Thursday, May 31, 2012

Getting To Know The New Jersey Devils Franchise

With the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final, it's a good time to get to know this franchise out in the swamp. They're arguably one of the most successful NHL franchises in the past twenty years, and have had one of the greatest goaltenders in league history wear their jersey for his entire career, but the Devils still don't get much respect in hockey circles. Their team history spans three teams and many highs and lows - some of which are absolutely hilarious.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cup Worthy

So, how many beers do you think the Cup holds?
It's Stanley Cup Final time, which means debating about what players deserve to win and who you'd rather see hoist the Cup. While there are no Teemu Selanne-esque stories to tell this year, there are a few players on both the Kings and Devils who are due to get their day with the Stanley Cup this summer. You may not like them, but any guy who's played a lot of hockey without even a whiff of Cup Final action deserves this chance.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meet Your Conn Smythe Candidates

The Stanley Cup Final is upon us, which means there's going to be a lot of talk about who's the MVP of these playoffs. Every year, there's always a few frontrunners for the Conn Smythe going into the Stanley Cup Final; sometimes they're very obvious, sometimes there's just a lot of talk. Regardless, the Conn Smythe is reserved for those legendary playoff performances that can help define your career and to even be mentioned as a Conn Smythe candidate means your doing something right in the spring months.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Alternative NHL 13 Covers For The Final Four

EA Sports is doing something a little different this year in revealing the cover athlete for NHL 13. In past years, they simply chose an athlete themselves and made some sort of announcement around this time of year. Last year, they built up anticipation by announcing Steven Stamkos as the cover athlete at the NHL Awards which was pretty anti-climatic. Well this year, they're letting fans vote through a bracket and it's now down to the final four: Evgeni Malkin, Claude Giroux, Pekka Rinne and John Tavares. All worthy cover athletes, although we're a little surprised Rinne got voted in over Lundqvist (didn't know Preds fans were so diehard they'd stuff an online ballot).

Maybe Martin Brodeur Isn't Doneski After All?

Back in January 2011, I wrote a post about Martin Brodeur and asked the question, is his NHL career coming to an end? He had been injured that season and losing playing time to Johan Hedberg. That 2010-11 season was just a massive dissappointment for him and the Devils as they finished 11th in the conference with 81 points and behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Friday, May 25, 2012

All Aboard The LA Bandwagon

Remember that crazy schedule at the Staples Center last weekend when 6 playoff games were held over four days between the Kings, Clippers, and Lakers? It was an impressive feat and the Staples Center workers deserve a lot of credit and beer for their hard work (just look at this conversion video). Luckily for the Staples Center crew, the arena got a little emptier this week with both NBA clubs being knocked out of the playoffs and the LA Kings starting the Stanley Cup Final on the East Coast. This also means that the Kings are Los Angeles' last remaining playoff team this spring and will have a lot more fan support within the city as Lakers/Clippers fans join the Kings bandwagon. We can only hope they rep their LA Gear proudly

This phenomenon is not just in LA however, as the Kings may have the support of Canada (except B.C) with 12 Canadians on their playoff roster - which is more than New Jersey and New York have combined. You can throw in most of the West Coast rooting for the Kings if you still believe in the whole West Coast/East Coast rivalry or because hockey fans don't like the Rangers or Devils because of their shady, cap circumvention contracts. The Kings are also one of the most popular sports teams on Twitter with humourous tweets that poke fun at other cities and teams. It's not hard to see how fans have started to cheer for the Kings as they march through history having knocked off the #1 seed, # 2 seed, and #3 seed in the Western Conference and maintain a perfect 8-0 road record in these playoffs. 

The bandwagon is filling up, but if you need some convincing, here's the LA Kings Ice Crew Girls Calendar Shoot:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

You Live And Die By The Shot Block

There's been a lot of talk about how all the shot blocking in these NHL playoffs is bad for the game. You can read these opinions here, here and especially here. Thankfully, some people that have actually played hockey have challenged this absurd viewpoint and defended shot blocking. I can only shake my head when I hear people writing about how the NHL should ban shot blocking - I don't even know how that would be accomplished. Would players receive penalties if the puck hit them on the way to the net? Do they know how stupid they sound when they write this shit?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why The NHL Wants A Rangers/Kings Finals

Here's a guest post from fellow hockey nut, Becky W. If you ever want to send us something to post on Dirty Dangle, don't be shy - drop us an email at dirtydangle@hotmail.ca
The LA Kings and the New York Rangers are on the cusp of playing each other in the Stanley Cup Final. The NHL would love if the team from Los Angeles ended up playing the team from New York City. These cities represent two major U.S. television markets and a coast-to-coast showdown would be financially lucrative for the league and for television networks.

