The Vancouver Canucks ownership had enough. Fans were singing “Fire Benning,” the lack of conviction on the ice, and a writer called them cupcakes after the 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Vancouver cleaned house on Sunday and swept out nearly everyone. The Penguins won on Saturday, but they have big issues in the middle of their lineup. Fortunately for the Penguins, the bottom of the Metro Division is crashing.
The Canadian media seems to be giving some credit to fans for forcing the changes in Vancouver. I hope that’s not true. I hope the absolute lack of conviction and leadership on the ice was a much bigger issue. I don’t think I’ve ever called a team a cupcake in headline form before, but it was earned.
Vancouver Hockey Now: Our colleague Rob Simpson is all over the firestorm in Vancouver. We’ll start with firing GM Jim Benning and his assistants. Canuck legend Stan Smyl is the interim GM, and a name Penguins fans know well–Bruce Boudreau--is the new Canucks head coach.
Canucks fans were frothing. The comments on VHN were vicious after the loss to the Penguins.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Speaking of those Pittsburgh Penguins, they won on Saturday, but their offense has been Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Evan Rodrigues…and NO ONE else. That’s a problem, and check out how bad it’s been.
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Toronto: Gong show in Winnipeg. Rasmus Sandin had to be helped off the ice as all hell broke loose. Toronto lost, and it got wild.
NYI: Fortunately for the Pittsburgh Penguins, the bottom of the Metro isn’t just losing. They’re cratering. The New York Islanders are winless in their last 11 after bowing to weak Chicago…
Islanders media isn’t hostile or angry like Canadian media, but I’ll say it–Barry Trotz may have worn out his welcome. The Islanders stars are flatlining. Lou Lamoriello didn’t do a great job, either. He relied on his favorites, such as Kyle Palmieri, instead of Jordan Eberle. Whoops.
Philadelphia: Penguins fans may really enjoy this: From Broad Street blog–the Flyers lost their eighth in a row, and it was the ugliest loss of the season. Things are getting dark in Philly Flyers country.
If Trotz isn’t on the hot seat, Alain Vigneault indeed is. That’s two seasons in a row in which the Flyers lack heart.
Update: about 60 minutes after publishing, the Flyers fired Vigneault.
PuckProse: The New Jersey Devils are sinking back to the depths of the Eastern Conference. Hey, they scored four goals! And…they allowed eight. It’s bad times in Jersey, too.
Vegas: Robin Lehner beat the Calgary Flames and countryman Jacob Markstrom. It was a titanic battle of the best in the West, then Lehner said he would not play for Sweden in the Olympics because his mental health would be compromised, in part because of worrying about COVID. Game story and full Lehner report.
Boston: What’s the price on Jake DeBrusk on the NHL trade market? The Boston Bruins want “equal value” back.
Detroit: Hey, the Detroit Red Wings are right there with the Penguins in the Wild Card chase. Yeah, THESE Red Wings are not THOSE Red Wings.