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

    I think with a couple of judicious trades in another two seasons or so the team could be pushing for a deep SC run. The Isles picked up some very decent youngsters. The Pageau trade was a treat for picks and then Barzal, Dobson and Wahlstrom lead the charge plus Sorokin in net to take over the number one spot from Varlamov.

    Regarding Podkolzin he is a leader. Tough.Gritty. Responsible hence his captaincy duties for Team Russia age group sides and has a huge engine and determination. But there is more to him than that. I think he is a great passer and creator and in time if he is prepared to work on his wrister and slapper a decent enough goalscorer. The sole concern is that he could do with a couple more seasons in the KHL earning ice time as with Chinakov who is coming to Columbus with better stats. But I much prefer seeing young Russian players work in the KHL and come over when they are ready like Panarin, Tarasenko, Kaprizov. The Kucherov is a rare exception coming through the Canadian junior leagues. Most players from Russia offensively stumble.

    I think he would fit in as a two way centre than a wing which would be beneficial to the Canucks if they pair Boeser with him and also Russia who have a dearth of centres although Morozov is showing promise along with the even younger Svechkov.

    Long way if any chance of matching the Canucks finest ever player. Shame the knees went often from being hooked into the boards and in the clutch and grab era.

     
  2. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So Canada scraped through to the knock out stages of the WC thanks to Germany beating Kazakhstan and eventually beat Finland in the final. Liam Kirk was joint top scorer in the tournament and named to the All Star Team. Quite an achievement and he has offers now from Finland. I hope he does well wherever he ends up as Arizona have not offered an ELC and can come back to the NHL after a couple of seasons in Europe and doing well. His efforts and Team GB were tremendous and recorded some notable firsts.

    In the Stanley Cup playoffs Montreal will face Las Vegas the perennial bridesmaids in recent years in one conference final while the defending champions the Tampa Bay Lightning will take on the NY Islanders. This is a repeat of last year and with Vegas makes three of the final four from last year reaching the same stage.

    [​IMG]

    The Avalanche will be thoroughly disappointed and will look to have to work some more depth despite the presence of such stars like Makar and Mackinnon if they are to reach the pinnacle. The Lightning remain my favourites. Great depth and players who can make magic happen backstopped by the best netminder and Vezina Trophy listed in Andrei Vasilevsky.

     
  3. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Eastern Conference and will face surprise finalists Montreal. Nikita Kucherov played in game seven despite taking a nasty check from behind on his hip in game six which can only be seen as a deliberate attempt to injure. Amazingly it went unpunished. Kucherov has been superlative along with the other returnee from injured reserve Steven Stamkos. Viktor Hedman has been superb in defence again while the Cat Andrei Vasilevskiy surely will be the Vezina Trophy winner again. As Rob Brind'Amour coach of the Hurricanes said he makes it look easy and is the best netminder he has seen since Dominik Hasek.

    [​IMG]
    Liam Kirk after his heroics at the WC has been offered an ELC at the Arizona Coyotes. It means spending a couple of seasons in the AHL but he has overcome every obstacle in his path so far and fingers crossed he does become the first ever British NHL player.

     
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  4. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    got say im rooting for montreal. massive underdogs but would love to see them win for toffoli and burrows.
     
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  5. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Looks rather unlikely for them. The Lightning were not that great in game two but they still had more than enough. At least the Canadiens have Suzuki and Caulfield cheering up their fanbase in what are troubling times across Canada at present and unfortunately set to remain.

    The end of season awards have been made. The Calder for best rookie went unsurprisingly to Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild. Connor McDavid won the Hart and Ted Lindsay award unsurprisingly. The surprise for me despite some of the metrics was Marc-Andre Fleury winning the Vezina. What makes it even more surprising was that no less than four general NHL managers did not even have Vasilevskiy on their ballot which smacks of an anti-Russian bias. And the All Star Team selected the Cat for the second time. Fox and Makar (fabulous talent) were selected as the defenceman, McDavid as the centre with Marchand and Marner as the wings.Despite McDavid's youth it is already his fourth selection to the All Star Team.

    The CHL import draft saw the regular selection of European based youngsters. In a brave move but one that is unlikely to reach fruition the Charlottetown Islanders did select Matvei Michkov but with Podkolzin departing SKA St.Petersburg for the Canucks the teenager is likely to see ice time with the senior side as a replacement.


    The Seattle Kraken due to debut this forthcoming season playing at the ClimatePledge Arena chose Dave Hakstol as their first ever coach.


    They will also take one player made available by other teams for their expansion draft on the 21st of July. Their NHL affiliate in the AHL will be the Charlotte Checkers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  6. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    If the Canadiens can win from being 0-3 down in the series I will eat my eat. Lightning certain to repeat the success of last season and cement their place in NHL history. Kucherov, Hedman and Vasilevskiy doing star turns once again.

     
  7. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    yer it doesnt look good does it. i fear tonight will be the end for the canadiens. they have looked outclassed the whole time.
     
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  8. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Out of their league. The depth simply is not there for them. The Lightning have players like Point, Cirelli, Johnson, Palat and others who can strike and contribute when needed and at the back end others like McDonagh and Sergachev and of couse the underrated Cernak. McDonagh with such experience as well and another product of Minnesota hockey. The sole weakness the Lightning have is the back up to Vasilevskiy. McElhinney is over the hill and Gibson will be off soon as well. They have signed Amir Miftakhov to an ELC yet another of the seemingly endless conveyor belt of highly rated netminding prospects Russia is churning out. Hugo Alnefelt is the other young prospect and I expect both will share time at the Lightning's AHL affiliate the Syracuse Crunch much as the Cat once did.

    Gibson might be retained though just for the purposes of cap space but without the Cat in net the Lightning look a little less formidable. There is a possible threepeat on the way.
     
  9. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The Canadiens scored an overtime winner to force game five. Another of the youngsters the Canadiens hope to build their franchise around under Alexander Romanov nicknamed the Tsar scored the second and drafted after his exceptional All Star performances at the World Junior Championships.

    However all of this pales into insignificance after the tragic death aged just twenty four of Columbus Bluejackets netminder Matiss Kivlenieks. The youngster debuted for the team and impressed mightily earlier this season and was the goalie responsible for shutting out Canada at the WC held in Latvia a month ago. Immense promise cut cruelly short. Needless to say there has been an outpouring of tributes, grief and sadness at his passing not just in Columbus and Latvia but through the entire hockey community. And one cannot state once more always be careful with fireworks. Nasty things.




    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Absolutely terrible about Kivlenieks, what a terrible thing to happen. Feel so sorry for his family.

    The Canadiens literally hanging on by the skin of their teeth at the moment. Hoping we see a game 6.
     
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  11. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    No miracle on ice this time. The Lightning squeezed their way past the Canadiens 1-0 in game give to earn back to back Stanley Cups and their third title overall. With a strong squad, some very decent prospects in the pipeline and judicious cost cutting to meet the cap one can only see them there or thereabouts again next season.

    The Conn Smythe was won by Andrei Vasilevskiy rather than Nikita Kucherov. It seems amazing that Vasilevskiy missed out on the last two Vezina's and Kucherov overlooked perhaps because he missed the regular season. Some of the very few players to have scored 30 points plus in the playoffs are very illustrious names. Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux. Hockey royalty. It was confirmed Kucherov played the finals series with a fractured rib sustained against the Islanders. Drunk Kucherov gave another inimitable interview after the win in which he was upset by Vasilevskiy's omission from the Vezina and the phrase number one bullsh it is catching on as a meme.



     
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  12. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    @Smudger what do you make of the maple leafs?

    I really don’t see where they go from here. they are overpaying their top 6 by so much that I don’t think they can build a team to possibly compete all season long.

    who do you think they need to move on?
     
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  13. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    A lot of teams are in rebuild. I suppose what could be termed major rebuilds. Some always particularly the Canadian sides seem to be in perpetual rebuild mode. I don't think much of their front room Opti. Shanahan great player but president ? Raw and untested. Dubas. Now that is a person whose surname is unfortunate. Dumbass is what he would be to most Leafers. Some of the picks and trades in the last three years have been very poor out from the first round. Their depth picking in later rounds is very poor compared to other teams say for example like the Caps or Lightning. And Keefe. A raw coach.

    His staff need to work hard on their PK and PP units because they are not what they should be. Perhaps more mental conditioning too. Having four stars does not guarantee success. You need to be able to roll the four lines and have a defensive core that stacks up. Perhaps they should ice two all out attacking lines and two grinding ones. Tavares is wasted as a second centre. His efficacy is reduced. Then again with Nylander and Matthews. You don't remove a Rocket Richard winner or a solid player like Nylander.

    Marner is the obvious candidate given his contract. If they can trade him and not for Eichel whose metrics are not that great in ES play they can use the cap space to find a better third pairing defenceman. get a decent back up to Campbell and get a two way third line centre or speedster on the wing although they think Amirov could come in from the Marlies and do that role. Marner surely has to be moved. The contract Dubas agreed was mad.
     
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  14. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    agreed I think the marner contract is a massive ball and chain around the leafs. I also think your right about Tavares, he should be on a first line somewhere.

    interesting views on the back room team, I always thought dubas was considered quite highly?
     
  15. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Not in Leaf Nation Opti. They want him out ASAP. As mentioned the draft chart outside of their round one picks has been appalling. They have missed out on some really solid players and it has not helped their top heavy squad. The 2021 draft will be on the 23rd and 24th of July with many picking Owen Power as the number one pick or it could be Craig McTavish. Buffalo will have that number one pick.
     
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  16. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    The draft this year is going to be really fascinating. A lot of these players have not played a lot of hockey in the last year. I don’t think any other than Power are regarded as NHL ready.

    The Canucks are picking at 9. I would love for Luke Hughes to drop to them but I don’t see it happening.

    Regarding Dubas and Toronto; hasn’t it long been said that picks in rounds 2-7 are a bit of a lottery anyway though? You shouldn’t necessarily draft for position at that stage and just go for best player available.
     
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  17. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    If you have a look at the Caps for instance and see their draft positions of some of their squad they were not particularly high and several have made it from the later rounds like Fehervary who ought to be on the ice this season a great deal more than beforeThat is good drafting and scout reporting. There is also the Russian factor. Several teams seem to have a phobia or rather their GM's do of drafting Russians. Some highly talented players drop as a result and are picked up by other teams much to their delight. The Lightning have made some remarkable picks from very late on like Palat or even those that went undrafted like Rutta and Johnson.

    Owen Power looks like Buffalo's favoured choice but we will see Opti.
     
  18. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    If you have a look at the Caps for instance and see their draft positions of some of their squad they were not particularly high and several have made it from the later rounds like Fehervary who ought to be on the ice this season a great deal more than beforeThat is good drafting and scout reporting. There is also the Russian factor. Several teams seem to have a phobia or rather their GM's do of drafting Russians. Some highly talented players drop as a result and are picked up by other teams much to their delight. The Lightning have made some remarkable picks from very late on like Palat or even those that went undrafted like Rutta and Johnson.

    Owen Power looks like Buffalo's favoured choice but we will see Opti.
     
  19. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    @Smudger what do you think of the expansion draft?

    look like they are building from the defence to start with. a couple of decent keepers but no one particularly flashy there. the forwards look pretty weak, particularly the 2nd line which nearly looks non existent.

    they have got loads of cap space to play with.
     
  20. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Have not had the chance to look at it yet Opti as I am watching The Tomorrow War in a bit with the missus. Will let you know later. This will be a slow burner. Expect they and the Sabres will be contending for number one draft pick next year. I cannot see them doing a Vegas.

    In draft news Logan Mailloux of the OHL London Knights and a prospective first rounder has withdrawn from the draft. This is after he was found guilty of sharing a video of sexual relations with a woman with his teammates being on loan in Sweden with the OHL shutdown due to the pandemic. The woman found about the said video and contacted the police. Several NHL teams had already pulled the plug on him as a choice.

    Luke Prokop of the WHL Calgary Hitmen and Predators draftee who has signed an ELC with the team announced he is gay. There has been an outpouring of support in what is a notoriously macho sport and rightly so.
    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl-predators-prokop-announcement-1.6108113
     
  21. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Have not had the chance to look at it yet Opti as I am watching The Tomorrow War in a bit with the missus. Will let you know later. This will be a slow burner. Expect they and the Sabres will be contending for number one draft pick next year. I cannot see them doing a Vegas.

    In draft news Logan Mailloux of the OHL London Knights and a prospective first rounder has withdrawn from the draft. This is after he was found guilty of sharing a video of sexual relations with a woman with his teammates being on loan in Sweden with the OHL shutdown due to the pandemic. The woman found about the said video and contacted the police. Several NHL teams had already pulled the plug on him as a choice.

    Luke Prokop of the WHL Calgary Hitmen and Predators draftee who has signed an ELC with the team announced he is gay. There has been an outpouring of support in what is a notoriously macho sport and rightly so.
    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl-predators-prokop-announcement-1.6108113
     
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  22. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Owen Power went first in the NHL draft taken by Buffalo. Mason McTavish went third to Anaheim. Highly rated defenceman Simon Edvinsson to Detroit where they hope he and Seider form a number one pairing. Fedor Svechkov was the highest drafted Russian an extremely competent hard working two way centre for Nashville although Winnipeg have picked up a steal in the second round with Nikita Chibrikov. No Finns were selected in the first round but Aleksi Heimosalmi will be a welcome pick for the Hurricanes. Ukraine and Kazakhstan had their very first draft picks for many a year. Artur Cholach at 190 overall and Andrei Buyalksy at 92.

