Saturday Seven: #Clinched

Curtis LeBlanc
April 01 2017 08:00AM

It was a week full of endings, both happy and not so happy. Over the last seven days, we witnessed the Datsyuk-less Detroit Red Wings get eliminated, Connor McDavid pull the Oilers into the playoffs through the sheer force of his otherworldly will, Patrik Elias announce his retirement and USA Hockey final come to its senses after a lengthy negotiation with the USWNT. This is your Saturday Seven.

Detroit Red Wings' Historic Streak Comes to an End

After winning four Stanley Cups over a period that featured 25 consecutive trips to the post-season, the once mighty Detroit Red Wings have been eliminated from playoff contention.

It was a week full of endings, both happy and not so happy. Over the last seven days, we witnessed the Datsyuk-less Detroit Red Wings get eliminated, Connor McDavid pull the Oilers into the playoffs through the sheer force of his otherworldly will, Patrik Elias announce his retirement and USA Hockey final come to its senses.

This past off-season saw offensive phenomenon Pavel Datsyuk leave the organization for the KHL, and maybe that was the final nail in the coffin for a team that hadn't made it past the first round of the big dance since 2012-2013, or the second round since they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 finals.

But with a handful of promising youngsters who are already lineup regulars in Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou, the powers that be in Motor City aren't planning a full rebuild just yet.

x - Edmonton Oilers Also Snap Historic Streak

The Orange and Blue nearly broke the internet on Tuesday when they clinched their first playoff berth since 2006 with a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Oilers' ten season drought was tied for worst-ever in NHL history with the Florida Panthers, who ended theirs in 2012.

With a 3-2 victory over the Sharks on Thursday, the Oilers showed they aren't just settling for a spot in spring hockey—they're going for the division title. It's in the realm of possibility that both the Oilers and Connor McDavid finish the regular season with 100 points.

I'm just going to leave this here, courtesy of Edmonton native Cadence Weapon.


Highlights From a V. Terrible Avalanche Season

It's my opinion that Colorado's stinker of a showing in 2016-2017 came one year too early with Swedish superstar Rasmus Dahlin eligible to be drafted in 2018, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Here's how:


Thanks to GlovesOffHockey on Facebook for the video.

Tkachuk v.s. Doughty (Part 2)

The Flames and Kings met on Wednesday for the first time since rookie Matthew Tkachuk fed a stiff elbow sandwich into Drew Doughty's unsuspecting shnoop. The transgression cost him a two game suspension. The next meeting between the two teams contained some of what you might have expected.


He's an evil little boy, that Matthew.

tumblr_oaki6712AY1qimi3zo1_500

Patrik Elias Announces Retirement

The two time Stanley Cup champion and veteran of 1240 NHL regular season games let the hockey world know he was hanging up his skates on Friday.

Elias spent much of his twenty-year career as an under-rated but consistent offensive performer. He can now look forward to joining the list of players about which the media crafts Hockey Hall of Fame yes/no narratives. 

NHL Expansion Lists Will Be Made Public After All

After coming close to sucking literally all of the potential fun out of speculating over the implications of the Golden Knights expansion franchise this off-season, the NHL did fans a solid and announced that they would make said lists available to the masses.

When the league officially pulls out of the 2018 Olympics, infuriating fans and players alike, I expect they'll likely say something along the lines of: "But we let you see the expansion lists! The fans can't get everything they want!"

USA Hockey Reaches Agreement with Women's Squad

USA Hockey avoided a boycott of the IIHF World Championships, which began Friday, when it reached an agreement to address major issues of low compensation and unfair treatment of the women and girls who represent their country.

Compensation for the US Women's National Team will increase by $70,000 per player annually, according to ESPN.

According to the article, "...the federation tried to muster a replacement team to report on Wednesday, in time to play in Friday's opener, in case the boycott held. But dozens of pro, college, high school and post-collegiate players -- even some rec-league players that the federation approached -- publicly said they had rebuffed the invitation to play or would not play if they were asked."

It was an amazing show of solidarity among the country's women and men who play the game, and one that was supported by the NHLPA.

It's great that USA Hockey was able to come to their senses and grant this basic and necessary request, but the fact that the organization still tried to cobble together a replacement team rather than immediately doing so is troubling. 

Still, an important lesson was learned by the hockey world this week: Protest works. There is power in solidarity.

1796c9f398760c12407c778ead8b0869
Curtis LeBlanc is a writer, poet and hockey person living on the west coast. You can follow him on Twitter @curtiswleblanc and check out his website at www.cwleblanc.com.
Comments are closed for this article.