Seeing a four-goal game is perhaps the rarest thing a hockey fan can witness in person. It’s not too far off from seeing a no-hitter. I’ve been going to hockey games for 364 years, and I’ve seen one. Steve Thomas vs. the Devils in March of 1990 at Chicago Stadium. I didn’t have to look that up (well, the date I did, but I knew it was against the Devils) which tells you how poignant four-goal games are.
That’s why Joe Thornton reminded everyone it was such a big deal once upon a time. It even had its own term, a cock trick. Thornton was kidding, of course. At least we hope. Thornton never scored four goals in a game afterward, though you can bet the alerts went out on Twitter when he nabbed a hat trick.
They seem to be much more serious in Denver these days, though. Yes, Nathan MacKinnon is on a serious heater (48 points in his last 25 games) and has Avs fans dreaming of yet another parade come June. Yes, he’s been the most electrifying watch in the NHL for a while now this side of McDavid. There’s no sight like MacK winding up through the neutral zone and the audible sound of opposing d-men filling their hockey pants as he approaches.
MacKinnon scored four against the Capitals Wednesday night, and it was apparently event horizon for a couple Avs fans:
It’s not so far removed from “cock trick,” I suppose, though this one’s a tad more tangible. I’d like to think the individuals who turned these garments into projectiles/rewards, A. didn’t leave their seat to remove them and B. didn’t remove any other clothing to do so either. You’ve seen Zoolander, you know how this works. Or can go horribly wrong.
And now for some Auston powers
Staying in the NHL briefly, Auston Matthews netted the OT winner for the only goal of the game against the Jets, which gives him 39 goals in 45 games.
That’s a 71-goal pace, and this will be perhaps the leading story in the league after the All-Star break. At least until the Leafs lose in the playoffs, of course.
MLS in Russia controversy
Interesting story out of MLS yesterday, as FC Dallas had negotiated a transfer of striker Jesus Ferreira to Spartak Moscow for $13 million. At least until the league itself stepped in and told Dallas there is no way they were going to deal with a Russian club.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, like most other sports Russian soccer has been non grata as far as FIFA and UEFA are concerned. They’re not in European club competitions, they’re not in World Cup or Euro qualifying. And that has taken a toll on Russian clubs financially, which has made it hard for them to pay for transfers, which was probably MLS’s main beef, other than the optics of dealing with any Russian business.
The first reaction for a lot of soccer fans is just how awkward and weird it is that the league gets a say in how its individual clubs are doing their business, and the weariness of the single-entity structure that MLS still is that holds it back from what it could be. However, the more curious aspect of it is just why Dallas thought it could ever make a deal with a Russian team given the current political atmosphere. Did they think MLS offices wouldn’t notice? The league has canceled transfers to the Russian league before, so the policy is pretty clear. Ferreira may have dreamt of a bigger salary and opportunity in Europe, except no one knows how much money any of these clubs actually have and with no European competition available to them, Ferreira wouldn’t have been in the shop window, exactly.
Anyway, MLS remains this country’s quirkiest league.