Let’s get this out of the way first. I’m still not convinced Columbus’ interest in dealing Rick Nash wasn’t a creation of TSN and Sportsnet. The two networks needed a big name to speculate about to drive up ratings for their annual Trade Deadline TV marathons. Sadly for those networks, Nash remains a Blue Jacket at least until the draft, where the hype will be built up all over again. I am giddy with anticipation (and by giddy I mean hitting my head with a shoe to make the idea of 24 hour coverage of “The Rick Nash Trade –...Click here to read more.
Tagged: New York Rangers
Ken Hitchcock has more than 500 wins, a .590 career winning percentange and a Stanley Cup to his credit. But he’s never won the Jack Adams Award for NHL Coach of the Year. With all due respect to the great work John Tortorella, Dan Bylsma, Kevin Dineen and Mike Babcock are doing with their respective teams, Hitchcock should win his first Jack Adams Award this year. The impact he’s had on the St. Louis Blues has been incredible. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at how each of this season’s coaching changes have played out. Ken Hitchcock Pre-hiring: St. Louis...Click here to read more.
James Mirtle in the Globe and Mail asked an interesting question Monday – which rebuild is better, the Leafs approach or the Oilers approach? Ultimately, the answer to this question can only come years from now, when the young promise on each roster has been fulfilled (or not fulfilled, for that matter). However, as the continued success of the Detroit Red Wings (and continued failure of the Columbus Blue Jackets) suggests, there are franchise factors that can have a major impact on the development of a successful team. Good ownership is one of these factors. Every fan wishes their team...Click here to read more.
Yesterday we took at look at the “real” Western Conference standings after 40 games. Here now is a look at the East. Remember, to learn a bit more about an individual team’s strengths and weaknesses, each squad was ranked in six categories*: Goals for (GF) and shots-for (SHF) were chosen to evaluate a team’s offense; Shots-against (SHA) and goals against (GA) were chosen to evaluate a team’s defensive play; Five-on-five (5-on-5) was chosen to evaluate a team’s even-strength/system play; Save percentage (SVPCT) was chosen to evaluate the team’s goaltending performance. Teams were ranked and then put into groups of five,...Click here to read more.
In the spirit of the New Year, here are five resolutions the NHL should make for 2012: 1. Abandon the “game is too fast” narrative As the NHL concussion issue has grown, so too has the argument that the game is currently too fast. According to Ex-NHL’ers (most recently Eric Lindros) and several general managers (Carolina’s Jim Rutherford is the most vocal at the moment), putting the red line back in would slow the game down and reduce the number of concussions taking place on ice. This, naturally, is complete poppycock and a classic case of conservative, backward NHL thinking....Click here to read more.
Things that make one wonder on a Tuesday: The Kings are in Trouble Has Dean Lombardi lost his mind? According to reports, the Los Angeles Kings are looking at Darryl Sutter as their next coach. Because the Lombardi-Sutter connection won championships in San Jose, right? Look, it’s not like the problem with the Kings isn’t well-known. They aren’t scoring enough goals (last in the league). Their point-producers, outside of Anze Kopitar, are all under-performing. How Sutter – a notorious “defense-first, -second and –third” coach – could be seen as the right person to create scoring is a mystery. Not...Click here to read more.
Five possible ways the sale of the Toronto Maple Leafs to Rogers Communcations and Bell Canada Enterprises will affect hockey fans in Canada. 5. Get ready to see a lot of Larry Tanenbaum. With rivals Rogers and Bell owning the same amount of the ownership pie (37.5% each) they’re effectively neutered in terms of power around the board table. They also have to try and sustain their relationship by playing nice with each other, which probably translates to focusing on turning their new content (Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, Toronto Marlies) into greater technology sales. All of this is to say the...Click here to read more.
Some quick thoughts on two issues dominating NHL talk right now: Derek Boogaard and Fighting in the NHL For anyone who’s been living under a rock, here’s the original New York Times story about the study of Derek Boogaard’s brain. The results of the study shouldn’t surprise anyone. If you’re a fighter, and you get punched in the head a lot, it’s logical the impact of these blows will have an effect on your brain and brain function. The larger issue here is that, as scientists continue to show conclusive evidence that hockey fights endanger the health of those involved,...Click here to read more.
In part one we looked at the first quarter for teams in the Western Conference. Now let’s take a look at the East. Eastern Conference 1. New York Rangers – 27 Points Powerplay: 25 / Penalty Kill: 9 / Goals For: 15 / Goals Against: 2 What’s working: Henrik Lundquist for starters. He’s the biggest reason why the team is among the league leaders in goals against. In the absence of Marc Staal (concussion), Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have capably stepped up on the blueline, while defenseman Michael Del Zotto has re-found his game. Marian Gaborik has gotten hot...Click here to read more.
Dear Gary (aka Bettman-in-da-house, aka Mr. Commish, aka Saviour-of-Winnipeg), Not to go all Peaches and Herb (or Jeremy Roenick), but “realignment and it feels so good!” NHL realignment is the hot talk around the league right now, and I know reviews are mixed concerning your latest plan to re-shape the NHL. Personally, I like what you’ve reportedly done: The first round of the playoffs features divisional play (1 vs 4, 2 vs 3). After the first round, the remaining teams are seeded 1-4, with 1 playing 4, 2 vs 3, etc. Now, the Penguins and Flyers hate this proposal, because...Click here to read more.