December 17, 2011

Blackhawks and Panthers Are Sneaking up on the Wild

The race atop of the NHL standings is really heating up.  The Wild continue their Cinderella run but they are now tied at the top with the Blackhawks.  The Cinderella tag may not be enough for the Wild to stave off all comers.  We think the Blackhawks are the obvious threat to the Wild for first place and we like the Panthers and give them an outside chance of reaching number one.

Both teams are similar in that they have a good veteran core complimented with solid young talent.  The steamroller in Chicago is chugging along led by the usual suspects including Toews, Sharp, Hossa, and Kane.  Toews is playing so well at both ends of the ice that he looks like the favorite for the MVP title in the NHL.  I am sure the Hawks Captain would gladly give that award up for another Stanley Cup ring.  He might yet get his chance.   Joel Quennville has got his boys flying because he knows how to relate to his players.  He has their respect because he took them to the last Cup win and he knows how to win.  It also helps that he was in the NHL for years and which helps him identify the hot points to motivate his team.

The Panthers are also led by an NHL vet in Kevin Dineen.  Just like the Hawks' coach; Dineen can relate to his players and he has the team clicking and threatening for number one. The Panthers made some good moves in the post season and they are paying off. Kris Versteeg is arguably their best acquisition.  Versteeg ,who played for the Hawks when they won the Cup, has a +/- of +17 and he has scored 17 goals.   We think Florida could surprise if Boston cools down and the Wild's Cinderella clock strike midnight.  The Flyers are without Giroux and Pronger now so they are a lame ducks.  Now is the time for Florida to turn it on and start chasing Chicago and the Wild.

QMJHL Report for December 16th

QMJHL Report for December 16th

Friday night was busy in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as there were 8 games on the schedule. The top 2 teams were in action as the 1st Place Quebec Remparts hosted the last place PEI Rocket and Saint John traveled to Cape Breton to take on the Screeming Eagles.

PEI Rocket (8-23-4) 3 @ Quebec Remparts (27-6-3) 8
PEI Stayed with the Remparts in the first period as the score was tie 3-3, but Quebec proved to be too strong and pulled away in the second scoring 3 more times and out shooting the Rocket 16-6. Owen Werthner led the Remparts with a goal and 2 assists. Ryan Culkin, Mikhail Grigorenko and Frederick Roy each chipped in with a goal and an assist. Patrick Walsh, Alexandre Comtois, Mikael Tam and Adam Erne rounded out the scoring for the Remparts. Ben Duffy had 2 goals for PEI and Louick Marcotte the other.

Saint John Sea Dogs (27-10-1) 4 @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (14-21-1) 3Mathieu Corbeil picked up his 21 win of the season by turning away 28 of 31 shots and Saint John got goals from Scott Oke (2), Zack Phillips and Kevin Gagne. Dannick Gauthier had 2 assists. Logan Shaw (2) and William Carrier replied for Cape Breton. Phillippe Trudeau had 22 saves in a losing effort.

Halifax Mooseheads (22-10-3) 2 @ Moncton Wildcats (17-17-2) 0Zachary Fucale made 29 saves to earn the shut out and Brad Cuzner, assisted by Alexandre Cote,  scored the game winner 9:23 into the third period to secure the 2 points for the Mooseheads. Cameron Critchlow from Darcy Ashley scored into the empty net with 10 seconds remaining. Roman Will made 34 saves in the loss.

Gatineau Olympiques (16-15-5) 2 @ Drummondville Voltigeurs (14-17-5) 5Olivier Archambault had a three point night with a goal and 2 assists and Dominic Graham made 30 saves in the win. Charlie Connell and Jonathan Oligny both had 2 assists. Rounding out the scoring for Drummondville was Simon Tardif-Richard, Maxime Villemaire, Bryce Milson and Marc-Olivier Brouillard. Jean-Gabriel Pageau 1 & 1 and Tomas Hyka replied for Gatineau.

