Pam vs. Jim
Welcome to the Pregame Skate, a Five Minute Major Upgrade to Your Inbox
Quick Programming Announcement: Wednesday’s newsletter will be moved to Thursday to recap game seven and Friday’s newsletter will be moved to Sunday. Hit the comment button above to tell us who you think is going to win and why.
Pam vs. Jim
What’s Happening: Brad Marchand broke a four game goal-less drought and Brandon Carlo scored from the point for the Boston Bruins, who skated to a 5-1 victory against the Blues last night in Game #6 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Tell Me More: The Bruins top line finally came through, and they also received some help from Karson Kuhlman, who went bar-down midway through the third. Kuhlman replaced David Backes on the second line.
Hello Old Friend: The Bruins aren’t strangers to Game #7s—this will be their 27th all-time. They have a 14-12 record and clinched their 2011 Stanley Cup victory in a Game #7 against the Canucks, snapping their 39 year title drought. Basically, the B’s are experienced, but the Blues have been sharp on the road this post season, meaning we are in for a fun one Wednesday night.
Pam vs. Jim: Fans of hit TV show “The Office” will appreciate the beef between Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinski), who have both attended Stanley Cup finals games. Jenna is a loyal Blues fan, while John is rooting for the Bruins. The two went back and forth on Twitter ahead of Game #6, and we will be sure to follow their banter prior to Game #7.
A Giant Among Legends
What’s Happening: After reportedly breaking his jaw in Game #4, Zdeno Chara returned to the lineup the following game, joining an impressive list of hockey players who have played in the playoffs after sustaining devastating injuries. During Game #6, Chara played 22 minutes and scored a goal.
The 6’9” giant placed himself among these other legends who played with serious injuries…
Mario Lemieux broke his left hand after a well documented slash by Ryan Graves but returned in the conference finals. The Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup, and “Super Mario” took home the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Goaltender Patrick Roy played with appendicitis in a losing effort in the first round of the 1994 playoffs.
Duncan Keith lost seven (!) teeth after a Patrick Marleau high stick during the 2010 playoffs.
Most recently, Flyers forward Sean Couturier played with a torn MCL during last year’s playoffs.
Dig Deeper: Greg Wyshynski, ESPN
What’s Happening: The Charlotte Checkers followed up a 51 win regular season with a 15-4 record in the playoffs, capturing the Calder Cup in suburban Chicago Saturday against the Wolves. This is the Checkers’ first AHL title.
Tell Me More: Andrew Poturalski scored 12 goals during the playoffs for the Checkers—good enough to earn him the playoffs’ MVP award. Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic was also key for Charlotte, as the netminder finished the post season with a 2.34 goals against average.
Why It Matters: Keep an eye out for many of these Checkers players moving forward—several of them could have a big impact on the NHL’s Hurricanes in the next five years. Morgan Geekie—who’s just 20 years old—could be a star in the making. The forward led all Checkers rookies in playoff points and scored the double overtime goal that sent Charlotte to the finals.
Dig Deeper: Steve Lyttle, The Charlotte Observer
Copping the Kelly Part Two
Celly Season—The Newfoundland Growlers took home the Kelly Cup in their inaugural season in the ECHL.
What’s Happening: Last week we reported on the dispute between the ECHL and the Colorado Eagles over the Kelly Cup—to jog your memory, the Eagles never returned the trophy after winning back-to-back championships from 2017-2018 before departing the league for the AHL. According to The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark, there’s more to the story.
Let’s Get This Money: The underlying factor behind this dispute? 💰. Eagles owner Martin Lind says the ECHL not only left Colorado out of the 2017-2018 owner distributions, but they also owe him $175,000. The ECHL is claiming this money is an insurance letter of credit that will be returned in the future.
$500,000 in the red: Lind also accused the ECHL of some shady business in regards to selling the team’s spot in the league to another interested franchise. The Newfoundland Growlers, who just won the (brand new) Kelly Cup last week in their first season in the league, reportedly showed interest towards the end of 2017, but former ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna decided to not share this information. Why it matters: Lind could have recovered his $500,000 exit fee he was forced to fork over to the ECHL and probably could have even made an extra $250,000 on top of that.
By the Numbers: Newfoundland paid the ECHL a $1 million expansion team fee ahead of this season, meaning the league pocketed an extra $1.5 million by not helping the Eagles sell directly to the Growlers. The ECHL, however, did have to spend a whopping $5,000 to build a new Kelly Cup.
The Bottom Line: It’s hard to say which side is right in this situation, but it’s clear that the Eagles kept the Kelly Cup to prove a point. What will Lind do with the trophy moving forward? He jokingly said, “I think eBay might be a good option. Because I don’t want it.”
More Links from the Rink
Minnesota-Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin signed a four year extension that will earn him $400,000 per year. Why it matters: Many thought Sandelin would fill one of the head coaching vacancies in the NHL—he interviewed for the Anaheim job just last week.
There were Pride Parades all over the country this past weekend, from Washington D.C. where Braden Holtby participated to Los Angeles where the Kings joined the L.A. Galaxy soccer team on a co-branded float. In honor of this, let’s take a look back at the Devils forward who became the first ever NHL player to use Pride Tape in a game.
Wednesday June 12th: Stanley Cup Final Game #7
St. Louis Blues (C3) vs. Boston Bruins (A2) Wednesday, June 12, 8:00 p.m.: Blues @ Bruins | NBC | Series tied 3-3