Nation World HQ
December 20 2011 09:40PM
A number of years ago, when he was general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, Brian Burke made an astute statement about the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"We call them the Stanley Cup playoffs," said Burke, "because we can't call them Goalie."
Burke was being funny, but he was dead on. Without great goaltending you can't win the Stanley Cup (as the 2011 Boston Bruins will attest). In the case of the 2011-12 Winnipeg Jets, getting to the playoffs will be impossible without great goaltending.
December 20 2011 02:38PM
The last several years have seen strong Canadian entries at the World Juniors. When it comes to the talent of their forwards and defensemen, Team Canada has access to riches unparalleled in any other country in the world.
The situation is a little different in net, where the uncertain tandem of Mark Visentin and Scott Wedgewood will backstop this year’s team.
December 18 2011 11:55AM
Lots of WJC talk this week on NationRadio with the annual tournament right around the corner. Among the other topics this week is Magnus Paajarvi being sent from the Oilers to their AHL affiliate, the 2011-12 Boston Bruins, Red Deer Rebels and OKC Barons.
This is NationRadio.
Nation World HQ
December 17 2011 08:15PM
It was a warm, wonderful welcome for former Winnipeg Jets hero, Teemu Selanne, at MTS Centre Saturday night. There was a feature on his career on the big video board. The crowd gave him a standing ovation when he came out for his first shift. The fans even started playing this silly game in which they would boo every Ducks player who touched the puck and then cheer when Selanne touched it.
"It was kind of comical," said Zach Bogosian, the game's first star with a goal and two assists. "Our fans always boo the other team's top players, but what we saw tonight is something I've never seen before."
It was fun and, in a strange Winnipeg kind of way, rather classy. In fact, it looked like "old jersey" night. Even Jets fans who owned new jerseys, broke out the old royal blue, white and red jerseys from the 90s. There were more Selanne Jets jerseys than Ladd Jets jerseys on Saturday.
"The emotion was very high," said Selanne after the game. "I tried to stay focused, but I was very emotional. It was just a great feeling. Even in the warm-up, just seeing all the signs and the No. 13, all the Winnipeg Jets jerseys. I felt like everybody was watching me."
Of course, by the middle of the second period, it didn't matter anymore, Anaheim's Dan Ellis should have been charged with impaired goaltending as he fanned on five shots and the Jets hung on to beat Selanne's Ducks 5-3.
Nation World HQ
December 17 2011 01:18PM
It could have only happened in a small town on the prairies that had been deprived of the National Hockey League for 15 years. It started when more than 50 people met the Anaheim Ducks' bus at 2:40 a.m. in front of Winnipeg's Fairmont Hotel to get a glimpse -- and maybe even an autograph -- of a hockey player who hadn't played in Winnipeg for 15 years. Then, the Ducks' coaching staff decided that to avoid the oncoming media frenzy, it should call a 10:15 a.m. news conference just to appease the Winnipeg public's insatiable appetite to hear the words of just one player.
Think about this for a second: Teemu Selanne is a 41-year-old Ducks rightwinger who once played in Winnipeg. In fact, he played 3 1/2-seasons in the 'Peg between 1992-96. He played in only 231 regular season games, scored 147 goals and 306 points. He holds the Jets 1.0 records of 76 goals, 132 points, 24 power play goals 387 shots and five hat-tricks in a single season. But he hasn't played in Winnipeg for almost 15 years!