Written on June 8th, 2013 by Steve Cheeseman NHL Comments
By Steve Cheesman: In 2005, when the Pittsburgh Penguins selected Sidney Crosby first overall in the NHL entry draft, anyone connected to the hockey world, fan, writer, or whoever assumed that the Penguins were on the verge of becoming a dynasty. Pittsburgh was comparable to Mike Bossy and the New York Islanders who won 4 straight Stanley Cups (1979-83), or the Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier led Edmonton Oilers,with 5 Stanley Cup’s in 6 years (1984-90). These were teams built on strong drafting.
Pittsburgh surrounded themselves with some of the most promising prospects seen in recent memory. The likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jordan Staal, and Kris Letang. Fast forward to 2008, Pittsburgh lost to the Detroit Red Wings losing in 6 games. The following season, the start of what was supposed to be something great, as the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Detroit Red Wings in 7 games.
However, over the next 3 seasons, they would find themselves an early exit from the playoffs at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens (2nd round), Tampa Bay Lightning (2nd round), and Philadelphia Flyers (1st round) respectively. This led management baffled and searching for a solution.
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Written on April 29th, 2013 by Niles Pender NHL Comments
As the NHL playoffs approach, the fans of the 16 participating teams will be anxiously watching every game and analyzing every play. For casual fans, playoff hockey is a great way to spend a Tuesday evening. Which teams and players should all fans be keeping an eye on as the playoffs get set to begin?
The Canadiens are the second seed in the east just a year after finishing near the bottom of the conference. However, it seems as if Montreal may have overachieved just a bit. As the season closed, they had to pull their goaltender in three straight games. That hadn’t been done in over a decade. Although they are a high seed, it will be hard to see them going far.
Toronto Maple Leafs-
The Leafs haven’t been to the playoffs since 2004. Will they be able to get over the playoff jitters to advance past the first round? Not only is all of Toronto expecting them to do well, the Boston Bruins are a tough opponent.
Washington started the season rather slowly. However, their fortunes turned when Alex Ovechkin started playing better. The only problem is that he is streaky in the playoffs. If he doesn’t continue his dominant play, it could be lights out for the Capitals after one round.
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Written on February 22nd, 2013 by Niles Pender NHL Comments
Lindy Ruff Just Got Fired: Five Coaches Who May Get The Boot As Well
By Niles Pender: Lindy Ruff was hired as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres in July of 1997. Since then, 170 coaching changes have taken place in the NHL. On Wednesday, Lindy Ruff became coaching change number 171. With that in mind, who else should be feeling a little uncomfortable when it comes to keeping their job?
1) Todd Richards, Columbus Blue Jackets
Although this is his first season as head coach of the Blue Jackets, it is not hard to believe that he may be let go either during the season or shortly after it concludes. With a new GM in place, it is customary to at least search for a new coach. At 5-10-2, the Blue Jackets don’t seem to be doing too much better this season. Unless things change quickly, the coach may take the fall even if there isn’t a whole lot of talent to work with in Columbus.
2) Adam Oates, Washington Capitals
The Capitals have been a disaster so far this season. They aren’t playing well on the defensive end or the offensive end. More importantly, they haven’t come out on the winning end of many games. The fans are getting restless and they want to see the teams of a few years ago that would make the playoffs and contend for the Stanley Cup. Instead, the free fall that began last year is only getting worse. When you have a star player such as Alex Ovechkin on your roster, it is only reasonable that the team contends on a regular basis. Therefore, don’t be surprised if Oates is shown the door sometime in the near future.
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Written on February 16th, 2013 by Staff NHL Comments
Fantasy Sports and the Shortened NHL Season
By Mike Jones: With the shortened NHL season there is less time to partake in fantasy sports regarding the hockey season, but even the 48 games provide enough for someone who is interested in the sport. There are different methods to go about partaking in fantasy sports when it comes to the NHL, so even though there is a shortened season, you are able to have a fun time competing in different styles of fantasy games. You just need to know what to look for and what kinds of games are available to your disposal.
For starters, there is the traditional form of fantasy sporting games, where you draft players against other individuals in your league and you adjust your lineup every single day in order to have the best overall team. You then are able to alter the lineup whenever you need to or when there is an off day or a player injured, as this gives you the very best options against your competition.
Typically, you do not face a specific individual in your league every week, you just play against everyone for more points. You receive points off not only goals and assistants but also how well a defense plays or how the goalie plays. All of this goes into how your team performs against others in the league and helps you have a good time playing.
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