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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Hockey

Emergency goalie David Ayres makes history in Hurricanes’ win

David Ayres

Emergency goalie David Ayres made history on Saturday in the Carolina Hurricanes’ 6-3 win against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

Goalies James Reimer and Petr Mrazek got injured during Saturday’s game, leaving the Hurricanes to turn to David Ayres, a 42-year-old emergency backup goalie and kidney transplant survivor, who was making his NHL debut.

Ayres is a Zamboni driver for the AHL Toronto Marlies and stepped into the NHL game. Just to show how out of place he seemed, Ayres was wearing Leafs pants and a Marlies helmet.

Ayres gave up two goals on the first three shots he faced in the second, but settled in to stop all six shots he faced in the third period. In total, Ayres stopped eight of 10 shots and became the first ever emergency backup goalie to win an NHL game.

According to the Toronto Sun, Ayres has filled in at Maple Leafs practices for the past eight years and has been the emergency backup on call at Scotiabank Arena for the past three years.

For those wondering, a standard pay agreement would call for Ayres to make $500 and keep his game-worn jersey.

We’re guessing some might step in to give him a win bonus for his great effort.

Ayres said in his postgame interview he was “shocked” to go in but loving it.

He was honored with the first star of the game.

Alex Ovechkin reaches 700 career goals and may have shot at Wayne Gretzky’s record

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin hit a major milestone on Saturday, and he has a realistic shot at Wayne Gretzky’s record.

Ovechkin scored in the third period of his Washington Capitals’ 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils to tie the game at two. The goal was his 42nd of the season and 700th of his career.

Ovechkin is now in rare company and has become just the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 career goals. Gretzky holds the record by far with 894 career goals.

Here’s the list:

1. Wayne Gretzky 894
2. Gordie Howe 801
3. Jaromir Jagr 766
4. Brett Hull 741
5. Marcel Dionne 731
6. Phil Esposito 717
7. Mike Gartner 708
8. Alex Ovechkin 700

Ovi should be able to pass Gartner this season, and he should be able to get up to fourth after next season. He’s actually the second-fastest to 700 goals after Gretzky.

While Gretzky got to 700 at age 29, The Great One didn’t score as much later in his career with Los Angeles Kings, and instead racked up assists. Comparatively, Ovechkin has averaged 48 goals per game the last six seasons and has been going strong as he ages.

Expecting Ovechkin to reach Gretzky’s mark is optimistic, but with how strong he looks at age 34, his chances should not be discounted.

Jon Gruden, Mark Davis look like twins at Golden Knights game

Mark Davis

Jon Gruden and Mark Davis represented at a Vegas Golden Knights game on Thursday.

The Raiders owner and head coach were shown on the video board inside T-Mobile Arena during the second period as the Golden Knights trailed the defending champion St. Louis Blues. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think these two handsome men were brothers.

Owner Mark Davis was looking sharp as always with his hairstyle, and Gruden was trendy with his fanny pack.

The Raiders moved to Las Vegas ahead of the 2020 NFL season and are already becoming fixtures on the Sin City scene. Gruden was doing his best to connect with the fans:

Video: Zack Kassian likely facing suspension for kicking Erik Cernak

Zack Kassian

Zack Kassian is likely facing a suspension from the NHL for his actions on Thursday night.

During the Edmonton Oilers’ 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Kassian was one of three players down on the ice. As he tried to push himself out of the pile, he kicked Erik Cernak. Kassian’s blade appeared to go straight into Cernak’s chest.

Kassian is notorious for dirty plays like this. He defended his actions after the game.

“He was holding my leg, it was reactionary, I was just trying to get him off me, kick him off me. I was just trying to get my foot loose,” Kassian said via the Tampa Bay Times. “If I kicked him hard, I think he would have flew back or the ref would have called a penalty.”

The 29-year-old winger has been suspended in juniors, international competition, and the NHL, in addition to his multiple substance abuse suspensions. Kassian was suspended two games for going after Matthew Tkachuk in January.

Jeremy Roenick fired by NBC over comments about coworkers

NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick won’t be back with NBC after inappropriate comments he made late last year about colleagues Kathryn Tappen and Patrick Sharp.

Roenick made the announcement in a Twitter post Wednesday, stating he was “disappointed and angry” and calling the move a “joke” in his caption.

Roenick makes it pretty clear that this was a firing based on his reaction as opposed to a mutual parting of ways.

The analyst was initially suspended indefinitely by NBC over inappropriate sexual comments about both Tappen and Sharp. He was left that way for about a month and a half leading up to his announcement on Wednesday.

Roenick thrives on offering controversial opinions and unfiltered thoughts. It’s unclear if he’ll surface anywhere else, or what network or outlet would be willing to hire him after this incident.

Blues issue health update on Jay Bouwmeester after scary collapse on bench

Jay Bouwmeester

The St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night issued an update on the medical status of Jay Bouwmeester after the defenseman had a scary episode on the team’s bench.

Bouwmeester collapsed on the Blues’ bench during the first period of the team’s game against the Ducks in Anaheim after completing a shift. The game was postponed with 7:50 remaining in the first period.

The incident was scary and left the teams involved and fans in attendance extremely concerned about Bouwmeester’s condition. The good news is the Blues say Bouwmeester is “conscious and alert” and undergoing testing at a medical center. They said Bouwmeester had a cardiac episode.

“With 7:50 remaining in the first period of our game tonight, Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode and collapsed on our bench after completing his shift. Thankfully, with the quick response of our medical trainers, Anaheim medical trainers and their team physicians, they were able to stabilize Jay. He was alert and moving all of his extremities as he was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center. Currently, Jay is conscious and alert as he undergoes further testing by Anaheim’s physicians. We will update Jay’s condition on Wednesday morning,” general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement.

Bouwmeester, 36, is the oldest player on the Blues. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has many more details about the situation, says Bouwmeester’s father was on the trip as part of a “Dads Trip” and accompanied his son to the hospital.

The game is set to be made up at a later date. Bouwmeester has nine points in 56 games this season.

Brad Marchand calls fan a ‘peasant’ over shootout criticism

Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand had one of the worst shootout attempts you will ever seen in an NHL game during the Boston Bruins’ loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, but he isn’t about to sit back while some fan rips him for it.

With the Bruins needing a goal to keep the shootout going, Marchand overskated the puck and grazed it with his stick. Because he touched the puck, officials ruled that his attempt counted and the game was over. Likely in response to being trolled, Marchand tweeted a photo on Tuesday that showed him kissing the Stanley Cup.

One of Marchand’s followers, whose profile says he is a beer league hockey player, took that as an opportunity to heckle Marchand about not being able to get the puck on his stick. Marchand responded by calling the guy a “peasant” and saying “you pretend to be me in your back yard.”

Marchand would probably be better off ignoring the noise after such an embarrassing blunder, but that has never been his style. We’ve seen him clap back on social media in the past when a rival brought up his affinity for licking the faces of opposing players, so he’s willing to defend himself over pretty much anything.

H/T LBS reader Wardo