Good Morning, Avalanche fans!
We’ve got a few Avalanche-related stories for you here on the site - including the recalls of Andrei Mironov and David Warsofsky, why Nicolas Meloche deserves a recall himself, and some objectives the Avalanche should have as they head into trade deadline week.
But you’ll get more on that during the pregame for tonight’s tilt, so we’re going to dedicate today’s Flurries to a very, very special night in Olympic history.
For starters, Canadian ice dancing legends Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir just took home gold after their incredible free skate program on Monday night, vaulting them to the top of the standings and cementing them on, as one writer put it, ‘the short list of best ice dance teams in history’.
I know - who cares, right?
Look. If you don’t already know, let me tell you some stuff.
This is Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir:
They have been skating together for the last 20 years, and know one another basically better than you or I even know ourselves.
They are also some of the most decorated Canadian Olympians ever, becoming the first figure skaters with five career Olympic medals - putting them behind only Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes in overall medals earned and behind only Jayna Hefford, Hayley Wickenheiser, and Caroline Ouellette in total golds.
Their skating style is mesmerizing, but has also sparked an internet storm as the world learned that no, they aren’t actually dating - which, when you watch them skate, seems categorically impossible:
Here, enjoy the transcendent sensual experience that is Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir dancing to Moulin Rouge:
Anyways, they beat the Americans this year, which is a bit of a bummer for all of us stateside. But for everyone who loves a
really good love story tale of perseverance and victory, this is the Olympic couple you’ve been waiting for.
Here’s more on them, their win, and how much it means. [The National Post]
Now, for some America!!!
We found out Sunday night that the USA women’s ice hockey team is headed to the gold medal game (Wednesday night, 11pm EST, be there parked in front of your TV!).
But with the US men’s team set to play their first game of their own elimination round on Monday, it seemed like the setup for a disappointing evening.
Then, the Americans shocked us all.
In a Miracle On Ice-esque comeback by Brian Gionta and his band of merry men, Team USA trounced Slovakia 5-1 to move on to the semifinals. Did anyone else expect this to happen? Not likely!
FINAL | @DonatoRyan scores twice & @troyterry1997 picks up three assists to lead the U.S. Men's Team past Slovakia and into the quarterfinals! #GoTeamUSA— USA Hockey (@usahockey) February 20, 2018
Recap → https://t.co/BDWxvkIsK6 pic.twitter.com/kERPSnGzLH
Colorado’s own Troy Terry - who is missing from the Pioneers roster at the moment in a quest to help bring glory and honor to us all - put up three points on the board, while 1992 Olympian Ted Donato’s son Ryan found the back of the net twice.
But can we spend a moment talking about the fact that Mark Arcobello got a goal?
If you don’t know, this is Mark Arcobello:
He is one of just three players in NHL history to appear in the lineup for four NHL teams in the same season, and recorded a point with all four - starting with the Edmonton Oilers, then getting dealt to the Nashville Predators, waived and picked up by the Pittsburgh Penguins, then waived again and picked up by the Arizona Coyotes all in the 2014-15 season.
Oh, and he now has a goal as an American Olympian:
Arcobello is like 5-foot-6 on skates and weighs a buck seventy-five with gear on, and his play away from the puck earned him a bit of bouncing around the NHL during what was a highly eventful North American career before he ended up in Switzerland last season.
But after going undrafted out of Yale, the undersized Connecticut native joined the Oilers at the ECHL level, then the AHL, and ultimately worked his way up to serving as their top line center during some of that team’s darkest hours.
Then went on to play for the Arizona Coyotes that same season. If that’s not perseverance, I’m not sure what is.
Anyways, Arcobello was also a part of the bronze medal-winning USA roster at the 2015 World Championships, where he scored against the Russian team to become a short-lived national hero.
In some final bits of news:
The Philadelphia Flyers absolutely fleeced the Detroit Red Wings today, taking Petr Mrazek off of their hands for a mere two conditional draft picks and 50% retained salary. [Broad Street Hockey]
And finally, an update on the situation from the Blackhawks game a few nights ago:
After things settled down a bit, the Blackhawks confirmed that the pair that yelled cowardly veiled racial insults at Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly a few nights ago are banned from the United Center permanently.
There was a bit of uproar over this: mostly in a positive manner, as people applauded the Blackhawks for doing something about racist garbage getting to mingle with civilized people in public, but also some negative attention as people thought it was a bit overblown.
To those, here’s a quote from the newest member of the Chicago Blackhawks, former Arizona Coyotes and New York Rangers forward Anthony Duclair:
Anthony Duclair on Devante Smith-Pelly incident: "How do I feel? We've got some #Blackhawks fans in the stands that think a certain way. If they were Blackhawks fans, they would know there's a black hockey player on their team. Not shocking, but disappointing." #Blackhawks— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 19, 2018
In summary, these idiots didn’t even stop to think about the fact that they had a black player ON THEIR OWN TEAM.
Like Duclair says, this isn’t particularly shocking. Racists tend not to become less racist just because someone they choose to discriminate against provides a positive contribution to something they enjoy, and this is no exception. But, like he also says, it’s disappointing - and a perfect explanation, for those still confused, as to why a racial insult is, actually, very reasonable bounds to get banned for life.
I promise: tomorrow, more on the Avalanche. Once we’ve gotten one full post-Erik Johnson injury under our belts, should be plenty of content to send your way! Thank you for putting up with the closest thing I’ll ever write to fanfiction.