Now that the Stanley Cup has been won by the Los Angeles Queens, I can officially tell you that my prediction was wrong. I had the New Jersey Shore Devils beating the LA Kings in 7 games, and as you know, the Kings won in 6 games for their first championship becoming the first 8th seed to win the Stanley Cup. But all in all, it was a fantastic series.
The first two games went to overtime. The Kings went up 3 games to zero, and everyone thought it was over. But then, the Devils showed a sign of life winning game 4 to prevent the sweep, and then in game 5, back at home, the Devils ended the Kings 10 game road winning streak. At this point in the series, the Kings were headed back home for game 6 in Los Angeles with a chance to close out the series in their home building for their first ever Stanley Cup championship and finally have their nickname make sense (unlike Lebron "I Think I'm a King Even Though I Don't Have a Ring" James). However, the LA Kings will always be Queens to me because my mother and sister are fans, and that is why I wanted them to lose so I wouldn't have to hear them brag. But being a Detroit Red Wings fan, all I have to say to shut them up is, "Talk to me when you hit double digits." Problem solved.
Now let's get back to the championship clinching game, game 6. The Devils were trying to make history with one of the more spectacular comebacks in finals history, and with all the momentum, I, just like many hockey analysts, believed they had a pretty good chance of doing it or at least forcing a game seven. However, the momentum they had been riding for the past two games was lost instantly with one hit.
Steve Bernier was ejected for boarding LA Kings defensemen Rob Scuderi. In my opinion though, Scuderi did seem to turn to face the boards after seeing Bernier coming, and that hit shouldn't have even happened because of a hit by Jarret Stoll on Gionta earlier in the play. Here is a video of both. Watch and judge for yourself...
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After that hit and ejection, the Kings went on a 5 minute power play where they scored 3 goals and essentially snatched all the life out of the Devils in the first period. After that, Quick shut down the Devils' dreams, stopping 17 of 18 shots on the night. Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter led the Kings' attack all night with the two combining for 5 points in game 6. After getting the first three goals on that questionable power play, the Kings just sat back, played tight defense and counter-attacked when the opportunities presented themselves. The Devils rookie Adam Henrique scored late in the second period to make it 4-1 but that was all the Devils could muster and ended up losing 6-1.
Now that the LA Queens have won their first Stanley Cup, what are the expectations for next year? What is going to happen to two of the Devils' key players, Martin Brodeur and Zach Parise? Well, for the Queens, I am predicting that they will struggle again during the regular season and may be able to sneak into the playoffs as a 7 or 8 seed again. Why? Because I can almost guarantee that Jonathan Quick had a one-year-wonder type of season, just like Jean Sebastian Giguere, formally of the Anaheim Ducks had when they had they hoisted the Cup.
Some key defensemen are also getting up their in age, and also, some of the players who came up big during the playoff run may not be able to produce like they did this year. Again this is just a prediction, but then again, I have seen teams miss the playoffs after winning the Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils won in '95 and missed playoffs in '96 and the Carolina Hurricanes won in '06 and missed the playoffs in '07).
As for the future of the Devils, Brodeur isn't done yet. He still has a year or two in him, but their captain Zach Parise may go into free agency and has been heavily linked with the Detroit Red Wings, if he were to enter free agency. However, they do have a few young players who have proven themselves in the big moment, like Adam Henrique who rocked a killer mustache during these playoffs.
Welp, that's all for this year's NHL playoffs, and I will update you kids on trades and free agency at some point during the summer because the Red Wings need to spend money, and I will be mad if they do not. But I will also have updates on other big moves or shocking trades. Toodaloo till then.
Although the West Coast is the last place where you look for hockey, it seems to be where the spotlight is thanks to the West Coast champions, the Los Angeles Kings. Honestly, who isn’t cheering for the Kings right now? Well besides the freeway face off rivals, the Anaheim Ducks fans and the Toronto Maple Leafs due to the 1993 incident, the entire country…and Canada seemed to pick the Los Angeles Kings as the favorite team for the Stanley Cup.
Well first off, congrats to the Los Angeles Kings. It’s pretty miraculous that the eighth seed is literally destroying everyone they play with no effort. They have an astonishing 8-0 record on the road. What team can intimidate teams that badly in their own home rink? Clearly the Kings. Every player on that team has stepped up their game: Hitting, skating, passing, plays, everything that the Kings do has become flawless.
Jonathan Quick, where do you come from? No one on this planet can make half the saves that Quick does. Quick has a 12-2 record, with a 1.54 goals against average and 2 shutouts. He has also saved an amazing 94.6 percent of the shots he has faced. There is no possible way he is human.
The kings will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993 where they fell to the Montreal Canadiens. Depending on who takes the East Coast championship, the Kings will either face the New Jersey Devils or the New York Rangers,
The kings have yet to have won a Stanley Cup but many believe this is the year for them. Looks like we are headed to an exciting final! GO KINGS GO!
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Los Angles Kings captain Dustin Brown with the Western Conference Championship trophy.
The Anaheim Ducks are a team full of skill and love for the game but were not fortunate enough to make the playoffs this year. A week before the regular season ended, a few of Anaheim players gave me a couple minutes to answer a few questions before they took on the San Jose Sharks for their second to last season home game.
