The past couple days have given us some fun hockey news.
We got Ryan Reaves in full form clucking at the Canucks. We got a former Cup winner sacking their head coach. We got a whole hell of a lot of UFA rumours.
Most entertaining though, we got the second round of the playoffs underway. The round is set with some pretty fun match-ups that will all be entertaining before what we can only hope is a Colorado-Boston final.
Second round gets underway
The second round match-ups are officially off to the races.
In the West, Vegas made short work of Vancouver in a 5-0 Game 1 route that somehow made Ryan Reaves look like a three-time MVP winner. Also the chicken noises were just way too funny, I think we’ve finally activated Playoff Reaves.
Oh and Mark Stone looks like he wants to add a Conn Smyth to his resume.
The Stars managed to beat out the Avalanche 5-3 in Game 1 and Boston took a 1-0 series lead against Tampa.
My only takeaway from these games is that the better team won all three. Dallas outplayed Colorado in the series opener, despite them not being as explosive a team. Vegas just dominated Vancouver and Boston had to fight to beat the Lightning in a heavy-weight bout that’s just going to get better the deeper into the fight we get.
Allan Walsh goes in on Golden Knights, Deboer
One of the weirder pieces of hockey news from the past couple of days came courtesy of outspoken agent Allan Walsh.
Walsh represents players like Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Drouin, Jonathan Huberdeau, and of course Marc-Andre Fleury.
On Aug. 22, Walsh tweeted this image out.
So it’s safe to say that Walsh is not happy with how Fleury has been used this postseason.
Fleury said this about the picture;
“I’ve known him since I was 15. We’re always very close. We always talk about hockey, or other things in life also. I think he’s a guy that always cares a lot about his players, and does about me also. I really appreciate his passion for the game, that he has. I think it was maybe a way to defend me in the situation, for not playing much. I’m here to win with my team, and to have success. That’s what matters, so because of that I asked him to take the picture down, and he did this morning.”
That doesn’t really sound like someone who disagrees with Walsh’s take. The fact that we know Fleury and Walsh are extremely close, and that Fleury is Walsh’s top client, AND the fact that the tweet was left up for 24 hours, kind of shows that Fleury was likely more okay with it than he let on.
The Vegas Golden Knights have primarily turned to Robin Lehner these playoffs, and have pretty much dominated doing so, making short work of the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.
This isn’t the first time Walsh has taken to Twitter to defend his clients, and every time he does it’s entertaining as hell, despite the tactic’s possible detriments.
Walsh hyperbolic image may be a bit of an exagerration of Vegas’ goaltending situation, but it’s not impossible to put yourself into the shoes of the agent here. His client joined an expansion team, backstopped them to a Stanley Cup final, and as been the face of the franchise since arriving.
It’s tough to argue that Fleury is a better goalie than Lehner right now, but that’s hardly on DeBoer, who is and should just play the better goalie right now.
Capitals fire Todd Reirdan
After just two years, Washington have fired Reirdan as head coach of the team after getting royally beaten by the New York Islanders.
Capitals GM Brian MacLennan said that the organization had “higher expectations” and that a fresh start was needed.
After replacing Barry Trotz right after the 2018 Cup win, Reirdan’s playoff record struggled. A seven-game loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2019, and now a five-game rout courtesy of the Islanders.
It probably didn’t help that Trotz was on the other bench, and it’s even more difficult to imagine that this wasn’t Trotz’s thinking the whole series:
This first round exit put a spotlight on Reirdan’s ability to rally the troops, considering everyone outside of Braden Holtby looked disinterested the whole round (Can we blame it on the goatees? I think we should blame it on the goatees).
Also the fact that Reirdan wasn’t able to shift his strategy to break down the Islanders’ trap system is another indication that the ship wasn’t sailing at full capacity.
Also, Washington, don’t overthink it. Hire Gerard Gallant. I swear, if they go and hire Mike Babcock I’m going to have a fit. Or even better yet, hire an unknown instead of recycling the same 35 coaches forever.
Read of the Day
Katie Strang of The Athletic always puts out incredible features, but her latest might be one of her most impactful.
The article, titled “‘I was one of them’: Survivor of alleged sexual abuse by hockey coach speaks out“, details the history of abuse from Chicago minor hockey coach Tom “Chico” Adrahtas.
It’s a tough read, but as always, Strang is able to mix emotion, difficult subject matter and compelling storytelling into an incredible piece.
- If there is even a slight chance that we could get a Vancouver-Boston Stanley Cup final, don’t we as a hockey community have a responsibility to do everything we can to make it happen?
- If you don’t listen to Puck Soup, you should be. On their “Playoff Pasta” episode, the idea of a Taylor Hall to Calgary and Johnny Gaudreau to New Jersey, and I kind of love it as a long-term option for the Flames.
- Hall to Colorado is just so much juicier though isn’t it?
- Hi Welcome Back To The Nathan MacKinnon Fan Club, Just Your Daily Reminder That He Is Way Too Good At This Sport.
Follow me on Twitter @Matthew_Coyte