I am now one-for-five in my playoff predictions so far and albeit that my wallet has taken a beating so far this post-season (the Hockey Dekely does not endorse gambling), I’m actually quite pleased. I’ve always been an underdog fan – and these playoffs are delivering on all fronts of suspense and entertainment.

Last night, the Phoenix Coyotes eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks in game six. This is the first time that the Coyotes will play in a second-round playoff series. Although they finished higher in the standings, the ‘Yotes finished the season with less points than the Blackhawks and were seen as the underdog in the series.

Another upset was the elimination of the Detroit Red Wings by the Nashville Predators. Nashville ended with more points that the Red Wings but were still considered an underdog against the dynasty team with the stellar home record.

Let’s not forget the eighth seeded Los Angeles Kings booting out the President’s Trophy winners and last year Stanley Cup finalists, the Vancouver Canucks, in only five games.

Rounding out the Western conference semi-final match-ups is the one, and only, team that was expected to make it: the St. Louis Blues. Making predictions for the first-round of the NHL playoffs was hard enough, and putting money on choosing winners for the second-round is not something I should do – but I will, and here they are: Read the rest of this entry »

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CONTRIBUTED TO THE HOCKEY DEKELY BY MARCO DI MEO

The entire hockey community has now had a year to let some of the shock of last year’s off-season, which included the deaths of three NHL enforcers, wear off.

Derrick Boogaard of the New York Rangers died on May 13, 2011 at the age of 28 after a mixture of alcohol and drugs. On August 15, 2011, the recently signed Winnipeg Jets forward, Rick Rypien, lost his 10 year battle with depression and committed suicide. He was 27 years old. Wade Belak, who had just retired from the Nashville Predators, was found dead in his Toronto apartment at the age of 37. Police treated it as a suicide. His mother said that he was also suffering from depression.

Following these events, the NHL’s enforcer role started to be classified, as Jim Thomson calls it, “the worst job in sports.” Read the rest of this entry »

Times are changin’

Posted: 14/04/2012 by Ryan Bristlon in NHL, Other

The Hockey Dekely would like to apologize for the lack of content over the past week. The site is going to be going through some changes. Specifically, a handful of new writers will be coming in and we will no longer be associated with the Humber Et Cetera. We’re going it alone now! Thanks for your support and readership.

49-33-3-5: this is the all-time regular season record for the Ottawa Senators when facing the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s a .598 winning percentage. Add to this one conference championship and one President’s Trophy win post 2000-’01 compared to Toronto’s zero and zero. Post 2000-01, the Senators have also tallied 3 division championships and appeared in the playoffs eight times (and clinched their ninth post-season trip earlier this week) – making the Stanley Cup finals once. The Leafs, during the same period of time, landed no division championships and have made the playoffs only four times – never appearing in the finals.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 06/04/2012 by Ryan Bristlon in NHL
Tags: , ,

Some NHL teams are blessed – they have a legitimate No.1 goaltender. They have a star netminder between the pipes that they can consistently rely on, season after season, to perform at the elite level for 60-plus games each season. Teams such as the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, and the Montreal Canadiens don’t tend to put up, day after day, with media representatives asking which goalie will start that night’s game; it’s simply assumed that Henrik Lundqvist, Cam Ward, or Carey Price will be there to tend the mesh.

But, in general, the franchise goalie is disappearing. The pressure put on NHL goalies, specifically noticeable over the last few seasons, is immense: perform or ride the pine – no second chances. There is no stability for non-franchise goalies to feel when they know each game they play could be their last for a long, long time. For a majority of NHL clubs, the problems are the same each season: they lack goaltending. Read the rest of this entry »

The trapezoid is the isolated area behind the net. A goaltender's ability to stick-handle the puck is limited to within the trapezoid./Flickr-rubyswoon

NHL general managers have agreed to implement a new hybrid-icing rule starting next season. This new variation on the icing rule is theorized to minimize/prevent those injuries players suffer when speeding down the ice, racing to touch up on an icing call.

This rule makes sense, as a majority of injuries and major penalties are occurring behind the net. Skaters’ own momentum, alongside a bodycheck from another player, cause high-velocity crashes into the boards and the new hybrid-icing will keep the race for the puck in the game but move it away from the boards. The Hockey Dekely supports any rule change that improves upon player safety, but we here also feel another change could be implemented to keep players safe. Read the rest of this entry »

A lot of locks have grown and gone in the NHL during my time as a fan. I still remember the days of my youth – when beaver tails poked out from under players’ helmets. I remember watching a player like Jaromir Jagr in the early 90s gain speed on the ice, adding lift to his mullet, making it appear that he was reaching speeds of up to 100MPH.

Jagr wasn’t in a league of his own. Hall of Famers such as Doug Gilmour, Mario Lemieux, and even the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, rocked flows for the ages. But then something happened – players began to improve upon their grooming. Thankfully, though, a resurgence has begun and more players are starting to throw caution to the wind – letting their drapes dangle all over the ice. Read the rest of this entry »