KK Members Blog
The State of Michigan and Ohio are at war this weekend!
This weekend features a home and home battle for the Central Division lead in the Western Conference between the Red Wings and Blue Jackets and a classic Big Ten football match-up between the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University. Round one goes to the State of Michigan and Hockeytown, as the Red Wings prevailed Friday night 2-1.
The Blue Jackets introduced their new classy looking third jersey before a capacity crowd at Nationwide Area. The game featured great goal tending from Steve Mason and Jimmy Howard. The game was very up tempo and entertaining. Both teams had great scoring opportunities, but both net minders were up to the task. The Blue Jackets were awarded a penalty shot by Boll after being hooked from behind on a breakaway. Jimmy Howard stood tall and blocked Boll penalty shot.
The game ultimately was decided on special teams. The Wings penalty kill fought off five Columbus power plays, while the Red Wings scored on a power play goal by Fiippula, that became the game winner. The first Red Wings first goal was scored by Franzen and Vermette scored the lone Columbus goal.
It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. I’ve generated a list of my top ten dates in Red Wings history over the past twenty years to be thankful for. The first four are fairly obvious.
June 7, 1997 – The Red Wings Win Their First Stanley Cup in 42 years. A day many Red Wings fans thought would never come. The Red Wings beat the Flyers with a 2-1 win in Detroit and sweep the series 4-0. Darren McCarty scores the game-winning goal with a sweet move, undressing Flyers defenseman Janne Niinimaa. Captain Steve Yzerman raises the Stanley Cup to an adoring Joe Louis crowd. This stopped the talk that Yzerman was not a good leader and captain. Mike Vernon was awarded the Conn Symthe trophy as the playoff MVP.
June 16, 1998 – For the second year in a row, the Red Wings are the Stanley Cup Champs. In game four, the Red Wings won 4-1 and swept the Washington Capitals in Washington. Steve Yzerman won the Conn Symthe trophy. A memory in etched forever in hockey fans memory, as Yzerman hands the Stanley Cup to Vladimir Konstantinov, who is on the ice in a wheelchair. Konstantinov was suffering from serious injuries from a limousine accident the previous summer. The accident ended his playing career.
How many times have we heard fans of pro sports teams say, “Once we have a winning team, we will really start showing up at the games.”
Well Columbus, don’t look now, but your team has had one hell of a start. In the tenth anniversary of the Blue Jackets in Columbus, the team is off to their best start.
Monday nights 2-0 home shutout win versus the tough Nashville Predators was the second straight shutout win in a row. Attendance at Nationwide Arena was only 10,095, out of a reported capacity for hockey of 18,500.
Following up on my KK Members Blog of November 20 on Coach Burns passing and the shameful actions of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
To the eighteen voting members of the HHOF, please ignore your tendency to now postpone Pat Burns being voted in the Hall for a few years for his accomplishments. After being called out by virtually the entire hockey world, I know that some of the people who vote for the the Hall inclusion are probably now thinking that we can’t possibly put Pat Burns in the Hall of Fame for the next two years, because if we do that, it will admit we made a mistake.
My advice to the HHOF and special call out to Scotty Bowman who sits on the committee is: man up, admit you made a mistake and correct it with the next vote. Better yet, organize a teleconference, take a special vote and announce his election to the Hall of Fame before next Monday when he is laid to rest. And while you are at it, vote Fred Shero in at the same time.
People will have more respect for the Hall if you correct your mistake.
You have a second chance to get it right. Don’t blow it again.
Always, been curious about B2B games and how often playing the day before creates shutout opportunities.
I began highlighting (**) the losing teams that played the previous day. Half way through I noticed it was kind of interesting that some of the shutouts were bv teams that had played the day before, so I backtracked and recorded all of those (##).
I only listed the teams that have recorded shutouts.
The shutouts-against, for the teams that have not recorded a shutout, is left for another day.
With the changing format of the All-Star Game, maybe it’s time to consider some other new interesting ideas around the NHL.
First, on the issue of flagrant diving (ala Phil Kessel). To address diving, which has no place in an honorable, men’s game, provide the league with the ability to suspend a player without pay for an indisputable, flagrant dive. This will send a strong signal to all the divers out there
that won’t take the risk of fine and suspension.
Second, the issue of awarding three points for an overtime/shootout game. Rather than the current format of awarding one point each in regulation time to both teams and an extra point for an overtime/shootout win for a total of three points, here’s a better potential solution. Award each team a half point after a regulation tie. Award a full extra point for the overtime/shootout winner. Winning team gets 1.5 points The losing team gets a half point (0.5 point). This would encourage teams to win in regulation and end the frustration of fans/teams with the awarding of three point games. Three point games are especially frustrating down the playoff stretch as team trying to catch a team in a playoff positions are disadvantaged by the awarding of three points.
A look at the top 3 teams in each Conference (leader in each division)
team +/- // # of players with 12 pts or more // # of games played// Win %
+64 ..WAS 4/17 games…. .735
+81 ..PHI 6/17….. .706
+5 ....MON 3/17…. .676
+53 ...LAK 5/15…. .800
+58 ...DET 5/15…. .767
+24 ...VAN 4/12…. .688
Forget the fact that the Leafs can’t buy a goal these days.
Why is Brian Burke deviating from what he has been stating for the past year? As early as 3 weeks ago, he went on the record to say that Kadri simply needs more time in the AHL - that rushing him to the NHL does not make sense.
So after the same Nazem Kadri is called up today, I have to ask the “Why? Why Burkie?”
Nazem Kadri and Keith Aulie have been called up. This is going to be interesting.
For the first time this season, The Leafs are below the 500 mark. The talk around the city is that scoring is the problem and that criticism is not without merit (especially after being shutout 3 times in the last 6 games).
When the Leafs began the season 4-0-0, goals were aplenty. In those first 4 games, the Leafs scored 16 goals. In the 10 games since, they have scored 15. So naturally, the criticism wanders towards the area that was present before but is absent now.
But let’s be honest here. Outside of Kessel, the Leafs’ top 6 isn’t actually a top 6. It’s a collection of forwards who would slot 4 through 9 on virtually every other team in the NHL. Bozak is a prime example of this phenomenon. The City of Toronto has been all over the Leafs’ Line 1 Center to start playing like one, when that is not what he is (not yet anyways <- that’s the fan in me talking). Versteeg, Kulemin, Grabovski and MacArthur are no different.
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