February 4, 2012

Spud Tournament Down to Last Day

Round Robin play at the 37th Annual Spud AAA Hockey Tournament wrapped up today and playoffs began. In the Novice division Western will face off against the host Charlottetown Abbies in the final on Sunday. These two teams met in round robin play and Charlottetown came out on top 3-1. In Atom play Summerside will meet in semi-final #1 and semi-final #2 will see a cross harbour battle as Halifax and Dartmouth square off. Quarterfinal action in the Peewee division finished up on Saturday night and Dieppe and Summerside will meet in one semi-final while Western Warriors will play Western Valley in the other.

Bantam semi-finals are set to go Sunday as well. KV Rangers are in tough against defending champion Western Hurricanes and Chebucto/TASA will play the Scotsburn Crushers. Three of four semi-finalist in Midget AAA are from Prince Edward Island. Kings County Kings defeated the Pownal Red Devils 2-1 and will face off against the #1 seed Midisle Matrix, who needed double overtime to beat the Halifax Hawks 3-2. The Host Charlottetown Abbies pounded the Kenn Valley Spartans 7-1 and will meet the East Hants Penguins who gained a victory over their league rival Bedford Blues 1-0.

Action kicks off on Sunday at 8am with the Atom and Peewee semifinals followed by the finals at noon. Bantam semi's start at 8:30am and final at 1:30pm. As for the Midget semifinals, 9:45am is game time and 2:30pm is the scheduled time for the final. All championship games will be played at the UPEI campus.

- Mike Lordhttps://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gif

The Penguins Have All-Star Performers Throughout The Organization

The Pittsburgh Penguins rolled into the All-Star break winners of 7-straight games and sending 3 of their own to Ottawa for the festivities.  Those 3 were NHL leading point getter Evgeni  Malkin, star defenseman Kris Letang, and the winger having the season of his career James Neal.  Malkin scored a highlight-real goal and added an assist while logging 15:34 of ice time for victorious Team Chara.  Letang and Neal both recorded an assist while on the losing end for team Alfredsson. 

In their first game after the All-Star break Tuesday January 31st, the Pens looked to be in trouble.  They trailed Toronto 4-1 in the third period and the fans were about to give up on the game, however the team on the ice was not.  Steve Sullivan raced in alone and hammered home a slapper to cut the Leafs lead to 2, and then Joe Vitale sent home a rebound to make it 4-3 and give the pens life.  It didn’t look promising as the clock wound down to under ten seconds to go with Toronto still leading but an All-Star duo was about to change that.  James Neal fired a shot that hit Malkin up high and deflected into the net to tie the game at 4 with 6.6 seconds remaining.  Malkin, who has emerged as the Penguins hero time and time again scored the shootout game winner to complete the amazing comeback.  The next night the winning streak would end at 8 when the Leafs beat the Pens 1-0 in a game where Penguins net minder Brent Johnson played really solid.  The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins leading point getter, Colin McDonald earned a trip to the AHL All-Star game.  McDonald has 38 points in 41 games with the Baby Pens this year.  The fifth year pro and Providence College product was a 40+ goal scorer a year ago with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons and has seen NHL action with the Oilers in the past and this season with the Penguins. In fact, he was recalled to the Penguins following the AHL All-Star game. 

The Penguins ECHL affiliate in Wheeling received a familiar face from their parent clubs January 25th.  Last year’s team leading point getter and Penguins 2009 4th round draft pick Nick Petersen is a Nailer again.  Before turning pro, Petersen played 3 seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He spent 2 seasons with the Shawinigan Cataractes and finished his junior career with the Saint John Sea Dogs.  His highest point total came in his second season with Shawinigan when he recorded 90 points and was a +56.  He set his career high in goals his final season with the Sea Dogs when he scored 39 times.  Last season with Wheeling he scored 24 goals and 33 assists for 57 points and was a +17 before joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for 23 games, scoring 14 points (5 goals – 9 assists) and registering a +7 rating.  This season Petersen has 6 goals and 6 assist for 12 points and a +6 rating in 28 games with the Baby Pens.  In his first 6 games with Wheeling, Petersen has 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points and is a +5.  Since joining the Nailers Petersen’s game has looked really good as he works hard to get back to the next level.  

