Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chase De Leo got a rough introduction to Canuck Nation on Sunday night.
“I don’t know what happened,” De Leo, a 16-year-old from La Mirada, Calif., said on Monday night. “Holy cow!”
De Leo is in his freshman season with the Portland Winterhawks. After putting up 30 points in 60 regular-season games, he still is looking for his first playoff point.
He and his teammates were in Kamloops on Sunday, preparing for last  night’s WHL playoff game against the Blazers at Interior Savings Centre.
Holed up in their hotel, the Winterhawks watched the Los Angeles Kings skate to a 1-0 victory over the Canucks.
De Leo, a Californian, obviously is enjoying the fact that his Kings, the eighth seed, hold a 3-0 lead over the No. 1 Canucks in the best-of-seven series.
And so it was that Portland forward Nic Petan, a Delta, B.C., native who turned 17 on March 22, unknowingly started something when he tweeted: “We need Danny.”
To which De Leo, wanting to needle his best friend, responded with:
“Need a lot more then those 2 girls back together. weeeeeoooooo.”
They were, of course, referring to the injured Daniel Sedin and his twin brother, Henrik.
Prior to last night’s game, De Leo said: “Me and Petan are really best friends. We obviously are going to go at it, because he’s a Vancouver boy and I’m an L.A. boy. That’s how it all started.”
Immediately after making that tweet, De Leo and Petan headed downstairs in their hotel for a team meeting. While they were away the tide got rolling.
When De Leo got back to his room he checked his Twitter account “and it was just . . . so many mean tweets,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting that at all. I didn’t mean anything. We were just joking around.
“Holy cow! It went to the next level.”
De Leo, who has more than 900 followers, said he received between 40 and 50 nasty tweets.
“All about how I’m such a classless guy and how I’m never going to make it past the WHL,” he said. “Just the meanest stuff ever.
“They just took it way too . . . I don’t know.”
When he realized that was happening, De Leo sent out another tweet: “Holy cow, it was a joke everyone!! Sorry if I offended you.”
Later, he closed the subject with: “Bad joke I guess? haha Receiving mean hate tweets like no other :( #HeartBroken.”
The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers have yet to make a decision, at least not publicly, on the immediate future of head coach Tom Renney. But there is plenty of smoke involving the possibility that Brent Sutter could end up coaching the Oilers. George Johnson of the Calgary Herald explores that possibility right here.
The New York Islanders have dropped assistant coaches Dean Chynoweth and Scott Allen. Chynoweth, the eldest son of the late Ed Chynoweth, who ran the WHL for so long, played in the WHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers, with whom he won two Memorial Cups, and also coached in Seattle (2000-04) and Swift Current (2004-09). . . .
The NHL’s Dallas Stars are redoing the coaching staff of the AHL’s Texas Stars. On Monday, Dallas released Texas head coach Jeff Pyle and assistant coach Jeff Truitt. Truitt coached in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (1993-96) and Kelowna Rockets (2000-07), and also did a turn as director of hockey operations with the Moose Jaw Warriors (2009-10). . . .
The NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that Rob Riley won’t return for a third season as head coach of the AHL’s Springfield Falcons. The Blue Jackets said Monday that his contract won’t be renewed.
F Michael Ferland of the Brandon Wheat Kings has joined the Abbotsford Heat, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Ferland was a fifth-round round selection by the Flames in the 2010 NHL draft. The 19-year-old from Brandon had 96 points, including 47 goals, this season. . . .
Shaw TV will show the Eastern Conference final between the Edmonton Oil Kings and Moose Jaw Warriors. That series opens Friday in Edmonton. . . .
Colin Day, the longtime president of the Kamloops Blazers, died on Friday. He was 70 when he passed away in Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. There is more right here.
Both Western Conference semifinal series will be decided on Wednesday night with a pair of Game 7s. . . . The Tri-City Americans and Spokane Chiefs will scrap in Kennewick, Wash., while the Kamloops Blazers, having erased a 3-0 deficit, will try to complete the amazing comeback against the Winterhawks in Portland.
A tweet from @WHLFacts: 170 - The number of WHL playoff games that have been played since the last Game 7 (March 31, 2010) . . .

In Spokane, F Liam Stewart scored at 9:33 of OT to give the Chiefs a 4-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans and even the series at 3-3. . . . Stewart has three playoff goals. . . . According to a post-game news release from the Chiefs: “After the game Stewart described the goal as the ‘biggest of his career’ and said that he simply ‘closed my eyes and hoped for the best’.” . . . Tri-City F Patrick Holland tied the game 3-3 at 18:31 of the second period. . . . F Mitch Holmberg scored this 10th goal of these playoffs for Spokane. That gave the Chiefs a 2-1 lead at 6:28 of the first and they took that into the second period. . . . Tri-City F Justin Feser tied it with a shorthanded goal at 8:47. . . . Spokane F Steven Kuhn gave the Chiefs a 3-2 lead at 9:20 on a PP. . . . The Chiefs are 4-0 in OT in these playoffs; the Americans are 1-3. . . . Spokane was 2-4 on the PP; the Americans were 0-3. . . . Chiefs G Eric Williams stopped 27 shots, seven more than Tri-City’s Ty Rimmer. . . . The Americans had a 3-2 edge in shots in OT. . . . John Blanchette of the Spokane Spokesman-Review was there and his report is right here. . . .

In Kamloops, the Blazers scored five third-period goals and beat the Portland Winterhawks, 7-6. . . . Portland took a 5-2 lead into the third period. . . . The Blazers tied it with three goals in 3:05. . . . Kamloops F Colin Smith gave Kamloops its first lead, 6-5, at 15:21 of the third with a PP snipe. . . . Portland F Cam Reid tied it 26 seconds later. . . . Kamloops D Bronson Maschmeyer got the winner on a slapshot from the middle point through traffic with 20.6 seconds left in regulation time. . . . Maschmeyer had two goals and an assist, while F Brendan Ranford had a goal and two helpers, and F Brendan Herrod drew three assists. . . . Portland got two PP goals and an assist from F Brad Ross. D Derrick Pouliot had a goal and two assists. . . . Kamloops had a 21-9 edge in shots in the third period. . . . Kamloops was 2-5 on the PP. Portland, which had been 0-13 on the PP over the previous three games, was 3-5.

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