Washington Capitals defenceman Mike Green talked, this week, about the distractions of playing out of doors at the NHL’s New Year’s Day Winter Classic. He wasn’t worried about sun or winds or snows. “Once you’re in the game,” he told Stephen Whyno from The Canadian Press, “everything’s instinct and whatnot.”
Washington captain Alex Ovechkin? Also no concerned. “I just don’t think about what I’m gonna do out there. We’re gonna skate on the ice and then we’re gonna go to the locker-room.”
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada (and a distinguished hockey player in his own right, announced today 95 new appointments to the Order of Canada this week, and hockey names were among them, including the former Bruin and Red Wing Sheldon Kennedy and broadcaster Bob Cole.
Kennedy’s citation lauds his, quote, courageous leadership in raising awareness of childhood sexual abuse and his continued efforts to prevent abuse in schools, sports and communities.
Cole’s recognitions comes
For enhancing the hockey experience for generations of Canadians with his analysis and spirited announcing as one of Canada’s most iconic voices in sports broadcasting.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am today,” he told Six Seixeiro and Stephen Brunt at Sportsnet. “All I’ve done is tried my best at my job, and enjoyed what my job is.”
Other appointees included Mark Carney, erstwhile goaltender for the Oxford University Ice Hockey Club, and hockey biographer Charles Foran, author of Extraordinary Canadians: Maurice Richard (2011).
Martin Brodeur shut his net to the Colorado Avalanche this week: 16 shots they took and not a one went past him. St. Louis’ 3-0 win was the 691st victory of Brodeur’s career, and his 125th shutout (an NHL record).
“This is the first one with the Blues, so it definitely means a lot to me,” Brodeur was saying after the game. “It’s our job as goaltenders not to give up anything. It wasn’t the hardest game to play, but you still have to make the saves.”
Signed to fill Brian Elliott’s injured absence, Brodeur isn’t sure what’s next. Elliott is recovered now and returning to the Blues’ net, so there was talk this week that Brodeur might be out of a job and (maybe?) a career. Or would he find another temporary home with another needy team?
“If St. Louis decides to let him go,” wrote Guy Spurrier in The National Post, “he could become the most accomplished rent-a-goalie in NHL history, wandering the league, helping teams with short-term crises like a puck-stopping Littlest Hobo.”
Rogers Hometown Hockey went to Peterborough, Ontario, last week, which had host Ron MacLean effusing. “When I think of Peterborough I imagine a beacon,” he wrote, “a place that would pick you up from a fall into misfortune and set you straight in the glow of great honour.”
Maclean’s wrote about the NHL’s mumps epidemic — well, this was a couple of weeks ago, in fact. Genna Buck was on the case, commemorating Peterborough’s own Cory Perry as Patient Zero in the plague, and trying a hand at tracing the spread.
Although this point is up for debate, the outbreak seems to have started among the Anaheim Ducks. Corey Perry, Francois Beauchemin, Emerson Etem and Clayton Stoner were all infected. On Oct. 17 the Ducks played the visiting Minnesota Wild. Five of that team’s players — Keith Ballard, Marco Scandella, Jonas Brodin, Christian Folin and now All-Star defenceman Ryan Suter — have become ill. The Wild played the St. Louis Blues, several of whom came down with mysterious flulike symptoms that haven’t been confirmed as mumps. But the Blues then played the New York Rangers, and Rangers Tanner Glass and Derick Brassard definitely have the mumps. The Wild played the New Jersey Devils on Nov.11, which got Devils players Adam Larsson and Travis Zajac sick. Finally, the Devils played the Penguins on Dec. 2, which brought the virus to Crosby’s locker room. He shared it with teammate Beau Bennett.
San Jose lost to Vancouver this week, and that irked Sharks’ coach Todd McLellan on several levels, one of which had to do with the effort his own players had put in. “For me there’s a price our team has to pay and right now we aren’t reaching deep enough, not digging deep enough, we want everything on sale and take the easy way out of it,” he said.
Publisher Penguin Canada announced this week that it has signed up Dan Robson to write a Pat Quinn biography. Robson, who’s a senior writer at Sportsnet, co-piloted Clint Malarchuk’s memoir The Crazy Game (2014). The Mighty Quinn is slated for the fall of 2015. “A giant every way,” said the Penguin press release of Quinn. “A looming physical presence, an irresistible force of will, a shrewd intellect who always seemed two steps ahead, a volcanic temper, and a heart so huge that those who worked with him ended up adoring him.”
A second Sportsnet writer announced his own upcoming book this week: Mark Spector is working on a history of the Albertan rivalry between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.