It’s the most wonderful time of the year, kids! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, it’s finally above freezing in the NY Metro area, and hockey is about to be on at all times. Really, what’s better?
Here on the blog, we’ve previewed each of the eight upcoming series, broken down by series and by each writer. Share yours in the comments and let us know how spot on / awful our predictions are.
The Rangers had their third attempt to clinch a playoff spot last night against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets, and with Dave missing half the game, it’s only fair that a half short paragraphed, half Twitter recap take his usually gif-filled space.
This game started with approximately six thousand references to the fact that the two teams have swapped players. As if our livers haven’t been damaged enough with the recent play by the Rangers.
Dave has the night off from doing game recaps cause he’s sick, so tonight is a gif-free, points-only night. There were lots of goals and, thankfully, most of them were scored by the home team.
Before we start, I wanted to throw something out there about the Stars’ goalies. To put it as concisely as possible, they’re not good. We spoil ourselves with great goaltending every night, so much so that when our defense lets us down and hangs Hank out to dry, we get angry at him. It’s abnormal. The Stars’ “number one” is Antti Niemi, who took the job from the sieve known as Kari Lehtonen. I personally despise Lehtonen since I failed to drop him last year, but that’s neither here nor there.
Merry Christmas, y’all! It’s a lovely day, whether you celebrate or not, because chances are, you’re not at work! If you do celebrate, you’re also feverishly unwrapping gifts and relieved that shopping madness is over. Bonus: it’s super warm in the Northeast, so if you’re not quite in the mood to watch Hour 14 of the Yule Log, you can go play outside and burn off some of that ham.
Tomorrow starts 10 day haul that is the IIHF World Junior Championships over in Finland, so our hockey withdrawal will slowly subside. Prelims on Saturday include Canada-USA at 1pm. We also get the return of NHL hockey tomorrow, so before then, let’s take a look at what the BSB crew is low-key hoping to get this morning from Santa.
It feels like every season I find myself writing a post scorning the dangerous play of a handful of NHL athletes, and this past week’s action by Flyers’ defenseman Radko Gudas. Gudas took liberties with a hit on Senators’ forward Mika Zibanejad, going for a clear head shot while playing the puck(???) last Tuesday:
Zibanejad to the locker room after this hit pic.twitter.com/boaupGEHaz
— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 2, 2015
The fun part of situations like this comes when you read people defending the actions of the Flyers’ “defenseman,” loosely quoted because between this year and last with Tampa, I can’t remember a positive hockey-related thing he has done. Or a positive thing at all, but I digress. Sure, it wasn’t charging or interference because Zibanejad had just passed the puck. However, instead of tracking the puck, Gudas feels the urge to introduce Zibanejad’s face to his forearm. Maybe he was feeling amicable, who knows.
The World Cup of Hockey will be back next September in Toronto, prior to the beginning of the 2016-17 NHL season. Scouting for the national teams has already begun, with GMs and coaches announced and the expectations of rosters being set sometime in March. We’ve seen snubs and surprises in the 2014 Olympics, so let’s go over some expected changes in the rosters.
Over the next few months, before the rosters are announced, we’ll take a look at the possible additions and subtractions to the World Cup teams, and how certain countries may look different than what we expect.
Ahh November, the second full month of hockey when everyone’s beginning to shake the dust off and come into their true 2015-16 form. It’s when teams are beginning to either warm up or fizzle out, when the teams you expect to be in first are and those that have started hot can really prove themselves. it’s when your Saturday fantasy teams are so packed that you definitely have to bench a guy who’s playing tonight — and flip out when they score some goals.
Apparently, it’s also the time that the rumor mill gets started and hot takes heat up. Last week, trade rumors came about for two forwards from the West, one of whom made Rangers twitter a complete nut house and pretty unbearable in general. Yes, more unbearable than usual. Read More→
I’ll preface this short post by letting you know that this will be a rant. The Rangers game last night wasn’t pretty, and after reading Alain Vigneault’s comments about the current roster situation yesterday, one has to wonder if there will be changes tonight. But I think that this tweet I posted last night is really the most concise way to say how I feel about things right now:
Last night, two good friends and I piled into a car for the two-hour trip to Hartford to see the Wolf Pack play the Utica Comets. The Comets are the affiliate team of the Vancouver Canucks, and made it to the Calder Cup finals last year before losing in five games to the LA Kings affiliate. The Pack were looking for their second win of the season, and found it in shutout fashion.
I will admit that I do not ever follow prospects (unlike Josh, whose knowledge amazes me), which is not something I’m proud of, but it was really enjoyable to spend an evening up close and personal with the future of the organization. Going in, I was most excited to check out Brady Skjei and, if possible, try to persuade him to come down to the Garden in time for today’s Rangers game. That being said, I’m very glad to have had some exposure to the “baby Rangers.”
On to the bullet points… Read More→
With hockey returning in only three (!!!) days, fans have a lot to rejoice about. If you follow teams outside of Rangerstown, you know that there is a lot to look for this upcoming season that will make things interesting. Let’s check out what to watch for outside of the Garden.
Rookie Mania: ever heard of this guy Connor McDavid? Of course you have! There is a lot of hype surrounding the 18 year old center, and with good reason. With 120 points in 47 games played last year with the Erie Otters, plus another 49 in 20 playoff games, there’s a lot of hype to live up to. Will he or won’t he? NHL players expect that he will.