GDB 42.0: FALLOUT
For every action there is a reaction. It’s a fundamental rule of nature. We’re gonna call it “the fallout.” There’s the fall out of a relationship ending – of the loss of a life (or the beginning of one) – or of war. The term took on a whole new meaning in the mid forties when Project Manhattan was completed and the nuclear age was born. Fall out came to represent the terrible actuality that could be nuclear war. The post-nuclear dystopian future is commonly used in entertainment, including the world of Mad Max and the video game franchise Fallout (pictured). I think we have a twisted fascination with the potential for disaster and the reaction it breeds.
The Hurricanes were able to squeak out a hard fought shoot out win in Red Deer last night, but there were actions with reactions, and tonight Lethbridge faces life without Ryley Lindgren…
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For those who missed it last night, Ryley Lindgren was on the receiving end of a dangerous kneeing incident with Rebel forward Evan Polei in the 1st period. Lindgren was breaking through the neutral zone when Polei hit him hard in the open ice. He led with his shoulder at first, but as Lindgren turned to avoid the check, Polei foolishly chose not to back off and made initial contact with his leg. Lindgren’s knee bore the brunt of the hit, and he remained down for quite a while before being helped off the ice.
The good news is things sound promising. The Hurricanes official Twitter account tweeted out that Lindgren wouldn’t return for precautionary reasons… perhaps indicating that it’s not as bad as it looked. I imagine Lindgren is being assessed today and they will take their time to diagnose it. Polei was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for the hit and it’s likely that further discipline will come down from league office. Either way, Lindgren is unlikely to suit up tonight. There’s no need to panic at this point, but Lindgren’s been an important part of the club, so losing him for any amount of time is unfortunate.
The beat goes on and tonight the Canes face the beleaguered Kootenay Ice.
There’s no denying it, this season has been an unmitigated disaster for the Cranbrook based club. Key injuries to an already young lineup have put the Ice in a terrible position. Through 42 games played, Kootenay has a 8-31-3-0 record, worst in the league by ten points. It’s a tragic collapse for a team that has been the epitome of consistent since moving from Edmonton. Kootenay has been a perennial playoff team and consistently produced marquee talent. It would be easy to pile on the Ice considering all the negativity, but at this point my only reaction is empathy.
What the Ice are going through now is a mirror image of what we’ve had to endure here in Lethbridge in recent years. The key difference is we don’t know how long it will go on in Cranbrook. Fans here in Lethbridge had to endure the kind of negative, losing atmosphere that the Ice are dealing with… for five seasons. Trust me when I say, we get it Ice fans. We feel your pain. From a terrible on-ice product to questions about relocation, it’s not a fun time and I hate to see it.
The Ice have been active in the week leading up to the trade deadline, making a number of significant moves. The biggest was shipping injured superstar Luke Philp to Red Deer in return for Ryan Pouliot, Tanner Sidaway, Preston Kopeck, a 2nd rnd ‘16, and a 3rd rnd ‘17. It’s was a huge trade with massive implications for both clubs. The Ice followed it up with a few more trades, shipping Bryan Albee to Seattle for a 5th rnd ‘17, and Preston Kopeck to the Chiefs for Riley Whittingham and a 4th rnd ‘17. The trade turned out to be a slap in the face to Kootenay as Whittingham refused to report to the struggling team. I won’t sugar coat it. I think it’s a gutless move on his part and I empathize with the Ice. We saw a few similar situations happen here in Lethbridge and it’s a real disappointment for fans and management.
There may be light on the horizon for Kootenay. They have won their last two games and come into tonight’s game having taken 5 of a possible 6 points.
Things keep on rolling for the Hurricanes. Lethbridge has come out of the holiday break like a runaway train. They’re on a three game winning streak and boast a record of 9-1-0-0 in their last 10… not bad. To say the Canes are heavy favorites entering tonight’s contest is an understatement of epic proportions. They will need to bear down and play a solid game if they want to beat the Ice again tonight. As we mentioned earlier, the Ice are starting to look better and this will be the Canes’ third game in four nights. Thankfully two of those games have been on home ice and I don’t expect Lethbridge will be too flat tonight.
Aside from the Lindgren injury, Lethbridge is also dealing with a nasty flu bug. Darian Skeoch has been out of commision for the entire week, and the Canes were forced to dress an emergency backup last night in Red Deer due to Skinner falling sick as well. The plan was initially for Stuart to get the start tonight against Kootenay but I can only assume he is at home under full quarantine. Therefore, we will operate under the assumption that Sittler will start his second game in as many nights. Last night it was against his hometown Rebels, and tonight he will face his former club, the Kootenay Ice. Much good has happened for Jayden and his game since he was moved by Kootenay and I’m excited to see how he performs on short rest.
All that aside, it’s business as usual for the Canes. There’s not much more to say right now. They’re playing great hockey, are up against a struggling club, and we will have to see what happens. I could wax on about it being a “trap game” but I think we all know the circumstance and I’m sure the players do as well. It sounds like there’s going to be a good crowd on hand so head to the Enmax early to grab some food, drinks, and enjoy the atmosphere.
We will see you there!
GDP: The Hurricanes don’t play their best of the season, but eventually grind down a rejuvenized Ice team and win 5-3.
OGDP: One former Rebel scores for the Ice.
NSOGDP: In a sign of ultimate empathy, Hurricanes fans will feel compelled to hug every person wearing a Kootenay Ice jersey and tell them “…it will all be okay. If we can turn things around, anyone can.”
What do you think? Who are you excited to watch tonight and what will be the outcome. Comment below.
Don’t forget to check out the sponsor of all this season’s game day articles, Graham Reimer of Dominion Lending here in Lethbridge. I personally know and vouch for the amazing work he does. If you need any advice or help with a mortgage or want to look into getting one, I cannot say enough good things about Graham and the Mortgage Crusher team.
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