Ice Hockey - NHL/KHL/IIHF

Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by sonofben, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Nope Opti. Their GM Mike Gillis had the option to buyout the old man's contract which is expensive and hawk him around the league so they decided to keep him even though his performances are far from stellar and shoved Schneider to NJ who aren't exactly too healthy either. Brodeur won't last too much long either.

    One of my favourite players in a great compilation:


    And Alexander the Great is lighting up the red light once again this season. See if he keeps it up. Him and Backstrom are hitting the heights again.

    Sonofben...... :naughty: They should pull to a playoff spot this season despite their awful start.
  2. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Thanks smudge. I just can't get my head around it.
  3. HelsinkiHorn

    HelsinkiHorn Academy Graduate

    Yeah a great young Finnish prospect:sign15: Am already looking forward to the Sochi Olympics with the NHLers confirmed. Hockey is by far the Nr.1 team sport in Finland and in the last 7 Olympics Finland has won medals in 5 of them (no golds though unfortunately). I blame the success of ice hockey for the poor standard of football over here. Kids (and their parents thinking of $$$) want to emulate Selänne and Koivu(s) and start hockey at a young age. This and the fact its pretty impossible to play football outside in the cold winter months..anyway go Finland Hockey Lions!
  4. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    More dirty play from last week saw Loui Erikkson pick up a nasty concussion. Dirty open ice hit and absolutely uncalled for.


    In light of the lawsuit the NFL have faced the NHL are trying to eliminate such hits and the long term effects of concussive injuries. And rightly have suspended Scott indefinitely along with his Sabres team mate Patrick Kaleta.

    The Sabres however have dealt top Austrian winger Tomas Vanek to the Islanders in return for a pretty dependable left winger Matt Moulson and a first round pick in 2014 and second round pick in 2015 as they rebuild. Tricky one to call but probably better for the Sabres in the long run. The Devils also picked up Damien Brunner before the season start and that was also a steal.

    Ovy is going great guns and the Europeans are pulling their weight once again. Several exciting young players from Nichuskin and Magnus Paajarvi who bridges the Sweden-Finnish rivalry and Tomas Hertl got in the action over the weekend.
  5. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Sabres are having a real rough season, but that hit was atrocious. Completely undefendable.
  6. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    They have a large number of round one picks. Nikita Zadorov the young defenceman has been throwing himself around and did well initially alongside Myers but was a bit shaky last week around the net so will probably get sent down. I think they should aim for bottom spot again and get themselves another round one pick.....:naughty:

    The Vancouver Canucks retired the number ten jersey of the great Pavel Bure. Probably in the top twenty of greatest Russian players and known as the Russian Rocket for a reason although his knees did eventually pack up. He won a Calder trophy in his debut season and was the Canucks first genuine world class player. He didn't leave the Canuck's in the most pleasant of circumstances but he had some great goal scoring seasons surrounded for the most part by a very average team which makes his points scoring record even more remarkable.

    Scoring 60 goals in two seasons is something remarkable considering how the nature of play was different back then with differing rules and places him alongside other greats like Jari Kurri, Mario Lemieux, Phil Esposito and Wayne Gretzky and playing in a worse team.

    The ceremony is presented by veteran commentator Jim Hughson. You may recognize his voice from the NHL gaming franchise and Pavel's wife certainly showed plenty of front.....


    Colorado are going great guns in the standings confounding expectations backstopped by Semyon Varlamov and Jean Sebastian Giguere who have some of the best stats in the league. Varly has been in trouble though on an alleged case of domestic violence although it seems that the Natasha is trying to make money by sensationalizing the facts.

    The u20 World Championship Division One Group B which sees the winner go into the Elite Group takes place at the Dumfries Ice Bowl between the 9th and 15th of December.

    I'd have Kazakhstan the favourites given the productivity of their Kazzinc school and the standard their kids play at in the MHL just under the KHL whereas our kids our scrapping for minutes on third and fourth lines even in the second tier of the competition here.

    As I've said before the whole organization of hockey here in the UK is a shambles. There is no coherent policy in developing the sport, no coherent policies between the various divisions to make a competent pyramid. Too many imports of a middling quality and not enough rinks and more particularly good coaches and equipment to get the basics instilled in kids.

