So much to talk about, so little time before we hit the friendly skies.
As of this writing, the Winnipeg Jets were preparing to host the offensively lethal but defensively challenged Toronto Maple Leafs in a clash of Canada’s premier NHL squads.
Laine vs. Matthews; Scheifele vs. Tavares; Reilly vs. Morrissey; Hellebuyck vs. Andersen; Maurice vs. Babcock.
It’s the final instalment of the Jets’ six-game homestand, the Central Division squad’s longest stretch at Bell MTS Place this season. The team then heads east to play the Detroit Red Wings Friday, followed by a rematch with the Leafs in downtown T.O. Saturday night.
Mike (a.k.a. Dump) leaves Thursday and will catch all the action against the two Atlantic Division teams. Jason (a.k.a. Chase), meanwhile, flies out the same day but is heading across the pond to Finland, one of the world’s northernmost countries, “the land of the thousand lakes.”
Or, to us hockey nuts, “the home of Selanne and Laine.”
The Jets battle the Florida Panthers next Thursday and Friday in Helsinki, part of the NHL’s Global Series. The games are at 8 p.m., which is 1 p.m. Manitoba time, so we’re anticipating a lot of folks taking some afternoons off late next week.
Expect Jay to entertain us in next week’s D&C with tales of eating far too much Finnish salt fish, or “suolakala,” while describing how he handled the shortened daylight hours and wind gusts that, as Patrik Laine suggested to him this week, “will tear you in half.”
For now, here’s the latest chapter of our hockey-related online shenanigans.
Jets centre Mark Scheifele clearly has a fear of the unknown — and can you blame him?
What hockey player (or rational person, for that matter) wants to stick their hand — a crucial tool of their trade — into a box and handle an unknown object? Snake. Horse dung. Cactus. The unpleasant possibilities are endless, particularly when it’s former NHL bad boy Paul Bissonnette’s game.
The former Coyotes enforcer has this bit where he convinces NHL stars to thrust their hand into a covered box with some kind of unknown item — animal, vegetable or mineral — inside. The buildup is hilarious, and Scheifele’s apprehension and downright dread of what he might touch inside is awesome.
Biznasty, as he’s known to his Twitter followers, is perfect in his role as the sarcastic host, quick to shoot down the tough persona of the players who take the “What’s in the Box” challenge.
Scheifele really takes a hit in this segment.
Thankfully, Scheifele made it out unscathed. �� pic.twitter.com/IST7ctXWWA
— NHL (@NHL) October 22, 2018
It’s been a tough stretch for the Edmonton Oilers, who seemingly still can’t find a way to play consistent winning hockey despite having the planet’s best player on their roster.
No doubt all the losing is taking a toll on fans, players — and even their grandmothers.
Gramma McDavid with a summary of the last 12 years: pic.twitter.com/28DGbxS1FJ
— John Mousis (@jmousis) October 19, 2018
They got off to a bit of a slow start, but the Manitoba Moose look to be headed in the right direction after winning two straight and three of their past four.
They’re beginning to light the lamp a bit more, too, which means we’re once again being treated to a treasure trove of goal-scoring GIFs!
We gotta say, the folks in the production and graphics department have really stepped up their game.
Here are five early-season favourites so far.
1) Jansen Harkins: Now you see him, now you don’t.
— Manitoba Moose (@ManitobaMoose) October 20, 2018
2) Emile Poirier playing pat-a-cake.
— Manitoba Moose (@ManitobaMoose) October 21, 2018
3) JC Lipon roping in the viewer.
— Manitoba Moose (@ManitobaMoose) October 20, 2018
4) Mason Appleton catching his own puck.
— Manitoba Moose (@ManitobaMoose) October 13, 2018
5) Seth Griffith just… staring into the abyss.
— Manitoba Moose (@ManitobaMoose) October 21, 2018
We’ve heard of wardrobe malfunctions at sporting events. But this might be the first time we’ve seen a wardrobe infraction.
The Ohio State Buckeyes women’s hockey team was assessed a two-minute penalty last week BEFORE THE GAME EVEN STARTED because it was deemed their uniforms weren’t up to snuff. Turns out the black-on-black colour scheme left everyone’s numbers too obscured.
— Ohio State Women’s Hockey (@OhioStateWHKY) October 20, 2018
The Minnesota Golden Gophers took full advantage, scoring right away on the bizarre power play they were gifted. And as you can see, the Buckeyes jerseys were indeed a visual disaster. Pity the poor broadcasters who had to try and figure out who was who.
— Susan McPherson (@susanmcp_susan) October 20, 2018
Forget a minor penalty. Someone should have called the fashion police.
Halloween is just around the corner, and that means pictures have started to leak of various teams and players celebrating the ghoulish holiday. There are quite a few good costumes out there already, and here’s our three stars so far:
3rd star: The entire Dallas Stars team.
— MLB &NHL News Now (@MLB_News247) October 24, 2018
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) October 21, 2018
2nd star: Connor McDavid as Homer Simpson.
Pack it in, Connor McDavid just won Halloween costume of the year! ��
��: Lauren Kyle pic.twitter.com/tHWPHhdb7T
— BarDown (@BarDown) October 22, 2018
1st star: Ben Bishop as the Beast.
— Ben Bishop (@Benbishop30) October 22, 2018
We’ve had the privilege of interviewing Nashville head coach Peter Laviolette many times, including some informal chats during last year’s incredible playoff series between his Predators and the Jets.
Reporters get no bull from this guy.
Then came last Saturday night in Edmonton, following the Preds’ tidy 3-0 triumph over the Oilers. When Laviolette came out after the contest to face reporters, he wasn’t his usual self.
