Most of the sporting world’s focus was turned towards the NFL this weekend, but we still have hockey news to share from around the league:
- Saturday night’s match-up against the Toronto Maple Leafs marked only the second edition of Battle of Ontario this season, but with Jason Spezza suiting up for the Maple Leafs it was a chance to reminisce about the “good old days.” Spezza notched the Leafs’ only goal during regulation time, and has generally looked good since the Leafs made their coaching change. The Sens are probably a couple of years away from restoring this rivalry to its former glory, but when Saturday’s game rolled into overtime and things were getting tight I can’t deny I was gripping my armrest.
- Speaking of provincial rivalries, the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames wrote another chapter in their bitter history on Saturday. When even the goalies are fighting, you might say the contest got a bit heated. Besides the bitterness between Matthew Tkachuk and Zack Kassian, the main thing that’s driving the increased interest is that both teams are in a play-off race.
- In San Jose Sharks news, poor Thomas Hertl tore his ACL and MCL on Wednesday night. Not to wish ill on anybody, but with the Sharks now absolutely decimated by injuries that first round pick is looking pretttttty prettttty good.
- Christian Wolanin returned to full practice on Thursday last week, and he’ll be joining the Belleville Senators this week to get into some games and get up to speed. Wolanin seems to have the right attitude about the process:
“I’ve never said a bad thing about being in the American league. I love coach (Troy) Mann and the system they run down there,” he said. “Last year, I went down with the right attitude and I thought I got better. I’m hoping to do the same thing and just add to what they’ve got going by helping them to get better.”
- The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins were embroiled in a tense affair on Sunday afternoon when Evgeni Kutznesov tried to avoid a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty by jumping onto the Penguins’ bench. I respect the attempt.
- Lastly, there was some more fun Hurricanes content on the weekend. With Carolina playing a game on Superbowl Sunday, they celebrated their 4-3 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks with a football-themed Storm Surge. Say what you will about the choreographed celebrations, I think they’re great, there’s no doubt the fans absolutely love it.