Vancouver Canucks, Bruce Boudreau

Canucks NHL Skate: Gauntlet Begins; Huge Night in Chicago

Canucks In 6th

Let the gauntlet begin: That’s what Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau has called the Vegas, Colorado, Vegas combo this week. The first tilt is Monday night at Rogers Arena while the second two are on the road.

The challenge comes at a crucial time, although that could be said about pretty much any game or set of games for the Canucks right now after their slow start to the season. The club sits with a record of 6-9-and-3 and in 6th place in the Pacific Division with 15 points.

Pass this test, win the week, and the Canucks might be off and running towards something similar to last year, especially with goalie Thatcher Demko potentially regaining his confidence after the win against the LA Kings on Friday.

Crumble during this challenge and it might mean the end of any playoff hopes and the beginning of a purge of sorts from team management.

“Bruce, there it is!” might hang in the balance. More Canucks game day info a little bit later. While we wait …

Let’s Skate!

When both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin score goals in a game, the Pittsburgh Penguins are 97-9-and-5 since ‘Geno’ showed up in 2006. Pretty remarkable for a duo that has led the franchise to three Stanley Cup victories, 2009, 2016, and 2017.

Sunday night Malkin played in his 1,000th NHL game where he recorded a goal, his 1,166th point. That’s just 112 less than Crosby had at his 1,000th game mark. The Penguins beat the Blackhawks in Chicago 5-3.

Evgeni Malkin’s son reads the starting line-up before his dad’s 1,000th game.
Speaking of Which …

One of the great two-way players of this last generation had his sweater hoisted to the rafters at the United Center in Chicago before the Blackhawks game against the Penguins. And speaking of three Stanley Cups, Marian Hossa helped the ‘Hawk’s win three of them as well, 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Easily overlooked by the casual hockey fan, the talented, hard working Slovakian played more than 13-hundred games and tallied more than 11-hundred points while skating in the shadows of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in Chicago. Needless to say, Hossa was integral, he was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020.

Hossa famously played in the 2008 Stanley Cup Final for Pittsburgh and lost to the Detroit Red Wings, played for the Red Wings in the 2009 Stanley Cup Final and lost to the Penguins, before hoisting the chalice the next summer when Chicago beat the Philadelphia Flyers.

At my lone Memorial Cup final, I watched Hossa’s WHL Portland Winterhawks defeat the OHL Guelph Storm in Spokane. Hossa was injured early in the game on a low hit and was pushed out on to the ice in an office chair for the postgame celebration.

Twenty-four years later, his NHL number-81 now dangles from the rafters in Chicago.

Enjoy the Hockey Action!!

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.