Sunday, June 25, 2017

NHL Schedule Announced

Start marking your calendars now. The National Hockey League has announced the Schedule for the 2017-18 season. I know its been a couple of weeks since the 2016-17 ended, but hockey fans can't get enough of the coolest game on earth. We will get into the local teams in a bit. First things first. There are some other big games that are set to take place this season around the league. There's the Penguins raising the 5th Cup banner in the teams history. Las Vegas will play its first professional game as a team, which is the time we've had expansion since 2000. We have three outdoor games set for this year, one in Ottawa, one in Queens, and one in Washington DC. We have plenty of big games scheduled for this season.

Since we are in the New York market, here's the schedule for both the Rangers and Islanders.

Thu, Oct 5 vs Colorado 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 7 @ Toronto 7:00 PM
Sun, Oct 8 vs Montreal 7:00 PM
Tue, Oct 10 vs St. Louis 7:00 PM
Fri, Oct 13 @ Columbus 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 14 vs New Jersey 7:00 PM
Tue, Oct 17 vs Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Thu, Oct 19 vs NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 21 vs Nashville 1:00 PM
Mon, Oct 23 vs San Jose 7:00 PM
Thu, Oct 26 vs Arizona 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 28 @ Montreal 7:00 PM
Tue, Oct 31 vs Las Vegas 7:00 PM

Thu, Nov 2 @ Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Sat, Nov 4 @ Florida 7:00 PM
Mon, Nov 6 vs Columbus 7:00 PM
Wed, Nov 8 vs Boston 8:00 PM
Sat, Nov 11 vs Edmonton 1:00 PM
Wed, Nov 15 @ Chicago 8:00 PM
Fri, Nov 17 @ Columbus 7:00 PM
Sun, Nov 19 vs Ottawa 7:00 PM
Wed, Nov 22 @ Carolina 7:00 PM
Fri, Nov 24 vs Detroit 7:00 PM
Sun, Nov 26 vs Vancouver 2:00 PM
Tue, Nov 28 vs Florida 7:00 PM

Fri, Dec 1 vs Carolina 7:00 PM
Tue, Dec 5 @ Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Fri, Dec 8 @ Washington 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 9 vs New Jersey 7:00 PM
Mon, Dec 11 vs Dallas 7:00 PM
Wed, Dec 13 @ Ottawa 7:00 PM
Fri, Dec 15 vs Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 16 @ Boston 5:00 PM
Tue, Dec 19 vs Anaheim 7:00 PM
Thu, Dec 21 @ New Jersey 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 23 vs Toronto 7:00 PM
Wed, Dec 27 vs Washington 7:00 PM
Fri, Dec 29 @ Detroit 7:30 PM

Mon, Jan 1 @ Buffalo 1:00 PM
Wed, Jan 3 vs Chicago 8:00 PM
Sat, Jan 6 @ Arizona 8:00 PM
Sun, Jan 7 @Las Vegas 9:30 PM
Sat, Jan 13 vs NY Islanders 1:00 PM
Sun, Jan 14 @ Pittsburgh 12:30 PM
Tue, Jan 16 vs Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Thu, Jan 18 vs Buffalo 7:00 PM
Sat, Jan 20 @ Colorado 3:00 PM
Sun, Jan 21 @ Los Angeles 10:30 PM
Tue, Jan 23 @ Anaheim 10:00 PM
Thu, Jan 25 @ San Jose 10:30 PM

Thu, Feb 1 vs Toronto 7:00 PM
Sat, Feb 3 @ Nashville 8:00 PM
Mon, Feb 5 @ Dallas 8:30 PM
Wed, Feb 7 vs Boston 8:00 PM
Fri, Feb 9 vs Calgary 7:00 PM
Sun, Feb 11 @ Winnipeg 3:00 PM
Tue, Feb 13 @ Minnesota 8:00 PM
Thu, Feb 15 @ NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Sat, Feb 17 @ Ottawa 2:00 PM
Sun, Feb 18 vs Philadelphia 1:00 PM
Thu, Feb 22 @ Montreal 7:30 PM
Fri, Feb 23 vs Minnesota 7:00 PM
Sun, Feb 25 vs Detroit 7:00 PM
Wed, Feb 28 @ Vancouver 10:00 PM

Fri, Mar 2 @ Calgary 9:00 PM
Sat, Mar 3 @ Edmonton 10:30 PM
Tue, Mar 6 vs Winnipeg 7:00 PM
Thu, Mar 8 @ Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Sat, Mar 10 @ Florida 7:00 PM
Mon, Mar 12 vs Carolina 7:00 PM
Wed, Mar 14 vs Pittsburgh 8:00 PM
Sat, Mar 17 @ St. Louis 8:00 PM
Tue, Mar 20 vs Columbus 7:00 PM
Thu, Mar 22 @ Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Sat, Mar 24 vs Buffalo 7:00 PM
Mon, Mar 26 vs Washington 7:00 PM
Wed, Mar 28 @ Washington 8:00 PM
Fri, Mar 30 vs Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Sat, Mar 31 @ Carolina 7:00PM

Tue, Apr 3 @ New Jersey 7:00 PM
Thu, Apr 5 @ NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Sat, Apr 7 @ Philadelphia 3:00 PM

