One King laid claim to the throne, hockey became more inclusive for the courtiers, and a jester showed his hands are more valuable than his feet.
Here are three things we learned in the NHL Wednesday.
Marchand feeds off controversy
See antagonist Brad Marchand commit a dirty play? Expect goals soon afterward.
With a pair of goals Wednesday, the Boston Bruins star answered some recent controversy with a flood of offence. Again.
Marchand escaped punishment for his apparent slew foot of Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman Tuesday night, days after paying a $10,000 fine for slew-footing Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall. In the next game after playing Detroit, Marchand scored two goals.
He even spoke publicly about reigning in his questionable play for the sake of his team’s success.
“I feel very fortunate,” Marchand said last Thursday. “I think they might have given me a bit of a break. I’m just happy to play the game tonight and move on.
“Maybe some smarter decisions. The last thing I want to be doing is continually going back in front of those guys [the NHL Department of Player Safety]. I’m sure they’re getting sick of seeing me. That’s a little bit of stupidity there. A little unnecessary. I can play the game without doing that stuff.”
Take all of this as you will but Boston will need the winger to stay out of trouble because he leads his team in scoring. By a country mile. Marchand has some games in hand on others but he’s now fourth in league scoring with 54 points.
Meanwhile, the Capitals reached a couple of milestones in their 5-3 win:
Hockey is for everyone
February is known as Black History Month and the NHL has made an effort to make hockey more inclusive this month as well.
Termed “Hockey is For Everyone”, the initiative aims to “spotlight a variety of community-related initiatives…” says the league.
Every day throughout February, Hockey Is For Everyone activities will focus awareness on such areas as LGBTQ; ethnicity and gender equality; socio-economic status and those with disabilities. The campaign is conducted in partnership with the You Can Play Project — a nonprofit committed to supporting the LGBTQ community and fighting homophobia in sports. The campaign marks the first time the Players’ Association, the League and its Clubs have collaborated to encourage teamwork, inclusiveness and diversity in hockey at all levels daily for an entire calendar month.
Wednesday saw some of the first examples of the campaign, one we’re happy to applaud and support.
Washington hosted Chinese Cultural Night in which the game was broadcast on China’s CCTV network.
And earlier Wednesday on Tim and Sid, Sportsnet’s Faizal Khamisa shared his harrowing experience of being just blocks away from the terrorist attack on a Quebec mosque last weekend. Khamisa is Muslim and was in Quebec City for Monday’s CHL Top Prospects game.
A haven hockey should be.
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Carter is the Kings
Twenty-six goals at this point of the season may not sound like a lot if you watched hockey through the 1980s and early ’90s but forget the number 26.
Twenty per cent is the really impressive one.
With two goals Wednesday night, Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter scored his 25th and 26th goals to put him in second place in league goal-scoring — two behind Sidney Crosby and one ahead of Ovechkin.
But it’s the fact that Carter has scored roughly 20 per cent of the Kings’ 129 goals this season that is mind-boggling. He leads the NHL in that category.
From the night before, Tuesday:
It’s really only news when he doesn’t score.
Carter has six multi-goal games in 2016-17.