It finally appears that one of the four major sports will be making its long-awaited return this summer. The NHL is in the process of putting all the necessary pieces in place to crown a Stanley Cup Champion. To conclude the 2019-2020 season, the League will put together a 24 Team Tournament. They will forgo the approximate 12 games most teams had remaining. The best four teams in each Conference will get free passes to start in the next round(round of 16). Teams seeded 12 to five will play a best of five to decide who gets to advance. In preparation of the Tournament, let’s take a look at my Rankings, we will first start with the Eastern Conference. Continue reading →
It’s been five seasons since the Buffalo Sabres drafted Massachusetts-born star centerman, Jack Eichel, second overall during the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. One pick behind Connor McDavid, who many tout as the very best hockey player in the world today. Eichel has been spectacular in a Sabres uniform and has been one of the most dominant players in the NHL. However, Eichel needs help, and lots of it if the Sabres are to make some noise and finally clinch a postseason berth in a very competitive Eastern Conference. Are reinforcements on the way in the Queen City?
Unlike the previous two games, there was no late-game collapse this time. The Miami Heat blew another double-digit lead on Friday but responded with a strong fourth quarter to seal the victory. The Heat picked up its 37th win of the season with a 126-118 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. With the win, Miami holds on to the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Over the course of his coaching career, there’s no doubt that John Tortorella’s experienced countless sleepless nights. Whether in charge of the Lightning, Rangers, Canucks, or Blue Jackets, the enigma surrounding John Tortorella never fades away. After last Saturday’s afternoon matinee in Ottawa, where his Columbus Blue Jackets fell to the Senators, I’m guessing “Torts” had some difficulty sleeping after Anthony Duclair’s hat trick performance. Continue reading →
The Eastern Conference bottom-dweller Washington Wizards attempted to end the Celtics early season win streak on a cold November night. However, the Celtics outshot the Wizards winning 140-133 in TD Garden. This was the first game since 1992 that the Celtics as a franchise had scored 140 points.
Pasta la Vista, Baby! When the Boston Bruins selected talented Czech winger David Pastrnak with the 25th overall pick back in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, they knew right from the start that they were getting a special player. The fact that “Pasta”, as he’s so commonly referred to by his Bruins teammates, went so very late in the first round is still a mystery to so many who cover the National Hockey League on a day-to-day basis. Fast-forward to his 6th NHL season, and we’re now talking about one of the most elusive and dynamic forwards in the NHL who is rapidly becoming (if he isn’t already) one of the finest players in the sport.
The Central Division might not leap off the page as the best division in basketball from top to bottom, but with the reigning league MVP playing in the conference and so many talented young players looking to turn the corner and potentially have a breakout season, the Central Division is one to keep a close eye on for the upcoming season. Continue reading →
When the Buffalo Sabres drafted Jack Eichel with the #2 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Sabres fans knew that they found themselves an incredible talent. Big, skilled, blessed God-given talent, an eye for the ice, strong on his skates, he was deemed “The Saviour” right from the get-go in Western, New York. Here we are, with Eichel entering his fifth NHL season, and his total number of playoff games remains at zero. Not exactly what Sabres fans had envisioned when his name was called and he first donned the uniform at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. As the 2019/20 NHL season reaches it’s 10 day point, let’s take a close look at Jack Eichel, as one of the players to keep your eye on as the season progresses. Continue reading →
With the NHL season set to embark in just six days, the Tampa Bay Lightning ensured that star forward, Brayden Point would be in the lineup come puck drop. After an extended off-season and some uncertainty and concern regarding Point’s status in 2019, both sides were eager to get this deal out of the way. Let’s take a closer look at how both the player and team reached an agreement.
After bursting onto the scene in October 2017, Charlie McAvoy and the Boston Bruins were on the clock as training camps from across the NHL kicked off. The 21-year old, smooth-skating defenseman was one of four high profile restricted free agent blue-liners this summer, joining teammate, Brandon Carlo, and the likes of Zach Werenski and Ivan Provorov. It took a few months, but McAvoy and the Bruins reached a 3-year/$14.7M contract extension.
The crown jewel and hometown boy who grew up a die-hard Maple Leafs fan has signed on the dotted line, officially ending #MarnerWatch. After a rather extended and emotionally draining contract dispute between the Toronto Maple Leafs and talented forward William Nylander, that ended on December 1, 2018, it was quite evident that Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas had no intention of letting the Mitch Marner contract situation drag on this time around. After both sides reached an agreement, much to the joy of Maple Leafs fans, let’s take a closer look at Mitch Marner’s new deal.
After jubilantly raising Lord Stanley’s illustrious mug for the very first time in franchise history back in June 2018, it was a bitter and rather premature end to the season for the Washington Capitals during the 2018/19 campaign. A fourth straight Metropolitan Division crown was a recipe for yet another hopeful (and successful) postseason in the nation’s capital, but for Alexander Ovechkin and Co., this wasn’t to be this time around. Continue reading →
“Getting strong now…won’t be long now”. (Cue the iconic and timeless theme song from the classic Rocky Balboa films). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Home to the famous Liberty Bell, the “Philly Cheesesteak”, and die-hard sports fans who good or bad, ruthlessly cheer for their Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, and of course, the black and orange, Philadelphia Flyers. Let’s take a closer look and delve into what the upcoming season has in store for one of the most legendary franchises in the National Hockey League. Continue reading →
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Known for its Three Sisters Bridges, “Steelerstown”, and the 5-time Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr, and of course Sidney Crosby, are just some of the famous names who have donned the famous uniform in The ‘Burgh. After winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, the die-hard fans in Pittsburgh have rather unpleasantly seen their beloved Penguins endure consecutive postseason appearances end much earlier than expected. Hey, as they say, you can’t win em all. But with 71 and 87 getting into their mid-to-late 30s, the time is now for the Penguins to push and hopefully raise Lord Stanley one more time. Continue reading →
“Just a small-town girl, living in a lonely world. She took the midnight train going anywhere. Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit”. Scintillating set of lyrics that forms a direct correlation with the Red Wings and the die-hard sports fans in Detroit, Michigan. Continue reading →
Dale Money | August 22nd, 2019 There is no question the New York Islanders exceeded all expectations, with the loss of cornerstone forward John Tavares. A good reason for that surprise success can be attributed to the direction of both Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz. Trotz’s 48 wins were the most he has achieved, in his first season with any one team. Helping lead the Islanders to a first-round home-ice berth, they’re first since 1988. They would have a terrific opening round where they knocked off the Pittsburgh Penguins in four, before bowing out to the Carolina Hurricanes.
