I’ve got just what you need to get through your case of the Mondays, another edition of Links, News, and Notes. Let’s take a spin around the hockey world together, shall we?
- Well, that was a bit anti-climactic wasn’t it? After a scintillating first game of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Colorado Avalanche absolutely plastered the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-0 in Game 2 of the series on Saturday night. The Avs looked totally unbeatable, and for my money that was the most dominant performance (considering the stakes and the opposition) since the mid 2000s Red Wings were rolling all over the league.
- It would be a mistake to declare this Tampa team beaten until they well and truly are, but this is also the first time in recent years that you could say they look well and truly overmatched. Travis Yost has a good breakdown at TSN of just what, exactly, has been going so right for Colorado and so wrong for the Bolts.
- He’s baaaack. John Tortorella has returned to the NHL coaching ranks as he’s been brought on to turn around a scuffling Philadelphia Flyers team. Tortorella was his usual self in his introductory press conference, and has vowed to “change the culture”. Your mileage may vary as to how effective you think his style will be in today’s NHL, but there’s no doubt that he brings a certain flair.
- Speaking of new (old) coaches: the Dallas Stars appear to be closing in on a deal with Pete DeBoer to be their next head coach.
- The big Ottawa Senators news from the weekend came when Elliotte Friedman reported during the second intermission of Saturday night’s game that Connor Brown will almost certainly not sign an extension before becoming a free agent next year. With Brown set to be a UFA at season’s end, it might behoove the team to begin exploring trades this off-season. Expect to hear more in the days and weeks ahead.
- Were he to be traded, Brown would likely not be the only player on the move this off-season.
- Hockey Canada officials will be in Ottawa on Monday to testify in a Parliamentary hearing in front of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage about the incidents from 2018 that are the heart of a lawsuit recently settled by the organization. Katie Strang, Ian Mendes, and Dan Robson, the three authors who shared a byline on the mammoth Melnyk/Sens expose from earlier this year, dig into the culture of sexual violence seemingly embedded in junior hockey. This is a difficult, but necessary read.
- A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found a strong connection between increased body checking and increased risk of concussions in youth hockey players. The long-held conventional wisdom had been that introducing body contact at a younger age would help the young players develop the skills to better protect themselves as they got older but the opposite appears to be true. While I doubt that we will see a ban on hitting, as the researchers suggest, these types of findings should give us all pause.
- Lastly, the Sens will be participating in a couple of pre-seasons games in Newfoundland and New Brunswick vs the Montreal Canadiens as part of the Hockevyille festival.