Stan’s Java Jive: 1/23/21
Columbus, Winnipeg pull off blockbuster; Austin Matthew$ raking it in; Hellebuyck bags his 150th win; Stars win their opener, 7-0; NBCSN going dark.
HEADLINE: PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS GETS HIS WISH -- BYE-BYE, COLUMBUS
THE JIVE: Pierre-Luc Dubois is a Winnipeg Jet and good for everybody all around. Dubois jettisoned to the Jets is addition by subtraction for the Blue Jackets and, especially, John Tortorella. The longer the whiny Dubois remained in Columbus, the worse morale on a team that's not filled with stars. In addition to the gifted Patrick Laine, the Jackets get Jack Roslovic who, interestingly is a Columbus native. The Jackets also
achieve some important peace of mind. Forget about Dubois' desire to exit a small market team. Winnipeg hardly is in a class with New York, Toronto or Los Angeles for that matter. But as hockey goes, it's a top town with a top general manager in Kevin Cheveldayoff. Right now, this is a win-win situation for both clubs. Only time will tell if there's a loser. For the moment, let everybody be happy.
HEADLINE: MATTHEWS MAKES MORE MOOLAH THAN ANYONE
THE JIVE: That 's right, Auston Matthews owns the top NHL cash machine. Forbes magazine pegs his total income at $16 million. What's the attraction other than his goal stick? "He's a young, fashion forward," Forbes explains. "And he's a Mexican-American in the hockey capital of the world." Connor McDavid is runner-up with a not bad $15.2 mil, followed by Mitch Marner ($15 mil), Alex Ovechkin ($13.2 mil) and Sidney Crosby ($11.9 mil). It says here that none of that dough is for backchecking.
HEADLINE: CAN THE B'S CHARLIE COYLE REPLACE DAVID KREJEI?
THE JIVE: Looking long-range, Kreji's contract is up after this season and DK could very well wave "Bye-Bye" to Beantown. That would open up the Bruins center spot and who would be a better fit than Coyle? Nobody! Charlie-My-Boy does it all. He's a fiendish checker, shoots well and scores biggies. The large Coyle body is made for Boston hockey. As my roving correspondent, MikeRubin, sagely notes: "Kudos to g.m. Don Sweeney for getting Coyle from Minnesota for fellow Bostonian Ryan Donato."
HEADLINE: PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS DEAL IMMINENT IF NOT SOONER
THE JIVE: No question, the recalcitrant Blue Jacket could be a Jet by the time you read this; maybe even a Ranger. This much is certain; g.m. Jarmo Kekalainen is fielding bids. Interested parties include the Sabres, Caps, Wings, Blueshirts, Flyers, Jets, Wild, Senators and Flames. The Blue Jackets host Tampa Bay tonight and coach John Tortorella won't even commit to playing Dubois. "I have to be better," Pierre-Luc insists. To which Torts hits back with the perfect squelch. "Rhetoric is rhetoric; actions are what I'm looking for." (Stay tuned, P-LD may be coming to your town.)
HEADLINE: CONNOR HELLEBUYCK WINS 150TH GAME
THE JIVE: Is this native of Charter Township, Michigan the best goalie in the NHL? Well, he's the 2019-20 Vezina-winner for one thing and led the league in shutouts. You tell me; who's better? Until I hear a good case for someone else, I'll stick with Connor.
HEADLINE: STARS WIN OPENER IN DALLAS
THE JIVE: You have to be happy for Rick Bowness and his superior sextet. They crushed Nashville 7-0 last night in their first game since Game Six of the Final and definitely will be a team to be reckoned with down the stretch. "We were itching to get going," chuckles defenseman Miro Heiskanen. (And at supersonic speed, at that.)
HEADLINE: NBCSN WILL BE GONE BY YEAR'S END
THE JIVE: This coincides with the fact that the NHL's deal with NBC ends after this season. The big question looming is who will be the highest bidders for big-league games looking forward? The good news for Bettman, Inc is that since the start of this season fans have been tuning to the NHL in record numbers. That's both in Canada and the United States; plus in French and English.
* PENGUINS OVER RANGERS, 4-3. Goalie Tristan Jarry restores faith in his game with 31 saves in the Shootout-ending contest.
* BLACKHAWKS OVER RED WINGS, 4-1. Patrick Kane's goal and assist lead the lads to their first victory. And, good for them.
* STARS OVER PREDATORS, 7-0. The long wait before returning to action did not create rust on any Dallas skater.
* WILD OVER SHARKS, 4-1: Zach Parise still has the goods and proved it by breaking a 1-1 tie with what proved to be the game-winner for Minny.
* AVALANCHE OVER DUCKS, 3-2. Phillipp Grubauer's goaltending continues to sparkle with an overtime winner.
* COYOTES OVER KNIGHTS, 5-2. After losing two straight to Vegas, goalie Darcy Kuemper turns things around for Arizona. Many huge saves.
* CAPITALS OVER SABRES, 4-3. Despite missing four stars, Washington rallies behind rookie goalie Vitek Vanecek. John Carlson, Shootout winner.
MELLOWING TORTS: Reporters were surprised how cool, calm and collected John Tortorella was after the OT loss in Tampa Bay. "He was surprisingly sedate when discussing his least-favorite center, Pierre Luc-Dubois," noted one scribe.
A TYLER TIDBIT: Back comes Mike Rubin with a huzzah for the hot Hab. "We'll know if Tyler Toffolli is an official Canadien when they start accenting all three syllables of his last name."
HE MEANT WELL: Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren thought he was doing the right thing last night during a crease scramble. He was trying to push the puck to safety. Instead, the rubber went over the goal line and gave Pittsburgh a big second goal.
YAYS AND BOOS:
YAY TO KEVIN LANKINEN. Chicago's third-string goalie is now Number 1. He paced the Blackhawks to their first win of the season last night in Windy City. And, it was Lankinen's first NHL W.
BOO TO COVID-19. Need I say more?
FUNNY LINES FROM THE PAST
Devils coach Tom McVie was asked how he slept after a loss. He shot back: "I slept like a baby. Every two hours I woke up and started crying."