-           Andrew Grimm

Bruins and Blackhawks Run into a Wall - Even the best stumble at times

This NHL has been full of surprises this year.  We have seen the Sabres and Habs implode.  We have also watched the Ducks and Capitals go from excellence to mediocrity. Parity is the name of the game in 2011-2012.  Good teams can become bad overnight and the bottom feeders can look like Cup contenders when they want to.

That trend continued recently with the implosion (or semi-implosion) of the Bruins and Blackhawks. Both these teams are built to win and their recent loses have the league humming.

The Bruins fell to the last place Carolina Hurricanes this week and got booed off the ice. This loss to the Penguins has only made issues worse.  

Expectations are high in Beantown.  The Bruins are expected to repeat and nothing else would be good enough for the fans of the Black and Gold. Between November and January, Boston looked unstoppable.

Chicago's issues are more serious than Boston's.  Their loss to Edmonton this week was epic.  Sam Gagner became the talk of league as he scored 4 and assisted on 4 as the Oilers destroyed the Hawks.

Chicago has some of the best forwards in the NHL and we should see a turnaround fast enough.

We think that Bruins and Hawks fans have nothing serious to worry about.  Any continued weakness for either the Bruins or Hawks will initiate quick actions by the GMs of those teams as the trade deadline approaches.  Both these teams are winners because they have been well managed and good management does not sit on their laurels.

The Nashville Predators Deserve the Respect of the NHL

As a team from a nontraditional hockey market the success of the Nashville Predators has been widely overlooked over the course of the franchise's history.  The Predators have never quite received the publicity or respect that the Chicago's, and Detroit's have.  However, with the recent string of strong play going 8-2 in their last 10 games the national media, and other teams around the league have begun to take notice. 

Recently when the Predators took on the Philadelphia Flyers the media began to acknowledge the strong play of the Predators calling the match up a game between two of the leagues elite.  Not a bad titling if you think back to the times that the media ripped the Predators apart.  There were times when everything was said from they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs, they’ll never win a playoff series, their style of play will never be effective in the NHL.  Well now it is the Predators who are getting the last laugh.  Barry Trotz has been a finalist for the Jack Adams trophy and looks to be in the running again this year.  Their scoring by committee style of play has landed them in 5th place in the conference at the moment and number three in the most recent NHL power rankings.

The Predators have always been and will continue to be overshadowed by the other teams in the Central Division.  However with realignment imminent even though the first attempt was squashed the Predators could be moved out of the Central division and into a weaker division allowing them to become an even more consistent league powerhouse.  So next time when you start to think about the elite teams in the NHL make sure you take time to consider what’s going on in Nashville because its something special this season.  And if you have not gotten a chance to watch the Predators play this year take some time and just watch a period or so if not a whole game.  You will be surprised by the boys from the south who still don’t get the respect they deserve. 

- Isaac Berky

Spud AAA Hockey Tournament (Update)

All participants have played their first 2 round robin games and there are some interesting story lines going into Saturday mornings play. In Novice play Kings County and North River will play to determine the winner of their division as they both have 2 and 0 records. Charlottetown Abbies are 2 and 0 as well and sit atop their division. In the Atom Division, Antigonish Bulldogs and Halifax Hawks are both undefeated and will meet at 9:30 to determine who wins that pool. Western and Acadia will play with the winner finishing 1st in their pool as well. Summerside and Dartmouth both need a point to wrap up their respective pools.

In the largest division of the tournament, Peewee, 5 divisions are going as planned as Western, Pownal, Dieppe, Western Valley and Summerside are all undefeated and are the front runners to win their pools. The last pool sees 4 teams with identical 1 and 1 records and tomorrow will be very interesting. Fredericton meets Kings County and Acadia plays the host Charlottetown Abbies.

The New Brunswick and Nova Scotia teams are dominating the Bantam division as all pools are led by teams from the mainland. Western Hurricanes have on both their games by 7 goal margins and face the 1-0-1 Midisle Matrix. New Brunswick's District 6 Flyer's square off with the Nova Jr X-Men to decide their pool. Chebucto/Tasa, Scotsburn and KV Rangers all have 2-0 records to lead their pools.

