this week: honestly, the ice don’t have much give

Advil® is the new Official Pain Reliever of the National Hockey League and the 30 Team Athletic Trainers, Pfizer announced this week. I can’t tell you whether there was an old Official Pain Reliever, before, but according to a Simmons Market Research study (says Pfizer), NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other sport.

“The NHL deal provides a terrific platform for driving the launch of our new, fast acting Advil® line,” said Brian Groves, U.S. Chief Marketing Officer at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. “Advil® is built to be as fast as it is tough. We see the players and the League as embodying the fast acting Advil® promise of fast recovery from tough pain.”

The news on Wednesday, from The Globe and Mail: “Newest Supreme Court judge Marc Nadon skates through nomination hearing.”

So that was a relief.

The new NHL season had started on Tuesday. The commissioner, Gary Bettman, told Peter Mansbridge from the CBC that if fighting were a light-switch, it was broken, you couldn’t just turn it off. Or … no. He said it isn’t a light-switch, because what would be the point of a light-switch that doesn’t turn off? Or … even if electricians found a way to put a light-switch on fighting, in Bettman’s NHL, no-one would be allowed to touch it, other than to turn it on. Once it was on, it would be staying on.

The Chicago Blackhawks got their Stanley Cup rings this week. Each one weighs 93.0 grams, with diamonds and gemstones numbering 260 for a total of some 14.68 carats.

“Wow,” tweeted Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul on Tuesday, as Toronto went to Montreal. “Even the US government is shutting things down to watch Leafs/Habs on opening night. What a spectacle!”

From Canadiens’ owners Geoff Molson that same afternoon: “Ce soir, on va demander aux partisans de chanter l’hymme national … tonight, we will ask our fans to sing the national anthem …”

Toronto won. There were five fights, and no light-switches. Throwing a punch at Toronto’s Colton Orr, George Parros of the Canadiens fell and hit the ice face-first. He was knocked out. And went to hospital.

 “You never want to see a guy get hurt like that,” Orr said. “I just hope he’s all right. It happened fast. I slipped and he came on top of me. The ice isn’t going to give.”

“It was unfortunate,” said Toronto’s coach, Randy Carlyle. “Those are tough things.”

Nazem Kadri: “Honestly, the ice don’t have much give.”

“I see more players get hurt from hits, collisions, from pucks, than I do from fights,” said Josh Gorges.  “I don’t think saying because a player got hurt in a fight that now we have to talk about taking fighting away. And I bet if you ask George, he’ll be the first to agree with me on that one, too.”

Patrick Roy paid $10,000 this week to yell and swear and hit some glass this week after his Colorado Avalanche beat Anaheim’s Ducks. It was Roy’s first game as an NHL coach and he felt that some Anaheim players were trying to injure his 19-year-old rookie, Nathan MacKinnon, so he let Ducks’ coach Bruce Boudreau know how unhappy he was, with the yelling, the swearing et al.

“It just shows that he cares about his players a lot,” MacKinnon said. “He’s very passionate and he’ll stand up for what he believes in and not really think about the circumstances or the criticism.”

Boudreau said Roy had been “yapping” at his players. He told him, he said, “that’s bush league.”

Roy said, “I didn’t talk to players until that moment. During the game, I don’t talk to the players. I don’t talk to the referees. What Boudreau said was all lies. I’m not going to get too involved in this one but to be honest when you talk about classless — when you’re lying, this is classless.”

“He’s very passionate,” said Colorado’s Alex Tanguay

With his fine, Roy got a talking-to from the League. Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell: “Roy’s actions at the conclusion of the game were irresponsible. One of the responsibilities of an NHL coach is to help defuse volatile situations on the bench.”

Roy said he understood. “Things happen. This is the way I dealt with this one. Would I deal with it differently next time? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know.”

St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock: “That’s junior hockey. It’s got no place in our game. You can’t be pushing barriers down. It’s just got no place in our game. I’ve been involved in some of those incidents a long time ago and they are really, really scary.”

Over at Yahoo! Sports, Nicholas J. Cotsonika talked to a Boston centre. This was a week or two back but it bears echoing.

Patrice Bergeron spent the first 3-1/2 days of the off-season in the hospital. It was difficult to manage the pain, both physical and mental.

He might as well have been in an auto accident — punctured lung, broken rib, torn rib cartilage, torn rib muscles, separated shoulder. His first concern was his health. He asked a simple question: Am I going to be OK?

“When you’re talking about your lung,” he said, “you obviously need it.”

Everybody clear on hybrid icing? Antonio Baeza Fernandez at Vavel España explained it for those of us slow on the uptake. Según la NHL, icing híbrido:

La jugada se para inmediatamente si un patinador del equipo contrario llega al punto de faceoff primero, en vez de patinar pasada la línea de fondo para tocar el puck. Este tipo de icing pretende reducir el número de colisiones durante un icing normal, pero también permite al equipo que se deshizo del puck llegar en primera instancia para evitar la infracción.

Tennis ace Milos Raonic said that the Leafs’ Mason Raymond is a better person than he is a hockey player.

Dallas Eakins made his debut as coach of the Edmonton Oilers wearing a tie lavish with zoo animals that an old friend, Roger Nielson, gave him. “Thanks Roger,” Eakins twittered. “Miss you dearly.”