Canucks 4, Wild 1: Power-play strike, Markstrom's magic make it memorable for Boeser – The Province
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Do it for Duke.
It was a simple suggestion to make a Sunday matinee memorable for the health-challenged father of Brock Boeser.
Beset by a myriad of continuing medical conditions that have been life-threatening and emotionally draining, Duke’s drive and determination to make the most of every day have been passed to his humble and hard-working son.
Duke was one of nearly 100 Boeser backers from the winger’s nearby hometown of Burnsville, Minn., to see the Vancouver Canucks get the better of the Minnesota Wild. It made for a better day because of what Duke has endured and the inspiration he provides.
He suffered a heart attack in July. He had CPR. His heart stopped. He suffered a second attack and was in intensive care for three weeks and in hospital for 3 1/2 months. He has battled Parkinson’s and cancer and a brain injury.
“Brock’s first game and first goal were here and just the whole environment and the setting is special,” said defenceman Troy Stecher, whose long-standing friendship with Boeser dates to their playing days at the University of North Dakota. “And he’s so humble and especially at his age.
“Everybody has challenges in life and every family goes through difficult times, but for him it’s pretty broadcasted and to see him come to the rink every day with a smile on his face and to go to work and then go home to deal with it, it’s pretty impressive. He’s a good professional.”
And as much as Boeser wanted to make a difference on the ice, he couldn’t help but wonder what was happening off it. A 4-1 win on the fourth game of a five-game road trip helped ease all his concerns — at least for one day.
Here’s what we learned as Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat and Stecher scored for the Canucks before Horvat’s empty-netter sealed the deal:
Where’s the power in their play?
It’s supposed to be their salvation, their get-out-of-jail-free card when they struggle to score at even strength.
However, going 0-for-12 with the man advantage the previous four games — and failing to score on their first five power-play opportunities Sunday — was putting a game they should control in peril.
The league’s fifth-ranked first unit wasn’t having trouble gaining the offensive zone — either getting there off the rush or with the drop pass — it’s what didn’t happen next. With Pettersson and Boeser at their customary shooting dots and Quinn Hughes directing traffic, the Canucks were stagnant. They were predictable and plodding and looking for the perfect play and the perfect one-timer goal.
They had 5-on-4, 5-on-3 and 4-on-3 chances in the first period. Pettersson had two great chances on the 4-on-3 with two heavy shots. In the second period, the Canucks did zip with a 5-on-3 for 1:23 and it took going old school to get some new-found power play life.
When Pettersson set a screen, a half-slapper by Hughes was deflected by the centre to open the scoring.
“The power play was not good,” said Pettersson. “I don’t know if it was a broken play in the middle of a shift, but I ended up in front of the net and Quinn shot the puck and it hit my stick. Lately, we’ve kind of wanted to do too much. We have to simplify. Strange flow to the game, but with all the power plays we had, we should have got more than one goal.”
Markstrom gets call, gets tested
Jacob Markstrom got back-to-back starts because coach Travis Green thought he was good Saturday with 25 saves in a 6-3 win at Buffalo and deserved to get the cage again. It was a pretty good hunch.
Although it looked like it was going to be an easy afternoon with the Canucks having a 14-3 shot advantage in the early going, the starter was going to face some serious rubber.
In the second period, he twice thwarted Ryan Suter on 5-on-3 scoring attempts and then went post-to-post in time to stop Mats Zuccarello on a redirect while stationed at the back door for what looked like a sure goal.
Markstrom was finally beaten when a hot Luke Kunin shot caught him high and the rebound was shoved home by a diving Marcus Foligno, who out-legged Boeser and Chris Tanev.
However, Horvat scored just 13 seconds later by getting to a loose puck at the side of the net before Stecher walked in from the point and let a wrist shot fly that eluded the dubious glove of goalie Devan Dubnyk.
Markstrom then made sure the Wild didn’t get any needed momentum by denying Carson Soucy on a backhander after he blew by Loui Eriksson. Markstrom then sprawled out of position and Zuccarello’s shot found Tanev instead of the open net. Markstrom also made crucial pad saves in the third period, including a trio of late-game stops, to maintain a two-goal cushion.
“I was ready to play and I always feel better when I play more rather than less,” said Markstrom, who finished with 23 saves. “Obviously, it was a mistake by me on their goal — a bad rebound — but right after we go and score two quick ones to go up 3-1, which was huge on the road.
“Nobody was happy after the two games in Florida (outscored 14-4 in a 9-2 loss at Tampa and a 5-2 defeat in Florida) and we’ve given ourselves a chance to make this a good road trip.”
Maybe Stecher put it best about the last line of defence who looks like a first star on so many nights.
“He deserves to be an all-star,” said Stecher. “Some games he wins for us we didn’t deserve. He’s definitely the backbone of this group.”
Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets
5 p.m., Bell MTS Place, TV: SNETP; Radio: SNET 650 AM
Toronto Maple Leafs: Treliving Hiring Shows Shanahan's Incompetence – Editor in Leaf
The problem isn’t that Brad Treliving is the newest GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but instead, it’s Brendan Shanahan’s explanation of it.
As previously mentioned, Brad Treliving is a good executive with a long hockey career, but he never should have been hired as the Toronto Maple Leafs GM.
Reports already indicate that the core-four will remain the same next year, which is fine, but why hire someone new if they’re going to do the same thing and not at least scare the roster that they could be moved?
A new GM is supposed to ignite change and bring a new approach to the game. It’s not someone who’s just going to re-do the job that Kyle Dubas just did.
When Shanahan fired Dubas, he wanted someone who had experience, which is what Treliving brings, but it’s not like he has a ton of winning experience. He’s never been to a Stanley Cup Finals before and only advanced to the second round twice in nine years in Calgary, so what’s really the difference between him and Dubas?
Nothing, at least not in terms of experience or success.
The only difference is that Shanahan is a bitter old-man who was scared that the young buck in Dubas was getting too much attention and that he might take his job one day.
Toronto Maple Leafs: New GM Brings Nothing Different From Dubas
If you look across the league, it’s crazy how much esteem Dubas has. By the way Shanahan described Dubas during his firing, it’s like he was only in the league for 10 minutes and didn’t have the respect of his peers.
Shanahan’s statement was actually hilarious when you compare his words to what other people have said about Dubas. Here’s what Shanahan said during his press conference:
“Treliving earned tremendous respect during his time in the NHL and built excellent relationships … We are confident that Brad’s leadership and strategic vision will elevate the Maple Leafs in our continued pursuit of a championship.”
As for Dubas, if you read Pierre LeBruns’ article in The Athletic last week, the same words were essentially said about him, here are some quotes from that article:
- Jarmo Kekalainen (Columbus Blue Jackets): “I have the utmost respect for Kyle, both as a professional and as a person. He’s always a straight shooter to deal with. No bulls—. Just an all-around really good person and a professional. All our discussions were straightforward and analytical. I think he has a very thorough approach to everything; you have to be prepared when you talk to him because he’s going to look at things from every angle. I have a lot of respect for him.”
- Bill Zito (Florida Panthers) : “Obviously, a very bright man. And a guy that I have a lot of faith in his character. He’s a guy you could do a deal with. And if it wasn’t papered, you could tell the (player) go ahead get on the plane. As an agent, we used to say if you did a deal with a GM and you didn’t have a contract back yet, would you send your player on the plane? That’s a level of respect I have for Kyle’s integrity. Obviously, I’m very fond of him. I think he did a hell of a job there.”
- The GMs of Nashville, Tampa and Edmonton were all quoted as saying really nice things about him as well.
All of these old-school and experienced GM’s said nothing but great things about Dubas, yet the Leafs didn’t want him. They explained all of the attributes that Shanahan wanted in a GM, yet they decided to move on and hire Treliving instead.
Shanahan took a bitter approach and gassed one of the most thoughtful and intelligent hockey minds of this generation and instead hired a guy who hasn’t doesn’t seem to be an improvement in any way.
No disrespect to Treliving because I think he’s going to do a fine job, but the explanation of Dubas’ firing gets dumber with every second and continues to show the incompetence of Shanahan as the President of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
How much are Stanley Cup Final tickets? – ESPN – ESPN
The Stanley Cup Final will return to Las Vegas and South Florida for the Florida Panthers vs. the Vegas Golden Knights. For fans of the Knights, who reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2018, tickets to the first two games at T-Mobile Arena are a bit cheaper this time around.
The average price for a ticket to Game 1 is $763, according to Vivid Seats data. In 2018, during the franchise’s first trip to the Final, the average was $1,062. That was the highest in recent years for a team making its Final debut or returning after a long drought. Last year’s Game 1 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche had an average price of $1,052. The Avalanche, who hosted Game 1, were playing their first Final game since 2001. When the St. Louis Blues hosted their first Final game in decades in 2019, the average was $869.
For Saturday’s opening game, the lowest-priced available ticket is going for $405 on the Knights’ website, while TickPick lists a no-view, standing room only ticket for $311. The most expensive ticket is $9,750. These prices don’t reflect taxes or fees.
For Game 3, the Panthers’ first Stanley Cup Final home game since 1996, the average price for a ticket at FLA Live Arena is $628, according to Vivid Seats. At Ticketmaster, the Panthers’ ticket-seller, the lowest-priced ticket is $538. The most expensive ticket is reselling for $9,000 before taxes and fees. The average price for Game 4 is a bit higher at $689.
If the series goes to seven games, fans might need some extra casino winnings to get into the arena. Prices via the Knights’ website range from about $900 to $25,000.
NBA Finals Takeaways: Nuggets’ stars show they’re ready for biggest stage – Sportsnet.ca
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