Cam Fowler (20) is one of the youngest players in the NHL and played huge defense for the Ducks all year.
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Devante Smith-Pelly (19) played his rookie season for the Ducks this year. He plays with aggression and brought a good edge to the Ducks while he was able to get puck to the net.
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The Ducks fell in an early slump this year losing many consecutive games up until the all-star break. The Ducks brought in previous Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau where he made positive changes for the team.
The Anaheim Ducks had changed their game around bringing up big wins when they were most needed. The Ducks were being considered as playoff contenders but only had a short time to generate enough points to make it to the number eight spot.
Unfortunately the Anaheim Duck's time was cut short and they did not make the 2012 playoffs.
With the turn around we saw later in the season, The Ducks will definitely be a team to watch out for in the 2012-2013 season ahead.
Are you kidding me? The Red Wings who were basically unstoppable at home during the regular season just lost their second straight game to a team who never beat them at Joe Louis Arena in the playoffs before. I don't even know what to say right now. The Red Wings have always been my backbone in the sports world. They're my number one team. Now they are starting to underachieve like the San Diego "Not So Super" Chargers.
First off, Nashville doesn't even deserve to have a f*****g hockey team. I'm pretty sure the only hockey rink they have in that state is the one the Predators play in. Just fields of grass and wheat or whatever their main cash crop is and country music blasting from every car in that state. That does not equal a hockey town. Detroit is nicknamed hockey town for a reason and it's because the Red Wings are just dominant. Making the playoffs around 20 years in a row or something like that. But right now, they may as well have just thrown the season and gotten a good draft pick to get some young guys in there who act like they want to play the game.
There is so much talent on the Red Wings and no effort. They were probably thinking like I was when I found out who our first round opponent was. "Hey guys, lets just take it easy in this round, breeze through these scrubs in the first round and wait to see who we play next." But no. I don't know if they looked at the standings, but Nashville beat them to the 4th spot in the Western conference for home ice advantage which makes them the better team.
I don't give a squirrel's a** if you set the record for home ice wins in a row. That doesn't mean you are going to be handed the Stanley Cup. You have to earn that. Just because you may be the best franchise in sports, most certainly doesn't mean you get handed trophies. You still have to go out there like men, like the old teams in past (mainly the late '90s) and take care of business.
I am just at a loss of words right now. I'm looking at the stats for this game 4, and they make me want to throw up. 1 for 7 on the powerplay. Are you fisting me right now? We have two of the top ten skilled players in the game in Zetterberg and Datsyuk and they can't score more than once in seven tries? Next, they peppered the living hell out of the Nashville goalie. 41 shots. 41! How about we take away ten of those and turn them into high quality shots that actually have a chance of going in? I don't know how many more shots they need to score. Oh here's an idea. Stop shooting low. The fool is 6'5". He is covering up the entire base of the goal and then some. The dude let a shot from basically on the blue line go right past his glove with the little girl Miller in front of goal. That's not even a screen. Shoot the puck high until he proves he can play catch with his daddy.
Jimmy Howard, the Red Wings goalie, the All-Star Red Wings goalie is just awful all of a sudden. Does he not know it's the playoffs? Does he not remember how to play goalie? May as well throw a gosh damn midget in goal because he could probably stop more than him. How can you not make more than 14 saves in a game? And the second goal, he had 3 defenders on one guy and decided to try and follow them into the corner for the the little tea party, or whatever he thought was going to go on with the other four dudes, and leave the goal wide open. The Red Wings don't pay you to check people. They pay you to sit your a** in the goal and stop the puck. Sounds pretty self explanatory to me Jimmy.
Just unbelievable. If the Red Wings don't pull their heads out from the gutter, then it's time to clean house. They should just get rid of everyone except Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Helm (who is being a little girl right now and watching from the press box). Also, Filppula, Franzen, White, and Quincy.
The Wings need to pay some freaking college kids like the United States did when we beat the USSR in 1980, and have them go out their and skate their little hearts out. Because obviously, this isn't working with this squad of players. But like in the Journey song they blast everytime the Red Wings score a goal, don't stop believing.
UPDATE: Red Wings are out of the playoffs, and I am probably not getting my security deposit back for my apartment. I just do not understand the teams left in the Western conference. No major teams left. No teams worth rooting for. Just scrub teams living off of great goaltending. I cannot wait for the Flyers or whoever wins the east to just run train all over who ever comes out of the west.
PS - If Nashville wins the Stanley Cup, I'm quitting sports.
PSS - Same with the LA Queens.
Remember those times in high school when you would come home after your curfew and your parents would be standing at the front door and just look at you and say “grounded”? Well that’s pretty much what happened to Nashville Predators players Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn.
It was announced Tuesday morning that Radulov and Kostitsyn would be suspended for game three against Phoenix for “violating team rules.” Although Predators General Manger David Polie did not directly say why the players were suspended, Radulov gave us a little more information: "Like I didn't come back that late as we say, but like I said before, I don't want to talk about it."
Well, I guess this could explain why both Radulov and Kostitsyn played so terribly on Sunday night.
I honestly do not know how to look at this situation.
