The Senators celebrate their "W"(Photo by Francois Laplante/NHLI via Getty Images)
Hello Hockey Fans! It just keeps getting better and better doesn't it!
Round Two started last week, I turn on a game and you just never know what is going to happen.
The last two teams to join the elimination club where the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals.
The second round looks like this LA is against San Jose, Chicago is playing Detroit and in the east Original 6 team Boston is up against other Original 6 team the New York Rangers while the only Canadian Club left the Ottawa Senators are playing the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In the standings:
Detroit vs Chicago tied 1-1
Los Angeles vs San Jose LA leads series 2-1
Boston vs NYR Boston leads 2-0
and the PENS leads the SENS 2-1
Last night was the 1st time in the playoffs we have seen a game go into double overtime. Remember hockey fans in the playoffs 5 minute overtime and shootouts are a thing of the past. If a game is tied at the end of the 3rd period a complete intermission happens and then a 20 minute period begins. It is still sudden death meaning next goal wins. These overtimes become naibiters. Pucks off the posts, takeaways, penalties they have all the excitement of a Hollywood Blockbuster.
The Pittsburgh vs Ottawa game last night was fantastic. It was Game 3 and what some in the hockey world might call a "series changer" The Pens had a 2-0 lead in the series after winning games 1 and 2. Ottawa knew they had to win or their odds of making it through to the 3rd round were slim. It was a scoreless 1st period, At the end of the 2nd period it was a goal by Pens forward Tyler Kennedy that gave PIttsburgh the lead. The 3rd period, fun to watch but scoreless. Erik Karlsson was all over the ice trying to make something to happen. Jason Spezza was playing in his first NHL game since the start of the regular season. Spezza only played 5 games until a back injury took him out. It wasn't until Erik Karlsson took a slashing penalty with less then two minutes left in the 3rd that the tides changed. It was a "slash" to Matt Cooke's stick that sent Karlsson to the box. It was a debatable penalty. Cooke slashed Karlsson earlier and wasn't sent to the box. You can understand Ottawa's frustration. The comentators kept saying Craig Anderson, goalie for the SENS had kept his team in the game and all he needed was the reward of a goal by a teammate. It happened and it was beautiful. With Karlsson in the box I don't know if the Pens thought it was s shoe in but they let in a shorthanded goal. It was Captain Alfredsson to the rescue with the tying goal and 29 seconds left on the clock. Just like that it was a tie game. Ottawa had to kill the rest of the Karlsson penalty to start OT. The first OT passed. The 2nd started and with over 7 minutes gone Colin Greening found the back of the Pens net with a backhand shot. Game Over, Ottawa WINS 2-1 and we have a series people! Pens still lead the series 2-1 but Game 4 is in Ottawa so anything can happen!
Tonight the only game is between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. Check out both Alfredsson and Greening's goals in the videos plus if you need a quick recap of hockey lingo I have added an episode of Hockey Talk with Courtney below where I run down commonly used terms in hockey! Enjoy X
See that puck in the net! That is the Phil Kessel GAME WINNING GOAL!
Hello Hockey Fans Young and Old, New and Veteran! What a 1st round it has proved to be.
I will keep this as quick and as informative as I can. Only 2 games left tonight in the 1st round. At 4:00pm (PST) we have the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins dropping the puck for a Game 7. I don't think people wouldn't have even been able to predict. this. It is certainly a Game 7 I am going to watch.
What you need to know about this series: The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing their 1st playoff round in 10 years and the Big Bad Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 in a Game 7 vs the Vancouver Canucks. It seemed like such a clear path, I don't think anyone was expecting Toronto to push this series to a Game 7. The Bruins could have sealed the deal in Game 5 and again in Game 6 and eliminate the Leafs but nooo the Leafs have pushed it to Game 7! Amazing! It has a lot to do with Toronto's #1 netminder James Reimer and super star forward Phil Kessel finding the back of the net for the Leafs! All I can say is "GO LEAFS GO" I am rooting for the Leafs for multiple reasons. 1) I love cheering for an underdog, 2) Love their head coach Randy Carlyle (I interviewed Carlyle last year in Anaheim, check it out below) 3) Many many Canadian hockey fans want the Canadian teams to stay in the race and bring the Cup back to Canada 4) What is not to like about the Leafs?
The 2nd games tonight is a Game 7 between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers! This happened last year and the Rangers eliminated the Capitals in 7 games to move onto the Eastern Conference Finals. This game has all the elements of a playoff rivalry. Washington had the chance to close the door on New York but with the lone goal of the game being scored by Ranger Derick Brassard the teams both boarded planes to the country's capital for a Game 7! Who knows, maybe Obama will show support along with the home town crowd!
James Reimer stopping one of the 30 shots taken by the Bruins last night. Reimer has allowed 16 goals in the series and stopped a whopping 237 for a .932 save percentage! GO REIMER GO!
One day during the lockout this past fall I walked into the rink at UBC and saw the usual suspects from the Vancouver Canucks roster skating. Yes Willie Mitchell, Tanner Glass and Andrew Cogliano had all made appearances as well but on this one day a goalie was in net I knew I recognized but had to take a minute to figure it out. It was James Reimer of the Toronto Maple Leafs! In town skating with fellow NHL players. He said his wife's family lives here so they were visiting and Reimer was taking a morning skate with the boys while he could. Reimer and Schneider rotated taking turns and Reimer seemed like a really great guy to be around!
Detroit sure has a "W" to celebrate!
The Famous Hockey Handshake. This is one of the best traditions in hockey. It happens in every league after playoff games. Every single player no matter the score, the hits, the saves, must line up and shake hands with their opponents. This is when the hockey player not the NHL player comes alive. He could have his best buddy from his junior years playing for the other team. They shake and hug and support each other. I know when San Jose bumped out Vancouver last week San Jose Captain Joe Thornton and Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo hugged each other becuase they are friends and both won Gold in the same arena at the 2010 Olympics. Sportsmanlike conduct at its best!
In a wild game 7 played last night the Detroit Red Wings bumped out the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks came off an incredible regular season finishing 2nd in the Western Conference. The Wings had to fight to even earn a playoff spot. It all boiled down to the Game 7 where all bets were off and the Wings took the prize. In true Detroit Red Wings fashion their fire and determination took over and the Wings are still in the race for the Cup. There is something special about the Wings we must admit. They are an Original 6 team, they have won many many Stanley Cups and are the only team to win recent back to back Cups in 1997 and again in 1998!
With two series Game 7s left tonight and Detroit sealing the deal last night it means 5 other series have already ended, quick recap:
The San Jose Sharks got their payback for being eliminated by the Canucks in the 3rd round in 2011 in 5 games. The Sharks came back this year and swept the Canucks in the 1st round, making the Canucks the 1st eliminated team of 2013. The Sharks got over a weeks rest while in Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis has declared a "reset" of the entire organization. Personally I am sad my beloved Canucks are out but maybe this sweep will start a fire under the team for next season!
The "Elimination Club" grew to 3 members with Game 5 wins by the Chicago Blackhawks and the Ottawa Senators two nights later. The Minnesota Wild put up a good fight against the Presidents Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadians just couldn't find a way to score on Ottawa netminder Craig Anderson with 6-1 finals for their last 2 games.
The St Louis Blues were the 4th team to join the "Elimination Club" making 4 out of the 8 series over! Beat in 6 games by last year's Stanley Cup champs the Los Angeles Kings, St.Louis made it to 6 game this year as compared to the sweep they experienced last year by the Kings.
With only one game played on Saturday it had to be good. It was a Game 6 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders. It was an elimination game for the Islanders. It was back and forth scoring, Islanders, Pens, Islanders, Pens, Islanders and finally the Pens forced OT. It was a overtime goal by Penguin Brooks Orpik that clinched a spot in round 2 for the Penguins. I know a lot of hockey fans were turning to Pens Captain Sid the Kid to score the game winner but interesting fact? Sid the Kid is part an elusive group of hockey greats including Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux and Mark Messier to never score an OT game winning goal in the playoffs! How weird it that? With Orpik's goal the Islanders become the 5th team to join the "Elimination Club" now totaling 5.
The 1st game 7 of the season was between the Anaheim Duck and the Detroit Red Wings. With the Ducks Game 5 win they could have shut the door on the Wings in game 6 but it didn't happen that way. Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg scored the GWG early in the OT to force game 7 and then the Wings won in Game 7 sending the Anaheim Ducks to the "Elimination Club" now getting cozy with 6 teams.
Two more teams will join the "Elimination Club" tonight. Game 7s between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers plus the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. Game 7s in the playoffs are insane. It is back to square one, all bets are off and to say the least players ref themselves.
Toronto and Boston's puck drop is 4:00pm PST
and Washington and New York's puck drops at 5:00pm PST
No time for rest because round 2 starts Tuesday! The Los Angeles Kings host the San Jose Sharks at 7:00pm PST, while the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Ottawa Senators at 7:30pm PST.
The other match up in the west is between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings puck dropping on Wednesday at 7:00pm PST. The mystery continues for the other match up in the east. Whoever wins the Game 7s tonight will continue on through to play in Round 2!
Sens had 4 reasons to celebrate and the "W"
Hello Hockey Fans! The playoffs are unfolding into what they always are! Exciting, entertaining and nail biting.
Two more series kicked off last night. The first was Game 1 between the all Canadian series the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens. It was an intense game filled with all the extras. Senator D-Man Erik Karlsson opened the scoring late in the 1st period. It was a beauty of a goal for the young swedish player who has only played 4 games since returning from injury. Karlsson only played 17 games in the regular season before a skate cut his leg during a game leaving him out of the lineup. Montreal took a 2-1 lead in the 2nd period only to have the Sens score 3 goals in the 3rd period and win 4-2. There was on "oh no" moment in the 2nd period Lars Eller was hit by Eric Gryba and knocked to the ice face first. There was blood and Eller was taken to hospital on a stretcher. For as physical as hockey is you never want to see this. Gryba insists that he was not going after Eller's head. Head hits are a no no in any level of hockey play. Eller was kept in hospital over night for observation. The Senators lead the series 1-0. A little fun fact? Considering these 2 teams are so close geographically it is wild to think that they are meeting up for the 1st time in playoffs in modern history. Remember the Canadiens are an Original 6 team while the Sens only joined the NHL in 1992. Let the sparks fly!
Ovechkin opened the scoring for the Caps!
After the New York Rangers beat out the Washington Capitals in 7 games last year in round 2 the Caps are back and ready to win. Last night Game 1 took place in Washington. The Rangers did score 1st in the 1st period but the Caps came back in the 2nd with 3 goals. The first goal was by Captain Alex Ovechkin. Marcus Johansson scored the GWG while Jason Chimera potted the insurance goal. Both of these teams are loaded with players I love to watch. Caps especially have Joel Ward, Arron Volpatti (a favourite favourite of mine), Troy Brouwer but at the top of the list is maybe netminder Braden Holtby. Who was the wiz kid called up from the minors last year at the end of the season only to help the Caps bump out the previous Stanley Cup Champs the Boston Bruins in the first round. Holtby then got a spot on this year's roster and stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced last night. The Capitals lead the series 1-0. I wonder if Holtby's Mum is in the audience again this year? She got a lot of press last year for her support of her son. What Mum wouldn't be biting her nails when you support you son all throughout his hockey years and he gets called up to the NHL but not to sit as the backup but to be the started in the Stanley Cup playoffs? I would be biting my nails as well!
St Louis is giving the Stanley Cup champs a taste of their own medicine.
The St Louis Blues had another huge reason to celebrate last night. They WON Game 2 against the Stanley Cup champs the Los Angeles Kings. St Louis may just be giving Los Angeles a taste of their own medicine for last season. Last year these 2 teams met up in round 2 and the Kings swept the series. Now the Blues lead the series 2-0 and the Kings will be playing catch up. In this game however is was the Kings who struck first with a goal by Captain Dustin Brown (captains are leading the way this year) in the 1st period. A scoreless second period led to do or die for the Blues. Patrik Berglund scored for the Blues in the 3rd period followed by the GWG goal late in the 3rd by Barret Jackman. Blues goalie Brian Elliott was the busier goalie stopping 28 of 29 shots while Jonathon Quick of the Kings only managed to stop 23 of 25 shots. St Louis leads the series 2-0.
Detroit tied the series with the "W" last night!
The final game to end last night was game 2 between the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks. Unlike the Sens and Habs who are meeting for 1st time in the playoffs the Red Wings and Ducks have done this before. These teams have met each other a whopping 6 times in the playoffs. This 6th meeting is turning into a real nailbiter/edge of your seat series. Anaheim won Game 1 and the Wings were back to try even the series..
It looked like the Wings were going to take the "W" in regulation play. The Wings scored 2 goals in the 1st period and one in the 2nd to take a 3-0 lead. Anaheim was able to find the back of the net once and close the gap to 3-1. Detroit answered back with a 4th goal early in the 3rd period. 4-1 Wings until Anaheim Captain Ryan Getzlaf scored to make it 4-2 and give his team some energy (what was it with Captains yesterday just leading their teams). Kyle Palmieri scored for Anaheim to make it 4-3 and then it was a tying goal by Bobby Ryan that sealed the deal and sent the game into OT!
What were the Wings to do? End it early in OT which is just what they did. It was Gustav Nyquist 81 seconds into overtime that ended it! The series is now tied 1-1 and the teams head to Detroit to play games 3 and 4. Below I have included the highlights of this game. They are to good not to watch! And please check out Episode 3 of Hockey Talk with Courtney!
Anahiem forward Bobby Ryan celebrates his tying goal with teammates!
Detroit celebrates on the bench with the OT WIN!
Tonight again is an action packed night with games at (PST):
The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadians play back to back with Game 2 at 4:00pm (Senators lead series 1-0)
The New York Islanders look to bounce back after a bad lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins at 4:00pm (Pens lead series 1-0)
The Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks battle it out at 6:30pm (Chicago leads series 1-0)
The the Vancouver Canucks look to even their series with the San Jose Sharks at 7:00pm (San Jose lead series 1-0)
The calm before the storm last night at Rogers Arena. The towels were lined on the seats, the fans were heading down to the ice for warm up and I was in the Best Buy section enjoying a glass of wine and delicious dinner!
Canadian National Anthem! Beautiful!
Hello Hockey Fans! What a day two in the playoff it was. Again 3 games were played but the twist was I got to go to Game 1 here in Vancouver! It was so much fun even though the Canucks lost 3-1 to the San Jose Sharks. We will talk about my game day experience later. Here is what happened in the other two games last night.
The Pittsburgh Penguins got their 1st shutout of the playoffs. It was a 5-0 victory for the Penguins over the 8th seed New York Islanders. Rookie Beau Bennett scored the opening goal early in the 1st period. It turned into the game winning goal. Pascal Dupuis scored the insurance goal making in 2-0 in the same period. In the second period it was goals by Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis and one of my favourites Tanner Glass that really sent the Islanders over the edge. Jarome Iginla, Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen all recorded 2 assists each in the win. Keep in mind this was all done without Captain and All Start hockey player Sidney Crosby who skated with the team during practice today but hasn't played a game since getting a puck to the face ironically during a game against the Islanders in March. The Penguins lead the series 1-0.
The other game last night was between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. It ended in a 4-1 victory for the Bruins. It was the Maple who scored 1st. It was early early in the 1st period and James Van Riemsdyk scored. Boston then went on to scored twice in the 1st period and twice in the 2nd period. The Bruins lead the series 1-0.
The final game of the night was here on the West Coast in Vancouver! It was Game 1 between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks. I wasn't planning on going to the game. I picked up Hunter from daycare and we were walking in the door home at about 5:20pm and I got a text from my friend Art asking me if I wanted to go to the game. He had an extra ticket. I made a quick few phone calls and my neighbour Mary said she would be more then happy to watch Hunter while I ran out to the game. I was off and out the door 30 minutes later. Who knew?
Art has been a friend of mine for years and he is the same Art I interviewed in Episode 3 of Hockey Talk with Courtney this year. We were sitting up in the Best Buy section of the arena. Somewhere I had never sat before. It is up in the rafters and you get the eagle eye view of the game. I got to the rink about 6:25 with a 7:30 game time. Art and I went upstairs and ate delicious food provided in the section and had a glass of wine. Then Art went to go check on his crew quickly and I ran down to ice level to watch warm up. It is one of my favourite parts! I walked over to the Canuck side and it was busy. I wiggled my way down to about the 3rd row by where the Zamboni comes on to clean the ice. It was slightly less crowded and I had a perfect view to watch the players take shots on the net.
Once warm up ended and I ran back upstairs for the pre game show. Art and his crew had spent days putting everything together and had been at the rink till 10:00pm the past couple of nights rehearsing and making sure the show went off without a hitch! Needless to say it was a great show. It really got the crowd going. The towels were waving and it was loud.
The game started off in a good direction. Kevin Bieksa scored the opening goal of the game in the 2nd period. Logan Couture scored in the 2nd to tie up the game. In the 3rd period the Sharks made it 3-1 with goals by Dan Boyle and Patrick Marleau. The Sharks lead the series 1-0.
The are 4 games being played tonight on the 3rd day of playoffs (all times are PST):
The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadians kick off their series off at 4:00pm
The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals series starts at 4:30pm
The Los Angeles Kings and St Louis Blues play again at 6:30pm (St Louis leads series 1-0)
The Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings go head to head at 7:00pm (Anaheim leads series 1-0)
Below I have uploaded a video I took of warm up. Enjoy and Happy Playoffs!
I ran down from the rafters for warm up. One of my favourite parts of a hockey game. The Canucks side was packed and fans were excited. Players were flipping pucks over the glass for a few lucky fans!
Practice nets were pulled off the ice when warm up was over and the game nets were pushed out onto the ice.
Hello Hockey Fans! The race is officially on for dear old Stanley.
One thing that I love love love about playoffs is hockey gets top priority on CBC. I was watching the St Louis Blues vs Los Angeles Kings game last night and during the intermission they would jump over to the Chicago Blackhawks vs Minnesota Wild game then after that I flipped channels to TSN and the Anaheim Ducks vs Detroit Red Wings games was on. Hockey Heaven for woman and her 5 year old hockey crazy son.
There were three games last night. Two ended in OT and one ended with an empty net goal that was the icing on the cake to seal the deal. Did you notice the speed of the game was faster, the physical part is much more intense and those long breaks waiting for OT. Plus the fans are just insanely excited!
The St Louis Blues beat the current Stanley Cup champions the Los Angeles Kings in an intense battle. Alexander Steen scored the opening goal in the series at about the 1/2 mark in the first period. It looked like St Louis was going to take the win with Los Angeles desperately trying to get a goal (remember Los Angeles never played catch up last year in their win to the Cup. They always won games 1, 2 and 3! They even won game 4 in round 2 against St Louis last year, sweep!) It happened with 32 seconds left in the 3rd period Justin Williams scored to tie up the game. It wasn't until Steen struck again that St Louis got the WIN! They lead the series 1-0. Now LA will have to play catch up.
The Chicago Blackhawks had a come from behind win. Cal Clutterbuck scored in the 1st period to give the Minnesota Wild the lead. Than in the 2nd period the one and only Marian Hossa scored to tie it up. What a goal it was. With no goals in the 3rd period the game went into overtime. It was a beauty of a pass from Viktor Stalberg to Bryan Bickell that ended it in true Blackhawks fashion. Always finding a way to come out on top with the win, especially this year!
Finally the Anaheim Ducks beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1. This was the only game to not head into overtime. Nick Bonino scored the opening goal for Anaheim followed by the tying goal by Dan Clearly for Detroit 6 minutes later. Next came the game winning goal, a stellar one timer by Teemu Selanne. The Finnish Flash played his 112 career playoff game and recorded his 42nd goal! Then with less then 30 seconds on the clock Detroit was working to get the 2nd goal and force OT. It didn't happen because Francois Beauchemin scored into the empty net!
It was a great great night. A fantastic 1st night of playoffs. Below I have loaded up all of the GWG (game winning goals) from last night,
Tonight's lineup looks like this and remember the times are for PST (Pacific Standard Time)
The Toronto Maple Leafs vs The Boston Bruins at 4:00pm
The New York Islanders vs The Pittsburgh Penguins at 4:30pm (Sidney Crosby will not return from injury for Game 1)
The San Sharks vs The Vancouver Canucks at 7:30pm
Enjoy Hockey Fans X
The match ups! I like this chart because it shows you the Seed of everything team. The Wins and loses for teams and their logos. Simple and straight forward!
The Los Angeles Kings Instrgram! #roadtorepeat
Hello Hockey Fans! It is here! After a sprint of a season the Stanley Cup playoffs are commencing tonight! Teams had 48 games to earn a playoff spot and there is some interesting seedings this year!
1) The Toronto Maple Leafs made it into the playoffs for the first time in 10 years!
2) The Detroit Red Wings earned a playoff spot for the 22nd consecutive year!
3) The New York Rangers are the 6th seed in the East but be careful they could be the Los Angeles Kings of 2012. A fantastic team that could go very far in the playoffs. (Plus they have a very good looking goal tender, while 2 actually and you will learn about one in Episode 3 of Hockey Talk with Courtney debuting later this week)
The playoffs get a lot of talk and it also gets confusing because while everyone is talking about playoffs, the 14 teams that didn't get a spot are getting their lottery pick. Forget about that for now. Enjoy playoffs! Remember the playoffs work different then a regulation game here are the main points to focus on
1) Overtime looks different. In the regular season over time looks like this: 5 minutes of overtime with no break after the 3rd period end, sudden death and if no goal is scored it goes to the shootout. In the playoffs there are NO SHOOTOUTS! If overtime happens it is still sudden death BUT after the 3rd period players get a full intermission break and then head out onto the ice for a full 20 minutes.
2) It is the best of 7 so the team to WIN 4 games first wins the series and moves onto the next round. There are four rounds, the last round is the Stanley Cup Final.
3) The teams seeded 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th get home ice advantage. Meaning the games 1 and 2 are played in their arena, games 3 and 4 are played in the opposing teams arena. If game 5 is needed (remember a team can sweep) it goes back to the home arena and alternates back and forth until game seven if needed.
4) The same number of players dress for every game, coaches and bench staff! (Check out Episode 2 of Hockey Talk with Courtney below to learn about coaches and bench staff)
5)Game #1 is life or death in a series. It can create the entire tone of the series and one team could always be playing catch up.
6) Finally playoffs just look different. It is said the regular season doesn't create rivalries in NHL hockey, the playoffs create rivalries! Case and point the always entertaining Vancouver vs Chicago match ups. They game moves faster, the players are more intense and the physical aspect is amped up a lot!
At the end of the day weather you watched every game during the regular season or are just jumping on the wagon now remember this: The Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in professional sports world wide. Not only do teams have to play 82 games during the season they need to win 16 games in the playoffs to get the trophy but they could play as many as 28 games!
7) Lastly, weather you are cheering for the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings or the St Louis Blues, HAVE FUN!
Team Photo post STANLEY CUP WIN 2012!
Handsome man in a suit again! Martin St Louis!
Team Canada staples : Coach Babcock with forwards St Louis and Iginla!
Hello Hockey Fans! Again this week I was running ideas through my head for Fantasy Friday and then yesterday as I was writing the light went off! Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St Louis!
There are a few hockey players I can think of that can honestly say "I was playing NHL hockey in the 90s when most of my current teammates were in elementary school (diapers if you count Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers who were both born in 1993 but play with Eric Belanger who was born in 1977 and drafted in 1996) Ray Whitney, Teemu Selanne, Sami Salo and Martin St Louis to name a few have had long careers in the NHL. You know these seasoned veteran players are going to bring a stability and calmness to games. After watching Martin St Louis surpass Sid the Kid in the scoring race Wednesday night it was an obvious choice.
Here are a few reasons why Martin St Louis has Fantasy Friday status!
1) St Louis went undrafted! He was spotted by the Calgary Flames in 1998 and signed a contract with the team then.
2) One of best forwards in the league, St Louis is 5'8" tall. One of the shortest players in the NHL St Louis had to find other ways to stand out other then his size (6'0" seems like the minimum for height in the NHL)and amazingly he has only missed 7 games between the 2000-2012 season!
3) Leadership is something this player has. St Louis is an alternate Captain for Tampa Bay
4) St Louis shoots left and was born June 18th 1975 in Laval, Quebec!
5) In 977 career NHL games St Louis has scored 339 goals and assisted 571 others for 910 points total! Making him just shy of a point a game player! WOW!
6) When Steven Stamkos got his 60 goals in a single season Martin St Louis was literally right behind him feeding him the puck. The chemistry these two have is undeniable. St Louis helped Stamkos out with 13 passes getting the 1st assist but then had the secondary assist 7 times. So Stamkos can thank St Louis 20 times!
7) St Louis is +13 in his career meaning he is on the ice for more goals scored by his team then goals scored against his team.
8) St Louis was on the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup winning team! That year alone Martin played all 82 games. Scoring 38 goals and assisting 56 others for 94 points total. In the playoffs Martin played 23 games scoring nine times and assisting 15 others for 24 points for more then a point a game average! This was well before St Louis had his linemate Stamkos. Stamkos wasn't drafted until 2008!
9) 2004 is possibly St Louis best year in the NHL awards wise. Not only did he hoist the Cup but he took home the Art Ross Trophy for most points in a season, he took home the Lester B. Pearson Award for MVP chosen by fellow NHL players, also winning the Hart memorial Trophy for MVP and he was also the assist leader tied with Scott Gomez and the plus/minus leader tied with Marek Malik.
10) After the 2009-2010 AND the 2010-2011 season Martin took home the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for most gentlemanly player in the league!
11) Married with 3 children St Louis runs a hockey school during his summers in his off season residence of Connecticut.
12) St Louis has donned the Team Canada Jersey 4 times. Once in 2004 as part of the World Cup of Hockey team where Canada won the cup, he was also on the 2006 Olympic Team and won Silver twice at the World Championships in 2008 and 2009.
And there you have it Hockey Fans! All the reasons why Martin St Louis is this week's Fantasy Friday!!
Hoisting the Stanley Cup! What a moment in a hockey player's life!
Partners in crime Steven Stamkos (left) and Martin St Louis (right) do what they do best. Score goals! When not scoring goals personally assisting the other in scoring his goals! In the 2013 season alone combined St Louis and Stamkos have scored 45 of the 145 goals the teams has scored. If you count their assists then they have helped out on 114 goals! Safe to say throw these two on the ice and the puck will find the back of the net.
It happened last night! Three of the four Staal brothers played on the same team. Coach let them take the opening face-off together and I can only imagine that it was a pretty surreal feeling for the brothers and mom and dad Staal. They were playing other brother Marc Staal's New York Rangers. The game ended up going into OT and NY took the win with a goal by Captain Ryan Callahan and clinched a playoff spot! That means the eastern conference is set for the playoffs. It is just a matter of who plays who with teams collecting a few more points during the last few days of the regular season but the 8 teams heading to the playoffs are
1) Pittsburgh Penguins
2) Boston Bruins
3) Washington Capitals
4) Montreal Canadians
5) Toronto Maple Leafs
6) Ottawa Senators
7) New York Rangers
8) New York Islanders
The last 3 teams all have 54 points so like I say, it is still up in the air who will play who! The western conference isn't set yet. The Columbus Blue Jackets still have a chance. The Minnesota Wild are hanging on to a spot by their teeth and Detroit Red Wings have slid into the 7th seed with a 3 game win streak.
That is all for today Hockey Fans! Have a great day and Happy Hockey!
Three Staal btothers line up for the opening face-off!! Pretty cool! It is like their old outdoor rink at home when they were kids but now it has a roof, an opposing team and 18,000 hockey fans!
Jordan Tootoo scored the GWG Wednesday night!
Hello Everyone! Like I said earlier this week it is a wild wild ride to playoffs! The shortened 2013 season is not letting down. Four major things happened in the NHL last night and I will recap for you quickly what they were!
1) The Detroit Red Wings beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 meaning that right now Detroit is the 8th seed in the west and heading to playoffs! It was a game winning goal by Jordan Tootoo and an insurance goal by Johan Franzen that sealed the deal. Both the Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets have two games remaining. Columbus is only back a point so depending on wins and loses the 8th seed is still up for grabs.
2) The Chicago Blackhawks sealed the deal and won the Presidents Trophy for the 2nd time ever in franchise history. It was possibly their record smashing 24 game point streak to start the season that had a lot to do with it or the fact they have only lost 6 games in regulation ALL season! Either way Captain Toews scored the opening goal. Chicago netminder Ray Emery let in one goal by Nail Yakupov and left with a lower body injury. Cory Crawford went into net and stopped the remainder of the shots. Patrick Kane scored the game winning goal. Both Toews and Kane scored their 22nd goals of the season! This is the 2nd time in franchise history the Blackhawks have won the Presidents Trophy. The 1st time it happened was in 1991. They went on to play the Minnesota North Stars(remember them?) in the 1st round and were booted out. Better luck this year Chicago with the amazing year they have had!
