Welcome in to another edition of Ice Picks. A nice nine-gamer on tap for us tonight. The slate has been trimmed down here to three games, Boston and Tampa are also on my radar but isn’t featured. (We should have some exposure to that game too as they are arguably the best two teams in the East). Teams with the best match-upsare as follows: Vegas at home to the Senators, Calgary home to the Red Wings and the Rangers at the bottom feeders, the New Jersey Devils. Let’s go for a skate and make some Ice Picks.
Here were are on a nice Tuesday night, and we have a solid eight-game slate to tackle. For now, I will note that NHL scheduling makes it so Monday, Wednesday, and often Friday are only going to have two to four games on the slate at most. For the time being, we will make sure we have content out for the big slates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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.
And you really don’t remember, was it something that he said? Are the voices in your head calling Gloria?” Gloria, a hit song by Laura Branigan, became the staple tune for the St. Louis Blues and their fans during their remarkable run to the 2018/19 Stanley Cup Championship last June. For a team that looked absolutely dead in the water at the start of the calendar year, Head Coach Craig Berube and his wonderful staff, coupled with the trust, belief, and backing from General Manager Doug Armstrong turned a lackluster, underperforming team into one of the best sports stories in recent memory. And let’s not forget the emergence of goaltender Jordan Binnington and the rest of the Blues roster who were each instrumental during their unbelievable stretch run. What can the Blues produce as an encore heading into the new campaign which is set to kick off in just under four weeks time?
Leafs Nation, who let’s be honest, are some of the most widespread, loyal, and in their own minds, most knowledgeable fan bases in all of hockey. Fans are already chomping at the bit and are quick to point out who should be playing on what line and with whom. Last season the “Buds” got bounced (yet again) in the first round of the playoffs by their biggest nemesis, the Boston Bruins. Things need to change and management has made some significant moves in order to give highly paid coach Mike Babcock the best tools for a long and prosperous playoff run. Let’s take a look at where the 2019/2020 Toronto Maple Leafs fit in in a very deep and improving Eastern Conference. Continue reading →