I understand that this is the Nashville Predators hockey club and they want to keep it under control. They have their set standards, but is a suspension a little rough?
The Predators are down 2-0 in the series and they definitely cannot afford to lose another game against the Coyotes. Although Radulov and Kostitsyn have not been the best players in round two, they are both pretty key players and their suspension could hurt Nashville’s chance for their next game.
David Polie also made a pretty witty comparison to the suspensions: "It’s not different than your family; someday you and your wife may have to have your twins sit in the corner for a timeout because of their behavior."
Ouch, sorry Rad and Kostitsyn. If you mess with the bull you’re going to get the horns.
David Polie says no matter what happens, win or lose, the club made the right decision.
If the boys “behave correctly” they will be back in game four on Friday.
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Playoff hockey is absolutely the most glorious thing I have ever seen. Why playoff hockey is not on every single television channel is a mystery to me. For about five hours a day, the only thing that matters to me are those 4 teams and 2 games. I can not think of anything more glorious than these large, sweating, bleeding men fighting for that godly piece of tin we all worship known as the Stanley Cup.
The best eight teams have prevailed as round two of the playoffs have begun. Every game gets better and better because everyday one team is closer to holding the cup in their hands.
Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes:
Well, Phoenix Yotes are up in the series against Nashville 2-0. Okay Trevor Stone and Thomas Haggerty, I’m sorry for doubting the Yotes. Personally, I do not see how this is happening. The Nashville Predators have some of the best group of players. They are aggressive, quick, and know how to put pucks in the net.
Pekka Rinne is an amazing goalie but is seriously failing the Predators for the playoffs right now. Rinne obviously has been doing well because he was able to bring his team to the playoffs and prevail in the first round. Yet, somehow the Coyotes have found his weakness. During the last two games Rinne has watched his stats fall, from a .944 save percentage to a .919. His goals-allowed has also dropped significantly from a 1.81 to a 2.51. If the Predators want to make it to round three, Rinne needs one serious pep talk.
Now that the Coyotes are in the playoffs, Phoenix has discovered that they have a hockey team! The Phoenix crowd has been surprinsgly good and have been keeping true to their “white out” theme. Maybe that’s why the Coyotes have been so amped to play. I do have to give the Coyotes some mad props…they may not have any big name guys on their team but they definitely are playing to win the cup.
Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues:
Blues, what are you doing? How can you take first place in the Western Conference, eliminate the Sharks with really no effort and then play this badly in the second round? Not only are they just losing, they are getting owned in their home arena. In game one, the Blues lost 3-1 and then game two 5-2. I’m hoping the amount of goals in this series do not turn in to numbers in the Flyers and Pens series.
The Blues are not playing like the Western Conference champions and are definitely not playing like they want the cup. The Kings on the other hand, are playing like the Kings of the NHL. Jonathan Quick is literally a Brick Wall. Vancouver could not get any pucks past him and now St. Louis faces the same challenge.
Penner, Greene, Brown, Kopitar and the rest of the Kings are playing with heart and skill and running over every team they play. This may be the year for the Los Angeles Kings.
Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils:
The Flyers are trying to make it happen again. The Flyers NJ series has just begun but the Flyers are once again fighting to move on to round three. The Flyers took a 4-3 overtime victory in game one. Briere scored an early OT goal but unfortunately, this is not soccer and his kicked in goal did not count. Briere redeemed himself minutes later sniping in the puck.
The Flyers have been an awesome team to watch this season. After watching the Road to the Winter Classic NHL 24/7 Rangers vs. Flyers, I have grown to really like the Flyers team and see the heart they have for the game and their team. I think the Devils are in trouble because the Flyers are playing like they want the cup.
New York Rangers and Washington Capitals:
This is definitely one of the series that will probably go to game seven. Both the Rangers and Caps are teams with a huge amount of skill and passion for the game. New York took game one in an unbelievable game. Nick Kreider, who earlier this month was a college student that led Boston College to an NCAA championship, was brought up into the Rangers roster because Carl Hagelin was suspended for three games after throwing an elbow at Ottowa Captain Daniel Alfredsson’s face.
Kreider has been kept in the roster after his amazing performance. Kreider is a power house and scored a sick goal in game one bringing the Rangers to a 2-1 lead. The Rangers ended up winning game one 3-1.
Game two belongs to the Caps. Alexander Ovechkin is seriously a beauty. In the third period Ovi sniped a beautiful top shelf goal giving the Caps a 3-2 lead and a victory in game two. The Caps and Rangers both have skill, aggression, passion, and the men to move on to the next round.
Basically, turn on your television now and watch the greatest sport in the greatest time of the year. Why?, Because it’s the cup.
Yesterday, I came home from an exhausting day of class, and all I wanted to do was come home, eat some flaming hot cheetos, drink a delicious Monster energy drink, and watch Pardon the Interruption (probably the best sports show on the television nowadays). I turned on PTI from that day, and what was the first issue they talked about? Fighting in hockey.
Tony and Wilbon began talking about the increase in violence during this year's playoffs and brought up the fact that many people believe that violence, especially fighting, was ruining the game. Um excuse me? When did America cut off its manhood and start whining about the amount of violence in sports? Did we forget that these professional athletes get paid millions of dollars to play a sport that they know is violent?
