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
Alouettes trade for QB Trevor Harris – CFL.ca
MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Sunday that the team has acquired veteran quarterback Trevor Harris from the Edmonton Elks in exchange for American defensive end Antonio Simmons.
In six games this season, Harris completed 135 of 192 passes, collecting 1,568 yards, adding six majors.
Harris (six-foot-three, 212 pounds) is in his ninth season in the CFL after playing in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. In 139 career games, he completed 1990 passes for 23,750 yards, adding 126 touchdown passes. The 35-year-old quarterback has hoisted the Grey Cup twice (2012, Toronto; 2016, Ottawa). The Waldo, OH native was selected on the East Division All-Star Team in 2016. The former Edinboro University Fighting Scots suited up for the Jacksonvile Jaguars in 2010 and the Buffalo Bills in 2011.
“Trevor is a veteran who knows the league well and what it takes to win”, said Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “We are pleased to have been able to complete this transaction. We are confident that Trevor will work well with our quarterbacks. We thank Antonio for his services and wish him well.”
In 23 career games with the Alouettes, Simmons made 52 defensive tackles, five quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.
Simmons is currently in his second CFL season and joins the Elks after originally signing with Montreal in May of 2019.
The Georgia Tech product played all 18 regular season games for the Als in 2019, recording 45 defensive tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. In five games this season, Simmons has registered seven defensive tackles and two sacks.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Simmons played four years (2014-17) at Georgia Tech, collecting 83 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and seven quarterback sacks. He spent time in 2018 with both the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Flames D Andersson fined $5K for roughing Oilers F Yamamoto – TSN
Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson has been fined $5,000 for roughing Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto.
Andersson was fined the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the Players’ Association.
The money goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund.
Andersson was assessed minor penalties for both roughing and elbowing at 14:33 of the first period Saturday in Edmonton.
The Flames lost their season-opener 5-2 to the Oilers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2021.
Report: Maple Leafs to ease up on dress code restrictions for game days – Sportsnet.ca
The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently planning to loosen up on dress code restrictions for players on game day.
Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to and from the arena, as outlined in the CBA, however, teams can ease up on the mandate if they choose.
The Arizona Coyotes were the only team that opted to do so entering the season, but the Maple Leafs now plan to follow suit, according to Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun.
The decision comes just a few days after ESPN published an article on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who has shown a flair for unique fashion while away from the arena, discussing his displeasure with the NHL’s strict dress code.
“I don’t mind wearing a suit, but it gets old pretty quick,” Matthews said. “I think it’d be fun to wear different things and be able to express yourself, similar to what the NBA does or even the NFL a little bit.”
The 24-year-old Matthews, who led the NHL with 41 goals in 52 games last season, missed the first three games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and is expected to make his 2021-22 debut Monday night against the New York Rangers on Sportsnet.
Week five without LRT service and Canada's women's soccer team plays in Ottawa: Five stories to watch this week – CTV Edmonton
Three more COVID-19 related deaths, 58 new cases, in New Brunswick Sunday – CTV News Atlantic
Bitcoin hovers near 6-month high on ETF hopes, inflation worries
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Media18 hours ago
'Don't squish them': Photos on social media show slimy, sticky salamanders in Labrador – CBC.ca
Business16 hours ago
Bank of England will have to act to contain inflation – Bailey
Investment19 hours ago
Turkey's Erdogan says U.S. proposed F-16 sales in return for its F-35 investment – Reuters
Business18 hours ago
UPDATE: U.S. expected to reopen border November 8, mixed doses eligible – BlackburnNews.com
Business16 hours ago
Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ estimated to be worth about $900 million – Bloomberg News
Health15 hours ago
Former U.S. President Clinton leaves hospital, will return to New York
News16 hours ago
China condemns U.S., Canada for sending warships through Taiwan Strait
Politics15 hours ago
UN envoy says has agreement on drafting new Syrian constitution