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Stan's Java Jive 1/15/21
Oilers Strike Back, While McDavid Nets Three; My Thoughts on the Scotia North Division (Canadian); Vegas Golden Knights Center, Cody Glass Pumps Up and Will Keith Yandle Be on the Move?
HEADLINE: OILERS LOSE OPENER, REBOUND FAST
THE JIVE: Edmontonians fans shrieked, "Enough already!" after the Canucks whipped them in the home opener. Fact is you don't base a season on one game. The rebound was heartening if for no other reason that McDavid, Inc. is just getting its act together. When McD gets a hat trick those things will happen.
HEADLINE: TWO NOVELTIES IN ONE NIGHT:
THE JIVE: Novelty One: All six Rangers defensemen in the MSG opener with the Islanders are American-born. Tony DeAngelo, Jack Johnson, Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, K'Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba. That's a first for the Blueshirts. Novelty Two: The Sabres got beaten by the Caps in Buffalo, 6-4. Normally the home team would get at least one out of three stars. Yet Sabres media picked T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom and -- who else? -- Alex Ovechkin. (Incredible but true.)
HEADLINE: LAZY AVS GET COACH-WHIPPING
THE JIVE: What's with the Avs blowing their home opener as if they were sleep-walking? Coach Jared Bednar complains that he "didn't have enough guys compete." What's wrong with a Colorado crew that can't produce 100 percent for their Denver fans? What did they think the Blues invaded town for -- an exhibition game? Jared added that his skaters looked like they had "lazy habits." Yeah, but Pal Bednar, how much of that falls on the coach?
HEADLINE: A DIM VIEW OF THE CANADIAN DIVISION OR NOT? NOT!
THE JIVE: It's true that the Canucks and Flames figure to excel. But -- and it is a key "but" -- what can we make of the Canadian sector? A team from Canada is guaranteed a semi-final berth but will it be a case of by default or will it be earned? A hockey guy I know at one of the networks picks the "by default" answer. I disagree, not with the likes of McDavid in Edmonton, Hughes in Vancouver...Well, you get the point!
HEADLINE: KEITH YANDLE AVAILABLE
THE JIVE: The veteran Boston-born defenseman has been an admirable iron man but now the Panthers would love to iron him out of their lives.
He's been practicing with the Cats' fringe group and that means he's a possible goner. Yanny has three years left on his deal with a $6.3 million Cap hit. Florida's opener with the Stars was postponed so we'll just have to wait before we get a handle on Yandle!
HEADLINE: THE RED WINGS ARE 'OFFENSIVELY CHALLENGED'
THE JIVE: That's the word from Paul Kukla in Hockeytown. That's the P.K. from my favorite Kukla's Korner. The arithmetic after Detroit's 3-0 loss to the Canes favors Paul. The Wings had only one shot on goal in the first 18 and a half minutes of the third period! ("Waiter: A bottle of aspirins for Jeff Blashill, if you don't mind.")
HEADLINE: DEVILS TY SMITH IS A 'SLEEPER' POTENTIAL CALDER-WINNER
THE JIVE: My see-all-know-all New Jersey reporter, George (The Artist) Falkowski, makes a good point: "Smith was voted 'Best Defenseman' with the Spokane Juniors after previous tryouts with the Devils. If Lindy Ruff gives him regular minutes, he'll come of age in Newark. He could be the rookie-of-the-year." Smitty got off to a flying start with a goal in the Devs home opener against the Bruins. (The loss in a Shootout still got Lindy a point.)
HEADLINE: KNIGHTS CODY GLASS UP IN ARMS
THE JIVE: It's not as bad as it looks in a headline. The 21-year-old center did a Zoom interview and appeared to be showing off his muscular arms a bit too much. (Cody had re-shaped his body after a so-so rookie year.) Not that it was a big deal but someone needled Glass after the interview. He blushingly replied: "Thanks for calling me out on that." (Calling you out, Cody? I commend you!)
HEADLINE: SHARKS NEED A HEALTHY ERIK KARLSSON
THE JIVE: Truer words never were spoken. Frankly -- sadly -- I believe Erik lost "something" after his last serious injury in Ottawa. He's never been the same superstar D-man.
HEADLINE: ANDERS LEE SAYS ISLES 'FOCUS' PEAKING
THE JIVE: The captain of the Nassaumen is one-for-one so far. The 4-0 opening night win over the Blueshirts was convincing. But it was -- as I'm sure Barry Trotz is noting -- one night. Next, the Islanders try for two while the Rangers try for one.
HEADLINE: THE DUCKS ARE HOPEFUL
THE JIVE: After two straight missed playoff years, a resurgence would be gratifying in Anaheim. Kevin Shattenkirk should help on defense-offense and there are some promising Young Turks. I'm hoping for a big year out of my NJ buddy Adam Henrique. Ditto for Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg. Oh, yeah, almost forgot John (Gibby) Gibson and Ryan (I'm Not Through Yet) Miller.
HEADLINE; AUSTON MATTHEWS GETTING CROSSCHECKED PLENTY
THE JIVE: He's a net-hanging superstar, what do you expect?
JUST WONDERING DEPARTMENT:
* Is Carter Hutton the Sabres answer for top-notch puck-stopping? I have serious doubts.
* Is John Tortorella's "handling" of the Pierre-Luc Dubois situation bad for the Blue Jackets? I'm a Torts guy, through and through. It'll turn out fine for Columbus.
* Is Stevie Yzerman pushing his kids too hard when he says he wants Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi "to be better players?"
If those top-liners don't become better players it will be an oy vay season in Hockeytown.
MY DAILY ALL-TIME QUOTE:
"Guy Lafleur flies down the ice, Steve Shutt soars. Bob Gainey barrels. I sort of crash!" (From Terry O'Reilly of the Bruins.)