Here's why:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Claude Giroux Heals Like A Boss

On Saturday you may have seen the list of Philadelphia Flyers requiring surgery this offseason, including their superstar, Claude Giroux. He required double wrist surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right wrist, and removal of bone spurs in the left. It sounds pretty brutal for a 24-year-old in an offseason, but clearly having both wrists in casts (serious question: how do you wipe your ass with both wrists in casts?) hasn't stopped the still NHL playoffs goals and points leader from partying like a hoss. Thanks to Crossing Broad, the hockey world has some great images of Giroux acting his age, but not on a Patrick Kane level.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

7 Things You May Have Missed In The Hockey World While Distracted By NHL Playoff Hockey

Our buddy Ben who is living out in B.C these days chasing West Coast tail sent this our way. 
His thoughts on hockey as we take a night off to drink like Radulov and Kostitsyn.
You might agree with Ben, but if not and you feel the urge to chirp him, shoot him an email.
The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are a great thing. They are also a very distracting thing. Some people get so into the playoffs they literally spend all day reading game previews or statistics to know more about the teams involved. They may forget about their wives, their kids, and all other hockey related news that doesn't involve the remaining teams participating for the best trophy in sports. Which is unfortunate because so many great things in hockey are happening or just around the corner. We have the World Hockey Championships going on, the NHL Draft coming up, and the Memorial Cup being fired up this weekend - it's going to be a very busy month. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quick Hits From The Preliminary Round Of The World Hockey Championships

There's this little tournament going on over in Scandinavia a few of you may have heard of. Sure it's no Olympics or World Cup of Hockey, but it's a decent little tournament with many NHL stars. While North American's may not care too much about it, or even be able to watch it as the games are often early morning/afternoon, the European fans absolutely love it (did anyone see that 30-year-old Finnish man crying after their loss to Canada? They take this shit seriously). Injuries, contract negotiations and quality family time make it difficult for many North American players to skip across the pond to play for their country, but for many European players it means going home and playing in front of their family and friends - it's a big deal to them. You may not care much about watching a team with Joey Crabb or Marc Methot on it, but there is some quality hockey and great storylines going on.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Eastern Conference Final Preview

Both teams had very strong regular seasons and have faced some tough battles these playoffs to make it to the third round in dramatic fashion. New York has gone to two Game Seven's with Ottawa and Washington, while New Jersey beat out Florida in a Game Seven and took care of Philadelphia in 5 games. They've definitely added some entertainment to these playoffs and this series will be no different based on what these two rivals did during the regular season. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Western Conference Final Preview

Many people are putting the over/under for this one at 4.5 goals... for the entire series. With Jonathan Quick and Mike Smith battling it out between the pipes, this could very well happen. Both have been lights out these playoffs, but they've also gotten some offensive help when they needed it so it will be interesting to see how this matchup plays out. *You'll hear and read enough about Quick and Smith the next few days so we won't even bother mentioning them again this entire post.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wax Stain Rookie: Al MacInnis

Wax Stain Wednesday is a regular feature on Dirty Dangle. Our pal Dave at Wax Stain Rookie is an avid autograph and card collector and has some amazing experiences to share with us. WARNING: these posts may make you want to buy a Beckett and get those dusty hockey cards out from under your bed that you hide from your girlfriend like a secret porn collection.
Al MacInnis was one of the best defensemen in the NHL from the mid-80’s until the early 2000’s when he retired from the game. Al was probably best known for the missiles he would launch at opposing goaltenders and the occasional sucker who would attempt to block his 100+ mph blasts. I remember as a kid seeing highlights of Mark Tinordi stepping in front of an Al slapshot and the shot broke his shin pads and consequently left Tinordi out of the line up for a number of games. The best thing about Al doing all this was he used a wooden stick.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The LA Kings Shouldn't Have Surprised You

I've heard a lot of people say recently that they can't believe what the Los Angeles Kings are doing in these NHL playoffs. A #8 seed knocking out the #1 and #2 seeds which included the Presidents' Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks and the amazing defence of the St. Louis Blues. Sure beating Vancouver in 5 and sweeping St. Louis was a bit of a surprise, but seeing them in the Conference Finals is not mind-blowing. The Kings struggled to score in the regular season and barely made it into the playoffs with a 40-27-15 record, but woke up in the final two months just in time to roll into the postseason.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Players Behaving Badly: Patrick Kane's Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

It's the Hawks' offseason which means Patrick Kane partying like a boss. The 23-year-old recently partied it up for Cinco de Mayo in Madison, Wisconsin and from the pictures on sites like TerezOwens and Deadspin, it looks like he had a blast. Forget the typical golfing in the offseason, Kaner likes to hit college towns and act his age - there's nothing wrong with that. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

10 Players To Watch At The 2012 WHC

The 2012 World Hockey Championships get underway tomorrow which means you can watch hockey in the afternoon and then playoff hockey at night. While the tournament doesn't usually receive much love, there are some great players participating this year that you might want to keep an eye on. Some you may want to watch because they're just that good, while others will be looking to finish this year strong before entering the NHL next year.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Stanley Cup Playoffs Hangover (For Fans)

You've heard of the Stanley Cup Hangover, especially this year with the Boston Bruins struggling early in the season and near the end of the season as they bowed out in the First Round, meaning there will be a new Stanley Cup Champion this year. However, as hockey fans, we get Stanley Cup hangovers all the time. With so much hockey on TV to watch and so many nights out enjoying the games, there are going to be some painful mornings on the horizon after a solid night of hockey watching. 

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