this week: the good old hockey game

Credit: Brenda Jones and Nimbus Publishing

“We never go away, we never give up, we keep coming at them,” said Chicago’s captain, Jonathan Toews, of his team’s phenomenal start to the season.

From Boston, defenceman Andrew Ference twiddled about a post-prandial affogato, explaining what exactly that might be: gelato with two shots espresso. “Life is good!”

PETA wrote a letter to the Buffalo Sabres to say please would you do away with the fur coat that you guys award in the dressing room after a game to the player who played the best. Because? “People who care about animals don’t want to see their favorite players wearing the pelts of animals who were likely bludgeoned, strangled, electrocuted, and even skinned alive.” Said a PETA vice-president: “There’s nothing less sporting and more grotesque than wearing someone else’s skin. PETA is telling the Sabres that if they want to move forward and leave the past behind, they need to stop draping their top-scoring players in cruel caveman couture.”

The coat, said the Sabres’ Steve Ott, is fake fur.

“We’re going to Florida to win all the games and score 45,000 powerplay goals,” Claude Noel said, the Winnipeg coach with what might have been a smile.

The Chicago Blackhawks continued on their tear: 22 games into the season and they still hadn’t suffered a loss that wasn’t in overtime. A professor of mathematical sciences told Kevin Allen of USA Today that the next time you’ll see a team do what will be in 700 years.  Probably.

Movie recommendation from Boston’s @tylerseguin92: “21 and over is a must see. Competes against project x”

Kevin Weekes said to think of Carey Price as a ballroom dancer.

A reporter suggested to Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter that his goalie, Jonathan Quick, has been fighting the puck. “I agree,” Sutter said. What should he do about it? “Stop fighting the puck.”

Congratulations, said the NHL to Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen after his wife delivered twin boys, Daniel and Lucas, on Sunday.

After his team lost to Montreal, Boston coach Claude Julien denounced Montreal’s fakers. “This is embarrassing for our game, the embellishing,” he said, talking to you, P.K. Subban. “We’re trying to clean that out of our game and it’s got to be done soon because, y’know, it’s not about tonight it’s about the game and the embellishment embarrasses our game and we need to be better than that.”

“Mike Brown, what a guy,” said Don Cherry, after Toronto traded said guy to Edmonton. “He’s what I call stir-em-up.”

Randy Carlyle, Toronto’s coach, grinned at reporters who admired a performance by Nazem Kadri. “You guys just want to anoint him don’t you?” said Carlyle. “He’s a great young player and he’s got a skill-set that separates him from people, but in the second period he goes one-on-four and he was the start of the onslaught of turning the puck over. And he had a two-minute shift. He had all those things and he still ends up being the fair-haired boy. That’s great because he is a special player. He’s a young player and those are the learning curves that have to take place.”

A former Montreal goalie, Jocelyn Thibault, talked about colourful equipment. “White stuff makes the equipment look bigger. I think it helps a little bit. It’s never been proven that a goalie wearing white plays better than, say, with red or black pads.”

Only on Twitter: early Thursday, TSN’s Gord Miller took note:

Hockey’s huge in Canada: @TSNBobMcKenzie is nearing 500k Twitter followers, while @pmharper has 309k. They both want the other guy’s job.

Before the day was out, Stephen Harper replied: “I’m happy with my day job.”

RIP Stompin’ Tom Connors, said many, many people on Wednesday and into Thursday, after the singer died at the age of 77.

@pmharper: “We have lost a true Canadian original. R.I.P. Stompin’ Tom Connors. You played the best game that could be played.”

@petermansbridge: “Someone roars, Bobby scores!”. RIP Stompin’ Tom.”

Dave Bidini, @hockeyesque, said:

stompin tom conners changed my life. i owe him a great great debt. we all do, as proud canadians. we won’t see his like again.


i dont think he’d want tears. he’d want a swelling of pride. go have a beer and a smoke in his honour

In space, @Cmdr_Hadfield was playing Stompin’ Tom songs on his guitar.

@KingJames was impressed, this week. “Hey Chicago Blackhawks,” he twittered, “u guys are AWESOME!!”

“Back at you LeBron,” replied @88PKane. “Keep rolling.”

“Heaven just got a lot more Canadian,” Facebooked Peterborough, Ontario MP Dean Del Mastro.

Toronto winger Frazer McLaren asked Ottawa’s Dave Dziurzynski, wanna go?

This was on Wednesday, before the puck had ever dropped to start the game.

No. Dziurzynski said no, according to McLaren. No go.

But then they did, go, 26 seconds gone in the game.

They traded punches, as they say. Five or six, was the best reporters could count it. Then, one more, a right from McLaren, knocked Dziurzynski out. He collapsed. Face-first he hit the ice. He lay there like a dead man.

“Frazer McLaren got him hard there,” said TSN’s Gord Miller on the TV broadcast.

I didn’t see it. Somewhere I read that TSN didn’t show a replay.

“With Dziurzynski going for x-rays,” Ken Campbell from The Hockey News was tweeting in a little while, “a real possibility he has broken bones in his face.”

The crowd was stunned, said the papers next day. McLaren was said to be embarrassed. He was concerned about Dziurzynski. He’d asked the referees. Is he okay?

“I was just trying to get us going early,” McLaren explained.

“It’s two big guys going at it,” Leafs’ coach Randy Carlyle said. “The only thing I was thinking was that I wish the trainers could get out there faster.”

Dziurzynski was reported to have a concussion.

“JEERS,” said Wayne Scanlan in The Ottawa Citizen, “to the ugly fight.”

Sickening, said ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, among others. LeBrun said he could hardly watch the rest of the game.

Someone didn’t die, said Bruce Dowbiggin in The Globe and Mail — this time.

“If you missed it — here is Frazer McLaren’s KO of Dave Dziurzynski last night,” said TSN’s helpful Facebook page.

“It’s never fun,” said the Senators’ captain, Daniel Alfredsson, in comments that THN’s Campbell called the most depressing part of the whole episode, for their shrugged acceptance.

Roy MacGregor was tweeting on Friday, linking to his “Ban The ‘Thuggery’” article in The Globe: “Major Angus Reid survey finds vast majority of Canadians and hockey fans are sick of the fighting,” he told us.

At the big bewildering hockey-fight website, fans voted McLaren/Dziurzynski the third-best fight of the season so far, right after the one where Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo punched Tampa Bay’s B.J. Crombeen in the head as he fell to the ice.

Illustration: Courtesy Hockey Night Tonight by Stompin’ Tom Connors, illustrated by Brenda Jones, Nimbus Publishing.

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