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Kodak Black, trading Halak and 5 other thoughts after a weird night in the NHL

Oh, and the Canucks lost to the Panthers 5-2.

Vancouver Canucks v Florida Panthers
Rapper Kodak Black and fiancé Mellow Rackz watch the Florida Panthers play the Vancouver Canucks at the FLA Live Arena on January 11, 2022 in Sunrise, Florida.
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks played a hockey game for the first time in 10 days, but that certainly wasn’t the biggest story from Tuesday evening.

Yes, the Panthers defeated the Canucks 5-2, but it was rapper Kodak Black who stole the show.

1) Play of the Year Candidate

During the game, this video was posted to Twitter.

Despite what your dirty mind may lead you to believe, what you think was happening, wasn’t actually happening...

Regardless, this has to be some good marketing for the NHL. Look how excited Kodak Black was from watching a hockey game!

I mean, this Panthers team is an absolute wagon right now. After last night’s victory, they’ve scored 25 (!!!) goals in their last four home games, for an average of 6.25 goals per game.

So, the Canucks aren’t the only team deserving of this cruel and truthful meme.

Hey, the Panthers currently have the temporary arena name of “FLA Live Arena.”

Who’s going to start the petition to name it “Pornhub Arena” by next season?

Here are six other thoughts as the Canucks returned to action on a weird night in the NHL.

2) Trading Halak makes sense

Chris Johnston of the Toronto Star has reported that the Canucks are interested in trading Jaroslav Halak.

Halak will earn $1.25 million in bonuses if he plays in two more games. He would earn another $250,000 if he finished the season with a .905 save percentage or better.

One simple stop-gap solution would be thrusting 27-year-old Spencer Martin into the backup role. He’s been the best of Abbotsford’s three-headed monster in goal so far this season, rocking a 5-0-2-1 record with a 2.24 GAA and a .921 save percentage.

Both Michael DiPietro and Arturs Silovs have sub-.900 save percentages this season for the baby Canucks.

For a team as cap-strapped as Vancouver, freeing up that $1.5 million in cap space is valuable. Perhaps that’s all Rutherford and the new GM need to acquire an undervalued defenceman.

Halak has played well, but he’s a luxury that this team doesn’t need.

3) Poolman defies the norm for one night

For most of the season, Tucker Poolman has been better than the eye-test in terms of limiting scoring chances and shots against.

His brutal lack of puck control has been on display throughout the season, but the analytics have been kind to him. Despite a heavy dose of defensive zone starts, his 2.21 expected goals against is the best mark among all regular Canuck defencemen.

The problem? His 1.93 expected goals for is the worst mark among Vancouver’s blueline regulars.

While Poolman does a good job of limiting scoring chances, the Canucks are producing next to no offence while he’s on the ice.

Last night was an exception, Poolman was on the ice for 23 shots attemps for and 21 shot attemps against. Both were the highest per-60 mark on the team.

Poolman and his partner Brad Hunt were also on the ice for two goals for and two goals against last night. The four goals combined that they were on the ice for were the highest mark of any players on either team last night.

4) Pettersson still figuring things out

You might have expected Pettersson to get the Boudreau bump after this clip was released prior to Tuesday night’s contest.

Alas, it was another disappointing night for Pettersson.

#40 made some nice plays with the puck, but there were the typical bobbles and turnovers which have followed him around all season.

The line he was on with Tanner Pearson and Nils Hoglander didn’t seem to have much chemistry. They ended the night being on the ice for two goals against.

5) Tanner Pearson, the Canucks’ newest enforcer

While Pettersson hasn’t received the Boudreau bump, one player who has is Tanner Pearson.

The winger has two goals and seven points in nine games entering action on Tuesday night. He also had the benefit of being elevated to the Canucks top scoring line, alongside Brock Boeser and JT Miller.

Nevermind the points though...what’s more surprising is that Pearson has taken on the role as the Canucks newest enforcer.

Okay, while that may not be completely true, Pearson did get the upper hand in a scrap against Mackenzie Weegar last night.

That’s his second fight in as many games, after he fought Carson Soucy of the Seattle Kraken.

So, in Pearson’s first 541 NHL games, he had four fights. He now has two in his last two games.

Yep, life makes sense in 2022...

6) Is Podkolzin Bruce’s new favourite?

Boudreau still might not know how to properly say Podkolzin’s name, but that hasn’t stopped him from playing the youngster in a top-six role.

Since the 67-year-old coach took over, Podkolzin’s 13:55 of even-strength ice time per game is sixth among forwards on the team.

He actually ranks ahead of Pettersson, who’s played 13:53 at evens under Boudreau.

Last night, Podkolzin’s 16:00 at 5-on-5 was second among all Canucks forwards, trailing only Brock Boeser.

The rookie Russian’s ice time was increasing under Green, but he’s earned even more trust under Boudreau. Podkolzin averaged 11:47 per game under the Canucks’ former bench boss. Under Boudreau, he’s averaging 15:34 per contest.

7) Couture doesn’t care about Canucks playoff push or a fake octopus

If it wasn’t for Kodak Black, this would have been the weirdest thing to happen in the NHL last night.

Right before Logan Couture scored the OT winner for the Sharks, an octopus was tossed on the San Jose, no less.

You’ll see the ref sweeping the octopus off of the red line near the bottom of the video. Seconds later, Couture buried the OT winner for the Sharks.

With the OT winner, Couture further buried the Canucks in the Western Conference playoff race.

There’s still a long way to go, although the Canucks will have to overcome the NHL’s second-toughest schedule if they want to make the playoffs.