Category Archives: Hockey News

Vegas Expansion Team Predictions 

We are coming down to the wire when it comes to the Vegas Golden Knights selecting their team. All of the protection lists have been submitted. Now with these submissions I selected the team I would make if I was Vegas. 

Forwards

Bobby Ryan, OTT 

James Neal, NASH 

Dale Weise, PHI 

Brad Richardson, ARI 

Riley Sheahan, DET 

Trevor Lewis, LA 

Devante Smith-Pelly, NJ 

William Karlson, CBJ 

Dimitrij Jaskin, STL

Kerby Rychel, TOR 

Jonathan Marchessault, FLA

William Carrier, BUF 

Jacob De La Rose, MTL 

Reid Boucher, VAN 

Mikail Grigorenko, COL 

Defense

Toby Enstrom, WIN

Sami Vatanen, ANA

Brendan Dillon, SJS 

Matt Dumba, MIN

Klas Dahlbeck, CAR

Trevor Van Reimsdyk, CHI

Calvin De Haan, NOT

Jamie Oleksiak, DAL 

Griffin Reinhart, EDM 

Joe Morrow, BOS 

Jake Dotchkin, TB

Bret Kulak, CAL 

Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT

Antti Raanta, NYR 

Philipp Grubauer, WAS

Review

I assembled this team with some big names but prospects that can become something great.

Every team is built through the draft and I expect Vegas to be no different. The big names I picked up will fill the seats up during their inaugural season and get attendance and allow Vegas to compete.

Most of these expensive contracts will expire in a year or two so the Golden Knights won’t have cap issues in the near future. And they’ll have about $20 million in cap space post expansion draft. Adding stars like Bobby Ryan, James Neal, and Marc-Andre Fleury brings great advertisments around the city and a great product on the ice.

Even though this is what I would pick to allow for a competitive team. I would think Vegas is gonna make a lot of trades with teams to either keep a player or trade away one. I don’t expect my team to come close to the real team. But I do expect Vegas to have a handful of good talent on their roster next year. It’ll be a crazy next few weeks with lots of movement around the league. So everyone enjoy the fun off-season that will be commencing. 

Stadium Series: Good or Bad?

Our Austin Ulm and Ryan Pawloski debate whether or not the Stadium Series is a good thing or getting old.

Pros of the Stadium Series (Ryan P)

The Stadium Series was last Saturday, when the Penguins took on the Flyers. I’ve always wanted to go to an outdoor game ever since the first outdoor game when the Pens faced the Sabres.

I luckily got a chance to go down to Hienz field in the freezing cold weather to have an experience of a lifetime. The atmosphere was so cool with the snow coming down and the game itself.

The Pens and Flyers rivalry has always been a huge event, no matter the location. The outdoors added to this and created a great game.

The fans that were there, created a competitive atmosphere and the game followed that. The game itself was great and so were the fireworks.

But by far my favorite thing were the Penguins from the zoo that came out on the ice pregame. It was so cool to see that since the team hasn’t had actual living penguins cheer them on since they first started. It was one of the best sporting events I ever went to, and am extremely glad I went.

Cons of the Stadium Series (Austin)

The idea of the Stadium Series is a magnificent one. Who does not love outdoor hockey? Unfortunately the Stadium Series has not been all that great. Fans have voiced out about bad views, weather, and even the entertainment between periods. These are my top three complaints regarding the Stadium Series:

  • To begin, there have been so many Stadium Series games that the uniqueness of an outdoor game has been lost. I do not think that any Stadium Series game can ever live up to the excitement that the Winter Classic brings. Yes, they are both outdoor games, but there is just something special about the events that go along with the Winter Classic
  • Ticket Prices! The price for tickets started in the neighborhood of $150 per ticket. If I pay $150 for a ticket I would expect good seats, and a nice view of the game. Well, for a Stadium Series game $150 is not going to get you that. Lots of people have said the views for these outdoor games are not good, and often find themselves watching the game on the big screen.
  • GIVE US VARIETY! I love the Pittsburgh Penguins I do, but I think it’s time we take a break from outdoor games. As far as Stadium Series games, the Pens have played in two games, and have also played in two Winter Classic games. The Kings, Blackhawks, and the Rangers have also appeared in two Stadium Series games.

These Stadium Series games are fun to watch, and I truly believe they are good for the NHL, but the series is far from perfect. Between the number of games, ticket prices, and the teams involved it can leave a sour taste for NHL fans. Teams like the Blue Jackets, Predators, Jets, and Oilers have yet to appear in a Stadium Series game, and I hope to see some change in teams soon.

5th Annual Three Rivers Classic: Day 1

For the fifth annual Three Rivers Classic held at PPG Paints Arena, four NCAA teams battle it out to become the champion. The 2016 tournament features defending champions Robert Morris, #6 ranked Boston College, #14 ranked Quinnipiac, and Ferris State University.

To begin the evening Boston College, and Quinnipiac faced off in a fierce battle.

GAME 1: Boston College vs Quinnipiac

#6 ranked BC was short handed coming into this tournament, being without three top players as they are representing USA in the World Junior Championship.

