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The Fall of the Russian Empire

What is wrong with Russian Players these days? I'm talking about the marquee players; the Malkins, the Ovechkins, the Kovalchuks, and how they seem to be struggling this season. Let's look at the stats, shall we? Alexander Ovechkin: 44 games, 15 goals, 30 assists for 45 points. Now, there's nothing wrong with being a point a game player, but that's not Alexander Ovechkin. There is nothing wrong with having 15 goals at this point of the season; but once again, that's not Alexander Ovechkin. He sits tenth in NHL scoring, which is low for him, and he has, get this, two powerplay goals ALL SEASON LONG. What the hell? Since when does the great 8 have less powerplay goals than say, Mark Rec...

The top ten Goaltenders in the league today

I'm a goaltender at heart and just love goalie discussions. I know that this will be subjective to everyone around here, but I feel that there can be some agreements. This list I am making is for this season who is the best goaltenders in the league. So just because they have had amazing seasons in the past or their career is better doesn't mean they will be high on this list, or listed at all. If I miss anybody or you disagree please comment and we can discuss why you believe what you do #10 Cam Ward Ward has had many up and down seasons since winning the cup and Conn Smyth trophy for the Hurricanes. This season however Ward is in the top ten for stats in almost every single ca...

Getting To Know NHL Player Agent Scott Norton

Most people don’t look fondly upon agents of professional athletes. In fact, the general consensus is that agents are only interested in procuring as much money as possible for their clients in order to maximize their own profits. NHL player agent Scott Norton of Norton Sports Management doesn’t mind the stigma surrounding his profession. “I’m always gonna be the bad guy,” he told the Checking Line in a recent interview. “If you look at it, there’s no way that I can make everyone happy. The client, the team, the fan…you can’t please everyone.” As far as Norton is concerned, his number one interest is to represent his clients in the best possible light. He wou...

NHL Recap and Analysis Week 11 - Between the Pipes

Hotlanta – The Thrashers, for a night anyway, found themselves in first place in the Southeast division proving just how far they have come this season. The deal with the Blackhawks this offseason has been instrumental to their success. Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd are currently the Thrashers' leading scorers. They also bring a winning experience to the team something the Thrashers haven't really had, unless you count Slava Kozlov. It seems likely that with Ladd and Byfulgein and Ondrej Pavelec's solid goaltending the Thrashers will make the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like Atlanta cares much, as the Thrashers have the third worst attend...

NHL Recap and Analysis Week 10 - Between the Pipes

Time for some changes – Of the four major sports in North America it always seems like hockey is the slowest to adopt new changes. It could be because of the steep tradition and hockey traditionalist that don't like changes but sometimes you just need to evolve the game. Watching games from this past Wednesday illustrated that point. First in Flyers vs. Sharks you had the Flyers seemingly win the game in the final seconds but it was ruled no goal because it just missed crossing the goal line before time expired. In basketball when a player shoots a ball after the clock expires it still counts as long as he got the shot off before time runs out. They don't say well time expired before th...

Book Review: The Little Book of Hockey Sweaters

A trip to Chapters inevitably means a browse through the bargain section. Through the years I've been able to find some real gems. Of course I'm looking for hockey books. On my last trip to Chapters I was able to secure the The Little Book of Hockey Sweaters. This is another contribution to the hockey book bibliography by the prolific Andrew Podnieks and illustrated by Roy Hynes. Seeing as the price was only $3.99 this was a win-win situation. The book is aptly named. It is a little book, tiny as a matter of fact, however the stories are interesting.
The premise of the book is to explain the origins of certain players jersey numbers. For example when Kevin Weekes was traded to the ...

NHL Recap and Analysis Week 9 - Between the Pipes

Beasts of the East – Good luck figuring out the Western Conference because you really can't. In the Eastern Conference it's a lot simpler. Eight teams of course get into the playoffs but there's only five teams that really have a chance. They are conveniently 1 through 5 in the standings currently. Tampa Bay and Atlanta have a shot but I don't think their teams are complete enough yet. Unlike last year, don't expect the top three seeds to get dumped. Illustrating the point that last year was no fluke, the 6th (Boston), 7th (Philadelphia) and 8th (Montreal) seeds are currently 5th 4th and 3rd respectively. While the teams they upset (New Jersey and Buffalo), except Washington, are curren...

Coach's Corner April 18, 1999

I happened to stumble upon this in my collection... It's a special edition of Coach's Corner that aired on the day of Wayne Gretzky's final NHL game as a player. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPfot_tdKpM

NHL Recap and Analysis Week 8 - Between The Pipes

A mile high worth of injuries – The physical toll of a grinding hockey schedule takes down many skilled players every year. Five teams have five or more players currently on injured reserve. The Avalanche, Islanders, Flames and Wild each have five. The Devils have six. While Zach Parise is obviously the biggest named of the IR bunch, I would have to say the Avalanche are the most hit of all the teams. Most improved goalie of last year Craig Anderson was on injured reserve for a few weeks and then was finally brought back up, only to be injured again in his 2nd game back. Anderson is currently on injured reserve again for his groin, though his duration this time should be less than last ...

NHL Needs To Quit Coddling Losers

This one’s been bothering me for a while, so excuse me if I sound a bit harsh. I don’t mind the shootout – on the contrary, I think it’s pretty damn entertaining. After sixty-five minutes of battling for pucks in the corners, momentum swings back and forth, and countless missed opportunities, your top players have the chance to steal a win for the team with a couple dazzling moves. After all, pressure like that can really bring out the best in an athlete. (Or worst, see: Ilya Kovalchuk) That being said, I love overtime even more. It’s infinitely better than the ass-on-the-edge-of-your-seat feeling. In fact, I can’t even sit down during the extra stanza. I fe...