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The Roundup: Dec 28, 2017

Rinaldo gets the boot (sort of), Lehner doth protest too much, and more

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

I want to start off by saying thank you to all of our readers, and hope that you all had a safe and happy holiday. We’ve been recharging batteries and such around here, but things are back to normal as the Canucks prepare to take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. The Roundup is a way for me to make amends for getting locked out of the system over the holidays. And a huge thank you to my fellow NM staffers for picking up the slack whilst I battled the login demons that kept me from posting.

The Roundup is a way to give y’all a daily thread to comment on other happenings in the league, as well as other hockey events happening you may need to be aware of.

Zac Rinaldo: Still garbage.

So the NHL’s Department of Player Safety handed down it’s punishment on Arizona’s Zac Rinaldo yesterday, and no one appears to be happy with this, on either side of the fence.

There’s been a lot of sounding off from media and fans across the league, but this one seems to sum it up best:

There’s no justification for what he did. None. Good in the room? Nope. Spark plug to a struggling team? Nah. Zac Rinaldo is what you get when you romanticize hockey’s more violent aspects, glorifying the guys like Rinaldo at a time when skill and speed are enjoying a renaissance of sorts. The other problem here is once again, the NHL’s DoPS has the opportunity to really send a message to guy who just doesn’t seem to be getting it, and instead gives him what amounts to just over the minimum for an in-person hearing. Sure, Rinaldo’s going to miss money, but with a chance to come out and really show Rinaldo there’s no place for guys like him in the game, they choose to act like the Parole Board in Raising Arizona.

Lehner decries Fake News about OT loss

Ah yes, Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner was back on his bullshit last night. The outspoken, hot-tempered keeper was going full-on Alex Jones after the Sabres lost to the Islanders in OT. Lehner pulled out this awesome conspiracy theory nonsense post game:

First, if you’re comparing that goal with the disallowed TD in the Bills game against the Patriots on Sunday, stop. There’s no clear explanation for why they ruled it not a catch, so I can understand the sudden rise in tinfoil sales in Buffalo. As for Lehner’s claim that the fix is in, welllll...

Yeah, that’s the puck in his glove, well past the goal line. But much like other #MAGA chuds, he thinks that despite overwhelming evidence contrary to his simply means there’s a conspiracy against them.

Farewell To A Legend

The NHL lost one of it’s greatest, as legendary Leafs goalie Johnny Bower died at age 93 on Boxing Day. A constant fixture with the Leafs during his retirement, he started his pro career in 1945, and retired at the end of the 1969-70 NHL season. Bower played 9 seasons in the AHL before getting his break in New York with the Rangers, but after one season found himself in Vancouver with the WHL Canucks, winning the league’s Outstanding Goalkeeper Award in 1954-55. He played 5 games with the Rangers in that 1954-55 season before going back to where he started in the AHL with the Providence Reds. His career with the Leafs began in 1958-59, and he became a superstar from that point on, leading the Leafs to 4 Stanley Cups, including 3 straight from 1962-64, and 6 Finals appearances all together. Statistically, he was one of the greatest of all time, even with era adjustments.

Canada/USA set for WJC showdown

All eyes will be on Buffalo tomorrow, as despite some pretty cold temperatures, the annual Canada/USA match at the World Junior Championships is set for Noon Pacific time at Orchard Park’s New Era Field. Canada is coming off an impressive 6-0 dismantling of the Slovaks last night, highlighted by Canucks prospect Jonah Gadjovich’s 2 goal performance, that earned him the POTG nod. The US play those Slovakians today, after cruising to a 9-0 win over Denmark Tuesday. Canada wraps up the round robin against Denmark Saturday, and the Americans face Finland on Sunday in a game that could have interesting possibilities depending on what happens tomorrow against Canada.