Mike Vellucci, head coach and general manager of the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers, is something of a hockey lifer. He kicked around the minors for over 10 seasons — playing two NHL games with Hartford — before settling in as a coach at the junior level.
Like most hockey lifers, Vellucci has a pretty good sense of humor and knows how to work an audience, both of which were on display during Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Windsor Spitfires:
Awesome. Gotta love a coach that can barely contain his laughter mid-tirade.
2) Vellucci gets to take his routine to the big stage next year. The Whalers will face the London Knights in an OHL game played at Comerica Park as part of the 2013 Winter Classic “Hockeytown Winter Festival.”
In the words of Bart Scott: CAN’T WAIT.
NHL On NBCSN: Blues look to continue playoff push against Blackhawks
NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 season continues on Sunday night when the St. Louis Blues take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. You can catch all of the action on NBCSN or on our Live Stream.
The St. Louis Blues are one of the many teams in the middle of the free-for-all playoff race that is the Western Conference and are in desperate need of wins. They got a huge one on Saturday night by defeating the New York Rangers in overtime, and now they need to come back 24 hours later and try to get another one when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.
The only downside to Saturday’s win is that star winger Vladimir Tarasenko left the game due to an injury.
His status for Sunday is uncertain at this point, but it would obviously be a pretty significant blow to the Blues’ lineup if he is unable to go.
He is the team’s leading goal-scorer (27) and is second in total points with 57, trailing only the 59 that Brayden Schenn has.
The Blues enter the day three points out of a wild card spot in the Western Conference and have a chance to pick up a couple of more points in that race if they can knock off a Blackhawks team that is, if we are being completely honest, going in the tank down the stretch.
After losing to Buffalo on Saturday the Blackhawks are just 8-18-2 in their past 28 games.
This is one of three games that the Blues have remaining with the Blackhawks down the stretch.
St. Louis has been through a pretty tumultuous couple of weeks recently. It is a stretch that included a pretty significant collapse in the standings, a major trade (Paul Stastny), and some significant injuries. But they are still alive in the playoff race, barely, thanks to wins in three of their past four games.
They desperately need another one on Sunday night.
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins, Keith Kinkaid, New Jersey Devils and Curtis McElhinney, Toronto Maple Leafs: Where do we begin on the night of the shutout? Rask didn’t have a particularly busy night making 23 saves, but when you’re facing names like Kucherov and Stamkos, it’s always dangerous. Still, Rask kept rolling along. He is 27-3-2 in his past 32 starts. That’s just silly. … Kinkaid, meanwhile stopped 38 — including 19 in the first period — in a 3-0 win against the Kings for his fourth career shutout. … No Frederik Andersen for Toronto? No problem. McElhinney stepped in and pitched a 33-save performance as the Leafs down the Montreal Canadiens 4-0.
Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues: The Blues defenseman scored twice in regulation and then assisted on Brayden Schenn‘s overtime winner to cap off a three-point night.
Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild: While he didn’t get a shutout, Dubnyk did stop 30 of 31 en route to his 200th career NHL win. The win was also important for the Wild, who moved to within five points of the Winnipeg Jets for second place in the Central Division, and moved five points ahead of the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche for third place.