With the new year upon us, it’s time for NHL fans to get back to keeping a close eye on which teams are serious and which teams will be looking for new coaches at the end of the year. With most teams approaching the halfway point this article will look at which teams will be in the market for a new coach. 1. Vancouver Canucks; It must be tough being a Vancouver Canucks fan. They haven’t won a playoff round or qualified for one since their game seven loss to the Bruins in 2011. Head coach Travis Green could be a victim of circumstances if the Canucks can’t get past round one of the playoffs. The only problem is the 16-19-5 Canucks haven’t been playing that badly. They sit in seventh place in the Pacific division, and fans are thirsty for a competitive playoff team. The Canucks also have a goaltending issue. The Canucks are getting solid play from both Jacob Markstrom and Tom Nilsson. Markstrom has an impressive 2.79 GAA while Nilsson has been respectable in 14games. The season could be determined in a couple of weeks as the Canucks have a tough five= game stretch against Montreal, Toronto, Minnesota Columbus and the Rangers. The Canucks need to play sixty minutes of hockey and find an identity soon or Travis Green may be out. 2. Arizona Coyotes; Like any team that’s been at the bottom the Coyotes are a team searching for answers. First-year head coach Rick Tocchet brings a defensive style of play to a 9-27-5 team who has had its share of losing seasons. The team has made it known for quite some time, that veteran Anthony DuClair is available. The question is who do they get in return? At this point, the Coyotes will get a high lottery pick. Number one pick Dylan Strome has been a bright spot but is a victim of growing pains. The other bright spot has been goalie Antii Raanta. Ranta has an impressive5-10-2 record. If the Coyotes want to climb back in then Raanta needs to be their star player. Only time will tell. 3. Buffalo Sabres; The Sabres are another team that has been cellar dwellers for quite a while. Head coach Phil Housley is trying to guide the 10-20-9 team to respectability. In order to do this, the Sabres need solid production from Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, and Evander Kane. Eichel got off to a slow start but recently has elevated his game. Goaltender Robin Lehner is 4-7-5 in his last twelve starts. Lehner and the Sabres have been victims of the overtime curse. The Sabres are a 1-0-2 in their last three overtime wins. If Housley is to hold onto his job, then the Eichel line and team need to play a full sixty minutes of hockey, for the rest of the season. Like any team trying to win at a high level,s it ‘s going to take some time. Drafting lottery players is a great place to begin, but successful teams find ways to win. Two ways to win are, one play sixty minutes a game. And two is to play smart. All three coaches mentioned are good coaches but fans are waiting patiently for a winning team.
After a quarter of the 2017 NHL season completed this post we’ll cover the NHL’s disappointing teams thus far. Although records and standings do not show everything this article is based on teams that went out and overpaid for players and still teams are struggling. 1 Edmonton Despite having one of the highest paid players in Connor Mc David and Leon Draisaitl the Oilers haven’t improved that much from last year. At Christmas time the Oilers find themselves at the bottom of the Pacific division with a record of 11-14. The Oilers do have two quality goalies in Laurent Brossoit and Cam Talbot. If the Oilers are to make any kind of have any hope at all rotating the goalies may not be a bad idea. 2. Ottawa. Even though it’s still early the Senators have to be one of the leagues biggest disappointments so far. The Senators find themselves in 7th place in the Atlantic Division. Considering they have one of the games best defenseman it was Ottawa who eliminated the Bruins last year in round one of the playoffs. 3 Chicago; This is a team loaded with talent and find themselves in 6th place in the Western Division. They have one of the games most explosive players in Johnathan Toews. The Hawks have been getting solid contributions from 5’7” Alex Debrincat. Debrincat is one of the teams fastest and slickest puck handlers. Overall the Hawks rank 10th in the league in goals scored,5th in the league in goals against and a dismal 29th ranking on the power play. Considering they’re one of the leagues richest teams at 1.5 billion they should be playing better than 6th place. 4. New York Rangers, This argument can go either way. Currently, the Rangers are in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. Also, the Rangers have one of the top three goalies in the game in Henrik Lundqvist. Not to mention overpaying for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk this past summer. But so far Shattenkirk has lived up to his billing scoring 5 goals and 15 assists in 27 games. Another problem the Rangers had has Lundqvist started fourteen straight games before coming down with an illness. Backup Ondrej Pavelec had the biggest game of his career making 41 saves in a recent 4-3 win. Despite being 4 points out of first look for the Rangers to play more consistent as the season goes on. Even though the season is still young anything can happen. The teams who can stay healthy and enough depth will be the ones who go deep in the playoffs.