From a Round 3 appearance in 2017 to missing the playoffs two years in a row with less than 70 points (2017-2018 they had 67, 2018-2019 they had 64), the Ottawa Senators have fallen off quickly. A fire sale of players started midway through the season, and a full-on renovation is in play. Let’s take a gander at what has been done, and how they will fare this year, with hopes of avoiding another 60-point season in the Canadian Capital. Continue reading →
Oh, Montreal; a franchise rich in success and history. After missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year since the turn of the century, you have seen your fair share of ups and downs. But, in spite of a rather unfortunate showing in the 2017 season, you showed your true colors as you did not go quietly into the night last season. 96 points is a very good showing for a failure to make the post-season. Today, we will take a look at the Montreal Canadiens, their off-season moves, and their predictions for the next season. Continue reading →
The Buffalo Sabres have not seen the post-season in hockey since 2011, where they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Quarterfinals in seven games. Since then, it has been one disappointing season after another. They finished last season with 76 points, but they started the season surprising everyone, with a record of 17 wins, 7 losses, and 3 overtime losses to finish out November and stayed at over 50% wins until the end of January. Let’s take a look at what they did in the offseason, and if their hope for their club making a playoff appearance will pay off. Continue reading →
It’s Devilish-ly good! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to sunny Newark, New Jersey. Home of famous television series, “The Sopranos”, and the New Jersey Devils. After reaching the Stanley Cup Finals during the 2011/12 campaign, it’s been a tough go for the die-hard hockey fans in the swamp over recent years. Entering play this season, the Devils have missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons. A long way away from the franchise that hoisted Lord Stanley, hockey’s holy grail in 1995, 2000, and 2003. But Hey, this ain’t your father’s Devils. Long gone are the days of Scott Stevens, Claude Lemieux, Patrik Elias, Scott Niedermayer, Martin Brodeur and “Uncle” Lou Lamoriello. Times are changing for the black and red, and this season will be the most anticipated in recent years, by a country mile. Continue reading →
Ahh, that sweet smell of summer. For many around the hockey world, the summer months of June, July and August bring with it a sense of enjoyment, additional time spent with family, and for some NHL players, a new home. July 1st has come and gone in a whirlwind of acquisitions which many hockey networks across both Canada and the United States refer to as: “Free Agent Frenzy”. With the start of NHL training camps set to begin in about 4 weeks time, many NHL players are still in need of new contracts and that sense of stability that undoubtedly comes with being an unrestricted free agent at seasons end. Let’s take a look at the top-5 remaining unrestricted free-agents, who are still up for grabs in mid-August. Continue reading →
Each September the National Hockey League is filled with various sights and sounds that would give any hockey player, coach, executive, broadcaster, analyst, insider or passionate fan goosebumps. The summer is over, the start of the new campaign is just a few short weeks away, and NHL training camps are up and running across Canada and the United States. Players young and old, are hopeful for their “shot” at cracking the big club. New faces are hoping to make an all-important first impression with their new clubs, and for head and assistant coaches and general managers across the league, they’re trying to get a read on their clubs and hope to hit the ground running come puck drop. With this excitement, also come the pressures of being at the highest level, surrounded by the best teams, players, and fans on the planet. Pressure, “hot seat”, “under the microscope”, you name it, is something that Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach, Mike Babcock, will be at the pinnacle of in 2019/20. Continue reading →
The Boston Bruins locked up their spot in the Eastern Conference Final on Monday night by defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 in Game Six of their second-round series. Carolina will be facing a very familiar foe in the Bruins, having gone up against them in three of their five playoff seasons. For the Bruins, this is their third appearance in the conference finals in the last nine seasons. Continue reading →
The defending Eastern Conference champions the Cleveland Cavaliers are in store for a different season after four straight trips to the NBA Finals. Unless you have been in outer space since July, the best player on the planet no longer resides in “The Land” during the NBA season. So change is happening one way or another for the Cavs this season but not everyone left with LeBron to LA.
The Milwaukee Bucks were 44-38 last season and came within a game of upsetting the Boston Celtics in the first round. They have one of the best players in the NBA and a new head coach. Will they improve and make it past the first round this season?
The Indiana Pacers, barring trade, effectively capped their offseason after acquiring some helpful pieces in Tyreke Evans, newly drafted Aaron Holiday, Doug McDermott, and Kyle O’Quinn, while retooling in an attempt to steal the Eastern Conference after LeBron James‘ departure from the team that knocked the Pacers out of the playoffs in 2018. With the top talent in the conference fading, Indiana looks to capitalize on the recent success of Victor Oladipo, Bojan Bogdanovic and the budding talent of Myles Turner to secure a home playoff series and push their limits even further.