    In other news the great Henrik Lundqvist retired. He had been suffering from heart issues which required an operation. He stayed with the Rangers organization despite it's many failings topping the regular season stats for netminders many a time despite never getting close to a Stanley Cup.

    [​IMG]


    The Rangers were also hit by the death of Rod Gilbert a Canadian born forward of small stature but immense skill and heart who was popularly known as Mr.Ranger due to his long time connection with the Rangers. He was and is the leading points scorer for the team and was the first to have his number retired and hoisted into the rafters at the Garden. A venue he often frequented as a host and guide on match nights. A consummate gentleman who had time for everyone and will be sorely missed. I am sure on the opening puck drop of this coming season the NY Rangers will organize something appropriate for the legend.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Just a couple of things to discuss. Liam Kirk was cut from the pre-season camp with the Coyotes and sent to their AHL affiliate the Tucson Roadrunners. I hope he uses the experience and environment to get a crack at the roster next year. And if he does really well he might sneak a spot if there are several injuries in the Coyotes squad.

    Alex Graham has also finally made it aged 18 to the OHL being selected in the second round by the Niagara Ice Dogs. He has lots of areas to work in especially in his two way play but I hope he can score heavily enough to perhaps attract the attention if a NHL team in a late round draft. Very optimistic as he is not on Kirk's level.

    St.Louis took Pavel Buchnevich which was a bit of an odd decision for the Rangers. Will miss the PK expert. A complete list of the trades this summer.

    https://www.nhl.com/news/2021-22-nhl-trades/c-289968698

    @Opti think the Canucks have done very well to acquire OEL and Garland (a rather underrated forward) from the Yotes for players that were not that core to their plans going forward and not sustained producers. Podkolzin is still adjusting to the smaller ice but is showing signs of what he is capable of.
     
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  24. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Would have been lovely for Kirk to make the roster, but don’t think anyone really expected it.

    I don’t mind the OEL and Garland trade, although I am worried that we have splashed a lot of cash on OEL going forward and his going to contribute significantly to any cap issues we might get. If we get the OEL of three to four seasons ago who is motivated then it is a great deal. Garland looks like a phenomenal get. I’m quite worried about our depth as beyond the first two lines we look quite flimsy and I still expect our D to be one of the worst in the league.

    I think we will win games but it will be due to Demko and Halak playing some blinders.
     
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  25. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Ovechkin if you adjust the stats given the era when the Great One operated is already the best goal scorer in hockey history. Started off with a four point game as the Caps bashed the Rangers 5-1. Overtakes Marcel Dionne on the points list and is nearing the great Gordie Howe for most points scored for a single franchise. Of course it's only one game in but he looks pretty sharp. Lapierre looks to be an excellent draft acquisition.

    [​IMG]


    Tkachev is off to a great start with the Kings. Buffalo started the season with a win amid the rumours of trouble behind the scenes while the Kraken secured their first ever win in the NHL a 4-3 win over the Preds. The New Joe Louis Arena saw a 13 goal thriller that saw the Bolts come back from 6-3 down with Ondrej Palat scoring the OT winner. Dylan Larkin faces disciplinary action for his punch to Joseph. Perhaps the time is right to ban fighting in the game. Knocks to the head are not great to see.

     
  26. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Opti will no doubt be pleased by the Canucks securing their first win of the season. 5-4 over the Flyers. Podkolzin scored his first but was still limited to just seven minutes of ice time. Hoglander was pushed down the lines. Honestly Travis Green is a poor developmental coach compared to others. Vancouver ought to get rid.


    The Blue Jackets celebrated the life of Matiss Kivlenieks at the National Arena with his family. His number has been raised to the rafters and emblazoned on the ice. Team mate and fellow netminder and Latvian Elvis Merzlikins will wear the number 80 in remembrance of him.

     
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  27. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Liam Kirk no goals or assists after 2 games for Tucson but with a +1 rating.

    Items in brief. Legend Mike Bossy is being treated for lung cancer. No surprise really as he was a heavy smoker as a player. Kucherov was injured against the Capitals after a storming start to the season and unfortunately it looks like a long term one. Less than the time taken to recover for last season but a blow for him and the Bolts. Minnesota's first line of Zuccarello, Erikkson Ek and Kaprizov are among the best first lines in the NHL.

