Sunday, December 21, 2014

Today In NHL History - Laviolette Shoves Steve Ott

On December 21st in 2011, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette shoved Dallas Stars forward Steve Ott aside upon being blocked from exiting the benches through the tunnel after the first period of play at the American Airlines Center.

Afterwards, Ott outed Laviolette's actions as arrogant, adding "It's disrespect of our building, just let our team off, it's not that big of a deal."

When questioned by HBO's 24/7, the coach conveniently forgot the event.

Following the second period, officials instructed Laviolette and his team to exit the ice through the Zamboni opening rather than taking the tumultuous tunnel. The NHL refrained from fining or suspending the parties, instead instructing them to "hash it out" in a phone call.

The Flyers beat the Stars that night by a score of 4-1.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Sedin Plays Puck With Head

On December 21st in 2011, Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin deflected a high clearing pass from linemate Alex Burrows past Detroit Red Wings superstar Pavel Datsyuk with his head, utilizing a soccer move rarely employed in ice hockey.

Daniel's move decidedly raised the brotherly bar set by a stickless Henrik in last season's playoff against the Nashville Predators, when his fancy footwork prevented Mike Fisher's shorthanded opportunity.

Raised in Sweden, it's not surprising the twins are proficient in their country's most popular sport. Daily practice dominating the club's pregame soccer hallway warmup ritual likely keeps them sharp.

Undoubtedly a unique compliment to their game, the back-to-back Art Ross winners are emphatically more effective on the ice when using their sticks. Vancouver beat Detroit that night by a score of 4-2.

That's today in NHL history.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Today In NHL History - Buble Skates With Canucks

On December 20th in 2011, Vancouver Canucks aficionado Michael Buble fulfilled a life-long dream of skating with the team during an off-day practice after signing a one-day contract with the club.

Donning the never-worn-before number 88, Buble challenged three-time Vezina nominee Roberto Luongo to a shootout, ringing a wrist shot wide stick-side off the left post before catching an edge and crashing awkwardly into the end boards.

Afterwards, Buble surmised “I should have faked the shot backhand and tried to go upstairs, I just missed it. I thought I'd perhaps be the next Alex Burrows, but it turns out I'm crappy". Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault reserved judgment on Buble.

Buble's "greatest day of my life" follows other superfan moments including coloring a game with Canuck's voice John Shorthouse in 2009, serenading Canucks broadcaster Tom Larscheid in a duet with Shorthouse during a sold-out Vancouver show in 2010, and rescheduling concerts to watch the Canucks during the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

Buble even wove a Canucks reference into his chart-topping album "Christmas", tweaking a lyric in "Santa Baby" from "I'm filling my stocking with a duplex and checks, sign your X on the line" to "Fill my stocking with Canucks tix for kicks, throw me on the first line".

The three-time Grammy Award winner and two-time Saturday Night Live musical guest will leave puck to the pros and stick with song for now.

Per club policy, the financial terms of Buble's contract were not disclosed.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Barnaby Fights Fan

On December 20th in 2000, Pittsburgh Penguins bruiser Matthew Barnaby exited BankAtlantic Center after an unsuccessful bout with behemoth Pete Worrell when an elderly Florida Panthers fan began hurling obscenities.

Rather than ignoring the unpleasantries, Barnaby engaged the senior grabbing his arm and attempting to drag him through the railing. Releasing before the situation escalated, Barnaby was nonetheless suspended four games for the indiscretion surrendering $53,658 in pay.

The Penguins and Panthers played to a 2-2 tie that night.

That's today in NHL history.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Today In NHL History - Fire Destroys Wild's Gear

On December 18th in 2009, the red hot Minnesota Wild fell victim to a truck blaze during an Ottawa road trip incinerating players' bags, including that of goaltenders Backstrom and Harding.

Equipment managers were immediately sent home to collect backup gear while players scrambled locally to replace knee braces, skates, and other protective necessities in anticipation of Saturday night's game with the Ottawa Senators.

Practice equipment arrived the next day forcing players to expedite the normal week or month long break-in process to mere hours. The cause of the fire, sparked during a five minute drive from the Kanata Recreation Complex to Scotiabank Place, appears to be accidental.

Ottawa beat Minnesota the next day by a score of 4-1.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Today In NHL History - Sedin Catches Salo's Stick

On December 17th in 2011, Vancouver Canucks coordinated captain Henrik Sedin casually collected defenseman Sami Salo's twirling airborne twig "like a boss" after it was chopped from his hands by Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Clarke MacArthur. The catch came with 3:30 remaining in the first period and ultimately earned the deft Swede the game's 4th Star per local tabloid The Province

The Canucks beat the Maple Leafs that night by a score of 5-3 with Henrik setting up linemate Alex Burrows for the game winning goal. 

That's today in NHL history.