Sidney Crosby was on pace to put forth one of the most impressive campaigns of his career – which, knowing the level of quality we’ve seen from him over the better part of the past decade, says a lot. One errant shot to the face later and the superstar is on the sidelines nursing a broken jaw. Will Crosby’s absence take him out of the running for the Hart Trophy? It shouldn’t.
When former Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson traded Rick Nash to the New York Rangers last summer, the move was expected to add an element they were sorely lacking. What wasn’t expected was that it would be Columbus netting a return of forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round pick in this year’s entry draft, who would ultimately get the better of the deal.
Toronto’s Nazem Kadri has finally found his niche in the NHL and Chicago is being led by the new-and-improved Patrick Kane, but Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner may have made the biggest strides as a player this season. Has the 23-year-old veteran finally turned the corner and developed into one of the game’s elite?
There was so much going on in the 1992-93 NHL season that it’s easy to overlook subtle details. The fact that three defensemen on one team, scoring 20 or more goals could even qualify as “subtle” though, is a testament to the record-breaking year. Twenty years later, it’s time to celebrate Al Iafrate, Kevin Hatcher, Sylvain Cote and the Washington Capitals.
Nobody ever said cracking down on the injury epidemic in the NHL would be an easy task. That’s why, when refs get calls wrong – which they inevitably do – it can be beneficial to take a step back and evaluate how the big picture is unfolding. Rest assured though hockey fans, gradual progress toward a cleaner game has already begun.
Is the role of NHL goon less and less significant with each passing year? Was it every truly instrumental to the game in the first place? Tim Kolupanowich suggests as much while taking a good look at the difference between Toronto’s Colton Orr and Los Angeles’ Steve Bernier, between Maple Leaf Mike Brown and iconic Red Wing Kris Draper.
The London Knights went on a 25-game winning streak which was snapped to ring in the new year in an overtime loss. The point-scoring streak ended this past weekend after 28 games. The domination suggested by the streak doesn’t exactly hold up when look at the in-game numbers, though. Are the Knights really this good, or are they just extreme beneficiaries of gratuitous amounts of luck?
While the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jonathan Huberdeau are performing as expected, it’s Jonathan Drouin who is unexpectedly helping to carry his Canadian teammates through this year’s World Juniors. Drouin is making the most of his tournament, raising his stock – and likely draft position – with every game he plays as he hopes to help Canada reclaim gold after a multi-year drought.
This past weekend saw two remarkable milestones reached in hockey. First, Toronto Marlies forward Keith Aucoin scored his 800th-career point, becoming just the 11th player in AHL history to get there, while Ben Duffy of the QMJHL’s Prince Edward Island Rocket scored his 123rd goal, taking sole possession of first on the franchise’s all-time goal-scoring list.
As the NHL lockout drags on, fans in North America continue to bemoan the fact that they can’t watch the game they love. However, that’s not entirely true. Many NHL players have made the trip overseas and are thriving in the KHL and various European leagues, and many of the games are broadcast on television and the internet. Finally, the world is getting a taste of the world’s best hockey players.