As usual the Midget AAA division had some unusual results. The Midisle Matrix won both their games by 7 goal spreads and face the East Hants Penguins on Saturday to determine their pool. East Hants also have 2-0 records. The Kenn Valley Spartans, one of the favorites, defeated the TASA Ducks 6-2 but fell to the Kings County Kings by a score of 2-1. Kings County started the year off slow but have played better as of late and sit at 1-0-1 after a 4-4 tie with Sherwood on Thursday night. The defending champion Charlottetown Abbies are 2-0 and face the 2-0 Halifax Hawks to determine the winner of the pool. Bedford Blues and the Cumberland Ramblers tied Friday morning and both need wins and the tie breaker to win their pool. Pownal Red Devils need 1 point to secure their pool.

The top 4 teams in the Novice Division advance to the semi-finals Saturday evening. The other 4 divisions see 8 teams playing in the medal round as the quarterfinals begin between 5 and 6 pm Saturday night. Semi Finals are played Sunday morning with the finals in the afternoon.

- Mike Lord

February 2, 2012

GetRealHockey's Mid-Season NHL Draft Rankings

After Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 2-1 on January 31st, it marked the halfway point to this Junes NHL entry draft. Back in September Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko were the early candidates to go 1st overall. 5 Months later not much has changed.

GetReal Hockey's rankings have Nail Yakupov at the top even though he is nursing a left knee injury he suffered during the overtime period of the gold medal game at the World Juniors. The injury does not appear to be serious and Yakupov's 9 point performance at the tournament was slightly better than Grigorenko's 6 points in 6 game's. As a result we have Grigorenko second on the list.

Mathew Dumba from the Red Deer Rebels had a very impressive prospects game as he delivered several big hits and even got involved in a fight. The 5'11 defenceman may be a little on the small side but he proved he plays bigger than he is.

Rounding out the top 5 is Filip Forsberg, a right winger with Leksand in the Swedish Junior League and Everett's defenceman and captain Ryan Murray. Murray was as high as 3rd on most lists at the start of the season but a high ankle sprain and a rough WJC see him slide to the 5th spot.

Some other notables on the list are Alex Galchenyuk at #11. Galchenyuk could turn out to be the steal of the draft as he has not played a game this season due to a torn ACL suffered in the preseason. #17 Andrei Vasilevski from Russia is the first goaltender on the list. Vasilevski had a very impressive World Junior,s going until the 3rd period against Canada. First North American goaltender is Malcolm Subban, younger brother of Montreal's P.K. Subban. The Belleville Bull has an impressive 1.93 GAA and .938 save percentage in 19 games. Rounding out the first round is Tanner Pearson from the Barrie Colts. Pearson was passed over in last years draft, but a fast start to the year and a World Junior appearance for Canada put him on the radar.

Here is GetReal Hockey's top 30 draft prospects.

