this week: instead I ate cinnamon buns

From southern Europe, this week, word of an old goalie’s persisting desire: “Martin Brodeur,” noted @icehockeyspain, “aún tiene el gusanillo de jugar y quiere regresar a las pistas.”

Wondered Franklin Steele at Today’s Slapshot: does the NHL have a better line right now than Tarasenko, Schwartz and Lehtera?

Newly indicted Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg remembered growing up in Örnsköldsvik and what he ate there as a young athlete. Sorry, inducted. Inductee Foppa Forsberg said, “I really didn’t eat anything — no meat, no fish — and at school I ate maybe on two days out of five. I didn’t like anything, so instead I ate cinnamon buns when I got home. The rule was max three buns, never four. And when I got to middle school and we were allowed to leave the yard during breaks, I could ride my bike home and eat pancakes Mom had made and put in the freezer. I didn’t start to eat properly until high school, so I went from nothing to everything.”

Goaltender Dominik Hasek is another new Famer to enter the Hall. Chris Ryndak of caught us up on what he’s been up to since leaving the ice in 2012:

In retirement, he says he’s active with the Czech Republic’s Hockey Hall of Fame, enjoys playing other sports — that may include bike rides in the country — and has some business ventures he’s invested in. He also has a new English Setter that he’s looking forward to spending more time with.

The Leafs won a couple of games this week, but before that they lost three in a row. Two of those, to Buffalo and Nashville, were whuppings. Towards the end of the 9-2 drubbing by merciless Predators,

The Leafs won a couple of games this week, but before that they lost three in a row. Two of those, to Buffalo and Nashville, were whuppings. Towards the end of the 9-2 drubbing by merciless Predators,

another jersey

Phil Kessel took a Marxian view: it was a question of class. Asked about it at practice next day, he told Sportsnet’s Mike Johnston,

It’s disrespectful, right? Not just to us but to the organization, to all of the Leafs players that have ever played for Toronto. If you want to boo us, but you’re disrespecting all of the great players and the great teams that they’ve had before us here. That’s the way I look at it. I think that’s pretty classless to throw your jersey on the ice like that.

lucic will

was a non-ironic headline in a Boston newspaper this week. (Lucic mostly did.)

Also in Toronto, after the big Nashville rout, fans and members of the media discussed whether Randy Carlyle was a dead man coaching and why it time to trade Dion Phaneuf or at least strip of his captaincy and what was Jonathan Bernier’s problem, anyway, and oy-yoy-yoy Jake Gardiner plus (also) don’t forget that Dave Nonis is not exactly blameless here, not to mention why is Brendan Shanahan hiding?

Cathal Kelly wrote in The Globe and Mail about the coach:

Everyone knows he’s as good as fired. Carlyle isn’t coaching this season. He’s professionally bleeding out. They ought to carry him to the bench every night on a stretcher.

The Globe’s James Mirtle was distressed by the, quote, hodgepodge of inconsistency and skittishness and haphazard management somehow piled into one hockey team.

St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott posted this cautionary photo @KidElls1 this week, hashtagged ‪#goaliesacrifice‪ ‬ #goalieproblems‬ #igot99problems‬ #highpitchvoice‬ #ballsofsteal‬ #XLcup ‬

St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott posted this cautionary photo @KidElls1 this week, hashtagged
‪#goaliesacrifice‪ ‬
#XLcup ‬

That was after Toronto, in their next game, beat Tampa Bay, one of the better teams in the league. Due, possibly, to fans booing the team and insulting the players on Twitter post-Nashville, the Leafs chose not to acknowledge the crowd with raised sticks after they’d won.

Which caused a whole new storm. Fans were horrified, hurt. That’s what the media said. How could the hockey players be so dumb and mean and disrespectful? Unless it was just the media making a fuss out of nothing. There were some who said that.

“It mattered,” Bruce Arthur said, from The Toronto Star. “It meant something.”

But what? What did it mean? Dion Phaneuf said it wasn’t about the fans at all, it was an internal mechanical adjustment to help the players, who needed to break out of old habits.

“We did a lot of things different throughout the day and that was something we decided to change,” he told reporters. “We’ve got unbelievable fans and we know how much support we have. This, by no means, was any attack at our fans or anything personal. It was more about our team and changing up our routine.”

Sure enough, next game, home to Detroit, the Leafs changed it up again: they went back to waving their sticks.

Boston’s Milan Lucic got punched in the head by Dalton Prout from Columbus this week, and it knocked him to a knee and when he got up he was mad — which is to say madder than usual. The anger continued for days after the punch because, as he told Tim Rosenthal of, “It was the end of the game and I let him know that I wasn’t going to fight him. I wasn’t prepared and I let my guard down and that’s what happens when you let your guard down. I’ve been in over 100 fights and I never took a shot like that.”

“I find it to be gutless and that’s my thoughts on it.”

Dallas lost seven games all in a row. Coach Lindy Ruff, in the midst of the mess: “When you have two guys fall down, and you get goals scored against you, that’s frustrating. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

For a while there, the Chicago Blackhawks were having troubles scoring goals. Mark Lazerus of Chicago’s Sun-Times thought maybe captain Jonathan Toews might be worried but he was wrong: no worries, Toews said. “We’ve had individuals who’ve dealt with this before. It’s not the end of the world.”

Chicago’s rookie defenceman Trevor van Riemsdyk scored his first NHL goal, in a game against San Jose. “It was a pretty cool moment,” he told the reporters in the aftermath. “It was pretty special.”

Except for then — sorry. The NHL changed its mind. Kris Versteeg had actually scored the goal, with van Riemsdyk assisting. Oh, well. “I had a feeling, even right away when it first happened, that it hit someone,” van Riemsdyk told Tracey Myers of “It hit Steeger there, and that’s good for him. He was right in front of the net. He earned it. I think he took a pretty good crosscheck because when I looked up he was down on his knees. It was a cool moment to have my first goal but I just have to stick with it.”

He did that, of course, stuck with it, and probably would have scored soon enough for himself, and still will, except that he’s out of the game now for three, maybe four months. In a game with Dallas he took a shot in the left lower body, which fractured. He limped off the ice. After the game, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville testified that the injury was “pretty bad” and the defenceman would be out of action for “a while.” A few days later, when surgeons went in to fix the damage, we learned that it was the patella.

The Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey recalled a time when the Canadiens’ power play was so mighty that the NHL had to change its rules.

Prior to 1956, a player taking a minor penalty had to serve the full two minutes, and it wasn’t uncommon for the team on the power play to score more than one goal, particularly when that team was the Canadiens with Maurice (Rocket) Richard, Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion and Dickie Moore.

Guess what, though? Today the Canadiens’ powerplay isn’t what it used to be 60 years ago, especially on the road.

At Grantland, Katie Baker wrote about goals great and not-so:

Life’s a journey, not a destination, sure, but no one cares much about a puck’s many travels unless and until they lead it straight to the back of the net. And when they do — when the goalie sprawls in vain and the lamp gets lit and the arms get raised and the “f’in rights, boys!” gets hollered — we ascribe special significance to the occasion and search for meaning.

Sometimes there isn’t meaning, though. Sometimes a puck just bounces off a buttock.

Sportsnet’s Hometown Hockey stopped by Burnaby in British Columbia, and when that happened, we found out some things about a couple of native sons, specifically that (1) Joe Sakic never forgot where he came from and (2) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, for whom pressure is nothing new, points to lessons learned in his hometown as a source of strength.