Roberto Luongo, Christian Ehrhoff

The soundtrack to Roberto Luongo’s misery

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Things haven’t been great for Roberto Luongo since the Stanley Cup finals shifted from Vancouver to Boston.

He seems to start off well enough (allowing just one goal in the two first periods), but the wheels really fall off when the second period arrives. Luongo allowed four goals on 14 shots in the second period of Game 3 and two on 12 shots in Game 4. He allowed four more in an embarrassing Game 3 third and one in Game 4 before mercifully being pulled after Rich Peverley scored his second goal of the game.

With a stunning 12 goals allowed in just five periods of play, I couldn’t help but wonder: is the Boston Bruins’ goal song “Kernkraft 400” by Zombie Nation becoming almost as painful for Luongo to hear as “Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratelli’s? That thought process produced a little idea: if you were to put together a mix tape of the goal songs that probably annoy Luongo the most, which songs would make it?

How the songs were determined: Aside from the obvious choices of Boston and Chicago, I took a look at teams Luongo struggled against the most during road games during the last three regular seasons. This list includes the most recent goal songs we know of, but feel free to correct these choices in the comments. Last note: let’s imagine the mix being an “EP” length record rather than an “LP” or double-album.

The soundtrack to Roberto Luongo’s misery

1. “Kernkraft 400” by Zombie Nation (Boston Bruins’ goal song)

Comments about the song: This song earns the rare distinction in which the band name and song title are virtually interchangeable. You may know this song from the movie “Shaun of the Dead” as well.

How the Bruins made the mix: Again, 12 goals in 5 periods on the hockey world’s biggest stage probably imprints the “Oh” chant in Luongo’s skull. He didn’t have much success in Boston in his rare regular season appearances, either.

2. “Bro Hymn” by Pennywise (Anaheim Ducks’ goal song)

Comments: Skip to the 1:30 or so mark of the song to find out why this makes sense as a goal celebration song.  It feels like this song is featured on every skateboarding video game soundtrack ever, doesn’t it?

How the Ducks made the mix: Luongo allowed four goals in one game against Anaheim in 2010-11 and 10 in two games in 08-09. (He didn’t play a road game against the Ducks in 09-10.)

3. “Crowd chant” by Joe Satriani (Minnesota Wild goal song)

Comments: Do you ever wonder how many “jock jams” were conscious attempts to keep making licensing money and which ones came together by blind luck? This song was probably a member of the former group, but let’s be fair: it worked. Satriani makes the bold move of throwing “Whoa’s” in a landscape rife with “Oh’s” and “Yeah’s.”

How the Wild made the mix:  He allowed six goals in one game in Minnesota game this season and 10 in two last season. Only his 08-09 appearance wasn’t so Whoa-full (he only allowed one goal).

4. “Shot down in flames” by AC/DC (Calgary Flames’ goal song)

Comments: This one earns two “finally” ranks: 1) Finally, an AC/DC song and 2) Finally, a shameless pun about the team name.

How the Flames made the mix: Like the Wild, the Flames received more opportunities to face Luongo since they’re in the same division but regularly gave them issues. Luongo allowed five goals in two Calgary games in 10-11, 10 in three in 09-10 and seven in two in 08-09.

5. “I love LA” by Randy Newman (Los Angeles Kings’ goal song)

Comments: Only the most area-specific theme could get Randy Newman playing in the mall metal world of NHL arenas. It’s kind of admirable, really.

How the Kings made the mix: His overall numbers against LA aren’t too awful (16 goals in four games over three seasons), but allowing eight in one game in 09-10 pushes them over the top.

6. “Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratelli’s (Chicago Blackhawks’ goal song)

Comments: I marvel at any non-Blackhawks fan who enjoys this song at this point, but to each his (or her) own.

How the Blackhawks made the mix: You know this already.

Canada advances to World Cup final with 5-3 win over Russia

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Corey Perry #24 of Team Canada is congratulated by his teammate Shea Weber #6 after scoring a third period goal against Team Russia at the semifinal game during the World Cup of Hockey tournament at Air Canada Centre on September 24, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Through two periods on Saturday night it looked as if Sergei Bobrovsky was going to give Russia a real chance to steal their World Cup semifinal game against Canada.

At that point he was still almost single handedly holding off a relentless Canadian offensive zone push and keeping his team in the game.

And then Canada finally kicked the door down in the third period on their way to a 5-3 win to advance to the World Cup final.

Canada will now play the winner of Sunday’s Sweden-Team Europe game in a best-of-three championship series to determine the winner of the tournament. That series will begin on Tuesday night.

Even though the score was tied through two periods on Saturday and the outcome of the game was still very much in doubt, this was still a pretty dominant performance from Canada from start to finish.

They completely shut down the Russian power play (which was abysmal throughout the entire tournament) and spent most of the night playing in the Russian end of the rink. They ended up finishing the game with a commanding 47-34 edge on the shot chart, and had it not been for a spectacular goaltending performance from Bobrovsky this game could have easily been even more lopsided on the scoreboard. Don’t let the five goals against fool you when it comes to Bobrovsky’s performance, either. He really was great.

The final score is simply a testament to just how good this Canadian team is, and how good it was on Saturday in all phases of the game.

They were great defensively, while the top line of Sidney Crosby, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron combined for three more goals in the win, including a highlight reel individual effort from Crosby in the first period to open the scoring.

