Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2013-14 NHL Awards Predictions

The 2013-14 regular season is all wrapped up and the Professional Hockey Writers' Association has submitted their ballots for various NHL Awards winners. Most of the awards seem like virtual locks for standout players while others will be hotly debated until the bitter end. With all the trophy talk going on we thought we'd toss out our picks for the major NHL awards and see how we did come June when the winners are revealed.

Who's Who At The NHL Playoff Dance

You've probably heard of the playoffs referred to as "the dance" as teams prepare all season just to earn an invite to play extra hockey from mid-April to June. It's all about just getting into the dance as anything can happen in the NHL playoffs as countless teams have proven in the past. With all this dance talk going on we decided to reminiscence about school dances back in the day by comparing teams in the playoffs to kids at these dances. You could look back at school dances as cruel social experiments with so many different personalities squished into a gym with the expectation that every one will behave appropriately and that's exactly what the NHL playoffs are like.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lottery Changed My Life: NHL Edition

The NHL Draft Lottery is a bittersweet event as you're hoping for the top pick and looking towards the future while realizing that your team didn't make the playoffs and probably did pretty poorly in the standings. In recent years it's become a can't miss/very awkward television event as team representatives are forced to sit together and await their fate for the upcoming NHL Draft. This year is wide open for picks with no real #1 prospect that all 30 teams would love to have as was the case with guys like Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, and John Tavares. The lottery truly can change a team's life with one pick and as NHL Draft's past have shown us that change can either be for better or for worse.

Monday, April 14, 2014

10 Crazy Stats From This Season

It was a pretty intense season as we returned to a full schedule following the NHL lockout and dealt with new divisions and rivalries. History was made in a good and bad way, but in the end we were just happy to have a full 82-game season back. From individual players reaching new highs or lows to teams defying all odds, it was a year to remember with some pretty crazy stats turning up at season's end.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hockey's Endangered Plays List: Popping Water Bottles Off The Net

This will be an ongoing series of hockey plays that are at risk of extinction because of their rarity in numbers or threatened by changing environmental and regulation parameters.
Hockey Play in Danger: Popping Water Bottles
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

The NHL has been taking steps for years to reduce this safe, fun, and very entertaining hockey play. Water bottles on top of hockey nets are not only meant to hydrate goaltenders, but to soar when a puck hits them. A perfectly placed top shelf shot or deke that sent a water bottle flying into the air was almost a guaranteed highlight of the night and is up there in hockey lore with going bardown. It's a beautiful thing and a play that strives in the wild with beer leaguers often pissing off their goalies in warmup by sending their bottles flying and empty of water.

Friday, April 4, 2014

20 Undrafted Fantasy Hockey Gems

We're not talking about the real undrafted gems of the NHL such as Marty St. Louis and Adam Oates, we're talking about the guys that saved your fantasy season when you picked them up as free agents following your draft. These players might have been on your radar to start the season and depending on the depth of your league you might have even drafted them late, but the majority of people caught their hot starts and snatched them up early. Regardless, these players have made fellow fantasy hockey GMs weep at their success and feel like idiots for not picking them up first.

The Rock Approves Of Sidney Crosby

That's Sidney Crosby delivering the Rock Bottom to Jay Harrison of the Hurricanes this past Tuesday night. Thanks to The Pensblog passing this GIF around it managed to capture the attention of the creator of the finishing move:
There you go, The Rock approves of Crosby's form. Now if you need to work on your hockey chirps why not use of The Rock's best insults in next week's beer league game?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Love/Hate Relationships Down The Stretch

It's an exciting time in the NHL season with two weeks to go before the playoffs as points become that much more valuable. The playoff picture is still blurry as teams battle just to get in or those that have already clinched jockey to secure home ice advantage. It's a great time to be a fan as you essentially ride a roller coaster of emotions each night of play. With the good comes the bad and most nights you'll find yourself following the score of a big game or shaking your head in disbelief as you root for a division rival to win. It's a love/hate relationship down the stretch for many reasons, but it's these emotions that make Spring hockey that much better.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Kasperi Kapanen, Son of Sami, Dangles

Sami Kapanen's son, Kasperi, is slated to be a top pick in this year's NHL Draft and rightfully so with moves like this. That's the 17-year-old Finn backchecking from deep in the offensive zone to throw a big hit at his blueline before picking up the puck and making some magic happen. Kapanen scoops up the puck in his own zone and crosses centre on a 1-on-3 in which he promptly splits two d-men at the blueline with speed and quick hands. What happens next is a Dirty Dangle of the Year candidate as he puts his stick and the puck between his legs to bury it past the goalie while that 3rd defenceman attempts a stick check. Why the bench clear and gloves toss? This was the bronze medal game of the Finland's U-18 league and he had the balls to do that. The team must have celebrated in true Finnish fashion as we have no idea what the team was thinking by uploading this amazing goal in this perspective.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

David Clarkson vs. The Worst Contracts

Everyday when I walk into work my co-worker is complaining about David Clarkson and how he is getting paid so much money to fall all over the ice. Of course he's unhappy with the 7 year/36.75M contract that Clarkson signed last July and rightfully so. Many Leafs fans were overcome with excitement at the news of signing Clarkson in the offseason as they believed they were basically getting a Wendel Clark circa 1993 (let's be honest, there will never be anyone like Wendel). There were also plenty of fans and media who shook their heads at this deal and have since been proven to be right. Clarkson's play and contract have been pretty bad, but for arguments sake, is his the worst contract in the NHL?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Beer League Referee Defines Beer League

"Are you fucking drunk?!?!" is a common saying to referees in beer league hockey and it appears as though this ref wouldn't have had to respond as his actions answered for him. Twirling around like a figure skater, stumbling around on faceoffs, and even pretending to be an airplane while waiving off an icing make this short video absolutely glorious. This zebra had to reek of booze and we wouldn't doubt it if he told a player he'd piss himself if someone ran into him. We hope this was a meaningless game and the players at least knew the guy as we'd be pretty pissed if we showed up for a big game and the ref was this gassed.
Sticktap to SB Nation for one of our favourite GIFs of all time.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Glass Banger Gets What They Deserve

One of our favourite things about this video is that the NHL actually uploaded it to their YouTube channel which clearly shows that they think fans that bang on the glass at games deserve to be laughed at too when karma strikes. As you can see in the video, the fan stands up to bang on the glass as the play comes towards them and gets put back in their seat as Corey Tropp finishes his hit on Travis Moen into the sideboards. We hope this fan wasn't hurt, but this asshole definitely got what they deserved. Really the only thing that could have made this clip any better were if the fan was wearing a jersey foul and turned around on their cellphone looking at the camera.
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