Welcome back for another play-off edition of Links, News, and Notes. Let’s take a spin around the hockey world:
- This first round hasn’t been very friendly to goalies so far. We’re not even halfway through the first round and there have already been two goalie casualties. In a thrilling game between the Penguins and Rangers Tuesday night, Casey DeSmith had to leave the game in a critical moment in the middle of the second overtime period. The bigger problem was that the Penguins were already without backup goalie Tristan Jarry who was also injured which meant they needed to rely on Louis Domingue who only played two games this season. Luckily for the Pens, Domingue did the job with 17 saves to help them win the game in triple OT.
- The biggest concern for the Carolina Hurricanes entering the playoffs was their goaltending. Their issues in net may get worse if goalie Antti Raanta is unavailable for a longer period of time. Raanta was hit in the head by David Pastrnak who somehow escaped with only a 2-minute penalty. The Hurricanes later announced that Raanta would not return to the game and we await updates on the severity of his injury.
- It seems the Edmonton Oilers are getting some help in the playoffs after their first game loss. Josh Archibald, who has been limited to only games in Alberta due to his vaccination status, has been granted medical exemption from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Archibald contracted the virus last summer and had has been dealing with lingering effects of myocarditis until March where he rejoined the team. It is his history with myocarditis that seems to be the basis of his exemption but there aren’t many details on the actual exemption provided. The Oilers are hoping his physicality can help the team down the road.
- Gary Bettman isn’t a fan of the Saddledome and hasn’t been for a while. The Calgary Flames have been given a clear directive by the NHL Commissioner about the state of their arena. Bettman told the Flames and the City of Calgary that the NHL will not be holding any major NHL events in Calgary until a new arena is built in the city.
- The death of NHL legend Guy Lafleur shook the hockey world. The Montreal Canadiens did an exceptional job honouring his legacy and the city of Montreal followed suit. A national funeral was held for the legend where hundreds of fans gathered to honour him as a player, a father and an exceptional generous person. The funeral was also attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec premier Francois Legault.