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Stan's Java Jive: 1/17/21
Thornton Notches His First as a Maple Leaf; Red Wings Win; Devils Edge the Bruins in OT; Rangers Exact Revenge...
HEADLINE: THORNTON SCORES -- THORNS CRITICS.
THE JIVE: The Leafs were knocked for signing "Ancient Mariner" Joe (I'm Not Too Slow) Thornton as a player who supposedly is behind the times. But The Bearded One is more bold than old. He scored his first Toronto goal last night in 3-2 win over Ottawa and -- I predict -- he'll galvanize the kids. How can Jumbo not feel young skating alongside Mitch Marner and Austen (Bad Moustache) Matthews? (Warning to Joe: Beware of minor penalty for tripping over your beard!)
HEADLINE: RED WINGS ACTUALLY WIN
THE JIVE: You read it right. They beat Carolina and nifty Stevie Yzerman acquisition, Bobby Ryan made good on his -- "I want to do right by Detroit" -- vow. Plus Dylan Larkin came through like a captain with his pair of red lights. What I loved best of all was the post-game dressing room shout: "TWO POINTS OUT OF FIRST, BOYS!"
HEADLINE: TOUGH-SPELLING DEVILS FIND
THE JIVE: In far-away Belarus they have no trouble saying (translated), "Yay, Yegor Sharangovich." The way this rookie scored the 2-1 OT winner for New Jersey over Boston, NJ fans will learn to pronounce it very soon. "Yegor is some kind of player," Chico Resch tells me. "So is (D-man) Ty Smith. The Devs are fast and exciting. Mackenzie Blackwood is as good a goalie as anyone in the league." (Another Devs bonus; Jack Hughes is fulfilling his notices: 3 points in 2 games.)
HEADLINE: DILEMMA IN WINDY CITY
THE JIVE: Minus such names as Toews, Seabrook and Dach, the Chihawks are behind several eight-balls. Then, there's the issue of goaltending. Neither Malcolm Subban nor Colin Delia have proven up to the NHL task. (Oh, how they miss Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford.) Our roving columnist Al Greenberg chimes in: "Don't be surprised if Squad goalie Kevin (AHL All-Star) Lankinen gets a shot. He was aces in Finland."
HEADLINE: Q ON YANDLE HANDLE
THE JIVE: Media critics, plus NHL fans and Panthers supporters are rallying around iron-man defenseman Keith Yandle. Cats coach Joel (Q For Questions) Quenneville has threatened to bench Keith tonight in the game against Chicago. That would end Yandle's 866-consecutive game streak. I say shame on Q if he doesn't get the right handle on Yandle. If Keith does not play it will, once and for all, tell me that Q just doesn't get it!
HEADLINE: RANGERS REBOUND TO BEAT ISLANDERS
THE JIVE: The Blueshirts -- coach David Quinn included -- got a media spanking after their opening night MSG 4-0 loss to the Nassaumen. Their emphatic rebounding 5-0 win over the Isles last night can best be explained this way. "Teams adjust. And there's also the element of revenge." (Actually, the quote belongs to Habs coach Claude Julien. He's warning his guys to expect the Oilers to try a rebound after losing 5-1 to Montreal last night.)
HEADLINE: PHILLY'S JAKUB VORACEK HARPOONS WRITER
THE JIVE: There's not much juicier than a player-columnist feud. This one between Flyers' ace Voracek has been on for a year. As always the player is miffed over a jab or ten taken by a scribe. Philly Inquirer writer Mike Sielski is the critic and Jake let him have it the other day when Mike asked if this season "feels different?' To which Voracek snapped, "Don't matter what I say you'll write the same (du-du) every time." For added spice, the Flyer likened Sielski to a "weasel." All this really did was give the columnist some notoriety. And when he's not pouting, Jake will laugh his way to the bank. (In the 5th year of an 8 year $66 million pact, you would, too.)
HEADLINE: JIM RUTHERFORD SHOULD TRADE MALKIN
THE JIVE: The once Rapid Russian isn't so rapid anymore; or so it seems. Let's face it this Hulk needs a change of scenery. Ah, but who would want him at the price Jimmy Rutherford would demand? Then there's the matter of whether this guy has had it with the NHL gig and might find an easier KHL to his liking. Of course, that could change if the Pens ever decide to win a game.
HEADLINE: SENATORS GET SOME POETIC LICENSE
THE JIVE: I asked our roving reporter, Gus Vic, if the Senators are for real. Vic rhymed back: Small sample size but in a Division to surprise!
* From Our Toronto Reporter, Rob DelMundo: "Brian Burke is the new Don Cherry."
* From Steve Simmons re a rookie tv analyst: "Kevin Bieksa is the new star in Canada. He's honest, original and quirky."
* Is Mikko Koskinen the answer to the Oilers goaltending dilemma? NO! But Jimmy Howard might help -- if Jim doesn't retire, as rumored.
* Annually, goaltending kills the Flyers. No more. Carter Hart is the savior.
BEST QUOTE FROM THE PAST:
After Don (Grapes) Cherry and I collaborated on his autobiography, Grapes, Don was asked what it was like writing his life story. He shot back: "Three years ago I couldn't spell author. Now I are one!"