Janet Dziurzynski was sitting at home in Lloydminster, Alberta, watching on TV on March 6 as Toronto’s Frazer McLaren punched her son Dave in the head and he fell, smack, to the ice. “Of course, I was crying,” she said this week.
A defenceman, Cody Franson, spoke to TSN.ca of that point in a game the Leafs play where it all falls apart. “You can almost feel it coming sometimes. We get sloppy for a shift. It’s like it’s just kind of contagious. The bench can feel it.”
Jordin Tootoo’s teeth fell out and broke or were swept away in a raging river or … thieves made off with them? We don’t know the whole story, just what Tootoo tweeted: “The joys of having fake teeth……. They eventually fall out. Toothless for a while I’m guessing. First day of our week long roadie. UNCLE.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper liked the old-fashioned maroon-and-white uniforms the Vancouver Canucks wore this week in their game against Detroit. “The Millionaires sweaters are a nice tip of the cap to the 1915 Cup champions and to hockey history,” he twittered. “Well done.”
A former teammate, the Kings’ Mike Richards, said, “Kimmo Timonen is classiest guy in the league.” Which was nice. The Philadelphia defenceman was playing his 1,000th NHL game on his 38th birthday, so there was more, too. Teammate Braydon Coburn said, “He’s not the fastest guy. He’s not the biggest guy. He’s a tough little Finn. He’s been a smart player to be in the league that long.”
That was before the game, which the Flyers lost 4-2 to Tampa Bay. A few hours later, CSNPhilly.com reported, “Players appeared both dazed and disillusioned after the game.”
Said goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, “It’s sad. What else can you say? Nothing else you can do.”
Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta returned from a suspension only to be scratched by coach Ron Rolston. Which made him mad. “I’m pissed off. I want to play,” he told the reporters. “I guess they don’t need me right now I guess. I’ve been pissed off watching for the past couple weeks. No matter if you’re a fan, a player, you guys know what’s going on. You should be pissed off. You should play with a little piss and vinegar. You shouldn’t be happy.”
To his goalie, Ben Scrivens, Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk said, “You bruise like a peach!!”
Scrivens, meantime, reported on an inflight encounter with fellow goalie James Reimer: “Played scrabble against Reims on the plane and I played ‘theists’. He countered with ‘atheists’.”
Marc Staal was still out, injured, after getting a puck above the right eye on March 5, and couldn’t play when the Rangers took on Carolina, where his brothers Eric and Jordan play. The latter told Katie Strang from ESPN that he thought that Marc would be wearing a visor when he returned to the ice. Strang asked what “Ma Staal” thought about the whole thing. “She threw out a few comments. But Staals can be stubborn sometimes.”
Visors were on the agenda at the big meeting of NHL general managers in Toronto this week, along with hybrid icing and allowing coaches to challenge a referee’s call. Time to make everybody wear eye-protection? Probably so, but they’d have to consult some more. Said former goalie Darren Pang, “When the players decide they want to (or not) wear a visor, it’s up to them. Not the media. They are the ones that play the game.”
A committee of hockey historians headed by Paul Kitchen announced that, come 2017, they’d be raising a monument in Ottawa to Lord Stanley, at the corner of Sparks and Elgin, where a statue grizzly bear stands at the moment. Across the street is where the Russell House Hotel used to be, Wilfrid Laurier’s home for ten years as well the place where an aide to the governor-general read from a letter in 1892 in which Lord Stanley suggested he’d like to contribute a challenge cup to the dominion’s hockey players. The grizzly bear will be moving.
“It boggles my mind,” said Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau. “Every game, that we’re getting high sticked. Double minored. And we don’t get the calls.”
Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter on Anze Kopitar: “He’s the best all-around centreman that I’ve coached, period. Period. Face-offs, last minute, first minute, penalty killer.” The best thing, though? “He’s getting better.”
Oilers’ goalie Devan Dubnyk said he wanted to thank Nashville’s winger Sergei Kostitsyn. In the Predators’ loss to Edmonton this week, Kostitsyn went to the bench instead of checking Sam Gagner, abandoned ship right there in the middle of the ice, which led to a goal. His coach, Barry Trotz, said, “I can’t give you a logical explanation for an illogical event.”
Kostitsyn: “I made a mistake. I went to change, I should have backchecked, but didn’t see the second guy was coming there. Even if it was a 1-on-1, I should go back, it doesn’t matter if I was tired. I should have gone back and pressured him from behind.”
In Toronto, reporters covering the Leafs divined that coach Randy Carlyle was disappointed with the play of another Belarusian, Mikhail Grabovski. So they asked him about that. “Why you think I’m not happy?” Grabovski said. “I’m happy about every day.
“He disappears all over the ice,” said Brian Engblom when the subject of Steven Stamkos came up on NBC. In a good way, he meant.
Martin Brodeur scored a powerplay goal against Carolina. “When the puck went in the net, I was like, ‘Whoa, what happened there?’” Brodeur said later. This: when the Hurricanes pulled their goalie on a delayed penalty call, Jordan Staal tried to pass the puck to teammate Tim Gleason, who missed it. The puck slid down to the Carolina net. Brodeur was the last New Jersey player to have touched it. Goal.
“I didn’t even know we had a delayed penalty or anything,” Brodeur said. “So it was a little surprising.” Ilya Kovalchuk was the one who told him: “‘You scored the goal!’ With a Russian accent, too.”
Chris Stewart of St. Louis: “I find that the nights I put the work boots on and really compete for my teammates are the nights that I also have the most success on the scoresheet.”
Reporters talked to Evgeni Malkin on Wednesday about the injured part of his body that lots of people were interested in but nobody with any authority on the subject was willing to identify specifically. Dave Molinari of Pittsburgh’s Post-Gazette was pretty sure it was a shoulder. Malkin: “It’s better today. Every day, it’s better. But it’s still a little bit sore.”
Damien Cox of The Toronto Star said, “Seriously, NHL legal system/rule book must have been written by Dr. Seuss.” This was after the Leafs’ Joffrey Lupul was suspended, this week, for an elbow to the head of Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman. “Since NHL promotes fighting and suspends elbows,” Cox continued, “shouldn’t fighting net a 2 min minor and all elbow fouls get 5?”
“Ever see a puck shatter?” said @NHL, because if not, they had video to show you where a guy scored a goal and the puck broke in two as it hit the back of the net somewhere overseas. At regular speed and in slow motion. Also in even slower slow motion, in case the original slowness was not sufficiently slow and you used that as an excuse not to believe that the puck actually shattered. It did. Maybe in Germany?
Sorry, Damien Cox wasn’t quite finished: “And really, if fighting is as critical an element as the NHL insists it is, why is it penalized at all? #scrambledbrainsaregood”