October 15, 2011


It is still very early in this new NHL season and guessing the outcome of games is still a roll of the dice.  Seeing that the NHL has a packed slate tonight we consulted our magic eight ball to give us some insight into what we might expect when the boys hit the ice.

The Leafs are first on our list as they take on the Flames tonight.  Reimer looks hot  so we will give this one to the Leafs.  Calgary did beat Montreal but this could have given the Flames an undeserved feeling of accomplishment.  Carey Price was like Swiss cheese and the Habs were nursing many injured players.  The Leafs don't have to contend with a serious injury issue so we will give the victory to the Leafs for this match up.  

Speaking of Montreal, they take on Colorado tonight.  Montreal will probably underestimate this team and rack up another loss.  The Avalanche are gaining strength from game to game and if they get to Price early; this game will be  a lopsided contest. If the Habs fall behind early in this game, it will shake the confidence of the team playing in front of Price. Price is like god in Montreal but he can't do it alone.  He needs help on defense and the defense needs confidence to play all three periods even if they are behind on the scoreboard.

We like the Islanders over the Rangers in a NYC match up.  Tavares should take most of the offensive load for the Islanders and a strong performance from Montoya will result in a victory for the boys from Long Island.  This game is important for the Islanders.  They have a young team and young teams are prone to momentum be it good or bad.  

Washington is taking on Ottawa in a NHL battle of capitals.  This match up doesn't seem fair to us. Ottawa is still looking to find its own footing and they could crumble easily in the face of an onslaught by the young snipers from the Capitals. Boudreau has a squad full of offensive dynamite versus a Senators bench which under performs on the best of nights.

The Penguins will confront the Sabres in what could be the tightest game of the night.  We like Buffalo in this matchup.  They had a strong start in Europe and they should rebound nicely against the Penguins which are still looking for direction.

Anyway you cut it, it is going to be a heck of a night for hockey. Enjoy boys and girls !!!

From Teammates to Enemies: Calgary vs. Toronto

In the first all Canadian match up of the night the visiting Calgary Flames (1-2-0) take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (2-0-0) at 7PM ET on CBC. The Flames corrected a two game losing streak to start the season with a 4-1 win over Montreal Thursday.  With wins over Montreal and Ottawa the Leafs have started strong for a second straight season but can they keep it up? 

Making their season debuts Clarke MacArthur, back from suspension, and Cody Franson, healthy scratch, will look to add to the winning start.  For Franson this is a huge game to show why he deserves to be in the lineup on a regular basis. MacArthur hopes to build on the chemistry that was developed last season with line mates Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin, all recording career highs in goals and assists. 

Alex Tanguay has started hot with 4 assists so far not to mention the strong game in Montreal from Rene Bourque and his 3 goals on the year.  Jarome Iginla, who finished with a strong season last year, will look to lead the Flames in their hopes of keeping pace in the always-strong Western Conference

Calgary Flames 2003 1st round draft pick Dion Phaneuf will look to make an impact against his former team who ultimately gave up on him, which he has clearly used as motivation since he was traded to Toronto.  Matthew Lombardi, also a former Flame, has returned to action quicker than expected and will expect to build on the success of his last two games. Matt Stajan, Nikolas Hagman and Lee Stempniak will be returning to Toronto to face their old team.  With so many personal connections to this game, the compete level will be up there and look to expect an intense game.

Whatever team you support, these are two teams with a lot of questions that will make this an interesting Saturday night battle.

By: Liam Niven

October 14, 2011


The new NHL season has been an eye opener for many NHL fans.  The mighty Bruins have looked mediocre at best and the Canucks are feeling the heat to keep up with the Jones'.  The pressure of past successes is a problem for both these squad and unfortunately for their fans, a tumble from the top can be much more pronounced than a rise to the top.  It is really a what have you done for me lately world when it comes to NHL hockey.

