Ice Hockey - NHL/KHL/IIHF

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

  1. An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at

    An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at Academy Graduate

    The name rings a bell and thanks for your advice re: British ice hockey. I guess it's on a par with American rugby.

    I shall start saving up to go to NYC to see the Rangers again. The spectacle and the standard of play was great, but I have to say the standard of supporter chants was very poor. "Let's go Rangers" and "Let's go Islanders" was about all I heard. I felt like singing "You've only got one song..."
  2. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    I went to watch Bracknell Bees a few years ago. I had only really seen Ice Hockey during the Olympics and I get the level was a lot lower that the league in America but it was very enjoyable experience. Sadly that Ice Hockey stadium is no more so not sure if the Bees are still going
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  3. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The Bees as they are known now play at Slough Jets rink. There have been numerous issues with finance, ice time the usual suspects and poor ownership that have undermined any real stability at many British clubs. Yes the top level of hockey in the GB is on a par with the ECHL in North America ie the third tier below the NHL and AHL and also well below the level in the Russian KHL, Finnish Liga, Swedish Elitserien, Czech Extraliga, Swiss NLA and German DEL but it's not bad and in order to improve by having stable finances go along and support your local side @An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at.

    It's just that the organizing body and the club owners have never settled on a stable format, fit and proper test for owners or decided to create a national plan to develop the sport from the grass roots as it is an expensive sport to play. No subsidies for instance. Many large urban areas have no rinks. The standard of coaching at the junior level is not good enough and so on. We could be a strong nation though at the sport given the right people in charge. I always quote how Denmark have improved incredibly over two decades.

    There is no dedicated school here either for the sport where you study in the day as in North America and then play hockey in the evening. Aside from the Okanagan Academy a Canadian venture in Swindon which has produced many of the under age players for Team GB already. The best kids in ever increasing numbers are off to North America by twelve and thirteen now so that looks encouraging but it's far from ideal. We need a few heads to have sense knocked into them and understand the long term goal of having a strong stable divisional competition with a strong grass roots and facilities and coaching accessible to all.

    @An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at you could watch Leeds Knights who provide a large number of the GB u20 and u18 side. They top the NIHL the second tier below the EIHL and may well in time join it as they continue to grow.
  4. An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at

    An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at Academy Graduate

    Thank you. The well-informed comments of an enthusiast, I would say. I didn't know there was a Leeds team (having only read about the EIHL). I'll see if I can interest Mrs Ilkley Orn in going too.
    (I will still keep saving up to go back to NYC though. The Rangers have improved a lot since I saw them thrashed 6-2 by the Islanders in 2014.)
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  5. hornmeister

    hornmeister Club Legend

    I went to see the Guildford Flames play once.
    Watching the Zamboni during the breaks was more interesting.
  6. luke_golden

    luke_golden Space Cadet

    Love hockey at just about any level is brilliant to watch. We’d go over to MK every now and again and start a night out with a MK Lightening game. Only cost about a fiver to get in, you could sit close enough to see the teeth fly out after a good hit, and the beer was really cheap. Absolutely perfect entertainment for a group of pissed up gentlemen.
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  7. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Bruins win the Presidents Trophy. A record breaking season. They beat the Canadiens regular season points record with 135. They tied the Red Wings with 31 away wins and dominated the Western Conference teams. Only two teams from that conference managed to register home wins against them. They also beat up on other playoff sides who failed to register a win against them. That includes the Rangers, Devils and last years winners the Avalanche so not exactly what you would describe as weak teams.

    Pastrnak scored sixty but goals were shared among the team. Ullmark will likely win the Vezina (although Sorokin with a weaker defence infront of him probably deserves it more). However many teams that take the Presidents Trophy go on to win the Stanley Cup but the Bruins look a different beast to many of those. The Kraken of course with an excellent season make it into their first ever playoffs.

    Anaheim (with a tremendously talented defensive set of prospects coming through ie Drysdale, Mintyukov), San Jose, Chicago and Columbus will get the pick of the draft from Bedard, Michkov, Fantilli and Carlson although someone will pick up a blue chip blueliner in Austrian David Reinbacher.

  8. An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at

    An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at Academy Graduate

    So, do you see anyone with a chance of stopping the Bruins reaching the final?
    I ask, as FiveThirtyEight gives them (only) a 52% probability of doing so.
  9. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    You never know. Anything can happen. Some teams can go on a hot streak while some come unstuck under the pressure. The Caps are a prime example a few seasons ago. But they do look the clear favourites given how dominant their metrics are in the regular season.
  10. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Division 1A of the World Championships starts in Nottingham this weekend. Winners get promoted back to the top Division. Team GB will be facing Lithuania, Poland, South Korea, Romania and Italy. Romania should go straight down back to 1B. Italy, Poland will probably contend for top spot with GB. Lithuania's junior programme has several exciting prospects.

    Meanwhile in the NHL the playoff first round is under way. Defending champions the Avalanche trail the Kraken 3-2 in the best of seven series. And lots of controversy in Canada as Calgary announced funding for a new arena. The cost just shy of a billion dollars to replace the Saddledome and the area next to where the annual Stampede takes place.

    Now this controversy stems from the amount of public funding that will go into the new arena. Over 75% of the cost will be from taxpayers in Calgary and even more controversially the state of Alberta. People in Edmonton are furious as their own new arena received diddly squat in public funding. What makes this most sickening is that the owner of the Flames is Murray Edwards a multibillionaire. Why can't the disgusting individual pay for it himself ? Why ? Why should the public fund it ? Can you imagine this happening here in the UK ? There was enough controversy about the handing over the London Stadium and Commonwealth Stadiums.
  11. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Team GB have won their opening games against South Korea 4-0 and Poland 5-4 after OT. In the Stanley Cup last years champions are out losing to the Kraken 4-3 and the Presidents curse strikes again. Boston out against Florida 4-3 with an OT loss.

    In the KHL SKA St.Petersburg likewise won the regular season Kontinental Cup but CSKA Moscow beat Ak Bars Kazan in the Gagarin Cup final 4 games to three to take the Cup. That's their third title.
  12. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Draisaitl and Pavelski both scored four goals for their respective teams in the second round the Oilers and the Stars. But their teams still lost. The former to the Golden Knights and the latter to the Kraken. Could the Kraken awake to find themselves doing a Golden Knights ?

    Team GB beat Romania 7-0 and so top their group ahead of Poland and Italy. It comes down to a decider against Italy tomorrow in Nottingham to see if Team GB returns to the top division. Liam Kirk is the tournament top points scorer alongside Patryk Wronka and Krystian Dziubinski.

    Ben Bowns has a 0.99 GAA and tops the save percentages at 95.29%. Can't fathom why he returned from Europe. He really should play in a top European league in Sweden, Finland as Russia is out of the question at the moment. Shame.
  13. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    1-1 after Period One at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham. Perlini with a powerplay opener. Larkin with a shot redirected through Bowns for the equalizer. Great atmosphere. Poland already promoted. At the moment Italy take second and promotion with the scoreline as it is. GB finish third. A win for GB takes the gold medal and promotion as well. Come on Lions.
  14. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    5-3 to Team GB. Top spot and promotion back to the top division of World Hockey. Amazing we are at the level we are given how badly the sport is run and developed in the UK. There are small signs of improvement in the juniors so who knows and more grass roots clubs appearing and some big city clubs like Leeds Knights with their focus on junior development. I mean it's an enormous shame that only a very small number of people here will have watched this.

    Also a fond farewell to Jonathan Phillips. Twenty years of sterling service often as captain. And at club level for his native Cardiff Devils and the Sheffield Steelers with a short stint in Germany. Liam Kirk and Cade Neilson excelled again. I hope Kirk after an excellent season in the top Finnish league gets a chance at cracking the AHL and who knows the NHL.
  15. An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at

    An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at Academy Graduate

    I, for one, am very happy to be in that very small number.
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  16. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Did you go to the Motorpoint Arena ? Fabulous atmosphere and very friendly. It's amazing Team GB is where it is considering how badly (I'll never stop going on about it shame I'm not in charge) it's been run with no national vision on how to develop the sport from the bottom up. I mean it's scandalous that most large urban areas don't even have a rink and the coaching standards are so low. Not to mention the costs. It's one of the most expensive sports to take up as a child. So that needs to be addressed as well. Subsidies for instance for those not so well off.
  17. An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at

    An Ilkley Orn Baht 'at Academy Graduate

    Sadly I couldn’t go, but at least I got to watch it live on Viaplay. The great atmosphere certainly came across.

    And I can tell you’re a passionate fan of the game, not just of the GB team.
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  18. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

  19. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So the draft lottery was held last night in the NHL prior to the NHL draft to determine who gets the number one pick. It was between Chicago, Anaheim and Columbus. The reason this is done is to try and prevent teams deliberately losing when they know the playoffs are out of reach to try and finish bottom to get the number one pick.

    Now the number one pick sometimes can bust. Nail Yakupov in 2012 and Lafreniere at the moment with the Rangers is struggling. Slafkovsky the number one pick last season looked decent enough in an awful Montreal team. Mind you some of the others have done very well as befits that status. Alexander the Gr8 with the Caps hunting down Gretzky's record, Nate McKinnon, Conor McDavid of course and others that were picked are showing their worth such as Swiss Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes and Rasmus Dahlin after a sticky start with the Sabres.

    Chicago won the lottery. Now there are accusations this was rigged. Chicago is a big market, Anaheim and Columbus are not. Chicago will surely pick Bedard. And then the other teams will chip in depending if they need a top class centre. So it's between the likes of Adam Fantilli, Will Smith with his performance at the u18s and Leo Carlsson. That said there is of course Matvei Michkov but Russia's absence from the u20 WC has meant his stock has dropped. A bit silly really considering he has outperformed all his contemporaries including Bedard in mens competition with Sochi (and they were bottom of the regular season in the KHL). Anyone who gets him will be getting a franchise player and the best Russian prospect since Ovechkin and Malkin.

    Then you have a slew of defencemen who could make the top ten. Austrian David Reinbacher (Austria really ought to do better producing players and at the moment it seems they are only capable of churning out one top draftee per season with Marco Kasper last year and Marco Rossi the year before that), Russian's Mikhail Gulyayev and Dmitri Simashev and Canadian Lukas Dragicevic. The last is of Serbian parentage which is also quite disappointing in terms of reflecting on how both Serbia and Cr0atia (that excel in team sports) are so poor at hockey (although Croatia have the kid Idzan brothers at the moment who play in Sweden). Lack of facilities being the main issue. Both could do far better.

    All these newer defencemen are the sort the new NHL look for. Not just defensively capable or hanging on the blue line, but fast skating puck movers who can provide break out passes. None are excessively big either by traditional standards. The draft takes place on June 28th to the 29th at the Nashville Predators home arena.
  20. luke_golden

    luke_golden Space Cadet

    Absolutely no shock Chicago won the lottery, being a massive market and Bedard one of the most hyped, market prospects in years.

    Playoffs have been good so far. Plenty of exciting games and drama.
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  21. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So Leafs nation is in mourning again. This time a 4-1 series loss to the Panthers who take on the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final. In the Western the Knights hold a 3-2 series lead over the Oilers while Dallas hold the same over the Kraken. Will Dubas retain his job as GM in Toronto ? Is Marner on the move at last ?

    Meanwhile the 2023 Division 1 championship has commenced in Latvia. You can watch highlights and live games on the IIHF channel:
    IIHF Worlds 2023 - YouTube
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  22. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    The leafs are just so powderpuff. Great in the regular season, but their core 4 just folds under pressure in the playoffs.

    This was a massive opportunity missed for them. I’m a Canucks fan, so i kinda revel in the pain of the leafs nation whilst also fully accepting my awful team will be terrible forever.

    What on earth are the leafs going to do with Matthews now his contract is coming due? He is going to ask for big money, and I don’t think they can afford to pay him $15aav and be competitive with the rest of team.

    Don’t they have something ridiculous like $40m tied up in Matthews, Marner, Tavares and Nylander.
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  23. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    They are going to have to trade him surely. He's a dead weight around them. I think it was a bit harsh on them in having to play two of the best teams in the last two playoff series. Dubas is getting an awful lot of stick but I think he made some decent trades but the lower lines are still weak. They were awful in the playoffs. Plus the number of trade pick concessions such as to the Canucks in the third for this draft.