I can guarantee that not one hockey player was shocked when he played his first game and ended up getting a giant mass of a man making a big boy sandwich with him against the glass. Why? Because they knew what they were getting into. When you sign up for hockey, you know you are going to get hit, and if you are one of the bigger boys, you may have to do the whole stick, gloves, and shirt combo and fight. It's just part of the game.
Now, obviously some people aren't made for fighting. Case in point: Sydney "The Soft Kid" Crosby. He is a great player don't get me wrong, but he is a bit of a ***** and shouldn't be fighting (especially with a brain made out of pudding).
Did you ever see Gretzky fighting? The answer to that riddle is no. His job as a player was to score goals. The league already protects them enough as it is, and I don't want the NHL turning into the NFL by taking hits and fighting out of the league because some softies can't handle the sport they play.
There are players like Sean "I May Like Hotdogs" Avery, Tie "I'm No Flower" Domi, and Bob "One Half of the Bruise Brothers" Probert who were sent out onto the ice as enforcers and to light a fire under the team by putting an absolute shellacking on an opposing player or to protect their top goal scorer. That was their job and they did it well.
If the league ever decides to take fighting out of hockey, it will ruin the game forever. Just like if the NFL decides to ban kickoffs all together (and yes they have talked about taking the most exciting play in football out of the game). Taking fighting out of the game will have a major backlash, in my opinion, from fans all over the United States. For the hockey fans out there, one of the best rivalries in the sport is the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche. They hate each other and had some of the most exciting hockey games ever, especially when they met in the playoffs for a 7-game series. They just beat the s*** out of each other any chance they got. The rivalry was at its finest in the late '90s and hockey hasn't really been the same since the NHL started softening the league.
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Fighting is why people enjoy the sport. Look at this year's playoffs. TV ratings are through the roof because of physicality being displayed in the playoffs, most of which is coming from the Penguins and Flyers series.
Taking fighting out of the game won't improve the game and let the true beauty of the game come out in full color. If I wanted to see beauty and color on the ice, I would watch figure skating. Just skin-tight leotards, glitter, and rainbows everywhere. But I don't because I'm a man, and I want get all jacked up on Mountain Dew watching the game being played like it should. Goons are a part of the game. They bring just as much excitement, maybe even more, when they step out on the ice because fans know, that once they are out on the frozen water, there is always a chance of a big hit or fight. If you eliminate them from the game, you may as well just make them play without helmets, wear tutus and leotards, and have the game decided by the best choreography and difficulty of the jumps. Basically just a bunch of Kenny Wu's skating around holding hands while Lady Gaga is blasting throughout the arena.
PS - If you are a hockey fan, I suggest you watch the movie "Goon". Just a good old fashioned hockey flick.
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Named after W.C. Handy’s song “The St. Louis Blues”, the Blues are playing to the origin of their name on a high note. The Blues are part of the first expansion in the NHL in 1967 and went to the Stanley Cup their first 3 years but were unsuccessful.
Reaching the second round of the playoffs for just the 2nd time in 10 plus years the St. Louis Blues have some unfinished business to take care of. Especially because they've had the longest playoff streak (25 years) and still did not win Lord Stanley’s Cup.
But a new team and new coach this year gives all fans hope. The tough nosed, old school coaching of Ken Hitchcock combined with savvy Cup vets like Arnott and Langenbrunner from the Devils and Andy McDonald from the Ducks have been the needed experience to help push the younger talented athletes to their peak.
With the 2 top goaltenders of the regular season, number 1 defense and puck control, the Blues have all the pieces together to make the run.
It's now a matter of if they want it bad enough or not, and are they willing to put it all together at the time they need it the most. Injuries and poor decision making are no excuse and wont be tolerated from a coach or fans perspective.
The pressure might be on but that is when you see a team’s true character. Hopefully they can get some confidence and perseverance rubbed off from their fellow city sports team like the St. Louis Cardinals and go on a magical run.
So with the playoff beard in full growth and the games more important than ever it is time to step up and make some ‘Blues noise’!
The NHL “Battle of Pennsylvania” has officially turned into the Civil War of Pennsylvania. The 40-year-old rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers has become much more than a cross-town rivalry, but instead a heated battle between players fighting (literally) to continue on to the next round of the playoffs.
The Penguins and Flyers series is easily the craziest and most exciting series currently going on in the NHL playoffs. The teams have challenged each other in three games so far (two in Pittsburgh and one in Philadelphia), where surprisingly the under-dog Flyers have taken all three wins in some really strange games.
Game one was one that was much anticipated. It took place on the first night of the NHL playoffs so everyone, and I mean everyone was watching this game. Based on the final standings, past history, and stats between the two teams, I obviously, like most other people, chose the Pens to take game one.
After one period of play, the Penguins took an overwhelming 3-0 lead over the Flyers. After this quick 3-0 lead it was looking like this could possibly be an upset series for the Flyers. The Penguins crowd loved it.
The second period came around and the Flyers men remembered how to play hockey. The Flyers were on the board after Briere scored in the mid second. Briere’s goal was absolutely destructive to the Penguins.
During the third period Flyers were able to get pucks to the net once again by Briere and Schenn to tie the game up. The Penguins remained scoreless during the second and third period bringing frustration on to the ice. The third ended all tied up to send the game into OT.
What an upset for the home Pens. Jake Voracek scored the game winning OT goal leaving the Flyers with a very important road win.
Overall, the game was pretty calm despite the huge upset in Pittsburgh and a few shenanigans on the ice. There were no crazy fights that took place but the war had just begun.
Game 2 was another game in Pittsburgh where the Penguins were eager to redeem themselves from the embarrassing loss 48 hours earlier.
The first period was pretty much a repetition of game one. The Pens captain Sidney Crosby scored in the first 15 seconds of the game getting nice momentum going for the Pens. The only difference between this game and game one was the Flyers managed to sneak in a goal late in the third ending the first period with the Pens leading 3-1.
Second period started and once again the Flyers remembered that they were in the middle of a playoff hockey game. The game picked up pace and players started to get rough. The Flyers put two pucks past Fleury in the middle of the period tying up the score. Seconds later the Pens answered back taking back the lead. With three seconds left Flyers scored once again tying the game 4-4. We had ourselves a damn good playoff hockey game.
In the third period the Penguins literally fell apart. I’m not quite sure what happened in the locker room before the third period but whatever it was, destroyed them. The Flyers scored four goals while the Pens only managed to pick up one. Both Flyers Giroux and Courtier picked up a hat trick and the Pens crowd was enlightened with the infamous Jagr Salute. The third ended with a second Flyers road win with a ridiculous 8-5 final score.
The pace of this game was insane. So much frustration and tension between the players graced the ice. With two upsets at home for the Penguins, they knew they had to change whatever they were doing for the next game, or should I say war, that would take place in Philadelphia.
First off I’d like to start with a lovely post-game-three quote from Penguins Captain Sidney “cry baby” Crosby: “I don’t like any guy on the (Flyers) team”. With that said, you could probably guess how game three turned out.
I would break down game three like I did with the other ones, but there was so much more than just play and goals. I would say that this was one of the most emotional and greatest hockey games I have ever watched. From the time that the puck dropped until the final buzzer, these men were at war with each other.
Three long periods in Philadelphia included punches, pushing, slashing, hitting and even some hair pulling to total 38 game penalties adding up to 158 penalty minutes. During the game the entire Philly crowd joined in chanting “Crosby sucks!” and “You can’t beat us!” . Fortunately for Philly, both appeared to be true. I wish I could explain the intensity of the game but no words possibly could. Therefore, you’re going to have to watch part of it yourself: Basically s*** starts to hit the ceiling at 3 minutes into the video.
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The teams battle out again tonight once again in Philly. The Flyers have a chance to eliminate the Pens at home and we all know the Pens are going to do everything in their power to not let that happen. There is not a chance that tonights game will be any less intense than game three so it definitely will not be one to miss. The only question left is will the Flyers prevail and take the series or will the war continue back in Pittsburgh for game five?
Although the NHL season is completely over in June, (which puts me in short term depression), boy do I love the month of June anyways…why? THE DRAFT. Being a prospect encyclopedia, I’ve been looking forward to June 22, 2012 for quite a while now. This year the 2012 NHL draft will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania….but who cares about that…This year there are so many great names prospected to go in the first round I do not even know where to begin!
Well, actually I do. Out of the junior hockey I have been watching this year, one guy seems to have grabbed my attention is Zemgus Girgensons. Not only does his name alone grab your attention but also this Latvian Locomotive has something special.
Zemgus Girgensons: This Latvian powerhouse is no doubt going far. Zemgus Girgensons, who currently plays for the Dubuque Fighting Saints is currently prospected to go 17th in the 1st round of the 2012 draft. Not only does this kid have skill, he plays with a passion and love for the game. “Z” (called by many including his coach to shorten his Latvian name) shows exceptional leaderships skills as he wears the “C” on his jersey for the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Girgensons is a Latvia native who came to the states to play hockey for the Green Mountain Glades of the EmJHL in 2009 and was later moved up to the Glades EJHL later in the season. During his 2009-2010 season with the Glades, he generated a total of 57 points, pretty impressive for his first season in the United States. Girgensons traveled back to Latvia where he played for team Latvia in the 18U division. Although he only managed to get a goal and assist in the series, the Dubuque Fighting Saints noticed the heart and skill that he possessed for the game and drafted him to the USHL for the 2010-2011 season…good god Fighting Saints.
Girgensons absolutely killed his first season with the Fighting Saints collecting 21 goals and 28 assists for a total of 49 points. He once again traveled back to his homeland to play for team Latvia 20U. Girgensons once again was unstoppable bringing in 7 points for his team; almost quadruple the amount of points as the year before. He returned to Dubuque this season with the honor of being the captain of his team. Girgensons recently collected his 50th point (22 goals and 28 assists), just passing last seasons 49. Dubuque still has two games left and Girgensons will undoubtedly pass his 50 marks.
Zemgus is only getting better every game he plays. Although I’m not able to watch his games due to my unfortunate distance problems, I’m always following the highlight videos of this kid. He is crazy on the ice. He posses every characteristic you could want in a hockey player for the 2012 draft. He wears the “C” on his jersey proving that he’s a leader on and off the ice. His soft hands are dangerous around the net. He is not the least bit afraid to get aggressive. His hits are brutal and he straight drop kids to the ice. If he doesn’t like what is going on, the gloves are dropped. Girgensons and Team USA first round prospect Jacob Trouba dropped the gloves at center ice last month. Zemgus went into the fight fearless and aggressive but went down in one punch from a lead fist. However, Girgensons still put up a good fight and proved that he was not afraid to fight against bigger players like Trouba. When I asked Girgensons what happened he told me “he slipped”. Ha, okay Z, I’ll let you have that one.
The best part about Girgensons is that his passion for the game is like none other. Personally, I believe that’s how he got this far. You don’t see many players from Latvia, especially with this talent level. He works his ass off on and off the ice and it truly shows. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Z on an off ice level and he is definitely a person to get to know. He is real, humble, and passionate when it comes to his hockey. He is extremely focused on his schoolwork and determined to do well due to his commitment to play at the University of Vermont next year.
Girgensons recent game statistics have been exceptional. He has had a hat trick, a game-winning penalty shot, many regular goals, and a variety of assists to lead his team to victories and an important win over Waterloo Black Hawks to collect the Cowbell Cup in which these two teams play for each year. The Fighting Saints have already secured a playoff spot and are looking to once again repeat their playoff victory and regain the Clark Cup. With Girgensons on the team, chances are likely.
Already drafted by the KHL (Russian professional hockey league) and the WHL, the only thing that Girgensons is waiting for is the NHL. Girgensons will undoubtedly be one of the dominant picks in the draft this year. No matter where he ends up, Girgensons has one bright NHL future.
Well, the question has been brought to me: “If you could have one player on your team heading into the playoffs, who would you want it to be?” I don’t even have to take a minute to think about this…Steve Stamkos. Where does this guy even come from? There is no possible way that he is human. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Stamkos have a bad game or go a game without having a goal…or three. But seriously, Stamkos is a 22 year-old guy with to me, the most astounding talent in the NHL. He literally knows nothing but dangling, soft hands, and goals.
Throughout the NHL season, Stamkos has proven himself to be one of the leading players in the NHL. Stamkos went into the last regular season game and last game for the Lightning last Saturday with a total of 59 goals. He went into the game vs. the Winnipeg Jets determined to finish off the season with a clean 60. Stamkos fought for two long periods but came short every time he had the opportunity. Early in the 3rd period, Stamkos did it. With a clean pass from teammate Martin St. Louis, Stamkos was able to snipe the puck in past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec.
Although the game was played in Winnipeg and the fans spent most of the game booing Stamkos, he was given a standing ovation by 15,000 fans when he hit 60. Stamkos is one of 19 guys to ever score 60 goals in a season and one of the two (along with Alexander Ovechkin) to score 60 in 15 years. Stamkos has put himself on the list with some of the greats including Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Brett Hull.
Clearly Stamkos’s skill exceeds above the rest. His 60-goal lead obviously puts him at the number one spot for the “Rocket Richard Trophy”. The Rocket Richard is awarded to the player that scores the most goals in a regular season. Stamkos received the Rocket Richard in the 2009-2010 season collecting 51 goals. Last year Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks stole it away from Stamkos but it looks like the Rocket Richard will be back in Stamkos’s possession. Behind Stamkos in the running was Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Malkin finished 10 goals behind Stamkos. Looks like the NHL has already carved a nice bold STAMKOS in to the trophy and called it a season for the Rocket Richard.
Because Stamkos is literally an unstoppable powerhouse, the question has been brought up as if he is a candidate for the Hart trophy (MVP of the NHL). Stamkos is also up against a variety of players including Evgeni Malkin and Erik Karlsson for this award but unfortunately for Stamkos, Malkin and Karlsson have the advantage of the Penguins and Senators making the play-offs to benefit their chances of receiving the Hart Trophy. Obviously the finished 10th place Tampa Bay Lightening did not make the play-offs, which will hurt Stamkos’s chances for the Hart.
Even if he doesn’t receive the Hart, Stamkos is still in the running for the most prestigious NHL award, which is let alone an honor.
So why, out of ANY player in the NHL would I want Stamkos on my team? Well, I may not be a Tampa Bay Lightning fan (then again who actually watches hockey in Florida) but I have found myself absolutely obsessed with Steve Stamkos. Every fan, coach, player and opponent knows the danger of Stamkos having the puck. He is a guy that is running the show.
Stamkos puts himself above the rest because he is more than just a one-dimensional player. He plays with speed, style and knows the ropes of the game better than any player. Not only is he an undodgeable sniper, but he is always one step ahead of the game, knowing where the puck will be at all times to make the necessary moves for his team to get the puck in the net.
From a fan perspective, It’s quite unfortunate that Stamkos won’t be making an appearance in the playoffs. What fan doesn’t want to see the best goal scorer and most exciting player in the NHL continue to the playoffs? It will definitely be a long anticipated five months before we get to see Stamkos return to what he does best. I can only imagine what this guy is going to bring to the 2012-2013 season.
With the NHL playoffs just around the corner, so is preparation for the greatest tradition in all of sports. ‘Tis the season to be jollier than any other, The Playoff Beard season. Since the beginning of time, men have grown their facial hair for warmth, intimidation factors and to non-verbally tell others, “Hey, I’m one bad son of a *****.
To have a Face Forest is the true mark of a real man in my eyes. Growing face pubes is the manliest thing any man can do. Why? Because no matter how much woman want equality with men, they’ll never be able to grow beautiful and luscious French Ticklers like us.
Look back at all the great and true men to have possessed chin pubes: Charles Darwin, Kenny Rogers, Abe Lincoln, Paul Bunyan, Macho Man Randy Savage, ZZ Top, Chuck Norris, Dumbledore, Tom Hanks in Castaway, Santa Clause, and (unbeknowingly to Shooter Mcgavin) Grizzly Adams. Boogie Holders. Crumb Collectors. Elevated Pubic Hair. No matter what you call them, they’re the true mark of a man. But whoooooopty do, what does it all mean Basil?
In the 80’s, the New York Islanders professional hockey team grew beards after the regular season. As soon as playoffs started, the rule was that you couldn’t shave until you’ve won the Stanley cup/got knocked out. That was the mark that gave birth to the greatest tradition in all of sports. Now, men in all levels of all sports grow beards come playoff time.
If you’re having trouble thinking of what is considered a strong NHL playoff beard, Google search “Mike Commodore”, “Henrik Zetterberg”, or “Scott Hartnell”. Look back at the last couple championship teams in any sport the last couple years and you’ll find that the best teams had the best Face Sweaters.
Superbowl winner DE Brett Keisel of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pau Gasol of the 2009/2010 NBA championship Lakers, Brian Wilson of the 2010 SF Giants World Series champs, and my personal favorite, Jonathan Toews of the 2010 Stanley Cup championship Chicago Blackhawks. My point, winners wear Cookie Monsters on their faces.
Many players have interesting interpretations of the playoff beard. Beards come in all shapes, sizes, and thickness. Here are just a few notable styles. There’s the Apatche beard, made famous by Sid “The Soft Kid” Crosby, the infamous Dick Tickler sported by George Parros, Scott “Big Red” Hartnell’s signature Red Jaw Fur, Marc-Andre “The French Fur” Fleury’s Goatee, the classic Peach Fuzz on the face of Valtteri Flippula, and last and certainly least, the “Children of the Corn” Sedin Twins Identical Ball Warmers.
Nobody takes the Playoff Beard more seriously than the men of the NHL. Once again, the NHL making everyone else in any other sport look like a bunch of baby backs. Just another reason why the NHL post-season playoffs are the greatest and most exciting playoffs in American professional sports.
There is a little less than a month remaining in the NHL regular season and my boys the Red Wings, are in a pretty big slump. They literally can’t even buy a game. The Wings all-star goalie is always hurt, which results in them having to put in their scrub city back up, Ty Conklin. The dude has had one good game in the past month. He was so awful they had to bring up their other goalie from the AHL to keep that record setting home win streak intact. Thank you Mr. Joey McDonald.
Maybe I shouldn’t be worried because the Red Wings seem to pull this every year. They just kill it up till the all-star break, and if they are lucky they continue for a few weeks after. Then March rolls up and the Red Wings decide to either relax or get injured.
Now the Wings are slipping down the ranks of the Western Conference and may get stuck with another touch matchup in the 2nd round. This kind of performance is why I get just lower my expectations for the playoffs. I am constantly expecting them to lose in the first round because of how awful they are playing. At least there is no chance of them slipping out of the playoffs, but you never know with this team.
If the Red Wings 20-year playoff streak ends on a Boston Red Sox type of losing streak, I may quick sports all together.
I need Mr. Babcock to get himself together and wake the players up and bring them back to reality. He needs to tell old Lidstrom to take some Advil or Aleve for his arthritis (or whatever they are telling old people to take). Maybe even slap on a few Icy-Hot Pads like Shaq used to use when he was 40 and trying to play.
I need Howard to stop eating tampons for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and get back in the net. I don’t care if they have to strap him to the goal like they did to Goldberg in the Might Ducks movies. That’s at least 69% percent better than what Detroit has going on right now.
All in all, the Wings need to start winning again so they can get a top 3 seed for the playoffs. If they could at least win the rest of their home games I will be happy because then I wont have to be worried about losing home games in the playoffs. I would just greatly appreciate a Stanley Cup this year boys.
Though relatively unexciting with only 16 total trades made this season, some teams in the NHL managed to make one final push to up their chances of a good playoff run before this years trade deadline. Unfortunately, a couple teams seemed lost and more confused then a small child alone in a mall when it came to the trading game. So, here are a few winners and losers from this year’s Trade-A-Palooza.
The poor Canucks have had some rough playoff series the last couple of years. If history has taught us anything, it’s that the city of Vancouver can’t afford to lose another Stanley Cup final, and by that I mean fans burning down the city and starting World War III. Whether it’s from undisciplined power play and penalty kills in the playoffs, or a lack of clutchness (I’m looking at you Luongo), the Canucks have failed to put together a complete playoff run. Judging from their moves this trade deadline, the Canucks were looking for major changes on both sides of the puck.
The Canucks picked up the 6ft 4, 228lb 21-year-old Man Child that is Zach Kassian from the Sabres playground, along with fellow Sabre teammate and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani. Kassian has already proved to be the big bad physical power winger the Canucks hoped he’d be alongside the Canucks 2nd line members Ryan Kessler and David Booth. Gragnani is a great pick up defensively who can attack the puck on the forward side as well has hold down the blue line on the Canucks power play. Last but not least, the Canucks managed to hang on to their backup goaltender Cory Schneider, who will most likely come in handy not IF, but WHEN Luongo decides to lay an egg in the playoffs and run out of fuel like an imploding star.
I use the term “winner” loosely here because the King’s offense is anything but winning holding the title for worse offensive team in the league with an embarrassing 134 goals on the season. I know more guys who rock Puka Shell necklaces that have managed to score more then these guys which makes the Jeff Carter deal make that much more sense.
The Kings desperately needed offense, and having already acquired Mike Richards over the summer, bringing fellow Flyer teammate and old cabin bunk buddy Carter over means immediate chemistry on the forward end.
New York Rangers
Why the Rangers were reluctant to give up some players for Rick Nash is beyond me. The Rangers would have become an immediate offensive threat in the playoffs, and a favorite in the Eastern Conference. Instead, who does Rangers GM Glen Sather go after? John Scott, a 6-8, 270-pound goon from the Blackhawks who enjoys swinging fisticuffs through peoples skulls. Congrats Rangers, but fists the size of Mount Rushmore don’t win you beer filled Stanley Cups.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Nothing sucks more balls than having a cancer-like situation regarding a disgruntled and unhappy player on your team, just ask the Sacramento Kings and “humble” DeMarcus Cousins.
Right-winger and team captain Rick Nash is going to have to sack up for another 2 months with by far the worse team in the NHL at 18-37-7. Now, Columbus is going to have to be stuck with an unfaithful husband, even after Nash emotionally flirted with various teams the past couple weeks and more likely than not sent them nudey pics to persuade them to do a trade for him. I don’t blame him.
The rat race for the last playoff spots is winding down as the NHL regular season comes to end. With only three more weeks to play, Western Conference teams are doing anything they can to get those last points. Because so many teams are so close to that 8th spot, every game counts, and every team knows that. Who will prevail and who will fall? Who’s in and who’s out? Lets lay it out:
In the Western conference the few teams that have secured a playoff spot are the St. Louis Blues who are currently leading the NHL in points, the Vancouver Canucks, the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, and most likely the Chicago Blackhawks. That leaves two playoff spots left, but five teams battling for them. The Phoenix Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche are tied in the 7th and 8th spots but only one point behind them are the tied Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks who are closely followed by the Calgary Flames. So what teams are going to fill the spots?
Coyotes: I’ve never been a big fan of the “Yotes” (sorry Trevor Stone). Although they made it into the playoffs the past two years, the Coyotes haven’t seemed to have what it takes to take it all the way. If they do make it to the playoffs, chances are they won’t make it past the Red Wings again (ha ha).
Avalanche: I definitely see Colorado holding on to one of the last spots and even going far in the playoffs. Rookie Gabriel Landeskog is doing huge things for the team. At only age 19 and in his first season of the NHL, Landeskog is scoring big and racked up 13 points in the month of February making him NHL’s Top Rookie of the month. Avalanche will definitely clench one of the last two spots.
Kings: Although I am a die-hard Ducks fan, I am rooting for the Kings for this one. You can tell that the LA Kings want one of those spots. With their recent big trade (Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter) you would think that the Kings would be a little shaken up but it’s just the opposite. They are not only playing tough but with heart. Jonathan Quick continues to make big saves and I would be surprised if the Kings weren’t in one of the 8 spots.
Sharks: Don’t get me wrong, the Sharks are a great team but they just lack the heart and drive that other teams do. The Sharks are a talented group of guys and seem to be a team that is always in the playoffs but can never make it all the way. I think the Kings will take the spot over the Sharks.
Flames: Calgary has struggled with the playoffs the past few years. Although Calgary is fighting, they recently fell to the bottom two teams, the Edmonton Oilers and the Columbus Blue Jackets, hurting their chances of one of the last spots.
It doesn’t look like there is a spot for the Ducks, Wild, Oilers, and Blue Jackets this year:
Earlier this season the Ducks fell into a losing slump, with a coaching change form Carlyle to Boudreau and high hopes, the Ducks were looking up after the All-Star break in January. The Ducks miraculously were making a comeback winning the games they needed to find a playoff spot, unfortunately the Ducks were just a little too late and it doesn’t look like they will be generating the number of points they need for that number 8 spot. I am quite upset that I don’t get to see my team play in the playoffs this year but hey, it could be worse, I could be a Leafs fan.
I’m personally not surprised about the Oilers. They have lived in playoff struggle city ever since they lost in the Stanley Cup finals in 2006. Minnesota Wild was doing alright for a little but the Wild hasn’t put up a good fight for a while and their lack of a cup shows it.
No need to explain Columbus. They generated half the points as the first place Blues, so no spot was welcome for the Blue Jackets.
Three weeks to play, five teams fighting, 2 spots to fill. Let the Western Conference rat race continue!