Rank Player Pos Team Size
1 Nail Yakupov LW Sarnia, OHL 5'10, 189
2 Mikhail Grigorenko RW Quebec, QMJHL 6'3, 200
3 Mathew Dumba D Red Deer, WHL 5'11, 175
4 Filip Forsberg RW Leksand, Swe-Jr  6'2, 181
5 Ryan Murray D Everett, WHL 6'0, 201
6 Jacob Trouba D USNTDP 6'2, 196
7 Morgan Rielly D Moose Jaw, WHL 5'11, 190
8 Brendan Gaunce C Belleville, OHL 6'2, 215
9 Olli Maatta D London, OHL 6'1, 202
10 Griffin Reinhart D Edmonton, WHL 6'3, 202
11 Alex Galchenyuk C Sarnia, OHL 6'1, 197
12 Sebastien Collberg RW Frolunda, Swe-Jr 5'11, 176
13 Pontus Aberg LW Djurgarden, Swe 5'11, 194
14 Matt Finn D Guelph, OHL 6'0, 195
15 Radek Faksa C Kitchener, OHL 6'3, 202
16 Derrick Pouliot D Portland, WHL 5'11, 181
17 Andrei Vasilevski G Ufa, Russia-Jr 6'3, 200
18 Cody Ceci D Ottawa, OHL 6'2, 208
19 Tomas Hertl C Slavia, Czech 6'2, 198
20 Zemgus Girgensons C Dubuque, USHL 6'1, 197
21 Malcolm Subban G Bellevill, OHL 6'1, 189
22 Jarrod Maidens LW Owen Sound, OHL 6'1, 175
23 Andreas Athanasiou C London, OHL 6'0, 179
24 Slater Koekkoek D Peterborough, OHL 6'2, 183
25 Stefan Matteau C USNTDP 6'1, 210
26 Oscar Dansk G Brynas, Swe-Jr 6'2, 186
27 Hampus Lindholm D Rogle, Swe-Jr 6'2, 196
28 Phillip Di Giuseppe LW Michigan, CCHA 5'11, 176
29 Martin Frk RW Halifax, QMJHL 6'0, 204
30 Tanner Pearson LW Barrie, OHL 6'0, 198

- Mike Lord

GetRealHockey wants a Maple Leafs Blogger

As our readers know, we are getting ready to launch GetRealHockey.com.  This site will feature the best NHL experiences in the business and one of our biggest sales markets will be Toronto.  Hockey fans in Toronto love the Maple Leafs and the NHL.

GetRealHockey wants to make sure that the Maple Leafs are well represented when we re-launch GetRealHockey.com. We are looking for a Maple Leafs blogger to join the team @ GetRealHockey.com.  If you check out this link you will see we have big plans for the site.  If you are a blogger and you love the Leafs this could be a great opportunity.

The Maple Leafs are the face of Canada.  Leaf fans thrive in the harshest of circumstances.  The Buds had real issues making the playoffs in the past but the 2011 -2012 edition of the Leafs looks ready leave their mark in this spring's race to Lord Stanley's Cup.  Players like Dion Phaneuf have helped the Leafs turn the corner.

We want to hear you take on the Maple Leafs and if you are a blogger we will publish your stories.  Please email us @ getrealhockey@gmail.com for more information. 

Mike Cammalleri bombed in Montreal and is now doing the same in Calgary

The NHL is for pros.  Pros who perform.  Clutch performers like Giroux, Kesler, and Toews thrill fans on a nightly basis.  These guys are team players and team leaders.  The fans love these players because they respect the game and the opportunity they have been given.  The NHL is the premier hockey league in the world and playing in the NHL is a privilege.

Unfortunately, not every NHLer understands that being an NHLer is something special.  Of course every fan is familiar with the growing histrionics from Alexander Ovechkin in Washington.

Ovechekin's BS has tainted the entire Capitals' team and made a group which looked like potential champions into a B team of wannabe. Only one player in the NHL comes to mind as being more self centered than the Russian "rocket".   Mike Cammalleri is head and shoulders above all others as the player who is most destructive to his team. Mike Cammalleri is the poster boy for complaining in the NHL. Despite the fact that he was unable to perform for the Habs in 2011-2012; "Magic" Mike somehow felt he had the right to call out his teammates in Montreal as losers.  The Habs were only too happy to dispatch him to the Flames.  That kind of poison around an NHL team is very destructive.  Since Cammalleri's departure the Habs have been substantially better on the ice.

On the other hand, Cammalleri has been no gift to the Flames.  He is puttering along on fumes and his +/- is in the toilet.  As you can see below, he still likes to talk to the press; albeit in a more tame manner.

Well, well, well....hmmmmm......So it seems now that the problem was not with the Habs but with the "Magic" man himself.  Hopefully, Mr. Cammalleri will do some growing and assume some responsibility.  If he ever wants to be a leader in the NHL; he will have to smarten up.  A smart, more quiet, harder working Mike Cammalleri would be good for him and the Flames organization. Fans don't like big mouths.  Fans love performance and results.

