To mark 200 episodes of the DTFR Podcast, Nick and Colby talk about the origin story of DTFR, give podcast advice and share some of their favorite memories from the show or otherwise from the last six years of Down the Frozen River. Also, Lindy Ruff is the new head coach of the New Jersey Devils, more Florida Panthers talk and extended CBA musings.
The DTFR crew creates rosters composed of “forgotten” players you might not remember that played for the Dallas Stars anytime from 2000-present. As it is simply not enough to just say Black Lives Matter, we’d like to present you with a source for how you can help if you can, as well as our message to everyone in hockey.
Andrew Ference was my introduction to many things beyond the hockey world that affect the hockey world, Ken Dryden wrote some of the literature I’ve read and Brock McGillis is one of the many people I follow on Twitter.
That’s just a few of them, but there are many others like Marisa Ingemi, Ryan Clark, Eric Stephens, Amalie Benjamin, Jashvina Shah and Hemal Jhaveri, just to name some more.
I’m sure people will be bringing up the conversation surrounding specialty jerseys and tape in NHL games as they already have and will again someday.
I, for one, have no problems seeing whatever specialty jerseys in warmups and would encourage that players at least use whatever tape they feel like to coincide with that night or support that cause throughout the season a la Kurtis Gabriel’s use of Pride Tape in his career.
(Yes, I know, let’s abandon the traditional “don’t use ‘I’ statements” in op-ed pieces for a moment.)
Want to use Pride Tape? Use it in game. Not just warmups.
Want to use camouflage tape on Military Appreciation Night? Use it in game. Not just warmups.
Want to use purple tape on Hockey Fights Cancer Night? Use it in game. Not just warmups.
Don’t just put away tape after warmups if tape— of all things— is so often changed from game-to-game, stick-to-stick, broken stick-to-broken stick or whatever.
That said, the league needs to do a better job at distinguishing special nights.
Hockey Is For Everyone Night is nice in theory, but you cannot lump every cause into one, especially if it’s only the causes you’ve yet to show proof you care about beyond the brand image.
Hockey Is For Everyone Night should be a February thing, coinciding with Willie O’Ree puck drop ceremonies and Black History Month.
That is the night when you address why it took 60 years to put O’Ree in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018, after he broke the NHL’s color barrier in 1958.
Pride Night shouldn’t be slapped under the same banner (or worse, see the St. Louis Blues watch party). The Carolina Hurricanes had Pride Night done right this season and went an extra step on their social media to value the autonomy of every LGBTQ+ human being. Take a page from them.
(I’m not opposed to being bribed for the play-in/playoffs with any leftover Pride scarves you guys might have, Canes, fully knowing that this isn’t the place or time to be asking for free things.)
How can you accomplish these event nights and promote diversity within and without your organization? Hire minority candidates in executive positions and create things like Pride Committees and Black Hockey History Committees.
As we have seen from Akim Aliu, J.T. Brown, Evander Kane, Wayne Simmonds, Kurtis Gabriel, Andrew Ference, Brock McGillis, Ben Scrivens, Braden Holtby, Patrice Bergeron, Blake Wheeler, Logan Couture, Ryan Miller and other allies (I know I did not name them all here, but if you’re one of them I missed out on, please do not feel forgotten— continue to use your voice), I can only hope more players, coaches, front office members and retired players will continue to speak up, speak out and listen.
Racism exists. Fight it. Prevent it. Put an end to it.
Black Lives Matter. Police brutality exists.
Yes, there are good cops, but the current overarching “justice” system negates their spotlight where credit is due. That can be fixed and the good cops that truly serve and protect their communities— their entire community, white, black, Latinx, straight, LGBTQ and all— will rightfully see their time when the system is overhauled.
As long as there is no true Justice, it is an Unjust system.
Please register to vote if you aren’t already registered (U.S., Canada) and, most important, complete your entire ballot. Vote for your executive branch and legislative branch, but do not neglect your attorneys general, sheriff and others.
Nobody should have to die and yet, here we are, addressing murder after murder under the law of “innocent until proven guilty”.
We spend the majority of our days listening rather than speaking, but in actuality, we’re only hearing unless we’re actively listening— and hearing and listening are two different things.
Hearing is knowing that your mother is yelling from downstairs for you to get out of bed because the bus is coming and you’ll be late to school if you miss it, but you roll over and continue to sleep anyway.
Listening is hearing that your mother is yelling from downstairs for you to get out of bed because the bus is coming, getting up, getting dressed for school and making the bus on time to go to school and learn.
Kim Davis is doing wonderful work as the NHL’s Executive Vice President, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs.
Practice doesn’t make perfect and the reality of things is that it often takes many attempts before landing something that sticks.
