Archive for October, 2010

Canada—Russia: 40th Anniversary Game Coming Soon???

October 24th, 2010 No Comments

If you call yourself a hockey fan you either watched or have heard of the 1972 Canada—Russia Summit series. For many hockey fans, the Canada—Russia series is still widely regarded as the best hockey ever played, for Canadians the series helped shape the Canadian culture and still serves as one of the proudest moments in Canadian history. Recently, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Russian Government, where, amongst other things, Putin opened up a forum of discussion on celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1972 summit series with a modern day Summit series against Canada in 2012. During the meeting it was brought to the attention of the Russian government that the Russian Hockey Federation has proposed the idea of organizing a new hockey series between Canada and Russia to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the

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Ilya Kovalchuk Benched: Are the New Jersey Devils Stupid?

October 23rd, 2010 No Comments

Through the first seven games of the season, the New Jersey Devils accumulated a disappointing 2-4-1 record, averaged a league-low 1.86 goals per game, sat 22nd overall with a 3.00 goals against average and owned the 21st-ranked power play (9.5 percent)—with just two goals. Needless to say, with so much going wrong for the Devils in the early going, change was bound to come. In a shocking move, the Devils chose to make a statement by benching their prized free agent signee, Ilya Kovalchuk, in their match against the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night. Through seven games, Kovalchuk has amassed a total of two goals and five points to go along with a minus-three rating. While not horrible statistically, Kovalchuk has yet to score on the power play, has been questionable at best defensively and is yet to be the impact

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Is Kris Versteeg Snake bit?

October 22nd, 2010 No Comments

When the announcement came over the summer that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke had acquired Kris Versteeg from the Chicago Blackhawks just about every Maple Leaf fan on the planet did a little happy dance. As a member of the Blackhawks, playing mostly as a third liner, Versteeg was able to put together back-to-back 20-goal seasons and was a big part of the Hawks’ Stanley Cup victory. Versteeg had a tremendous pre-season—quickly establishing chemistry with sniper Phil Kessel and setup man Tyler Bozak on the first line, adding an element of speed and complimenting Kessel’s scoring ability. While the acquisition and pre-season went very well for Versteeg, he seems to have as much luck as a new fish at an online poker tournament when it comes to scoring goals—little to none. Through his first six regular season games

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J.S. Giguere: Why Is Ron Wilson Babying Him?

October 22nd, 2010 No Comments

Last night the Toronto Maple Leafs went head-to-head with the New York Rangers, a team that, while missing a few key pieces to their offense, is still a dangerous team. The Maple Leafs played a spirited game, but as was the case when they lost to the New York Islanders earlier in the week, were unable to capitalize on numerous scoring chances, leading to a 2-1 loss and serving as a reminder that, as good as the early going has been for the Maple Leafs thus far, every game is going to be a battle. One of the highlights of the Maple Leafs young season has been the play of veteran goaltender J.S. Giguere, who, after four starts, boasts an impressive 1.96 goals against average and a modest .911 save percentage. Given Giguere’s steady play early on, the fact that

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Carolina Hurricanes Report (Oct. 21): Eric Staal, Cam Ward Leading Team Forward

October 22nd, 2010 No Comments

Exactly two weeks into the 2010-2011 NHL Season, the Carolina Hurricanes hold the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference Standings and the third slot in the Southeastern Division with six points on three wins and three losses. Their mediocre record is misleading, however. In fact, the ‘Canes are off to a very promising start considering that they are starting four rookies, led by a 27-year-old captain, are the fourth-youngest team in the league and have not yet played a game within a 650-mile radius of the RBC Center. Their two franchise cornerstones, center and captain Eric Staal and goaltender Cam Ward, have stepped up and taken leading roles as the Hurricanes move through a brutal opening stretch. Staal, who was held without a point in the ‘Canes two NHL Premiere games, now has three goals—one short-handed—and three assists in his last

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Has The Poke-Check Become a Thing of the Past?

October 21st, 2010 No Comments

A long, long time ago, in a very different hockey era, goaltenders like Johnny Bower A.K.A “The China Wall,” Glen Hall and Gump Worsley patented the poke-check, of which Bower was clearly the master. The move involved the goalie (usually sans-mask) throwing themselves and their goalie sticks at opposing forwards in an effort to dislodge the puck from the forwards stick—a skill that, for whatever reason, has long been absent from today’s NHL. Known as a scrappy, hard working goaltender, Bower used the poke check effectively to foil opposing forwards on breakaway’s and penalty shots alike, establishing himself as the best in the business. Last winter Louis Pisano (a fellow BR writer) and I sat down with Hockey Hall Of Famer Johnny Bower on our show “Get The Puck Out” (WATCH HERE: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/4027353 where we were able to ask Mr.

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