Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Warrior Wednesday

               In 1964 the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings playing for the Stanley Cup. The Leafs were down in the series 3-2. It was in game 6 that Bobby Baun a Leaf defenceman took a shot of the ankle from none other than Gordie Howe. As a result Baun was carried off the ice on a stretcher and diagnosed with a cracked bone in his foot. That didn't faze Baun as he returned later on in the game and actually scored the game winner 1:43 into overtime to send the series to a game 7. Baun would play game 7 as the Leafs go on to win the game and the Stanley Cup. Bobby Baun is this weeks warrior for showing true heart and determination.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

So the best pro sports jerseys belong to....the Habs?

                    As you now know ESPN has pinned the Montreal Canadiens as having the best jerseys in all the major North American sports (MLB,NHL,NBA,NFL). Now looking over this list its hard to believe that some uniforms are where they are for example, the Columbus Blue Jackets are ranked 41st and the Edmonton Oilers are 104! ouch. Now for me this is a big surprise I would swap these too because I think the Blue Jackets have one of the ugliest jerseys in sports just my opinion.


           So what team owns the ugliest jersey in the NHL according to ESPN well that would be the lowly Colorado Avalanche. Now I like the Avalanche's jersey for me growing up being a big Joe Sakic fan Colorado's jerseys seem timeless to me like the original six, maybe it's just me though. In the bottom 5 the Dallas Stars,LA Kings,Washington Capitals,Edmonton Oilers and the St.Louis Blues also joins the Avalanche.

                   Rounding out the top 5 are: Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins joining the Canadiens at the top. The only original six team that didn't make the top ten were the Chicago Blackhawks which is ashamed cause they have a great looking jersey also its the logo for are jr .b squad the Thorold Blackhawks...had to give that shout out.

                  So who do you think deserves top spot in this list? Where does your team rank? (mine ranks sixth, my beloved Leafs) or do you think the Canadiens deserves top spot. Let me know in the comment section below.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Who's on your dream team?

          Ever wondered what it would be like for Orr to play with Lidstrom? or maybe Lemieux with the rocket? What about a game being played with Martin Brodeur at one end and Johnny Bower on the other. It's fun to think up all kinds of match-ups in your head if players from different generations could play against or with one another.

          So with that being said what if you were the gm of a team and you could have anybody to ever play the game on your team what would your starting 6 look like? here's mine....

          Well start from the crease out,arguably your goalie is the person who makes or breaks the team. We've seen what a hot goalie can do for a team (i.e Quick) so to pick a goalie is one of the hardest decisions. Now i''ll start off saying that I don't necessarily think the people i choose are the best at there positions I just like these players and would love to see them on the same line.My goalie that i choose has to be Martin Brodeur. Brodeur is definitely my favourite goalie of all time, he holds the records for most wins,most wins in a season,most career shutouts and many more. ( I know he has the most losses of all time too but come on he's been around awhile) For me there's no other one Brodeur gets my nod between the pipes.

         Next up is my D-pairing, this was a tough one to choose.Now Bobby Orr is a no brainier,he holds many records including most points in a season by a defence men (139) WOW! 19 more than Crosby's best season. Most assists by a defence men in a season (102) and 8 consecutive Norris Trophies just to name a couple achievements. Now to pick his partner, this was tough i could think of at least 10 suitable players but I boiled it down to 3: Paul Coffey,Ray Bourque and Nick Lidstrom. Now I'm going to pick Lidstrom for the reason that he is an unbelievable defender, he has great vision and he's a true leader. Lidstrom is a 4 time Stanley Cup winner,7 time Norris trophy winner and he won a Conn Smythe award in 2002, pretty great stuff. I would to see them play together,they would be my d-pair for sure.

        Now the interesting part...the forwards. For my left winger I got to choose my favourite player of all time Wendel Clark. The guy was an absolute beast I encourage you to check out his tribute "All Heart" on YouTube if you don't have a clue why I picked him(I'll post a link) he could hit,fight and score he was a one man wrecking crew in his day and he would be my left wing.