3) Sidney Crosby was injured back in March and was at the top of the points race with 56 when he took a puck to the face. Crosby's injury was sustained March 30th and it took till April 24th for someone to pass his 56 points. It happened in Tampa Bay. It was Martin St Louis that passed Crosby and St Louis did it in classic fashion with a hat trick! It was St Louis's 7th career hat trick! It was a 5-2 win for Tampa Bay and St Louis scored goals 2, 4 and 5! Interesting fact? Tampa Bay teammate Steven Stamkos tied Crosby's record with a goal and an assist in the same game so now the two scoring leaders are both not only teammates but often linemates! It was Martin St Louis that fed Stamkos the puck to help Stamkos get his 60 goals in single season last year!
4) Lastly one of the most entertaining call ups happened yesterday. Youngest Staal brother Jared was called up from the Charlotte Checkers to the Carolina Hurricanes to make his NHL debut! Interestingly his Captain will be eldest brother Eric and his linemate will be other brother Jordan and his opposing team will be other brother Marc's New York Rangers! The only bummer is Marc has been out with an eye injury since March so he won't be playing. I think it would be fun if Marc suited up for warm ups and flicked pucks at his youngest brother. You can bet Mum and Dad Staal will be in crowd cheering on their boys! I am soo watching this game!
And there you have it! The four most entertaining hockey facts from yesterday! Enjoy X
Patrick Kane scored the goal that clinched the Presidents Trophy for the 2nd time in franchise history for the Chicago Blackhawks!
Tampa Bay Lightning Martin St Louis recored his 7th career hat trick and also passed Sidney Crosby in the NHL race to the Art Ross Trophy!
Jared Staal, Jordan Staal, Eric Staal and Marc Staal are all going to be in the same arena playing Thursday night! Jared was called up from the AHL! The only bummer is Marc Staal is injured and won't lace up the skates.
It is that time of year again! This is why I love hockey. I quick look at the standings this morning and the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings are the 4th seed right now in the west but western conference runner up in 2012, the Phoenix Coyotes don't look playoff bound with 46 points and 3 games remaining. Take a look at the eastern standings and notice last season's Stanley Cup runner up the New Jersey Devils don't look playoff bound this year and their eastern conference opponent from last year the New York Rangers are the 7th seed right now with 52 points but could get bumped out of a playoff spot if the Winnipeg Jets win even one of their next 2 games remaining and the Rangers lose all 3 of theirs.
There are 2 things that I love when I look at the standings
1) the Columbus Blue Jackets could make the playoffs. Last year the Blue Jackets were the only team in the Central Division to not make playoffs. Columbus is definitely an underdog. They are in the 8th seed spot right now and could be bumped out by the Detroit Red Wings or Columbus could nab the 7th seed if they win their games and the Minnesota Wild lose.
2) The 2nd thing I love about the standings is all the Canadian teams making the playoffs! In the west it is the Vancouver Canucks (Calgary and Edmonton are both out of the race) but in the east you have the Montreal Canadians, the Toronto Maple Leafs (first playoff appearance since 2004) the Ottawa Senators are sitting in the 8th seed and depending on how the Sens and Rangers play the Winnipeg Jets could head to the playoffs (right now the Jets are in 9th place) It would be a great thing if the Cup came back to a Canadian team. It is one thing I hear from Canadian hockey fans in any city.
The Standings in the East this morning. The only teams who have a spot right now are the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The wacky thing in the standings right now is the Washington Capitals are in the 3rd seed spot but depending on winning or losing they could be bumped out of the playoffs altogether. The Winnipeg Jets could take the 3rd seed if they win their remaining games and the Caps lose! Wild!
As usual the 8th seed in the west is a "Wild Wild West" shoot out. Except there are no guns and only shots on net. The Minnesota Wild, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings plus the Dallas Stars are all shooting for the 8th seed.
Another thing that made me laugh when looking at the stats is Pittsburgh Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby is still the leader in points with 15 goals and 41 assists, 56 pionts total. Crosby has played 36 games this season and has missed the last 9 games with a broken jaw after getting a puck in the face during a game against the New York Islanders. Tampa Bay Lightning teammates Martin St Louis with 55 points and Steven Stamkos with 54 points could beat Crosby. Let's just cross our fingers Crosby is ready to play with his playoff bound Pens.
The number one goalie with wins is New York Islander goalie Evgeni Nabokov. 39 games played this year and 23 wins means Nabokov could make the Islanders players with his team.
The Sedins are doing something we may never see in the NHL again! #TwinPower
Another freaky thing happened last night in the NHL. Henrik Sedin, Captain of the Vancouver Canucks became the Canucks all time points leader passing Markus Naslund February 16th 2013. It was a beauty of a goal assisted by Alex Burrows (kind of the 3rd twin) and Daniel Sedin. It happened to be Henrik's 905th NHL game.
Last night brother Daniel passed Markus Naslund and the Sedin Twins became the highest scoring Canucks of all time!!!!!! The freaky part it was Daniel's 905th NHL game......... I don't know if it gets any more identical then this hockey fans. For fun I have included both Daniel and Henrik goals that put them above Naslund. But if you ask Henrik, he accomplished the feat 2 minutes faster then his twin brother Daniel! And they say there is no competition?!?! Congrats Brothers!
Colin Fraser at work playing hockey!
Dad celebrating with son 2012!
Hello Everyone! How are you? What a run to the playoffs this last week of hockey is becoming. For this week's Fantasy Friday I wanted to pick someone who has won a Cup. Someone who knows what it takes to compete in 4 intense rounds of playoff hockey. I was thinking and thinking. Then is came to me, Los Angeles King Colin Fraser.
You may have never even heard about Colin Fraser but he has had a pretty crazy career for being drafted 69th overall in the 3rd round in 2005.
I frist took notice of Colin Fraser when I was walking on the BC Ferries last year. This was after the Stanley Cup playoffs, Los Angeles had won. There was this man who stood out in the crowd. He was carrying a child's car seat and was very fit. We looked at each other because I knew I recognized him. I was trying to place him, was he a customer I served at a serving job? Did we go to school together, take an acting class together? Then it hit me "he is totally Colin Fraser of the LA Kings!" I do a quick search to confirm and see Colin grew up in Surrey B.C and it makes sense. Colin was home for summer!
Why did I choose Colin Fraser for Fantasy Friday? You don't have to read to far into his bio to see he has won not one, but two Stanley Cups in the last 3 years. But before we talk Stanley let's learn about Colin Fraser.
Fraser was born in Sicamous B.C in 1985. The same town and year Shea Weber (captain of the Nashville Predators and one of my favourite players was born) There must have been something in the water that year to produce two fantastic NHL players.
Fraser stands 6'1 weights 193 pounds, plays centre and shoots left. Drafted by Philadelphia in 2005 Fraser never laced up skates for Philly. Fraser was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks where he spent a number of years playing for their AHL team.
Eventually getting a permanent spot on the Blackhawks roster in the 2008-09 season and winning the Stanley Cup with the team in 2010!
Then Fraser was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers after the Cup win where he played for a year and had the exact opposite success then in Chicago. Edmonton finished dead last in the NHL that year with only 62 points in 82 games with a 25-45-12 record.
After that season Fraser was dealt again but this time to sunny Los Angeles where he became a member of the Kings. The Kings had never won a Cup and to say the least had a rough start at the beginning of the season. With two months remaining the Kings had a slim chance of winning the Cup or even making playoffs for that matter. They would literally have to win every remaining game. What did the Kings decide to do? They decided to win almost every remaining game. The Kings got the 8th and final seed in the west and their first task was to knock out the Western Conference Champions, the Vancouver Canucks. The Kings completed the task in 5 games steam rolling the Canucks. Up next the St. Louis Blues. The Kings swept the Blues in four games. Steam rolling continued. Next was a surprise round 3 against the Phoenix Coyotes. Why stop a good thing? The Kings didn't and steam rolled the Coyotes in 5 games. Finally the Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings had made it there fair and square. The Kings set an NHL record for being the 8th seed and knocking out the 1st, 2nd and 3rd seeds. When Game 1 of the Finals started Coin Fraser scored 1st getting his team on the board. It took 6 games for the Kings to win the Cup but it was done and the Kings won for the 1st time in franchise history.
Possibly one of the best things I learned while doing research for Colin Fraser is not the fact he won Gold with Canada at the World Juniors in 2005 or the fact he has be awarded not one but two humanitarian awards. First the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy (WHL Humanitarian of the year) in 2005 or the CHL Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2005 which goes to show Fraser is a good guy but the best part is who Fraser played with growing up and how special it must have been to win a Stanley Cup in Chicago.
In 2010 when Chicago won the Cup, the team consisted of not only Colin Fraser but Troy Brouwer (now playing for the Washington Capitals), Andrew Ladd (now Captain of the Winnipeg Jets) and Brent Seabrook (still playing for Chicago) These four guys are all from BC, Brouwer from Vancouver, Ladd from Maple Ridge, Seabrook from Richmond and all played minor hockey together with the Vancouver Vipers! Nobody could have guessed these 4 would not only play in the NHL, but win a Stanley Cup and all do it while playing together on the same team! Wow. There must have been something in the water while these guys were playing minor hockey!
Good Looks: Check
Hockey Skills: Check
Thank you Colin Fraser for being such a great hockey player and always finding a way to bring the Stanley Cup back to B.C! Happy Fantasy Friday! Below also check out Episode 2 of Hockey Talk with Courtney!
All sons want to be like their Dads. For this little boy it means raising a Stanley Cup lakeside in British Columbia!
Playoff beard and suit! Colin Fraser has done this a lot in the last few years. Winning Stanley Cups in 2010 and 2012!
Canadian Mounties and an entire community come together to celebrate the Cup.
When you win so many Cups there are a lot of photos of you holding it!