Is there anyone more talented yet more frustrating than Marchand?
To be fair to Marchand, he actually appeared to try to get out of the way. Of course, in doing so he drilled Duclair in the head and Duclair subsequently came down very awkwardly on his knee (it folded underneath him).
Marchand was given an interference penalty on the play. Duclair hasn’t returned to the game, understandably.
“Take care of your sticks and they’ll take care of you.”
That’s the advice that Marc Savard stresses to viewers in his YouTube videos where he recreates how various NHL players tape their hockey sticks.
The long-time NHLer, who announced his retirement in January, is obsessed with the finer details of a tape job and was known to retape the sticks of teammates if he was displeased with how they prepared it for games.
There was plenty of interest, and “Taping Twigs with Savvy” was born.
“It’s amazing. We had no idea how this would ever go,” Savard told Pro Hockey Talk on Thursday. “Me and my wife just went upstairs in our game room one night and shot a video and 40,000 viewers later we decided to do another one. Now people are writing in what they want to see.
“It’s just kind of taken off. We’re having a lot of fun with it. We’re going to keep doing it until it runs out of steam, but right now there’s plenty more tape jobs to do so we’re looking forward to it.”
As of Friday, Savard has over 4,500 subscribers to his channel and has made eight videos featuring the tape jobs of current players like Connor McDavid, David Pastrnak and William Nylander, and ex-NHLers like Mario Lemieux and his former New York Rangers teammate Wayne Gretzky. The sticks used are from his personal collection, which were acquired during his career or through connections he still has in the hockey world. The McDavid, for example, he received from Milan Lucic and there’s an incoming John Tavares stick, thanks to Johnny Boychuk.
The increase in popularity has also earned Savard a sponsor in Howie’s Tape, who hopped onboard with the latest installment.
The videos are simple. Savard takes the viewer through every roll of the tape job, from the knob to the shaft to the blade, and explains in detail the how and why of it all. The obsession dates back to his youth street hockey days when he would play goal. It wasn’t odd to find him in the basement painting his pads to get the right look. He’d focus on every aspect of his equipment, and eventually that attention shifted to his sticks, which continued as his hockey career took him to the NHL.
(He’s so passionate about it that he used to tape the sticks of every kid on his son’s hockey team.)
Savard has two simple rules for a great tape job:
• Keep the tape nice and tight — a phrase you’ll hear him say often — as you go around the stick. Make sure there are no crevices or wrinkles.
• When you find yourself with excess tape around the toe, trim it neatly with sharp scissors. That can make or break a tape job, he stresses.
Some of the tape jobs Savard saw up close and in person, like the Gretzky or Phil Kessel. Others are based off what he sees from watching a game on television. He picks up the finer details and is then able to recreate it as close as possible on the sticks in his collection. “I’m not always bang on but I’m definitely always very close if you ask players,” he says.
It’s not just fans who are watching. Players check out Savard’s videos as well, according to some notes he’s received since his first video hit Jan. 29. The entire process is also a family affair. His wife films each episode while his son runs the YouTube channel.
Which ones drive him crazy? For one, David Pastrnak’s — just look at it:
Then there’s McDavid. “His tape job is not that bad it’s just that he continues to do the same tape job throughout the whole game, which is amazing to me how he doesn’t in-between periods to retape it because it starts peeling up at the bottom. I don’t know how he uses it, but he does it.”
When Savard announced his retirement in January, he also announced his desire to get into coaching, with junior hockey being his preferred starting point. There weren’t many gigs available in the middle of the season, so in the meantime he’s entered the world of broadcasting having appeared on Hockey Central at Noon on Sportsnet, Fan590 radio and he has a weekly spot on SirusXM’s The Power Play every Wednesday.
“I’m kind of going in the broadcast direction right now in hoping that something jumps up for me in the coaching area,” he said.
For now, Savard will continue answering requests and tape sticks in the fashion of current and former NHL stars. Maybe down the line he’ll get into other hockey gear-related topics, but he’s happy to share this passion with others and educate players and fans on the dos and don’ts of a fine tape job.
Where do you begin in a game that featured 12 goals, a goalie pulled in the first six minutes of the game, a man scoring a hat trick and two behemoths fighting each other?
Pick your poison, I suppose.
An 8-4 win for the Boston Bruins against the Pittsburgh Penguins produced a number of notable moments in New England on Thursday.
Olli Maatta scored his first of two goals in the game 35 seconds into the first period. At that point, it looked like the Penguins were off to a good start sporting a 1-0 lead. But the nets behind each goaltender took a beating in the first period.
Both teams combined for eight goals, with the Bruins emerging with a 5-3 lead at the first intermission. Boston scored three straight to answer Maatta’s marker and then some, including Rick Nash‘s second goal in as many games wearing the spoked B.
David Krejci built upon his first-period goal to give the Bruins a 6-3 lead 2:16 in the second period. He would later complete his first hat trick in four years at the 14:33 mark.
It wasn’t a kind night for any of the three goalies that featured in the game.
Casey DeSmith didn’t last long in the Penguins crease, allowing three goals on five shots in the first 5:30 of the first period, a solid .400 save percentage. Tristan Jarry relieved DeSmith and got pelted all the same, allowing further five goals, albeit on 33 shots.
Rask started off a little shaky, but found his composure as the game wore on. It wasn’t pretty, allowing four on 26 shots, but the 30-year-old won’t be complaining about his 26th win.
It was the type of game where the video footage likely won’t look great on either side, but Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan will want to spend some time showing his club how poorly they played (other than blocking shots, which the Penguins did 25 times in the game).
Boston had 29 shots on goal through 40 minutes, and the score reflected it. Pittsburgh looked a mess, and they’ve now lost three straight. They sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division and need to stop the bleeding with the New Jersey Devils (who lost on Thursday) hot on their heels.
The Bruins, meanwhile, moved into second place in the Atlantic Division, leapfrogging the Toronto Maple Leafs to sit four points back of the division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins have two games in hand on the Lightning and four on the Maple Leafs.
Fighting in today’s NHL is becoming less and less.
So, when you see a combined 13-feet of NHL behemoths going toe-to-toe, it’s a noteworthy and remarkable occurrence — and a treat.
The tale of the tape included 6-foot-9, 255-pounder in Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara and a 6-foot-7, 255-pounder in Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jamie Oleksiak. Both possess the reach of roughly a country mile.
That’s a whole lotta beef.
Many would say whoever is fighting Chara is a sucker for punishment, but Oleksiak is no slouch. And the 25-year-old held is own against Chara, who is 40.
Chara may have been a bit tired, too.
Zdeno Chara killed the entire penalty, stayed on for another 1:03, then fought Jamie Oleksiak.