Fri, Oct 6 @ Columbus 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 7 vs Buffalo 7:00 PM
Mon, Oct 9 vs St. Louis 1:00 PM
Wed, Oct 11 @ Anaheim 10:00 PM
Sat, Oct 14 @ San Jose 10:30 PM
Sun, Oct 15 @ Los Angeles 10:30 PM
Thu, Oct 19 @ NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 21 vs San Jose 7:00 PM
Tue, Oct 24 vs Arizona 7:00 PM
Thu, Oct 26 @ Minnesota 8:00 PM
Sat, Oct 28 @ Nashville 8:00 PM
Mon, Oct 30 vs Las Vegas 7:00 PM

Thu, Nov 2 @ Washington 7:00PM
Sun, Nov 5 vs Colorado 6:00 PM
Tue, Nov 7 vs Edmonton 7:00 PM
Fri, Nov 10 @ Dallas 8:30 PM
Sat, Nov 11 @ St. Louis 8:00 PM
Thu, Nov 16 vs Carolina 7:00 PM
Sat, Nov 18 @ Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Sun, Nov 19 @ Carolina 5:00 PM
Wed, Nov 22 vs Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Fri, Nov 24 @ Philadelphia 4:00 PM
Sat, Nov 25 @ Ottawa
Tue, Nov 28 vs Vancouver 7:00 PM

Fri, Dec 1 vs Ottawa 7:00 PM
Mon, Dec 4 @ Florida 7:30 PM
Tue, Dec 5 @ Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Thu, Dec 7 @ Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 9 @ Boston 7:00 PM
Mon, Dec 11 vs Washington 7:00 PM
Wed, Dec 13 vs Dallas 7:00 PM
Thu, Dec 14 @ Columbus 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 16 vs Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Tue, Dec 19 vs Detroit 7:00 Pm
Thu, Dec 21 vs Anaheim 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 23 vs Winnipeg 1:00 PM
Wed, Dec 27 vs Buffalo 7:00 PM
Fri, Dec 29 @ Winnipeg 8:00 PM
Sun, Dec 31 @ Colorado 8:00 PM

Tue, Jan 2 vs Boston 7:00 PM
Thu, Jan 4 @ Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Fri, Jan 5 vs Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Sun, Jan 7 vs New Jersey 1:00 PM
Sat, Jan 13 @ NY Rangers 1:00 PM
Mon, Jan 15 @ Montreal 7:30 PM
Tue, Jan 16 vs New Jersey 7:00 PM
Thu, Jan 18 vs Boston 7:00 PM
Sat, Jan 20 @ Chicago 8:30 PM
Mon, Jan 22 @ Arizona 9:00 PM
Thu, Jan 25 @Las Vegas 10:00 PM
Tue, Jan 30 vs Florida 7:00 PM
Wed, Jan 31 @ Toronto 7:30 PM

Sat, Feb 3 vs Columbus 7:00 PM
Mon, Feb 5 vs Nashville 7:00 PM
Thu, Feb 8 @ Buffalo 7:00 PM
Fri, Feb 9 vs Detroit 7:00 PM
Sun, Feb 11 vs Calgary 7:00 PM
Tue, Feb 13 vs Columbus 7:00 PM
Thu, Feb 15 vs NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Fri, Feb 16 @ Carolina 7:30 PM
Mon, Feb 19 vs Minnesota 1:00 PM
Thu, Feb 22 @ Toronto 7:00 PM
Sat, Feb 24 @ New Jersey 7:00 PM
Wed, Feb 28 @ Montreal 7:00 PM

Fri, Mar 2 vs Montreal 7:00 PM
Sat, Mar 3 @ Pittsburgh 5:00 PM
Mon, Mar 5 @ Vancouver 10:00 PM
Thu, Mar 8 @ Edmonton 9:00 PM
Sun, Mar 11 @ Calgary 7:00 PM
Thu, Mar 15 vs Washington 7:00 PM
Fri, Mar 16 @ Washington 7:00 PM
Sun, Mar 18 vs Carolina 5:00 PM
Tue, Mar 20 vs Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Thu, Mar 22 vs Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Sat, Mar 24 vs Chicago 7:00 PM
Mon, Mar 26 vs Florida 7:00 PM
Tue, Mar 27 @ Ottawa 7:30 PM
Fri, Mar 30 vs Toronto 7:00 PM
Sat, Mar 31 @ New Jersey 7:00 PM

Tue, Apr 3 vs Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Thu, Apr 5 vs NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Sat, Apr 7 @ Detroit 7:00 PM

Thursday, June 22, 2017

NHL Awards Announced

Let's hand out the hardware shall we. Every year, the national hockey League takes a moment to recognize the best in individual achievement in the great team sport of Hockey. These awards may change hands from year to year, that's true, but for one season at least, should you win an award, it means that you were the very best in the game. This is one night of the year where the players get to dress up and honor the best that was from the year that was around the league. So, without further delay, lets take a look back at the hardware that was handed out in Vegas.

