Archive for May, 2010

Is Roberto Luongo Finished with The Vancouver Canucks?

May 12th, 2010 5 Comments

Taken by the New York Islanders with the fourth overall pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Roberto Luongo was widely viewed by scouts and NHL general managers alike as a Can’t-miss prospect, who many expected to be a franchise goaltender someday. As Canada’s go-to goaltender, Luongo would win a Silver Medal at the 1999 world Junior Championships, taking Best Goaltender honors with him. Luongo made his NHL debut during the 1999-200 season with the Islanders. Hampered by a very thin team in front of him, Luongo struggled in his first season, posting a 7-14-1 record in 24 games played with a 3.25 goals against average and a less than stellar .904 save percentage. New York Islanders GM Mike Milbury drafted American goaltender Rick DiPietro with the first overall pick at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, all but signaling that

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Jimmy Howard: Can He Avoid The Sophomore Curse???

May 12th, 2010 No Comments

Over the past few seasons several goaltenders have emerged as monster talents in their rookie year only to see it all fall apart in their sophomore season. In 2007-08 Nashville Predators goaltender Dan Ellis posted a 23-10-3 record with a 2.34 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. The following season (2008-09/his sophomore year) Ellis struggled, going a paltry 11-19-4 with a 2.93 GAA and a .900 Save percentage. That very same year, Pekka Rinne, another Nashville Predators goaltender, emerged as a “money” goalie, posting a 29-15-4 record with a 2.38 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Rinne followed up his 2008-09 season with a solid 32-16-5 record with a 2.53 GAA and a .911 save percentage, which, given his numbers, was a very successful sophomore season. In 2008-09 Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason took the NHL by

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NHL Playoffs: Philadelphia Flyers Win Game Five, Lose Goaltender Brian Boucher To Injury

May 11th, 2010 No Comments

Heading into their second round series against the Boston Bruins the Philadelphia Flyers were, for the most part, written off due to their long injured list, which was substantial. With the likes of goaltenders Ray Emery, Michael Leighton (who recently returned to the Flyers lineup) and forwards Jeff Carter, Ian Laperriere and Simon Gagne out of the lineup to start the Boston series, the Flyers had to rely on one thing to get them past the Bruins, HEART. Game one of the series saw the Flyers lose a tough one to the Bruins, 5-4 in overtime. It was a deflating loss highlighted by the return of Bruins forward Marc Savard (who had been out with a concussion since early March), who, coincidentally, scored the overtime winner. Game two was more of the same; the Flyers hung tough, fought the good

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Is The NHL In Danger Of Becoming Caught In A “Trap” Again???

May 10th, 2010 No Comments

As little as five years ago almost every NHL team had adopted some form of “the trap” (a 1-2-2 forechecking system) in order to compete in the NHL. The idea was to shut down opposing offenses by clogging up the neutral zone, effectively minimizing, if not, nullifying your opponents ability to light the lamp. There is little doubt that, for the most part, the system worked. In fact, numerous NHL teams were able to perfect the hated trap to the point that they were able to turn their efforts into a Stanley Cup victory, including, the 1994-95 and 2002-03New Jersey Devils, 1998-99 Dallas Stars and 2001-02 Detroit Red Wings. NHL Fans often felt cheated when exposed to the trap (a.k.a “the left wing lock”) as they were forced to watch hockey that was typically void of scoring, creativity, speed and

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Ritter’s Rant: NHL Playoff News And Notes

May 8th, 2010 No Comments

It’s Time to Shout “Boo”, Not “Lou” The Vancouver Canucks won game of their round two series against the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 5-1. For the Canucks, it was the perfect start to the series, for the Blackhawks, a wake up call. Now four games into the series, the Hawks have all but dismissed the Canucks game one win, winning three games in a row including the Hawks, 7-4 dismantling of the shaken Canucks in last night’s game four action. There were a lot of Vancouver fans that (for whatever reason) felt that Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo somehow was the main reason Team Canada pulled off the gold medal win at the 2010 Olympics—for the record, I was/am on the record as saying Luongo didn’t impress at the Olympics and, in fact, still had plenty to prove. Well

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NHL Playoffs: Top Ten Point Producers Of All-Time

May 7th, 2010 No Comments

NHL Playoffs: Top Ten Point Producers Of All-Time With the second round of the 2010 NHL Playoffs just heating up it’s tough not to make comparisons from playoff seasons past. Numerous players are having career years in this years playoffs, many of whom were not expected to do so. Let’s face it, everyone likes to root for the unknown hero, but what about the all-time greats, which players were the top playoff point producers in NHL history? Let’s take a look at the top ten playoff point producers, will your favorite clutch player be there? Bryan Trottier: 1975-1976 through 1993-1994 If you are a fan of hockey it’s no surprise that a member of the New York Islanders dynasty is on this list—what may surprise you is that it is Bryan Trottier and not Mike Bossy or Denis Potvin that

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