Posts Tagged ‘NHL’

Quick, if I were to say you should never count this team out in the playoffs, which team comes to your mind?

If you said the Detroit Red Wings then congratulations, you have managed to correctly identify the team most often associated with that label. Also, you’re an idiot. (more…)

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Dearest Senators,

As I sit here nursing my hangover from last night, I look back on your season and think of mostly positives. As disappointed as I was in your defeat and elimination Thursday night, I can’t help but feel guilty. How dare I expect more from you – the team who was pegged to be last in the league this season by a majority of hockey experts, analysts, and Leafs’ fans. You boys worked hard this season, and this letter is a salute. (more…)

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: (more…)

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.” (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

We all knew that Pavel Kubina was leaving Tampa Bay – we just didn’t know where he’d end up. The defenseman was asked to submit a list of teams he was willing to be traded to by Saturday morning and by Saturday evening a deal with the Philadelphia Flyers had been reached. (more…)