September 21 2016 09:52AM
Team North America lost a heartbreaker to Russia in their previous game, completely outshooting and outchancing Ovechkin and pals in the final frame only to come up one goal short. The upstart young stars team has been full value so far this tournament, providing entertaining, high-octane hockey that puts their opponents on their heels.
The kids face a stiff test in Team Sweden today, however. The Swede's roster is filled with NHL stars, both of the grizzled vet and young star variety. Sweden's blueline is especially imposing, featuring Erik Karlsson, Hampus Lindholm, Victor Hedman, Oliver Ekman-Larrson and Anton Stralman.
Team North America started to look like a Cinderella story in the making after an impressive start to the tournament. Can they get past Sweden today or does the fairy tale end?
September 21 2016 09:42AM
After a convincing 4-1 win against Finland to open the tournament, our favorite bunch of scrappy kids ran into a 4-3 loss to the Russians on Monday night. It's true that Russia got a few lucky bounces -- namely, the goal that Matt Murray knocked into his own net and the puck that came off the glass and landed right in front of Nikita Kucherov, who wasted no time burying it. However, that's not to take away from anything Russia did last night.
Russia played well. They especially took over the game in that second period where they scored four goals, and that three-goal lead proved to be too much for the young guns to overcome.
Even if you're pulling hard for North America -- and many of us are, I'm sure -- it wasn't the sort of loss that left a bad taste in your mouth. The game was fast-paced, chock-full of exciting plays on both sides, and had spectators on the edge of their seats all the way to the final whistle.
Of course, there's always going to be second-guessing in any loss, and in this particular game, questions from fans and media members seemed to be largely centered on Todd McLellan's decision to shorten his bench after going down 4-1 in the second period.
September 21 2016 09:00AM
A few weeks ago, I completed an exercise using pGPS to look at the UFA prospects then Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis signed during his tenure at the time of their signings.
Seeing the have and have nots in terms of NHL potential proved an interesting endeavour. Unsurprisingly, Chris Tanev checked out as one of the better-rated prospects of the group when viewed through the lens of pGPS (Prospect Graduation Probabilities System) at the time of his signing.
In the comment section, and on Twitter, there were requests to do all of Mike Gillis's draft classes. Well, ask and you shall receive. Today's post will kick off a week-long series reviewing the 2008-13 draft classes with pGPS.
Before we dive in, let's make it clear that this isn't a comparison between the previous regime and the current one. This is simply an exercise of looking back to see how those draft classes would've looked using the tools we have available to us now.
September 20 2016 09:39PM
Canada vs USA, in Toronto with a chance to go 2-0 against a long time rival, what an exciting game to be had, one may have thought. But while the fast paced hockey from both sides excited the building and the livings rooms of Canadian fans, one team came out on top by a considerable landslide and no close and exciting game was to be had.
Chris the Intern
September 20 2016 03:30PM
The Oilers invited Eric Gryba to a professional tryout on September 2nd. Nearly three weeks later, Gryba finally accepted the offer, and will now be attending the Oilers training camp come Thursday. Gryba's grit and toughness make him an excellent depth defenceman, and would very much help the Oilers this season. Along with Gryba, the Oilers have signed six other players to PTO contracts this summer. Let's take a look at the options.