Habs fans are used to irregular play from their team.  This year is no exception.  Price which looked brilliant against the Jets was very soft against the Leafs and even worse against the Flames.  Price needs to be a rock in order for the Habs to have a legitimate chance at being a presence in the competitive East.  Montreal fans want and demand better.  Heads will roll at mid season if these boys are still playing like they did against Calgary.

The Avalanche are one of the big surprises in this new season.  This young squad is racking up wins and it looks like smart moves in the net will pay off for Colorado this year. It is still very early in the year but stranger things have been known to happen; we like Colorado so far.  The Avalanche remind us of the Blackhawks squad before they made they their run for the Cup.

Finally, everyone knows by now that we are big fans of the Capitals.  This looks to us like it could be their year.  The likes of Green of Ovechkin are ready to put their names on the NHL's top prize.  This year it looks like Washington could finally get a winner.  Look out Barrack !!!  The Caps are in town !!!    

Thursday Night NHL Round Up

The Devils beat the Kings 2-1 after penalties in what was a game all about the netminders. Brodeur suffered a shoulder injury in the 1st period that saw him replaced by Hedberg for the remainder of the game. He fended off all 16 shots he faced after Gagne had put the puck past Brodeur early on before suffering his injury. At the other end Jonathon Quick was the star of the game making 36 saves of 37 shots but failing to stop the Devils in the shootout – his first loss on them for over a season after a 10-0 record last time round.

In Long Island the New York Islanders thumped the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1, with John Tavares leading the way with a 2+2 evening. The Islanders took the 1st period 4-1 and completed the scoring 7 minutes into the 2nd, at which point former Islander Dwayne Roloson was pulled from the net. Tavares missed most of the 3rd period with cramp in his quad – if he had played that period and remained on fire he could have bolstered his points production further!

The Bell Centre was another hockey arena to see a lot of 1st period action last night. Unfortunately for the home fans it was the Calgary Flames who were amongst the goals as they took a 3-1 1st period lead and went on to complete a 4-1 victory over the Canadiens. Miikka Kiprusoff in the Flames net winning to overtake Mike Vernon as the Flames netminder with the most wins for the franchise.

In Pittsburgh it was a much closer game as the visiting Capitals edged out the home team in OT. It was Washington’s 3rd straight victory at the start of the season with all 3 being won in the extra OT period. Denis Wideman this time got the game winning goal on the powerplay after Washington had spent a lot of time during regulation shutting down the powerplay offense of Pittsburgh. The good news for the home team was that Malkin returned to the line up and earlier in the day it had been announced that Crosby could now take part in full contact training sessions.

Phoenix got their first win of the season at the expense of Nashville, who suffered their first defeat. Another game that was won in the 1st period as the Coyotes took a 3-0 lead and never looked back, both teams exchanging goals in the 2nd and 3rd for a 5-2 Coyotes victory.

Minnesota Wild managed a 2-1 via a shoot out against the Edmonton Oilers. Both the Oilers opening games have now been decided via penalty shots with them coming out with a 1-1 record in them. Khabibulin was the star for the Oilers making 35 saves, 14 of them in the 3rd period as the Wild outshot the visitors in that final period 14-1.

Winnipeg’s 1st road game of the season and only game against the Blackhawks saw them narrowly defeated 4-3. The Jets had taken an early 2-0 lead in the 1st period only to see the Blackhawks tie them 2-2 by the end of it and take a 4-2 lead by the midway point of the 2nd. Jim Slater getting the Jets off to that flying start with his first 2 goals of the season. Winnipeg did make it 4-3 before the end of the 2nd with Kyle Wellwood getting his first for the club but the game remained at that scoreline.

In Dallas it was Kari Lehtonen again who was star of the show as he faced a lot of rubber (38 shots to be precise) and managed to fend off 36 of them in a 3-2 win for the Stars. Dallas had taken a 3-0 lead in the 2nd only for the Blues to make a spirited comeback and by the early stages of the 3rd period they were only chasing a 1 goal deposit. However, that chase never came to fruition and the Stars held on for their win.

