Tag Archives: Sidney Crosby

NHL: Same Game, Different Season

by Brandon Busuttil

With the NHL season underway, a lot happened this off-season but all teams have the same goal: make the playoffs and win the almighty Stanley Cup. So, how have all those off-season moves and predictions been looking after the first few games into this NHL season.

I think it is important to start with the new overtime format. Instead of the 4-on-4 overtime format, that resulted in only 35% of games tied after regulation ending in overtime, and the rest of the 65% of tied games ending in a shootout; the NHL has decided to move to a 3-on-3, 5-minute overtime format followed by a shootout. Overtime periods just got a lot more exciting. With a lot of ice and some of the most talented NHL players in that open space, you can expect a lot more overtime goals, and that is exactly what happened. The excitement about a game going into overtime has gone way up, and now has fans watching with large rushes of adrenaline. The NHL definitely got it right with this overtime format change.

Mike Babcock has moved on from the Detroit Red Wings to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It can easily be determined Babcock gave up success with the Red Wings for a lot more money and a much bigger challenge. The Detroit Red Wings is one of the most renowned teams in the NHL making the playoffs 24 years in a row. Now with a rookie head coach, Jeff Blashill, can the Red Wings keep it up or will they crumble? With the amount of talent Detroit has, along with the fact Blashill coached the AHL affiliate team of the Red Wings the Grand Rapids Griffins to a Calder Cup trophy (much of those players he coached are now playing for the Red Wings), I think the team will be in good hands. Blashill follows a system very similar to Babcock, and if it is truly similar to Babcocks, that means the team will stay successful. So far into the season it has been proven that the Red Wings are exactly where they left off with Babcock, continuing to be successful with two goaltenders whom are good enough to both be starting.

The Toronto Maple Leafs on the other hand, are still struggling. To put this team in perspective, their first line players would be on a third line at any decent NHL team. It will be interesting to see what Mike Babcock can do with this team, but I would not expect a quick fix. Babcock has been signed to a 8 year deal to see if he can be the magician to change this Leafs team around, and it is predicted that it will take a long two or possibly three seasons until we hear of the Maple Leafs making noise in the NHL. This has proven true because the Leafs have continued their losing woes in this 2015-2016 NHL season.

The last big story-line that is looked at is: what is the deal with the Chicago Blackhawks? Coming off of a Stanley Cup championship, can Chicago do it again? Unlikely. They lost some key players due to free agency and trades, but they will still be a force to be reckoned with considering their star players that have stayed are going to make up for the lack of those whom left.

Overall, it should be a great and interesting season this year, filled with some great goaltenders all looking to make a name for themselves and some trying to keep their name as one of the best in the game right now. We have top-notch rookies such as Connor McDavid, whom is compared to Sidney Crosby when he entered the league. Lastly, we have teams that could make a push to be a force this year such as the Florida Panthers, whom have come out this year with a lot of determination and force.

Look for an exciting year of hockey, and one that will probably be filled with the unexpected.

 

Put Me in Coach, I’m Ready to Play: Filip Forsberg

By Ellen Chlumecky

January 26, 2015

On Tuesday, January 20th, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins was checked by trainers during the second period of their game against Philadelphia. He was given a full check, returned to the game, and finished. However the next day Wednesday, January 21st, Malkin  couldn’t play against the Chicago Blackhawks after testing himself during warm ups. As of now, there is no set date or time-table for his return.

While this would have been no big deal any other day during this time of the year, it’s not exactly a lucky time this time around. Unfortunately for Malkin, due to this lower-body injury he will not be able to participate in the NHL All-Star Game. In addition to Malkin, Sidney Crosby will also be missing the All-Star game due to a lower-body injury as announced by general manager Jim Rutherford on Friday. However you all know that someone’s loss is always someone’s gain.

While Malkin and his fellow teammate Sidney Crosby are planning on taking this All-Star game off, their loss is another player’s gain. Predators forward Filip Forsberg has been added to the NHL All-Star Game roster. He will be playing Sunday. Adding him to the roster will make him the only rookie in the lineup. Forsberg will be joining his fellow Nashville teammate and captain Shea Weber and Predators coach Peter Laviolette in the All-Star game.

While I’m sure most of the Pittsburgh Penguins fans might be in an uproar about two of their favorite players not playing, this is the Predators rookie’s chance to show the NHL and their fans what he can do. Forsberg is only 20 years old and he has a chance to show these players and fans that he has something to show for it.

Forsberg has already won Rookie of the Month in November of 2014. He won gold in the world junior championships in 2012 at Calgary for team Sweden. He also won silver in the world junior championships in 2014 Malmo and 2013 Ufa. In addition, he was selected 11th overall in 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals.

While I am not personally a Predators fan, Forsberg has often caught my eye with his high intensity attitude, speed, and his great stick handling skills. There are many opportunities for him to shine at the All-Star Game and I for one am very excited to see what captain will choose him to be on his team. While both captains have made it clear that there is no bad picks this year, it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

 

Mumps Outbreak Spreads Through NHL

By Nick Muhl

Yes, you did in fact read that last headline correctly. The National Hockey League is currently experiencing a moderate outbreak of the mumps. While NFL headlines argue whether Johnny Manziel should or shouldn’t be a starting quarterback and the NBA is going wild watching the Golden State Warriors fast start to the season, the NHL is investigating one of the strangest stories to hit a major sports league in 2014.

Mumps is “an acute, inflammatory, contagious disease caused by a paramyxovirus”. Symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle pains, fatigue and swollen glands but can be prevented by a vaccine and mostly only affects children.

Currently multiple teams and players have contracted the disease including players on the Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers, and several superstars including the Duck’s Cory Perry, the Rangers Tanner Glass, Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Suter, and now most recently the Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby.

Crosby, like many other NHL players, received a mumps vaccine booster shot prior to traveling to Russia for the Winter Olympic games in Sochi. In an interview with ESPN, Dr. Greg Wallace, a lead epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said that “considering the lengthy incubation period of the mumps, it’s virtually impossible to predict how long this outbreak will affect the league.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the CDC, also reports several hundred to a couple thousand cases of the mumps every year. The high number of cases in a little over a month in the NHL is alarming. However, with close contact locker rooms and multiple games in different cities each week – it is understandable why the disease has spread somewhat quickly and yet the origin cannot be traced.

According to USA Today, the NHL released information to each team regarding the mumps outbreak and how to prevent the spread of the disease. It remains to be seen if the NHL will provide additional support to prevent the spread of the disease, because of its nature there is no telling when the outbreak may end for the league.

While many fans, players, and media want the NHL to track down “patient zero”, it may be more important for the NHL to find a way to prevent the further spread of this disease before the NHL becomes subject to more serious headlines.