Posts Tagged ‘Hockey’

A classic line from the 1959 song “Charlie Brown” by The Coasters. And if there is someone who that line could describe, it’s Steve Mason. With an 0-3 start, the one who’s head is gonna be called for, it’s the goaltender. Before we all grab our pitch forks and torches in a rage to find somebody to tear apart, lets look at a couple things:

The first thing to look at is the defense, and right now, with the exceptions of maybe 1 or 2 players, has been downright awful. Turnovers, bad passes, many missed assignments, and just being out of place is killing this team. Against The Canucks, The Blue Jackets allowed them to crash the crease, no resistance whatsoever, allowing them to bang in any rebounds after Mason would make the first save. Normally, a team would be able to clear the crease in that situation. Also allowing teams to use their sticks to deflect pucks in without any resistance, they have to do a better job of battling, because they are losing on all fronts right now.

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Every year I make a bunch of hockey related goals and hope to accomplish them all.  Here are a few for this season.

Continue my countdown to see every team.  It may seem like bragging (not my intention) but I have seen a majority of the league’s teams. I still have 9 left (including Winnipeg as a seperate team than Atlanta).  I already have tickets to see the (new) Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota, so that will help pare down the list.  Unfortunately Calgary and Dallas do not come to Philadelphia, so those will have to wait or be seen in another city.

Along with seeing every team, eventually I’d like to see every single NHL arena. So far I’m at four (Ana, LA, NJ, Phi). Of course I won’t knock off the other 26 this season, but I’d like to cross a couple off of the list and keep working towards the bigger goal.  A couple months ago, I wrote about the top 5 arenas that I wanted to visit, but I want to see them all. Even Long Island.

Make a friend in every NHL city. (more…)

For the past five years, the NHL has hosted regular season games with 17 teams (and the Ducks, Kings and Rangers a second time) taking part.  Host cities have included Berlin, London, Helsinki (three times), Prague (twice), Stockholm (four times).  The past three Stanley Cup champions have started their season overseas.  The NHL is going global, with an increasing number of players coming from the other side of the world.

The Kings and Rangers tangle in Stockholm.

So why is it a bad idea?

The team’s fans get screwed.  Okay, so the NHL gets exposure to overseas fans, but each team that goes over loses a home game.  The Kings will actually lose two home games this year, as they “host” both the Rangers and Sabres in Europe.  So for any Los Angeles season ticket holders, they go from seeing their team 41 times to 39.  With some teams struggling in their own markets, it seems odd to try and promote teams with only ties to (maybe) a couple players of the participating teams.

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Who Scores First?

Posted: October 6, 2011 by Crimespree Hockey in Hockey Fun
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There are three games tonight to open the 2011-12 NHL season, two at 7:00 (Philly @ Boston, Montreal @ Toronto) and the nightcap features Pittsburgh traveling to Vancouver for a 10:00 (Eastern) game.

Is Nathan Horton the NHL's first goal scorer of the 2011-12 season?

For a little fun, we’re going to pick who scores the first 2011-12 NHL goal.

The slight majority of us like the defending Cup champions to put the first goal on the board. Nicole picks Patrice Bergeron, while Gabbi took Brad Marchand. Bre is going with Eastern Conferference Final game 7 hero Nathan Horton.

Sticking with the same game, the Flyers picks are for former players of favorite teams. Former LA King Wayne Simmonds was Michelle’s choice, while Joey thinks Flyer new winger (and former Penguin) Jaromir Jagr will score 6:15 into the new season.

Dan and Rob figure that the Bruins banner raising ceremony will cut into game time and that the Maple Leafs-Canadiens game will have the first goal. Dan went with Canadiens newcomer Erik Cole, while Rob took Toronto’s top center Mikhail Grabovski.

Who is your pick?

Based on what I’ve seen in the preseason, here are some key thoughts for the team heading into the NHL regular season.

5. Keep That Puck Out! : Steve Mason has looked like the Mason of old this preseason, making many key saves, not looking uncomfortable or rattled at all. It should be interesting to see how he does with the retooled team in front of him, when it starts to count.  Curtis Sanford is in the backup role for a undetermined amount of time with Mark Dekanich’s preseason injury.  After 2 full seasons in the AHL, has it affected his NHL abilities at all? Im doubtful that it has, but the question has crossed my mind. He should prove a good backup until Dekanich can get back to game form, whenever that is.

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All around the NHL, teams will have to make decisions on their rosters before Wednesday’s deadline.  In particular, the transformed Flyers are going to have to make some tough roster choices.

Right now there are 15 locks for spots (8 forwards, 5 defensemen, 2 goalies) on the current team ( Briere, Giroux, Hartnell, Jagr, Simmonds, Talbot, van Riemsdyk, Voracek, Carle, Coburn, Meszaros, Pronger, Timonen, Bobrovsky, Bryzgalov).  Blair Betts is a pretty safe bet. This leaves 6 or 7 spots open with about $7.7 million cap space.

Does first round pick Sean Couturier make the Flyers?

There are six forwards fighting for four jobs.  Two veterans, Andreas Nodl and Jody Shelley, along with four rookies, Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Zac Rinaldo and Brayden Schenn.  Shelley counts towards the cap while he serves his five game suspension, and could possibly be relegated to the 13th forward once his punishment is up.  Schenn has been hampered by an upper body injury, which may have opened the door for first round pick Couturier.  If he’s sent to the Phantoms, Schenn will get a chance to heal up and will get plenty of ice time to continue his development. Couturier has impressed enough to be considered among the final cuts, and it sounds like he will make the opening night roster.  Whether he’s on the roster for nine games, or the entire season remains to be seen.  If he plays 10 games, the first year of Couturier’s contract is used up and if he plays 11 games, his contract counts against the organization’s 50 (the Flyers are at the max).  So it’s possible he will be on the roster for the first nine games and sent back to junior.   (more…)

Fantasy Hockey: Team Themes

Posted: October 1, 2011 by Realdeal in Fantasy Hockey, Hockey Fun
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Jarome Iginla, a good fantasy hockey draft pick in 2001 or 2011.

This is the time of year that we put our hockey guide studying (or lack thereof) to good use. Fantasy hockey drafts have kicked off and people are mulling over their rosters (until they fall to last place in November and give up).

Sometimes, people like to have fun with a draft, whether it be a less serious league, or a chance to make a funny team. Last year, I was in a league with a guy whose team was entirely made up of New Jersey Devils. That wasn’t his plan, but he started with Parise, Kovalchuk and Brodeur. Then it spiraled into the full Devils roster. Needless to say, it didn’t work out well, as the Devils struggled for most of the season.

Our friends at Flyers Goal Scored By started talking on twitter about a real-life Flyers lineup with Jaromir Jagr and Chris Pronger in it.  From that, I got a random idea about fantasy drafting a bunch of older guys, a team that would resemble the 2000 All Stars. I put it to use in a Yahoo mock draft, to see how such a team would look like.
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