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Roenick says NHL 'hurting itself immensely'

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Roenick says NHL 'hurting itself immensely'

Love him or hate him, NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick always has an opinion and the Hall of Fame center shared a few of them Wednesday morning as a guest on SN 960 The Fan.

While promoting his soon-to-be released autobiography “J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey,” Roenick gave his take on the NHL lockout and what needs to be done to end it.

Among his observations:

On the impact of the lockout:

“I’m a fan, I’m a huge fan, and I’m getting gypped out of the best sport in the world just as much as anybody else. Forget my job and paycheck and all that stuff. That doesn’t matter. It’s the fact I love seeing hockey every night. Seeing the scores, seeing the superstars play. The game is so good right now and I really feel the National Hockey League is hurting itself immensely, so much more than they did in 2004.”

On revenue sharing:

“You wonder, why wasn’t this revenue shared and figured out a little better in 2004 so we don’t have to do this again in 2012? Two times in eight years is too much for the fans to have to overcome. And they’re fighting for about $3.3 billion in revenue. That’s the last thing the fans want to hear, that they’re fighting over money.”

On the lack of negotiating:

“Unfortunately, every day that goes by the more frustrating the fans get. I truly feel, especially if they lose the whole year, they’re going to lose a tremendous fan base in the National Hockey League. It’s really, really frustrating to me because I know how awesome the National Hockey League is and how big the strides that were made in the last eight years.”

On what he would do to end the lockout:

“First of all, I’d be in meetings a lot more than they are. What frustrates me a lot is they’ll talk for two or three days and then they’ll go on a seven- or eight-day hiatus and not speak. If this game was so important they would just lock themselves in a room and get this thing done, hammered out. I know it’s tiring and takes a lot of effort, but the game is worth it. But that frustrates me right there.”

On what it might take to get the season started:

“Both sides have agreed it should go to 50-50 [revenue sharing] at some point. If that’s the case then it shouldn’t take too long in order to get to a deal where it’s going to get to 50-50. It may be a little faster than the players want, but not as fast as the owners want. That seems to be the issue right now.

“The contracts that are in place right now, the owners and the GMs signed them. I’m a true believer you sign a contract, you live up to a contract I always did that. I never renegotiated. I played my contracts all the way through. The owners have to make sure the contracts they signed are honored and get to the 50-50 as fast as they can. I think that’s only fair. Then we should have a healthy, happy NHL and hopefully the revenue can get to $4 billion and the players don’t see [their salaries] change that much. But I’m really frustrated with the amount of talks and the lack of urgency to try to get this thing done. I think they should be in a room seven days a week if that have to to get this done.”
     

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Capitals vs. Canucks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA Today

Capitals vs. Canucks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Washington Capitals (3-2-2) head to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada after an overtime/shootout loss against the Florida Panthers last Friday. 

The Caps are determined to avoid the devastation they felt in the first period when they gave away four goals to the Panthers. They will need to focus in the power plays and avoid penalties at all costs.

Many fans were looking forward to the reunion with former player Jay Beagle, who is now centerman for the Canucks, but he is unfortunately out on injury. However you can look out for Caps Nic Dowd, who will have his own homecoming game against his former team. 

Here is everything you need to know about Capitals vs. Canucks which takes place at 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.
 

CAPITALS vs. CANUCKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 8 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

When: Monday, October 22 at 10:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Canucks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Washington Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Canucks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS vs. CANUCKS SCHEDULE

9:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
9:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
10:00 PM: Capitals vs. Canucks
12:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

CAPITALS vs. CANUCKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Lars Eller, F, Capitals: In his last game, he had a three-point night with three assists. He is a messaive help and shined within the trio of Vrana and Connoly on Friday.

Tim Schaller, F, Canucks: He was struggling in the preseason but came back with a vengeance. He assisted with a penatly kill and is a key component in fourth line. 

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

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What is a back-up goalie’s job during a game?

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USA TODAY

What is a back-up goalie’s job during a game?

At the end of every bench in the NHL is a goalie sitting in full pads and a hat. What is his job during the game?

Friday’s game between the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers was one of the rare games that featured four goalies. Braden Holtby and James Reimer started, but both were ultimately pulled in what was a high-scoring affair. In stepped Pheonix Copley and Michael Hutchinson.

And yet, despite being little more than an afterthought in the team’s preparation for the game, both Copley (one goal allowed on 19 shots, .947 save percentage) and Hutchinson (one goal allowed on 11 shots, .909 save percentage) stepped in and out-performed the starters giving both of their respective teams a chance to win the game.

“It's easier in some aspects,” Holtby said of coming into a game off the bench, something he has done at various points of his career despite being the primary starter for Washington. “I think that's why you see a lot of guys go in and have success right away and have good games because you don't have that day or two days to be getting rid of your thoughts and that kind of thing.”

At the end of every bench in the NHL is a goalie sitting in full pads and a hat. Every team dresses two goalies on the roster for a game. One starts and one sits on the bench as the backup in case he is needed because of injury or because a coach chooses to make a goalie switch. That backup is tasked with being ready at all times to step into the game knowing full well that, if all goes according to plan, he will not get to play at all.

Holtby and Reimer had prepared for Friday’s game knowing they were going to start. Both players took warmups in order to prepare them to play a full game while Copley and Hutchinson had little reason to think they would see any action at all.

By the end of the second period, however, both Holtby and Reimer had been replaced. Copley at least had an intermission to prepare as he came on at the start of the second period while Hutchinson had to step in midway through the second period.

“I guess it can be a little challenging,” Copley said, “But I feel like as long as you’re kind of paying attention to the game and your mind's kind of in that hockey mindset then if something happens, I'll be ready to go.”

Professional athletes are creatures of habit. To have to step into a game unexpectedly with little to no warning or preparation and be expected to perform at the highest level is an incredibly tough mental challenge.

And yet, in many ways, it can be easier than starting.

“The whole thing about mental preparation is so that you go out there not thinking about anything, not worrying about any of that,” Holtby said. “When you're forced in with a matter of 30 seconds, there's no time to think about anything. You just go in and play.”

For goalies, not starting does not mean having the night off. Both coaches and teammates alike can lean upon a backup netminder as an extra set of eyes.

“Sometimes they'll ask a question like did it look like I had room there?” Copley said. “Was it a shot or missed? Did you see what happened on this play? So I just try to be there and watch.”

Some coaches even give goalies assignments in game, though that practice seems to be on the decline.

“I know [Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock] makes them look at faceoffs or something,” Holtby said. “It's pretty archaic. There's guys that do that now that are better than the backup goalie at looking at things.”

In truth, there is no defined in-game requirements for most goalies in the NHL when they sit as backups and that is true of the Caps’ tandem. That makes the job of a backup a very simple one.

“I just try and be ready if I have to go in,” Copley said. “Make sure I'm physically and mentally ready and be a good teammate.”

Holtby put it even more succinctly as he said, “Don't do anything stupid.”