    Several rookies have made a great start to their careers. Jake Neighbours at St.Louis while Trevor Zegras continues to impress at Anaheim in his second season as does Oliver Wahlstrom with the Islanders. McDavid and Draisaitl are doing their thing as usual with the Oilers. Indeed some of the strugglers last season as with the Oilers relative to their talent have made a great start. That includes the Sabres and Red Wings. Steve Yzerman is pulling the strings at the organization and it won't be a surprise before they are contenders sooner rather than later. Seider is settling in well to the defence while Yzerman has brought in former Bolts and the experience of Nick Leddy to guide a fairly young side. The former Bolts include Adam Erne. Vlad Namestnikov and Mitchell Stephens who the great Y knew as the Lightning GM.

    Here from ESPN is a great tour around the Climate Pledge Arena. As focus on the planet's well being increases the need for such venues will increase.

    https://www.espn.com/espn/feature/s...look-seattle-kraken-home-climate-pledge-arena
     
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  28. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Podkolzin dropped altogether last night for the win over Chicago. It will be easier to get him good match ups at home but I am worried that Green doesn’t get him enough good opportunities. I don’t know why they are sticking him down on the fourth.

    Hoglander is looking like one hell of a draft pick. 40th overall in the same year we drafted Podkolzin at 11th. He has so much energy and a knack of popping up in the right places. With him and Garland in the team, we look so much grittier.

    I don’t rate Green as a coach, I think we have one of the worst zone entry percentages in the league. He has needed to go for at least two seasons in my opinion.
     
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  29. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Good win for the Canucks over the Kraken Opti. Regarding the Podkolzin issue Green said he likes him very much as a player. Then drops him. Then says he doesn't want to play him against the harder teams. What nonsense is this ? He will have to play against them at some point. He scores a goal and gets rewarded by being dropped. Hardly any way to develop a player. Vasili has been a captain for Team Russia, an outstanding player at junior WCs leading by example as well as for the SKA junior sides. SKA were being heavily criticized by many Nucks fans for lack of ice time last season but at least he was playing fairly regularly.

    I do think there is still some deep down anti Russian feeling when it comes to the juniors. Not GMs like Yzerman who grew up and with the Green Unit. Personally I think Russian juniors should stay in the KHL. They get a very decent salary in the second best league in the world and time to develop and mature mentally and hone their game and learn the Russian style which is heavily skilled orientated. Players like Kaprizov and Panarin for instance. Others have gone back and come back better like Dadonov. But many of the forward prospects have come to the juniors in Canada and their careers have derailed. They have not achieved what was expected of them.

    For some that is to be expected. Players develop at different rates. But for others despite doing well in the CHL, OHL they get regarded with suspicion by some of the NHL sides that draft them. And get bounced around and lose ice time and interest. Rubtsov, Burmistrov and several others were seen as high end players but none has become that. They have wasted several years in North America barely playing the level of hockey they need or in systems where flair and skill are frowned on. It's not food for them and Team Russia has suffered too.

    It's different for the defencemen. I think as with Provorov, Sergachev, Zamula, Miromanov who should get his first Vegas start tonight it's been a better development route. I hope that the new generation of Russian forwards u18 led by Michkov but with such fantastic players like Svechkov, Demidov, Kvochko, Gazizov, Miroschnichenko to name just a few all stay and develop within the KHL before moving to the NHL say at 22-23 years of age.

    There is a huge culture difference for these kids compared to others no matter the best efforts of adoptive families the junior leagues provide in Canada. I used to watch the Red Machine skate circles around the opposition in the late eighties and it was a joy to watch. Like Brazil at their best or the ABs at rugby or Fiji in sevens. They elevated the sport into an art. That Krutov-Larionov-Makarov line was one of the greatest lines in history. Makarov is probably one of the best five players in hockey ever.

    Pavel Bure the best Canuck of all teamed up with Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Mogilny at the World Juniors where they destroyed everyone. All three are elite elite players skills and speed wise. What a sight they must have been. Fedorov such a complete player that legendary coach Scotty Bowman at the Wings used to play him as a defenceman sometimes. And he looked completely comfortable. Mogilny barring injuries like Bure would have been record point scorers. The nearest comparison to Bure at the moment is McDavid for speed and skill.

    https://twitter.com/GBHockeyFuture/status/1452104140830777345

    Kirky scored his first for the Roadrunners last night. Great hockey IQ. He has grown stronger as well. Not afraid to get in and around the crease.
     

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