Archive for April, 2011

What Now? L.A. Kings Look To Rebound in 2011-12

April 26th, 2011 No Comments

With the San Jose Sharks officially eliminating the Los Angeles Kings from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday night it ends what can only be called a disappointing season for the men in black. Prior to the start of the 2010-11 NHL season many experts were looking for the Kings to be this season’s breakout team. High hopes and even higher expectations were bestowed upon the Kings who were thought to be a Stanley Cup favorite early on. The Kings got out of the gate quickly, collecting a record of 9-3 with one overtime loss in October. The Kings followed that up with 5-7 record in November before adding another nine wins in December. While the Kings record looked good on paper, few people felt the Kings looked like a cohesive unit, even fewer felt they were a Stanley Cup team.

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NHL: 21 Early and Bold Predictions for the 2011-2012 Season

April 25th, 2011 3 Comments

With the playoffs finally in full swing a number of great stories and headlines have been emerging on a nightly basis—some of which may have huge implications for next season. Some players are making their teams take notice, while others are watching the soil come down on their heads as they continually bury themselves through poor performances. Off the ice, the Phoenix Coyotes and Atlanta Thrashers continue to find themselves with ownership question marks, while head-shots and suspensions continue to be a focus of fans, players and management alike. Clearly, the results (or lack thereof) of the first round will have huge implications on free agent contracts, coach and general managers futures and player movement. With all this in mind, let’s take a look at 21 predictions for the upcoming 2011-12 season. Roberto Luongo Will Be Shopped: With the Vancouver

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2011 NHL Playoffs: Bruins/Habs to Play Back-to-Back Games

April 25th, 2011 No Comments

With the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing there have been a number of terrific storylines that have emerged. The Nashville Predators moved on to the second round for the first time in franchise history, the Vancouver Canucks are close to an epic failure in their series against the Chicago Blackhawks and there are goaltending controversies in Vancouver and with the Philadelphia Flyers (what else is new?). For the most part, the playoffs have been very dramatic as several series are headed to a seventh game; with a few others still a candidate to do the same. As the playoffs roll along each game gets more important, each game is more of a grind for the players and the injuries start to mount up, which brings into question the NHL’s puzzling scheduling. For example, the Montreal Canadiens and Boston

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2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs: What’s Up with Pekka Rinne?

April 21st, 2011 No Comments

Ahh, the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A place where some players ‘bring it’, while others fall well short of the so-called “experts” expectations. Heading into the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs several reports were calling for Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne to have a huge playoff; others were a lot more realistic about his talent and the talents of the team in front of him. Rinne brought a career playoff record of 2-4 to go along with a marginal .911 save percentage and a goals against average of 2.68 into this years playoffs. Needless to say, with those kind of numbers it would be hard to suggest that Rinne was going to catch fire against an offensively explosive team like the Anaheim Ducks, yet there were still some reports out there that suggested Rinne would do exactly that. Through four playoff games

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2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs: 10 Players Who Need To Step Up Quickly

April 20th, 2011 No Comments

With the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing, there appears to be a number of great series starting to develop. After two miserable efforts in their first two games against the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins stepped up Monday night, taking Game 3 by a final score of 4-2. In other action, the Washington Capitals lost a tough one to the New York Rangers in Game 3 by a final score of 3-2, while the Pittsburgh Penguins took a 2-1 series lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning with a hard-fought 3-2 victory on Monday night as well. In fact, the only two series that look to be all but over are the Detroit Red Wings/Phoenix Coyotes series and the Vancouver Canucks/Chicago Blackhawks series (which is currently being played as I write this). For the most part, every team has

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Power Outage: What’s Wrong With The Bruins Power Play?

April 19th, 2011 No Comments

Heading into the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Playoffs many experts were on the fence as to whether or not the Boston Bruins or Montreal Canadiens would emerge victorious from their first round matchup. The Bruins finished seven points ahead of the Canadiens in the regular season standings, which gave them home ice advantage, scored 30 more goals than the Habs (246-216) and allowed ten less goal than the Canadiens as well. For all intents and purposes, when you looked at the numbers, it appeared, on the surface, that the Bruins had the upper hand in this series. Where the Montreal Canadiens looked to have the upper hand over the Bruins was on special teams, or more specifically, the power play. The Habs owned the seventh best power play during the regular season with a 19.7 percent success rate. The Bruins? They

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