Videos by OutKick
It’s Thanksgiving week, pals.
A holiday focused on food, football, and family (but mostly food and football) is one of the many things that should make us all proud to be Americans.
While football owns Thanksgiving and the other kind of football owns the next month on the sporting calendar, there’s always room for hockey in my book.
Canadians may have celebrated Thanksgiving last month — I’m not sure why we didn’t coordinate that with them, but apparently, they couldn’t wait — but I’m sure thankful they gave us hockey, so I could hand out some awards that carry as much significance as the Whose Line Is It Anyway? points system.
Which is to say, none at all.
Still, let’s get rolling on this week’s piping-hot batch of NHL Weekly Awards (several of which occurred outside of the NHL).
Biggest “Oh Yeah, This Video Is Definitely From Russia” Moment Of The Week: Some KHL Fan
Sometimes you see a video and think “I don’t know why, but this feels Russian.” It’s usually a dashcam video of someone diving in front of a Peugeot or of a guy doing a shot and then trying to box a Grizzly bear.
I had one of those moments with this video. My “wait a second, this has to be in Russia” sense was tingling, and it turned out to be right.
It takes a special kind of crazy to scale the glass and jump on the ice while 10 dudes come barreling down the rink. The nation that makes grizzly bears ride unicycles (they mess with bears a lot) has that.
Now, sticking with Russia…
Worst Own Goal Of The Week: Mikhail Naumenkov
Putting a puck in the back of your own net is always rough, but there’s a sliding scale of how embarrassing it is.
Having a puck bounce off your shin pad while trying to block a shot is at the bottom of the list. Trying to clear the front of your net by shooting the puck into the corner and having it find twine is much higher.
This one is somewhere in between.
Salavat Yulaev Ufa defenseman tried to clear a puck away from the front of the net using his hand.
That’s a great idea if you launch it out of the zone or anywhere else out of harm’s way.
That is not what he did.
Yup. The poor guy handed Avangard Omsk the easiest goal in franchise history.
I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. That looked like a reflexive move to me. He saw a puck in the air so he tried to swat it down.
The only issue was he didn’t factor in his goalie being slightly out of position and/or the location of the net.
Best Geopolitical Reference Worked Into A Play-By-Play Call
It’s not every day that you get a chance to weave current events (or in this case, current events of a few years ago) into a hockey broadcast, so when the opportunity presents itself, you take it.
Hurricanes play-by-play man Mike Maniscalco did just that.
Canes offensive weapon Andrei Svechnikov got physical and laid a check on Colorado Avalance D-man Andreas Englund.
What followed was this gem…
It felt a bit like Maniscalco may have had that one chambered, but who cares? That just means the guy does pre-game prep.
Hearing a Brexit reference in the middle of a game made it feel like Dennis Miller was in the booth.
If only we knew what that was like…
Best Synchronized-Stretching Tribute To Evgeni Malkin: Pittsburgh Penguins
Evgeni Malkin played in his 1,000th NHL game, and his teammates decided to pay tribute by copying him while he performed his trademark warm-up routine.
What followed was a show of grace that most Olympic synchronized swimming teams would salivate over.
It was a good night all around as the Pens dispatched the Blackhawks 5-3, and Malkin even got himself a goal.
His son also read the lineup before the game, which garnered a rare show of emotion from Geno.
Maybe he isn’t, as I had thought, a Russian-built goal-scoring robot.
Coincidentally, that same night in Chicago was when Malkin’s former teammate Marian Hossa had his No. 81 raised to the United Center rafters.
Big night all around.
Moment You’d Be Least Likely To See In The NBA: Nick Foligno
There are many instances of #HockeyGuys being built differently than other athletes *cough* NBA Players *cough* and we’ve got the latest example of this from Boston Bruin Nick Foligno.
During the morning skate, Foligno was in front of the net and took a piece of vulcanized rubber straight to the mug.
While a lesser man would say, “Coach, I’m gonna need to sit this one out tonight,” but not Nick Foligno.
No sir. He played, and not only did he play, he scored that very night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
And guess where he scored from?
Right in front of the net.
Absolute warrior. If I got hit in the face by a puck during morning skate — and by some miracle still played — you wouldn’t find me anywhere near the front of either net. Nope. I’d be patrolling the neutral zone all night.
That might be why I didn’t make it to the NHL. I didn’t have that toughness like Nick Foligno.
Also, I was — at BEST — a very average hockey player. That may have been a factor.
Moment You’d Be Least Likely To See In The NHL: Golden State Warriors
Remember what happened to Nick Foligno, then look at the following tweet.
Best Rejection Of A Dumb Question: Craig Berube
A reporter asked St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube how he goes about deciding who to use during a shootout, and the man they call Chief gave an answer perfect for such a dumb question.
Berube is a bonafide legend from his playing days in the NHL and a Stanley Cup champion head coach. Even if he didn’t already have all of that, the man many call “Chief” would become a legend for dunking on such a stupid question.
It hasn’t been a great year for the Blues anyway, and I’m sure the last thing he wants to do is field queries like that.
Plus choosing shooters for shootouts isn’t rocket science, and to Berube’s point, it’s kind of guesswork anyway. Sure, you might have a guy like TJ Oshie who specializes in shootouts, but they’re mostly a crapshoot.
Let’s abolish the shootout and stick with 3-on-3 overtime until someone scores. If any game goes past three 5-minute periods of 3-on-3, I’ll eat my hat as well as yours.
On the off chance that does happen, we just keep playing 3-on-3, baby.
That’s all we’ve got for this week’s NHL Weekly Awards. Have yourself a great Thanksgiving, and if you happen to see anything award-worthy while you’re in a drunken stupor and watching the Lions or trampling your fellow Black Friday shoppers, don’t hesitate to tweet it to me: @Matt_Reigle.