Info Medias: @GenePrincipe: ‘This is @PredsNHL coach Peter Laviolette. The Team had a bet if they won the first two games of the trip thru Western Canada he would wear this..and that’s no bull. ‘ pic.twitter.com/NLj5efMv4f, see more https://t.co/tqwRcY4MBt
— Jacques Morissette (@jamaislu) October 21, 2018
Give the guy credit for making good on the side deal with his players after the sweep of Calgary and Edmonton in back-to-back games on the road.
It’s not the first time he’s lived up to his end of a silly bargain. Last season, you may remember, the players had the coaching staff wear wild holiday suits on the bench during a game.
Nashville blue-liner P.K. Subban had a tough time holding it together while speaking with the media.
“Good on (Laviolette) to hold up his end of the bet,” he said. “For us as a team, it’s 82 games and it can be a long season and when you’re coming on the road with a back-to-back… with a little extra motivation and having some fun, but good on him.”
The San Jose Sharks aren’t just a talented hockey team on the ice. They’ve also got plenty of skills away from the rink, as they’ve routinely demonstrated with a series of funny videos meant to attract fans to their product.
Their latest effort — starring Logan Couture, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Joonas Donskoi and Barclay Goodrow — are absolute gold as they promote the fact they aren’t much fun in “your” home so come watch them play in theirs.
Mike hit a bit of a nerve this past week when, while covering the Jets game against the Vancouver Canucks, he sent a tweet about a creative chant going up in the third period at Bell MTS Place with the home team on its way to victory.
If you’ll recall, there was some controversy earlier in the year when the Canucks revealed they were banning players from playing the Fortnite video game on the road, which prompted Winnipeg sniper and video game aficionado Patrik Laine to suggest they had to find something to blame for their shoddy play.
While most took the jab in good stride, some were pretty offended at Winnipeggers taking shots at their West Coast neighbours.
Canucks Fans Chant back You have to Live in Winnipeg
— Sam (@Vanucks1994) October 19, 2018
We know Jets fans are everywhere, and you get a sense of that every time they play a road game and you hear the usual “True North” chant go up during O Canada.
But this guy took his fandom to new heights this past week when he donned his Jets sweatshirt, strapped on his blades… and skated down the street following an ice storm in Dawson City, Yukon.
Only in the Yukon! Bobby Ronka sent us this video of a creative commuter making the best of today’s icy conditions in Dawson City. pic.twitter.com/KAuO95ya5S
— CBC North (@CBCNorth) October 19, 2018
As well as Jets fans travel, nothing can compare to the legion of Maple Leafs fans out there.
Case in point: a Toronto fanatic who made his way to Winnipeg for Wednesday night’s game as part of his plan to actually see all 82 regular-season contests this year.
It’s actually pretty impressive stuff.
— Rick Ralph (@RickRalphTSN) October 24, 2018
We’re sure Brett Connolly is a pretty swell guy. But the Washington Capitals forward has developed quite the knack for leaving his teammates hanging on the bench.
Last year, you may recall when Evgeny Kuznetsov turned to Connolly to celebrate a goal only to be given the hilarious cold shoulder.
Pro tip to anyone that’s ever been left hangin’ pic.twitter.com/Lb8UhvwUj4
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 5, 2017
Well, Connolly has done it again. This time it was Jakub Vrana, who had just set him up for a goal moments earlier and was looking for a little love.
Vrana and Connolly recreating that time Connolly left Kuzy hanging pic.twitter.com/nq9zfi2OZh
— HockeyKot (@hockeykot) October 20, 2018
There’s nothing quite like hearing Bob Cole calling a hockey game. The guy is a legend, the soundtrack of many Saturday nights. And so as he enters his final season, we absolutely loved the sendoff the Ottawa Senators and their fans gave him last weekend.
Classy gesture ��
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) October 21, 2018
For the second time in two seasons, Jay has been labelled a “scrum lurker” by TSN’s Jay and Dan.
Unfairly, he quickly points out.
Here’s the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of lurker:
- To lie in wait in a place of concealment especially for an evil purpose
- To move furtively or inconspicuously
- To persist in staying.
Wrong. Incorrect. Not a chance.
Jay maintains he was an active participant in a recent interview with Winnipeg winger Nikolaj Ehlers. The mood was light, and he felt accepted by both the athlete and the small group involved.
— #JayAndDan (@JayAndDan) October 20, 2018
However, he offers no defence for the goofiest smile in the history of sports journalism.
For the record, Mike has also been caught on camera as a scrum lurker — erroneously, we assert. There’s no shame in being ubiquitous.
Remember, as the ads suggest, The Free Press We’re There for You.
You know who’s not there for you? Gritty.
The lovably terrifying Philadelphia Flyers mascot was up to his usual tricks again this week, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.
First up was obliterating two poor saps taking part in an on-ice sumo wrestling contest.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) October 23, 2018
Then it was a group of skaters in bubbles who were sent flying.
Gritty is the scariest thing kids will encounter this Halloween. pic.twitter.com/MjG2nlzSkA
— Gino Hard (@Ginohard_) October 21, 2018
— Kristine ⚾️ (@KJay1122) October 24, 2018
Gritty Pumpkin count so far: 1 pic.twitter.com/UVjDxW90vb
— Elizabeth Fiedler (@Fiedler4Philly) October 20, 2018
Got a suggestion for a future edition of Dump & Chase? Let us know about it.
And: follow “Dump” and “Chase” — a.k.a. Mike and Jason — on Twitter.
Your weekly trip around the world of hockey.
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