Corey Perry and John Tavares also added goals for Canada to help them build a 5-2 lead before Artemi Panarin added a goal in the closing seconds for Russia to help make the score look a little closer than the game actually was.

Nikita Kucherov and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for Russia.

Since the start of the 2014 Olympics, Team Canada is now 10-0 in best-on-best tournaments and has outscored its opponents by a 36-9 margin in those games.

It is going to take an incredible effort from either Sweden or Team Europe to beat them two times over the next week.

 

Jets respond to Jacob Trouba’s trade request

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 17: Jacob Trouba #8 of the Winnipeg Jets prepares for a face-off against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on December 17, 2013 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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Word surfaced on Saturday night that Winnipeg Jets restricted free agent defenseman Jacob Trouba has requested a trade from the team so that he can, in his view, reach his full potential as a player.

It did not take long for the Jets to issue a statement responding to the request.

In a statement released by the team, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said that in his view Trouba “still represents an important part of the long-term future” of the club and that they working diligently to resolve the matter.

Here is his full statement, via the Jets:

“We are aware of the statement issued by Kurt Overhardt regarding Jacob Trouba.

“Over the last three seasons, Jacob Trouba has played a key role for the Winnipeg Jets and in our view still represents an important part of the long-term future of our club. As such, any decisions made regarding Jacob Trouba will be made in the best interest of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club.

“As an unsigned player, we cannot compel Jacob to report to training camp at this time. However, we will continue to work diligently to resolve this matter. We will have no further comment on this matter until such time as it is resolved.”

That is pretty much the type of response you should expect from the team given the circumstances, and they can’t just give him away in a trade just because he requested one. He is still an extremely valuable player and getting fair value in return is a must for the Jets.

It is also worth pointing out that these things sometimes have a weird way of playing out. Just this past season we saw two very public trade requests go through without a trade ever being completed when Travis Hamonic requested a move from the New York Islanders for family reasons and Jonathan Drouin had his situation play out with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Drouin situation seemed to be beyond repair on more than one occasion and he not only ended up returning to the team, but also playing a key role for the team in the playoffs. He once again looks like a key building block for their team going forward.

We will see how this situation plays out for Trouba and the Jets.

Jacob Trouba requests trade from Jets

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 16: Jacob Trouba #8 of the Winnipeg Jets in action against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on March 16, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
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While every hockey fan in Canada was focussed on their national team’s World Cup semifinal game against Russia, there was some pretty significant NHL news coming out of Winnipeg.

It was at that point that the agent for Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba announced that his client has requested a trade from the team.

Trouba, the Jets’ first round pick in 2012 (No. 9 overall), is currently unsigned as a restricted free agent.

With NHL training camps starting to get underway, Trouba has informed the Jets he will not attend camp and would like a trade so he can have “the opportunity to reach his potential as a right shot NHL defensemen.”

The statement also mentions that the trade request is not about money.

Here is the complete statement from Trouba’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, via Sportsnet.

“Our client, Jacob Trouba, will not be attending the Winnipeg Jets NHL training camp. Since May, we have been working with the Jets management in an effort to facilitate a trade of Jacob’s rights. Both parties continue to work on this matter.

There has been no negotiation regarding the terms of a contract between our client and the Jets over the course of the last several months. The situation is not about money; it is solely about our client having the opportunity to realize his potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.

To the Jets credit, the club has two outstanding right shot veteran defensemen and our client simply wants the opportunity to have a greater role. As a consequence of the Jets depth on the right side, we believe it is in both parties’ best interest to facilitate a mutually advantageous trade.

Our client has nothing but respect for the people and City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Jets, its fans, management and ownership – our desire to get him moved has everything to do with opportunity. We will continue to work with the Jets in good faith to achieve this end.”

This certainly creates an interesting preseason storyline in the NHL.

Even though a trade request would seem to hurt the Jets’ hand when it comes to negotiating a deal with another team, right shot defensemen are an extremely valuable commodity in the NHL, and it’s not often that a good one that is still only 22 years old becomes available. There should be no shortage of teams lining up looking to acquire his rights. The New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche immediately come to mind as three teams that could definitely use a player like him.

In 211 career games Trouba has scored 23 goals and added 49 assists. He appeared in 81 games for the Jets this past season and logged more than 22 minutes of ice-time per game.

Pavel Datsyuk will not play for Russia vs. Canada

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 22:  Pavel Datsyuk #13 of Russia skates against USA at Ice Palace on May 22, 2016 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images)
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Pavel Datsyuk will not play for Russia on Saturday night against Canada in their  World Cup semifinal game.

Datsyuk has been bothered by a lower body injury that also kept him out of their first round game against Finland. He had been a game-time decision leading up to the game, but did not take the ice for pre-game warmups.

It’s a big loss for Russia because Datsyuk is still their top-line center and had been skating on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Vladimir Tarasenko before the injury. He recorded two assists in his two games for Russia.

Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov will center that line instead.

If Russia does not beat Canada on Saturday we could have very likely seen the last of Datsyuk on a North American hockey rink. Datsyuk decided to leave the NHL to return to Russia after spending 14 years with the Detroit Red Wings during a career that saw him win two Stanley Cups and score 314 goals. He was one of the best two-way players in the NHL during his career and one of the best ever

The winner of Saturday’s game will play the winner of Sunday’s Sweden-Team Europe semifinal in a best of three championship series.