King Hockey

Around the NHL with #TheNLKing

If you count overtime losses as ties which for all intention purposes they are, there are only 6 NHL teams below .500 entering Saturday’s games November 15th.

The rumor mill is in high gear this week with another report that Las Vegas will get an NHL team in the near future. I know there are a lot of potential markets for an NHL team besides Vegas. However shouldn’t the NHL figure out first if the Coyotes and Panthers are going to have to relocate within the next 5 years before expanding?

With the early play by the Predators, Flames, Canucks and the Jets the Western Conference very well could have an exciting playoff race. Much more than expected. Last years playoff teams in the Sharks, Wild, Stars and Avalanche are in danger of being replaced by these teams come playoff time.

Early surprises on the NHL Points list are, Voracek (2nd with 24 Points), Tarasenko (5th with 21 Points), Forsberg (6th with 20 Points), Giordano (7th with 20 Points) & Foligno (12th with 18 Points).

Salary Cap Points Continue reading

King Lundqvist

The King Still Reigns

After back to back games where his opponents scored 6 goals on him just three games into the season, Lundqvist was clearly not at his best. In 587 career games, he has only 10 games with 6 or more goals allowed and he had never allowed 6 or more goals in consecutive games. Only 3 games into his season, getting obliterated by the Toronto Maple Leafs and rival New York Islanders, both in Madison Square Garden, was never thought to be possible for most, but it happened.

Despite losing in overtime last game, in 12 games before that this season, he has since come out of his slide. In those 12 games, he has a respectable 7-4-1 record, but even better is his league leading 3 shut outs. And in his last seven games at home, he has gone 5-1-1 and posted a 1.74 GAA and a .941 SV %. Surprisingly, his record this season is quite similar to his past performances over the first 12 games every year. Here are all ten seasons for Lundqvist in the NHL in his first 12 games played:

2005-06: 7-3-2 & 1 shut out

2006-07: 7-5-0

2007-08: 5-6-1 & 3 shut outs

2008-09: 8-3-1

2009-10: 7-3-1 (with 1 incomplete game)

2010-11: 6-5-1 & 2 shut outs

2011-12: 6-3-3 & 1 shut out

2012-13: 7-5-0

1013-14: 5-6-0 (with 1 incomplete game) & 2 shut outs

Moving into his 10th season in the NHL, Lundqvist has been one of the best goalies in the league. He currently ranks 3rd in games played, wins and shut outs among active goalies, behind Roberto Luongo and Evgeni Nabokov. He also ranks 3rd in GAA and SV % among active goalies, behind Tuukka Rask and Cory Schneider. Lundqvist is two shutouts away from moving into 20th place on the NHL’s all-time shutouts list and is 18 wins away from moving into 20th place on the NHL’s all-time wins list and both of those will presumably be broken this season. He is one of four active goalies with 300 wins and three active goalies with 50 shut outs. And among Rangers goalies, he is a legend. He ranks 1st in wins, SV % and shut outs and 2nd in games played and GAA. That’s pretty incredible considering the New York Rangers have been around for 88 years and have seen a lot of good goalies.

Here are 5 reasons to trust in Henrik Lundqvist to be the King in New York between the pipes:

  1. Elite Hockey Pedigree:

Before he came to the NHL, Lundqvist was already a star in Sweden. Having played 154 games in the Eliteserein, (Swedish Elite League, now called Swedish Hockey League), he was a star in his own rite in his homeland of Sweden, before the NHL. He managed only one season out of five with a GAA over 2.17, (two times under 1.50) and one season with a SV % under .927%, while posting 21 shut outs. And in his last season in Sweden, he posted a 30-6-3-2 record. He showed much poise and promise and hasn’t let management and fans down with his daring dives, sweet saves and expert execution.

  1. Hard Work Ethic:

Despite being drafted 205th Overall in the 8th Round, it didn’t stop Lundqvist from coming to the NHL and being one of the most dominating forces at his position. Even off the ice, he brings a regal status and is always one of the best dressed, most professionally carried players in the league. He is a workhorse, (having played four consecutive seasons of 70 games or more), a champion and in case you don’t watch him on a regular basis, you should make a habit of checking him out more. Since he entered the league in 2005-06, he has been a force in goal every year and has clearly been the answer to finally replacing lifetime Rangers goaltender Mike Richter. It seems as though the “risk” in the draft paid off.

  1. Proven Track Record:

Over the past ten seasons, if one thing is true about Lundqvist, it is that you can always count on him to keep your team in it. Buckle up and get ready for an exhaustive list of excellence.

