Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter Fresh off the dangerous hit from Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke on the unsuspecting Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins NHL fans await a rematch between the two sides this Thursday night in Boston. To say everybody has an opinion about the Cooke hit would be an understatement. Opinions range from fans suggesting Savard should have been more aware to Cooke needing to be suspended for twenty games. Given the NHL’s current rules Cooke was not disciplined for his actions, hell, he didn’t even get a penalty on the play, which shows just how inadequate NHL referees can be on most nights. The funny part about all of this is the fact that the NHL rule book does have a rule that the Refs could have imposed on Cooke, a rule that most
Few players in NHL history have the kind of season that Sidney Crosby had in his rookie year, especially in this the era of defense first hockey. Crosby’s 2005-06 rookie season saw him post 39 goals and 102 points, making him one of the most proficient rookie scorers in NHL history. Crosby’s 102 point effort was second to only Alex Ovechkin’s 106 points, with current St. Louis Blues (now Boston Bruins) forward Brad Boyes a distant third with a respectable 69 points. For some players, their rookie season represents the pinnacle of their careers. Many players are never able to duplicate their original success, casting them from the spotlight and into the depths of players with missed opportunities. When Steven Stamkos arrived as a rookie in 2008-09 with the Tampa Bay Lightning he came with enormous, if not unfair, expectations.
Reports have surfaced stating that the stick and glove that went missing soon after Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in the Gold Medal game against the United States has been found. Hockey Canada released a statement saying Crosby’s equipment was, in fact, misplaced and not stolen as originally suspected. As it turns out the stick was found in a shipment that was reportedly headed to the IIHF Hall of Fame in St. Petersburg, Russia and that the glove was found in the possession of teammate Patrice Bergeron’s equipment bag. Reebok had just last week put up a $10,000 reward for the return of the “priceless” items, no word on whether or not Bergeron will collect on the reward (of course I am joking). The stick and gloves are now expected to be given back to Crosby who in all likelihood will
Heading into Wednesday night’s action the Philadelphia Flyers sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The odds of the Flyers catching the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Atlantic Division which would give the team home ice advantage throughout the playoffs are slim to none and slim just left the building. The good news for Flyers fans is that the Orange and Black are just a mere five points behind the fourth place New Jersey Devils and fifth place Ottawa Senators, two teams that, with a little luck, could be caught in the standings. Thus far, Philadelphia has played 65 games, New Jersey 64, Buffalo 64 and Ottawa 67. What it all amounts to is if the Flyers want to get a favorable seeding in the East they will have to do it the good old fashioned
Last season Washington Capitals super star Alexander Ovechkin led the NHL with a total of 56 goals. Ovechkin was the only player to reach the coveted fifty goal mark with the likes of Philadelphia Flyers sniper Jeff Carter (46), New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise (45) and former Atlanta Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk (43) hot on his heals. This season Ovechkin finds himself in his usual spot on top of the scoring leader board, that said, the landscape has changed dramatically when you consider those players that are in the running to score fifty goals and, of course, to earn the coveted Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s most proficient goal scoring machine. Looking at the NHL stats sheet, there are only four players that have a legitimate chance at scoring fifty this season. Occupying the bottom ten spots in
Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter For many NHL hockey fans this is their favorite time of the year, the playoffs are just around the corner and, for most teams, it is “crunch time”. Looking over the Eastern and Western Conference standings we see a very muddled picture at the bottom of the pack. The Eastern Conference features five teams that are within five points of the sixth place Philadelphia Flyers, while the Western Conference boasts six teams that are within five points of the Detroit Red Wings who just happen to occupy the eighth and final playoff seeding in the West. This weeks NHL games feature a number of old school rivalries as well as a number of games that will have huge playoff implications. With that in mind, let’s look at this week’s can’t miss games… 1.