Tuesday, December 11, 2007

McRae vs May Feb 21, 1993

Odgers vs May Feb 9, 1992

Washington Capitals / Pittsburgh Penguins line brawl

The Best Coach in the NHL is? Dave Tippett

The Dallas Stars were floundering in the standings on November 13th when they fired then General Manager Doug Armstrong, since then the Stars have been on a tear and have moved to 3rd place overall in the league as of this post.

What Tippett has done with this team of average Joe's for the most part is absolutely phenomenal. He has taken a team average skill, with the exception of aging superstars Mike Modano and Sergei Zubov and made them one of the best penalty killing teams in the league and fairly successful team on the power play.

How does he do it. He has a great knack for spotting other teams weaknesses through hours of watching video and finding new and creative ways/systems that take advantage of these weaknesses. Tip is also a great and fearless communicator, he will tell anyone in the franchise from owner to player how he feels and what he expects from them.

If the Dallas Stars can find a way to obtain a high-end goal scorer, they certainly have the coach to lead them to Stanley's Cup.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Crosby in Western Canada

This week's Pittsburgh Penguins road trip to western Canada is proof that the NHL needed to change their schedule format to one in which fans in every city are getting to see all of the great players and teams in the league on a regular basis. Sidney & company have put on a great show in Edmonton & Calgary the past few nights, with Crosby providing quite a show in Edmonton in the 3rd period with a comeback win. Then, in Calgary the next night, a thrilling shootout victory for the Penguins, which I know made the Flames fans secretly happy. They really do appreciate the talented hard working players of the NHL in those western Canadian cities.

At one time during the 1980s Western Canada had an embarrassment of riches when it came to having top calibre players playing every night in every game played. There was Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey and the rest of the high-flying Oilers. You also had Dale Hawerchuck & Thomas Steen in Winnipeg (now Phoenix) and Lanny McDonald, Kent Nilsson, Hakan Loob & Paul Reinhart in Calgary.

In the later 90s all these teams had to get rid of their great players because they couldn't afford them, but now the league is on a more equal footing and the talent can be spread around and retained for years.

In the 1979/1980 inaugural season of my hometown Edmonton Oilers, there were 21 teams in the NHL and we were able to see every team in the league twice and it was awesome. I got to watch my favorite team at the time the Philadelphia Flyers twice, as well as the Rangers, Maple Leafs and my favorite team to hate at the time - the Montreal Canadiens. What a thrill. Watching the Habs play in person was incredible and I have to admit I have never seen a more amazing team than they were with Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt & Larry Robinson leading the way.

Way to go GM's and Board of Governors, what a great decision for the fans.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Avery & Tucker Pre-Game Antics

If it wasn't for these two super-pests getting at it in warm-up, no one in the United States would have talked about hockey for the week. Way to go guys, next time drop the gloves and go at it until the last man is standing.

This little tussle made for a very exciting game with lots of drama and emotion. Every game should have a couple of players like these two going at it all night. Avery, Tucker and Ryan Hollweg of the Rangers are great for the game. If it wasn't for these guys no one would be getting suspended.

Lets make sure the league doesn't take out yapping and pushing after the whistle.
I miss the old-fashioned face-wash with the smelly old gloves.

Philadelphia Flyers are a dirty team and they play rough?????

All of a sudden the Flyers are a dirty, physical team. What a bunch of BS! Ever since the Flyers came into the NHL they have been a big, bad and very physical team. Are you kidding me? Coaches, players, the NHLPA and all of the beat writers in the league just figured this out? Give me a break. At least the Flyers have an identity, their arena is always packed and you know as a player that you played a game after leaving Philly.

When I played Philadelphia was one of my 3 favorite places to play on the road. You know why, I always came out with a black eye or two, a broken nose, some stitches or a chipped tooth. THATS HOCKEY!

To the Flyers, "This Buds for you", keep it up, don't ever change. Finish your hits, drive to the net & never ever sit back and play the trap.

To all of you clowns in the media that just figured out that the Flyers are a nasty team to play against, find a new sport to talk or write about.