hit counter

Four Important NHL Lessons to Learn

January 19, 2009 by Big Tony · Leave a Comment 

phoenix coyotes playoff bound 300x225 Four Important NHL Lessons to Learn
There was a lot of action in the NHL this past weekend as there is every weekend but there are four big things we learned and should keep in mind the rest of the year:

1. The Washington Capitals are for real. They have been on a roll lately but nothing like Saturday when they beat the East leading Boston Bruins 2-1 at Verizon Center. And after defeated the new trap playing penguins (more on that later) and the similar defensive style of the Bruins who supplement that with great goal-scoring the Caps showed they can beat anybody and play any style. Their team speed breaks that trap better than any other team in the East and they can win high scoring AND low scoring games… the rest of the league should be on high alert.

2. The Pittsburgh Penguins have finally figured out that with all their injuries a change in strategy is necessary and the trap is just what the doctor ordered. In casual conversation with a friend on December 12th I mentioned the Penguins need to run a trap if only temporarily to keep themselves in games until they get some guys healthy and sure enough a month and a day later they run it and win against the Flyers. Now they have won two of three and despite all the injuries are in a playoff position. The Penguins are now a team to worry about again and once they get guys healthy the teams at the top of the standings should worry… just ask the Flyers and Rangers.

3. The San Jose Sharks beat Detroit 6-5 on Saturday. They are not going to fade away… the Western Conference has been warned.

4. The Phoenix Coyotes (yes Phoenix) is a viable team and WILL make the playoffs.

Have a great holiday everybody.

Flyers Soaring in Philly

December 20, 2008 by Big Tony · Leave a Comment 

flyers 223x300 Flyers Soaring in PhillyEverything this is clicking right now in Philadelphia as the Flyers have won 7 of 9 including a 7-1 waxing of the formerly white hot Washington Capitals Saturday afternoon. A great part of their success has been impeccable special teams play; over the last nine games the Flyers are 16 of 40 on the power play (an unbelievable 40%) and have killed 34 of their opponents’ last 44 power play chance (an equally impressive 77.3%). They Flyers are also showing they can win tough one-goal-games battling to the last minute as well as being able to protect a leads by turning games into blow-outs. Goaltending has been a bit inconsistent so if you’re looking for a chink in this team’s armor that is where to look. Overall this is a complete team that looks like they can make a lot of noise come playoff time. Philadelphia has great size at all five positions on the ice which is important come playoff time to not only wear down the other team but to be able to stand tough against a team trying to return the favor. Clearly this team can score as they have nine players in double-digits in points and six with double-digit goal totals. Special teams numbers mean more now in the playoffs with the rule changes than ever before so in yet another category advantage Flyers. What can put Philly over the top is not only last year’s playoff experience but this time they have Simon Gagne healthy and will in all likely hood have Kimmo Timonen for the duration of their playoff quest. Barring a disaster it may be about time the powers that be learn there are two “L”s at the end of Hartnell and that Timonen is spelled with only one “M” if you get my drift.

Penguins Making up for lack of Defense with two Straight Eleventh Hour Victories

November 14, 2008 by AlexV · 1 Comment 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are certainly on an emotional high with their two late comeback wins this week.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are certainly on an emotional high with their two late comeback wins this week.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a fun team to watch through their past two games. In the two contests, the Penguins have put up seven and five goals respectively and both games have been hotly contested and right down to the wire against two rivals.


On Tuesday night, November 11th it was Pittsburgh skating at the home of the team that knocked them out in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals… the Detroit Red Wings in which they overcame a 6-4 deficit with just under five minutes left in the third period. After forcing overtime with the help of center Jordan Staal’s hat trick, it was an assist by Staal to Ruslan Fedotenko that set up the game-winning goal in OT.


Then, on Thursday night on the 13th the Pens overcame yet another late deficit when they were down 4-3 in the waning minutes of the third period at home to divisional opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers. This game would not be settled in overtime however, as the two teams battled it out in a five shot per team shootout, with the lone goal being scored by a defenseman in Alex Goligoski on Pittsburgh’s final attempt.


Now with these two momentum charged high-scoring wins, the Penguins have some self-belief that they can weather the storm before their arguably two top defenseman return to the lineup; Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney.


However, no team can expect to keep winning games like this so they’ll have to definitely step up their game plan on the defensive side and start taking charge in the earlier parts of games by getting their goals sooner. But with that being said, these are still two solid wins for a still young team to build off of that has suffered many losses through free agency and injury in this past off season.