The "Russian Factor" has become a buzzword among main stream media types of late, especially in regards to the nationality of potential lottery draft picks Yakupov and Grigorenko. Further the Don Cherry's of the world will tell you a Canadian or North American player has heart while a Russian or European is enigmatic. Let's take a look at a couple soon to be UFA's and discuss media perception of these players vs. their actual results.
Steve Tambellini has received a contract extension from the Edmonton Oilers. He met all their criteria: experience losing hockey games, history of bad trades, and poor free agent signings. It's a match made in heaven.
Heading into one of the better weeks in sports as the NHL regular season winds down and playoff spots are finalized, I thought I would give some thoughts on the season and things I look forward to heading into the playoffs.
Whoever isn’t enjoying this latest Flames run can’t call themselves a hockey fan. Another victory last night against Phoenix gave the Flames five straight as they moved within one point of 7th and 8th place, which the Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche currently hold with 81 points apiece. The Flames have to get right back on the horse tonight as they travel up north to duel their provincial rivals for the 6th and final time this season. The Flames have been simply dominate over the Oilers the last couple of years and other than a lackluster 6-1 loss the last time the two teams met, the Flames have won 16 of the last 18 meetings. If the Flames continue to play like they have the past five, tonight’s game shouldn’t be an issue. Saying that the Oilers have nothing but pride to play for at this point and the Flames can’t look past them. The Flames could jump to 7th place in the West with a victory tonight.
Like every other fan, I'll throw out a crazy trade possibility or nine this time of year. As hockey fans, it's typical to lose rationality in the month leading up to deadline day, an unofficial holiday in my book.
As Red Wings fans, this tendency is even stronger due to past deadline deals that brought Hall of Famers such as Chelios to Hockeytown. The salary cap era has stifled Ken Holland's freewheeling deals but with the Wings sitting atop the standings with over $5 million in cap space, many think a big splash is coming.
I think the Wings are going to make a lot of noise... in the summer, especially if Lidstrom and Holmstrom retire an...
The Oilers made headlines last night. Not only did they defeat the Chicago Blackhawks, 8-4, but they had one player on their roster who had roles in each one of the eight goals that the Oilers scored.
Yes, you read that correctly. Sam Gagner had eight points last night in the victory. Gagner's four goals and four assists supplied Oiler fans with their best victory since the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. Hey, with a team that is likely to not make the playoffs, a game like the one Gagner had very much worth talking about.
Games against the Oilers haven't gone quite the way Chicago would have liked - or expected - this season. The Blackhawks are 1-2-0 against Edmonton so far this season. After a handy 6-3 win early in the season at the United Center, they cruised into Edmonton in November on the heels of an PPG-heavy embarassing loss to the Canucks - only to get stomped 9-2 in another PPG-laden game. The Oilers also took the last match 4-3 in Chicago.
Do the Blackhawks want a little payback? No doubt. "We got our teeth kicked in here last time," Coach Quenneville stated this afternoon. Back in mid-November, with the score 9-2, the Oilers fans were chanting "We want...