Baie-Comeau Drakkar(18-15-2) 4 @ Victoriaville Tigres (21-12-2) 1Raphael Bussieres scored twice and Samuel Carrier had a goal and 2 assists as the Drakkar defeated the Victoriaville Tigres. Jonathan Lessard scored the other goal for Baie-Comeau and Tomas Filippi with 2 and Carl Gelinas had the assists. Philippe Halley scored an unassisted marker for Victoriaville.

Chicoutimi Sagueneens (16-11-8) 1 @ Rimouski Oceanic (21-17-0) 6Rimouski’s offence was sparked by Alexander Mallet’s 5 point performance. Mallet scored a hat trick, 2 on the power play, and single markers went to Jerome Leduc-Gauthier, Francis Beauvillier and Alexandre Tanguay. Alex Belzile had 4 assists. Chicoutimi could only get 1 past goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard, despite firing 34 shots in his direction. Jeremy Gregoire was the only succesful shooter.

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (19-14-2) 4 @ Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (12-24-2) 3
The scoring didn’t start until late in the second period as the Armada capitalized on a power play oppurtunity with a goal by Raphael Pouliot. The third period saw six goals by six different players and Etienne Marcoux picked up the win over Robin Gusse.

Shawinigan Cataractes (29-9-4) 3 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs (15-18-4) 1Shawinigan used goals by Yannick Veilleux, Justin Hache and Bronson Beaton to get past the Foreurs. Thierry Comtois scored and Francois Tremblay made 31 saves in a losing effort.

Saturday night sees 5 games on the schedule with 2 4pm starts. PEI is in Rimouski and Acadie-Bathurst is in Victoriaville. At 7pm Baie-Comeau plays Gatineau, Shawinigan is in Rouyn-Noranda and Blainville-Boisbriand is in Val-d’Or.

Mike Lord

Sea Dogs Ink Coyle

Charlie Coyle has decided to leave Boston University for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Defending Memorial Cup Champions, Saint John Sea Dogs, announced that they have signed the highly touted prospect from East Weymouth, Mass. This gives the Sea Dogs 4 first round picks and they should be a force once the World Junior Championships are over.

Coyle was selected 28th overall by the San Jose Sharks in 2010 and was traded along with Devin Setoguchi and a 2011 first round pick to the Minnesota Wild, last summer for Brent Burns. Minnesota used that pick on Saint John forward Zack Phillips. Jonathan Huberdeau and Nathan Beaulieu are the other first round picks and are also at the Under 20 tournament representing Canada.

At 19 years old and 6'2"  207 pounds Coyle projects to be a power forward type player with offensive upside. In his year and a half at BU Coyle put up 40 points in 53 games and he led team USA at last years World Juniors with 6 points in 6 games in winning a bronze Medal.

Saint John currently sits second in the QMJHL standing 2 points behind the Quebec Remparts, however Jonathan Huberdeau, arguably Saint Johns best player, has been out since November 7th with a fractured foot and started skating with team Canada this week.

- Mike Lord

Phil Kessel joins us on Facebook with the likes of Ryan Kesler and Claude Giroux

Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs has joined the GetRealhockey family by joining the Facebook friends list of our sister site TGW.  You can check out the Facebook link @

The list of NHL stars on this Facebook link has been growing daily.  Since this story ran on our site other NHL stars like Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieska have also joined the list.

If you look at the friends list carefully you will see our friends include NHL agents and NHL head office and ownership personnel. If you are a blogger and want visibility to real hockey stars and NHL people you might want to consider writing for our blog.  If you have a favorite NHL team and want to be heard; please email us @

Jacques Martin Falls in Montreal but Markov, Gomez, and Kaberle Remain ??