But practice does make better and with enough practice, things can and will be better— it’s the commitment to that practice and the followup that must follow through that matters.
The National Hockey League and its member clubs can do better.
USA Hockey can do better. Assistant Director, Hockey Operations, John Vanbiesbrouck needs to go.
Hockey Canada can do better.
The American Hockey League and its member clubs can do better.
The ECHL and its member clubs can do better.
The International Ice Hockey Federation can do better.
Beer leagues can do better. EA Sports can do better.
If you’ve ever grabbed a hockey stick, watched the sport or played the video game— you can do better.
That means all of us must learn and grow as we so often do in every other aspect of our lives.
If you’re a player, you once had to learn to skate. That took time, effort and many stumbles, but you got better over the years.
There’s no excuse for not being better as a person.
You’ve already done it in so many other ways, what’s one more important thing that doesn’t just occur on the ice?
It was fight night at TD Garden on Saturday as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins, 5-3, in a game that had over 90 penalty minutes and multiple brawls.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (35-13-3 record, 2.57 goals against average, .917 save percentage in 51 games played) made 35 saves on 38 shots against (.921 SV%) in the win for the Lightning.
B’s netminder, Tuukka Rask (25-8-6, 2.18 GAA, .926 SV% in 40 games played) stopped 20 out of 24 shots faced for an .833 SV% in the loss.
Tampa took the season series 3-1-0 and improved to 43-20-5 (91 points), but the Bolts remain 2nd in the Atlantic Division to the Bruins who are now 43-14-12 (98 points) on the season, as well as 22-4-9 on home ice.
The Bruins were without the services of Kevan Miller (knee), Connor Clifton (upper body) and Brandon Carlo (upper body) on Saturday night.
Prior to the game, however, Clifton was activated from the injured reserve, which means he’ll likely be back in the lineup sometime next week if all goes well at practice.
Karson Kuhlman was reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) to make way for Clifton’s activation.
With Carlo out of the lineup, John Moore took over the right side of the second defensive pairing with Torey Krug, while Bruce Cassidy made two minor changes among his forward lines from Thursday night’s, 2-1, overtime victory in Florida to Saturday night’s battle with the Lightning.
Cassidy moved Sean Kuraly up to the right wing of the third line with Jake DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle, while shifting Chris Wagner down to the right side of the fourth line with Joakim Nordstrom at left wing and Par Lindholm at center.
Anders Bjork and Anton Blidh served as Boston’s healthy scratches against Tampa.
Early in the opening frame, Barclay Goodrow delivered a blow to Bruins forward, Ondrej Kase, with the elbow and received a minor infraction at 5:01 of the first period.
The ensuing power play for Boston was disastrous as the B’s allowed two shorthanded goals before Goodrow was allowed to return to the ice.
First after Patrice Bergeron won the faceoff in the direction of the point, Anthony Cirelli (16) snuck in and stole the loose puck, skated to the opposite zone and sniped a shot past Rask on the blocker side for an unassisted shorthanded goal at 5:08 of the first period– giving Tampa the game’s first lead, 1-0.
Cirelli’s goal marked the 19th time this season that Boston gave up the game’s first goal on home ice.
Almost a minute later, Yanni Gourde worked the puck from deep in the corner to Mikhail Sergachev (10) in the low slot for the one-timer past Rask’s glove side.
Gourde (18) had the only assist on Sergachev’s goal and the Bolts led, 2-0, at 6:10 of the opening period.
After Goodrow returned to the ice from the penalty box, Wagner tried to engage No. 19 in blue and white in a fight for the actions Goodrow took against Kase in the first place that Wagner did not think highly of, but the two only tugged and grabbed at each other before the officials intervened and handed out matching unsportsmanlike conduct minors at 8:39.
The game shifted to 4-on-4 for two minutes until the minor penalties would expire.
Seconds after the two players emerged from the box, Wagner and Goodrow dropped the gloves in an agreed upon exchanging of the fisticuffs at 10:45 in what was the 19th fight this season for the Bruins and 12th since Jan. 1st.
Moments later, Braydon Coburn was guilty of holding DeBrusk and presented Boston with their second power play opportunity of the night at 12:20.
This time the Lightning didn’t score any shorthanded goals.
Tampa got their first chance on the power play at 19:14 of the first period when Jeremy Lauzon was sent to the box for interfering with Pat Maroon.
The Bolts did not score on the skater advantage, despite its overlap into the second period.
After 20 minutes of action in Boston, the Lightning led, 2-0, on the scoreboard, despite the Bruins leading in shots on goal, 14-5.
Tampa also held the advantage in blocked shots (8-6), takeaways (3-1), hits (12-5) and faceoff win percentage (64-36).
Both teams had two giveaways aside, while the Bolts were 0/1 on the power play and the B’s were 0/2.
