Recently there’s been an abnormally large amount of accusations flying around Toronto, most of which to do with dedication. Failing to show up to a team meeting after a crushing loss is one thing, but that really only contributes to on ice performance so much. There’s an equal amount of talk amongst #TankNation about finding a way to throw the season with a least a little bit of grace. Going out with a bang, if you will.
Because the team apparently isn’t “passionate” or “dedicated” enough to say, lose by one goal every night, I propose a new method of showing that at least a few people on the roster care. I call it “The Zero Act”.
The Zero Act declares that in any game where the Leafs are down by 3 or more goals with 25 minutes to go or less, or are losing a game by a deficit of 3 or more goals to a team more than two spots behind in the standings warrants a line brawl. All games against Montreal or the first overall team automatically warrants a minimum two fights per game.
I know at least a few of you are thinking something along the lines of “riiight because 70s style Goon warfare works sooo well in 2015.” and you’re not wrong. However, it worked pretty damn well in 2013 didn’t it? Continue reading Unwashed Report: The “Zero” Act
For all those who have never heard the song Running Wild is a very good song. Something though that has recently been way better and hotter than that song is the Minnesota Wild. Around one month ago these guys seemed out. The big signings of Parise and Suter had seemed to fail, sure they had made the playoffs a couple of times and even made it past the first round, but lets face it, when the Wild front office signed these two great players making the playoffs was supposed to be easy. This year they made it look very hard up until just this last bit of the season.
After spending the majority if not all the season out of the playoff picture, Minnesota has to be the team everyone else doesn’t want to play come playoff time. You could go into a bunch of fancy stats to try to figure out why and I will reveal some stats a little later, but one stat says it all. In their last 22 games, the Wild are 17-4-1. Where were they 22 games ago? 20-20-6, Now if you don’t feel like adding that means their total season W-L-OT is 37-24-7.
Follow my blog for even just a little bit of time and you’ll know how much I value defense, and this is no different, defense and goaltending has gotten Minnesota back into the playoffs. In those 22 games, the Wild have not given up more than 3 goals one time. Not once. You only have to go back one game after that when they game up 4 or 5 in a shootout loss to Detroit but how many teams can say they haven’t let up more than 3 goals in that stretch? Continue reading Running Wild
- It’s a new era in Islander Country as this past week the Isles signed Johnny Boychuk to a 7 year extension. Boychuk not only was going to be the #1 defenseman on the upcoming free agent market but by many accounts he was going to be the #1 free agent period. Both Boychuk and his agent knew this fact. While Boychuk got a very rich contract at 42 Million dollars he choose to remain a part of the Islanders core for the rest of his career. Says a lot about the Islanders this season and their future.
– With signings from last summer through during this season the top of this upcoming unrestricted free agent class is very weak. In alphabetical order the top free UFA’s are, M.Beleskey, C.Ehroff, C.Franson, M.Green, P.Martin, J.Oduya, M.Ribeiro, M.St.Louis, C.Soderberg, A.Vermette & J.Williams.
– With this being such a weak UFA class and a very strong draft class I expect a lot of trades this off-season especially during draft week. If teams want to fill holes the choices in free agencty will be few and far between and the trade route will more likely be the way to go for those teams to fill those needs. Continue reading Around the NHL with #TheNLKing – Down the Stretch Edition
There is a lot in play in the Western Conference regarding the playoffs as we head into Sunday March 8th. Right now the Stanley Cup Champions the LA Kings are on the outside looking in. The Central division is up for grabs and while we know the Ducks will win the Pacific it’s a free for all regarding the automatic seeds for the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the division.
Nashville: Barely holding on to the Division lead (up by 2 points on Blues) and could not have picked a worst time to enter into a huge slump, as they have dropped 6 in a row. The Predators have 15 games left with 7 at home where they have dominated until recently with a record of 26-7-1. Of their remaining 15 games 8 are against current non playoff teams. The Predators have no games remaining left with the Blues or Hawks.
St.Louis: The Blues are closing in on the division as they trail Nashville by just 2 points and have 2 games in hand. However, they do have a brutal schedule the last 5 weeks of the season. 13 of the Blues remaining 17 games are against current playoff teams, the play the Blackhawks twice the last week of the season and they have their final 6 games in the last 10 days of the regular season.
Chicago: The Hawks are trying to move up the standings so they have at least home ice in the 1st round. The Hawks are on the road more in their final 17 as 10 of those games are away from the windy city. However 9 of their final 17 are against current non playoff teams. The Hawks play the Blues twice more and the Wild once. Continue reading Breaking Down the Western Conference Playoff Race!
Heading into the last 5 weeks of the season there are a number of races to follow in the Eastern conference. Anyone of 4 teams can win the Metro and 3 teams can win the Atlantic. The second Wild Card race in the East is between 4 teams. Let’s take a look at each race as we head into action on Friday March 6th.
NY Islanders – The Islanders fans must be pinching themselves as they find themselves in 1st Place this last in the season. The Isles lead the Rangers just by 2 Points, the Penguins by 6 and the Capitals 7. Both the Rangers & Pens have 3 games in hand on the Islanders. The Isles remaining schedule is favorable as they have 16 games the last 5 weeks. Nine of those 16 games are at home where the Isles have been a strong team this season with a record of 23-9-0. Of the Isles remaining 16 games 8 are against current playoff teams and 8 are against non playoff teams. The Isles play the Rangers one more time at home and the Pens one more time in Pittsburgh. They are done with the Caps.
NY Rangers – The Blue Shirts have been one of the hottest teams for a good stretch now. By most accounts they are the favorite to win the division but their remaining schedule is very difficult. Of the Rangers remaining 19 games 11 of them are against current playoff teams including the Capitals 3 times, the Blackhawks twice and the Kings, Ducks, Bruins and Islanders once. Not to mention of the Rangers remaining 19 games 11 of them are on the road. Yes the Rangers have 3 games on hand on the 1st place Islanders but that comes with a price as the Blue Shirts play 6 games in the final 10 days of the season. Continue reading Breaking Down the Eastern Conference Playoff Races