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Welcome, back to the NHL Weekly Awards! Now that 16 teams are off golfing and partying it up at some tropical locale, 16 other teams are still hard at work vying for an opportunity to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.
I’m so excited, I’ve been using “because it’s the Cup,” to justify anything and everything.
Why did I eat a brownie for breakfast?
Because it’s the Cup.
Why did I forget to unload the dishwasher?
Because it’s the Cup?
Why did I ignore that stop sign and have to slam on the breaks to avoid plowing into an old man riding a recumbent bicycle?
Because it’s the Cup, officer.
We’re just a few days into the greatest post-season in all of sports (yeah, I went there) and there has already been a slew of memorable moments.
Now, enough of my yammering, let’s hand out some post-season hardware that I made up.
“How Did That Stay Out” Moment Of The Week: Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets series has been interesting, to say the least, and one of the first wild moments came on what was somehow not a goal for the Jets.
Knights goalie, Laurent Brossoit was forced out of position on the initial shot and a scramble followed.
A long one, and yet somehow, the puck stayed out of the net.
Pause any frame of that video and you have an instant Renaissance painting.
Oddly enough, if you watched the game or keep up with the news, you already know that this was not the craziest thing to happen on that play.
Hockey Guy Of The Postseason (Provisional): Morgan Barron
Watching this game live, I thought I spotted some blood the first time they showed the replay, and boy, did I ever.
Brossoit’s desperation dive to grab the puck off the goalline led to him accidentally booting poor Jets center Morgan Barron right in the mug.
Barron was quickly helped off the ice and received 75 stitches to the right side of his face.
However, because he plays in the NHL, Barron had the Jets equipment staff throw a cage on his brain bucket and he went back out to help his team win Game 1.
We still have like two months to go in the Stanely Cup Playoffs, but Barron is currently the leader in the clubhouse for Hockey Guy of the postseason by a significant margin.
Most Unfortunate Own Goal: Sebastian Aho (The One Who Plays For The Islanders)
Can you imagine making it to the NHL only for there to be another guy with your name? And not a name like John Smith or something, how about another Sebastian Aho?
One plays for the Hurricanes the other for the Islanders, which means their facing off in the postseason. Carolina’s Aho already flattened Islanders Aho in Game 1, so of course there was no way things could get worse for him, right?
Of course there was!
Poor Sebastian Aho.
Now, that took an unfortunate bounce late, but it looks to me like Ilya Sorokin had no clue where that puck was until it took that weird skip near the top of the crease. Aho gets the award for the own goal, but Sorokin gets an assist.
He should’ve had that one.
Theft Of The Week: Tyler Bertuzzi
Tyler Bertuzzi pulled what was probably the first scumbag move of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and I’ve got to admit, I liked it.
Bertuzzi was going at it with Panthers forward Nick Cousins as both were heading back to their respective benches. As they pushed and grabbed at each other, Bertuzzi reached behind his back and yoinked Cousins’ twig right out of his hands.
It was such a trashy move that it transcended trashiness and became funny. Like how something can be so bad it’s good like Plan 9 From Outer Space or Creed (the band, not the movie).
Hit You Could Feel Through Your TV: Jake McCabe
We all knew the Tampa-Toronto series would have some teeth. They played each other during the last week of the regular season and that game was a penalty-filled affair.
Smash-cut to Game 1, and we got some nastiness. I felt like I needed to get off the couch and walk it off after witnessing Jake McCabe clobber Mikey Eyssimont at the blue line.
There was no call on the play, nor should there have been. I thought McCabe’s elbow came up when the hit happened, but the replay showed that wasn’t the case. Just a solid shoulder to the chest.
I’m sure Eyssimont was feeling that one the next morning. Ouch.
Most Canadian Moment Of The Week (Possibly Ever): Pierre-Luc Dubois
Let’s see the most Canadian thing I’ve ever come across since Geddy Lee belted out the vocals for the tune “Take Off” on Bob and Doug McKenzie’s album The Great White North.
Pierre Luc Dubois of the Winnipeg Jets needed a mid-game boost and was seen sucking down a packet of something.
Turns out it was maple syrup. Canadian tea, Ontario salad dressing, the nectar of the Canadian Gods (actually, that title might belong to Molson).
Make sense since I’ve always believed maple syrup is to Canadians what spinach is to Popeye.
I’ve seen guys guzzling pickle juice before, I’ve heard that helps cramps. Unless I’m just completely oblivious (which is possible) this is the first time I’ve seen syrup on the bench.
If I don’t see a big player in the syrup industry like Log Cabin or Mrs. Buttersworth signing a deal with Dubois, I will lose the final shred of faith I have left in Madison Avenue.
That’s it for this week, which encompassed just the first few days of the playoffs. If I know the NHL playoffs like I think I do, there’s a lot of good stuff coming our way. If you happen to spot anything award-worthy, be sure to send it my way on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle