The NHLN Notebook is a semi-regular feature of interesting hockey content from the past few days that doesn’t quite deserve its own article.
Today’s NHLNotebook covers a rough night in Glendale that saw 81 PIMS, Patrik Laine being Patrik Laine and the amazing story of Craig Cunningham.
Wednesday Bloody Wednesday
Last night, fireworks blew at the Gila River Arena between the Edmonton Oilers and the Arizona Coyotes. By the end of it, both Eric Gryba and Zack Kassian were given the gate. Gryba was ejected frollowing what was deemed a headshot on Jakob Chychrun, while Kassian was given a match penalty for a mean cross-check on Oliver Ekman-Larsson after he steamrolled Matt Hendricks.
Watching over what happened again last night, it was clear that Gryba didn’t really need to levy the hit he did against Chychrun. In saying that, Gryba’s butt is technically what hit Chychrun’s shoulder. It wasn’t a head shot, but it wasn’t neccesarily the cleanest way to levy a hit. Gryba was forced to answer the bell and dropped the mitts with fellow Sasky boy Luke Schenn. Chychrun left the game and entered the league’s concussion protocol. Late in the first, he was also ran hard into the boards by Hendricks.
With 44 seconds left in the game, tempers truly flared when Ekman-Larsson took Hendricks, who was in a vulnerable position hard into the boards. His linemate Kassian was having none of it and before you could blink an eye he came in with a cross-check on OEL and shed his mitts immidiately. Kassian knew what was coming, he was fully expecting someone to come in looking to scrap.
Anthony Duclair was the first in and ate a few Kassian punches. Shane Doan wrestled Kassian to the ice, while Mark Letestu completed his Gordie Howe hat-trick with a fight against Martin Hanzal.
This season it’s been clear that the Edmonton Oilers are a team that has become much tougher to play against with the recent acquisitions of Kassian, Milan Lucic and Patrick Maroon. The Oilers are a team that has been pushed around for far too long and at the very least, it is a treat to see them standing up for themselves.
How good is Patrik Laine? Just ask Patrik Laine.
I must say, it’s quite refreshing to hear a rookie come into the league and not be afraid to speak his mind. Laine is good, we all know that. He has already scored 18 goals this season and is on pace to score 42 by years end, which is the most goals by a rookie which is the most goals by a rookie since Alex Ovechkin potted 52 during his rookie campaign in 2005-2006.
What a truly amazing story Craig Cunningham is. As everyone is well aware, Cunningham collapsed on the ice during warmups during a Nov. 19 Tuscon Roadrunners AHL game. Luckily for Cunningham there was a lightning fast response of the medial staff at the arena as well as some local firefighters who were performing the national anthem as part of Scottish bagpipe and drum band.
I want to pass over the remainder of this note to tuscon.com writer Jon Gold, who has the most informative piece as to what happened to Craiger where he talks in-depth about the procedures done to save his life. Give this is a read.
The latest from Laing:
- OilersNation: GDB 35.0 Wrap up: The Oilers actually won in Arizona
- NHLNumbers: NHLNotebook: Concussion spotters, the best dab ever and the Vegas trademark gets denied
- OilersNation: Amid slew of injuries, Oilers recall Musil
- OilersNation: If Duclair is available, should the Oilers be calling?
- OilersNation: Friedman/Garrioch: Oilers could be looking to move Hendricks, Pouliot