With a quarter of the NHL season over there are several rookies turning some heads around the league. Different players bring something to the table each night. Some players bring a physical presence, others bring blazing speed which separates hockey from the other sports In this post we’ll examine several rookies who are out to make a name for themselves. In Boston, the struggling Bruins have two bright spots thus far this season. Boston University product Charlie Mc Avoy has come as advertised. At 20 years old he plays like a veteran finishing off his checks, and moves the puck very well. Teammates are amazed at his maturity and self_ confidence. Teammate Anders Bjork has been one of the teams scoring leaders so far with six points. Bjork the former Notre Dame product is also one of the fastest players on the team. Defenseman Clayton Keller of Arizona has been one of the most exciting players in the league thus far. After fifteen games Keller accounts for 1/3 of the Coyotes offense with six goals. If he stays healthy and keeps the same pace up he could finish the season with 30 plus goals and in line for NHL rookie of the year. Despite a struggling Coyote team, Keller gives Arizona a ray of hope. Columbus defenseman Sonny Milano has Blue Jacket fans raving about his moves. His five goals make one him of the most potent scorers for the Blue Jackets. If there is one flaw Milano has it’s his cockiness and immaturity. Head coach John Tortorella cut back on Milanos minutes due to his cocky behavior. Hockey fans know from experience that Tortorella doesn’t tolerate such behavior. Tortorella instead likes a player with character and leadership. This is one of the growing pains being a rookie. Goaltender Malcolm Subban of Las Vegas has made a considerable impression after filling in for injured goalie Marc Andre Fleury. Subban the ex _Bruin_ castoff has started the last five games for the Golden Knights and has kept the Knights competitive.Subban has more playing time in two weeks than he did in his four years up and down with the Bruins. Other notables that deserve recognition are Devils defenseman Will Butcher and Teammate Jasper Bratt. Out of all of the NHL’s rookies, Butcher is the top scorer but has gone pointless in his last two games. Bratt, on the other hand, is a 19 _year old Swede who has been very effective on the penalty kill. Surviving in the NHL takes dedication and character. Whether these rookies turn out to be Sydney Crosby or Brad Marchand only time will tell. If they can all stay fairly healthy and productive then following their career should be a lot of fun.
The beauty of being an NHL hockey fan is that you have so many great players to choose from. Players like Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Lumquist, Tyler Seguin, Johnathon Quick and Jamie Benn just to name a few. But in reality, the NHL has enough teams to entertain the whole country. In this article, we’ll examine some key points why the NHL will not benefit from any more expansion cities. Reason number one, of course, is the price. The average price for an average seat in the arena is anywhere between 80.00 and 100.00 dollars. Depending on the size of the group it becomes a pretty expensive night out. But some people can afford it and in that case, it becomes a nice night out. Most cities run specials, for example, college students and military. Also, teams have a family price where they can enjoy quality entertainment for a reasonable price. Example number two is quality a lot of expansion teams have taken quite a long time to develop players and make a serious run at the Stanley Cup. The same can be said for the original six teams of the NHL.In Florida for instance, the Panthers have never won a cup. Their counterpart The Tampa Bay Lightning have won only one cup since their existence. On the flip side, the Lighting rank fourth in the league averaging slightly over 19,000 per game. This brings us to the desert teams the Coyotes of Phoenix,, and the new Vegas Knights. So far after ten games, the Knights are off to an impressive 8-2 record with the most updated arena in all of the sports. The last example is saturation. The average fan is too busy keeping up with work and family With the league at already 31 teams the average worker does,t have the time to keep up with. It’s virtually impossible to keep up with the daily transactions of your favorite teams unless you’re a serious fantasy player. Make no mistake about it hockey is one of the greatest sports of all time.The beauty of being a fan is that it’s relaxing but more importantly entertaining. The NHL will always be the NHL.
After six games, into the young season, Bruins fans do not have much to cheer about. Just six games into the 2017/18 season the Bruins find themselves at the bottom of their division at 3-3, and only seven points. On the bright side, however many of the young players have been key contributors in the games they won. This leads fans to believe that there is a bright side to the season. The Bruins have eight new faces on this year’s roster. They also completed a deal for star forward David PastrnakThe message is clear the Bruins are committed to winning
Growing pains is the biggest issue facing any young team college, or pro. Time will tell which players can stay in the NHL or be role players, players to be going back and forth to Providence. Experience is an athlete’ s greatest teacher. Bruin players who have made a considerable impression so far on the young season are defenseman Charlie Mc Avoy. McAvoy was the Bruins number one pick in the 2016 NHL draft. So far Mc Avoy comes as advertised playing a tough physical game/ Mc Avoy is also creative on the power play. Left winger Jake De Brusk son of former NHL player Louis DeBrusk has scored two goals and brings a physical presence to the lineup every nite. Other Bruin players who have been eye_catching so far have been second _year players Tim Schaller and Noel Accari. Both spent considerable time on the roster last year and are only getting better. Second_ year defenseman Brandon Carlo has also shown signs of promise. Carlo has been one of the teams most consistent defenseman night in and night out. Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin has been solid taking over for injured goalie Tuukka Rask, Rask has d the past three games due to a concussion. Khudobin has won two games, not to mention making 37 saves in a tie with Buffalo over the weekend. It could be along season for Bruins fans. But there is the reason for optimism here with a new coach and a young roster.If the Bruins defense can play solid in front of Rask then the Bruins season should be a success.
