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NHL Playoffs: First Round Predictions

April 13th, 2010 2 Comments

With Wednesday nights first round NHL playoff action looming I felt I needed to throw out my NHL playoff bracket. This season’s Stanley Cup Champion will have no easy path, so every prognosticator has his/her work cut out for them this year. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I have compiled my first round predictions. Let’s take a look at both the Eastern and Western Conference playoff matches, what’s your first round bracket look like? Eastern Conference:  1. Washington Capitals vs. 8. Montreal Canadiens The Caps have the NHL’s best offense and best power play. Despite their defensive shortcomings I think that’s enough to lambaste the Montreal Canadiens. Despite losing to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs in their last game of the season the Canadiens squeaked into the playoffs. It was a case of “good luck” rather than


Crosby, Stamkos To Share Richard Trophy: Both Net 51st Goal Of The Season

April 12th, 2010 No Comments

Given that Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos and Alexander Ovechkin were all in the running for the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer I was shocked to see none of the Canadian or American networks made a move to pick up all three games. In the end the networks and fans missed out as Stamkos and Crosby put on a show on Sunday as both players posted their 51st goals of the season. Ovechkin failed to bulge the twine when he and his Washington Capitals took on the Boston Bruins, losing 4-3 in a shootout and, in the process leaving the Richard Trophy up for grabs. In a Herculean effort, Crosby scored two goals (his 50th and 51st) and added three assists on  Sunday, as he leapfrogged over Alexander Ovechkin and Stamkos for the NHL goal scoring lead,


Leafs End Season On A High, New Attitude Needed Next Season

April 11th, 2010 No Comments

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter Entering Saturday evenings game the Toronto Maple Leafs had a chance of eliminating the Montreal Canadiens from the playoffs. The first thing that needed to happen was for the Leafs to beat the Habs in regulation. Sadly, while the Leafs did eek out a 4-3 overtime victory, that did not happen, so the rest of the scenario is irrelevant at this point. Saturday nights tilt between the Canadiens and Maple Leafs represents exactly how the Leafs are going to need to play next season if they are to have a measure of success—compete hard in all zones, get great goaltending and get every player to play for the name on the front of the sweater, not the one on the back. Unselfish play, high intensity, the use of the Leafs newly found speed


Has The NHL Already Forgotten Don Sanderson?

April 9th, 2010 No Comments

Last November Don Sanderson—a rookie defenseman with the Whitby Dunlops—became famous in hockey circles for all the wrong reasons. During an on-ice fight, Sanderson received a horrific concussion, a concussion that eventually cost him his life. It should be noted that both players tossed their helmets before they chucked the knuckles, all in the name of the “code” of fighting in hockey—that and to save their hands from injury. It is common for hockey players to toss their helmet before they engage in a fight, and in Sanderson’s case not wearing a helmet proved to be a grave mistake. Yet, time after time, we still see many hockey players (especially those in the NHL), continue to practice this dangerous behavior. Many argue that it was Sanderson’s carelessness (taking his helmet off before/during a fight) that was the cause of his


Top Ten NHL Player Bargains of 2009/’10

April 7th, 2010 2 Comments

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter With the conclusion of the 2u009/’10 NHL season just a few days away everyone from fans to management is thinking playoffs. This season will be remembered for a lot of things, head shots, the emergence of Steven Stamkos as a superstar and the rise of the left for dead Phoenix Coyotes. Many NHL GM’s will remember this season for other reasons, such as, signing a player to a contract that broght great value to his club. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top ten bargain contracts of the 2009/’10 season. Ian White- $850,000: Defenseman, Toronto Maple Leafs/Calgary Flames. (81GP, 12G, 25A, 37PTS, +8, 51PIM, 3PPG) When the 2009/’10 NHL season commenced very few had Ian White on the radar. Through 81 games White has established himself as one of


Philadelphia Flyers Face Tough Decisions This Off-Season

April 5th, 2010 1 Comment

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter The Flyers have had what can only be called an up and down season thus far. Injuries, coaching changes and inconsistent goaltending have been the major factors behind the Flyers’ lack of success as has the teams overall chemistry, or lack thereof. No question about it, the Flyers number one priority this off-season will be bringing an adequate goaltender into the fold. Given the Flyers have a total of $48,610 (all numbers courtesy of already devoted to 16 players it will be tough for them to acquire said goaltender unless they are able to unload a large contract as part of a trade. Another issue facing the Flyers is the number of restricted free agents they have. Daniel Carcillo, Darroll Powe, Brayden Coburn and Ryan Parent are four players that will be

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