February 1, 2012

The Get Real Guide to The Sheffield Steelers

League: Elite League

Founded: 1991

Home: Motorpoint Arena (Sheffield Arena), Sheffield

Colours: Orange, White, Teal

The Sheffield Steelers have become one of the biggest names in British ice hockey as famous on the ice as they are their antics off the ice. Take their name from the product that Sheffield exported to the world the Steelers were the first arena team in Great Britain as they moved into the new Sheffield Arena.

After entering the British league the Steelers spent big and won big by winning the last ever British League title in 1996. The season after the Steelers became founder members of the new Independent Superleague. Despite struggle somewhat in the early days of the Superleague the club set attendance records and in 1998 the Steelers played the Manchester Storm at the MEN Arena in Manchester in front of a capacity 17,500 people; the highest ever attendance in British ice hockey.

Despite struggling in the league the Steelers did win the challenge cup in 1999 and 2000 as well as the playoff title in 1997 before their first Superleague title. That title came in 2001 along with 2 cup titles although it was at a cost to side after the club were found guilty of financial misdealing’s and fined £20,000. It was a controversial decision as the Steelers were allowed to keep the titles and had reportedly won more in prize money than the fine. Before the end of the Superleague in 2003 the Steelers would add another league, playoff and cup title.

With the start of the Elite League in 2003 the Steelers became founder members and were instantly successful. The Steelers were the first Elite League winners and added the playoff title that same year.

After some lean years with silverware the Steelers bounced back. Firstly winning the back-to-back playoff titles in 2008 and 2009 and then league titles 2009 and 2011.

This season the Steelers are once again in contention for the league title but have missed out on the challenge cup semi-finals. Despite their troubles in the past with money that included 3 owners in 2 years the Steelers seem to again be on a sure footing and looking to the future.

§  1994–95, 1995–96, 2000–012002–032003–042008–092010-11
§  1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2007–082008–09
§  1995–96, 2000–01
§  1998–991999–00, 2000–01, 2002–03
20-20 Hockeyfest Tournament
§  2009-10


Neil Tucker

GetRealHockey wants to speak to all Boston Bruins Fans

Do you love the Boston Bruins ?

Are you crazy about the Boston Bruins ?

We think the Boston Bruins are insanely good.

We think the Boston Bruins have what it takes to be a dynasty.

In fact GetRealHockey is so crazy about the Boston Bruins that we are going to put our money where our mouth is.

GetRealHockey is putting together our first NHL experience and this event will be focused on the Bruins from the past and the Bruins of today.

This event will be exclusive and it will be offered to GetRealhockey readers on a first come first serve basis.

GetRealHockey will be the home of the best NHL experiences and this first NHL experience with the Boston Bruins will be kick-ass.

The announcement about the date and time will coincide with the launch of the new GetRealHockey.com website.

Mark this post on our blog and make sure you keep checking for the GetRealHockey.com website launch.



Bruins Hockey Rules - Slob

Bruins Hockey Rules - Escalator

January 31, 2012

Could promotion and relegation be the future for British Ice Hockey?

With the news that the EPL side Guildford Flames have resigned Joe Kohut as their sixth import is it not time for a chance to be made to force clubs into a new challenge.

The Flames who are currently at the top of the EPL table and 6 points clear have signed the Slovakian as cover for the long term injured Curtis Huppe despite already carrying a spare import. (EPL rules say only 4 non-British trained players per bench.) The point is if sides at the top of the EPL or ENL have the cash to spend on spare imports to keep their team at full strength then isn’t the status quo becoming too easy for those teams. Are teams too comfortable being at the top end of the second or third tiers of British ice hockey to make the move up the ladder and face a tougher challenge?

If British ice hockey were to introduce a promotion and relegation system where by the champions of the EPL would move up to the EIHL and the ENL champions to the EPL this would give those clubs a new tougher challenge and the demoted teams a chance to regroup.

It is not an overnight solution but it is something to think about. According to some reports including from British ice hockey agent Gareth Chalmers there are teams in the EPL spending as much as clubs in the EIHL. Therefore a promoted club probably wouldn’t be spending that much more on their team just changing how they would spend it. Players’ contracts would also not be that much of a problem as most players are signed on a season-by-season basis and this would also negate the difference between the import quotas.