    I am pleased by the move of players like Ben O'Connor to move to Kazakhstan to play at a decent level and he did impress in the last senior WC pool matches earlier this year but too many players are content to do nothing.

    We do have some kids playing in North America and doing reasonably well who are dual nationals like Brett Perlini moving between the AHL and ECHL at present but who came up through the Guildford Flames system and was an Anaheim draftee in 2010 and Scott Conway another dual national who is his cousin in at one of the best hockey schools in Penn State.

    This is the u20 squad:

    Some decent players in there reinforced by Liam Stewart son of Rod coming from the WHL and dual national Josh Cook. There are at least some decent skaters with real speed on this team in Ivan Antonov a nippy right winger and Sam Duggan of Bracknell Bees at center. Both are just sixteen as well so will play on a fourth line but will be all the better for it.

    When you look at where we are now and a team like Denmark with whom we were scrapping in Pool B and sometimes C just over a decade and a half ago it shows what can be done with the right systems in place. Denmark has not built extra rinks but has improved it's junior coaching especially in clubs like Rødovre and Herning.

    Hockey there was like here barely on the national consciousness in the media and even now the two biggest cities Aarhus and Copenhagen lack the sort of facilities of an elite hockey nation. While in Denmark they only have football and handball as competition the sort of effort made in coaching and selecting the best kids is paying dividends compared to our own pitiful efforts where a parent without any knowledge of hockey takes the young kids on coaching drills.

    So it has been no surprise to see the Elitserien clubs consistently pick kids from the Danish junior leagues in recent years whereas we have had one netminder in the Allsvenskan a league below. Many of these are now top NHL players.

    Frans Nielsen who has sparked for the Islanders recently, the currently injured Jannik Hansen at the Canucks, Fredrik Andersen performing admirably between the pipes for Anaheim and youngsters like Lars Eller and Mikkel Boedker growing into their roles at Montreal and Phoenix. And there are several probable draftees coming up including Oliver Bjorkstrand and Mads Eller brother of Lars. I am sure if IHUK, the team owners and Sport GB got their heads together and put a plan together we could do the same. We would probably go for Canadian coaches whereas Swedish coaches have been instrumental to the rise of Danish hockey but the way things are in British hockey there is more chance of hell freezing over at present.

    Which is a huge shame as it is relatively popular and an unforgettable experience as a spectator sport.
  7. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Bad news for the Canadian hockey team for Sochi in losing the current NHL leading points scorer Steven Stamkos to a broken tibia. As can be seen below. And disappointing for the Lightning too.

  8. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    I don't know what he is saying but his enthusiasm is infectious and he is extremely popular and well known in Finland.


    He must have exploded when Finland beat Sweden to win the World Championship back in 2011. ;)
  9. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    In the KHL these are the current standings:

    SKA coached by Jukka Jalonen and last seasons Continental Cup winners (most points in the regular season) head the standings in the Western conference although they are part of the Bobrov division (named after the great Vsevolod Bobrov) followed by last years Gagarin Cup (equivalent of the Stanley Cup) winners Dynamo Moscow. The new teams such as Medvescak in Zagreb have performed well despite having a large number of imports. Hockey in Croatia is growing rapidly in popularity and I expect them to advance up the divisions sooner rather than later.

    Donbass also with a predominantly import roster have done reasonably with Lev Prague though Slovan have been rather hit and miss particularly on their road games. There is a new programme in place to recover Ukrainian hockey which in the last decade looked to be on it's last legs in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union but fortunately new rinks are opening and there is a commitment to reestablish schools and revive some of the great clubs in the region like Sokol Kiev although this is still dragging on. Donbass owned by the owner of the Shaktar club have switched the focus of the game from the west of Ukraine to the predominantly ethnic Russian east of the country.

    No real surprises in the eastern conference. Ak Bars a traditional powerhouse in Russian hockey in recent years remains on top with Barys Astana of Kazakhstan doing rather well in second. They however have a predominantly Kazakh home roster. The great hockey school of Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk, graduates include Evgeny Nabokov now plays in the second tier of Russian hockey in the MHL as Torpedo Kazzinc and continue their great development work with more locals taking up the sport as opposed to the mainly ethnic Russian constiuent of the national side.