He posted a single season GAA of 1.97, which ranks 16th all time when over 60 GP. He posted a season with a .930 SV%, which ranks 5th all time when playing at least 60 games and is one of only 18 players in NHL history to post 11 shut outs in one seasons. He has two years of 10 shut outs or more in his NHL career and one more with 8 shut outs. He has six straight years of 35 wins, including a career high 39 in 2011-12 and he has failed to hit 30 wins in a season only once and that was in the lockout shortened season where he led the league with 24 wins. Now take a breather and we can move on.

  1. Playoff Performance:

Since coming to the NHL, Lundqvist has failed to make the playoffs only once and we can attribute much of that to his team. In those appearances, he has posted a GAA under 2.15, (best was 1.82), and amazing four times and a SV % above .920 %, four times, (twice above .930 %). Last season, Lundqvist overcame his jitters against the Montreal Canadiens, a team to which he has major difficulty, and led an underdog team to the Stanley Cup Finals, which was the first in 20 seasons; which was their 10th time overall and just their fourth time past the Original 6 era.

  1. Personal Achievements:

Here comes another exhaustive list of achievements, just to warn you.

He is a four time NHL All Star and has also been an All Star at the World Championship and Olympics. He was nominated for the Vezina Trophy 5 times, including 3 in a row to start his NHL career and won the award in 2012. He has represented his country at the Olympics three times, bringing home gold and silver medals and World Championship 3 times, bringing home a silver medal. He has also represented his country at the World Juniors twice and the U-18 Championship, bringing home the bronze. All of this adds up to a gleaming trophy case, but the one that eludes him is the Stanley Cup. I’m sure that the King would like to change that.

Like always, if you agree or disagree, I’d love to hear from you.

For all things hockey, follow me @hockeygoogle and/or send me an e-mail at [email protected]

Leafs vs Bruins

Maple Leaf News and Updates

Beat the Bear

Since the the beating of the almighty Bruins on Wednesday night the Leafs are on a bit of a streak. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Peter Holland, Phil Kessel, and Leo Komarov continue to shine, lets hope this continues. Parade Route anyone?

Pittsburgh and Buffalo

Well everyone had put the Boston game as a measuring stick (although missing Chara and Krejci) as to where the Leafs are sitting in the East. Well Friday night doesn’t get any easier. The Pittsburgh Penguins are in town and they are flying. It will be interesting to see how two confident teams play against each other. My guess expect a close game, with Pittsburgh on top.

Buffalo (or the Connor McDavid team) awaits the Leafs the following night. My guess is that after two very hard games against the top opponents, I would think this may be a let down. I expect Buffalo to win this one by a goal. Lets hope I am wrong. Continue reading

Carter Ashton

Unwashed Report: Carter Ashton

Carter Ashton’s suspension is one of those things that makes it hard to not sit on the fense. The Maple Leaf’s 23 year old forward was suspended 20 games last week for violating the NHLPA’s Performance Enhancing Substance Program. Ashton took Clenbuterol through an Inhaler in response to his “exercise-induced asthma”.

In his statement, Ashton was quick to point out that he “at no time was I seeking to gain an athletic advantage or to knowingly violate the terms of the program.” Ashton also mentioned that the inhaler had be prescribed by an unnamed team doctor in response to his asthma.

Here’s my issue with the suspension: performance enhancing drugs are a major no-no across all sports and they usually come with heavy and rigid consequences. This make perfect sense, until you find out that Clenbuterol wasn’t taken to give Ashton a leg up of any sort. Even if it was, It wouldn’t do much good come game time. Besides its asthma relieving properties, Clenbuterol is most commonly used as quick way to burn fat. Continue reading

Leaf Nation

Would the Real Maple Leafs Please Stand up

So here we are 15 games in and we are already planning the parade route (again). Maybe that’s a little ambitious, but in Leaf nation a 2 game winning streak only means the Promised Land. What I don’t understand is that this team is such a Jekyll and Hyde phenomenon. They can play one game like an East Coast Hockey Team, followed by a solid effort by a playoff contending team.

I can’t find the rhyme nor reason why this team plays like they do, but I do have a few Maple Leafs I would like to suggest may be a true Maple Leaf.

Leo Komarov – We all like him. Coaches love coaching him. He’s a player that just plays every night. Sure he may look like a 1970’s porn star with his Manchu Moustache, but that is quickly forgotten when he hits the ice. This year it seems he feels more at ease, less pressure. He seems to take everything in the game in stride. We all like the guy who has grit, but what about a guy who has grit and plays like that every night. He won’t get you 60 points, but he will get you 100+ hits and kill penalties better than no one else. He’s one player I would put on my Real Maple Leafs List.

David Clarkson – The best thing to happen to Clarkson, was the stupid preseason fight that broke his orbital bone. Since then he has had to where that wonderful full (now half) face shield, which has made him change his game. Continue reading