For the promoted teams there would also be increased revenue from larger attendances, more media exposure and more prize money to play for as well as a chance to try out a higher league without the risk of having to succeed. Whilst for the demoted teams it would be a chance to give their fans more wins than the previous season and gain some more media coverage by having a successful year. Demotion could also save some hockey clubs from going out of business completely by offering them an easy way to run their club at a cheaper price in a low league and give them the opportunity to return if their fortunes changed.

Promotion and relegation would also provide the league with a chance to reduce the number of meaningless games. At present with an 8-team playoff system teams in the middle order often end up playing out many games with little at stake. However with relegation a prospect the leagues could have fewer teams in the playoffs for example 5 or 6 and introduce a relegation playoff for the bottom 2 or 4. Thus making the season more interesting for longer and maintaining a climax to the season.

For the fans as well promotion and relegation is an opportunity. It would give them new places to go to, a chance to visit some of the biggest and best arenas in the country and the chance to see their team be a bigger team than they are now. Some fans seem to be very vocal in criticizing the EIHL and blaming the league for the fact that their team is not contending for the title. There are in any sport the haves and the have not’s and unfortunately the majority of teams are the have not’s but promotion and relegation gives teams the chance to move up that scale. Also it is a system widely understood by British sport fans due to its use in soccer and the promotion and relegation is used in hockey in Europe too.

It also gives rinks and their owners a reason to improve their facilities. This is because promotion could only be granted based on the standard of that clubs rink and because of the increased revenue streams on offer there is an inventive to make improvements.

There are some problems however. For instance there is the Scotland issue. What would happen if Dundee or Fife were to be relegated? They cannot really play in the EPL and the Scottish National League is at an amateur standard. And this system probably would have scuppered the Braehead Clan’s chances of coming into existence because they play in a large arena that needs good attendances from the start to survive. It also does not stop the top teams in the EIHL from loading up on imports to win the league or the issues around the salary cap.

But the point isn’t that this is a quick fix and would not solve all the problems of the EIHL and EPL. This is to argue that a new system like this would stop a culture whereby teams and fans become too comfortable with success at a lower level and end up becoming jealous and wary of those at the top of the hockey pile blaming the league set up for why they are not the best in the country.

Neil Tucker

Big Changes Coming with the Nashville Predators

When Ryan Suter announced at media day for the NHL Allstar game in Ottawa that he would not be signing an extension with the Predators until after the season because he felt contract talks were a “distraction” the sports media went crazy.  People started making claims that Suter and Weber, both having made similar statements, were done in absolutely done in Nashville.  Others said Suter wants to see how David Poile and the Predators handled the trade deadline this year. 

While some Preds fans all over immediately hit the panic button, there is really no need.  This move by Suter is not his way of saying he wants out as a lot of people think.  Suter merely wants to focus on hockey, as does Weber.  The Predators have assembled most likely the best team in franchise history so far, and Suter and Weber do not want the team and themselves to be distracted by talk of who will and will not return.  Both players, as well as the owners and fans, want to return to Nashville.  Now that being said there have been rumors of Suter being shopped around to different teams, these claims are unsupported and frankly most likely not true.  The Predators have done business with the Flyers several times in the past, but as well as Nashville played heading into the Allstar break, Philly is not going to want to part with what they would have too to get Suter as a rental for the last part of the season.  So Predators fans do not worry there does not appear to be any support to claims that Suter is on the market.  Suter also appears to be happy in Nashville and wanting to stay as long as the team continues to move towards becoming a strong contender. 

With the number of trade rumors flying around these days it would not be surprising to see the Predators make a move at the deadline.  Rumors that have been flying around have included names from Parise to Hemsky, to Ruutuu to Blake.  While those first two names have any Preds fan salivating at the thought of those in a Preds sweater, lets be realistic.  Nashville will more than likely make a trade at the deadline looking to bolster their offensive fire power but its more likely to be Ruutuu or Blake.  These guys are similar to Mike Fisher, who was picked up last year at the deadline, in a sense that they can be very productive and can play many different roles, but do not have the big name status.  These players seem to fit into the Predators style of play a little better.  Plus lets be honest wouldn’t it be fun to see a lineup that had Ruttu and Tootoo

- Isaac Berky.

