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.
November 07 2015 02:51PM
We're one month into the NHL season and the league's contenders and pretenders are starting to take shape. The Ducks got off to a horrific start, and Coyotes came blazing out of the gate, but now Arizona is trending downwards while the Anaheim is moving up — the world seems normal again.
On the seventh of every month, I'm going to go through and break down each team in the league, determining which teams are legitimate and which ones aren't, who's had terrible luck and who's riding something unsustainable to success, and where each team is likely to finish the season. Yes, you can look at the league's standings to see who's doing well and who isn't, but there's more to success than just a team's record.
Nation World HQ
November 06 2015 06:45AM
Connor McDavid out indefinitely, trading Lupul will be hard for Leafs, a prank on Vancouver rookies, some Flames optimism, firing coaches, Jay Onrait, fantasy hockey and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.
November 05 2015 11:45AM
What happened to Connor McDavid in Tuesday night's game against the Flyers was a real punch to the gut. And that's coming from someone who has doesn't have anything resembling any ties or allegiances to the Edmonton Oilers franchise. Purely as a fan of hockey, it's nothing short of regrettable that we're going to be deprived of seeing and enjoying someone who has instantly become one of the most fun players in the league to watch for at least a couple of months.
November 04 2015 10:42AM
There has been quite a bit of deliberation amongst the hockey community over the past few years as to whether the likes of Brent Burns and Dustin Byfuglien are better suited up front as forwards or on the blueline as defencemen. The fact that there’s even a worthwhile discussion to be had is a testament to how freakishly gifted and unique those two players are, that they can be effective in both circumstances.
While I think there’s little to no doubt at this point that the latter is a far more valuable weapon on the back-end, Burns’ most optimal deployment is a slightly less cut-and-dried situation.