Cedric Paquette (7) kicked off the second period with a goal to make it, 3-0, for Tampa after Boston’s defense was caught out of position and the Lightning forward snuck into the slot for a one-timer from point-blank.
Zach Bogosian (6) and Coburn (3) had the assists on Paquette’s goal at 6:50 of the middle frame and the Lightning thundered their way to three unanswered goals for a three-goal lead.
Past the midpoint of the second period, four Lightning skaters took a chance to jump one Bruins player while said player tried to play the puck along the wall.
That player was Brad Marchand– whether it was justified or not– and a scrum ensued as all ten skaters on the ice piled on top of one another.
Cirelli and Marchand both headed for the sin bin with matching roughing minors– meaning the two teams would once again spend a couple of minutes skating 4-on-4 at 14:13 of the second period.
While on the ensuing even-strength, 4-on-4, action, Charlie McAvoy (5) snuck up on a rush with Coyle and DeBrusk and beat Vasilevskiy on the glove side to put Boston on the scoreboard and cut into Tampa’s lead.
Coyle (21) and Matt Grzelcyk (17) tallied the assists on McAvoy’s goal as the Bruins trailed, 3-1, at 14:50.
Almost four minutes later, Kuraly (6) poked a loose puck in the crease just over the goal line before Point was able to scoop it back out from the net and into play without any officials on the ice picking up on the fact that a goal had indeed been scored.
As play continued for about 90 additional seconds, the video room in Toronto signaled to TD Garden that there had been a goal on the play and instructed the arena to use the siren to indicate an overrule by the video room.
But as that happened, all hell broke loose.
McAvoy (27) and Kase (17) were credited for the assists on Kuraly’s goal at 18:37 as Kuraly got entangled in a line brawl that resulted in a misconduct for No. 52 in black and gold and a list of penalties for players on the ice and even a Lightning staff member on the bench!
The Bruins trailed, 3-2, as Zdeno Chara fought Maroon (each received five minutes for fighting), Erik Cernak and Kuraly traded misconducts and Tampa was assessed a bench minor for delay of game and a game misconduct for Todd Richards’ verbal abuse of an official at 18:37 of the second period.
The chaos didn’t end after the already lit fuse had sparked once more.
At the end of the second period, more shoves were exchanged and words shouted, leaving Marchand with a slashing minor against Blake Coleman, a misconduct for Coleman and a misconduct for Nick Ritchie at 20:00.
Heading into the second intermission, Tampa led on the scoreboard, 3-2, but trailed Boston in shots on goal, 26-15.
The B’s held the advantage in blocked shots (14-10) and giveaways (7-4) after 40 minutes of play, while the Lightning led in takeaways (5-3), hits (25-20) and faceoff win% (63-38).
Boston was 0/4 on the power play and Tampa was 0/1 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame.
Just 68 seconds into the third period, Alex Killorn (26) tipped a shot from the blue line past Rask under the Boston goaltender’s blocker and into the twine to make it, 4-2, for the Bolts.
Killorn’s power play goal was assisted by Sergachev (24) and Point (39) at 1:08 of the third period and was not challenged despite initial concern from Rask that Killorn’s stick might have been above the crossbar.
Almost four minutes later, Nikita Kucherov cross checked Grzelcyk and was sent to the box at 5:48.
This time the Bruins capitalized on the skater advantage with a one-timed power play goal from the point by David Pastrnak (48) to make it a one-goal game.
Krug (40) and Marchand (58) notched the assists on Pastrnak’s goal at 6:37 of the third period and the B’s cut Tampa’s lead to, 4-3.
About two minutes later, Bergeron sent the puck out of play without touching anything else and received an automatic delay of game minor penalty– in addition to a roughing minor after Goodrow and several other skaters on the ice met for one last rouse.
Krug and Mitchell Stephens joined Bergeron in the box with roughing minors, while the Lightning went on the power play one last time at 8:43 of the final frame.
Moments later, Tyler Johnson hauled Kase down with a hook, but Kase was also hit by an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction for embellishing the penalty in the officials’ eyes and presented both sides with more 4-on-4 action at 13:10 of the third period.
With 1:48 left in the game, Cassidy pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker, but it was too little, too late as Jon Cooper’s Lightning outmatched Boston’s last-ditch effort.
David Krejci misplayed the puck while skating out of his own zone into the neutral zone and gave the rubber biscuit directly to Kucherov (33) for the empty net goal at 18:58– sealing the deal on Tampa’s, 5-3, victory over the Bruins in Boston.
At the final horn, the Bolts had won, despite finishing the night trailing in shots on goal, 38-25.
Boston wrapped up Saturday night’s loss with the advantage in blocked shots (19-14) and giveaways (11-6), while Tampa led in hits (30-26) and faceoff win% (57-43).
