December 21 2016 10:00AM
Assuming the Calgary Flames elect to protect one goalie, three defencemen, and seven forwards in June's expansion draft, the team is going to face one tough decision: who should that seventh protected forward be?
While I think there might be some debate among Flames fans, the decision is pretty clear to me. Of the possibilities, Micheal Ferland makes the most sense to be Calgary's final protected player.
December 20 2016 01:02PM
There was a somewhat recent episode of the NBA podcast The Lowe Post with Zach Lowe that gave me a lot to think about with regards to NHL and its changes in era. The early portion of the episode centered around teams adapting to relatively new playing styles and systems, like that of the Golden State Warriors, among others, and how the league will respond (or is responding now) - sort of "correcting itself" in a sense.
December 20 2016 11:48AM
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS
Young Frederik Gauthier steps into the defensive zone faceoff circle against Ryan Kesler. Zach Hyman just responded to an admittedly rough situation by punching a guy, which the referees didn't like, putting the Leafs on a crucial penalty kill. Give up a goal, and the team is in huge trouble.
Kesler assembles his group the way he wants them. He knows that the four players Toronto have placed on the ice; Gauthier, Connor Brown, Roman Polak, and Matt Hunwick, aren't mobile enough to conclusively win a race if the play doesn't work out. He also knows that Gauthier doesn't have a ton of experience against him at the dot and that his handedness is just right for this set play.
The puck drops and Kesler wins the faceoff clean. Nobody knows what's going on. Cam Fowler skates into a now-open one-timer and blasts the puck past Frederik Andersen. 3-2 Ducks.
December 19 2016 02:56PM
It's time for your weekly dose of the NHL Numbers power rankings, a weekly look on the previous week in the NHL. I'll look at the five best and worst NHL teams thus far in the season, as well as the three best and worst players in the last week.
Note: All use of Corsi For and Expected Goals For are Score and Venue Adjusted, and at even strength. All stats come from Corsica Hockey, and NHL.com (don't worry, it's only the standings).
Watch The Game Podcast
December 19 2016 02:36PM
Cam and Sam welcomed Hockey Historian and Laurentian University History Professor Mike Commito to the show to discuss the NHL's first season, centennial celebration, and an all-time draft.