King Hockey

Around the NHL with #TheNLKing

Tonight Friday November 21st the 2nd place New York Islanders start a 2 game litmus test as they go to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins in a home and home. Two games versus the Pens in a little more than 24 hours.

In this years NHL Draft Lottery the percentage of a team winning the lottery finishing between 5th and 14th is almost as good as a team finishing in the bottom 4. Odds of one of the bottom four NHL teams winning the lottery is 54.5%. While teams finishing 5 through 14 it’s 45.5%. Remember whoever wins the lottery moves all the way up to the #1 slot in the 1st round.

Through the Wild’s first 18 games the return on investment on free agent signing Thomas Vanek (signed 3 years deal for 19.5 Mil, cap hit 6.5 Mil per) has not been very good. Vanek only has 1 goal so far this season.

With Pascal Dupuis out for most likely the rest of the season the Penguins are looking to land a proven forward to replace him without touching the core of their main roster. Pens have some cap space so that shouldn’t be a problem. However finding that player won’t be easy given those parameters. Continue reading

Preds vs Leafs

Unwashed Report: Dump N Change?

It’s always a humbling experience when your go-to team loses to a team you pay no attention to. Heck, It took me two days to even work up the strength to mention it! #LeafsNation got a rude awakening to start their three game home-stand tuesday night, as the team was completely and utterly dominated by the Nashville Predators. 9-2 was the final score, resulting in the worst loss since 1991 when the Leafs fell 12-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

As anyone can imagine, such a lost didn’t go over very well with fans and media alike. The streets of Toronto run blue and white, and they could very well add red to the mix if Randy Carlyle shows his face in public any time soon. Twitter was again on the ball as #LeafsNation was quick to show their feelings with tweets that ranged from horror to blind rage to utter disbelief that such a loss was even possible.The Leafs briefly showed signs of life in the third period, scoring twice and at least attempting to fight. The game ended with jerseys being thrown on the ice and some of the loudest booing in ten years. Continue reading

Aaron Ekblad

Early Calder Trophy Contenders

It is never too early to start speculating about who is going to win awards in the NHL and it is always fun to talk about rookies. Who is going to take home this year’s Calder Trophy for rookie of the year in the NHL? Here are my early season contenders.

Filip Forsberg-Nashville Predators

The clear frontrunner this season has been Filip Forsberg. The young 20-year-old, leads all rookies in goals with 8, assist with 12, and points with 20. Not to mention he leads the entire NHL in plus/minus with a +19 rating. He has been a force on the ice for Nashville. Drafted 9th overall by Washington, many are wondering what the Capitals were thinking when they traded away their young prospect, Forsberg to Nashville for Martin Erat. You tell me who you think ended up getting the better deal in that one? I could just imagine how good Ovi could be with the playmaker Forsberg on his line. But back to Nashville, where he is now, the young guns have this team rolling. Second in the Central Division this team looks like a for sure playoff team and Forsberg’s play has a lot to do with it.

Aaron Ekblad-Florida Panthers

Aaron Ekblad is proving that he was worth the number 1 overall pick in the draft last April. He is leading all rookie defensemen in points with 10 (2G 8A). He is on a Florida Panthers team that is second in the Eastern Conference in goals allowed. Continue reading

Natalie Spooner

Pro Women’s Hockey in North America

Don’t you think it’s a shame that unlike men, women CANNOT make a living off playing hockey? That’s because there is no true professional league for women.

Noora Raty, a 25 year old goalie from Finland, retired shortly after the Sochi Olympics because she couldn’t make a living from playing hockey at this time in society. She is just one of the many ladies who can’t make a living off the sport they love. Don’t you think this is just wrong? Recently Raty signed with Kiekko-Vantaa, a Mestis club in Finland.

I hear all the time that one of the many reasons for no women’s professional league is that there would be no fans at the games. If you watched the gold medal game from the 2014 Olympics then you would know that level of skill these women have is unreal. I personally believe that it’s very skilled and entertaining hockey. The gold medal game in Sochi was amazing. The last five minutes was so special for every Canadian, hockey fan or not.  I have heard many men say that the 2010 and 2014 women’s gold medal games was some of the best hockey they’ve ever seen.

The weekend of October 11th and 12th was World Girls Hockey Weekend. Women across the world were celebrating by playing the game we all love. This weekend is a way to help grow the game. Continue reading

Hockey Fights

Unwashed Extra: Role Playing?

Hey look! Fighting in hockey made the news…again. This conversation has been going on long enough and I think it’s time I offer my own, idealistic, teen aged opinion. Fighting in hockey doesn’t need to go anywhere at all until there’s a river of complaints from players who fight regularly. At the end of the day, the NHL is business. Forget about helping the people and everything your social studies teachers told you. At the end of the day, businesses are here to make money. It goes without saying that people like violence [to a degree]. The prospect of violence attracts people to watch things. More people taking interest in hockey just means more money for the league. Consequently, no more fighting means not only a decreased amount of new fans, but also the loss ofa large number of fans that have been around the game for years, It’s not 1960 anymore guys. None of us are sitting around waiting change. All I see coming out of any theoretical ban on fighting in the NHL is a whole lot of angry fans, angry players, and left over tickets.

All this talk of banning fights and the role of Goon being dead really got me thinking about how the common fan view players. There’s a bunch of little factors and terms that we often dismiss as useless filler for analysts. You can probably already guess half of the so called “intangibles” I’m talking about thanks to media icons like Don ”Grapes” Cherry. Don’s argument, however poorly presented or biased is fundamentally valid. Continue reading