Mark Messier Leadership Award (Awarded by former player Mark Messier, himself, to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season)

Winner:  Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL Foundation Player Award (Awarded to the player who applies the core values of hockey to enrich the lives of people in his community)

Winner: Travis Hamonic, New York Islanders

King Clancy Memorial Trophy (Awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community. Named after player, coach and team executive King Clancy)

Winner: Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (Awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. Named after Bill Masterton, the only player in NHL history to die as a direct result of injuries suffered during a game)

Winner: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Awarded to the player who exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability. Named after Lady Byng of Vimy, 40th viceregal consort of Canada, who donated the original trophy to the league)

Winner: Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
He was a finalist for the first time this year and it comes as almost no surprise that Johnny Hockey won the award. He averaged 18:29 of ice time in 72 games and was assessed two minor penalties. He had 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in his final 16 games without being called for a penalty. Gaudreau led the Flames with 61 points (18 goals, 43 assists). His numbers were solid and he beat out guys like Vladimir Tarasenko of the Blues and Mikael Granlund of the Wild.

Frank J. Selke Trophy (Awarded to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game. Named after general manager Frank J. Selke)

Winner: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
This guy is almost kind of making it his personal award now a days. This is the 4th time that Bergeron has won the award, one of only two players to ever win the award that many times, joining Bob Gainey, who won the award each of the first four years of its existence. This year, Bergeron beat out Ducks center Ryan Kesler and Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu. Bergeron did a little bit of everything for the Bruins. He won faceoffs, killed penalties and scored points. He can put points on the board and shut down the oppositions best forwards from doing that as well. He might be one of the most underrated all around players in the league today.

Ted Lindsay Award (Awarded to the NHL's outstanding player as selected by the members of the NHL Players Association)

Winner: Conor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
No surprise McDavid walked away with this award. He led the NHL with 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists) this season and helped the Oilers reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2006. He joined Wayne Gretzky (1982-85, 1987) and Mark Messier (1990) as Oilers to win the award and became the youngest to win it since Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby in 2007 as a 19-year-old. He beat out the leagues leading goal scorer Sidney Crosby of the Penguins and one of the top blueliners in the game, Brent Burns of the Sharks

Jack Adams Award (Awarded to the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success. Named after player, coach and general manager Jack Adams)

Winner:  John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets
This marks the 2nd career win for Torts winning the award, winning the award the last time in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This year, he beat out Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Todd McLellan of the Edmonton Oilers as top bench boss in all of hockey. And with good reason. Look at what he was able to do with the Jackets this season. The Blue Jackets had their best season since entering the NHL in 2000. Columbus set its records for wins (50) and points (108), finishing third in the Metropolitan Division to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third time in its history. The Blue Jackets also had a 16-game winning streak, one shy of the NHL record of 17 set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins. When a team puts up those kind of numbers, the coach does have some influence over them and Torts did a fantastic job of leading the Jackets this year. Now maybe they will take another step in the right direction soon by winning a round in the playoffs.

Calder Memorial Trophy (Awarded to the league's most outstanding rookie player. Named after Frank Calder, the first NHL President.)

Winner: Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Talk about a hell of a season. First pick overall in the draft, score four goals opening night and make the playoffs all in the same year. Not a bad way to start a career for Auston Matthews. Matthews was up against fellow finalists Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets and Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets to become the first Maple Leaf to win the Calder since Brit Selby in 1966. Matthews is the 10th Maple Leaf to win the award, joining Syl Apps (1937), Gaye Stewart (1943), Gus Bodnar (1944), Frank McCool (1945), Howie Meeker (1947), Frank Mahovlich (1958), Dave Keon (1961), Kent Douglas (1963) and Selby. Matthews is the first United States-born player to win the Calder since defenseman Tyler Myers in 2010 with the Buffalo Sabres. Matthews had 40 goals and 29 assists in 82 regular-season games and four goals and one assist in six games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Toronto lost to the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference First Round. Only way for him to go is up from here. He's no doubt the leader and brightest young star on this Leafs team and this is a great way to cap off an incredable year.

James Norris Memorial Trophy (Awarded to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position. Named after team owner James E. Norris)

Winner: Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
This marks the first career win for not only Brent Burns, but it also marks the first time that a Sharks player has snagged the award. This is a bit of a reprive almost for Burns, who finished 3rd in Norris voting last year. He was able to gain more votes then Erik Karlsson of the Senators and Victor Hedman of the Lightning. Burns had 76 points (29 goals, 47 assists) in 82 games, leading defensemen in goals and points. On Feb. 18, he had 27 goals but didn't score for 16 games. During his scoring drought the Sharks fell out of first place in the Pacific Division and finished third at 46-29-7. Burns played this year like a man on a mission. He had the bitter taste in his mouth from the Sharks losing to the Penguins in the Finals and wanted to get back. He did all that he could for the Sharks, who are getting a little older and might not be as competitive a team as they once were. And when you look at Bruns, you see a guy who has the all around ability to dominate a game on any given night, as his scoring numbers show. Same argument too can be made for both Karlsson and Hedman, who each had outstanding years in their own right, but they weren't as good as Burns this season.

