November 13 2015 08:00AM
Coming into the season, the Habs weren't one of the names that usually popped up when discussing legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. Even though they had a 50 win season and finished first in the Atlantic Division, they were viewed more as a team who relied primarily on amazing goaltending to be successful rather than being a strong all-around team. Now, a month into the season, the Habs are one of the top teams in the league not only because they boast fantastic goaltending, but because they're scoring at an elite pace.
In the short-term, the Habs look like a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, and thanks to the way they've managed their contracts, they're also set up nicely for the long-term.
Nation World HQ
November 13 2015 06:45AM
Sedins beating father time, Tootoo says Burrows crossed the line, Stamkos agent gives contract update, Andrew Ladd negotiations, cap and waiver concerns for Flames, Oilers defense rebuilt, Taylor Hall, Alex Ovechkin, fantasy hockey and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings
November 12 2015 08:30AM
Twitter went ablaze on Wednesday evening when The Hockey Godfather let it be known that the Detroit Red Wings were close to locking UFA-to-be Justin Abdelkader up to a long-term deal. This wasn't necessary a new revelation given that we've been hearing inklings about a potential extension for a while now, but the details themselves are so grotesque that the news produced a double take anyways.
Any way you slice it, there doesn't really appear to be an uplifting angle for the Red Wings and their fans here, especially with it coming off of the heels of a summer in which teams generally seemed to have smartened up with regards to these sorts of transactions. I'm not sure if it was pride or admiration, but whatever it is, I felt it after nary a team backed up the Brinks truck for one-year wonder Matt Beleskey to the degree I suspected they might.
I don't think that the Red Wings should get off scot-free here just because of the mystique they've generated as an organization with their sustained success in the past. This won't end well for them.
November 11 2015 08:00AM
Alex Ovechkin, who just turned 30 in September, is already in the top 50 goal scorers in NHL history.
He’s been playing in the league since the 2005-06 season and only three active players, Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla, and Marian Hossa, have scored more goals in their career than he has. He’s sitting at 483 career goals in 774 career games and his last goal tied him with 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Sergei Fedorov for most goals scored in the NHL by a Russian. The incredible thing, though, is the fact that Fedorov scored 483 goals in 1,248 games, meaning Ovechkin accomplished the feat in 476 fewer games.
There’s really no doubt at all that Ovechkin is one of the greatest goal scorers of all time. But just how good is he? Can we actually put him in that category with the likes of Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy, Howe, and Hull? Might he be the best of the bunch when it’s all said and done? Is there any chance he can finish his career as the NHL’s all time goal scoring champion?
November 10 2015 11:47AM
For a while there, the Washington Capitals were the NHL’s preeminent cautionary tale for how quickly the outlook and fortunes of a team can change. They were the living embodiment of the dangers of succumbing to the human impulse for overreacting to the variance rooted in small sample sizes.
As quickly as they had built up the offensive juggernaut that was tearing through the league during the regular season from 2008 to 2011, they tore it all down following one too many premature playoff exits. In a misguided effort to bolster their chances come the postseason they turned their back on their greatest attributes - a high-octane group oozing with skill - and opted for a more conservative, defensive-minded approach.
While the initial returns were seemingly promising given that they came within just one game of their first Conference Final appearance since ‘98 under Dale Hunter, they eventually fell flat on their collective faces once the underlying issues that had been accumulating manifested themselves.