Always love Hockey Fights Cancer night pic.twitter.com/cnEpduYz8G— Matthew Esteves (@mattesteves89) November 6, 2018
Although finding a cure was the focus of the night, things couldn’t get started without a little Connor McDavid talk. It was Edmonton in town, after all.
An informal, anonymous poll of the Lightning dressing room came down on McDavid’s favor, but not unanimously and not without qualifications. Even as they named McDavid, players didn’t rule out Crosby.
Prior to the game, though, chatter revolved around pre-game naps and goalie helmets. Most adults struggle to find time to nap during the day, but that doesn’t seem to a problem for hockey players.
The only nap better than a soccer nap is a nap during the Masters Golf Tournament with the hushed tones of the announcers and birds chirping in the background and that Masters’ music which, let’s be honest, might as well be a lullaby.
Meanwhile, Andrei Vasilevskiy’s mask had its time in the sun. The mask was specially designed for the game.
Louis Domingue’s mask design took ideas and drawings from kids fighting cancer. He had a chance to meet with those kids in an incredibly touching moment.
Ryan Callahan gave a shout out to his dad while the Bolts let fans know about their special SnapChat filter.
The team’s special lavender jerseys were all ready to go in the dressing room long before game time:
Cancer touches many lives, often more than we all know. The Lightning found a special way to quietly honor those on the team whose family and friends have fought it:
This is just a lovely moment featuring Tommy Miracle:
Tommy Miracle, #TBLightning head of Ice Operations, is greeted while making his return on his birthday to @AmalieArena as he has missed the season while being treated after having a cancerous tumor removed. #HockeyFightsCancer @tbl_ice_crew @TBLightning pic.twitter.com/FxqYRntO7W— Dirk Shadd (@DirkShadd) November 6, 2018
As was this:
Life isn’t easy when your team faces injuries, but Ryan McDonagh is more than happy with the way the Lightning’s blue line has come together. He also had high praise for one Slater Koekkoek.
#TBLightning Ryan McDonagh and his team sport their lavender warm up jerseys during the pregame warm up before @TBLightning take on the #Oilers on #HockeyFightsCancer night at @AmalieArena pic.twitter.com/j7zhFc7Fql— Dirk Shadd (@DirkShadd) November 7, 2018
The night itself was touching and classy, as it always is, and the results of the game - a 5-2 victory for the Bolts - was also reason to celebrate. Unfortunately, Milan Lucic decided to take the focus off of all of that and put it squarely on himself with obviously dangerous actions against Mathieu Joseph. Matt laid out why this is so frustratingly archaic and potentially dangerous in his recap.
The premise of running down a rookie to “teach him a lesson” is an artifact from a previous era. What place does this mentality have in the modern NHL? To teach? What good is it to hit a defenseless player and then punch him in the head while he is laying on the ice? It’s nonsense and an ever-growing majority of fans don’t want to see this in the game. The sport is moving towards a speed and skill oriented style, yet there are still powerful men who cling to these older ideals. What purpose does it serve?
Okay, well, back to the good, I guess.
Home teams swept a schedule of 9+ games for the fifth time in NHL history.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 7, 2018
The other days:
March 17, 1996 (9-0-0)
Oct. 9, 2003 (9-0-0)
Nov. 20, 2003 (9-0-0)
Feb. 28, 2004 (9-0-0)#NHLStats pic.twitter.com/AdFbBsq9Rb
In pregame podcast land, our esteemed leader Alan discussed the Lightning and their quest to stop being “the team that falls short.”
New @PDOcast! ️@loserpoints on the Tampa Bay Lightning, their pursuit to keep their window for contention open longer, and how they can ultimately shed the mantle of being the team that always falls just short in the postseason.https://t.co/wj5ALZjHGz— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) November 6, 2018
In AHL land, the Syracuse Crunch is gearing up for their Veteran’s Day game this upcoming Sunday. Active and retired military members can receive complimentary tickets. The team has been preparing for this weekend’s games all week, while also looking back briefly at their successful outing versus Belleville.
The Crunch’s injured is slowly inching back towards being able to play:
Good to see him inching closer. Archambault will be a huge addition to the offense. https://t.co/nUIXrd4Qby— JustinG. (@torchramrod) November 6, 2018
The jump to the AHL is challenging for prospects. Taylor Raddysh took some time to explain a bit as to why, among other topics.
“There’s limited time and space and the speeds obviously way higher. I feel like you got to make quicker reactions and that’s something I have to work on and will continue to work on."— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) November 6, 2018
Taylor Raddysh discusses adjusting to the AHL and getting comfortable in this league. pic.twitter.com/dDYWZcFMDJ
Speaking of the AHL, their free game this week will be shown on their Facebook page this Friday. It’s the Toronto Marlies vs. the Belleville Senators.
Elsewhere in hockey land, Ex-Vancouver Canuck Cody Hodgson is releasing documentary about careermalignant hyperthermia, the genetic disorder that ended his NHL career. Also, the Ottawa Senators continue to be an utter disaster. No one is surprised.
Probably not a great sign that Brent Seabrook is now as old as the coach and is signed for 5 more seasons after this one. https://t.co/ugs7VOVqSq— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) November 6, 2018
Of course, it didn’t take long before other fans started to ponder what bringing on Quenneville could mean for their own team.
Some NHL news of note: Arizona Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway is apparently in the process of selling the franchise. Before relocation rumors start: the plan is to keep the team in the Phoenix area.