We are one week into the NHL playoffs and we’re chalk full of controversies in the NHL. With all the offside reviews, logo gate, bracelet gate, empty seats, and Andrew Shaw, we’re right on schedule.
Does anyone in Florida care about the Florida Panthers?
I mean, I know we say this about a lot of markets in the sunbelt, but this feels different. It’s one thing to get poor crowds when your team is terrible and it’s a Tuesday night with the Blue Jackets in town. It’s quite another when you’ve got a young, exciting team with a couple of marquee veterans like Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo.
— Empty Seats Galore (@EmptySeatsPics) April 16, 2016
After three exciting games, has south Florida caught playoff fever? Judging by the amount of seats available for Friday’s pivotal Game 5 matchup, the answer is no.
Friday night, your team is in the playoffs, and tickets are available for $30? That’s not a good sign.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman dropped this nugget on the radio last week about how the Canucks tried to acquire the first overall pick from the Florida Panthers in 2014.
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) April 15, 2016
Part of this was rumoured at the time, although speculation was mainly surrounding North Vancouver’s Sam Reinhart, who went second to the Buffalo Sabres.
It’s funny how lopsided this deal would look in favour of the Canucks now. At the time, there would have been plenty of hand wringing at the prospect of a 3-for-1 deal, especially for a defenceman.
After seeing how good Aaron Ekblad is already in his young career, coupled with how bad the Canucks defence has been, and I think it’s safe to say that trade would have been exactly what Vancouver needed.
If you’re not watching the Hockey Wives show on the W Network, you’re missing out.
The reality show gives us a glimpse into the lives of a number professional hockey spouses including Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller and then-Canucks winger Brandon Prust.
Sure, macho hockey guys and haters of reality television will snicker at this, but there’s the occasional hilarious moment to be found. Lately that has been found from Brandon Prust’s fiancé, Maripier Morin.
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) March 31, 2016
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) April 15, 2016
Is anyone surprised that Philadelphia Flyers fans littered the ice with something throwable given out to them?
This is Philadelphia. Their sports fans have a reputation that is well earned.
I mean, even their own PA announcer seems fed up with them…
— Matt Mullin (@matt_mullin) April 19, 2016
They refused to stop, and took a penalty for their team.
— falalalela 🎄 (@lelawarner28) April 19, 2016
Shocking that Flyers fans wouldn’t show class, isn’t it?
The idea behind giving out the bracelets was a cool one, given they light up, allowing for this kind of a light show:
— EROCK (@TheMightyEROCK) April 18, 2016
Speaking of class, Cal Clutterbuck of the New York Islanders wants reporters to show some.
"Hey, what the f***?!?" –Cal Clutterbuck to the guy who walked over the #Isles logo in the locker room.
— Alex Raskin (@alexraskinNYC) April 18, 2016
This has long been a complaint of media. Teams put giant logos on the floor of their dressing room and have rules to not step on it.
I mean, that’s a great team-building mentality to have, but don’t make the media follow your unusual superstitions.
Superstitious baseball pitchers don’t get mad at teammates because they step on the foul line, do they? If you want to hop over it and look like a goof, that’s on you. Don’t expect others to follow.
If teams don’t want media to step on a part of the floor, they should cover it up like the Canucks do, or get a bouncer and some velvet ropes like the Blackhawks…
#Blackhawks have roped off the logo in the middle of their dressing room.
— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) April 19, 2016
More on the topic of class: Andrew Shaw showed none of it last night.
After taking a late penalty in another Blackhawks loss to the St. Louis Blues, Shaw first flipped the rare double bird…
— Omar A (@omarcanuck) April 20, 2016
Then he showed a bit of homophobia to a national audience…
Oh no.. https://t.co/i92yyrZyY4
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) April 20, 2016
Shaw is getting raked over the coals today, as he should. He has apologized, but he should still be punished.
If the NHL is really serious about getting homophobic slurs out of the game, they should penalize it every time they can, not just the occurrences that are caught on television. If a referee or linesman hears something like this, and I suspect it happens a lot, call a penalty and hand out supplemental discipline.
And now to end on something a little more light hearted.
I loved this tidbit from Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy yesterday:
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) April 19, 2016
If the Sedins didn’t invent the slap pass, they certainly popularized it. Not a whole lot of players can say they legitimately changed the game, even in a small way.