Vezina Trophy (Awarded to the league's top goaltender. Named after goaltender Georges Vezina)

Winner: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
This marks the 2nd time in the last five years that Bob has snagged the top goalie award, having won it in 2013. Bob took the award over Brayden Holtby of the Capitals and Carey Price of the Canadiens. And just look at the numbers that Bob posted this year. Bobrovsky led the NHL this season with a 2.06 goals-against average and .932 save percentage, and was second with a Blue Jackets-record 41 wins in 63 games. His seven shutouts were tied for third, trailing Holtby (nine) and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins (eight). Bobrovsky's 14-game winning streak from Nov. 29-Jan. 3 is tied with six other goalies for second-longest in League history; Gilles Gilbert of the Bruins won 17 straight in 1975-76. Now don't get me wrong, both Holtby and Price put up outstanding numbers this season. But Bob not only put up numbers, in some regards at least, that were better then those two guys, he was a MAJOR factor as to why the Blue Jackets were as good as they were this season.

Hart Memorial Trophy (Awarded to the league's most valuable player. The original trophy was donated to the league by Dr. David A. Hart, father of coach Cecil Hart)

Winner: Conor McDavid. Edmonton Oilers
McDavid beat out both Sidney Crosby of the Penguins and Sergei Bobrovsky of the Blue Jackets to snag the honor of being the best player in the game during the 2016-17 regular season.This marks the first MVP for McDavid and he is the first Oilers player to snag the award since Mark Messier in 1990 to take home the trophy. Its an honor that is richly deserved for McDavid. The 20-year-old center is the third-youngest player in League history to win the Hart. Wayne Gretzky (1980) and Sidney Crosby (2007) each won the award at age 19. McDavid led the League with 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists) in 82 games in his first full NHL season, winning the Art Ross Trophy and helping the Oilers qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. The award is designed to honor the best player in the game during the regular season and that was McDavid this year. He was the leading scorer in the NHL and if it wasn't for him the Oilers would have continued their playoff drought this year. Hell just look at the Oilers comparing last year to this season. Edmonton was a mess last year and McDavid missed a large chunk of playing time because he had a broken collar bone in his left shoulder. This year, he was healthy and really on his game, leading the charge in Oiler Country. If this year was a sign of things to come, then Edmonton is going to be in great shape for a long long time with this kid at the helm for this team on the ice.

So there you have it, the award winners in the NHL this season!

Introducing The Vegas Golden Knights

We have a real team on our hands. It was announced Wednesday night at the NHL Awards, the National Hockey league now has themselves a 31st team. The Vegas Golden Knights have arrived. It was announced on Wednesday that the first three games for the Knights will be played October 6th in Dallas and Saturday October 7th in Arizona, while there home opener will take place October 10th against Arizona. Who will be playing on that team was also revealed on Wednesday night. They selected 30 players from current teams, as well as adding a few more via trades along with Picks.

So here now is the full roster of the Vegas Golden Knights:

Teemu Pulkkinen (Arizona Coyotes)
William Carrier (Buffalo Sabres)
Tomas Nosek (Detroit Red Wings)
Cody Eakin (Dallas Stars)
Jonathan Marchessault (Florida Panthers)
Reilly Smith (via trade, Florida Panthers)
Connor Brickley (Carolina Hurricanes)
Chris Thorburn (Winnipeg Jets)
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (Philadelphia Flyers)
Nikita Gusev (via trade, Tampa Bay Lightning)
Mikhail Grabovski (via trade, New York Islanders)
James Neal (Nashville Predators)
Brendan Leipsic (Toronto Maple Leafs)
David Perron (St. Louis Blues)
Oscar Lindberg (New York Rangers)
Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild)
Alex Tuch (via trade, Minnesota Wild)
William Karlsson (Columbus Blue Jackets)
David Clarkson (via trade, Columbus Blue Jackets)

Luca Sbisa (Vancouver Canucks)
Jon Merrill (New Jersey Devils)
Brayden McNabb (Los Angeles Kings)
Jason Garrison (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Jake Bischoff (via trade, New York Islanders)
Deryk Engelland (Calgary Flames)
Colin Miller (Boston Bruins)
Marc Methot (Ottawa Senators)
David Schlemko (San Jose Sharks)
Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oilers)
Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens)
Clayton Stoner (Anaheim Ducks)
Shea Theodore (via trade, Anaheim Ducks)
Trevor van Riemsdyk (Chicago Blackhawks)
Nate Schmidt (Washington Capitals)

Calvin Pickard (Colorado Avalanche)
J-F Berube (New York Islanders)
Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Just by looking at this list, the Golden Knights may have something brewing out in Vegas. They will still add pieces, sure, through the draft as well as possible trades and free agency. Just by looking at the list above, there's quite a bit to be optimistic about in Vegas.

Lets start in net shall we. Fleury should be the number one. I know he's 32 but there's still something to prove in that he has plenty left in the tank to be effective. Pickard and Berube will figure it out during camp who's going to be the steady backup behind Fleury. On the blueline, there's plenty of talent to start off. Methot, Schlemko, Emlin and Garrison are, in all likelyhood, going to be your top four blueliners. Those four guys play solid games at both ends of the rink. Also bringing in guys like Niller, Stoner Sbisa, they bring more of a defnsive minded game to the blue line, in that they don't really have to join up on the rush.

