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Deep Blue Sea: Erik Karlsson can’t say that on television

Plus an explainer on the sports equinox, early season power rankings and more in today’s news and notes.

Thomas Chabot #72 of the Ottawa Senators and Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks shake hands after a ceremonial face-off at Canadian Tire Centre on October 21, 2021 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Despite the fact that I legitimately love ESPN+, I seem to have a weirdly specific issue with San Jose’s broadcast continually buffering and timing out, while other broadcasts load and play just fine. We’re barely into the season, and like I said, it’s only on the Sharks’ broadcast, so I haven’t really looked into what could be causing the issue.

But I’m a little grateful for it right now, because after sputtering through the first period in last night’s Sharks game, I switched to the Ottawa Senators broadcast, giving me a double dose of Erik Karlsson intermission interviews. After the first period, he spoke with Bret Hedican on San Jose’s broadcast, but following the second, he graced his long-time home broadcast with an interview, as well.

Later in the game, Ottawa’s broadcast panel were discussing Erik Karlsson as being the most elite player the franchise has ever seen, so it’s not like he isn’t deeply beloved in Ottawa. In fact, it’s likely because he is so beloved and because the fanbase still feels betrayed by the team forcing out their former captain that Ottawa media can’t help but talk about him.

This week, it came in the form of Josh Norris playing against the Sharks for the first time since being traded to the Senators in exchange for Karlsson. That shined a light on the defender, who had 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in two games prior to last night’s match against the Senators.

With that in mind, he brought a little bit of spice along to his interview with Gord Miller.

Karlsson earned an assist on Kevin Labanc’s second period power play goal, that would eventually be the game-winner — but there was still 20 minutes of hockey left to play and when congratulated on his first career point against the Senators, Karlsson was frank in his response.

“We haven’t got the points yet, Gord, so it’s not congratulations yet.”

“Well, you got a point, though,” Miller interjected.

“Yeah, that don’t mean shit, though,” the defender replied. “You know that.”

While I was still recovering physically from laughing at that response (which Gord Miller tackled like an absolute professional), Karlsson wasn’t done ribbing Ottawa’s crew just yet.

Miller asked about Karlsson’s comments earlier this week that he still believes he’s still one of the best men’s hockey players in the world, and if he ever wavered in that belief, and Karlsson took one more surgically precise jab.

“I should ask you guys. You guys are the experts,” he said in a single breath. “It doesn’t matter what I think to you guys. To me, it matters the most and that’s always been my belief system since 2009. It’s gonna stay that way until the day I hang ‘em up.”

He smiles at the end of the interview, with both he and Miller saying it’s “always a pleasure,” a sentiment Miller expressed on Twitter, as well:

I honestly don’t think there’s a single NHL player more confident in exactly who they are and who they have always been than Erik Karlsson.

And hey, they got the win, so that must mean shit somewhere, right?

News & Notes

  • Notes #3: Sharks Edge Sens 2-1, 3-0 for 1st time since ’15-16 [SJ Hockey Now]
  • Sharks’ Dahlen is proving his time is now: ‘You could just tell … that he was ready’ [The Mercury News]
  • Sharks win ‘sloppy’ game against Senators, remain undefeated [NBC Sports Bay Area]
  • Sharks’ Karlsson trade package now blossoming with Senators [NBC Sports Bay Area]
  • Maple Leafs’ Hutchinson to Start Friday vs. Sharks, Kase Returns to Practice [The Hockey News]

Blood in the Water

  • What is a sports equinox? Explaining the history of NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games being played on the same day [CBS Sports]
  • The NHL has a historically good set of Jewish hockey players right now [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]
  • NHL Buzz: Scheifele in COVID-19 protocol, out for Jets against Ducks [NHL.com]
  • Kraken say first home game will be ‘special moment’ [NHL.com]
  • Jack Hughes’ Injury and How it Could Expose the Devils’ Weakness [All About The Jersey]
  • When did the Penguins last start without their superstars? [Pensburgh]
  • Brandon Saad to miss Saturday’s game against Kings due to COVID protocols [St. Louis Game Time]
  • The state of the captain’s ‘C’ in the NHL [ESPN+]
  • The Chicago Blackhawks are in a world of hurt [Yahoo! Sports]
  • NHL Power Rankings: Ridiculously small sample size edition [Sportsnet]

Scores & Recaps

Click on a team name to find a recap on their SB Nation site!

On the Schedule