    Plenty of NHL draftees play in the KHL such as Bruins defence prospect Maxim Chudinov at SKA and the capitals great hope Evgeny Kuznetsov at the great hockey school of Traktor Chelyabinsk. Future expansion plans may include Jokerit Helsinki or the establishment of a European conference although the Elitserien and Swiss National Liga are doing rather well by themselves at the moment and would probably like to remain independent given that the KHL does rely a lot on oligarch money.

    Some excellent goals in this compilation from last month:

  10. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Jaromir Jagr scored in overtime against the LA Kings which wont please Fitz. He ties two other greats for records as a result. Mario Lemieux in goals scored though in considerably more games and Gordie Howe (whose number nine shirt Cameron wears in Ferris Bueller's Day Off) in game winning goals.

    And despite being 41 he want's to carry on as Howe did until he was fifty and he does follow a very strict training regimen even now:

  11. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Torpedo Nizhny-Novgorod play in the KHL, Kharlamov (named after the great Valeri Kharlamov) division. The new plans over there put the redevelopment of Charter Place into some perspective. A two billion dollar redevelopment which will include a new stadium, hockey arena and commercial and residential properties.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This is just part of the new wave of arenas being built in Russia for towns large and small and funded by the oligarchs. Dynamo Moscow have just started work on their VTB Arena capacity 15000 this very month.


    It does raise two questions. What happens when the oligarchs are hopefully brought to book for their actions. And given the level of poverty in the Russian hinterland can these sort of developments be morally justified.
  12. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So it looks like former NHLers are following the route ex-players in the NFL have taken:

    It looks like they do have a case and the modern NHL is thankfully a less violent place and checks to the head in all leagues and international competition are cracked down upon with great severity as we saw with John Scott's hit on Loui Erikkson and rightly so. There is also less punching in fights and the cases of Wade Belak and Derek Boogaard the latter an enforcer also brought the case of concussive injuries and their long term effects to the fore.

    While BT Sport has been making waves in the purchases of sporting rights over here in Europe and the UK, Rogers Communications has landed rights to the coverage of hockey in Canada. And these rights are solely theirs as with for example BT Sport and the CL. The sum $5.2 billion dollars dwarfs deals with American broadcasters.

    Rogers owns the rights to the HNIC brand and poor old CBC will be given rights to certain games only.
  13. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    One of the saves of the season and likely to feature in a highlight reel of the season was Reto Berra's effort for the Flames against the Blue Jackets both of whom have endured a great fasting in terms of success in recent seasons:


    Berra follows other Swiss netminders in making it to the NHL after the successes of Martin Gerber and David Aebischer and Jonas Hiller currently with the Ducks. The national team has enjoyed quite a bit of recent success with a silver medal in the last World Championship and solid performances against the traditional big four national sides including a hoodoo over Canada and marks a big upswing from the last time the side had any success at national level back in the thirties.

    The defensive reputation of Swiss hockey and it's efficiency in recent times has also seen several young defenceman follows Mark Streit to the NHL but the prospect pool is also starting to to turn up forwards of potential. Nino Niedereiter has translated his points at World Juniors into a promising power forward with the Wild and NHL scouts now have Switzerland as a regular destination in addition to their former haunts in Scandinavia and Russia.

    Swiss hockey is itself extremely well organized as one might expect with several teams of very high standing and reasonable success in European competition against the traditional powerhouses from Sweden, Finland and Russia not to mention large arenas.

    The game is very popular, wages are very decent which has in recent years prompted many young Swiss players from foregoing a trip across the Atlantic to see if they could make the grade. However in recent years NHL sides have drafted several Swiss players in the first round of the draft such as Luca Sbisa and Mirco Mueller who although they have not pulled up any trees as yet are both (and certainly in Mirco's case) young and with plenty of potential to develop.

    Switzerland if it continues to progress may well overtake the Slovaks and Czechs who are trying to reform their own development programmes given some of the very poor results they have had in recent junior and senior tournaments. Kevin Fiala who currently plays with HV71 in Sweden as a forward may well add to the number of round one draftees they have produced recently. They should not rest on their laurels though as in terms of players produced of the top calibre versus players playing at junior level they have a long way to catch up with the likes of Russia, Sweden and Finland.

    But it seems they are getting there.
  14. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Evgeni Malkin or Geno as he is known to Pen's fans like me is on fire at the moment. After a slowish start he is picking up form and may well challenge fellow team mate Sid the Kid for the Art Ross Trophy. Malkin's all round play has improved and he had all the tools to be a superstar when I saw him playing for Magnitogorsk. His skating speed, size, hands and vision were exemplary despite some fellow Pen's fans at the time being sceptical.

    Malkin has scored 25 points alone in November and his total of 21 assists for a month is the highest since the Great One also posted 4 goals and 21 assists in January 1996 with the Kings before bizarrely being traded to the Blues.

    When these two hit it off I think the Pens can be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. Sidney scored a lovely goal in overtime to beat those decrepit Islanders the other night:

  15. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Bit of a bummer the other night losing to Boston. Oh well. The u20 squad for Team GB has been announced. No major surprises but they will have their work cut out to remain in the division:

    But some promising talents in there led by Ross Venus. The list of officials for Sochi has been announced:

    Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Bluejackets who won the Vezina Trophy last year is out for at least a month, but he should be fit in time for the Olympics probably as back up to Varlamov. Stamkos is also still hopeful of making it to Sochi but his team management may have other ideas regarding that.

    Womens hockey at the Olympics is under threat given the very few teams that play it and the one sidedness of the competition despite valiant attempts from the Finnish girls last time around it is virtually a guaranteed gold for the Canadian women each time with the American women invariably second.

    It's a real shame the mens competition is not 16 teams this time around but only 12. Denmark for example failed to qualify because their NHLers were unavailable for their crucial qualification matches and Germany also suffered as a result. Next time around I hope they revert to this with 4 groups of 4 teams.
  16. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Well it was a disappointing effort in Dumfries for Team GB finishing fifth out of six sides and beating Japan to avoid relegation. Nonetheless some of the youngsters like Duggan performed extremely well and there were single goal losses to Italy and France. The former were promoted despite Kazakhstan being the best team.

    What is galling is Team GB led the Italians until the final seconds of the third period as well. However the attitude to hockey in Great Britain can be summed up by the non existent coverage and IHUK charging people for streamed coverage which has never been the case with other host countries.

    In the wake of the Olympics we were all plied with this spiel about the Games being a springboard for sport and getting youngsters involved. Well it was all a big fat lie and joke.

    Yet again another ice facility is under threat this time to make way for homes with no possibility of a replacement.

    Whitley Rink which has played host to the Whitley Warriors as well as being a community facility for aspiring young skaters is under real threat. It is sad to have seen the demise of hockey in the North East. One of the great traditional hockey clubs in England Durham Wasps which was relocated to Newcastle and lost three thousand fans in the process , rebranded unsuccessfully by an idiot John Hall and shortly followed by the dissolution of the Newcastle club.

    Elsewhere I wonder how many Finns there are today with sore heads after drinking too much kusenkorva. The disparagingly named little brothers beat Sweden 3-2 in Malmo in the u20 World Championship. Deservedly so after some bizarre penalty decisions from the referees in the third period which led to Sweden levelling before Ristolainen scored a backhand to win the game in overtime. How I would have liked to heard Antero Meteranta's commentary for it.


    It is sweet given the arrogance the Swedish side have displayed over the last month including the victory preparations prior to the game. Sweden were fortunate in their semifinal against Russia and once again displayed their boring style, but Finland's superbly marshalled defensive lines held firm.

    In the bronze medal game which was a scrappy affair Russia triumphed over arch rivals Canada 2-1 denying the Canadians a medal yet again. The tournament should be noted for the performance of two netminders Jusse Saros drafted by Nashville and Andrei Vasilevski drafted by Tampa Bay who should they continue to develop will be elite class.

    Amazingly enough the directorate saw fit to award Oscar Dansk the title of best netminder over Saros and Vasilevski. The media All-Star Team consisted of:

    Netminder : Juuse Saros (FIN)
    Defence: Nikita Zadorov (RUS) Rasmus Ristolainen (FIN)
    Forwards: Anthony Mantha (CAN) Teuvo Teräväinen (FIN) Filip Forsberg (SWE)

    Forsberg was awarded MVP for the tournament although I'd have given it to Teräväinen.The media all star team is a better reflection of the best players in the tourney in which players like Dumba called be named Dumba ss ad where ill temper was seen in several games.

    In the relegation round Germany beat Norway 2 games to one to secure another stay in the top division and Denmark will replace Norway for next year's bash in Canada with yet another crop of very talented kids in their system.

    Last December saw Alexander the Great score his 400th goal in his 634th game and he sits on top of the goal scoring charts in pursuit of a fourth Maurice Richard trophy and fifth in the all time list of goals per game behind such greats as Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux and this after a relative slump in the last two seasons prior to this one.Perhaps not too unsurprising given his lightning quick release and willingness to shoot at goal.

    Six players were also inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame including Russian greats Vyacheslav Bykov and Andrei Khomutov, the great Swedish number 5 Nicklas Lidstrom who retired at the end of the 2012 NHL season and who served and captained the Red Wings with great success and a former team mate of his now masterminding the Tampa Bay franchise with an eye for talent Steve Yzerman.

    The other player Ruslan Salei I do find questionable and it may be in part because of Belarus lacking a presence in the HOF and also his premature demise in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl tragedy in late 2011.
  17. HelsinkiHorn

    HelsinkiHorn Academy Graduate

    Great post Smudger! I admire your knowledge of the game! Yes sore heads in Finland tonight! Not much is sweeter than downing the Swedes :)

    Yep it did not go unnoticed that Sweden had published detailed victory plans in their papers on the day of the game! Just a bit of arrogance. Over here there has been a hastily organised welcoming party for the team in Helsinki tonight.

    What a nailbiter game though, Finland played a defensive counter attacking game (a real away game in every sense) and with the help of an brilliant goalie it worked!

    I was still celebrating the outstanding semifinal performance from the night before when Finland crushed the supposed mighty Canada 5-1.

    It still amazes me how well Finland does always as the underdog..for a country of 5 million people you would have thought gold medals would really be way out of reach.

    Shame the video link didn't have any commentary...heres some US TV commentary for the golden goal.

  18. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Found some good old commentary from Antero Mertaranta. Not as excited as he can be on the Mertaranta scale..... ;) Up yours Tuomaristo :]]

  19. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

    I'm disgusted, sickened really, by how well the Ducks are doing.
  20. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

    PS: I'm going to get a USA hockey jersey. I hope USA can defeat Canada. That would be as good as a gold medal for me.
  21. luke_golden

    luke_golden Space Cadet

    Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack.
  22. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Brendan Perlini is in the top ten of all the mock NHL drafts and doing rather nicely with the Niagara Ice Dogs.His brother Brett was drafted by the Kings but never made it to the NHL.

    The point of interest is that he could represent GB. His parents are Canadian and his dad is a former NHLer but Brendan himself when his dad finished his career here in the UK came through the Guildford Flames system until he was a teenager. He has been picked by the Canadian u18's but who knows perhaps in time given the depth Canada has he could elect to represent us which would be a major coup.
  23. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

    I got to game 1 of the Kings Ducks series. Wow, what a game!! So glad the Kings took it to the Ducks in game 2, too.
  24. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

    Haha... "Be LA!"
  25. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Good to see Boston knocked out. Lucic deserves a suspension for some of this thuggery earlier in the playoffs and his behaviour. Hard to believe the Pens are out. They were my tip (and team).
  26. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

  27. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

    Hats off to Teemu Selanne. Tough to see him go out like this with such a tame last game...

    My wife is from Chicago so this series will be fun in our house...
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  28. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member


    Great player and person on and off the ice with a playing record to match. It wasn't meant to be.