Of course, you have the guys up front who have the ability to put the puck in the back of the net. The two biggest names that are going to be counted on to do that are David Perron and James Neal, both of whom have a strong history of doing that in this league. Jonathan Marchessault, Riley Smith, Erik Haula, will help round out some of the deft scoring touch. Christ Thorburn, David Clarkson, William Karlsson and Cody Eakin were brought on to add another level of toughness to this team as well.

Right now, general manager George McPhee and Head Coach Gerard Gallant have a team that, on paper, could make some noise in the Pacific Division, as well as the Western Conference, this season.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Expansion Protected List

The time has finally come. For the first time since the 2000 season, the National Hockey League is going through an expansion draft. The Las Vegas Golden Knights will take the ice to begin their inaugural season this October. In order to make this thing happen, the Golden Knights get the pick of the litter from current NHL Rosters. The team has until 5PM tonight to make their selections from the other 30 current NHL clubs, and the roster will be announced during the NHL Awards, which take place in Las Vegas, Wednesday night.

The following is the list of players who are protected by the other 30 NHL teams:

Anaheim Ducks:
Andrew Cogliano (F)
Ryan Getzlaf (F)
Ryan Kesler (F)
Corey Perry (F)
Rickard Rakell (F)
Jakob Silfverberg (F)
Antoine Vermette (F)
Kevin Bieksa (D)
Cam Fowler (D)
Hampus Lindholm (D)
John Gibson (G)

Arizona Coyotes:
Nick Cousins (F)
Anthony Duclair (F)
Jordan Martinook (F)
Tobias Rieder (F)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D)
Alex Goligoski (D)
Connor Murphy (D)
Luke Schenn (D)
Chad Johnson (G)

Boston Bruins:
David Backes (F)
Patrice Bergeron (F)
David Krejci (F)
Brad Marchand (F)
Riley Nash (F)
David Pastrnak (F)
Ryan Spooner (F)
Zdeno Chara (D)
Torey Krug (D)
Kevan Miller (D)
Tuukka Rask (G)

Buffalo Sabres:
Tyler Ennis (F)
Marcus Foligno (F)
Zemgus Girgensons (F)
Evander Kane (F)
Johan Larsson (F)
Ryan O'Reilly (F)
Kyle Okposo (F)
Nathan Beaulieu (D)
Jake McCabe (D)
Rasmus Ristolainen (D)
Robin Lehner (G)

Calgary Flames:
Mikael Backlund (F)
Sam Bennett (F)
Micheal Ferland (F)
Michael Frolik (F)
Johnny Gaudreau (F)
Curtis Lazar (F)
Sean Monahan (F)
T.J. Brodie (D)
Mark Giordano (D)
Dougie Hamilton (D)
Mike Smith (G)

Carolina Hurricans:
Phillip Di Giuseppe (F)
Elias Lindholm (F)
Brock McGinn (F)
Victor Rask (F)
Jeff Skinner (F)
Jordan Staal (F)
Teuvo Teravainen (F)
Trevor Carrick (D)
Justin Faulk (D)
Ryan Murphy (D)
Scott Darling (G)

Chicago Blackhawks:
Artem Anisimov (F)
Ryan Hartman (F)
Marian Hossa (F)
Tomas Jurco (F)
Patrick Kane (F)
Richard Panik (F)
Jonathan Toews (F)
Niklas Hjalmarsson (D)
Duncan Keith (D)
Brent Seabrook (D)
Corey Crawford (G)

Colorado Avalanche:
Sven Andrighetto (F)
Blake Comeau (F)
Matt Duchene (F)
Rocco Grimaldi (F)
Gabriel Landeskog (F)
Nathan MacKinnon (F)
Matt Nieto (F)
Tyson Barrie (D)
Erik Johnson (D)
Nikita Zadorov (D)
Semyon Varlamov (G)

Columbus Blue Jackets:
Cam Atkinson (F)
Brandon Dubinsky (F)
Nick Foligno (F)
Scott Hartnell (F)
Boone Jenner (F)
Brandon Saad (F)
Alexander Wennberg (F)
Seth Jones (D)
Ryan Murray (D)
David Savard (D)
Sergei Bobrovsky (G)

Dallas Stars:
Jamie Benn (F)
Radek Faksa (F)
Valeri Nichushkin (F)
Brett Ritchie (F)
Antoine Roussel (F)
Tyler Seguin (F)
Jason Spezza (F)
Stephen Johns (D)
John Klingberg (D)
Esa Lindell (D)
Ben Bishop (G)

Detroit Red Wings:
Justin Abdelkader (F)
Andreas Athanasiou (F)
Anthony Mantha (F)
Frans Nielsen (F)
Gustav Nyquist (F)
Tomas Tatar (F)
Henrik Zetterberg (F)
Danny DeKeyser (D)
Mike Green (D) Nick Jensen (D) Jimmy Howard (G)

Edmonton Oilers:
Leon Draisaitl (F)
Jordan Eberle (F)
Zack Kassian (F)
Mark Letestu (F)
Milan Lucic (F)
Patrick Maroon (F)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (F)
Oscar Klefbom (D)
Adam Larsson (D)
Andrej Sekera (D)
Cam Talbot (G)

