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.
Well, we all know now that Tomas Hertl is much better at the game of hockey than speaking English, but that’s beside the point. The 19 year-old rookie put on quite the show for the 18,000+ fans at SAP Center on Tuesday night, and thousands more watching the game from their living rooms. 3 NHL games in and he has already broken and tied records in both the Sharks franchise and NHL History. He tied the franchise record for most goals in a game (4) and became the youngest player since 1970 to net 6 goals in the first 3 games of the season, not to mention he is now leading the NHL in goals (6). Wow. He has already made quite the name for himself, not to mention his beauty of a goal from a shot between his legs that went bar-down for his 4th goal against the New York Rangers. Some people say that was classless, but I mean, come on, the kid is 19, and stoked out of his mind he is playing in the show. Cut him some slack, eh? But in case you haven’t seen his nasty goal, here it is:
Now I’m definitely sure that this is not the last we will hear from Hertl the Turtle, as he is already getting compared to Jaromir Jagr, probably the greatest player to come out of the Czech Republic to date. The rookie has set the bar quite high for expectations for the year, but I’m sure he won’t disappoint. But just to make sure he isn’t cheating or some sort of Datsyukian wizard, let’s take a look at his repertoire:
I don’t care who you are – sorry that was a rude way to start a blog – but you have to respect Pavel Datsyuk. At 34 years old, Pavel Datsyuk still manages to find his way onto every highlight reel with ease. Even if you don’t respect the player, you at least have to respect his filthy hands, his playmaking ability, his two way style of play, and his overall sense of the game. I enjoy watching the Detroit Red Wings simply because of this Russian legend. TSN held a fan vote at the end of the season to determine the top play of the year and through all sorts of brackets and match-ups, Datsyuk ended up in the final vote against… himself?
Needless to say, Datsyuk won. The winning play featured Datsyuk in his defensive end leveling one Nashville Predator, outskating the next, then dancing through the remaining three to put it past goalie and tie the game. Anyways, watch this ridiculous play.
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.
The Boston Bruins are off to their best start in 36 years and on Sunday, February 24th they can thank Zdeno Chara for his beautiful goal to put them up 2-0 in the first period against the Florida Panthers. The defenseman stands tall at 6’9″, so amazing dangles aren’t typically expected from him, well that’s not the case any more. Chara took a backhand pass that was behind him from Brad Marchand, performed a counter-clockwise spin-o-rama to create space and roofed a beautiful backhand shot beating Jacob Markstrom glove side. Whether the spin or the backhand shot was more impressive is irrelevant, but the fact Zdeno did it so smoothly is the icing on the cake.
Now let’s take a look at what gear Zdeno Chara used:
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.
Let me start this off by saying that the New York Rangers top line is ridiculous. The Richards-Nash-Gaborik combination may very well be the most formidable line in the NHL this season and they sure made a good argument for it last night. The trio put up 5 points, fifteen shots, and numerous scoring chances as they topped the Boston Bruins in overtime. While they all played phenomenally, Marian Gaborik was the clear first star with a hat trick that included the game winner in OT. Below is a video of his heroics last night.
So let’s take a look at the stick and skates that helps Gaborik do what he does. Read more…