Weekly Grab Bag

James Lumsden January 27, 2014 1

Settling into Monday evening after a good brisk walk home from work across the Ottawa River here in my homestead in Vanier, Ontario (yes, technically I live in Ottawa, but I still call Vanier ‘Vanier’, the west end ‘The West End’ and Orleans ‘Orleans’,) I’m beginning to dig the art of the hockey blog.  Am I a hockey guru?  No, and I have never professed to be one.  Will I get to interview the stars and personalities of the game by doing this?  Probably not.  Am I here to cut and paste information you can already readily receive through the information highway in today’s day and age?  No, but I am down with passing along a history lesson here and there.  Are your thoughts, views and opinions about the game or your favorite team as good as mine?  Most def.  I want to hear your commentary concerning what I write, F4S has a fantastic forum link which you can hit up to respond to my articles here.  Tell me I’m right, or tell me I’m wrong.  Say I’m soft, say I’m not, or say I’m bang-on.  This world would be a very boring place if everyone agreed with one another.  In the end, it keeps this writer off of Facebook, which really is soon turning into the handy telephone service of today.  And I really don’t like the feeling of the cold-call myself.

I also dig the fact that no matter what time of evening it is, it’s never too late to give my version of the weekend that was and the week to come.  Fridays and Mondays work well to recap the weekend and the week of NHL entertainment.

So here we go.  It felt like listening to a baseball game on ice this past Saturday in the latest installment of the Coors Light (all rights reserved, but please do ) NHL (ditto) Stadium Series, where the L.A. Kings lost to the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 in Dodger’s Stadium.  Geez, they got it right with the pomp and setup.  It would be cool to see the same type of setup north of the border during summertime.  Yup, I listened to the game via radio feed.  Not quite like listening to Foster Hewitt broadcasts from pre-1962 or 1972, but we did get to hear Vin Scully present hockey before the game began.  Sunday’s tilt at Yankee Stadium had me humming the tune to Genesis’ “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”, with the NY Rangers pulling away from the NJ Devils 7-3 without a contest.  According to Martin Brodeur, apparently the ice was brutal.  True to that.  The next installment should be a spirited affair between NYR and the NY Islanders on Wednesday.

In brief, Ovie is back for Washington and he scored the game winner against Montreal 1:46 into the first period for the Hab’s 4th loss in a row, prompting a players-only meeting of the minds.  Robin layed an egg and was pulled after two in Ottawa’s 6-3 loss to Carolina earlier that day.  Toronto came back late  for the tie with 1:33 remaining in the 3rd with a goal by Phil Kessel, but lost the extra point to Winnipeg in OT on a goal by Dustin Byfuglien to finish Toronto’s road trip.  Sean Monohan scored the shootout winner in Calgary’s win over Nashville on Friday.  Edmonton bounced back from a Friday loss to Phoenix to beat the Preds 5-1 on Saturday.  Even with both teams sharing the cellar out west this season, the Oilers and Flames still make it a heck of a time for visiting teams, sometimes.  Sunday saw Winnipeg win the battle of windy cities, beating the reigning cup champ Chicago Blackhawks 3-1.  Antoine Vermette scored a hat trick, but Kevin Bieksa scored the OT winner in Vancouver’s win over the Coyotes to end the weekend.  In this matchup between Canadian Olympic goaltenders, score one for Roberto over Mike.

With divisional and wild card races being very tight, here’s what to look forward to this week for the NHL’s Canadian teams:

Monday –  Edmonton @ Vancouver

Tuesday – Tampa Bay @ Toronto,  Ottawa @ Columbus, Carolina @ Montreal, Nashville @ Winnipeg,  Chicago @ Calgary

Wednesday – San Jose @ Edmonton

Thursday – Montreal @ Boston, Tampa Bay @ Ottawa, Florida @ Toronto

If I missed anything.  again, that’s what the forum is there for.  I’ll tip my hat if you do.

In closing, food for thought:  Manitoba-born James Reimer would look awfully good in a Winnipeg jersey, wouldn’t he?  The Jets would need to give up something of value in order to get him, but they look awfully decent all-around, otherwise.  And Mikael Samuelsson cleared Detroit waivers on Sunday and was assigned to Grand Rapids of the AHL  I’m kinda suprised no one took a chance on him.  Oh yeah … the cap era … got it.

You can follow me on Twitter, @Jeluden

Have a great week, everyone.

James Lumsden