Florida Panthers:
Aleksander Barkov (F)
Nick Bjugstad (F)
Jonathan Huberdeau (F)
Vincent Trocheck (F)
Aaron Ekblad (D)
Alex Petrovic (D)
Mark Pysyk (D)
Keith Yandle (D)
James Reimer (G)

Los Angeles Kings:
Jeff Carter (F)
Anze Kopitar (F)
Tanner Pearson (F)
Tyler Toffoli (F)
Drew Doughty (D)
Derek Forbort (D)
Alec Martinez (D)
Jake Muzzin (D)
Jonathan Quick (G)

Minnesota Wild:
Charlie Coyle (F)
Mikael Granlund (F)
Mikko Koivu (F)
Nino Niederreiter (F)
Zach Parise (F)
Jason Pominville (F)
Jason Zucker (F)
Jonas Brodin (D)
Jared Spurgeon (D)
Ryan Suter (D)
  Devan Dubnyk (G)

Montreal Canadiens:
Paul Byron (F)
Phillip Danault (F)
Jonathan Drouin (F)
Alex Galchenyuk (F)
Brendan Gallagher (F)
Max Pacioretty (F)
Andrew Shaw (F)
Jordie Benn (D)
Jeff Petry (D)
Shea Weber (D)
Carey Price (G)

Nashville Predators:
Viktor Arvidsson (F)
Filip Forsberg (F)
Calle Jarnkrok (F)
Ryan Johansen (F)
Mattias Ekholm (D)
Ryan Ellis (D)
Roman Josi (D)
P.K. Subban (D)
Pekka Rinne (G)

New Jersey Devils:
Taylor Hall (F)
Adam Henrique (F)
Kyle Palmieri (F)
Travis Zajac (F)
Andy Greene (D)
John Moore (D)
Mirco Mueller (D)
Damon Severson (D)
Cory Schneider (G)

New York Islanders:
Andrew Ladd (F)
Anders Lee (F)
John Tavares (F)
Johnny Boychuk (D)
Travis Hamonic (D)
Nick Leddy (D)
Adam Pelech (D)
Ryan Pulock (D)
Thomas Greiss (G)

New York Rangers:
Kevin Hayes (F)
Chris Kreider (F)
J.T. Miller (F)
Rick Nash (F)
Derek Stepan (F)
Mika Zibanejad (F)
Mats Zuccarello (F)
Nick Holden (D)
Ryan McDonagh (D)
Marc Staal (D)
Henrik Lundqvist (G)

Ottawa Senators:
Derick Brassard (F)
Ryan Dzingel (F)
Mike Hoffman (F)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (F)
Zack Smith (F)
Mark Stone (F)
Kyle Turris (F)
Cody Ceci (D)
Erik Karlsson (D)
Dion Phaneuf (D)
Craig Anderson (G)

Philadelphia Flyers:
Sean Couturier (F)
Valtteri Filppula (F)
Claude Giroux (F)
Scott Laughton (F)
Brayden Schenn (F)
Wayne Simmonds (F)
Jakub Voracek (F)
Shayne Gostisbehere (D)
Radko Gudas (D)
Brandon Manning (D)
Anthony Stolarz (G)

Pittsburgh Penguins:
Sidney Crosby (F)
Patric Hornqvist (F)
Phil Kessel (F)
Evgeni Malkin (F)
Brian Dumoulin (D)
Kris Letang (D)
Olli Maatta (D)
Justin Schultz (D)
Matt Murray (G)

San Jose Sharks:
Ryan Carpenter (F)
Logan Couture (F)
Jannik Hansen (F)
Tomas Hertl (F)
Melker Karlsson (F)
Joe Pavelski (F)
Chris Tierney (F)
Justin Braun (D)
Brent Burns (D)
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (D)
Martin Jones (G)

St Louis Blues:
Patrik Berglund (F)
Ryan Reaves (F)
Jaden Schwartz (F)
Vladimir Sobotka (F)
Paul Stastny (F)
Alexander Steen (F)
Vladimir Tarasenko (F)
Jay Bouwmeester (D)
Joel Edmundson (D)
Alex Pietrangelo (D)
Jake Allen (G)

Tampa Bay Lightning:
Ryan Callahan (F)
Tyler Johnson (F)
Alex Killorn (F)
Nikita Kucherov (F)
Vladislav Namestnikov (F)
Ondrej Palat (F)
Steven Stamkos (F)
Braydon Coburn (D)
Victor Hedman (D)
Anton Stralman (D)
Andrei Vasilevskiy (G)

Toronto Maple Leafs:
Tyler Bozak (F)
Connor Brown (F)
Nazem Kadri (F)
Leo Komarov (F)
Josh Leivo (F)
Matt Martin (F)
James van Riemsdyk (F)
Connor Carrick (D)
Jake Gardiner (D)
Morgan Rielly (D)
Frederik Andersen (G)