To begin the first period, the Quinnipiac Bobcats had controlled play for most of the to start the game. At 11:20 in the first period it seemed like BC had finally got a good chance, and scored the first goal of the tournament, but a quick whistle by the refs waved off that goal. Alhtough the shots were only 8-5 with Quinnipiac having the advantage, they gave BC a tough time breaking the puck out, and getting any decent scoring chances. By far the best chance of the period came from BC off of a penalty shot that was stopped by goaltender Chris Truehl.

Quinnipiac netted the first goal of the tournament as Junior Tanner MacMaster scored at the 9:17 mark in the second period. The second period was a fast, and physical period. this was to be expected by this pair of top 15 NCAA schools. BC was able to tie the game with 34.6 seconds left in the period after they killed a penalty and hit the player coming out of the box, generating a two on zero against the goalie. Freshman, Graham McPhee made no mistake by barring the puck into the empty cage after some pretty passing by the BC players.

Bad penalties proved to be the difrecene maker in this one, as Quinnipiac had two power plays in the first 12 minutes of the third period. scoring on one of those power plays was sophomore Craig Martian at 11:56. Just 4 minutes later Bo Peiper netted another power play goal to put Quinnipiac  up 3-1. Quinnipiac was able to hang on to their two goal lead, and defeat the #6 ranked Eagles 3-1.
 

GAME 2: RMU vs Ferris State

From the drop of the puck both teams were flying. Speed, and physicality were clearly part of both teams game plans. RMU was unable to capitalize on two Ferris State penalties. Going 0-2 on the power play was RMU, but they generated a few good chances. Shots after the 1st were 14-9 in favor of RMU

Four minutes into the second period, RMU was able to take advantage of a bad turnover in the Ferris State zone and score the first goal of the game. Daniel Leavens was the goal scorer for the Colonials. RMU wass able to generate mulitple odd man chances on the PK, and at even strength but goaltender Darren Smith. Sticks in lanes were a huge for RMU, as the ended the second period having a shot advantage more than 10 over Ferris State. 29-18.

Into the third period the Colonials were able to lock it down defensively. Not getting to many chances offensively, but playing smart, and a trap style hockey to close out the game. RMU picked up the victory, and a big part of that win was goalie Francis Marotte who stopped all 30 shots from Ferris State.

RECAP

The first day of the Three Rivers Classic was full of speed, big hits, and even bigger saves. Battling for third place will be the Boston College Eagles, and the Ferris State Bulldogs. Looking to defend their title is the Robert Morris Colonials vs the Quinnipiac Bobcats. It is shaping up to be yet another amazing tournament in Pittsburgh.

Fighting To Keep Hockey Exciting

Let’s get this straight right now. The NHL is a business where fighting should be welcomed. The NHL is not an elementary or high school where it’s run by principals who look down upon fighting. In school, you’re suspended for fighting, even if you are standing up for someone or something. The suspension varies based on that school’s guidelines.

In hockey, you’re encouraged to fight when things go against what you believe in. When you or your team feels bullied, you stand up for each other and drop the gloves. What I’m not understanding is why the in the hell people want fighting extinct from hockey.

It’s a subject that has been discussed by fans for a few years now ever since the game is evolving into a more skill driven game. The services of guys like former Penguins Georges Laraque and Aaron Asham, and current Penguin Tom Sestito, are hardly needed. Laraque and Asham were pretty much never going to generate any offensive scoring chances, much like Sestito. They were there when you played your biggest divisional rivals and they would shadow your best player waiting for someone to slip up and do something stupid to put your star player in jeopardy. From there, they probably just flat out kick their ass because it was their job.

Terrible, questionable hits are still a part of the game and forever will be. The sad part is, many teams don’t have guys who have fighting skill AND playing skill. So usually a player who throws out a nasty, uncalled for hit is gathered around by a crowd of players who scream in his face and are broken up by referees within thirty seconds. Because the referees are so off-the-wall these days with some of their calls, everyone is afraid to retaliate and take an unwarranted penalty that can cost their team a game.

That is not at all how hockey should be played.

Players are now taught to fear the referee giving them a stupid penalty more than they are to fear a guy like John Scott chasing after them ready to pound their face in with his fists. And it’s quite sad because with the game changing to skill, guys who have made their money off beating the crap out of people are out of jobs. Teams don’t want their services anymore.

When I’m talking about fights, I mean clean ones. Two guys, one ice surface, both capable of landing a few fair punches. I’m not talking about fights like this mug job of Braden Holtby by Ray Emery.

I just think that hits like Ryan Callahan’s on Kris Letang during the Eastern Conference Finals is one that you don’t just let fly into the wind. Everyone knew Callahan’s intentions. Everyone knew Callahan had no plans of stopping, even though Letang’s numbers were facing him and he was already in a precarious position. But Callahan finished the game without anyone so much as challenging him to a fight. Partly because the game is all skill-driven and partly because the players in the NHL anymore are cowards softer than “Charmin Ultra Soft”.

It’ll probably never happen again, but you know the NHL needs fighting again when the damn commissioner is begging for it to comeback.