September 20, 2020

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Winnipeg Free Press



Dump & Chase

NHL season picks up right where last one left off

NASHVILLE — Well, here we are just over a week into the 2018-19 NHL season and things are pretty much going according to script. 

Carolina and Anaheim are perched at the top of the standings, Winnipegger Jonathan Toews is pumping in goals at a miraculous pace and Ducks goalie John Gibson is making an early case for the Vezina Trophy — all things we here at D & C fully anticipated.

The Winnipeg Jets, meanwhile, split a couple of games on the road before coming home to post a well-earned 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Mike then hit the road and followed the Jets to Smashville for a meeting with their old pals, the Predators, on Thursday night.

We can safely assume it was a heated affair, with the competitive hatred that built during a second-round playoff series in the spring still simmering.

Winnipeg then returns for six straight contests at Bell MTS Place then heads east for a couple of days to take on Detroit and Toronto before the team’s European vacation of sorts — a pair of games in Helsinki against the Florida Panthers. Jay (a.k.a. Chase) will follow the team to the homeland of Patrik Laine and Kristian Vesalainen.

But there’s still a couple of editions of D & C to deliver before that happens, so let’s get right down to business with the latest installment of our weekly digital fun zone of all things hockey.

Pre-game warmup

We're not sure who started the trend, but some of the funniest Tweets these days come from the most unlikely sources — namely the police.

Yeah, we know they're supposed to serve and protect, but apparently entertain and make us laugh are also part of the mantra.

Which brings us to this beauty from the Manitoba RCMP just prior to Tuesday's Winnipeg Jets home opener against Los Angeles. 



Well done! 

In honour of the first game back at Bell MTS Place, our friends over at Tim and Sid resurrected this hilarious video of the Jets, but as The Office.

We're still laughing.




Also funny, at least to us, was this shirt spotted at last Saturday's Jets game in Dallas.


Now, well the message may be a bit puzzling, we admire this guy's dedication to the art of trolling your opponent and their fan base.

He got the last laugh, as his Stars prevailed 5-1. 

First period

We must admit: pretty much everyone up in the press box Tuesday night at Bell MTS Place had an audible gasp when Dion Phaneuf appeared to catch Adam Lowry below the belt with a stick. 


There was an even louder gasp when we saw it on replay, confirming what we thought we'd just witnessed. 

Lowry was clearly in pain as he made his way over to the bench, while Phaneuf may have had an awkward conversation with one of his assistant coaches on the Los Angeles bench in Dave Lowry, who happens to be the father of the player he'd just speared. 

Of course, earlier in the game Lowry sent star Los Angeles defenceman Drew Doughty absolutely flying with a terrific shoulder-to-shoulder hit, so perhaps payback was on the mind of Phaneuf.


The guy can score, we know that, but if there’s another thing we know about Patrik Laine it’s that he’s a really good kid and a mighty good sport. He’ll stand and scribble his name until he’s taken care of the very last autograph seeker, he makes good on every interview request and he quietly does kind deeds in the community.

Laine also likes poking fun at others, and himself, so it likely didn’t take too much convincing to get him to agree to play along in the production of this music video — a remake (and a really cheesy one) of Greased Lightning from the musical Grease.

Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

Second period

It might just be the greatest non-goal in hockey history.

Last weekend, in Northern Ireland of all places, former NHLer Patrick Dwyer was denied a tally, even though common sense suggested the puck was somewhere in the net.

In fact, the puck was somewhere on Dwyer’s person.

The wacky play occurred Saturday in the United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League during a clash between the Belfast Giants and Milton Keynes Lightning.

With the Giants already up 3-0, Darcy Murphy took a shot that got lodged in Dwyer’s jersey and then his hockey pants.

Dwyer, who played parts of seven seasons (2008-15) with the Carolina Hurricanes, took immediate action, crouching down and slowly backing into the Lightning net until his entire body was across the goal line.

It has to be seen to be believed.

"Once I realized it was in my pants I figured I’d just back into the net and see if it works," he said. "It would have been a funny goal to score and to tell for the rest of my life."

The men in stripes refused to allow the goal, saying the play "was dead in their minds" when they lost sight of the puck.

The Giants still prevailed 7-0.

Dwyer didn’t get the goal but he still has the tale to tell — and some awesome video to prove it.

Last week we told you about the 24 Manitobans who cracked the opening-night rosters of NHL clubs. (You can find the list by checking out the previous edition of Dump & Chase).

Well, now we have the official list of all the local products who are playing at the next best level this season, courtesy of Hockey Manitoba.

Here's all 15 who are currently lacing up their skates in the AHL.

