The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi present us with the best hockey in the world, and with the final rosters released from each country participating, there has been speculation as to which country will bring home the gold medal. But what I would love to see is a rematch of the gold-medal game from the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. That would be a sight. And it’s safe to say that the U.S. and Canada have much more talent and skill than the teams from 4 years ago. That being said, lets take a closer look at these rosters and then you can decide who is the better team.
So we’re a little over 2 weeks into the NHL and our 4 blog writers decided to collaborate on some predictions for the season. After a couple minutes of discussion, we realized that there is no possible way to come to a consensus. The reason being that half of us are San Jose Sharks fans and the other 2 are Los Angeles Kings fans who can’t stand the sight of an undefeated Sharks team (6-0, what?)[still no Stanley Cup, what?]. Instead, we decided to each write up our own descriptions and let you tell us who think is closer (smarter). These are some high stake predictions too. The person with the worst prediction loses their job and the person with the closest prediction takes home the loser’s salary. Not really, but for legal reasons we cannot say.
Even being an LA King’s fan and a religious SoCal sports fan, I think there’s a great chance we see Los Angeles bring home their second cup. The Kings look prime for another cup run this year, with an already proven squad that will have hopefully have a healthy Willie Mitchell and the speedster Matt Frattin. We’re off to a slow start but it’s a long season.
Eastern Conference Final: Detroit over Pittsburgh
Western Conference Final: Kings over St. Louis
Stanley Cup Champion: Los Angeles Kings
I waited too long to write this blog. Just 14 days into the NHL season and we already have 437 goals & 258 goal scorers. My original plan was to research each goal scorer and calculate from there; so instead, I’m taking the top goal scorers (everyone who has scored 4 or more goals this season), and giving you a snapshot of scoring in the NHL. Forgive me for taking the easy way out, but there is absolutely no way that I am going to tally up all 258 goal scorers and their sticks.
Last year, I wrote a similar blog 1.5 weeks into the season and we found that among the top 15 goal scorers, the Bauer TotalOne NXG & Easton Stealth RS II amassed the most goals at 13 a piece. Interestingly, the leaders then and now are both San Jose Sharks, and both blogs were written when they were 5-0 to start the season. Hmm… 6 months ago, I did the same thing for playoffs. That time I accounted for all goals scored and found that the NXG scored almost 20% of the goals in the playoffs, followed “closely” by the RS II at 15%. Let’s see if Bauer & Easton can hold it together for the 2013-2014 season.
1. The top scoring stick (among the top 20 scorers) is… Read more…
As the 2013 Stanley Cup championship rolls closer to the end, I wanted to briefly highlight and compare the final two Cup goaltenders, Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks. Rask and Crawford come to the playoffs with two vastly different playing styles proving that both styles of play are extremely effective. Crawford’s stereotypical butterfly style goaltending primarily focuses on form and positioning, consistently dropping down into the butterfly position as the primary line of defense. Rask’s hybrid style of
play however is more reactive, making a majority of saves from the goaltenders athletic talent, quickness and mobility. Differences in goalie gear and more specifically the goalie leg pads clearly define the goaltenders playing style. Crawford’s Reebok Premier goalie pads are designed specifically for butterfly goalies, providing a large flat-faced design and stiffer construction ensuring maximum coverage. Rask’s Vaughn Velocity hybrid pads features a dramatically softer construction with multiple breaks throughout the internal construction ensuring maximum flexibility and mobility.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are coming down to the wire with the final two teams almost decided. We have 169 goal scorers thus far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begs the question: what sticks are putting the puck in the back of the net? Instead of naming off each of the 169 players and their twigs, we’ve listed the sticks and their percentages (but yes, I did count every single player and their stick). NOTE: These are the goals per stick, not the stick use by goal scoring player. Below is the distribution of goals scored by each brand. And before yelling at me, know I had to round up or down on some of the percentages, so the grand total may not be exactly 100%.
The Assistant Captain of the Boston Bruins, Patrice Bergeron, was the obvious hero from last night’s pair of game sevens. Boston was down 4-1 mid-way through the third period and miraculously emerged victorious. During Boston’s unbelievable comeback, Bergeron scored the tying goal with 50 seconds remaining and then finished off the Toronto Maple Leafs five minutes into overtime. He finished first star of the game with 2 goals and 1 assist, amassing all his points on the last three Bruins goals. Clutch.
So what gear helps you achieve first star in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Nazem Kadri is among the NHL’s top ten point leaders in this 2013 season. Nazem Kadri is only 22 years of age and has totaled 34 points in 32 regular season games, which places him ninth overall among the NHL’s elite. This past week, the Toronto Maple Leafs utilized their star player as he collected a career-high three assists game (+3 rating), third three-point game performance, and fourteenth goal of the season. This exciting rookie has proven capable of hot streak performances and is tied for first on the Maple Leafs in goals and assists.
Lets take a look at Nazem Kadri’s gear, as he embodies the CCM brand.
If you follow the NHL at all, you probably saw or at least heard of the Erik Karlsson incident. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators suffered a season ending injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins when Matt Cooke stepped on the back of Karlsson’s leg lacerating 70% the Achilles Tendon. Check out the video and then read on.
Anaheim Duck’s goaltender Viktor Fasth is off to an impressive start, nabbing his first shutout after just three games in the NHL. Fasth stopped 31 shots allowing the Ducks to win over the Avalanche with a 3-0 game. Fasth was signed as a free agent in the close of the season, making an effortless transition from the Swedish Elite League to the NHL. Now with a 5-0 record, Viktor Fasth is the first goalie in eight years to win his first five starts, two of the wins coming from overtime shootouts.
So we’re a week and a half into the shortened NHL season and it’s time to break down which sticks are the weapons of mass production thus far. While it may be the players’ talent that puts the puck in the back of the net, one can always dream that his or her twig has the potential to be a top scorer in the NHL. For time purposes, I’m just going to include the top 15 scorers in the NHL which includes all players with 4+ goals.
1. Patrick Marleau – 9 Goals
This man is a scoring machine. Marleau has led the San Jose Sharks to a perfect 5-0 start to the season and in the process became the second player in NHL history to start the season off with 4 consecutive multi-goal games. His streak broke on Sunday with his single goal night against Colorado. And of course his stick… The Warrior Covert DT1!