Day-24 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
INKTIME on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:
A MARK MESSIER, HE’S NOT: Mark Messier took his rightful place among the all-time great NHL Captains when–with his team trailing the Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup FInals–he boldly guaranteed that the Rangers would win Game-6! And the rest, as they say is NHL History.
Last night, after his Senators were soundly beaten by the Penguins 7-3, one couldn’t help but notice that Ottawa Captain–and Messier Award Finalist–Daniel Alfredsson scooped-up the game puck once the final buzzer sounded, leaving many to assume that the fan favorite had perhaps come to the realization that he may have played his final game in front of the Sens faithful fans. When queried about the puck, the 40-year old Alfredsson responded: “I’ve got a lot of kids at home.” In other words, this one may be headed to the family trophy case.
But nostalgia aside, and getting back to leadership, Alfredsson probably flushed any chance of him actually getting a sniff of the Messier Award when he said this (around the :33 mark) about his club’s chances of rattling-off three straight victories against the high-flying Pens:
Now, some may saw “He’s only stating the obvious.” But my goodness man, even if you are thinking it, don’t actually say it…YOU’RE THE TEAM’S CAPTAIN for cryin’ out loud!
My advice Daniel, take a hint from your grizzled Coach Paul MacLean…say as little as possible…and go out and show the heart and determination that has helped you amass over 1,100 points in your career, while earning the adoration of your fans:
Now, for those of you who require a quick refresher, the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award is presented to “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season” and the ultimate winner is is selected by Messier’s alone.
So Daniel, if it was your last home game, I’m delighted you got the puck, because I’ve got a feeling you won’t be needing to clear anymore space in the family trophy case come Award Season.
Tell me if you agree or disagree in the COMMENT space below.
JOB OPENING: The Canucks did the totally expected and cleaned-out their Coaching Staff yesterday. This is what happens when expectations are sky-high and you get swept out of the Playoffs in the Opening Round by a #6-seed, like San Jose.
Gone are Head Coach Alain Vigneault, along with his Assistants Rick Bowness and Newell Brown.
The numbers on Vigneault’s Regular Season Resume’ are impressive (313-170-57)…But it’s his Post Season ledger that leaves much to be desired (33-32) …not to mention a (1-10) mark over the Canucks last 11 Playoff games.
Vigneault took the high road out the door: “I am proud of many of the things we accomplished as a group these past seven seasons in Vancouver and only wish we were able to win the Canucks’ first Stanley Cup. I am a career coach, and it is what I love to do. I hope to coach again in this league and will always have good memories of my time and the fans in Vancouver.”
My memories are of Bowness and Browne. Rick Bowness was one of my broadcasting partners at ESPN, years ago, during our coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And, of course, I worked closely with Newell Browne while he was an Assistant Coach with the Ducks. Two terrifc guys who certainly know their hockey. May their time away from the game be a brief one.
UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen
Rangers Playoff bust Brad Richards will be a healthy scratch tonight as they when try to stave off elimination in Game-4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal against the Bruins. Richards has just one goal in 10 playoff games and is a -3 overall. Richards is in the second year of a 9-year, $58.5 million contract.
|Boston||at||NY Rangers||7:00 PM EST|
|San Jose||at||Los Angeles||10:30 PM|