The beauty of being a professional sports fan is choosing what sport,teams, or players one wishes to follow. Some fans like a teams physicalty,some fans are attracted to a players speed,or some fans just enjoy the athletes personality. In this article we will examine five young NHL rookies that could turn into future stars. One player to watch is Torontos’ Auston Mathews. Mathews is one of the brightest young players in the game. Mathews was the Leafs first round pick two years ago. Last year he scored 40 goals and 29assists for 69 points. Only nineteen years old Mathews has the ability to achieve greatness. If he can stay healthy, he could be a very exciting player to watch for years to come . Buffalo has one, of the leagues best young defenseman in Jack Eichel. Eichel was a 2015 lottery pick out of Boston University. In his first year Eichel netted 24 goals,and 33assists, for 57 points. Eichel brings, a strong physical presence to the Sabre defense. Eichel made the NHLs’ All Rookie team in 2016/17. Could very well be the face of the franchise for years to come. Winger David Pastrnak of the Bruins was recently awarded a six year contract. Pastrnak came into his own in 2016/17 scoring 34 goals,and adding 36 assist for 70 points. The question is can he do it year after year?Playing with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron can only help. Florida has a gifted young center in Alexander Barkov.. Last year Barkov scored 21 goals, and 31 assist for 57 points,in only 61 games. The year before he scored 28 goals, along with 31 assist for 50 points. If Barkov can stay healthy he could be one of the leagues top centers. Like his teammate Alexander Barkov, the Panthers Vincent Trocheck is an up and coming young center. In two years Trocheck has only missed one game while scoring 28 goals and 23 repectively. Trocheck is also one of the teams fastest skaters. If he can stay healthy he could be could be one of the games top scorers. It’s virtually impossible which players will become stars.But so far this group has made a big impact on their teams. Aside from injury only time can measure how how great a player is.
With NHL training camps underway this week hockey fans can start to make their predictions. Last year the Penguins skated, to their second straight Stanley Cup .A seven game hard fought series over Nashville. The Predators were one , of the most surprising teams in the NHL last season. The start of training camp means every team gets a fresh new start. During the summer teams retooled and got ready for the upcoming season. Three teams to keep an eye on are Edmonton, Dallas, and Boston. Dallas and Edmonton were very active this past off season.For the Bruins they were fairly quiet. Boston was busy negotiating a long term deal for David Pastrnak. Still no deal has yet to be announced. Dallas was the busiest team this off season. The Stars added veteran goalie Ben Bishop. Bishop. Bishop was traded to LA at the trade deadline,but ended up signing with Dallas this summer. The Stars will have great depth at goaltending ,as Bishop and KariLehtonen will split the time. The biggest move was signing long time NHL coal Ken Hitchcock to a contract. Hitchcock’s experience will greatly help Dallas. With captain Jamie Benn,and Tyler Sguin the Stars should be much better than their 34-37 and 70 point record. Hitchcock has the experience to mold the Stars into a playoff team. Along with Bishop , Dallas acquired defenseman center Martin Hanzal,and forward Tyler Pitlick. Edmonton is another team to keep an eye on. The Oilers rewarded star center Connor Mc David to an eight year 100 million dollar deal. Mc David was was one of the leagues best players last year. The Oilers selected McDavid number one overall in 2015 Mc David and teammate Leon Draisaitl together make the Oilers a very scary team. General manager Peter Chairelli has got the Oilers back to respectability in just three years.If the Oilers can play solid defense in front of goalie Cam Talbot they will be a team to challenge the Penguins in the playoffs. Boston under first year head coach Bruce Cassidy is another team that will surprise a lot of fans. Currently the Bruins are in negotiations with star forward David Pastrnak. If the Bruins can sign Padtrnak theycould be one of the biggest stories in hockey. The Bruins have a strong goaltender in Tukka Rask. The Bruins also have one of the youngest teams in the league. After losing in the opening round last year to Ottawa gained valuable playoff experience. The Bruins are led by number one pick Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy joins a host of young talent such as Brandon Carlo, Jakub Zboril Austin Czarnik, Sean Kuraly, Rob O’Gara, Noel Accari , Frank Vatrano. If Cassidy can mold the veterans, with the young players the Bruins could be serious contenders in 2017/18.