Vancouver Canucks:
Sven Baertschi (F)
Loui Eriksson (F)
Markus Granlund (F)
Bo Horvat (F)
Daniel Sedin (F)
Henrik Sedin (F)
Brandon Sutter (F)
Alexander Edler (D)
Erik Gudbranson (D)
Christopher Tanev (D)
Jacob Markstrom (G)

Washington Capitals:
Nicklas Backstrom (F)
Andre Burakovsky (F)
Lars Eller (F)
Marcus Johansson (F)
Evgeny Kuznetsov (F)
Alex Ovechkin (F)
Tom Wilson (F)
John Carlson (D)
Matt Niskanen (D)
Dmitry Orlov (D)
Braden Holtby (G)

Winnipeg Jets:
Joel Armia (F)
Andrew Copp (F)
Bryan Little (F)
Adam Lowry (F)
Mathieu Perreault (F)
Mark Scheifele (F)
Blake Wheeler (F)
Dustin Byfuglien (D)
Tyler Myers (D)
Jacob Trouba (D)
Connor Hellebuyck (G)

IF a name doesn't appear on the above list, it means they're fair game to become a member of the Golden Knights. Who will that be? We'll find out tomorrow night

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mega Fight Set For August

Its something that boxing and MMA fans have been dreaming about for quite some time now. It had been something that was considered impossible by many people. An MMA fighter and a boxer stepping into a ring against each other to face off? That will never work out. Well news flash people, it's going to work out, because its going to happen. We've hit past the point of no return, this thing is going to go down. The biggest star in MMA today will step in the ring and go toe to toe with one of the biggest names in the history of Boxing. The date is August 26th, 2017. The venue will be the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Stepping into the ring will be Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

Lets reset things first, as sort of a way to see how we got to where we are right now. It all started about two years ago, when McGregor threw out the prospect of the fantasy match during a July 2015 appearance on Conan O'Brien's talk show, telling the host, "I would box him if the opportunity arose." Rumors had been running wild about this fight ever since then, and now it will come to a head. Both men have a reputation of sorts riding on this fight, which to me seems more like fantasy warfare and a pride fight more then anything really.

Conor McGregor is 21-3 inside the UFC and is the first UFC fighter to simultaneously hold titles in two different divisions. Rightfully so, McGregor is in the books as one of the best MMA fighters in the world. In this case, he will be making his professional boxing debut against Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers in history. Although there is no title at stake, Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) is an astronomical favorite, the fight offers both combatants an opportunity to make huge money. Mayweather is looking to become the first fighter ever to go 50-0 in his career. This fight will be interesting because Mayweather hasn't boxed since bowing out after rolling past Andre Berto in September 2015. So there may be that slight chance that rust could take hold for Floyd in the fight. And age will also possibly play a factor as well, considering Conor is 28, while Floyd is 40.

This fight brings on a ton of interest because it is the boxer versus the fighter, which as most can tell you, are two totally different styles. Sure punching is involved with both sports, but its totally different to compare boxing to MMA. That being said, I think the payday for both will be well worth the fight date. This is quite intriguing to me because I've wanted to see for some time now how the two styles will really matchup if anybody from both sports had the guts to step into the ring against eachother in this kind of setting. We will get our answer in August.

The two biggest names in their respective sports over the last almost twenty years will go head to head, almost as a way to see what sport is the best. We will have our answer near the end of the summer!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Championship To Steel City

After a twenty year wait, it has finally happened. For the first time since the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings, we have a team that has won back to back Stanley Cup Titles. They started it off last year by winning the cup in six games over the San Jose Sharks. This year, Pittsburgh looked like a team on a mission to repeat as champions. They completed that mission last night, beating the Nashville Predators 2-0 to claim the Cup for the 2nd year in a row and their 5th title overall. With this win, the Penguins have now won every single title on the road.

As had been the story from games three and four in Nashville, the PRedators came out with a hot start, controlling the play. Nashville had a chance with a powerplay halfway through the period but they came up short. The tale of the tape from the opening period was Pekka Rinne. Rinne looked comfortable coming out of the net to play the puck at every opportunity. And when tested with a few decent shots, and Penguins players crashing the net, it didn’t seem to phase Rinne. Nashville will be wondering why they couldn’t get this same version of Rinne in the three games in Pittsburgh to this point. That was one of the biggest things that Nashville needed in this hockey game, was Rinne to return to form at home, to at least try and keep the Preds alive.

Once the middle period got going, it was more of the same as the first period, with Nashville coming out hot and controlling the play. Then, crazyness happens. At the 1:07 mark Filip Forsberg took a soft wrist shot into the bread basket of Matt Murray, where it slipped under his arm and into the blue paint where Colton Sissons pushed the puck into the net. Unfortunately for them, the referee apparently lost sight of the puck and blew play dead. No goal. Nashville had a legitimate gripe, because the puck was still live when the ref blew the play dead. Under NHL rules, once the ref loses sight of the puck, its his judgment to blow the play dead. now there's no guarantee that Nashville might have been able to pull the game out, but having that goal stand would have been huge for the shift in momentum for the Preds favor.

