New Writer!

Another announcement for you guys, we’d like to welcome Mohamed Mohamed to our writing team. He brings a wealth of experience from his own blog to Not Your Average Hockey Blog! We’d like to formally welcome him to the family, and we are excited to showcase his skills to you!

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And The Expected Has Happened…

We all expected it. The NHL All Star Game has been cancelled. We reported that a few days ago, and secretly, we wished that we would be wrong. But it seems to have happened. The NHL has officially announced that All Star Weekend in Columbus has been cancelled. To add insult to injury, all games till December 14th have been cancelled as well. According to Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports, the All Star game was supposed to pump in $12 million to the local economy. With the All Star Game gone, it makes me wonder, when will the NHL cancel the season? It may be sooner than you think…

 

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RIP 2013 NHL All-Star Game?

It was a reality no one wants to face. When the All-Star game gets cancelled, you might as well cancel the season. The NHL will cancel the All-Star game on Friday, according to TSN. This hasn’t been the first time the All-Star game has been rumoured to be cancelled. This comes to no surprise to many after the NHL rejected the NHLPA’s latest offer. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but i’m willing to bet it will become official tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Mark Stone; A Well-Deserved Assist

19-11-2012
Raval A. Alviarez

A single pass, that’s how he caught my eye.

Ottawa Senators’ prospect Mark Stone is without a doubt, a playmaker that benefits from fundamental thinking. A playmaker that is going to be vital to the success of what may be Daniel Alfredsson’s last run once the team returns for league play. There’s no doubt that teammates and coaches of him know this and I’m here to shed some light on why.

The 2012 World Junior Championships were a perfect representation to us of how being good isn’t good enough anymore. Our beloved junior Canadian team fought through several nations and brought their A-game. Unfortunately, they could not beat a well-defended and aggressive Russian side and fell to a bronze medal. As a result, it`s fair to say that the team and the championship was overall, ignored by Canadians. Ignorance is bliss, no? Well, not when it includes ignoring perhaps the greatest prospect for the Senators of the up and coming years. Mark Stone was placed on the team for an early game in the championship against Finland. Shocked to even be playing on an international stage for Canada, Mark’s face had no shortage of fulfillment once he saw the hats drift down from the stadium as his umpteenth shot of the night was embraced by net for the third time. Canada would go on to win that game by 7 goals (8-1) three of which, along with an assist were from Mark Stone. He then went on to be named one of the top three players of the team by the coaching staff. This is no laughing matter, when a coaching staff believes in you, your ideas, your plays, your fundamental thinking; there is much room for your skills to grow rapidly. After all, we have to remind ourselves of how important it is to be surrounded by people who have more confidence in you, than you have in yourself.

It’s absolutely delirious how a man who put up 123 points in 63 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings during the 2011-2012 season had not caught my eye then, but rather during a single playoff game. Mind you, this was no regular playoff game. When a series is tied 2-2, it is absolutely unheard of to be drawing upon players who have not played much with the team before. Thankfully, Paul Maclean and Bryan Murray are no fools. The 2012 World Junior Championship along with an impressive and impeccable WHL 2011-2012 season, were certainly not a blur for either of these men. Perhaps what shocked me the most of his debut, was his ability to make confident decisions on the ice and cope with bad decisions made by other teammates. Oh, and making one of the greatest passes I’ve ever seen to push the Senators to a 3-2 lead in the series with New York, that helps too.

That single pass, that lone NHL assist, currently stands as his only statistic and point in the National Hockey league and rightly so.

The Beautiful Pass :

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The drive for 25

This optimistic habs fan is starting to see a glass half empty when it comes to cba negotiations, a real slap to the face of any die hard or casual NHL fan! Round of applause for Gary Bettman everyone!!! Now that i have that out of my system there is a lot to smile about when you start naming off young prospects for Montreal. Do the names Nathan Beaulieu, Louis Leblanc, Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher or Micheal Bornival ring a bell? If not wait a couple of years and they will be familiar faces in the habs lineup for years to come. Even after all the prospects i just mentioned there is one more name that is sure to bring joy to fans of the blue, blanc et rouge. Alex Galchenyuk! 3rd overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft. He has potential to be a true star in the NHL something the Canadiens havent had in a while and a legit #1 Center. There were some questions being asked about the condition of Galchenyuk since he missed almost all of last season with a knee injury. Those questions are a thing of the past, in just 22 games so far this season he has already racked up 35 points (13 goals and 22 assists) with the Sarnia sting of the OHL. All these names look good on paper but there’s only one way to find out if Galchenyuk and other habs prospects will turn the Canadiens from 15th place in the east to legitimate contenders for years to come…are you listening Gary Bettman? END THE LOCKOUT!!! This is something even a leafs fan will agree with and i don’t  agree with them too often.I will even say it again! END THE LOCKOUT!!!! Until then the drive for cup number 25 is temporarily on hold…

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Nick Bjugstad: Another Player To Watch For

Nick Bjugstad is a force to be reckoned with. He’s a massive 6’5 centre with some muscle. He reminds me a lot of James Van Riemsdyk with his size, and his willingness to use his muscle. Yes he’s playing the NCAA where the competition is not as great as lets say, the OHL, but he still had 20 points in 29 games. He was put into all situations including powerplays and penalty kills by the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ coaches. He also scored two goals and two assists for Team USA in the 2011-2012 World Junior Championships. That might not seem like a lot, but both goals were clutch. They were both game-winners. Personally I believe in a few years, he will be challenging Jonathan Huberdeau for the first line centre job. I found a quick clip of his goals last year as a freshman for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Most of his goals involve him pushing his way through the net, or using that wicked wrister of his. If he doesn’t have muscle, he wouldn’t be able to push his way through.

Petr Mrazek: Prospect To Watch For

First off, I know none of us have been posting lately, and I take full responsibility for that. There isn’t much for us to write about right now, so bear with us. When the season starts again, we’ll be back. But for now, here’s a little something something.

One prospect that i’m extremely interested in watching is, Petr Mrazek. He was drafted in the 5th Round (141st Overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. One thing that always amazes me is that how the Red Wings always seem to draft these European gems in the late rounds. Two of the more famous ones are Pavel Datsyuk (171st overall) and Henrik Zetterberg (210th overall). But back to Mrazek, he has been drawing comparison to the one and only Dominik Hasek. He plays the same butterfly style as the Dominator did. He has the same excitement and attitude as Hasek. Both of them absolutely detest losing. Nobody likes losing, but these guys bring it to another level. They’re in the game, and focused. Who doesn’t love that in a goalie? Personally, I think if you give him a few years, I believe he can become a number one goalie for any team in the NHL.

He was the Czech Republic’s goalie during the 2012 World Junior Championships. To our readers that didn’t watch it, he was crazy. If one game was to be summary of the entire tournament, it would be the Czech-USA game. The USA was supposed to be the overwhelming favourite, but Mraek shut the door, stopping 52 of 54 shots in the game. If that wasn’t enough, he tried shooting at the empty net and came INCHES short of scoring. That’s just crazy. If I still haven’t won you over yet, there’s just one more thing. How can you not love a goalie with this kind of swagger?

Who would you like us to write about? Comment below!