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Hurricanes go penalty kick, not shootout, in latest Storm Surge

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After dusting off the “Storm Surge” with fairly pedestrian post-win celebrations, the Carolina Hurricanes are starting to flex their muscles again.

Following Tuesday’s 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames, the Hurricanes did a fun Halloween-themed bit where they handed out candy. Friday presented one of their best bits yet, though, as the Hurricanes presented a delightful “penalty kick” by Jessica McDonald, star of the North Carolina Courage (who recently became National Women’s Soccer League champions). It was a great moment after the Hurricanes beat the Detroit Red Wings 7-3.

As you can see from the video above, McDonald had to get her penalty kill in a much smaller net than usual, and also had to beat Hurricanes forward Brock McGinn. McDonald nailed it, and added to the Hurricanes run of great sports-themed “Storm Surge” celebrations, as this very much ranks up there with their great basketball-dunking celebration from 2018-19.

In case you want to see that Halloween “Storm Surge” from earlier this week, here it is:

What’s your favorite rendition so far?

MORE:
• Pro Hockey Talk’s Stanley Cup picks.
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Justin Morneau calls Donald Fehr a “perfect union boss”

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Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau provides The Pioneer Press with rave reviews for NHLPA leader Donald Fehr, who ran baseball’s union from 1986 to 2009.

“He’s a great communicator. He’s up-front, he puts it out there — what he thinks is best for the union — and he’s just a great leader,” Morneau said.

“He’s just a perfect union boss, I think.”

Morneau began playing in the big leagues in 2003, so he gained quite a bit of exposure to the way Fehr works.

Like many other onlookers, the British Columbia native (and Vancouver Canucks fan) doesn’t have much of an idea about when pucks will drop again.

“When? I don’t know,” Morneau said. “I’m a fan. It gives me something to do in the winter. Who knows? It’s not good for anybody, I know that.”

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

Alex Ovechkin among stars involved in Sportscenter’s “My Wish” segments

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There are a lot of great opportunities that come with being a superstar like Alex Ovechkin. Making a charitable impact – particularly on children – might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but plenty of athletes do just that. ESPN’s Sportscenter has been running a “My Wish” segment which follows sports stars working with the “Make a Wish” foundation for seven years now and Ovechkin will be featured in one this week.

Ovechkin spent two days with 16-year-old Sam Jacobson, a boy from Idaho who is playing on his high school hockey team despite battling lymphoma. The segment includes a moment when Jacobson got to skate with the Capitals during a March 7 practice and will first air on Thursday, July 20 at 3 p.m. ET.

Here’s a summary from the Capitals’ press release.

Ovechkin spent two days with Sam Jacobson, 16, including after a Capitals practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday, March 7. Jacobson who played on his high school hockey team despite recovering from lymphoma, had his most heartfelt wish come true as he met his hockey idol Ovechkin and skated with him after practice on March 7, 2012, through the Make-A-Wish®. Sam began the day by taking a tour of the practice facility and Caps’ locker room. Inside the players’ locker room, he had his own stall, stocked with hockey equipment donated by Bauer. After he suited up, he ended the day by skating with Ovechkin, Karl Alzner, Jason Chimera and other players following their practice. In addition, Sam attended two Capitals home games and spent some time with Ovechkin following the games in the Capitals locker room.

That’s fantastic, isn’t it?

ESPN reports that 41 athletes will be included in this year’s segments. Lebron James, Kyle Busch, DeSean Jackson, Rory McIlroy, Mark Sanchez and Ovechkin will be featured in this week’s segments. You can check out a video promo here.

(Main photo via ESPN Images.)

Ward on Holtby: “He’s in beast mode”

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It’s common in sports to see people repeat phrases to honor its stars (or shorten their names). It always seemed wrong – if understandable – that LaDainian Tomlinson was called “LT” after Lawrence Taylor owned it. It kinda felt the same way when Game 7 OT hero Joel Ward evoked Marshawn Lynch’s shtick when describing Braden Holtby’s great play during a 4-3 series win.

“He’s been in beast mode,” Ward said.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s a fine phrase, just not the ideal one.

Honestly, with the way he didn’t even react to Rich Peverley’s slash threat, I think I’d evoke the “ice water in veins” cliches. I’ll open the floor for some cool nicknames for Holtby then – give it your best shot.

(Editor’s note: if Ward was somehow making a reference to that so-bad-it-was-good Sega game “Altered Beast,” then I retract any criticisms I just made.)

Here’s video of Ward’s interview:

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Also, check out this clip of Holtby’s own reactions:

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PHT presents: Great moments in “interference”

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“Breaking the fourth wall” is a term in entertainment, but Ryane Clowe’s bizarre puck-touching incident plays like sports’ answer to such a break from the script. Whether it’s a coach, player or even fan, sometimes people “intervene” in events in a way that makes us gasp. Here are some of PHT’s choices for the most famous – and infamous – examples of such moments in sports.

Steve Bartman

How could the notorious Chicago Cubs fan-turned-scapegoat not make such a list? If you have even a vague interest in sports, you know the story. The Cubs were in Game 6 of the NLCS against the Florida Marlins when Bartman reflexively reached for a ball, Moises Alou lost his mind and then Bartman was blamed for the loss, the sagging US economy and Michael Jordan’s time with the Washington Wizards.* You know things are bad when ESPN makes a documentary about your shattered life:

One could say that Bartman is the bizarro Jeffrey Maier, even.

* – Just guessing.

Sal Alosi

From the “far more injurious” department, we have Sal Alosi, former strength and conditioning coach for the New York Jets. On Dec. 13, 2010, he tripped Miami Dolphins player Nolan Carroll and, well, you just have to see it to believe it:

Woody Hayes

Woody Hayes was a legendary college football with a legendarily short fuse. That temper truly boiled over during the 1978 Gator Bowl when he punched Clemson player Charlie Bauman in the throat as head coach at Ohio State.

Bobby Knight, Jim Playfair and other coaches throwing things

OK, this is a slight cheat as most of Bobby Knight’s epic meltdowns seemed to come after or before the whistles so to speak, but are you really going to complain about watching all of these great moments of object-throwing anger? Robbie Ftorek shows up in the video below while Jim Playfair might win the hockey division altogether.

Lenny Randle blows foul ball, A-Rod’s “slap”

Perhaps it’s the 162-game schedule that makes baseball so dominant in the break-from-script storylines. Jesse Spector pointed out two faux paus moments:

First, Lenny Randle attempted to “blow” a fair ball into foul territory (which Jerry Hairston also apparently attempted) in a moment that belonged in “Major League.”

The second example was less slapstick and more mean slap: you may remember Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez slapping a baseball away from Bronson Arroyo during “The Bloody Sock Game.”

Jeff Van Gundy holds on for dear life

The New York Knicks-Miami Heat feud might have been the closest basketball ever came to hockey and the quality of play was about on “Dead Puck Era” levels. (Translation: not good.) On the bright side, all the ugliness had at least a moment of comic relief when Jeff Van Gundy tried to stand up to Alonzo Mourning (who was fighting Larry Johnson) and instead went on the ride of his life.

(H/T to Ben Carroll)

Clowe’s place

So where does Ryane Clowe’s odd interference weigh in? It came during a big moment, yet not in a huge one like many of those events, which frequently happened during the postseason. Still, if you want to judge for yourself, read up on the reactions here and take another look at the video below:

***

Anyway, those are some of the greatest break-the-fourth-wall moments that come to mind. The beauty of a comments section is to fill in the blanks with “How didn’t we think of that?” type entries, so fire away with some of your favorite omissions.