Thank you, Matthew Tkachuk and the Florida Panthers, for putting on a Pride Night, deep in the swamps of Florida no less. Yes, we will talk about the Staals below, but they were the exception around a team that didn’t waver in their support, including on social media where they weren’t given a platform to expunge their exclusion. They embraced the queer community and told them loudly that they are welcome and they can be safe in their hockey community. (Unlike the other Florida team and many others who have carefully tried to make their “pride” about being proud of the team and not centring who Pride was designed to speak to. Don’t think I didn’t notice.)
"Everybody's welcome in my locker room." ❤️ pic.twitter.com/YwPvqdJYYQ— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) March 24, 2023
Now for the exceptions...
Eric Staal wears Pride jerseys until someone else makes it easier for him to not. Good morals, dirtbag. Marc Staal allowed four goals to the Leafs last night and is a homophobe, too. I hope he was careful around all the penises wearing rainbows in the locker room before the game, I’m sure they wouldn’t want to “catch” any gay. Anyway, love is love, and it is for all. But if you want to break that and be a bigot, be prepared for the insults.
#FlaPanthers Eric Staal post-game, when told there is photographic evidence of him wearing a pride jersey in Montreal:— Erin Brown (@rinkside) March 24, 2023
“I haven’t before. I never have. … I haven’t worn a pride jersey before.”
(Staal wore No. 21 with the Canadiens during the 2020-21 season.) pic.twitter.com/aHmOgkRNBo
If you are a 750k player one of your core responsibilities is to avoid being a distraction, getting in the way. https://t.co/p7TcEMqrnH— Panther Pourri: A Florida Hockey Now Podcast (@PantherPourri) March 24, 2023
Matthew Knies and Mike Koster on the stacked University of Minnesota team beat Canisius College 9-2 in the first round of the NCAA playoffs. The game was close at the beginning with Minnesota down 2-1, but they scored eight unanswered goals for the win. Knies unfortunately didn’t record a point but Koster had two assists. Bryce Brodzinski scored four times and added an assist.
Fellow Leafs prospect Veeti Miettinen and his team, St. Cloud State and their ugly Habs-ish jerseys, beat the other Minnesota team, Minnesota State, 4-0. Now, they will face Knies, Koster, and the big Minnesota team in the second round on Saturday. Follow Brigs on socials for live updates.
Matthew Knies and Mike Koster will take on fellow Leafs prospect Veeti Miettinen in the regional final on Saturday. https://t.co/Uj3pNLCCJj— Nick Richard (@_NickRichard) March 24, 2023
Back to the Leafs themselves, here are some links for this morning:
Carl Dahlström on waivers | by: Cathy
And finally, the easiest goal scored in NHL history. At least when that guy scored on Toskala, he had to aim for the net a little bit.
Anton Khudobin gives Conor Sheary the easiest goal of his NHL career. pic.twitter.com/ccMPHcc07N— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 24, 2023