    The Canucks also have a lot of reshaping to do. It's a 11th pick. But the draft is pretty deep this year. What does the organization want or need ? It's centre heavy but you could pick up Pelikka or Gulyayev. Simashev, Dragicevic will be higher I think. Then there are the likes of Dvorsky. It's a mess really. Aquilini has his own troubles. Tocchet hardly excelled taking over from Boudreau. Podkolzin has not come on as he should have done under him. Kravtsov is a bust for certain. Very talented but so lazy. Mikheyev's injury was a blow too. The trades have not worked out well either. Still there is Elias and Kuzmenko. Hughes and OEL. But a real lack of quality. They'll have to wait a few more years to see progress. I mean they are signing players on to ELCs like Arshdeep Bains so they know they have to move forward. Can't see that much progress without another two good draft years. And getting fined for post match training session. Incredibly petty from the NHL but Tocchet knows what he's getting is pretty poor.

    Can Miller keep going ? Boeser will he recover his potential are also key for a half decent season next year. Playoffs unlikely though. I expect a lot of teams with this stacked draft are going to try their rebuilds from now. 2025 as a draft class won't be as high level in talent.
  24. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    oh yes I’m fully aware of the mess they are in. we have so much cap committed to top 9 forwards who are basically bang average.

    Garland - 17 goals, 29 assists in 81 games currently earning current cap hit of $4.95m until 25/26.
    Boeser - 18 goals, 37 assists in 74 games current cap hit of $6.65m
    Beauvillier - 18 goals, 22 assists in 82 games, current cap hit of $4.15m

    Don’t even get me started on the mess that is the canucks d core with a anchor of a contract in OEL and a lanky prat like Myers who can’t stay out of the penalty box or clear the puck to the neutral zone without giving it away.
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  25. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Myers contract for a player of limited ability is unbelievable. A millstone round the organization. I'd give Boeser the benefit of the doubt given the tragedy that has befallen him in his family life. The Western Conference final will be between Dallas and Las Vegas. The Kraken were vanquished 2-1 in game seven but showed fight right to the end. Both conference finalists have recent experience of such a series and it's pretty close to call. I know people are moaning that all four teams are not major markets but it's a sport first and foremost not a circus. They all deserve to be there on merit.

    Reinbacher should be fine but you should never jump into a hit. However his play with Austria confirms him as one of the top three defencemen in this draft. His ability to rush, separate the stick, outlet passes and speed/poise are excellent. The USA afeter a nervy 3-2 win over Germany and Canada top their respective pools at the World Championships. Germany and Slovenia occupy the relegation round spots but Germany won't be there for much longer.

  26. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Panthers 2-0 up on the Hurricanes after two overtime wins.

    At the World Championships in Tampere and Riga Switzerland top their pool. They beat Canada 3-2 yesterday but the match was overshadowed by a nasty incident involving Joe Veleno of the Red Wings and his kick with skate on Niederreiter. In the past in the NHL this has seen the likes of Pronger and Simon receive lengthy bans. There is absolutely no place for this in hockey.

    Kyle Dubas has been sacked as the Maple Leafs GM. Jim Ramsey long time trainer of almost thirty years at the Rangers has also lost his job. The Coyotes are still looking for a new arena. The site of a new arena with luxury apartments was rejected by voters in Tempe. The dolt of an NHL commissioner Bettmann is now reviewing options including relocating the team. Houston and Atlanta are highly interested. I think it's great the people of Tempe rejected this vanity project for a rich owner. If they want a shiny new facility pay for it themselves. More people in America need to do this. It's ridiculous the leverage owners have on city and town bodies even when the stadiums are sometimes only twenty years old as with the Diamonback baseball team threatening to pull out. Peoples taxes need to be spent not on this nonsense but real social projects.
  27. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So this years Stanley Cup final will between two teams who have never won it. The Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights whose six nil win in game six snuffed out the Dallas comeback. In the World Championships minus Russia and Belarus, Canada took gold, Germany silver and Latvia one of the hosts a surprising bronze beating the USA in the bronze medal match.

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