Archive for January, 2011

Sidney Crosby: NHL Player Poll Proves Crosby Is King!

January 31st, 2011 1 Comment

The debate over which NHL player reins supreme received plenty of ammunition this weekend when the NHLPA and Hockey Night in Canada conducted a poll of 318 current NHL players with regards to hockey issues, coaches and their peers. Questions ranged from which rink had the best ice (Edmonton) to which coach you’d most want to play for (Dan Bylsma- Pittsburgh Penguins), but in the end, there was really only one question that mattered most- what player would you build a franchise around? The overwhelming response was none other than Sidney Crosby, who received a whopping 69% of the vote. Surprisingly, Alexander Ovechkin was a distant fourth, receiving a puzzling 2% of all votes, behind Jonathan Toews (3%), Steven Stamkos (5%) and veteran defenseman Nik Lidstrom (6%). Crosby, was also voted the toughest forward to play against , the games

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In The End, All-Star Draft Was A Bore

January 29th, 2011 2 Comments

With millions of fans watching in anticipation, the NHL launched it’s first ever NHL All-Star draft in Carolina last night. For many NHL fans, there were really three or four story lines. Which player would be selected first? Would the Sedin twins be forced to play against each other? Where would their favorite player land? And, of course, which player would be selected last. With Sidney Crosby out of the All-Star festivities many expected Alex Ovechkin to be selected first—which didn’t happen (congrats Steven Stamkos!). To the surprise of many, Carolina Hurricane captain Eric Staal (who would captain one of the All-Star teams) showed a ton of loyalty when he selected Hurricane teammate Cam Ward as the first overall selection. The Sedin twins would end up on separate teams, which sets up what may very well be the first time

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Alexei Ponikarovsky: Struggling After Leaving The Toronto Maple Leafs

January 27th, 2011 No Comments

Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft (87th overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Alexei Ponikarovsky was seen as a little more than a project forward by most. “Poni” would have a couple of short stints with Krylja Sovetov Moscow-Russia, Dynamo Moscow-Russia and Dynamo Moscow-EuroNHL before finally joining the Maple Leafs in 2000-2001. Ponikarovsky would split the 2000-2001 season between the Maple Leafs and their AHL affiliate (then the St. John’s Maple Leafs), accumulating one goal and three assists with Toronto through 22 games, followed by a decent 36 points in 49 games in St. John’s. The 2001-2002 season saw Ponikarovsky spend 72 games with the St. John’s Maple Leafs where he scored 21 goals and 48 points through 72 games. He would spend the majority of the 2002-2003 season in St. John’s before making

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Wayne Gretzky Turns 50: Could Have Scored 100

January 26th, 2011 No Comments

Great players always strive for more. Recently asked about the greatest goal scoring season in NHL history in which he lit the lamp a total of 92 times, Gretzky lamented that the “disappointing” part about that season (1985-1986) was the fact that “the great one” only scored one goal in his final eight games. Most players would have been happy with a 92 goal season, Gretzky wanted to hit the century mark. The “Great One” owns just about every offensive record in NHL history. Most goals (894), assists (1,963), points (2,857), most points in a playoff (47), most career playoff points (252), the list goes on and on. Often referred to as the greatest player in NHL history, there are still some critic’s out there that try to detract from Gretzky’s achievements by suggesting the lack of defensive play in

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James Reimer: Goalie Of The Future or Mirage?

January 24th, 2011 No Comments

The recent announcement that the Toronto Maple Leafs will be carrying three goaltenders on their upcoming road trip has the Leafs Nation thinking two-fold. First, given the fact that three goaltenders is a crowd, will veteran goaltender J.S. Giguere be moved? And second, if J.S. Giguere is not in the Leafs’ future plans, where do James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson fit into the equation? Last week Giguere told reporters that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause if the Maple Leafs brass asked him to, leading to speculation that he may be on the move before the trade deadline expires. Injuries and a mediocre season in which Giguere has posted a 9-8-3 record to go along with his .900 save percentage and 2.71 goals against average may be enough of a roadblock for contending teams to stay clear

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Toronto Maple Leafs—How Will Brian Burke Fix This Mess?

January 20th, 2011 13 Comments

Fresh off  a 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled a 180 degree turn, thumping the Anaheim Ducks by a final score of 5-2 in Toronto Thursday night. The Maple Leafs will salvage some respect in bouncing back so well, but the teams penchant for Jeckyl and Hide results has the Leafs Nation and team management wondering just what they have at the end of the day? Numerous players have shown flashes of brilliance, followed by lengthy cold spells, while others have proven to be better than expected. Case in point, a year ago just about every Maple Leaf fan was willing to sell off Mikhail Grabovski for a case of Budweiser and a bowl of pretzels. Now, given his strong performance on the season in which he has already amassed 35

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