Some very interesting heroes and villains in this week’s NHL. The Boston Bruins should generally be considered a villain, so their continued dominance over the Eastern Conference can be called a victory of evil over good. The duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl have been usurped as the one-two punch of leading the NHL in scoring from a single address. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand jumped to the top of league scoring with Pastrnak leading in goals and points and Marchand being second overall with the lead in assists. The alternating heroism and villainy being that the line’s centre Patrice Bergeron is one of the classiest players in the league and everything a Hockey player should be. Brad Marchand is the worst, and pretty much the opposite. They were riding a six game winning streak, but Montreal stopped them last night. Montreal looked super classy in victory, even cheering their nemesis Zdeno Chara being lauded for his 1500th NHL game. Montreal were the Hero that night as Boston’s defeat kept the Washington Capitals in first place in the conference. Islander watch continues as New York has won 10 in a row and sit below the Caps and Bruins mostly because of games in hand. In the West the reigning Champion St. Louis Blues have won 5 in a row and are back on top of the conference.
In a different kind of heroism, former Detroit Red Wing Jakub Kindl made a minor stir in a German League game. He talked the ref out of giving the other team a penalty, instead admitting he tripped and fell on his own. How do you guys feel about it? There’s the old adage “If you’re not cheating you’re not trying”. Now that certainly applies to faceoffs, but beyond that Hockey players have a rep for fairplay. I know I’ve been on both sides of the coin – I remember a soccer game in University where I punched a ball out of the net playing goalie and I *might* have been below the goal line. I swore up and down I wasn’t even though I wasn’t sure. Conversely, a few years ago I called out a teammate at a play at the plate in our beer league softball game Championship Final. It made my game winning, championship winning walk off home run all the more satisfying later in the game as I had a clear conscience. The other team had given themselves every single call in the game so I knew we were the heroes and them the villains. However, I’m pretty sure the person I called out at the plate has never quite forgiven me. I’m sorry Heather, please come back and play for the Longballs again!
Yes. That was a very thinly veiled excuse to work my game winning, Championship winning walkoff homerun into a story. I do that a lot.
Drew Doughty has played some of his best and most important Hockey for Canada. Which makes his villainous cross Canada tour of picking beef with Canadian teams all the more spicy! In addition to his beef with Calgary Flame Matt Tkachuk, he mildly slagged off the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs. He also said that the media was running with his words and quoting them out of context. I agree with him absolutely, the media are the worst for stifling the NHL’s personality by vilifying people who don’t give the standard robotic NHL player interview. Even though I’m a Leaf fan and Drew Doughty insulted us specifically I actually like him a bit more for it. We don’t need the Ovechkins and Doughtys of the world to pump our tires, that’s something we’ve got to do on our own. What I do like is players starting personal and team rivalries through. Looks like the rivalry between Ryan Reaves and Evander “What a Jerk” Kane has expanded to include the Las Vegas Casino industry! Apparently Kane has been ducking $500,000 in Casino markers from the Cosmopolitan Hotel Casino. Between Reaves, the moneyphone incident and his current woes maybe Kane would be best served to just stay out of Nevada altogether.