Around the National Hockey League: week 9

Views, Opinions, and comments on teams in the National Hockey League –

Winnipeg Hockey Talk writer George Bain takes a look around NHL this past week. [Read more…]

Around the National Hockey League: Week 7

Views, opinions and comments on teams in the National Hockey League –

The Week That Was

There has been so much talk about the lack of scoring in the National Hockey League this season but I believe you can still watch an exciting game that is low scoring.  [Read more…]

Around the National Hockey League: Week 6

Views, opinions, and comments on teams in the National Hockey League –

Western Conference

Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings continue to lead the Pacific Division with a 11-6-0 record.  This past week they lost a close game to the surprising Arizona Coyotes 3-2. [Read more…]

Around the National Hockey League: Week 5

Views, opinions, and comments on teams in the National Hockey League –

Calgary Flames

It’s not the start to the National Hockey League season G.M. Brad Treliving had hoped for. [Read more…]

Around the National Hockey League: Week 4

Views, Opinions, and comments on teams in the National Hockey League –

Anaheim Ducks

What’s with the Ducks?  They are off to unusual slow start with a 1-7-2 record. [Read more…]

Around The National Hockey League: Week 3

Views, Opinions, and comments on teams in the National Hockey League –

Calgary Flames

The Flames are off to a rough start to the season with only 2 wins in their first 7 games.  It’s not the start coach Bob Hartley and the G. M. Brad Treliving envisioned.  They have given up 27 goals against while only scoring 15 in 7 games.  Defenceman T.J. Brodie is out with an injury and that hasn’t helped but they have hopefully sorted out their goaltending issues by placing Kari Ramo on waivers.  This leaves Jonas Hiller as their starter and Joni Ortio as his backup.

It’s early but has free agent Michael Frolik been the player Treliving paid the money for?  Frolik is the highest paid forward on the Flames with an annual salary of 4.3 million a year.

Chicago Blackhawks

Injuries affect every team but some are saying the knee injury Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith suffered is going to hurt the team in a big way.  Keith is out from 4-6 weeks.  Duncan Keith is a workhorse on defence averaging over 24 minutes of ice time per game.  I think it’s an over reaction as the Hawks will just carry on with business as usual.  Still a dangerous team in my opinion.

Dallas Stars

The Stars are off to good start this season winning 6 out of their first 8 games.  They are getting scoring from forwards Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, and Ales Hemsky.  Signing goaltender Anti Niemi might turn out to be a very valuable pickup for the Stars.  Kari Lehtonen won’t be counted on to play in so many games this season.  The Stars have the offensive power but do they have the defence to make it back to the playoffs after missing out last season?

Edmonton Oilers

Todd McLellan’s coaching is starting to take effect in Edmonton.  Rookie Connor McDavid is starting to feel comfortable and Cam Talbot is providing solid goaltending the team lacked in the past.  For many Western Conference teams, it will not be a case of an easy two points when you play them at Rexall Place.  Center Ryan Nugent Hopkins is starting to show the skill and maturity that made him a first round pick in 2011.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues have a 5-2-1 record after their first  games.  Vladimir Tarasenko who signed a 8 year 60 million dollar contract is leading the team in scoring with 9 points in eight games.  An early loss to the Montreal Canadiens earlier this week, stopped the Blues 4 game winning streak.  On the injury front center, Paul Stastny will be out for up to five weeks with a broken foot.  More bad news for the Blues as Jaden Schwartz will be lost to the team for at least three months after he broke his ankle in practice this past Friday.

It’s early but G.M. Doug Armstrong is hoping this will be the year the Blues can make to the Stanley Cup final.  They have not been able to make it past the first round the last three years.

Columbus Blue Jackets

It didn’t take long for G.M. Jarmo Kekalainen to make a move with his struggling Columbus Blue Jackets.  He fired coach Todd Richards and promptly hired John Tortorella.  Not a coach I like and I wonder what the Columbus players think now that the fiery, bombastic coach is back on their bench.  Could be fireworks in Columbus.

