Welcome back to our weekly post about the good and the bad of the NHL.
1. The Rude
This first point is probably a demonstration of Lindsey’s spectacular sense of humour failure (which doesn’t happen often but when it does ….) November 13 was World Kindness Day, and, on Twitter, the Carolina Hurricanes decided to mark it.
Honestly, it really came across as a super sweet idea, especially in an environment that can, so often, be combative and unwelcoming. Scrolling through the tweet thread (31 tweets long, just like the number of teams in the NHL), it was amusing and heart-warming and really great to see fans of all teams in the NHL responding to it so positively.
Until it became clear that one team had been omitted. That’s right. Lindsey’s team. The Washington Capitals were absolutely not included in this tweet thread. Now, it’s funny because, see, the Carolina Hurricanes knocked the Caps out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round last year and the two teams’ social media accounts have certainly butted heads (see below).
Now, for most Caps fans, it would take a lot more than a Twitter-based spat and one lousy post-season meeting to create a rivalry (the Rangers, the Penguins and even the Flyers tend to stir up some pretty unfriendly emotions in Caps fans) but apparently it’s a thing. It’s so much a thing that the Carolina Hurricanes went through the whole rigamarole of finding something nice to say about every team, with the express purpose of omitting the Capitals. It’s a joke but for this Caps fan, it cut a little close to home, because there’s nothing like the cruelty of being deliberately left out.
2. The Sad.
It’s been a rough week for Tyson Barrie fans. It’s been clear for a while that he hasn’t settled in Toronto the way everyone hoped he would. Last week Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said he wanted to see Tyson ‘reinvent his game’. Which is odd given that he’s only been playing on the team for a couple of months.
What this translates to is ‘Barrie isn’t playing my style of hockey so instead of letting him play to his strengths I want him to completely change his playing style to suit what I want’. It’s stupid, and frustrating, but that isn’t The Sad.
The Sad came this week when Tyson gave an interview and indicated just how unhappy he’s feeling.
Having your favourite player get traded is always sad, but knowing he’s unhappy in his new home is even sadder. And what makes this even worse is that it’s largely of the Leafs’ own doing. They knew what sort of player they were getting when they traded for Barrie and expecting him to dramatically change the way he plays to suit them is just ridiculous.
Even more frustrating is the Toronto media buying into this narrative that’s being spun and not bothering to do any research of their own.
Now there is talk of trading him and, honestly, it would probably be a kindness at this point. Most of Tyson’s fans would like to see somewhere that appreciates him as he is, and he needs a place where he can settle down and find a new home. Toronto clearly isn’t the place for him.
If you want to read more about Tyson and how stupidly unnecessary this whole situation is please read this wonderful post by Micah.
The long and short of it is Hils loves Tyson Barrie as a person and as a player. He’s unhappy, therefore she is unhappy. This is The Sad.
3. The Lovely.
In positive Toronto Maple Leafs-related news, this week saw the culmination of fund-raising efforts for Easter Seals, a Canadian charity that supports children with disabilities, and their families.
As always, Steve Dangle, beloved Leafs fan (who reacts and podcasts), led the charge, and was responsible for raising over $100, 000, which is such a significant sum of money that you know will be life-changing for kids who need it.
Bearing in mind that Steve (and other Leafs fans) are really going through it right now, why don’t you give this video a watch (from about the 7’30 mark) for his last, wildly successful update.
+1 And now to the shoot-out
The Colorado Avalanche are really struggling with injuries at the moment. Players are dropping left, right and centre. Three players (Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog and Colin Wilson) are out long-term with no timescale for their return. Multiple other players are out with injuries varying in severity.
On Wednesday the Avalanche’s backup goalie (who is currently their main starter while their actual main starter Philipp Grubauer is out with, you guessed it, an injury) suffered an injury less than a minute into the game against the Winnipeg Jets. This resulted in their backup backup Adam Werner having to step in. This was Werner’s debut NHL game, having signed an entry level with the Avalanche this summer.
Despite not expecting to play and despite his debut not being on home ice, Werner shut out the Jets making 40/40 saves.