       My next choice is the right wing position for that I would love to have Mike Bossy. Bossy was a scoring machine! 573 goals in 752 games. He scored 50 goals or more in a season 9 years in a row with a career high of 69 not bad at all I just wish he played more than 10 years.

     Now last but not least we need a center, there is a TON of great players to choose from so I'll just say my pick. First I'll get this out of the way....I'm not a Gretzsky fan ....there I said it. So with that being said I pick Mario Lemieux to be my center his points are ridiculous...1723 pts in 915 games. He would be the perfect center beteween these to guys; he has size,playmaking abilities and size to dominate down low for me there is no other better than Mario Lemieux.

     So, how did I do? What do you agree or disagree with? Let me no in the comment section what your team would look like.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Quick Hit: Who's the best goalie in the league? Quick or Lundqvist?

            The NHL has changed over the last 20 years dramatically.With goalies improving in skill each year it's harder and harder to determine who's the best. It seems every year multiple goalies step out of the shadows and climb right to the top of the heap of top goalie. Just this year alone we seen Jonathan Quick flourish late in the season to cement himself as 2012 best. Notable others are Washington Capitals, Michal Neuvirth- a flash in the pan or future star? Another goalie who really figured it out was Phoenix Coyotes,Mike Smith.At the beginning of the 2011-2012 Smith was thought to be a decent goal very respectable numbers but someone who never broke through to be a star, well that has change. With an incredible post season Smith has become a goalie any team would love to have.

           So with that being said who's the best goalie? It's hard to say really, a goalie that's hot one year my not do so well next year. Then there are goalies that just seem to play great no matter what team is in front of them or how old they are. Here are the two goalies I think are top two in the league. I'll let you decide who's the best.

         Johnathan Quick- Alright it's a no brainier, we all watched the playoffs this year and it was almost impossible to ignore Quick, he was outstanding for the L.A Kings. Quick posted a 35-25-13 record in the regular season with a 1.95 GAA second to only Brian Elliot of the St.Louis Blues. Quick than went on to have a legendary post season carrying the 8th seeded Kings to the Stanley Cup. Topping his regular season stats Quick managed a 16-4 record along with a 1.41 GAA.Can Quick live up to these numbers next year? I think so he is young and still awaiting his prime.

       Hendrik Lundqvist- The next goalie in my top 3 has to be Hendrik Lundqvist , I choose Lundqvist not only cause he's a tremendous talent but he is also crazy consistent. He has never posted less than 30 wins in a season while playing for the Rangers and arguably his worst season he put up a 35-27-14 record...not too shabby.At the age of 30 Lundqvist seems to not be slowing down one bit. 


           So, did i get it right or wrong? Do these two deserve to be at the top or is there another goalie that should be the king of the mountain let me know in the comment section.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

What's new to NHL 13

      It's almost that time of year again, Ea sports is set to release it's latest edition,NHL 13. Well we still got a little less than 3 weeks to go. But in the mean time we are given the NHL 13 demo to pass the time and drool over the newest features and modes for this year.I got the opportunity to play the demo briefly today and overall I was pleased. Here's what I found.

       New realistic skating- Probably the most noticeable new gameplay feature is the skating. EA has developed a more realistic way to skate which for me is great. In previous years it was hard to get breakaways and odd man rushes because the defencemen could always skate the same speed both forwards and backwards but not this year. Players now will stop and take a second to turn their body and start skating in the opposite direction starting from a near stop. This is great fun if you have a fast player like Phil Kessel and you can catch a defenseman flat footed. Good on EA for finally fixing this problem.

