Tuesday night’s contest between the Canucks and Wild may have been lacking in overall entertainment value, but the few highs made up for the many lows. All three goals scored in the game were top-notch, pretty goals, with Jannik Hansen’s tally the prettiest of them all, thanks to the efforts of Mason Raymond, Keith Ballard, and Jordan Schroeder. (Back off, Bieksa, you didn’t do anything. You just stood there.)
But there was one other thoroughly entertaining moment in the game. The Wild tried to get Alex Burrows off his game all night, starting in the first period when Zenon Kenopka tangled with the Canucks winger, leading to coincidental minors for the two of them. That was a bad trade-off for the Canucks, as Burrows has 131 more goals in his career than Kenopka. But Minnesota’s plan to agitate culminated in the oddest moment in the game, when Mikko Koivu straight-up jacked Burrows’s glove right off his hand.
It happened right in front of Ray Ferraro: as the two skaters head to their respective benches on line changes, Koivu bumps into Burrows like a pickpocket and swipes his glove off his hand, seemingly without Burrows even noticing. He only seems to pick up on his missing glove when he looks down to close the bench door and sees his naked hand resting there. Pay more attention, Burrows.
Koivu surreptitiously tosses the glove behind the Wild bench while he innocently talks to a referee, distracting him while his equipment manager hucks the glove back onto the ice.
It was a pretty slick piece of slight-of-hand, but we shouldn’t be too surprised. It’s not the first time Koivu has misappropriated an opponent’s equipment. He famously stole Bobby Ryan’s stick out of his hands right in the middle of a play. It didn’t turn out to well for him, as Ryan picked up Koivu’s stick where it lay discarded on the ice and scored a goal with it:
Ryan celebrating the goal by holding Koivu’s own stick out to him is the greatest goal celebration of all time. Okay, second greatest. The actual greatest goal celebration of all time happened to include a little bit of glove tossing:
There’s a long history of glove tossing in the NHL, which is understandable. I mean, the gloves are sitting right there on your hands, just waiting to be thrown. It’s surprising it doesn’t happen more often.
For instance, you have Adam Burish snagging Tanner Glass’s glove after a melee and tossing it into the crowd. Glass wasn’t too pleased.
Then you have Scott Hartnell bizarrely throwing his glove at Ryan Malone when he was on a breakaway, which wasn’t too smart, as Malone still got his shot off, then got a second chance with a penalty shot.
Finally, you have our favourite moment of glove-throwery, which, as it happens, also occurred in a game between the Canucks and Wild: Kevin Bieksa’s attempted long-distance punch on Cal Clutterbuck as the Wild forward was harassing Bieksa’s buddy, Dan Hamhuis.
His quote about the incident after the game will go down as one of the greatest quotes of his career, which is saying a lot: “During my release I wondered if it was a good thing then after my release I knew it was a good thing.”
Everyone else agreed it was a good thing too. The animated gif of this moment made it all the way to the Semi-Finals of our Animated Gif Tournament, before losing to the eventual winner, Jarkko Ruutu tripping Dion Phaneuf.Tags: Alex Burrows, Mikko Koivu, The YouTubes, video