Even in a city as passionate about hockey as Montreal, the lockout causing the locals to pass on Canadiens memorabilia, and that hurts shop managers like Santana Enrique.
Enrique has spent 16 years working at Sports Crescent and since the lockout started, he’s been “suffering,” based on what he said in an Ottawa Sun report.
Enrique pays about $12,000 a month in rent for his store recently sold all of $146 worth of goods over the span of five hours.
“It’s worthless without the Canadiens and no hockey,” Enrique said.
“People have stopped buying NHL (gear). They’ve turned to the NFL and to baseball. Hockey, there is nothing. Our store is 70% of hockey (sales) and then other sports. I’m completely depressed. It’s awful.
“This morning, I was quiet. I can’t talk to the customers. I have no energy to talk. No power to beg them to buy. I put the stuff at 50%, they can buy it or leave it. I’m not going to make money at 50% off.”
The longer the lockout goes on, the longer local businesses that have come to rely on hockey will have to be forced to endure until the owners and players agree on a way to divide the reported $3.3 billion in hockey-related revenues.
The two sides are expected to meet on Tuesday, but we’re going to have to wait to see what those talks will even focus on.
The union and owners have largely avoided the key economic issues in their recent discussions, despite NHLPA’s Steve Fehr suggesting that a deal could be done in “six hours” if the two sides were able to come to an understanding on the “major issues.”
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.
The New York Rangers got a big divisional win on Saturday afternoon, but it came at a price.
Captain Ryan McDonagh was knocked out of the game after he took a sucker-punch from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.
McDonagh wasn’t innocent here. He delivered a cross-check to Simmonds’ head moments before the punch.
To watch the entire sequence, click here.
Getting back to the game…
With the Flyers leading 2-1 in the dying moments of the game, defenseman Keith Yandle beat Steve Mason to force overtime.
Philadelphia’s struggles continued in the shootout.
They missed on both their attempts (Sam Gagner and Claude Giroux) while the Rangers converted on both their attempts (Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan).
After the game, both sides addressed the Simmonds/McDonagh incident.
It’ll be interesting to see how the NHL’s Department of Player Safety handles this situation. Both McDonagh and Simmonds are at fault here, but Simmonds’ action caused an injury.
The shootout loss puts an end to Philadelphia’s three-game winning streak. The Flyers are three points behind the Red Wings for the final Wild Card spot in the East.