It was just over a week ago when Phoenix Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal tore through the Vancouver Canucks.
Hanzal ran roughshod through the Canucks lineup injuring David Booth, Henrik Sedin, and Mike Santorelli. His high-stick on Booth was bad enough to earn him a fine.
The two teams are set to meet again tonight and Canucks forward Dale Weise says Hanzal had better be prepared for payback as Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun shares.
“We’ll see what happens tomorrow but I think he’s going to have to answer the bell,” said Weise. “Obviously he took a pretty good stab at Hankie, a pretty good stab at Boothie and then Santorelli off the draw. It was tough for us (to immediately react). We saw what he was doing but it’s a tight game and you can’t really go out and get a penalty trying to jump a guy, or trying to engage a guy, and then they score and make it 2-0. So you have to be smart about the way you do it.”
The Canucks are obviously no strangers to the rough stuff lately, whether they want to be part of it or not, and the fact that Henrik Sedin hasn’t been right since that game hasn’t gone unnoticed. Vancouver has enough tough guys in their lineup to make the game worth keeping an eye on.
Security is a major concern going into the Olympic Games in Sochi and the NHL and NHLPA are prepared in case the worst happens.
According to Alan Maki of The Globe And Mail, the NHL and its players will reconsider going to Russia if there is a terrorist strike ahead of the Olympic Games. Maki adds that if there’s a significant attack during the Games, the Canadian men’s team will return home.
The United States has reportedly prepared similar plans to extract any citizens from Russia should problems arise.
Maki hears from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly about the NHL’s participation in the games amid the safety worries.
“I don’t anticipate having to reconsider our decision to participate, but I’m also not in a position of knowing what the next 15 days will bring. We won’t put our athletes in a situation where it is obvious that their participation would subject them to an unreasonable risk of danger.”
Recent events in Russia, including two suicide bombings in Volgograd, have athletes from around the world concerned. American athletes were recently warned by the State Department to not wear American uniforms outside of the Olympic venues.
Earlier today we talked about how the New York Islanders wanted to stop blowing 2-0 leads and close out games. Sure enough, they did neither of those things against the St. Louis Blues this afternoon, but it wasn’t without controversy.
Thomas Vanek scored what he and the Islanders thought was the game-winning goal to salvage the win with 1:15 to go in overtime, only to have it overturned on replay by officials from the NHL War Room in Toronto.
According to the NHL’s Situation Room blog, Vanek kicked the puck past Jaroslav Halak with his left skate. On replay, the only obvious part was that the puck went off Vanek’s skate. Deliberately kicked though? Take a look at the video:
The reaction to the overturned goal around Twitter was strong.
With neither team scoring in the final seconds after the overturned goal, it was off to the shootout where Kevin Shattenkirk completed the Isles collapse beating Kevin Poulin and giving the Blues a 4-3 win.
Of course, how the Islanders got there is part of this story. Again they jumped out to an early 2-0 lead only to have Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko score twice to make it a 2-2 game. Matt Martin put the Isles ahead 3-2 in the third, but T.J. Oshie scored with 27 seconds left in the period to tie it 3-3.
We knew they were having issues finishing games, but that’s rough.