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The Year so Far

The Vancouver Canucks have only played 11 games this year so far and fans are already giving the team a bunch of flack. Are the 'Nucks still the "team to beat" this year? How much longer will fans put up with the mediocre hockey they have been seeing? Is Roberto Luongo on his way out of Van City this year? Will Vancouver be a legit playoff contender? Brian Raiger breaks down these questions with his own twist on things.

With 11 games in the book, the boys in blue and green have only managed to rack up 11 points. As of now, the Canucks sit in 4th place in the Northwest Division, 10th in the Western Conference, and 19th in the whole NHL.

We all know they are bette...

It's Time To Step It Up

The Sharks are too talented of a team to play the way they did in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. After laying a huge egg against the Ducks, losing 1-0, the Sharks headed back home to play the Blues. Hoping for a better effort, the Sharks came out fairly flat, but did carry a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. Unfortunately, they gave up 3 goals (one empty netter) in the final period (deja-vu?) and lost 4-2. It isn't like this team to play two games and not pull out at least one point, and this kind of play cannot continue. The western conference, and the Pacific Division even more so, is too competitive to only win one game out of three.  The worst part of these losses is that ...

Are You Ready For Some Hockey?

...Too bad the sharks aren't playing any today. We still have to wait until Friday to watch another Shark's game. But maybe, just maybe, what seems like a punishment might actually be a blessing in disguise. You see, a myriad of Sharks are out right now with various injuries and would not have been ready to go on an earlier date. Havlat is still recuperating from a shoulder injury. Niemi is recovering from minor surgery that removed a cyst from his knee. And Marleau has missed every practice this week with the flu. Two of these three players, sans Marleau, also missed the opening game of the season. Which is a real testament to how stacked this Sharks team is with depth at all position...

That Was Easy (Better Luck Next Time, Phoenix)

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Coyotes @ Sharks

 

That was almost exactly how the Sharks would have wanted to start the 2011-12 season. Sure, it would have been nice if less starters had been injured and if they could kill a freaking penalty, but all in all, a 6-3 win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the home opener is a great start to what hopes to be a great season.

 

No starting goalie? No backup goalie? No problem. Enter Thomas Greiss, who is just two years removed from backing up Evgeni Nabokov. He played...

Western Conference Predictions

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Before the season begins, i thought I'd take a stab at predicting where each team will fall in the 2011-12 season. So, without further ado:

 

Vancouver Canucks – They might have a slow start coming out of the gate, as two of their top six players in Kesler and Raymond are out to start the season, but this is still a darn good hockey team. The Canucks will be icing basically the same roster as they did last season, minus Christian Ehrhoff, and I do not see any reason why they won&#...

Do The Montreal Canadiens Need Quebecers On The Team?

 

Any casual sports fan would think that Montreal's hockey team is named the Canadiens because they are Canada’s team, or that they have fans all across Canada.  To be honest, only the last statement is true.

Les Habitants have always spelled Canadiens with an ‘E’ , so maybe that should give some the idea that the team itself doesn’t represent all of Canada. For now, the team represents all of Quebec, whether it be English or French, Catholic or Jewish.  I say for now, because even the most die hard fan of the Habs cannot wait for the return of the Quebec Nordiques. 

So understanding that the Montreal Canadiens are as ...

Uphill Climb

For those of you who haven't looked at the Dallas Stars' schedule, the beginning of the season is approaching soon.  Thing is, it's going to be a tough start for the new-look team.

The 2011-12 season begins within the confines of the American Airlines Center, but against the team that The Hockey News picked as the Western Conference finalist--the Chicago Blackhawks.  Not only one game against the Hawks.  Two.  October 7 and 8, prepare yourself for a home-and-home with one of the strongest teams in the entire National Hockey League. 

Not all is lost.  Last season, the Stars romped over not just the Chicago Blackhawks, but the Central Di...

San Jose's Most Wanted

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Public Enemy #1: Corey Perry

 

I'm sure I'm not alone here when I say that Corey Perry is my least favorite player in the NHL. Perry is the kind of player who plays dirty and never has to stick up for himself; he has George Parros to do that for him. You might think I would hate Parros more, but it's his job to fight. It's Perry's combination of skill and dirtiness that makes you hate him.

 

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The Life and Times of Brian Burke Part 2

 

Brian P. Burke was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 30, 1955. He was raised in the affluent southwestern Minneapolis suburb of Edina, Minnesota. Historically, Edina was a predominantly Irish farming and milling community comprised of immigrants landing in the Richfield Township during the Potato Famine, between 1845 and 1852. The son of Irish-Catholic parents, Brian grew up with nine brothers and sisters, in a close-knit family where education and accountability were of paramount importance. A commitment made would be a commitment kept. This sense of personal integrity would later become a defi...