Archive for the ‘Teams’ Category

2011 NHL Playoff Prediction: Western Conference

April 12th, 2011 No Comments

With my Eastern Conference playoff predictions out of the way, it’s time to set my sights on the Western Conference. Parity is alive and well throughout the NHL, but nowhere is it more apparent in the Western Conference where the difference between fifth and tenth place was just five points. Looking at the four Western Conference matchups there is not much to choose between most of the teams, that said, a few favorites should emerge, with the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings garnering a lot of attention from poolies and fans alike. With all this in mind, let’s take a look at the first round matchups and how it should all pan out. (1) Vancouver Canucks Vs. (8) Chicago Blackhawks Given the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks have ended the Vancouver Canucks playoff drives in each of the past

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Ten Prospects That Could Pull a “James Reimer” in 2011

April 7th, 2011 3 Comments

Its official. With the Toronto Maple leafs 4-3 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night our beloved Maple Leafs have now gone without a Stanley Cup victory for 44 years. While the Toronto Maple Leafs organization has had a number of bright spots along the way, the fact remains that, for the most part, the Maple Leafs have been an organization marred in mediocrity for over four decades. For many years the Blue and White ignored the NHL Entry Draft in favor of trading for grizzled veterans. Needless to say, given the lack of Stanley Cups, that philosophy never really worked, often leaving the team void of any homegrown star talent, which, in turn, was a major reason the organization has suffered for so long. Since his arrival Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has endured an

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Toronto Maple Leafs: The Phil Kessel Deal Was Worth It…Really!

April 4th, 2011 4 Comments

There have been a number of controversial NHL trades over the years. The deal that sent Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings immediately comes to everyone’s mind, while others remember the Joe Thornton trade that saw Jumbo Joe traded from the Boston Bruins to the San Jose Sharks. In their own way, each trade changed hockey. In Los Angeles, Gretzky put the Kings on the hockey map, while in San Jose, Thornton lifted the franchise from also-ran into perpetual Stanley Cup contender. While not on the same level, the deal that saw Phil Kessel traded from the Boston Bruins to the Toronto Maple Leafs has also been deemed highly controversial—especially here in Toronto where, prior to this season, many Maple Leaf fans deemed the trade to be a disaster. On September 9th, 2009, Toronto Maple

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2011 NHL Playoffs: The Eight Most Dangerous Playoff Teams

April 3rd, 2011 No Comments

With only a few more games to be played before the NHL starts it’s playoffs, there are a few teams that are emerging as the definitive favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Goaltending is often key to a teams playoffs success, that said, the Chicago Blackhawks took home Lord Stanley’s Cup last year—even with inconsistent goaltending from Antti Niemi. Power play and penalty kill success also comes into play, as does a teams ability to gel at the right time. With all this in mind, let’s take a look at the NHL’s eight most dangerous playoffs teams of 2010-11. Philadelphia Flyers: Key Stats: Current Record: 46-22-10 (102 points)—Second in Eastern Conference GF: 245 GA: 207 Diff: +38 PP: 16.4% (20th overall) PK: 83.8% (Ninth overall) Key Players: Mike Richards (F) Jeff Carter (F) Chris Pronger (D) Sergei Bobrovsky (G) The

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Which Player Will Emerge As The Teams’ Best Player?

April 1st, 2011 No Comments

The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their charge towards a playoff birth, defeating the always tough Boston Bruins in their own barn by a score of 4-3 in a shootout. The game was a chippy affair, complete with some pretty offensive plays, a nice tilt between Milan Lucic and Jay Rosehill and a tremendous shootout winner from Leafs rookie Nazem Kadri. To be fair, there were several hero’s last night for the Maple Leafs, including the likes of Joffrey Lupul who scored two goals (one of which was on the power play) and registered an assist on the opening goal of the night. Luke Schenn, James Reimer and Phil Kessel (two assists on the night) also had good games in their own way, helping to lift the Maple Leafs within five points of the eighth place Buffalos Sabres who occupy the

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Brian Burke Endorses Ron Wilson As Head Coach: Good Move or Bad Move?

March 31st, 2011 4 Comments

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has given Maple Leafs’ head coach Ron Wilson a vote of confidence by stating that Wilson will be back behind the bench for the 2011-12 season. “I said back in the fall, we would not consider a change, even when all the hounds were baying,” Burke told The Globe. “I feel the same way now. Ron is coaching this team next year.” Burke’s comments did not come without its fair share of criticism from the Leafs Nation, many of whom feel that Wilson has overstayed his welcome with the Blue and White. The Leafs Nation’s main point of contention seems to be Wilson’s inability to elevate the Buds special teams to “respectable” as, under Wilson’s guidance, the Maple Leafs power play and penalty kill have been

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