Chicago’s John Scott and Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa amp up the trash talk after Game 4

1 Comment

One guy is an imposing figure on the ice with a penchant for slugging it out with some of the league’s biggest fighters. The other is a skilled defenseman who apparently has a knack for fighting Viktor Stalberg when his team is getting blown out in the playoffs.

Chicago’s John Scott and Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa are known for different things in the NHL, but one thing we didn’t know is that they’re two incredible trash talkers.

Before yesterday’s Game 4 between the teams, we heard about Scott being inserted into the lineup to take the spot of Brent Seabrook. Seabrook was missing the game after feeling banged up after taking a wicked and questionable hit from Raffi Torres. Bieksa’s thoughts on Scott being put in the lineup were awfully blunt.

“When a guy 6-8 challenges you that can’t skate? Usually you say no and you go around him and score,” Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said Sunday morning, when asked about John Scott’s arrival in the Hawks’ lineup. “That’s what usually you do.”

Of course, when you talk big like that it helps to actually back it up. In a 7-2 Chicago win over Vancouver, Bieksa was an immediate goat after Bryan Bickell did to him what Bieksa said forwards do to Scott in scoring the first goal of the game.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

After such an embarrassing display, you’d better believe that  John Scott took immediate notice of that after the game as Jim Jamieson of The White Towel shared.

 “Oh, Bieksa, what a joke. The guy was talking about how I was getting walked wide and then he gets beat wide the first shift of the game. I guess he needs to take skating lessons, not me.”

Jamieson also caught up with Bieksa to see if he had anything further to offer. Consider the table set for Game 5 in a big way.

“I was told when I was a rookie and a guy who wasn’t playing much to not bother the regulars,” said Bieksa. “That’s the advice he should take: Don’t bother the regulars.”

Bieksa might as well have told him to go get his shinebox.

While it’s shaping up that Seabrook may return for Game 5, we’d be liars if we said we weren’t hoping to see Scott out there for one more game just to see if he and Bieksa might get to say hello to each other on the ice instead of off it.

Predators tab Roman Josi as new captain, call him ‘our Roger Federer’

Getty
1 Comment

The Nashville Predators boasted some appealing options to take the torch from Mike Fisher as captain, but really there was only one obvious name: Roman Josi.

Josi officially became the team’s eighth captain on Tuesday. Ryan Ellis appears to be second-in-command as “associate” captain, while they seem interested in spreading the leadership wealth around otherwise:

As captain, Josi will see an increased role on the Predators leadership team, which will also see some new appointments. Defenseman Ryan Ellis has been named as the team’s associate captain, while Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm will all serve as alternate captains. In addition, Pekka Rinne, P.K. Subban and Nick Bonino have all taken positions within the leadership group.

If that’s not a sign that the team is taking this seriously – kind of amusingly so – consider that Ellis and Josi “interviewed” for the position and Peter Laviolette evoked military structures in discussing the decision, as sports teams love to do.

Josi seemed flattered when GM David Poile described him as “our Roger Federer,” a fellow Swiss sports star.

At face value, that’s great, especially since it breaks through the near-corporate-speak that saddles announcements like these.

That said, it’s funny to compare the leader in a team sport to a tennis player, among the most individualistic athletes in all of sport. There aren’t many moments of teamwork beyond doubles and rare events like the Davis Cup.

Overall, it’s another strong decision by the Predators. It’s merely fun to tease them a bit about the cornier aspects.

Awful injury news for Blues’ Bouwmeester, Sanford

Getty
1 Comment

Hockey’s training camps and exhibition games share a lot of similarities, big-picture wise, with other sports.

As much as they’re all about evaluating players trying to make rosters and rule tweaks heading into each season, the “winners” of a pre-season may just be the teams that make it out without any significant injuries. The St. Louis Blues aren’t one of those winners.

The team announced unsettling injury updates for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forward Zach Sanford on Tuesday.

Sanford is expected to miss five-to-six months after undergoing shoulder surgery. That virtually wipes out an important season for a guy who was still trying to stake his claim to a full-time roster spot.

Bouwmeester’s situation is probably more troubling, potentially, as he’s already a key defenseman for the Blues (averaging more than 22 minutes last season, which was a slight decrease from recent work). The team announced that Bouwmeester suffered a fractured ankle and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

As tormenting as day-to-day updates can be, “check back in three weeks” makes for even greater anxiety.

It does open up some opportunities for other players in the Blues organization, for whatever that’s worth.

This news comes shortly after the Ottawa Senators announced that Colin White will miss multiple weeks with a broken wrist.

You almost wonder if we’ll start to see fewer practice updates like these:

Senators’ prospect Colin White out 6-8 weeks with broken wrist

Getty
Leave a comment

Bad news for the Ottawa Senators today.

The club announced Tuesday that prospect center Colin White is out six to eight weeks with a broken left wrist.

The Senators selected White 21st overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. After two years at Boston College, he signed his entry-level deal in April and appeared in two regular season games for Ottawa. He also appeared in a Stanley Cup playoff game, though he only saw 2:39 of ice time.

That’s certainly disappointing for White, who could’ve had a shot to make the big club out of training camp. One of the question marks for Ottawa had been the status of fellow center Derick Brassard, who had offseason shoulder surgery with a recovery timeline of four to five months.

“I come here and worry about myself, do the right things on and off the ice, take care of my body. If I’m playing well and taking care of my game, I’ll fight for a spot,” White told the Ottawa Citizen prior to training camp.

It was a little on the foggy side for Canucks practice in Shanghai

1 Comment

The Vancouver Canucks dealt with some adverse conditions as they hit the ice at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai in preparation for this week’s 2017 NHL China Games exhibition series versus the L.A. Kings.

According to the pictures, it was a little on the foggy side for their practice.

Is that . . . Henrik Sedin in the distance?

The Canucks and Kings face off Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Arena, before traveling to Beijing for Saturday’s game at Wukesong Arena.

The good news? It appears the fog was lifted in time for the Kings’ practice.