Looks like the curtain has finally fallen on the Habs circus; at least for coach Jacques Martin.  The beat goes on in Montreal and the unusual moves by Pierre Gauthier continue.  Just a short time after getting Tomas Kaberle in an unexpected trade from Carolina; the Habs put the coach on the chopping block and Martin is history.   
The move to fire the coach was not unexpected but questions remain.  The trade for Kaberle and the fact that Gomez and Markov are still riding the pine with their big salaries calls into question the management skills at the top level in Montreal.  Management never owned up to mistakes that were made with Markov and tried to mask it by getting the highly paid but under performing Kaberle. The ship is sinking fast in Montreal and Gauthier is hiding behind PR stunts to shield the obvious.  This guy is not being upfront with Habs fans.  The Habs have officially entered a rebuilding period and chances of real competitiveness are years away.  Salary cap issues have got this team tied in knots thanks to the three horsemen of the financial apocalypse (Markov,Gomez,Kaberle) the Habs face the real possibility of losing Georges, Eller and others.  That's right; they will be losing the young guys who can win games and be stuck with a team of oldies but goldies who watch most of their games from the press box.

Carey Price and PK Subban are brilliant young players but they are not and cannot be an entire team.  Molson has to clean house and get rid of  Pierre Gauthier before it is too late.  Maybe Martin, Gauthier, Gomez, and Markov can form their own golf foursome.  Hmmmm....Habs on golf carts.  I think it is funny (sad) but I am not laughing. 

Pronger, Giroux, Reimer, Crosby - Wow !!! This has to stop

Concussion drama keeps shaking the NHL this season with Chris Pronger being knocked out of action this week for the Philadelphia Flyers.  This disaster hit Philadelphia just days after Claude Giroux was also put on the sidelines with his on concussion. That's right folks the Flyers are in danger of being tipped off their pedestal because of the actions of their opponents.  The Flyers have been steady all year through force of will and skill and now they may suffer a tailspin because everyone on the ice are acting like locomotives off the tracks.

Old time fans remember when the world's fastest game was played without helmets.  Concussions were few and far between because players were aware that not only was the opponent without a helmet but so were they.  They didn't take shots at others because they didn't want others taking shots at them.  Yes there was fighting but fighting is done when players are immobile or virtually immobile.   Concussions on the other hand are caused by players barrelling together with helmets on.  Why doesn't anyone show these guys that head protection doesn't solve problems it only mitigates them.  Case in point the rash of NFL players with concussion issues.  Imagine if NFL players wore skates and now you have an idea what kind of shot Giroux and Pronger took to the head.  No wonder they are out of action.  Just because players wear the best and latest helmets that won't solve the concussion issues.  It is kind of like smoking low tar cigarettes and thinking you won't get cancer.  Low tar cigarettes will kill you and being hit by a 200 pound+  NHLer in the head will cause a concussion.

This year has seen some of the best fall by the wayside after a flurry of head shots.  The turmoil has hit front line players like Pronger as well as up and coming goalies like James Reimer. The NHL is trying to deal with this growing problem by handing out penalties and game suspensions from head office.  We have a  suggestion for the NHL.  Send the players back to 1970s equipment and the concussions will slow or stop.  This BS with concussions has to come to an end and giving people suspensions is not cutting it.

December 16, 2011

The Nashville Predators Are on a Roll

The Nashville Predators picked up their fourth straight win Thursday night defeating the Red Wings 4-3 in Nashville.  A pair of late goals from Captain Shea Weber capped off a three goal comeback in a game that held the intensity of a playoff game 7.  The Predators were looking to avenge 4-1 loss on November 26 in which they looked flatter than a month old bottle of Coke.  The Red Wing powerplay tallied 2 goals on the night and helped the Wings build a 3-1 late in the 2nd period.  The Predators 3rd line would bring the game within one as Jordin Tootoo, in his second game back from suspension, scored with just over 2:30 left.  Tootoo has been a huge factor for the Predators as of late netting ten points in his last ten games.  In the third period the Red Wings made on crucial mistake allowing the Predators back in the game.  The Wings, having not taken a penalty all game, took their first of the game and allowed a red hot Nashville powerplay an opportunity to tie the game up.  The Predators didn’t waste that opportunity as Weber’s blast from the point beat a screened Jimmy Howard to tie the game up.  Weber would strike again just under three minutes later to tally the game winning goal.  The Red Wings would try and mount one last attack but Pekka Rinne stood tall in net for Nashville shutting the door.