I wonder if John Tortorella’s coaching style is the right one for the Blue Jackets?  If he does have success and guides the Jackets into the playoffs, he most likely will be up for coach of the year.

I’m sure the Vancouver Canucks are happy as they don’t have to pay the rest of Tortorella’s salary and get a controversial second round draft pick as compensation!

The Blue Jackets won their first game last night defeating the struggling Colorado Avalanche 4-3.

Florida Panthers

The Panthers are off to good start with the surprising forty-three year old Jaromir Jagr leading the way.  Quite an amazing story as he is  leading the team in scoring with 10 points in his first 8 games.  G.M. Dale Tallon had success with the Chicago Blackhawks and now he’s building a young Panther team that just might make the playoffs this season. 

Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are off to their best start in years winning their first nine games.  The goaltending tandem of Carey Price and Michael Condon have only allowed 12 goals in 9 games.  G.M. Marc Bergevin recently signed Tomas Plekanec to a two-year 12 million dollar extension.  Max Pacioretty is the new captain of the team and both he and Plekanec are producing.  Pacioretty is leading the team in scoring with 11 points in 9 games.  When will the streak end?

New York Rangers

Chicago Blackhawk’s cast-off goaltender Antti Raanta had a nice first start to his season shutting out the San Jose Sharks 4-0 earlier this week.

Washington Capitals

The Capitals are off to a fast start in the Metropolitan Division with a 6-1-0 record.  The team is getting scoring from most of their forwards with Evgeny Kuznetsov leading the team with 11 points in 7 games.  Forward Nicklas Backstrom has 7 points in just 4 games back from injury.  They had a successful road trip in Western Canada defeating the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, and the Edmonton Oilers.

 

NHL Notes:   This and That

Blocking shots is not easy in the NHL and there are a lot of injuries as a result.  It would be nice if they developed a skate that offered more protection.  They have a new skate for goaltenders and it was developed in Winnipeg.  Many of the NHL goaltenders are wearing them and they say the skate fits better than the traditional goalie skate.

Colour commentator Greg Millen for Sportsnet broadcasts has some interesting views concerning goaltenders and the lack of goal scoring in the NHL.  The retired NHL goaltender thinks the equipment goaltenders are using should be downsized in almost all areas.  Rather than making the nets bigger which he stated is a crazy idea cost wise he thinks with today’s technology, goalies could have much lighter equipment and it still would provide adequate protection.  I have to agree!

The New York Islanders signed Anthony Beauvillier to a three-year entry-level contract at $925,000 a year.  The Islanders are stockpiling a lot of skilled prospects with some (including AHT’s own Mitch Kasprick) were saying Beauvillier was a sleeper pick in the 2015 entry draft.

Rookie Watch

Three rookies have impressed me so far to start the season; Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, Connor McDavid in Edmonton, and Nikolaj Ehlers in Winnipeg.  They have many skills but their superior skating ability is what puts them above the rest in my opinion.  They will make an impact on their respective teams this year!

*

Around The National Hockey League: Week 2

Views, Opinions, and Comments on teams in the National Hockey League –

Weekly updates, news, rumours and opinions from around the National Hockey League. [Read more…]

Around The National Hockey League: Week 1

Views, opinions, and comments on teams in the National Hockey League –

Weekly updates, news, rumours and opinions from around the National Hockey League. [Read more…]

Phoenix Coyotes Acquire Martin Erat

Martin Erat —   

Position:  LW/RW      Shoots:  Left

DOB:  Aug. 29, 1981     Birthplace:  Trebic, Czech Republic 

Height:  6′     Weight:  195

Career Stats:  Games: 785   G: 165   A:  383  Pts:  508  PIM: 452   Plus/Minus:  9

The Phoenix Coyotes have traded for some much needed scoring help Tuesday, on the eve of the NHL trade deadline.  [Read more…]

NHL And NHLPA Approve Hybrid-Icing

NHL And NHLPA Approve Hybrid Icing For 2013-14 Season — 

The National Hockey League announced Monday that it will use hybrid-icing rules during the 2013-14 season after the NHLPA members voted in to accept the proposed rule change that was used during the NHL pre-season games. [Read more…]