Khan, along with the contract Athanasiou has been promised a minutes bump from the 13:27 he played last season, as well as regular time on both special teams units.
Detroit is off to a 4-3-0 start and averaging 3.14 goals per game. Once Athanasiou arrives from Switzerland and gets up to speed — possibly with an AHL conditioning stint — his presence will certainly be a boost to the Red Wings’ lineup.