Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals

Canucks NHL Skate: Ovie Owns Gabby; Saving Lives

Canucks Roll

Mission accomplished. The Vancouver Canucks headed out on a roadie at a crucial time last week and finished up a perfect 3-and-0 with victories against the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and San Jose Sharks. Given the hole the Canucks dug themselves this early season there’s no opportunity to savour it, other than to realize they’ve dramatically increased their confidence level. That’s at least 80-percent of the battle.

The Canucks must seize the day at Rogers Arena Tuesday. Step one on the four game homestand: the Washington Capitals.

Wagering? Just remember, Alex Ovechkin LOVES to score goals against his pal and former coach Bruce Boudreau and even more so loves to beat him. Ovie will often cruise by the bench before a game and remind “Gabby” that’s he’s going to score a goal.

On October 17th this season, Ovechkin scored twice in a 6-4 Capitals victory. Last March 11th, Ovie had an assist in a 4-3 Washington overtime victory over the Canucks at Rogers Arena, and last January 16th, he opened the scoring in DC in a 4-2 Cap’s win.

Boudreau’s Canucks have yet to beat the Capitals. They have as good a chance as ever Wednesday night.

Let’s Skate !

Through the weirdness and nastiness that is social media trolling, a series of fabrications actually led to a “competitor” in this market proposing the myth that I somehow made light of sexual assault. Sort of a long story which I’ll get to at some point, but it’s preposterous, offensive, and impossible. I’ve had loved ones affected. It’s visceral.

In a different way, but along the same lines, so are my feelings about A.L.S., or ‘Lou Gehrig’s’ Disease, named for the legendary baseball player who died of the disease.

I’ve lost two very close hockey friends to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Scott Matzka, who played hockey at the University of Michigan and won an ECHL championship with the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies in 2003, died at age 40 in 2018.

John Martin, a larger than life personality and camera guy for New England Sports Network, whom I worked with constantly and joyously for three NHL seasons, died the same year at age 51.

Mark Kirton, a former NHLer who I’ve profiled recently for the wrong reasons, he’s presently battling the disease, is a strong voice behind finding a treatment or cure … before his time runs out. He believes the recent death of Toronto Maple Leafs legend Borje Salming, although tragic, will help raise the overall awareness of the disease.

Let’s hope something good comes out of something so horrible.

Along those lines, the Maple Leafs announced Tuesday that they will raise funds for the ALS battle, and honor Salming on Wednesday with the sale of sweaters and special tribute patches. The Leafs host the San Jose Sharks.

Want a unique hockey item and have some disposable income? Check out the game worn sweaters at the Real Sports Auction site from Wednesday at 12 noon to Saturday at 8 pm.

You can also learn more at ALS Action Canada and in the US search for a number of donation options including at the Mayo Clinic.

Thank you.

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.