To be more specific, Cooper explains that Killorn & Co. are worried that the qualifying round winners will end up more “battle-tested.” Can you really blame the Lightning for fearing being caught flat-footed? Such thoughts must give the Lightning flashbacks of that Blue Jackets sweep.
For more details, check out Killorn’s explanation in this post.
“ … I don’t know how competitive the games will be going forward where the teams at the bottom will be playing playoff games right away and [would be] potentially more prepared for the real playoffs,” Killorn said.
Different times, but maybe exciting ones?
If you want insight on how the Lightning and others may handle the return to play, Cooper provided interesting thoughts:
For one thing, Cooper wonders if the experience might be a little like the world championships. Players from different teams likely would be staying in the same hotels, possibly eating in similar areas. If you’re like me, you’re picturing awkward breakfast buffet run-ins between Matthew Tkachuk and Zack Kassian.
Another interesting remark is that this feels like a reset for Cooper and the Lightning. Take the rest of an offseason and then factor in how, after most summers, you have to adjust to new players. Instead, the Lightning and other teams have a chance to play at close to full-strength.
Finally, Cooper didn’t seem too worried about a lack of fans.
Looking back at typical circumstances, the Lightning would practice without fans. Even without thousands of roaring fans, Cooper explains that Lightning practices could get intense. Now just imagine the intensity against “foes.”
If the Lightning get their chance to make that playoff run, Cooper might just back up Tirico’s quip regarding smoothing out the “parade route” for Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
Of course, the Bolts have a long way to go to make that happen — even if outside forces don’t shut this whole thing down altogether.
(Note: no, as far as we know, John Tortorella isn’t an outside force.)
More on Lightning, Cooper, and the NHL’s return to play
Killorn followed up with episode two, starring the likes of Sergachev. If you want a nice testament to why players take less money to stick with the Lightning, these sessions should do the trick. There’s also dog talk with Hedman, and cat fancy with Sergachev.
“We have some really good guys lined up for the next episode,” Killorn told NHLPA.com. “The fact we’ve been able to help out and sell these t-shirts … the amount we’ve sold is crazy. It’s been a fun little thing that’s helped benefit some people.”
It’s tough to top entertaining people and raising money for charitable causes … especially when those fanny packs are involved.
(I don’t know about you, but I’ll probably have the silly music from these videos in my head for most of the day.)
Hockey fans have been treated to quite a few one-team legends, including Mario Lemieux saving the Penguins more than once.
Even so, there are plenty of legends who ended spent time in jerseys that just felt wrong. Let’s ponder the hockey answers to Brady leaving the Patriots, Johnny Unitas on the Chargers, Michael Jordan with the Wizards, and Babe Ruth on the Boston Braves.
Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque leave Boston with very different results
At least with Brady, Boston-area fans couldn’t reasonably ask for more. Meanwhile, Bobby Orr’s career concluded with questions of “What could have been?”
Knee injuries ravaged his later career, and after 10 seasons, Orr left the Bruins for the Blackhawks. Between two seasons, Orr could only appear in 26 games for Chicago.
If Orr on the Blackhawks isn’t the Brady comparison you think of for hockey, then it’s probably Brodeur appearing in seven games for the Blues after winning three Stanley Cups, four Vezinas, and setting the all-time wins record over 1,259 games with the Devils.
(That contrast still makes me chuckle, to be honest.)
As awkward as Brodeur’s brief Blues stint was, it lacked the angst of how Orr’s career ended. That might make it closer to a 1:1 hockey comparison for Brady, although the QB could easily prove that his tank isn’t empty.
Much of this list shows examples of players trying to prove that they could still play, with most sputtering out after running on fumes.
Hull of a change, and Howe
Bobby Hull already experienced quite a journey going from the Blackhawks to the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets (scoring 303 goals in the WHA alone). Hull’s final hockey and NHL season was especially odd, though, starting with 18 NHL games for the Jets before being traded to the Hartford Whalers, playing nine games for The Whale. Gordie Howe ended up being a Whalers teammate of Hull, which is … yeah, pretty mind-blowing. Bobby Hull also attempted a comeback with the Rangers.
(Howe’s legendary career featured quite the second [and maybe third?] acts after his Red Wings days, including playing with his sons, and somehow managing 15 goals and 41 points with the Hartford Whalers at age 51.)
Bobby’s son Brett Hull experienced a journeyman career of his own. Brett convinced the Coyotes to unretire Bobby’s number 9, but that story ended with a whimper (five games) as Brett realized he couldn’t adjust to the post-lockout style of play in 2005-06.
Random Red Wings
If you’re playing trivia and “This player finished his career/briefly played for this team …” comes up, blurting out Detroit Red Wings isn’t the worst bet.
Mats Sundin stunned Maple Leafs fans by joining the Canucks. There was some Alfredsson-like logic of linking Sundin with fellow Swedes Henrik and Daniel Sedin, yet the experiment lasted just 41 games.
Brian Leetch playing for the Maple Leafs was a little strange, but Leetch in a Bruins sweater will never look right.
Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens legend, as a Quebec Nordique? Yes, that happened. Jacques Plante bounced around quite about post-Habs, too, including eight games with the (gasp) Bruins.
Like Plante, Grant Fuhr pinballed around the NHL quite a bit after parting ways with the Oilers, but joining the Flames? Wow. Fuhr didn’t just play for the Calgary Flames, either, as he suited up twice for the Saint John Flames.
File Ed Belfour and Igor Larionov under “people you might not have known played for the Panthers.”
Olaf Kolzig was persistent in Washington as Godzilla could be in Tokyo, playing 711 of his 719 games for the Capitals. The eight other games came with the Lightning. (Vincent Lecavalier playing for the Kings was strange, but softened by his years with the Flyers.)
Feel free to mention other fish-out-of-water memories in the comments. Also, if you had to guess, which hockey legend will Brady mirror the most?
Fresh off the New England Patriots’ millionth (OK, sixth) Super Bowl win, MVP Julian Edelman dropped the ceremonial puck for the Boston Bruins’ game against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
Scratch that, he didn’t drop the puck — he spiked it.
Enjoy the video in the clip above the headline, and ponder a few things:
Edelman’s rocking an interesting look.
On one hand, the wide receiver rocks a very, very, credible playoff beard. One can only speculate about how much chicken has been lost in it.
On the other hand, a question: does Edelman usually wear sunglasses indoors, or is this a way of obscuring all of the, erm, celebrating over the last couple days? Some pressing questions there.
Is Tom Brady too cool to spike a puck?
Remarkably, this actually isn’t the first time a Patriots player celebrated a Super Bowl win by spiking a puck. Professional wrestler/superhuman tight end Rob Gronkowski did it back in 2015, and spiked it into the stands: