Monday, November 21, 2011

The Comeback Kid

It was a Pittsburgh Perfect night tonight for the Penguins.
Not since Mario Lemieux came back from retirement has Steel City been so emotional about the return of a hockey player. But keep in mind, this is no ordinary hockey player. This is Sidney Crosby, the Golden Boy of hockey.

Out for 11 months after suffering a Grade II concussion, the topic of Crosby's absence, though glaring and apparent, was starting to fade away. But when the Penguins announced that Crosby’s doctors cleared him to return to the ice on Monday against the New York Islanders, the NHL radar almost blew up. His return was so hyped that I was brought back to 1995, when at the tender age of 9 I witnessed Michael Jordan’s monumental return to the NBA.

The immense hype over his comeback overshadowed everything else, mainly the concern that there would be too much pressure placed on the Kid. After all, he’d just come back from a serious concussion. No mere human being can be expected to do superhuman things after going through an ordeal like that.

Well, apparently, Sidney Crosby is no mere human being. He was welcomed into the Consol Energy Center with so much jubilation that you’d think it was the Stanley Cup Final and he was lifting the Cup.

Tonight’s game also marked the first time in the last 103 regular season games that Crosby, Malkin and Staal were all in the lineup.
With that being said, it's pretty safe to say that the Penguins just took over as the top team in the NHL.

Sid picked up right where he left off on December 28th, 2010 (the last time he scored a goal) with a sharp backhand that sent the puck flying right over Anders Nilsson’s shoulder.

And the points just kept rolling in for Pittsburgh’s star of the night. 10 minutes after opening up the scoresheet, Sid nabbed the assist on Brooks Orpik’s slapshot.
In the second period, Kris Letang took a beauty of a feed from Crosby, passed it on to Evgeni Malkin, and once again Nilsson was undressed.
Surprisingly, the next Pittsburgh goal, courtesy of Steve Sullivan, did not involve Crosby at all. But no matter, he’d make up for it in the final frame.

Sid started the game, and he ended it with another sweet backhand, just two minutes into the third.
Two points and two assists in his first game back since January 5th. He’s already surpassed 10 other players on the roster on the stats sheet. The kid just insists on creating a spectacle.

Anyone who decided to tune in to Crosby’s first game back was certainly not disappointed with his debut performance. Hype or no hype, Crosby played a solid game at both ends of the ice. He even took a couple of hard hits and bounced back quickly, showing that he’s not exempt from the fast-paced physicality of the game.

In the span of 60 minutes, the National Hockey League was reminded of why Crosby is the ultimate representation of the game. Regardless of how big the stage is, he shows up and manages to fill the entire space with his larger-than-life presence, skill, and all-around greatness as a player.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Next, Next One?

Keep an eye out for Nathan MacKinnon. The 16-year old forward from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia has been dubbed “the next Sidney Crosby.” Sure, people in the hockey world have said this before of other young players, but none have yet achieved even half of what Crosby has so far (John Tavares, anyone?). And while at 16, it’s impossible to tell whether MacKinnon will actually live up to this prestigious comparison, the current similarities are definitely there.

MacKinnon began his career playing minor hockey in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, (Sid Similarity #1) where he quickly made his mark, recording 200 points in 50 games. At the bantam level he played for the Cole Harbour Red Wings for two years, ending each season with 110 and 145 points respectively. From there, MacKinnon was enrolled at the prestigious hockey school, Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Sid Similarity #2). He averaged more than 2 points a game with Shattuck-St. Mary’s under-16 program, and though he was the second youngest player on the team, ranked second in scoring midway through the season.

Now playing for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, MacKinnon is favorited to be the number one selection for his draft year (Sid Similarity #3).

Now if MacKinnon’s past career’s similarities to Crosby’s aren’t enough to sway you in his favor, check out his stats for the QMJHL season to date: In 19 games played, MacKinnon has 10 goals and 20 assists for an overall 30 points. You have to admit, that’s pretty impressive.

And there’s one last thing that MacKinnon shares with his big-league counterpart: humility. Last year, MacKinnon told a Canadian newspaper “I know I’ll never be Sidney Crosby. I just want to play my own game and not his. I don’t like to compare myself to him too much, because you can’t. He’s too good.”

With another year left before he's eligible for the NHL Entry Draft, MacKinnon, who is known by his coaches and peers as the "undersized forward with the heart the size of an elephant," just needs to focus on improving his play and not let the Crosby comparisons get to his head.

Who knows, in time he may very well be The Next Next One.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Roman Holiday

Can you imagine if the Calgary Flames were playing this season with defenceman Tim Erixon instead of center Roman Horak?

The Flames selected young Erixon 23rd overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, hoping to benefit from his well-roundedness and good vision on the ice. But somewhere in between then and earlier this year, something went awry and GM Jay Feaster traded him to the New York Rangers. It was generally perceived that Erixon was traded because he refused to sign with the club.

This news came as a slap in the face to Flames fans. Sure, the team hadn't made the playoffs in a couple of years, and the team's rebuilding phase was a slow-going one, but for a rookie to snub the team that drafted him into the NHL was an abomination.

In the process of trading the traitor (as Erixon is now inevitably known as in the city of Calgary) the Flames acquired 20-year old Roman Horak.
As fate would have it, Horak has remained one of the few prospects who survived the Flames training camp and went on to play a few NHL games in the regular season, edging out such promising players as Lance Bouma and TJ Brodie. And in those few games, Horak has managed to notch 2 goals and 3 assists. Erixon, on the other hand, was demoted to the juniors early on in the season, without a point to his name.

Perhaps Horak isn't as highly touted a rookie as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Nazem Kadri, but his presence on the ice has definitely been felt and much appreciated. He's injected a jolt of youthful energy and enthusiasm into the Flames roster (which is much needed, especially right now as 22-year old center Mikael Backlund is out recovering from a broken finger). His excitement on the ice is clear during each and every game, as demonstrated by the impatient rocking back and forth on the bench and liveliness of his stride as he gets off it.

If Horak can keep it up he could very well become an integral part of the Flames roster, and his teammates have no doubt he can do it.
"It's great to see a young guy that wants to learn and works hard every day," Ollie Jokinen had said of Horak on Wednesday, following the game that saw the youngster score his very first NHL goal. "He's only going to get better."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mighty Miikka

October 18, 2011

Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers

The first Battle of Alberta game was made even more special when the Calgary Flames honoured starting goalie Miikka Kiprusoff on reaching a milestone: surpassing Mike Vernon as the franchise's all-time leader with 263 wins. And though throughout the majority of the game it looked like his number would stay at 263 for the time being, the Flames rallied from a 1-0 deficit and Kiprusoff made an unbelievable toe-pad save in the final seconds, leading the home team to a 2-1 victory.

Click HERE to see the video

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Center, New York Islanders

In the last 5 games:
5 Goals
3 Assists
8 Pts

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Knockout And A Beatdown

It was a busy night in the NHL and there was certainly a lot to talk about when all 10 games wrapped up. But the games that had the most tongues wagging were the Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals and the Calgary Flames vs Montreal Canadiens.

The Pens-Caps game got of to a quick start when James Neal drew first blood for the home team and got the Consol Energy Center roaring. But the crowd was silenced in the second when Mike Knuble evened up the scoreboard, and early in the third Pittsburgh's Public Enemy No. 1 Alex Ovechkin scored the go-ahead goal to bring the tally to 2-1 Washington.
The highlight of the game, which was more of a lowlight in actuality, was the FIGHT between Arron Asham and Jay Beagle. After roughing up Kris Letang hard enough to send Letang’s helmet flying, Beagle found himself squaring off in a fight with Asham. It was a fairly good tilt until Asham KO’d Beagle, then skated off to the box while making a ‘sleeper’ motion as if to taunt Beagle for passing out. The incident caused an uproar; later Asham admitted that the gesture was classless and apologized for it.
After 16 scoreless minutes, Neal got himself a tying powerplay goal to prevent the game from ending in regulation. The extra frame saw Dennis Wideman shoot a wrister to beat Brent Johnson. But it wasn't all bad for the Penguins; the extra point they earned kept them atop the Eastern Conference in standings, and today it was officially announced that captain Sidney Crosby has finally been cleared for contact.

In their home opener, the Montreal Canadiens hosted the Calgary Flames, and in the first 5 minutes of the game the Habs’ Andrei Kostitsyn threw a goal past Miikka Kiprusoff. Considering how the Flames had been playing of late, this early goal was almost unanimously thought of as an indication of how the rest of the game was going to play out.
But something sparked the Flames and there was an offensive explosion shortly after, with 2 powerplay goals by Rene Bourque and Niklas Hagman, and a pretty wristshot from David Moss.
The Flames padded their lead in the following period, thanks to Bourque’s second of the night, and despite a flurry of chances, the Habs could not beat Kiprusoff, who made several amazing saves in the third, particularly one complete robbery of a shot by Habs captain Brian Gionta.
At the sound of the buzzer, the final score was 4-1 for the Flames. With their first win of the season, the Flames hope to gain momentum and start climbing the ranks of the Western Conference, where they are currently second-last, just above the Columbus Blue Jackets.

There were 2 potential milestones to be reached in tonight’s game, involving both teams' goalies. If the Habs had won, Carey Price would have earned his 100th career win. But instead it was Miikka Kiprusoff who made his mark, surpassing Mike Vernon for the franchise record with 263 wins.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals, October 13th, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Capital Victory

The Ottawa Senators came into their home opener against the Minnesota Wild with a record of 0-2 and frankly, no one was really surprised. They were struggling in the few seasons past, and are most likely to continue the struggle for a little while longer.
Sens fans were not in a pretty mood at the beginning of the game, not only booing former Senator Dany Heatley as he skated onto the ice, but also current roster member Sergei Gonchar.

The first period didn't give the fans much more to cheer about, as the Wild proceeded to build up a 2-goal lead. Halfway through the second, youngster Nick Foligno put a wrister past Niklas Backstrom to cut the deficit in half.

But the third period was where the game really got interesting. The Wild's Nick Johnson scored an unassisted goal in the first 2 minutes of play, but was answered by --not one, but two!-- goals from the Senators' Chris Neil and Colin Greening. Craig Anderson managed to stave away a third regulation loss for his team to send the game to a shootout.

Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza potted their first two attempts easily, while Mikko Koivu's failure to score put the game in Daniel Alfredsson's hands. And those very capable hands delivered, as the captain made no mistake as he calmly but beautifully tucked the puck right over Backstrom's shoulder. The team captain scoring the GAME-WINNING SHOOTOUT GOAL: nothing says storybook ending quite like it.

It was a much-needed win for the Senators, and it couldn't have happened in a better place than on home ice.
The team plays another home game against the Colorado Avalanche before hitting the road to face against one of the NHL's elite teams, the Washington Capitals.

Ottawa Senators vs Minnesota Wild, October 11th, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hockey Nights In Canada

After months and months of wondering "Is it October yet?" hockey fans can finally switch on the television and know that it is time.
Depending on what team you cheer for, this summer may or may not have been an eventful one, but fall is finally here and it is the month of fresh starts.

Quite a lot has happened in the NHL since the Boston Bruins starred in their very own version of Miracle On Ice against the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. From triumph (the city of Winnipeg finally has its hockey team back after 15 years) to tragedy (the deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, Wade Belak and the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL team made this an unbelievably sad summer for the sport) the drama that unfolded around the league in the offseason made life pretty riveting for any hockey buff.

But with only 1 more day until the official start of the season, the attention is now shifting from what happened to what is about to happen.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens are the only Canadian teams to play on opening night, with the Calgary Flames making their on-ice debut on October 8 and the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers on October 9.

There is a lot to look forward to, with the return of the Jets to Winnipeg being the main storyline. There's also the tale of the Oilers' young guns. Magnus Pajaarvi, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are now more comfortable playing in the big league in their sophomore season, and no doubt the world is anxious to see what they can do this time around.
The Calgary Flames, who were very optimistic this summer about being playoff-bound, are suffering a few setbacks just weeks before the season opener. Jarome Iginla missed all of the preseason games due to a back injury, Rene Bourque was also out since training camp due to an undisclosed "mystery" injury, and most recently, young forward Mikael Backlund broke a finger and will be out for approximately 6 weeks.
Carey Price, coming off of a remarkable breakout season, is coming into the next one with the entire weight of Montreal on his shoulders. He proved to thousands of Habs fans that he had what it took, and now he needs to prove that he will have it for years to come.
And perhaps no other Canadian team will be as finely scrutinized as the Canucks, who rose up the ranks to become the NHL's most formidable team only to be cut down slowly and surely by the resilient Bruins in the finals.

Unlike history, hockey seasons rarely repeat themselves, so it's tough to gauge what will happen in the next seven months. The only guarantee is that it's going to be a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat, eyes-wide-shut winter. So let's get this show on the ice!

Saturday nights are just not the same without Don Cherry and Ron Maclean

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Evolution Of Carey Price

During last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, Carey Price played only one game throughout the Montreal Canadiens' remarkable run. The hockey world was in shock when the team traded off their playoff star Jaroslav Halak and named Price their starting goaltender. And it seems like it was just yesterday when, during the 2010-2011 preseason, the crowd at the Bell Center in Montreal emphatically booed him as he skated on and off the ice.

After the notorious booing incident, Price issued a statement to Habs fans via the media: "Chill."
For the passionate hockey fans in Montreal, this was a bold, almost insolent statement. After all, they live and breathe hockey over there, and no self-respecting Canadiens fan is willing to sit back and "chill" when the playoff future of their beloved age-old franchise is at stake.
But things have certainly changed for the small-town British Columbia native. Since then, it seems Price has taken his own advice and has become more calm, more steady, and more confident in net as the Habs' starting goaltender. In the span of 82 games we have watched the young goalie grow into a player who could very well be the reason the Habs repeat last year's extrordinary post-season story.

He's a candidate for the Vezina Trophy, though that honor is sure to go to veteran Tim Thomas and his incredible comeback. Price was a few games short of reaching and breaking several franchise records, needing only 9 more wins in the regular season to catch up to the legendary Jacques Plante for most victories in a season at 42. He played more minutes than any other goaltender in the league during the 2010-2011 season. Not to mention that his shutout total for the season is double the amount of shutouts he's had in his previous 3 years in the NHL combined.

12 months ago, Price was merely the backup netminder for his surging Habs, sitting meekly on the bench, while all eyes (including his own) were on Halak. But through the course of the year, he has stepped up to the plate and assumed the responsibility given to him of being the starting goalie for a team that represents the very essence of Canadian hockey. It's a lot of pressure, but somehow he's done it.

Price is almost a completely different person on the ice nowadays, known for his acrobatic saves, humorous gestures and memorable celebrations. Forget the captain Gionta, the cocky but dynamic rookie Subban or the learned veteran Gill. Carey Price runs the show on the Canadiens roster. And if he continues to play the way he did in the first game of the 2011 NHL Playoffs, it won't be long until he's running the entire province of Quebec.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Hero On And Off The Ice

April 3, 1994

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Boston Bruins

Though still listed as day-to-day because of his recent bout with cancer, Mario Lemieux decided to get on the ice to play against the Boston Bruins. Despite the fact that he had just received a radiation treatment less than 24 hours before the game, Lemieux managed to score a goal and add an assist, helping his team defeat the Bruins 6-2. It may not have been his most spectacular goal, but as a cancer survivor, it can be counted as one of Lemieux's most significant performances to date.

Click HERE to see the video

The Skinny On Skinner: Why Jeff Skinner Deserves To Be Rookie Of The Year

Selected 7th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, you hardly heard a thing about Markham, Ontario's Jeff Skinner. With all the attention going to Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, Skinner's drafting by the Carolina Hurricanes went by quickly and without fuss.
But if you were to compare the three rookies now, with only a few games left in the 2010-2011 regular season, it's Skinner's name that stands out amongst the rest.

One of the youngest active players in the NHL (he turns 19 in May), Jeff Skinner has become a veritable rock star in Carolina in the span of 6 months. And why wouldn't he? In his rookie season, Skinner has 29 goals under his belt, along with 29 assists and 58 points. To put things in perspective, he is now tied with Jordan Staal for goals in a rookie season (Staal achieved this in 2006-2007) and is 10 goals short of reaching Sidney Crosby's record of 39 goals in 2005-2006.

He was the most celebrated rookie at the 2011 NHL All-Star game, where the crowd roared and chanted his name every second he was out on the ice. Playing on fellow Hurricane Eric Staal's team, Skinner became the first 18-year old since Steve Yzerman to participate in the All-Star game.

His stats are impressive, no doubt. But probably what elevates his achievements to an even higher point is the fact that even though he is technically an adult, Skinner looks like a baby. It's hard to ignore his presence on the ice; most spectators are in awe of what appears to be a 16-year old playing full-contact hockey with the likes of the NHL's greatest. But then again, some of that awe could spawn from the fact that Skinner is one of the most energetic and hard-working players on the Hurricanes roster. His playing style has even been compared to Philadelphia Flyers' captain Mike Richards.

To date, Skinner sits just under captain Eric Staal in goals on the Hurricanes' roster.

In the race for the title of Rookie of the Year, Skinner is in tight competition with New York Islanders' Michael Grabner (31 goals, 48 points) and San Jose Sharks' Logan Couture (30 goals, 53 points).

Why do I think that between these three Skinner deserves the honour? As a whole, Skinner is more dynamic on the ice than his counterparts. Couture, who is part of a team that has been consistently good for so many years, is often overshadowed by his veteran teammates and doesn't appear to be as big of a difference-maker on the team as Skinner is. And though Grabner is currently leading the running for the Calder Memorial Trophy, the fact that the Islanders are not heading into the playoffs and the Hurricanes still have a chance, impacts the decision. If the Canes are able to battle their way into 8th place for the post-season, no doubt Skinner's talents will be among the factors of their success, only helping his case for the Calder.

Calder Trophy or no Calder Trophy, Jeff Skinner is going to come out of the 2010-2011 season as one of the most outstanding rookies the NHL has seen in the last few years. He flew into the league relatively under the rader and is going to come out soaring high above the rest.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Stars On Ice?

It's the question on everyone's minds: Can the Pittsburgh Penguins be successful in the playoffs without their star players Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin?

Three months ago the Penguins were cruising; they had just ridden a 13-game winning streak and their captain Sidney Crosby was on pace for a 60+ goal season. In the east they chewed on the heels of the Philadelphia Flyers for top spot.

But injuries forced Crosby and his right-hand man Evgeni Malkin off the ice for the majority of February and suddenly doubts arose as to whether the Penguins would be the tour de force in the playoffs as previously expected. Without the 2 superstars, the team has dropped 7 of their last 10 games. Players who were expected to carry the weight of the team, Jordan Staal and Kris Letang, haven't been as outstanding as fans hoped.
A usually composed team, they let frustration get the best of them when, trailing by several goals to the New York Islanders, both teams erupted in a BRAWL. The game resulted in over 200 penalty minutes and several suspensions and fines, most significantly Eric Godard's 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to defend goalie Brent Johnson.

In the midst of the losses and meltdowns, Tyler Kennedy and Mark Letestu stepped up to give the Penguins' waning offence a spark, and they did it well. Unfortunately both had to miss several games due to minor injuries.

The good news for Penguins fans: Kennedy and Letestu are expected to be back in the lineup within the next few games, and newly acquired players James Neal, Matt Niskanen and Alex Kovalev have helped to inject some new energy and boost morale into the team.

While Crosby and Malkin are not expected back anytime soon (Crosby's lingering concussion symptoms suggest he won't be back at all this season), the 4th ranked Penguins are still guaranteed to make it into the playoffs. The only question is how far will they get in the post-season?

The fact is, despite the absence of their 2 most enigmatic players, the team still has reliable goalie Marc-Andre Fleury minding the net and a roster full of weathered veterans who have made Cup runs or had the pleasure of lifting Lord Stanley.

Most likely, the Penguins will make it past the first or second round of the playoffs, but if they want to get any further than that the team will need to learn how to step up their game without relying solely on their superstars.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Head-ing In The Wrong Direction

Do you remember when you were a kid and someone told you not to do something, and you did it anyways just to spite them? Seems like that attitude is showing up tenfold this season in the NHL when it comes to headshots and illegal hits.

In the 2009-2010 season, 2 fines and 3 suspensions were doled out for headshots. In March, Matt Cooke's concussion-inducing hit on Marc Savard forced the NHL to take a closer look at blindside hits, and what is and is not acceptable. The severity of Savard's concussion prompted the league to implement Rule 48, which banished blindside hits.

With these stricter guidelines in effect going into the 2010-2011 season, you would think that the number of injuries caused by illegal hits would decrease. But instead, they multiplied. So far, 8 suspensions have been handed out and 4 players have been heftily fined. The Calgary Flames' Tom Kostopolous received the harshest punishment, a 6-game suspension for his hit on Brad Stuart.

The league has been riddled with headshot-related injuries of late, and perhaps the most significant of the concussion victims is the NHL's poster boy Sidney Crosby. An unintentional hit by the Washington Capitals' David Steckel during the 2011 Winter Classic visibly shook Crosby up. A few days later against the Tampa Bay Lightning, another hit by Victor Hedman aggravated the injury and took him out of the game. Crosby, who had just come off of a 25-game point streak, has been out due to concussion since January 5th.

The only good thing to come out of Crosby's injury was the fact that the NHL once again was forced to re-examine the rules of the game. Since then, illegal hits have gone down in number, with only one instance (Danny Paille's hit on Raymond Sawada) in the past 2 months.

The halfway mark to the season has come and gone, and while dirty hockey seems to be on its way out, it is far from being gone completely. Here's to hoping the trend of increased illegal hits doesn't follow the game into the next season.

Stubborn As A Mule

February 2, 2011

Detroit Red Wings vs Ottawa Senators

The unsuspected "mule" Johan Franzen nets 5 goals in the span of 2 periods, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 7-5 victory over the struggling Ottawa Senators. Franzen's five goals notches the first natural hat trick since Marian Gaborik's in 2007.

Click HERE to see the video

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fire On Ice

Over 40,000 hockey fans braved the bitter cold on Sunday, February 2oth, to watch the much-hyped Heritage Classic. Old rivals met again as the Calgary Flames and the Montreal Canadiens squared off to play outdoors in Calgary's McMahon Stadium.
The 2 most prominent meetings between these clubs happened in 1986 and 1989, both of which were Stanley Cup Finals. The Habs won the '86 Championship, while the Flames were the very first team to hoist Lord Stanley in Montreal's Bell Center in '89.

Despite the -15 degree weather, McMahon Stadium was filled from end to end in jerseys of red, with a surprising amount of blue and white as well. At least the sun was shining and the beer and hot chocolate flowed freely.
Opening ceremonies included a quick aerial show of 5 jets above the stadium, performances by Tokyo Police Club, Paul Brandt singing the national anthem, and the ceremonial puck drop that saw legends Bob Gainey and Lanny McDonald on the ice with Jarome Iginla and Brian Gionta.

It was an exciting game, with both teams playing well but there were 2 key factors that determined the outcome.

1. Calgary's offence was just too much for Carey Price. Rene Borque's two goals and Anton Babchuk's slick move boosted the Flames to a 4 goal lead over the Habs.

2. Kiprusoff was a door. Despite windy conditions going against him, Kipper denied any chance of a Habs goal and earned his 41st career shutout.

In NHL outdoor game history, the visiting team was usually the one to skate away with a victory, but the Flames, who have been very hot of late, picked up the two points this time around. A home win over a storied rival helped add to the electric "C of Red" atmosphere.

It had been 8 years since the last outdoor NHL game was played in Canada, but it seemed to be well worth the wait. Overall, the Heritage Classic weekend was a success, and it became clear early on that hockey fans are unlike any other; willing to sit for hours in weather well below freezing, all for the love of the game.

Calgary Flames vs Montreal Canadiens, February 20th, 2011

Seeing Double

Okay, so this post is not exactly hockey news or anything but...

Has anyone noticed that former Oilers coach Craig Mactavish and current Oilers coach Tom Renney look exactly alike??

Seperated at birth!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hockey C-ANNA-Da's NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft

Just for fun, I thought I'd play hockey god and pretend to know the team outcomes of the upcoming NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft. Here's what I came up with:

CAPTAIN: Sidney Crosby

Evgeni Malkin
Jarome Iginla
Matt Duchene
Eric Staal
Steven Stamkos
Corey Perry
Rick Nash
Martin St. Louis
David Backes
Henrik Sedin
Brad Richards

Mike Green
Kris Letang
Dustin Byfuglien
Nicklas Lidstrom
Erik Karlsson
Dan Boyle

Marc-Andre Fleury (Starting)
Tim Thomas
Cam Ward

CAPTAIN: Jonathon Toews

Claude Giroux
Anze Kopitar
Ales Hemsky
Phil Kessel
Patrik Elias
Patrick Kane
Alex Ovechkin
Daniel Sedin
Ryan Kesler
Patrick Sharp
Louis Eriksson

Marc Staal
Duncan Keith
Brent Burns
Tobias Enstrom
Shea Weber
Zdeno Chara

Carey Price (Starting)
Jonas Hiller
Henrik Lundqvist

*Notice that I split up both the Sedin twins and the Staal brothers? There's no brotherly love in this competition!