January 30, 2012

Montreal Canadiens Madness Continues

You have to give it to boys in Montreal.  They sure know how to kick up a firestorm.  This New Year is going to be a great time to be Habs fan.  We smell a turnaround.

The rumour mill is on high alert with all sorts of talk about Patrick Roy and his possible involvement as a GM for the Habs. Roy is a hockey god in La Belle Province and he would be the perfect candidate for all Canadiens fans ; both French and English. He was a winner in the NHL and he has continued to be a winner in junior hockey with the Quebec Remparts.

The trade rumours in Montreal also have PK Subban being traded.  We agree with Mike Boone of the Gazette that this would be crazy. 

Subban may be young by NHL standards and sometimes he is to aggressive but the Habs will need that spark once they embrace a more offensive style of hockey.  We clearly saw that the Habs can play offense , last week.  The thrashing of the Detroit Red Wings is a sign of promise and Montreal will surely choose to continue to follow that path in the coming months and years. 

The days of defensive hockey for the Habs are behind them.  Go Habs Go !!!!

2012 Spud AAA Minor Hockey Tournament

The 2012 edition of the Spud is set to begin in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. 73 teams from around the Maritimes will be competing in 5 divisions. The Novice division will feature 8 teams from the host province. Pee Wee division has 24 teams in 6 divisions and the Bantam division has 19 teams in 5 divisions.

Midget AAA will be the focus for many, as 22 teams in 5 divisions are set to challenge for the title. Defending champion and host Charlottetown Abbies will be looking to fend off some serious contenders. The Kenn Valley Spartans from the New Brunswick Midget AAA League will be looking to avenge a disappointing Monctonian tournament in November. The Spartans lead their league with a 18-2-1 win-loss record and also have top scorer Paul Gulliver. Gulliver's stats are very impressive with 29 goals and 65 points in 20 games.

The Bedford Blues wrapped up their regular season undefeated with a 21-0-3 record and appear to be the biggest threat coming out of Nova Scotia. PEI's Mid-Isle Matrix will be looking to improve on last years runner up finish and with a disappointing loss in Novembers Monctonian they should be a motivated bunch. Jordan Mayhew's 57 points in 27 games leads the PEI league so look for him to be a difference maker.

The action gets underway Thursday February 2nd and continues through the weekend. Playoff games will begin Saturday evening and wrap up on Sunday Afternoon. The CARI complex on the campass of UPEI is tournament central and all of the rinks in Charlottetown and surrounding areas will host games.

- Mike Lord

January 29, 2012

UK Round Up on EIHL and EPL Action (28th – 29th January)

It was a case of who would blink first in the title races and in the EIHL it was also a case of who would make one of the top three blink.

Elite League
Friday 27th January

Belfast avoided the first slip up of the weekend as they went into the Braehead Arena to face the Clan. It was a ding-dong battle as the Giants first took the lead but then fell behind to goals from Bannister and Wrill before Paul Deniset’s goal sent the game to overtime and penalties. It was GB international Robert Dowd who added the deciding penalty to keep the Giants on track. Belfast 3 Braehead 2 (APS)

Saturday 28th January

The top 3 were in action on Saturday night and each team knew that they could not be the one missing out on a point.

Belfast especially knew this as they endured a tormenting night in the Fife Ice Arena. Despite outshooting the Flyers 40 – 14 the game wasn’t decided until the third period when George Awada and Aarron Clarke scored followed by the empty night from Robert Dowd. Belfast 3 Fife 0

It was an easier night in the NIC for the Panthers as they took advantage of every chance they got to put up 6 against the Blaze. A brace from Frances and goal’s from Myers, Clarke, Fox and Beauregard assisting the Panthers to a win that looks more comfortable on the scoreboard than in reality. Griffin did get a late consolation for the Blaze. Coventry 1 Nottingham 6