      New modes- The two new modes that appear in the demo are NHL live moments and GM connected mode. I'll start with the NHL live moments mode, I think this is a fun mode for when you don't want to play a full game. In this mode your job is to recreate history. The demo has only one objective and that is to recreate game 5 of the 2012 western conference finals, more specifically the end of that game. Your goal is to score in overtime as the L.A Kings eliminating the Phoenix Coyotes .I can't wait to see what else we can recreate!The next new mode is gm connected. This feature allows you to be the gm of your favourite team just as be a gm mode but the twist is instead of trading with a computer you can now trade with up to 29 of your friends. You can play full seasons against friends all while calling the shots. I personally can't wait for this mode, it's the ultimate fantasy league!
      New rating system- NHL 13 has also come up with a new player rating system. Now I only got to examine two teams (Kings and Devils) and I found the ratings to be pretty bad, Martin Brodeur for one is only rated at 82, I know he's old and at the end of his career but come on he is one of the best goalies of all time and he did help his team get to the Stanley cup finals. I think they could have done a little better. There are more examples of bad ratings but I'll let you examine them for yourself. ( check out Sykoras rating,69 ouch)

       What is not so new- Now with all the new modes we can expect lots of things to be the same as last year. I found that the faceoffs and the hitting were the same as last year as well as in between faceoffs all those graphics are basically the same. I really haven't played to much to find more similarities but I'm sure there's a bunch and that's fine as long as EA steadily improves each year and this year...they have.

NHLs top 3 picks and what they'll do this season

61 days ago the NHL held their 50th entry draft, the entry draft is truly a unique day for a lot of people. First you have the franchises looking to draft young talent,trade picks to aquire a piece to make them a contender or maybe even a bit of both. Next you have the fans tuning in to see the next move there favourite team will make; and last but not least you have the draftees themselves over 200 kids waiting to have their name called and join the team that put all the trust into them.With that comes great pressure astowed on a young man, some players flourish and some crumble under the pressure.

        This blog is about how I think the top 3 picks will do come next season.What you read is simply my opinion, players can improve quicker than expected or not develop at all. Please feel free to make your opinons heard in the comments section.

        The first player we should talk about today is Nail Yakupov. As everyone knows he was drafted first overall by the Edmonton Oilers.
Yakupov joins a team with already an abundence of young talent with the likes of Hall,Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle just to name a few. First I think I should say that I really dont like the pick. I feel the Oilers should have drafted Ryan Murray instead. But this isnt that kind of article(but if anybody wants to comment on the first overall pick and what you would have done I'd like to read it) Many writers seem to think Yakupov will play along side of Taylor Hall and Ales Hemsky.
Whether he plays with them or not remains to be seen but he will play this season for the Oilers (barring a lockout). He will be in the spot light all season and in the medias eye. I think Yakupovs skill,great shot and powerplay time will net him around 47-52 points this year ( 19 goals, 30 assits) is my prediction.

       The next player we will be talking about is Ryan Murray. Murray was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets the team that just can't catch a break. Scott Howson has done a terrible job with the Blue Jackets the past 5 years but it seems he finally got it right. Ryan Murray will do wonders for this team in all areas of the game; 5 on 5,powerplay and penalty kill.  Although the Blue Jackets will struggle Ryan Murray will not. I expect 25-30 points (7 goals,20 assits) is my prediction.

       The last player we will talk about today is the most interesting one. Drafted 3rd overall by the Montreal Canadians was Alex Galchenyuk. This center is 6'1" and 200lbs he is a great fit for the Canadians as they need size up the middle;...actually size everywhere is needed. Galchenyuk is coming off a knee injury which had him miss almost all of the 2011-2012 season. Questions surrounding Galchenyuk are about injuries,the russian factor and does he use his size properly. If Galchenyuk can make the team and play a full 82 games I expect him to be average this year. It's really hard to gage Galchenyuk I truly beleave he will get in the 30-35 point range (9 goal,21 assits) is my prediction.

     I know most people won't agree with my predictions. I can see people saying how can you expect Murray and Galchenyuk to get nearly the same numbers with Murray being on the Blue Jackets.
Well my reasoning is I think Murray will have a much bigger role for his team than Galchenyuk will with the Canadians.

     Keep in mind these predictions are made with these players playing a full 82 games for there team which I dont think will happen to any player in this draft except Nail Yakupov.I hope you enjoy the blog.