Lets not take anything away from what Mstt Murray did in the Penguins net. He was able to go virtually save for save with Pekka Rinne. Neither of the goalies faced a ton of shots, but both of them played their parts in keeping this game even. Murray continued his solid play and Rinne continued to confuse with his night-and-day performances away and home. The third period played much the same time as the first 40 minutes, with end-to-end hockey being played. Lots of giveaways, lots of passing, and lots of offensive zone entries. Truly hockey to admire in such a massive game for the NHL and both organizations respectively.

Then, after back and fourth hockey, it finally happened:

Patric Hornqvist buried his 5th of the playoffs and what would be the biggest goal of his hockey life to date. It gave the Penguins a lead that they wouldn't relinquish the rest of the season.

And just for fun, here's what the end of the 2017 NHL Hockey season looked and sounded like, just in case you missed it.

For Pittsburgh it marked the fifth title, and send time ever that they've won the Cup in back to back years, having done it in 1991 and 1992. For the 2nd year in a row, the Conn Smyth trophy was awarded to Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby. Crosby finished 2nd in the playoffs in scoring with 28 points, one behind playoff scoring leader Evgeni Malkin. As good as Crosby is, I don't think it should have gone to him. Playoff MVP should have gone to either Evgeni Malkin or Pekka Rinne. Malkin lead the NHL in scoring with 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points. And Rinne played out of his mind all playoffs long and deserved a better fate then he got. But the reason I feel Crosby got it was because he was a major part as to why the Penguins are even in the finals in the first place.

So congratulations are in order to the now two time defending Stanley Cup Champions the Pittsburgh Penguins!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cavs Stay Alive In Series

After game three, it looked as if there was a distinct possibility that the Golden State Warriors might be able to do the impossible. No team had ever been able to run the table and go perfect during the NBA playoffs, at least not in its current format. Sure the Warriors are more concerned about winning an NBA title, there's no doubt about that. I'm sure that it was in the back of their minds wanting to keep their perfect record in tact, but the title means more. Looks like the title may have to wait another night. Cleveland FINALLY showed up in game four of the finals and dominated the Warriors from start to finish. It was a record setting night which saw Cleveland come away with a 137-116 win, staying alive in the finals and forcing a game five back in Oakland on Monday night.

Guided by LeBron James, who is the first player to ever average 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists through the first four games of The Finals, and Kyrie Irving, who led all scorers with 40 points on 15-for-27 shooting, the Cavaliers staved off elimination in historic fashion. The following is a list of just some of the records that were set in game four:

-Most points in a quarter, Finals - 49
-Most points in a half, Finals - 86
-Most points in a half, playoffs - 86
-Most 3-pointers made in a half, Finals - 13
-Most combined points in a half, Finals - 154
-Most 3-pointers made in a game, Finals - 24
-LeBron James: Most triple-doubles, Finals - 9

Yes Golden State did show up in this game, to a degree. The Warriors had five players score in double figures, had 26 assists, and got 35 points from Kevin Durant, but it was not nearly enough on a night in which the team’s defense fell apart. They were leading all playoff teams this year in defensive efficiency coming into the game, but had no answer for Kevin Love, James or Irving. This was the first time really in this series that the Cavs decided to show up. It wasn't just LeBron or Kyrie. The rest of the team chipped in and Cleveland actually got scoring from players off the bench as well, which is something that hadn't really happened at all the first three games of the series.

Oh but wait there's more.

Game 4 was also notable for a number of testy incidents. As the teams prepared for a jump ball with 1:56 left in the first quarter, Green was called for a hard foul for throwing an elbow at Iman Shumpert. Green was trying to plead his case when Warriors head coach Steve Kerr simultaneously argued with the officials, who then initially called a technical foul on Green. With 7:19 remaining in the second quarter, Dahntay Jones was inexplicably whistled for a technical foul sitting on the Cavs bench for trash talking at Durant, who was on the floor. With 7:26 remaining in the third quarter, Love fouled Durant from behind on a layup attempt. Durant claimed he was hit hard in the forehead, and James afterward had some harsh exchange words to him. Durant and James picked up double technicals, and Love was called for a type 1 flagrant foul. About a minute later, Green picked up what appeared to be his second technical foul of the game, which was subject to an ejection. However, the officials changed the call of the first technical of the game to coach Kerr.

Late in the third, Shumpert and Zaza Pachulia got involved in a mini scuffle when battling for the loose ball, with Pachulia hitting in the direction of Shumpert's groin and Shumpert retaliating. At the same time, a Cavaliers fan, named Todd Leebow, charged onto the court to shout at Matt Barnes during the Warriors huddle as the officials were replaying the incident. Shumpert and Pachulia were called for double technicals, and Leebow was ejected.

Things got chippy that's for sure. It was the first time you really saw life and emotion from the Cavs. And think about it, Cleveland was a Kyle Korver 3-pointer away from this series being 2-2. They took advantage of what happened in game three and rolled to victory to stay alive in the series. But if the first two games showed anything, it showed that Cleveland had a lot of trouble playing in Oakland. Golden State doesn't want a repeat of last year, blowing a big lead in the series and having a title slip through their fingers. Now they have to go back to the chalk board and get ready for Monday night, when they have a chance to clinch the title in their own building.

Clevland has life, but can Golden State finish the job? We will find out Monday Night