NHLNotebook: A rough night in Glendale, Patrik Laine is awesome and #CunnyCan!


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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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:

  • CMG30

    For too long the Oil relied on the one big enforcer. But that’s never a deterrent because nobody is dumb enough to A) get caught by him, or B) to actually drop the mitts with him. Basically just a waste of a roster space.

    Now, that the Oil have a few regulars out there with a screw or two loose opposing teams are going to start to check themselves…

  • Dirtski

    I need a Kassian jersey.

    By the way – Lucic has more points than Ovechkin and Tavares – he’s tied with Auston Mathews right now for the 40th most points in the NHL right now. He was throwing hits and kept his big body in front of the net last night – – Lucic doesn’t need to do anything more but keep doing what he’s already doing. Opinions lie – numbers don’t.

    • Dreadguy

      Well said. Lucic isn’t here to goon it up a la Kassian (that was entertaining as hell, wasn’t it?), but he is a very good deterrent to other teams taking liberties with Connor just by being on the ice. I don’t get all the negative comments about Lucic here. He is exactly as advertised. He’s on pace for his average in points, he’s 18th in the NHL in hits (The Oilers are 5th in the NHL in hits) and he’s a bull in the corners as well as in front of the net on the PP. I guess some people just can’t be pleased.

      • chickenStew

        “Lucic isn’t here to goon it up, but he is a very good deterrent to other teams taking liberties with Connor just by being on the ice”


        The other teams are constantly taking liberties with McDavid! Were you watching the last batch of games? It’s non stop.

        Lucic’s presence is doing squat to prevent it.

  • Randaman

    Laine is young, arrogant, cocky and conceited but he is big enough and good enough to back it up it seems.

    Connor is better and humble to boot.

    I’ll take #97 any day of the week.

    • There are some papers on confidence, narcissism, and success in sports. They’re all linked, and yes some take their confidence too far, but as long as they aren’t putting others down it’s all good to me.

      Hall had a ton of confidence and you saw him berate his team mates on the ice, I thought that went too far, though I do appreciate passion, that’s misdirected IMO.

    • Crakupov

      For sure Anyone would take Mcdavid over Laine but there is a huge drop off between Laine and Puljujarvi. I’m beginning to wonder if Columbus made the right move in taking a pass on him. Only time will tell.

      • Spydyr

        Playing him in the NHL when he clearly could of used some AHL time to adjust to the North American game and smaller ice surface is not helping matter any. Because Oilers.

  • Anton CP

    This is the first time in years that I did not even realized the world junior is around the corner.

    The Oilers still in the playoffs position near the end of the year, when was the last time that happened?

    Looking forward for a possible playoffs run!

    So far, Ron MacLean prediction is right on track!