    Montreal to play the Kings is my hope in the finals although I suspect the Hawks resilience will see them through. Both teams though have proven match winners and the required experience to progress.
  29. nisman94

    nisman94 International Man of Mystery

    I've not been following the NHL since the Sabres ended the season horrifically. The Bruins are out?!! Happy ****ing days. Despise their arrogance, their thuggery (as you quaintly put it) and their biased commentary on NESN. :D
  30. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The Sabres are in a major rebuild Nisman so don't expect any trophies anytime soon. They do have some excellent prospects though as befits being near the top of the draft for the last few seasons.

    Zadorov, Girgensons (who has been throwing his weight about in the current WC) and Hodgson who has been scoring heavily at the WC are all players to build on. Ted Nolan has always proven to be an excellent coach.

    In Finland the Weasels Karpat Oulu won the title with a playoff final win over Saipa. Thoroughly deserved after having finished the regular season on top. Led by the experienced Lasse Kukkonen and with some very interesting prospects such as Junior gold medallist Ville Pokka who may end up going to the trainwreck of the Islanders sooner than he expected.


    Canadiens are struggling at present to get past the Rangers. I don't know if Martin St.Louis's own personal tragedy in losing his mother has spurred them on but they are on the crest of a wave.

    In the KHL Malkins former team Magnitogorsk triumphed over KHL newcomers Lev Prague 4 games to three in the final series prior to the IIHF WC. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl after the terrible tragedy of 2011 managed to make the conference finals. They have one of the best hockey schools alongside Traktor Chelyabinsk in Russian hockey.

    These were the top 10 goals ]scored in the KHL this season although I did see some that were better and were not included:

  31. nisman94

    nisman94 International Man of Mystery

    Trust me, I'm not expecting any trophies for a good decade. The next few seasons will definitely be a whole rebuild of the franchise, on the ice and off it. Like you said, being bad does have its advantages as we pick up good players in the draft, but that can only go on for so long until the fans start to question what's going on if we don't make the playoffs in the next 5-6 years. Hopefully by that time we have a decent team with young, hungry players coupled with experienced players who can guide us to the playoffs.

    As for now, I'm content with beating the Bruins at The Dirty Garden.
  32. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Do you mean beating the Dirty Bruins at The Garden Nisman ? ;)

    Russia won the gold medal in the IIHF World Championship beating a spirited Finland 5-2. Sweden beat the Czech Republic 3-0 in the bronze medal game. This game is the last of the hreat Jaromir Jagr's at international level as he announced his retirement after it. The officiating in the whole tournament was pretty poor it has to be said. Russia despute the presence of Bob, Ovy and Geno were a pretty inexperienced outfit with Viktor Tikhonov grandson of the legendary coach performing brilliantly along with Plotnikov and Shipyachov.


    The All Star Team was:
    ------------------------------Sergei Bobrovsky -------------------------------------
    ---------Seth Jones----------------------------Anton Belov-------------------------
    --Antoine Roussell------------Sergei Plotnikov----------Viktor Tikhonov--------------

    Roussell becomes the first Frenchman to achieve a place on an All Star WC team.

    The IIHF are also considering proposals to standardize the ice surface area between the NHL and European rinks. I don't like it. The NHL was years ago becoming a clutch and grab fest. The larger ice allows players with finesse skills to shine and that is what excites spectators. However in addition to this they are considering moving the nets further back (an idea to make them bigger was flatly rejected) and moving the blue lines closer to the centre line with the aim of increasing the offensive zone.

    And on top of that forbidding netminders to freeze the puck from shots originating outside of the blue line. They would have to play it which might make for some funny bloopers. They have already decided to ban a complete 360 degree turn for the attacker in penalty shots. Why ? Who knows. I thought it was quite exciting to watch.

    And for all club teams in Europe a new Champions League type tournament has been created with 44 teams in 11 groups. Nottingham Panthers will fight it out with the Hamburg Freezers, Lulea and Lukko Rauma to get into the second round. Unfortunately that is extremely unlikely. As is the absence of any clubs from Russia and Latvia as they are content with the Gagarin Cup.
  33. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

    Game 3 Kings vs Blackhawks tonight!!
    GO KINGS GO!!!
  34. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Kings look set to get to another final. The Rangers also look like upsetting the form as well in the Eastern Conference final.
  35. Fitz

    Fitz Squad Player

    I'm just going to leave this here:

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