With the season beginning, the topics of conversation are all over the place. Some interesting ones from around the league include the Avalanche start (abysmal at best, someone really needs to start a Patrick Roy bail fund for when he loses it) and the shaky starts of some elite goaltenders (Jonathan Quick and Tuukka Rask), among many great single games to discuss.
Since we’re always trying to find fun new ways to open Rangers fans eyes to league happenings, today we’re going to play Devil’s Advocate. Here, two of us (Dave and myself) will argue both sides of an issue. Perspective – it’s a hell of a thing.
Today, we discuss the NHL hiring Chris Pronger to head the Department of Player Safety.
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Senators makin’ waves
Today marks the last day of the preseason for hockey, with just one game being played at 3pm between Carolina and Washington. The season is three short days away. The endless summer is over. Is this music to your ears yet?
It certainly has been around the league, where several teams have been forced to make moves based on what they’ve seen over the past couple of weeks. Injuries have struck, tryouts have gone decidedly well or poorly, extensions have been signed (and some haven’t been considered), and leadership moves have been made.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know before the season starts on Wednesday. Read more »
The Rangers squared off against the Devils for their final preseason game before the 2014-15 season. Unfortunately, this was a 3-0 loss. Even more unfortunately, Dave had a wedding so I had to watch this game.
Before you read the important game notes I jotted down during the loss, keep in mind that there are still some roster spots to fill, so Alain Vigneault put out the following team (c/o Andrew Gross):
On to some notes… Read more »
It’s that time of the year again. Preseason hockey officially kicks off today with Carolina facing Columbus this afternoon at 1:30pm. The Garden has a fresh sheet of ice down, ready to see the Rangers skate their first preseason game tomorrow night. Less than three weeks stand between us and the regular season. We’re already getting injury reports. Life is good for the hockey fan.
Late September also blooms into a time when, if you’re very rabid, you find nothing wrong with planning social events around your several fantasy drafts. Each of these is special in their own ways: admit it, the head to head with your co-workers is important cause of 40 hours a week bragging rights, but your keeper league that Jim has won three years in a row needs a new king in town, right? So you strategize. You agonize. You figure out your way to win and you go for it.
Lucky for you, faithful reader, I have been watching a disgusting amount of Grey’s Anatomy lately and I feel confident in diagnosing the Five Stages of Fantasy Drafting. Read more »
Study up, boys!
With only 23 days til the open of hockey(!!!!), the officials with the National Hockey League have, as is often done, made provisions to the rulebook. This is done to keep up with the ever-changing sport, to give referees a reason to have pop quizzes, and to confuse (and sometimes upset) the common fan. But fear not, faithful BSB reader! I have done some research for you and I’ll zero in on what you need to know.
There were only ten changes made, some having to do with penalties, some having to do with ice space, and a couple about overtime. A spark notes version of the changes is as follows: Read more »
New Post, Old Picture
Last Sunday, we looked at playoff teams from last year which should be playing late April hockey again in 2015. Sixteen teams make it, and though none of us have a crystal ball (and if you do, remember, sharing is caring), based on offseason moves and prospect development, we could all have a good sense of teams that will be good and teams that won’t. Speaking of teams that won’t, we all know that just being in the playoffs one year does not guarantee success in years to come.
Let’s take a look again at the playoff teams of 2014:
Thanks again CBS Sports
It’s a fairly safe bet to say that not each and every team on the above bracket will be there next year. Frankly, let’s hope not; it would make for a pretty boring year. Let’s take a look at some teams which may be facing locker room breakup day when the season ends next spring.
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Is it hockey season yet?
Throughout the course of a season, a team will play 82 games in the hopes of playing just four more rounds for the chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup. These 82 games are no walk in the park. They consist of grueling hits, tough goals and workouts that most of us would pass out or throw up halfway through. These athletes do it because they want to know the glory of being the very best, having their names etched in glory forever on the greatest trophy in all sports.
Of the 30 teams in the NHL, 16 make it to the first round of the playoffs. For certain teams, making the playoffs is a distant dream. For others, missing them is beyond unacceptable. Below is the breakout of the first round from April 2014:
s/t CBS Sports
So which of these teams will most likely make it again?
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The Rangers aren’t the only team who need a C
As discussed last week, there is much speculation to who will follow in Ryan Callahan’s nearly three season footsteps and lead the Blueshirts as their fearless captain this year. The Rangers aren’t the only team to be facing this kind of indecision. Though Tampa was able to name a captain immediately after trading Martin St. Louis, several teams who have lost their captains to free agency or trades during the offseason are currently suffering a hole in their leadership groups.
Of the 30 teams contending in the NHL, seven have no current captain, and 11 have at least one missing alternate captain. Of these teams, some have lost their captains to trades or free agency, however at least one has stripped their leaders of their letters. Let’s take a look at the six clubs besides the Rangers who are missing captains leading up to training camp.
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Loads of armchair GM’s have had one thought on the backburner of their mind since Ryan Callahan was traded last March: who will be the next captain? Instead of instantly naming a new captain, a move which the Lightning made immediately upon the captain-for-captain swap of Callahan for Martin St. Louis, the Rangers simply promoted Dan Girardi to full time alternate. Joining Marc Staal and Brad Richards proudly wearing the ‘A’ on their sweaters was a promotion of sorts for Girardi, who signed an extension during the regular season.
Around now is when I would cite some reliable sources about the most recent news as to who will be leading our beloved Blueshirts through seasons to come, but quite frankly I would rather irresponsibly yap about my opinion and play a few rounds of Devil’s Advocate. We know that Richards can’t be the captain, leaving us with two logical guesses in Staal and Girardi. Many are convinced that Ryan McDonagh is a lock for the role. How about veteran and former captain St. Louis? Or another former captain in Rick Nash? The possibilities are endless.
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Since social media is a delightful and offensively large part of our lives, I’ve convinced the guys to go to the dark side and join Instagram. The first post is Dave making a dope of himself by donating and accepting his nomination for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Look out for some fun hockey stuff on there.
Give us a follow here.