Back up in Scotland the Steelers produced a solid team display to cruise to victory over the Capitals at Murrayfield. Ramsay, Hewitt, King and Jonathan Philips all got on the score sheet, as did a brace from Zembergs to make the score look respectable. Sheffield 4 Edinburgh 2

In Glasgow the Clan’s double-header continued as they hosted the Stars. It was a rapid first period as McPherson got the scoring underway in less then two minutes. The scores looked to be even at 2 a piece at the end of the first but Jorgensen’s goal in the last 60 seconds of the period ensured the home side had the lead and the momentum going into the second. It was that momentum that looked to have given the Clan a commanding lead when Bayrack completed his hat trick. However there was a grandstand finish as the Stars scored through Konkle and with the extra attacker to bring them to within 1 at the finish. Dundee 4 Braehead 5

The final game of the night was a goal fest in the Cardiff Bay Arena between the Devils and the Stingrays. After a slow first period that saw the Devils take 1 goal first period lead the floodgates opened. The second period saw the Devils hit Hull for 5 goals to 1 as they looked to have a commanding lead. However the Devils were left grateful for 2 more goals from Pierce and Adams as first Tendler got his second then Osman hit his hat trick. Hull 5 Cardiff 8.

Sunday 29th January

With the Belfast Giants not in action the Panthers and Steelers knew they had to take advantage. The Panthers faced the Blaze once again but this time in the Skydome Arena. However the outcome was exactly the same. The Panthers hit the Blaze for 6 goals through 6 different scorers after Owen Fussey had given the home team a lead. Nottingham 6 Coventry 1

Sheffield also didn’t falter in the their second game of the weekend in Edinburgh. The Steelers also posted 6 including a hat trick for Birnstill. The Capitals though did not make it easy for the 2011 Champions as the Jarolin, Hartmann and Holecko kept it a contest till the end. Sheffield 6 Edinburgh 3

Hull and Cardiff also faced each other for the second time this weekend. However it was a tighter cagey affair with both sides struggling to hit the net. There were two goals though in the second period as Kenton Smith gave the visitors the lead before Jason Silverthorn replied just over a minute later. The game ended a tie and it was left to Rodin to score the winning penalty and lift the Stingrays into 7th place ahead of the Capitals. Cardiff 1 Hull 2 (APS)

The big game of the night however as the bottom of the table as the bottom two played each other with winner moving clear of the other at bottom. Garrett Zemlak was again on inspired form for the Flyers as the Stars threw everything at him in a tight game. At the other end through Bakrlik, Stewart, Samuel and the returning Cohen proved to be difference as the Flyers move off the bottom of the table for the first time this season. Fife 4 Stars 1

So at the end of the weekend the top three are as they were. Belfast, Nottingham and Sheffield whilst it is all change at the bottom as it is now the Flyers who are chasing the Capitals for the last playoff spot.

English Premier League

Saturday 28th January

Like their Elite League counterparts the EPL title chasers were all watching each other and waiting to see who would blink first. Whilst the league leading Flames were running up a massive win against the Tigers it was a more challenging affair for the rest.

The Lightning were the first to crack as they came away from Basingstoke pointless whilst the Phoenix travelled to Bracknell but missed out on the 2 points thanks to a Smital overtime winner for the Bees. The Steeldogs however did pick up the two points but did need penalties to do so against the Wildcats whilst the Jets returned to action with a regulation victory over the Phantoms.

Sunday 29th January

The Phoenix and the Lightning were both not in action so it left a good opportunity for the other title chasers to make up some ground. However it did not all go their way.

The Jets faced a quickly improving Bison side that showed they could be the spoiler in the title race for the second night in a row. The Bison taking the win on penalties. The Flames had to battle back from 2 down in Telford to salvage a point as the Tigers took the win on penalties. It was to prove to be a vital point for the Flames though who do now have a 7 point game over the 5th place Lightning. The Steeldogs though did pick up another two points against the Swindon Wildcats to keep their hopes on track and move up to 4th in the table level on points with Manchester and Slough 6 behind the Flames.

At the bottom there was a big win for the Phantoms who beat the Bees on penalties to move just 4 points behind them in the hunt for the final playoff spot.

Neil Tucker