In hockey, there’s a saying that the team with the hot goaltender usually takes his team to the Stanley Cup. So far this season all signs are pointing to a Bruins team to go deep in the playoffs. The question is can, Tuukka Rask lead the Bruins to a Stanley Cup. In this post, we’ll examine three attributes Rask and the Bruins have going for them. Is 2018 The Year Tuukka Rask Leads The Bruins to A Stanley Cup? Skilled players; Since the days of the Big Bad Bruins, the team has had a reputation of grinders. Basically, a team that dumps the puck in the opposite end and wins the battle along the boards and out fighting the other team. This was the formula that was very successful for the Bruins but produced no Stanley Cups, It’s been seven years since the Bruins won their last Cup. That roster consisted of players such as Tim Thomas, Nathan Horton, Dennis Seidenburg and thirty goal scorer Milan Lucic. This years group consist of skilled players such as Charlie Mc Avoy, Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, and ex _Olympian Ryan Donato. Donato _the son of ex _Bruin Ted Donato. Donato had an impressive opening night scoring a goal and two assists despite a losing effort to Columbus . Good mixture of Youth and Veterans; After a long dry spell of not winning in the playoffs, the Bruins are playing like a team on a mission. Veteran goaltender Tuukka Rask is having an impressive season. With three shutouts to his credit, 2018 could be the year. Boston has solid veterans in David Krejci, Adam McQuaid, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand. Marchand has elevated his game to be one of the top five players in hockey despite dirty reputation. Coaching; Since taking over for the fired Claude Julian head coach Bruce Cassidy has transformed the team into one of the most exciting teams in hockey. Cassidy who spent eight years as head coach in Providence. One of the reasons for Cassidy’s success this year has been rotating his goalies Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin. If Rask can stay fresh then a trip to the Stanley Cup is possible.
Since Don Sweeney replaced former General Manager Peter Chiarelli three years ago, the Bruins find themselves as serious Stanley Cup Contenders. The 37-15-8 and Bruins are in second place of the NHL Eastern Conference. Only five points separate the team from the first place Tampa Bay Lightning. In this article, we’ll cover three areas that are paying dividends for this year’s Black and Gold. Roster Overhaul; Since the teams successful Presidential Cup year in 2012 the Bruins have not gotten by the first round of the playoffs in three tries. With consecutive losses to Montreal and an early exit at the hands of Ottawa last season the Bruins now seem to have found an identity. The first order of business three years ago was to dismiss General Manager Peter Chiarelli. Since Chiarelli’s dismissal in 2015 Sweeney has completely turned the team around. Midway through last season, the club fired longtime coach Claude Julian. Julian was replaced by longtime Providence coach Bruce Cassidy. Cassidy responded by guiding the team back into the playoffs for the first time in two years. Despite a first_ round loss to the Senators. Despite an early exit, Bruin fans found a reason for optimism. A Mixture Of Youth And Veterans; Since Sweeney’s arrival, three year’s ago Bruins fans have seen the likes of Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, Jerome Iginla, Chad Johnson and Reily Smith all depart. Enter Charlie McAvoy, Danton Heinen, Jake De Brusk, Anders Bjork, and Sean Kuraly. All have bought into Bruce Cassidy’s style of play and it shows on the ice every night. Only Tampa Bay, Nashville, Washington and Las Vegas have more points. The new faces seem to click with veterans David Krejci Patrice Bergeron, Adam McQuaid, David Pastrnak, and Tuukka Rask. If the chemistry and good coaching continue the Bruins may have an excellent chance of getting to the finals. Rotating Goalies; One of the biggest differences in this year’s success is the rotating of goaltenders. Veteran Tuukka Rask is having a great season 24-18 and a 2.21 GAA in 40 games while backup Anton Khudobin is 13-4- in 23 games with an impressive 2.41 GAA .Keeping both goaltenders fresh and sharp may play a big factor come playoff time. No matter what the end result is hockey is fun again on Causeway Street. The Bruins have their old swagger back. The Bruins are playing like the Black and Gold team fans are used to seeing. After a flurry of activity the past week Sweeney has acquired Rick Nash, Nick Holden, and Black Hawks forward Tom Wingel. If the chemistry continues then the dividends hopefully will be another Stanley Cup.
With the NHL All-Starr game officially in the books, it’s time to take a close look at who are the leading candidates for this year’s top honor for Nhl rookies. This year’s class is like no other. From top to bottom, this year’s class is loaded with talent lets take a look at some mid_season candidates. Mid_ Season NHL Candidates Mid Season Report 1. Charlie Mc Avoy Bruins; After a handful of games in 2017 mostly in the playoffs McAvoy has lived up to his billing. The Bruns number one pick in2016 has exceeded all expectation. McAvoy can score, play solid defense and bring a physical presence to a fragile group. Mcavoy has also contributed to a game -goal in a shootout last month. Presently McAvoy is injured due to heart palpations. If he can pick up where he left off he could be a strong finalist for the award. 2 Alex Dibrincat Chicago; After forty plus games Di Brincat brings some youth to an aging team. DiBricat has shown consistency to a struggling Hawks team. His 17 goals and 15 assists and a plus_ minus the ratio of_7. Playing on a sub_ par team could hinder his chances. 3. Yanni Gourde Tampa; Gourde is on a first_ place team which helps him immensely.Gourde has a great scoring touch netting 17 goals and 16 assists.One of the fastest skaters on the team looks for Gourde to be a strong finalist at voting time. 4. Brock Boeser Canucks; Boeser was the MVP in this year’s All_ star game and it shows why. Boeser brings respect for a non- competitive team loaded with issues. After 46 games Boeser is probably the best scorer of the group 24 goals 19 assists 43 points. If he keeps going at the same pace he could reach 40 goals and 50 assists. At this stage, he’s a front_ runner for Rookie of the year. 5. Kyle Connor Winnipeg; The Jets have a special player in Connor. In 40 NHL games, Connor is one of the leagues swiftest skaters. Connor has 15 goals and 14 assists. At the voting time, he should be right in the mix. After 40 plus games hopefully, this article will be fairly accurate a voting time. Othe names that deserve honorable mention are Danton Heinen Bruins, Jake De BruskBruins, Will Butcher New Jersey, Mark Jankowksi Calgary, Sonny Milano Columbus, Pierre Luc DuBois Columbus, and Clayton Kelleher Arizona, Matthew Barzal Islanders, The two front_ runners are McAvoy or Yanni Gourde.
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.