McKenna’s Musings: ‘Here’s Bruce Lee,’ intrepid Rangers & Olympic selection process

What i am thinking…

Bruce Boudreau didn’t like ‘Bruce, it’s here!’ but I’m here for it.

Oh my God. There’s nothing like a viral campaign these days. Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks and unexpectedly became the team undefeated. They’ve racked up five wins in a row, and fans can’t get enough of the chants of “Li Xiaolong, here it is!” And I think it’s awesome.

That’s why I was disappointed on Sunday when Bruce said “I wish they would stop singing that stupid song even though it was in the stands” during his post-match press conference after his team hit beat the Carolina Hurricanes.

I know what Bruce is doing. He is trying to tone down the praise for his players and keep the focus on himself. It’s a silly song and he’s having fun with the media. But I don’t think the fans in Vancouver really need to be told what to do. They sewed a jersey on ice and sent the package to Jim Benning less than two weeks ago.

I’ve always wanted to share an ice cream with Bruce and sadly, I didn’t get the chance. But he has a reputation as one of the funnier personalities in hockey. Sometimes you just need to let your fans run with something if that makes them happy.

Call it the Gloria effect. St. The Louis Blues used Laura Branigan’s 1982 hit single as their national anthem for the second half of the 2018-19 season, and it led them to their first Stanley Cup championship in team history. It’s now a cult hit among Blues fans – almost 40 years after the song was released.

“Bruce, it’s here!” may not last forever. But I think it gave the Canucks fans – and the players – some energy. It is mindless joy. Embrace it, Bruce!

The New York Rangers are real. And they won’t be pushed around.

When I submitted my pre-season prediction to the Daily Faceoff, I picked Rangers to finish second in the Metropolitan Division. Honestly, my choice was a bit difficult. I’m not sure the Rangers were there – they’ve had some good plays during the season. I like their scoring ability and top notch talent. But I questioned their overall depth and guts.

My guess is that newly hired head coach Gerard Gallant will get the most out of his team, just like he did before with the Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers. Having Ryan Reaves just reinforces my thought process that Rangers will play a physical franchise of hockey, augmented by skilled strikers and reigning Norris Trophy champion Adam Fox.

They made my gamble look good. This is not a rehearsal, guys. Rangers are legitimate championship contenders. Their power play has a lot of lethal options. Chris Krieder has scored 17 times and is well on his way to hitting a career year.

Rangers’ defense was lax, but goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin – before his recent injury – was there to clean up the mess. I think he’s the best scorer in the NHL this season. The next step was a strong performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

At the end of Rangers’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night, I watched as Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren built a wall in front of goalkeeper Keith Kinkaid (who was brilliant, by the way). Trouba mercilessly cross-examined Coyotes forward Clayton Keller and Lindgren ultimately battling Phil Kessel. It’s hard, greasy, and nasty defensive hockey.

For some players, that’s what happens when only seconds are left. Whatever it takes to win a hockey game. But not every player – or team – has that. Rangers do. They have some filth – and that’s a good thing.

The long list of Olympic teams is a joke.

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the rules laid down by the International Olympic Committee, but how stupid are these long list demands? Back in mid-October, countries participating in Men’s Ice Hockey were asked to submit a list of eligible players. No additional additions are allowed at a later date.

That was in October. When the Olympics are not set to take place until February!

How do countries predict the future? Is this really the only option for the IOC? For me, it’s too short-sighted. I’ve played with some of the best players on earth who were simply missing for half a season. If I were the GM of a national team, there’s no way I’d want to bring along a player who’s been on a massive decline, regardless of their reputation.

This is especially true of goalkeepers. Look at Jack Campbell. He’s not on Team America’s long list. But he is the best American goalkeeper in hockey this season. How is it fair to players and teams?

I’m sure an answer exists with some reasonable explanation, but it shouldn’t be this way. If I’m watching the Olympics, I want to see the best players on earth compete.

Remember the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea without NHL players? My opinion here – but that tournament is an absolute farce. And I think it’s ridiculous that players like Troy Terry and Jack Campbell aren’t picks for Team USA because they weren’t on the roster that was compiled months before the Olympics. McKenna’s Musings: ‘Here’s Bruce Lee,’ intrepid Rangers & Olympic selection process

Britta Zeltmann

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