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Archive for the 'Ian Cass' Category

Ups and Downs of the NHL Playoffs

Posted by Blake Murphy on April 30, 2021

PhotobucketThis article has been submitted by Ian Cass.

Both my second year of university and the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are now in the books. Even though I can’t say the same for my exams, I can’t complain at all about the action we saw in round one. There were nine overtime games, three game sevens, and the Sens got a good old-fashioned ass whooping. There were some great performances and some unlikely heroes, and also some disappointments. To recap the first round, I have put together a list of the “Top 10 Ups” and the “Top 10 Downs” from round one.
More after the jump!

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NHL Western Conference Playoff Preview

Posted by Blake Murphy on April 9, 2021

This article has been submitted by Ian Cass. You can also check out the Eastern Conference.

Now we move to the West for the second preview of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The winner of the Western Conference will, in all likelihood, be your Stanley Cup champion. There are three divisional match ups here, which should make for some heated competition. Again, the record shown is in the past 10 games. Let’s get it started!
More after the jump!

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Eastern Conference Playoff Preview (NHL)

Posted by Blake Murphy on April 8, 2021

This article has been submitted by Ian Cass.

The Playoffs are here. Ovechkin is here. What more could we ask for?

This is part one of a two-part preview of the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I am starting with the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference will follow. Each preview starts with the teams listed along with their conference seeding and record in the last ten games of the regular season. “The Edge” is a preview of which team has the advantage in the season series and different aspects of the game. I have included a short series preview for each of the four match ups and then my prediction for the series. And bring on the comments!
More after the jump!

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Shape Up, Long John. We Miss You Out There.

Posted by Blake Murphy on April 1, 2021

This article has been submitted by Ian Cass.

Shape up Long John. We miss you out there.

In 1991, a relatively unknown rookie entered PGA Championship week as the eight and final alternate. Come Sunday afternoon, he found himself raising the Wanamaker trophy high above his mullet. Since this famous “zero to hero” victory, John Daly has been one of the most entertaining and charismatic characters in the world of sports. He has the most recognizable and unique swing the game has every seen (sorry Jim Furyk), he bombs it off the tee, he never lays up or plays it safe, he interacts with the fans, and he has incredible touch in and around the greens for someone of his…let’s go with…physique. But unfortunately for Long John, these are not the qualities that have defined his career.

“There are probably some things I could do to keep my flexibility up, but I’d rather smoke, drink Diet Cokes and eat.”
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Underrated Players in the NHL: Just the Start of a Much Longer List

Posted by Blake Murphy on March 17, 2021

This article has been submitted by Ian Cass.

Sydney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin will be the face of the NHL for years to come. These guys are serious game breakers. But I’m not here to talk about them. Even though they deserve every lick of praise they get, they certainly get enough of it in the hockey world. On the other hand, there are too many NHL players who don’t get the credit they deserve. In a game that is often too fixated on numbers, there are a lot of impact players out there who go relatively unnoticed. Even though I don’t like the term “underrated” because it leaves too much open for interpretation, I’m going to throw it out there regardless. These guys are underrated, and it is about time that they started getting a piece of the limelight.

I’m limiting the list to six since I could go on all day with this. You may disagree with some of my selections so please, feel free to let me know and also add players to the list! I’m just getting it started.
More after the jump!

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Thoughts on the New NHL

Posted by Blake Murphy on March 5, 2021

This article has been submitted by Ian Cass, who I couldn’t agree with more.

Since the year of the lockout in 2004/2005, the NHL’s on-ice product has improved beyond measure. In the so-called “New NHL,” there is a premium on speed and skill instead of size and grit, allowing the smaller skill players who used to be pushed aside to flourish. With the crackdown on obstruction and the elimination of the two-line pass whistle, the big and slow players are the ones falling by the wayside. Quick and mobile defensemen like Brian Campbell, Dan Boyle, and Brian Rafalski have become some of the NHL’s most valuable assets. To stop Gaborik, Kovalchuk, and Ovechkin, you can’t hook them; you have to skate with them. The NHL has adapted an explosive and exciting European style while maintaining the intensity and competition we all love. Disagree? Well then you didn’t watch last year’s playoffs.

Even though poker and So You Think You Can Dance reruns top the NHL in the US TV ratings, hockey is good. In fact, it’s as good as it’s ever been. There is an unprecedented pool of young talent, the salary cap is keeping small market teams in the hunt, and the rule changes have been effective in producing a more entertaining product.

On the topic of rule changes, there is more to come. I’m not talking about radical changes like making the nets bigger or moving to an international ice surface. I’m talking about addressing some fundamental flaws that just don’t make sense. There are four of them, and I will break them down for you.
More after the jump!

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Beasts of the…West? The Post-Deadline NHL

Posted by Blake Murphy on February 29, 2021

This article has been submitted by the debuting Ian Cass. Welcome, Ian.

For years, we have come to expect Western Conference domination in the NBA. In fact, since the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the nineties, the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs have claimed seven of nine championships. The NHL, on the other hand, has admirably avoided falling into a similar trend. Since the Montreal Canadiens’ championship victory in 1993 as members of the Prince of Wales Conference, the East and West have shared the hardware winning six and seven cups, respectively. But thus far in the 07/08 season, the West has clearly emerged as the cream of the NHL’s crop.

Detroit, Anaheim, Dallas, San Jose, Minnesota, and Calgary can all take on the best the East has to offer in a seven game series. Although a large part of the difference can be attributed to the superior goaltending in the West, the teams are deeper from top to bottom. One of these Western teams, however, stands out from the pack and will not be beat in the playoffs (more on that later). First, let’s take a closer look at the deadline.

With another 24 deals and 48 hours of continuous TSN deadline coverage come and gone, some impact players have found new homes.
More after the jump!

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