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NHL news piece with the latest updates
Updated May 13, 2021
With the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs getting underway over the weekend, hockey fans are fired up about how things are going to shape out over the next little while. Who will win it all? Well, we have an NHL news piece with the latest updates around the ice, which also includes Panthers’ Sam Bennett being suspended for one game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Sam Bennett has been suspended for Game 2 against Tampa Bay
Some of the biggest news from Monday was that Sam Bennett has been suspended for Game 2 against Tampa Bay. In Game 1 of the series showdown between the Lightning and Panthers, Bennett got in trouble for boarding Tampa Bay forward Blake Coleman. In the video replay, it looks like Bennett surely was hunting, which led to the NHL suspending him.
Coleman was up against the wall, with Bennett flying in with an unreal amount of speed. He then lowered his shoulder and drilled Coleman into the glass. It was nothing short of a vicious hit, one that’s been replayed countless times by so many fans. While Florida supporters might argue that this was a hard, clean hit, everyone in Tampa Bay is quick to disagree with that notion.
Unfortunately for Florida, not having Bennett on the ice for the Game 2 showdown is a major blow for them. Bennett is a beast offensively and is known for making strong plays on defense too. In order for Florida to try and come away with a needed win against Tampa Bay, they will be without one of their strongest players. Of course, this is something the Lightning will hope to take advantage of.
Tortorella reportedly wanted out of Columbus last season
Last week, news broke that the Blue Jackets and John Tortorella parted ways. As it turns out, Tortorella reportedly wanted out of Columbus last season. That sure is a surprising update, but at the same time, it makes sense seeing as Columbus had such a campaign to forget. With Tortorella in charge this year, Columbus struggled mightily and missed out on the postseason.
According to The Athletic, Tortorella’s heart just wasn’t in things leading up to the 2020-21 season, which was apparent with how the team played throughout the year. Per NHL insider Aaron Portzline, Tortorella indeed had no intentions to return to the team this season, but he was convinced by Nick Foligno to return. Things didn’t pan out.
“The Athletic confirmed this week, however, that Tortorella tried to step down last offseason after the Blue Jackets were bounced from the bubble in Toronto following a qualifying-round win over Toronto and a first-round playoff loss to Tampa Bay,” Portzline wrote. “The veteran coach was reading the room and reading the tea leaves, realizing the direction of the club was heading was nothing close to what he thought they were building just two years earlier.”
ESPN is making history with the hiring of announcer Leah Hextall
In terms of changes coming to game broadcasts next season, ESPN is making history with the hiring of announcer Leah Hextall. Hextall, who has been in the industry for right around 20 years, has been a consistent figure on NHL Games as a broadcaster. Now, she’s set to become the first woman to ever become a steady play-by-play announcer on a national broadcast.
This of course is quite the honor and only adds to Hextall’s brilliant legacy in NHL circles in terms of broadcasting. In recent years, Hextall has continued to make more and more appearances, which really opened the door for her to accept this new position with ESPN. For her to be a play-by-play announcer on a national stage is surely something she can be incredibly proud of.
The Colorado Avalanche are the favorites to win the 2021 Stanley Cup
With the postseason getting underway this past weekend, the Colorado Avalanche are the favorites to win the 2021 Stanley Cup. As of this writing, Colorado holds the No. 1 NHL odds at +450, while the Vegas Golden Knights check in at +600. Many NHL fans out there believe that whoever comes out of the West, they’ll end up lifting the Stanley Cup at the end of the postseason.
Colorado has been sensational this year, as has Vegas. At the same time, don’t forget about Tampa Bay, Toronto, Carolina, Washington and others. They’ll all be ready to try and make several moves in the NHL playoffs and pull off an upset or two. Again, while Colorado and Vegas might be considered the top two teams in the postseason, you never know what might happen.