Round 1 in over. There were sweeps, there were reverse sweeps, there was choking and man, was there a lot of overtime. Here is my breakdown of the best and worst of Round 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Best Series: Sharks vs. Kings Because when you manage to pull off a Reverse Sweep – only the 4th in NHL history, you’ve earned the best series title. To be fair, the competition was steep for this too. The Habs sweeping a Lightning team with Stamkos on it was pretty noteworthy and the nail-biting; Avs and Wild is also worth...Click here to read more.
Tagged: Minnesota Wild
We have to admit, the first round of the 2014 NHL playoffs was pretty darn exciting. Let’s see how the second round stacks up. Western Conference Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild Victoria: Blackhawks in 4. Hawks have had some rest. Wild fought tooth and nail for 7 games. Wild will be tired and aren’t as strong a force as the Hawks to begin with. Matt: Blackhawks in 5. The Wild are simply outmatched and outclassed by the defending champions at every position. Ryan Suter will likely be matched against some combination of Jonathan Toews and/or Patrick Kane, but Chicago’s immense...Click here to read more.
With the puck ready to drop for the 2014 NHL playoffs, a few of us at CHB make our predictions for the first round. At least with the Canucks not making it, we can make our picks with our brains, rather than our hearts. Well, mostly our brains. We flipped coins, drew straws and other things too. Western Conference Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild Victoria: Avalanche in 5. This prediction is based on the real fear that if Minnesota makes it too far in the playoffs we’ll all fall into a coma. Most boring hockey ever. So come on Avs,...Click here to read more.
If you want to get your blood boiling early on a Thursday morning, watch the Minnesota feed of Nino Niederreiter’s elbow to the head of Alex Burrows. “Ridiculous call”, they say. “Good, open ice hit”, they say. In terms of homer announcers, this one tops the charts. For all the heightened sensitivity to head shots and concussions and all that, the NHL, of course, agrees with them, and Niederreiter is scot-free and has been cleared to play in the Wild’s game tonight in St. Louis. In other words, the NHL has deemed his 2-minute trip to the box as sufficient...Click here to read more.
(Photo Credit: nhl.com) Despite their modest two-game win streak, the Vancouver Canucks have gained no ground in the standings because, well, the teams in front of them are keeping pace. (I mean, how hard is it to win 2 games in a row?? Oh yeah, the Canucks have won back-to-back games only for the first time in two months.) To make the playoffs, the Canucks must still move past the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes, of course, but with only 9 games left in the regular season and still 6 points back of the 8th place Coyotes, they have no...Click here to read more.
Sure, the game had its moments. Like Ryan Kesler scoring – shorthanded – in his first game back from injury, in his first game since word got out that he had requested a trade out of Vancouver. Like Eddie Lack standing on his head again, allowing just one goal for the 6th time in his last 8 starts. Like Keith Ballard returning to Rogers Arena (playing in the game and not sitting in the press box). But let’s be reality here. Canucks vs. Wild games aren’t the most exciting games at the best of times, and last night’s was no...Click here to read more.
On the eve of the start of the 2013/2014 NHL regular season, I preview the 30 teams, one division at a time. Photo credit: Grantland Chicago Blackhawks The Good The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013, and may very well have a chance at a repeat performance. After all, they retained much of their players, with Dave Bolland perhaps the only significant subtraction from the roster. Brandon Saad, Nick Leddy and Marcus Kruger all seem ready to take on more responsibility. The Bad Especially with the hard salary cap and increased parity, it’s pretty darn tough to repeat in...Click here to read more.
If any team can pull off a come-from-behind and out-of-nowhere unexpected victory or 7, it’s Detroit. And as the Capitals have proven time and time again, if any team can perform an epic playoff meltdown, it’s a team coached by Bruce Boudreau.Click here to read more.
When the Minnesota Wild signed BFFs Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to similar 13-year, $98 million contracts this off-season, some wondered whether or not owner Craig Leopold had finally lost his mind. Don’t get me wrong. Not that these outrageously big contracts weren’t deserved – Parise is a consistent 30-goal scorer and recorded a career-high 94 points in 2008-2009, and Ryan Suter is one of the top defensemen in the league with an average of over 30 points a season over the last 5 seasons – but Minnesota is still a relatively-small market team and Leopold cried poor not long...Click here to read more.
Mired in a 3-game losing slump, the Canucks called a team meeting prior to facing the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. Did it work? So they don't take an early penalty, but give up an early goal. Brutal. #Canucks down 1-0 just 24 seconds in. #TGATT — Canucks Hockey Blog (@canuckshockey) March 11, 2013 Ummm…Click here to read more.