It’s been a long and painful November, with the Avalanche limping through injury after injury to key players in the lineup.
But first they got Mikko Rantanen back, then — during a nice, leisurely stretch between games to kick off December — they got even more good news:
Landeskog will go on the trip. Rantanen maintanence day. Burakovsky may join them on trip.— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) December 2, 2019
Colin Wilson having surgery, out long term.
Of course, the hockey gods only giveth when the hockey gods are also preparing to taketh away — so Colin Wilson is out long-term, and Andre Burakovsky is a maybe to even join the team on the road.
But even with Burakovsky’s more-than-satisfactory offense this year, let’s get real. This isn’t exactly a one-for-one swap on either injury front.
Outside of the world of the Avalanche, there’s also a reckoning on the way — and it’s starting with Mike Babcock.
First, Babcock’s dismissal from the Leafs was followed up by a story about him emotionally mistreating a rookie in his early years with the team, later confirmed to be Mitch Marner. Now, we’re getting more stories from Detroit — and they aren’t pretty:
“What he did to (Mike) Modano was incredibly disrespectful. What he did to, just recently, (Jason) Spezza in Toronto — those were the things that are so unnecessary,” said Chris Chelios.https://t.co/jJEaQdTBrG— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 2, 2019
These come in the wake of the revelations about ousted Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters, who was flagged for using a racial slur directed at a player of color during his tenure with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs and for kicking players with the Carolina Hurricanes. And now, the Chicago Blackhawks are dealing with a reckoning of their own:
DEVELOPING: The Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday night that assistant coach Marc Crawford has been placed on leave after recent allegations were made against him regarding his conduct during his time with the Los Angeles Kings - https://t.co/rfBx2hIbQj pic.twitter.com/z2hKDQrBuS— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) December 3, 2019
Additionally, the reckonings have taken place in minor hockey, too:
Please refer to the attached message from the Swift Current Broncos Hockey Club pic.twitter.com/T8ELV84mCY— Swift Current Broncos (@SCBroncos) December 2, 2019
There will be more time later to get into why all of this is so necessary, but it’s worth saying it anyway: this is all so necessary.
Finally, in the weirdest news you’ll see all week:
Interesting turn of events this evening as Corey Crawford switched leg pads mid game, going from his Bauer 2X to his older CCM P2. Mostly likely related to feel/familiarity as he kept all other gear the same.— Goalie Gear Nerd (@GoalieGearNerd) December 3, 2019
: Don Carlson#goaliegearnerd pic.twitter.com/IDnZ602XDz
Fans won’t pick up on it when it happens, but goaltenders occasionally swap gloves in-game. It’s rare, but it’s definitely happened before.
What doesn’t typically happen, though, is a leg pad switch in-game — and what definitely doesn’t happen is a pad switch from one brand to another one entirely.
Crawford has worn the CCM Premier line for eons, so it’s entirely likely that he just wanted to move back into a pair he’s comfortable with. Maybe the Bauers were uncomfortable, or he didn’t like the weight distribution. Who knows, really; the Blackhawks dropped the game 4-0 on Monday night and fell to a 10-12-5 record, so it’s not exactly like anyone was going to start digging for equipment details.
But if Crawford — a tried and true CCM guy — was willing to not only test out a different pad brand mid-season, but do it in a game, that’s a harrowing sign that he’s not particularly happy with the way that things are going this year. And for a team that’s already in a tailspin, that doesn’t bode well for him potentially not being all that worried about the season’s outcome.