Screenshots: Blackhawks, Habs and Ducks
This week’s Screenshots column has what all the Screenshots columns have: a handful of different hockey topics, in small portions. What more could a writer ask for from an audience whose attention span is ever shorter? I forget, because it’s like it was so long ago. Anyway, let’s move on to this week’s topics:
–The Chicago Blackhawks and Kyle Beach announced Wednesday that they have reached a settlement in Beach’s negligence lawsuit against the team. Hopefully this brings some peace of mind to the former NHL player.
Equally important, I hope this is one of the last times we hear of a player being abused. But you can understand why skepticism abounds that Beach’s case is one of the few. Given past instances of wrongdoing, it makes sense that there have been others in the game who have taken advantage of its autocratic inclinations to commit serious offenses.
That is why we must strive to ensure that predatory behavior ceases to be a factor at all levels of sport. All it takes is complacency for terrible things to happen again, and if we want a future where we always talk about hockey and never talk about the abuse we get while playing hockey, we have to get the job done. on the legs and be more alert and willing to talk outside than we have ever been before. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before the next case of abuse comes to light.
– The Montreal Canadiens have played 30 regular season games this year, and with a worst record in the Atlantic Division of 6-21-3, they are not concerned about “load management”, with their players unscathed, they’re concerned about handling overload – as in, all of these losses are overwhelming, and what are Canadians left to play in the next 52 games?
We can hear all the platitudes of “They’re playing for their job next year” that we want, but in the field boots, the daily wear of a lost season before the holidays, it’s a dark idea. ‘imagine how frustrating the next four months will be for the Habs. One of the biggest jobs for Jeff Gorton, Montreal’s new head of hockey operations, is to make sure that kids like Nick Suzuki and Alexander Romanov don’t let the experience of playing in one of the most demanding markets in hockey in a season like this.
The sooner they can show their young talents the good side of playing in Montreal, the more likely they will be to get their signature on contract extensions. The longer it takes, the more likely it is that a Jesperi Kotkaniemi-style saga will happen again. In that sense, every game from the 31st to the 82nd is always very important to the Canadians.
– The Anaheim Ducks have been one of the few surprisingly hot teams to start this season to maintain a large degree of success. The Buffalo Sabers came out strong, but sank near the bottom of the Atlantic Division in no time. The San Jose Sharks have won their first four games this year (and six of their first nine), but they are 9-10-1 since then, and currently sit fifth in the division. Pacific, but with the third from the Pacific. -pire point percentage (.534) and as losers in four of their last six games, the Sharks are unlikely to scare anyone this season.
The Ducks, however, have managed to stay prominent in the Pacific: After winning two of their first three games this year, Anaheim has lost six in a row. However, rather than vanish to the bottom of the Pacific as many (this writer included) imagined this season, the Ducks have won their next eight games and become a real threat who currently sits atop the Pacific Rim with a 17. -9. -5 note.
Credit for that surely goes to the Anaheim players, but neither can we forget the impact of head coach Dallas Eakins on the Ducks. Once considered a season-and-a-half miss after 113 games at the head of the bench in Edmonton, Eakins is making the most of his second shot as an NHL head coach. A new school hockey spirit who approaches each of his players differently, Eakins proves (a) it’s second-time charm; and (b) the Ducks have been wise to stick with him for the past two years even though they haven’t made the playoffs either year. Sometimes a coach really needs a little extra time to put their mark on a group, and it looks like Eakins falls into that category.