June 6, 2012
Big goals old hat for Henrique
By DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency
Adam Henrique had his arms in the air but no expression on his face as celebrated his goal against the Kings late in the third period Wednesday in the fourth game of the Stanley Cup final.
In fact, if there was a speech bubble above him, it might have just as well had the New Jersey Devils rookie saying “ho hum” rather than “I just the biggest goal of my life. Again.”
Yes, dramatics and heroics are becoming old hat to Henrique. Not just because his double-overtime goal knocked off Florida in Game 7 in Round 1 of the playoffs, or that his OT effort in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final eliminated the Rangers, or that his most recent winner gave the Devils some life when it looked like they were dead men walking.
As the CBC crew was quick to point out, Henrique knows what it’s like to come back from a 3-0 series deficit first hand. Two springs ago, he and his Windsor Spitfires were facing a similar circumstance when they completely turned the tables on the Kitchener Rangers and won in Game 7 -- thanks in part to another big goal by Henrique -- to advance to the OHL final. From there, the Spits went on to capture the Memorial Cup.
Can history repeat itself for Henrique, this time as a Devil?
Probably not, although New Jersey may have finally found a crack in Kings goalie Jonathan Quick’s armour.
“That was not a really good goal,” CBC's Don Cherry said of the Henrique shot that snuck by Quick on the short side. “That was the first goal in the playoffs I’ve seen scored on him that I really question.”
In a post-game interview, CBC reporter Elliotte Friedman joked with Henrique, asking if he scored because he wanted to put off going back to the family’s tobacco farm. Friedman also asked the 22-year old about shaving off his playoff beard and leaving only hair about his upper lip.
“The power of the moustache is alive,” Henrique said.
As for the Devils' chances of completing a comeback after going down 0-3 in the series, a feat only three other teams in NHL history have managed, Henrique stated:
“We know we can do it.”
At the very least, he knows it can be done.
STARTS AND STOPS
Watching the playoffs with interest is Brian Kilrea, who retired as the Ottawa 67’s coach in 2009 with the most wins in Canadian junior hockey league history. In 1967, Kilrea also scored the first goal in Kings history, but he never held onto the puck. “I gave it to (team owner) Jack Kent Cooke,” Kilrea said. “At the end of the game, he was ecstatic that we won, and he came around and shook everybody’s hand. When he came to me I said, Mr. Cooke, I don’t think I’ll score a pile of goals, but this will mean more to you than it does to me.” The 77-year old Kilrea adds that it would be good to see the Kings win the Cup, if he is able. “The games have been so late that I watch the first period, wait for Don Cherry, and then if it’s a boring game, I go and have a nap,” he said. “I’ve been watching because it’s hockey, but I just can’t stay up that late anymore because I’m getting up at 6 a.m., and I don’t know why. I used to sleep ‘til 9 a.m. all the time.” ... Wearing an uncharacteristic black cap (with indiscernible writing) and his usual flashy wardrobe, Cherry was showing clips of war heroes and once again pumping his roots on Coach’s Corner. He cited the fact there were 15 Canadians on each of the last three Stanley Cup winners (Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins) and 14 on the Kings roster. “You kids out there, Canada is the best country in the world, and this hat proves it,” he said. You might say both he and his message are getting old, but I still maintain Cherry is a national treasure and I will miss him when he’s gone ... Oh, and now I have an idea what his cap said.
STUFF I THINK I THUNK
If Devils goalie Martin Brodeur was still on the fence about retirement, he might have been knocked off when he was bowled over by New Jersey defenceman Anton Volchenkov in the first period ... If that didn’t do it for Brodeur, maybe winding up in his net after being run into by Jarret Stoll convinced him that, at age 40, he’s getting too old to be abused like this ... And Quick complained that he was bumped by Patrick Elias on New Jersey’s first goal? Brodeur was a crash victim all night ... Good line by Jim Hughson during a post-whistle scrum: “A few why-I-oughtas going on at the blueline.”
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM ...
American Idol’s Pia Toscano did a fine job with the anthem. Still say she should have won last season ... Wonder how many regular season games at the Staples Center were witnessed by Martin Short, Dave Winfield, Matthew Perry, Mary Hart, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Will Ferrell? ... When was the last time a Stanley Cup winner had a player with the same last name as the team’s name? I’m guessing Dwight King will be the first ... The best L.A. Kings wife of all-time: former Playmate (and Mrs. Charlie Simmer) Terri Welles. This is coming from someone who saw her in person about 30 years ago, wearing jeans with holes.