MacTavish: ‘Also, I Don’t Think His Car Is Legally Parked’

Wow. Last night Phoenix’s Al Montoya became the first Cuban-American to play in the NHL. Even better, he got a shutout.

Montoya is a former first-round pick who’s never seemed particularly ready for the NHL, so it’s great he had such a strong game. Even if it was against a horrible team. A horrible team a seemingly increasing number of people suspect of deliberately tanking.

I don’t know if this is a coincidence, but yesterday Joe Sakic said he might not return this season. He only played 15 games this year. Sakic would not say he’s retiring if he can’t come back this season. If the Avs are tanking, I can’t imagine a better way to facilitate that than an injured player who came back too soon. I wonder if Colorado is pressuring Sakic to skate-up.

Speaking of struggling teams, if you want to know how much Oilers coach Craig MacTavish doesn’t want to lose his job, just look at his coaching move last night. The Oilers are down two late in the third and MacTavish asks for a measurement on Teemu Selanne’s stick. The stick is measured and it’s legal. Edmonton has to kill a penalty and the Ducks go on to win the game. MacTavish has lost confidence in his team so he tried to coach around them with a silly move. And the move backfired. Now, three points out of the playoffs with five games to play, MacTavish needs to explain to his team why he didn’t think they could get things done at even strength or draw a legitimate penalty in the final minutes of a relatively close game.

And congratulations to Capitals defenseman Mike Green on his 30th goal of the season last night. Green joins seven other defenseman who have hit that mark: Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, Ray Bourque, Kevin Hatcher, Dennis Potvin, Doug Wilson and Phil Housley. That’s great company to be in.