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Deep Blue Sea: The Lake Tahoe edition

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Honestly, it’s mostly that in today’s news and notes.

The Colorado Avalanche practice prior to the ‘NHL Outdoors At Lake Tahoe’ at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on February 19, 2021 in Stateline, Nevada. On Saturday, February 20, the Colorado Avalanche will take on the Vegas Golden Knights, and the Boston Bruins will play the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, February 21. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NHL is set to take Lake Tahoe, with the first of two outdoor games today between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights. Tomorrow, the outdoor rink will see the Philadelphia Flyers take on the Boston Bruins.

Despite being the closest team geographically to Lake Tahoe (a four-hour drive, versus five hours between Tahoe and Vegas) and the budding, but intense, rivalry between the team and the Golden Knights, the San Jose Sharks weren’t in consideration to play in the event. Gary Bettman explained in January that the considerations for an outdoor event this year weren’t centered around attendance — something that would’ve made the Sharks’ proximity a huge draw — due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anticipating drawing in remote viewership, the league instead banked on two of the top teams in the West Division.

But according to Sharks head coach Bob Boughner, that’s a blessing in disguise. The Sharks have hardly gotten a chance to feel settled this season, only playing two games at SAP Center so far, 16 games into the season. League events are a big deal and the Sharks don’t need anything fracturing their focus right now.

From Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News:

“With our schedule, the way it’s set up and not being able to go back home and play games for quite a while, it was a situation where I think we had enough on our plate,” Boughner said. “Yeah, it would have been nice to play in Lake Tahoe and we are the closest team to there and I think those opportunities to be there in the future.

“We’ve had the toughest schedule in the National Hockey League, there’s no doubt about it. To put another game on the schedule on the road in a big format like that, as a coach, personally, I’m happy we’re not involved in that game. I think there’s another time and another place for that.”

Read more on the Sharks’ thoughts about Tahoe hockey, as well as plenty of league coverage on the event linked below.

News & Notes

  • NHL Power Rankings: One notable statistic for every team [CBS Sports]
  • San Jose Sharks analyst Bret Hedican on what has impressed him with the Blues so far this season [101 ESPN]
  • Warranted or not, San Jose Sharks’ penalties are costing them valuable points [The Mercury News]
  • Sharks’ Boughner on NHL Tahoe games: ‘I’m happy we’re not involved’ [The Mercury News]
  • San Jose Sharks grades: Rating players, coaches & managers at quarter-pole [The Mercury News]

Blood in the Water

  • NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe: Picturesque setting is ‘mic drop’ moment [NBS Sports]
  • An Outdoor Hockey Game That for Once Is in the Great Outdoors [The New York Times]
  • NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe: A guide to Golden Knights vs. Avalanche, Flyers vs. Bruins [Sporting News]
  • NHL Lake Tahoe event owes nod to ‘Mystery, Alaska’ [NHL.com]
  • NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe connects with 1960 U.S. Olympic champion [NHL.com]
  • Brett Peterson’s journey to becoming an NHL assistant general manager [ESPN+]
  • Crosby says he wants to stay with Penguins for rest of NHL career [NHL.com]
  • Protecting the ‘child inside of me’: Donald Brashear’s toughest fight [The Athletic]

Scores & Recaps

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

On the Schedule