The Predators extended their season long win streak to four games and ended Detroit’s three game win streak.  Nashville recently has been getting solid play all around but could be looking to make a move for a big time goal scorer soon.  On Friday morning Nashville sent Kyle Wilson to Milwaukee of the AHL leaving them with only 12 forwards on their NHL roster.  Could this be a sign of David Poile looking to make a move before the Rosters are frozen on the 18th?  Preds fans can only hope as the team is playing well and the addition of another scoring threat can only help players like Hornqvist, Fisher, Kostitsyn, and others.  So keep your ears open as I have a feeling some trades are in the works.

- Isaac Berky

Mike Lord Reports CHL Highlights for Dec 14th


There was only 2 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last night. One in Shawinigan and the other in Chicoutimi.
Gatineau Olympique 1 at  Shawinigan Cataractes 4
Pierre-Olivier Morin led the attack for Shawinigan with a goal and 2 assists and Yannick Veilleux had 1 goal and 1 assist. Gatineaus lone goal came off the stick of Tomas Hyka his 12th tally of the season.
Victoriaville Tigres 3 at Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4
Brandon Hynes (2 goals 1 assist) and Phillipe Maillet (3 assist) were in on all 3 of Victoriaville's goals but it was not enough as Chicoutimi had 4 different scorers in the 4-3 win. Gabriel Bourret, Simon Tremblay, Dominic Poulin and Pierre Maxime Poudrier all found the score sheet.

There is just the 1 game on the schedule for tonight but should be a good one as 16 year old phenom Nathan MacKinnon leads his Halifax Mooseheads into Acadie-Bathurst to face the Titans. The Titans have 3 of the leagues top 5 scores in Zach O'Brien, Sebastien Trudeau and Matthew Bissonette.


The Ontario Hockey League had a light schedule Wednesday night as well with just a pair of games that both ended with identical 3-1 scores.
Kingston Frontenacs 3 at Belleville Bulls 1
Darcy Greenaway led the Frontenacs with a pair of goals, which gives him 12 on the year and Brendan Gaunce scored the lone goal for Belleville.
Saginaw Spirit 1 at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3
The Soo Greyhounds recieved goals from Brendan Alderson, Corey Durocher and Michael Schumacer in the win. Joe Rogalski and Nick Cousins each had 2 assists. Anthony Camara score the only goal for Saginaw.

Tonight's action is highlighted by the 1st place London Knights who are in Peterborough to face the Petes. Also the Erie Otters take on the Niagara Ice Dogs, Owen Sound Attack play the Windsor Spitfires and the Missisauga St. Michaels Majors travel to Barrie to square off with the Colts.


Western Hockey League fans had six games to choose from last night, but there are none on the schedule for tonight.
Kelowna Rockets 3 at Regina Pats 2 (OT)
Colton Martin scored the winner at 2:33 of overtime to give the Rockets the win over Regina. Bret Bulmer and Tyson Ballie also scored for Kelowna. Morgan Klimchuk and Andrew Rieder replied for the Pats.
Kamloops Blazers 6 at Saskatoon Blades 3
Aspen Slerzer 2 goals and Ryan Hanes 1 goal and an assist paced Kamloops to the win
Victoria Royals 3 at Edmonton Oil Kings 6
Michael St. Croix had 4 point night 1 goal and 3 assists and Dylan Wruck had 2 goals as the Oil Kings cruised pass the Royals.
Calgary Hitmen 5 at Lethbridge Hurricanes 6 (OT)
Graham Hoods second goal of the game at the 23 second mark of overtime lifted the Hurricanes past the Hitmen.Cam Braes scored a hat trick for Lethbridge. Brady Brassart 2 goals and Victor Rask 3A led Calgary.
Red Deer Rebels 2 at Medicine Hat Tigers 5
James Bettauer, 1 goal and 2 assists led the Tigers and Emerson Etem and Cole Grbavac chipped in a goal and an assist.
Everett Silvertips 2 at Spokane Chiefs 3 (OT)
Steven Kuhn scored at 4:14 of overtime and Markus Kalus and Dominic Uher scored in regulation as Spokane defeated Everett. Kohl Bauml and Josh Birkholz replied for the Silvertips.