That leaves Colorado and Ottawa as the last game not covered yet here on Get Real Hockey – Hopefully I will bring you an indepth report on that game later in the day!

by Adam Yates

Red Wings Destroy Canucks 2-0 - Post Game Wrap Up

The 1st meeting this season of the big 2 in the west took place Thursday night. Corey Schneider got the start at the Joe Louis for the Canucks whilst Jimmy Howard returned between the pipes for the Redwings.

After a quiet opening to the game which saw both teams kill 2 minute minors, LaPierre  and Abdelkader decided to try and liven it up on the 7 minute mark as the gloves came off. Abdelkader got the better on this one with LaPierre taking some big whacks as he got caught on his knees.

Burrows had the 1st great chance of the 2nd period as he got behind the Detroit defence and went 1 on 1 against Howard. A pretty weak shot straight at the Redwings netminder and he fought the puck off easily.
Detroit took the lead just over 8 minutes into the 2nd as Justin Abdelkader beat Schneider on the short side after a fantastic cross ice pace from Todd Bertuzzi found him skating in all alone infront of the Canucks goal.
Filuppla made it 2-0 around 2 minutes later as he and Franzen exchanged passes and Filuppla fired a quickly released shot that went in over Schneider’s glove. It was all Detroit in the 2nd period as they created chance after chance, Schneider remaining strong in the Vancouver net to keep the score down.

The Canucks thought they were back in the game right on the buzzer to the end of the 2nd period but a long range punt at the net that Howard let squeak through his body didn’t get over the line before the 0’s got on the clock and it was rightly called that time had expired before it crossed the line.

The third period was more even as the Canucks managed to play their way back into the game without being a major threat on the Detroit goal. Both teams had powerplay chances they couldn’t take advantage of, Detroit especially poor with the 1 man advantage as they went 0-15 on the PP so far in the season.
With 6 minutes left in the 3rd Alexander Burrows had a glorious opportunity to make it a 1 goal game as he had a wide open goal to put the puck into but only managed to find the bar as a sprawling Howard was beaten all ends up.

The Canucks pulled Schneider with well over 2 minutes left on the game but to no avail as the Redwings saw the remainder of the game out and came away with a 2-0 win, their 2nd shut out in a row.

Jimmy Howard saw off all 25 shots on goal to earn him my star of the game. A solid performance at the start of the game when the game was still 0-0 which enabled the Redwings to build towards a solid shut out win.
The Canucks struggle again and now have a 1-2-1 record to start the season whilst the Redwings start with an impressive 3-0 record, posting back to back shut outs in the process.

By Adam Yates

Johan "Moose" Hedberg Carries the Devils over the Kings

They may not have kept the name in Manitoba but in New Jersey they love “The Moose.”  Johan Hedberg, who helped the Devils second half surge last season, was called upon once again to relieve an injured Martin Brodeur.  In doing so, Hedberg helped guide New Jersey to its second consecutive victory on the young season.

Yet it was the Los Angeles Kings and former Devils nemesis from his Philadelphia Flyers days, Simon Gagne, who struck first early in the first period. Gagne was able to take a pass from Justin Williams and off the backhand, stuff it by Brodeur for the 1-0 edge.

Midway through the first, New Jersey would break through.  Patrik Elias was able to lift home a loose rebound out front, past Jonathan Quick to square the game at one.  Petr Sykora and Zach Parise were credited with the assists.

However, as mentioned late in the first, Brodeur diving to protect an open net, apparently injured his right shoulder.  While he would tough out the first frame, stopping 10-of-11 shots faced, Brodeur wouldn’t return.

In the second and third frames, Hedberg and Quick continued their yeoman’s work between the pipes.  Quick made 36 saves, while Hedberg turned away all 16 sent his way.

As the game progressed to a shootout, a couple of nifty tallies by Ilya Kovalchuk and Parise were the difference makers, as Hedberg held his ground for the 2-1 Devils victory over the Kings.

by Michael Gwizdala