The Lightning finished the night 1/2 on the skater advantage and the Bruins went 1/4 on the power play in the game.
Boston fell to 18-7-4 when allowing the game’s first goal (10-2-3 at home in that span), 6-7-3 when trailing after one period (4-2-2 at home in that span) and 5-11-4 (5-4-3 at home in that span) when trailing after two periods this season.
Tampa, on the other hand, improved to 30-9-2 (13-5-2 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 23-2-3 (11-2-2 on the road) when leading after one period and 31-1-4 (14-0-2 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.
The B’s begin a two-game road trip in Philadelphia on Tuesday (March 10th) before traveling to Buffalo next Friday (March 13th).
The Bruins then return home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs next Saturday (March 14th) and host the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 16th before heading out to visit the three California teams later that week.
The Flyers, in the meantime, are on a nine-game winning streak and host the Bruins on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center.
Luckily for Colorado Avalanche General Manager, Joe Sakic, Calle Rosen was still under warranty as the Avs traded the defender back to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Monday’s trade deadline for goaltender, Michael Hutchinson.
With Philipp Grubauer out of the lineup due to an injury, Sakic needed to add an NHL ready insurance policy to the crease for the stretch run and postseason just in case Grubauer cannot come back or return to form and things go south with Pavel Francouz.
Not every team can be lucky enough to have an emergency backup goaltender like Dave Ayres.
In the meantime, Toronto reacquainted themselves with a familiar face and took back an ex.
Hutchinson, 29, is a pending-unrestricted free agent at season’s end and has split time with Toronto at the NHL level and their affiliate, the Toronto Marlies (AHL), this season.
The Barrie, Ontario native is 4-9-1 this season with a 3.66 goals against average and an .886 save percentage in 15 games with the Maple Leafs and 3-1-0 with a 1.98 GAA and a .943 SV% in four games with the Marlies.
Originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in the third round (77th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Hutchinson has a 50-52-14 record with a 2.81 GAA, .905 SV% and five shutouts in 126 career NHL games with the Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets.
Rosen, 26, has two-years remaining on his current contract and carries a $750,000 cap hit.
In eight games with Colorado this season, the Vaxjo, Sweden native has two assists. He has three goals and 12 assists (15 points) in the American Hockey League over 35 games with the Colorado Eagles.
He has appeared in 16 career NHL games with the Maple Leafs and Avalanche and was originally traded to Colorado as part of the Nazem Kadri, Tyson Barrie and Alex Kerfoot swap the two franchises made on July 1, 2019.
Rosen was originally signed to a two-year entry-level contract by the Leafs as an undrafted free agent on May 16, 2017.
Carolina Hurricanes General Manager, Don Waddell, made a splash on Monday morning, sending Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark, Eetu Luostarinen and Chase Priskie to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Vincent Trocheck.
Panthers GM, Dale Tallon, realizes his team is two points outside of an Atlantic Division playoff berth, right?
As a result of trading Haula, the Hurricanes met the requirement on a condition in a previous trade with the Vegas Golden Knights and will now send their 2021 5th round pick to the Golden Knights to complete the Haula for Nicolas Roy swap the teams made on June 27, 2019.
Trocheck, 26, is signed through the 2021-22 season at a $4.750 million cap hit and had 10-26–36 totals in 55 games this season with Florida.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was drafted by the Panthers in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft (64th overall) and has 111 goals and 171 assists (282 points) in 420 career NHL games (all with Florida).
Haula, 28, had 12 goals and ten assists (22 points) in 41 games with the Hurricanes this season and is a pending-unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
The Pori, Finland native was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the first round (7th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, entered the league in the 2013-14 season and has 85–88–173 totals in 398 career games with the Hurricanes, Golden Knights and Wild.
Wallmark, 24, is a pending-restricted free agent at season’s end and had 11-12–23 totals in 60 games with Carolina prior to the trade.
A native of Umea, Sweden, Wallmark was originally drafted by the Hurricanes in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Draft (97th overall) and made his league debut in the 2016-17.
He has 22 goals and 32 assists (54 points) in 160 games in his career (all with Carolina).
Luostarinen, 21, is from Siilinjarvi, Finland and had one assist in eight games with the Canes this season and was drafted by Carolina in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Priskie, 23, had six goals and 25 assists (31 points) in 52 games with the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) prior to the trade. He was originally drafted by the Washington Capitals in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft and signed with the Hurricanes as a free agent on August 17, 2019.
He attended Quinnipiac University and played four years of college hockey and is a native of Pembroke Pines, Florida.
The DTFR Podcast is back from hiatus as Nick provides a State of the Podcast, reviews a few things from the last couple of months and delves into all of the transactions leading up to the 2020 NHL trade deadline.