- Mike Lord

Changes a Foot For British Ice Hockey

Following on from the news that 4 time Elite League winners Coventry have hit into money trouble their head coach Paul Thompson has now stepped down from his role as the Great Britain team head coach.

Thompson had taken charge of the national programme in 2007 and under his stewardship the national team rose up the IIHF ranking. The greatest achievement was probably the victory over the Ukraine in the 2011 World Championships when his side beat the home team live on Ukrainian television on their way to narrowly missing out on promotion to the full World Championship group.

Thompson added in a statement that he was leaving the post to concentrate on the crises at the Blaze and leaves Ice Hockey UK with a massive task of finding his replacement before the build up to the 2012 World Championships.

A successor however will be had to come by, as currently Thompson is the only British although Corey Nielsen of the Nottingham Panthers could be a frontrunner for the role. Nielsen although born in Canada did represent the Great Britain team in the last World Championships and his side currently sits second in the Elite League.

Another name could be Rob Wilson who has served as Paul Thompson’s assistant and has coached in the Elite League with Newcastle and is well known in the UK with fans and players. However Wilson is currently in charge of Italian side Neumarkt Egna that will make him an unlikely candidate.

Tony Hand’s name could also be on a shortlist. Hand has also been an assistant under Paul Thompson and has coached in the Elite League with Belfast, Edinburgh and Manchester. Like Wilson, Hand is extremely well known within the game and with the players and was also a member of the last Great Britain team to play in the World Championship group. However Hand is currently the player coach of the second tier Manchester Phoenix and like Wilson would find in difficult to watch the players enough times to be able to pick the best squad. 

Ice Hockey UK may opt for a foreign coach and that could open the door to Doug Christiansen of the Belfast Giants.

Two things are for certain. One is that this is a huge job to fill and is immensely difficult given the time with players and lack of funding. The second is that there is not a long list of candidates with the experience, knowledge, success and perseverance needed to kept the Great Britain team moving forward.

Neil Tucker

The Get Real Guide to the Dundee Stars: Continuing the Hockey Tradition of a City.

League: EIHL

Home Ice: Dundee Ice Arena, Dundee, Scotland

Colours: Red, White and Blue

Founded: 2001

The Dundee Stars are one the UK’s new breed of growing teams. This is because that whilst the Stars may only be ten years old they, like Edinburgh, Coventry and Manchester follow in the footsteps of famous teams before them.

Ice Hockey in Dundee has a long history with the Dundee Tigers and the Dundee Rockets and in 2001 the Dundee Stars arrived and brought British league ice back to the Ice Arena. This was in the second tier British National League that they dewily won in their first season and followed it up with a win in the playoffs. Before the BNL was disbanded in 2005 the Stars would make several cup final appearances as well winning the playoffs again in 2005.

Following the disbanding of the BNL the Stars refused to enter the EIHL due to fears about being competitive and the lack of Scottish opponents with the Fife Flyers also not being admitted into the EIHL. This let the Stars with a problem. Their fellow BNL members either made the jump to the EIHL or stepped down to the English Premier League but the latter does not have a Scottish equivalent and the so the Stars were forced to drop effectively 2 tiers to the Scottish National League along with the Flyers.

In 2010 though the Stars did join the EIHL and made a successful first campaign. The team made the playoffs and narrowly lost to the league champions in the first round. Their second year in the EIHL has been less successful so far with the team struggling for home form and sacking their Head Coach Dan Ceman in early December.

Ice hockey in Dundee has survived through many phases and changes both in league structure and owner ship. In many ways this is typical of teams in Scotland and will continue to be the case as long as there is a rink.

Neil Tucker