Just two days prior to the 2011 Stanley Cup rematch between Boston and Vancouver, former Bruin Mark Recchi expressed regret for saying the Canucks were the most arrogant and hated team he’d ever played against.
“I probably shouldn’t have said anything and I wish I wouldn’t have, but that’s what happened and that’s how the series was,” Recchi told The Province. “People know I love B.C. and Vancouver and it was an unbelievable series but there was a lot of dislike on both sides. And it wouldn’t have been a Stanley Cup final if there wasn’t that much dislike — we really didn’t like each other.”
Recchi made his comments on Boston’s 98.5 the Sports Hub back in November. Since then, the trend of dissing the Canucks on local radio — then catching heat for it, then backing off — has really caught on.
In December, Chicago forward Dave Bolland went on WGN Radio and called Daniel and Henrik Sedin “the sisters” before adding Vancouver “[has] a lot of weirdos there.” When his comments came under scrutiny, Bolland explained they were tongue-in-cheek and that he had the utmost respect for the Sedins and the organization.
After his comments, Recchi also had some ‘splaining to do — mostly trying to justify how he could rank the Canucks as the most hated opponent of his 22-year career.
“There was a lot of passion and fire. We had a tough time in the Tampa series because we couldn’t find people to dislike,” Recchi said. “[The Canucks] were a confident group and they handled themselves that way on the ice. We thrived on it because we didn’t like them because of that. It gave us that little extra motivation.”
Publicly, the Canucks haven’t been as responsive to Recchi as they were to Bolland, though defenseman Kevin Bieksa couldn’t resist throwing in his two cents.
“I just don’t get it,” Bieksa said (back in November). “Isn’t [Recchi] retired? Tell him to go play a round of golf or take a nap.”
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are going to take their rivalry outside on Saturday.
The Flyers visit the Penguins in a Stadium Series clash at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on NBC or online with the NBC Sports Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Goalie nods: Murray, Neuvirth get the call at Heinz Field
Kris Letang won’t play in outdoor game; Schultz game-time decision
NHL On NBC: Penguins, Flyers meet in Stadium Series
Giroux: ‘It’s all business’ between Penguins and Flyers at Heinz Field
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes have made a minor league trade.
The Bolts on Saturday acquired right winger Stefan Fournier from the Coyotes in exchange for right winger Jeremy Morin, who has played 82 career NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fournier stands six-foot-three-inches tall and 226 pounds. He has two goals and four points in 29 games with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the AHL.
Morin, who has spent the majority of his pro career in the Blackhawks organization, has been a productive minor league player over the years. He has nine goals and 21 points in 43 games this season with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
The New York Islanders entered today with a three-game winning streak and holders of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
But yeah, it’s been a disastrous start for the Islanders on Saturday. The Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period, chasing Thomas Greiss from the New York net after he stopped 14 of 17 shots faced.
Jean-Francois Berube entered the game to begin the second period and promptly surrendered a goal to Josh Anderson, who scored his 12th of the season.
Oh, look at that: Another heated melee involving the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings.
You’ll recall a first-period fight fest in a pivotal Pacific Division game between these teams almost one full year ago. On Saturday, in another meeting between these California rivals, the Ducks and Kings were once again at odds.
This latest conflict? Well, Corey Perry was involved. Again. (Last year, order had been restored during a brief scrum before Perry gave an extra shot to a Kings player, resulting in mayhem.)
Perry was called this time around for interference on Anze Kopitar. Kings players, as you might expect, suddenly rushed over before Nate Thompson and Brayden McNabb squared off in the main event.