Yes, this is the week of returns in the NHL, with Sidney Crosby playing against the Rangers on Thursday and all signs pointing to Alex Radulov returning to the Predators in the near future. And yet if you take a step back, what you’ve really got in the NHL right now is an epic race for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference. As of Wednesday morning, there were five teams separated by a single point in the standings for the final two playoff spots in the West. Which of these teams will make the playoffs? Which of these...Click here to read more.
Tagged: Tampa Bay Lightning
One game does not represent an entire NHL season. But Washington’s 5-0 loss to Carolina Monday night was another of the growing number of nails being hammered into the coffin laying rest to the Washington Capitals – 2011-12 edition. Make no mistake, this Washington team is taking after Monty Python’s dead parrot – it’s bereft of life, destined to rest in peace. And to think just 24 months ago this was a team destined to transform and dominate the NHL landscape. There are two reasons why the juggernaut Washington Capitals of 2009-10 have transformed into a Cinderella-sized pumpkin. ...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.
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[Every week, Caylie King looks at the Canucks week that was and the Canucks week ahead. You can follow Caylie on Twitter (@cayking).] The Canucks started the week with a shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks and followed it up with a dominating 3-0 win over division rivals, the Minnesota Wild. Then came the most anticipated game of the season – a rematch against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, Boston Bruins. And it didn’t disappoint. Despite being hyped up all week long, it lived up to its expectations and more. It felt like we were right back in the...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.
When the Tampa Bay Lightning signed Victor Hedman to a 5-year, $20 million deal earlier in the week, there weren’t too many people complaining. The online community, particularly Tampa Bay fans, applauded Steve Yzerman for keeping Hedman’s cost relatively low. According to the consensus, $4 million a year for 5 years is a great price for an improving, future franchise defenseman. There’s no question Hedman is an improving player, particularly on the defensive side of the game. But franchise cornerstone? Someone who dominates at both ends of the ice? I’m not so sure Hedman has that in him. I decided...Click here to read more.