Morgan Geekie, F, Strathclair (Charlotte)

Keegan Kolesar, F, Brandon (Chicago)

Brooks Macek, F, Winnipeg (Chicago)

Zach Whitecloud, D, Brandon (Chicago)

Ty Lewis, F, Brandon (Colorado)

Dylan Mcllrath, D, Winnipeg (Grand Rapids)

Byron Froese, F, Winkler (Laval)

Brett Lernout, D, Winnipeg (Laval)

Justin Kirkland, F, Winnipeg (Milwaukee)

Peter Stoykewych, D, Winnipeg (Manitoba)

Tanner Kaspick, F, Brandon (San Antonio)

Tyler Brown, D, Winnipeg (San Antonio)

Jonathon Martin, F, Winnipeg (San Jose)

Adam Brooks, F, Winnipeg (Toronto)

Jarrett Burton, F, Winnipeg (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton)


Good luck to all on a great season!

Third period

It was another great week for Gritty.

The NHL's most famous mascot made a memorable entrance from the rafters just before the Philadelphia Flyers home-opener. Naturally, he was accompanied by the musical stylings of Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball.

Just perfect.

Prior to that spectacle, Gritty also sent a message to the San Jose Sharks prior to their game when he went on a bit of a shopping spree. 

(It's worth noting San Jose then drubbed the Flyers 8-2 the following night)

Finally, Flyers goalie (and Manitoba product) Calvin Pickard decided to pay tribute to Gritty by immortalizing him on his mask.

Next stop: The Hockey Hall of Fame?

Let's be clear: There are three things we can never get enough of in this space.

You just read about one of them above, namely Gritty.

The second is anything and everything to do about dogs. Frankly, if it's connected to hockey that's a bonus, but we're not above just talking our canine companions just for the heck of it.

And the third is embarrassing moments on the rink, of which there seems to be an endless supply.


The Washington Capitals certainly made the most of their Stanley Cup celebrations this past summer, milking the moment for everything it was worth.

As they should have.

They don't appear to be suffering any early season hangover, either, as they drubbed Boston 7-0 in their season opener and are 2-0-1 through their first three games.

But among the keg stands and swims in fountains and Ovie's adventures with Lord Stanley, perhaps the best moment came courtesy of forward T.J. Oshie when he turned his t-shirt into a beer funnel, of sorts. 

Naturally, some marketing genius over at Bud Light came in with the perfect idea.

We'll drink to that!

Speaking of celebrations, how about the one pulled off by the Carolina Hurricanes following their first home victory of the season.

Veteran Justin Williams apparently came up with the idea, hoping to make hockey "fun" in a region where it's often ignored.

We'll give Williams credit. It certainly got people talking, and Carolina seems to have some extra jump in their step as they're off to a surprising 3-0-1 start.

The Hurricanes pay their only visit of the season to Winnipeg on Sunday.

Since we're still on the topic of fun, how about the antics of Auston Matthews and Patrick Kane earlier this week.

Now, old-school types probably hated to see these two star players have their "look at me" moments after scoring big goals just a few seconds apart in the third period of a close game.

But for the record, we loved the duelling ear cups, which of course were first made famous by one Hulk Hogan. 




We're just a little more than a week into the new season, which means it's time for our monthly updated power rankings.

You'll recall we did this little exercise back in mid-September, just as teams were gearing up for the seemingly never-ending pre-season schedule. (Our first list can be found here.)

And while we don't put much stock in those results, we're certainly taking careful notes on what's transpired since the puck dropped for real back on Oct. 3.

Once again, Mike and Jay comprised their own separate lists, then crunched the numbers to come up with the blended average of each team.

What you see below is the result. (We've added last month's rankings in brackets, just so you can see the change).

Agree or disagree? Who do we have too high, or who is much too low? Let us know in the comments below!

1. Tampa Bay (T1)

2. Toronto (5)

3. Nashville (T1)

T4. Washington (4)

T4. Winnipeg (3)

6. San Jose (10)

7. Pittsburgh (8)

8. Vegas (6)

T9. Boston (7)

T9. Dallas (12)

11. Carolina (T25)

12. Columbus (14)

T13. Anaheim (22)

T13. Colorado (T16)

T15. Chicago (T25)

T15. Los Angeles (13)

17. New Jersey (15)

18. Calgary (T16)

19. St. Louis (9)

20. Florida (T19)

21. New York Islanders (T25)

T22. Buffalo (T24)

T22. Minnesota (21)

T22. Philadelphia (11)

25. Edmonton (T19)

26. Montreal (29)

T27. Detroit (28)

T27. New York Rangers (18)

29. Vancouver (30)

30. Arizona (23)

31. Ottawa (31)

Three biggest gains: Carolina, Chicago, Anaheim

Three biggest drops: Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York Rangers 

Got a suggestion for a future edition of Dump & Chase? Let us know about it. and

And: follow "Dump" and "Chase" — a.k.a. Mike and Jason — on Twitter. Mike is @mikemcintyrewpg, while Jason can be found @WFPJasonBell.

Your weekly trip around the world of hockey.

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