Hall Gill, shown here only sliiightly out of position.

Hal Gill, shown here only sliiightly out of position.

During yesterday’s Toronto Maple Leafs/Philadelphia Flyers game, I tweeted “It’s legitimately scary how fast hockey players skate at this point. Pro rinks are basically just human Large Hadron Colliders,” because it really is startling to watch the ease at which players today can get up to top speed.

The only real downside of this is that these are huge dudes, and our brains aren’t built to get mashed against the inside of our skulls too much, so we’re can only expect to see more of stuff like this:

Rostislav Klesla taken off ice on stretcher

There’s no video from this game yesterday, but it was Jordan Nolan who hit Klesla, leading to this:

Klesla fell to the ice and his leg twitched for a moment before he lay motionless. With the team’s medical staff attending to him, Klesla was strapped to a stretcher and taken off the ice. No word was available immediately on his condition, but as he left the ice he raised his left hand to tell the crowd he was OK and was greeted with cheers.

Which naturally led to this:

Coyotes’ Martin Hanzal went after Nolan, and both received roughing minors.

When both minors expired, it was time for retribution. All hell broke loose shortly after Nolan and Hanzal left the penalty box. In all the excitement, Paul Bissonnette also jumped over the boards to take part in the melee. Bissonnette was given a game misconduct and could be facing a minimum 10-game suspension for leaving the bench.

So yeah. Apparently Klesla has a neck injury, and Bissonnette’s in trouble (nothing like a quick 10-gamer to get the year rollin’). Hot start!


Nazem Kadri made Hal Gill look silly

The Toronto Maple Leafs got off to a good start on the weekend, beating the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-3. Nazem Kadri scored first on a great personal effort that resulted in Hal Gill looking like it might be time to hang ‘em up, like, for reals.

The picture is at the top of this post (that’s Gill getting up off the ice, who was standing directly in front of Nazem Kadri only moments earlier), or you can click that link to watch it for yourself. That couldn’t have helped Gill’s odds of making the Flyers this year.


Dallas Eakins has removed a bunch of memorabilia from the Oilers dressing room

One thing you gotta say about Dallas Eakins: he’s not taking the job of changing the Oilers losing ways lightly, even if a few of his gestures seem a little pointless. He basically wants to make it clear that the dressing room belongs to the current players in there, and not the players of yesteryear. Kay, sure, fine.

Mr. Eakins, give us your thoughts:

“We have moved some pictures and some plaques and some things and we’re going to put them out for our fans to enjoy, but it’s important for these players that this is THEIR dressing room.

“Believe me, there is no disrespect. And this man would understand – this is not Mark Messier’s dressing room!

“We will definitely attempt to emulate the play of those great teams, the success of the Gretzkys, Messiers, Kurris and all of them. But I want these guys to be comfortable in THEIR room.”

The Oilers are almost certainly going to be better this season, but if there not, boy. This is going to seem like a weird off-season.


You can’t tuck your jersey in anymore. Seriously, that’s a rule now

Man, poor Wayne Gretzky’s really having a tough day. First his stuff is being removed from the Oilers’ dressing room, now this: you can’t tuck in your jersey anymore.

From a PDF the league sent out on equipment rules:

Players are not permitted to tuck their jersey into their pants in such a manner where the top padding of the pant and/or additional body protection (affixed to the pant or affixed to the Player’s body) is exposed outside the jersey. The back uniform number must not be covered or obstructed in any fashion by protruding pads or other protective padding.

From the Washington Post, here’s what jersey-tucker Alex Ovechkin thinks:

“I’m the guy who love that kind of stuff. I’m kind of upset about it, but most important thing, nobody talk to us, the players. They think it can be dangerous for somebody. I think it’s kind of stupid. My gear is not stay [near] my body so jersey always goes in. If I’m going to put jersey normally, I’m going to skate and it goes back.”

I just pray that the Gods of hockey never, ever allow this to affect a real game in any meaningful way.


Ryan Murray’s NHL debut was decent

He was selected one spot behind Nail Yakupov in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, only to wind up needing shoulder surgery and sitting on the sidelines for an entire season. For the Blue Jackets, getting him back on the ice and into their mix is an exciting prospect. And why not?

Here he is scoring the overtime winner for Columbus against Pittsburgh on the weekend. Jumps into the play, head up, finishes nicely. Perhaps a sign of great things to come.