Yesterday Brandon Dubinsky did a quick twitter “Q and A” session. In case you missed it here’s the recap.
Thanks Brandon! Columbus fans always enjoy a good Twitter “Q and A” session. I’m hoping to see more in the future.
After watching the hit Rick Nash laid on Tomas Kopecky I have a few quick thoughts on the situation.
1) When watching the hit in slow motion it looks as though Nash got caught up on something. Instead of allowing himself to fall on the ice Nash decided to jump. It doesn’t make the hit malicious it just makes Nash look dumb.
2) After the hit Nash stayed by Kopecky side to make sure he was ok. How many times have we seen a player laid out on the ice and no one stays to help? How many times have we seen someone skate away from a hard hit and not even look back? The answer is too many times. Nash on the other hand took the bleeding heart human approach and stayed with Kopecky. Lots of love and respect to you Rick Nash.
3) Although the hit was mistake, not malicious, and one of his first offenses there should have been some sort of punishment. Nash left his feet. The moment you leave your feet during a hit there should be a fine or a game suspension. The NHL claims they are against head shots yet when they have a chance to make an example of someone they don’t take it. Shanahan you should be ashamed.
This has been “Quick Thoughts” with Elaine Grace. These thoughts are meant to spark debate and dialogue among fans in the league.
Hello there ladies and gentlemen,
Have no fear I am back from my three week writing hiatus and have good news for all of you. In an attempt to keep me writing on a consistent basis Trent and I have decided I will pick up a few more teams to write about. So with out further ado my list of new teams and my three favorite players on the team <3
SAN JOSE SHARKS
This is only fitting because the Sharks were my number 2 team for a long time. When I was 13 I found a plaid flannel shirt with Sharks colors on it. One of the most beautiful things I own <3
1. Ryan Clowe
He used to play for the Cleveland Barons (AHL) back in 2003. I’ve always enjoyed the fact that when Clowe gets mad he really gets mad. There is no holding back. Especially if he is seeking vengeance for a hurt teammate.
2. Marc-Edouard Vlasic
As many of you know I really like Vlasic pickles. Sadly, this was the reason why I started to like Vlasic. Lucky for me he is pretty good at assisting fellow teammates.
3. TJ Galiardi
I enjoyed watching Galiardi play when he was with the Lake Erie Monsters. He is one of those understated play makers. Definitely a pleasure to watch.
I was sad when the Atlanta
Blackhawks Thrashers moved out of Georgia. I had mapped out a road trip that year to see my lovely Blackhawks Thrashers. Then I was sad because that meant I would rarely see Natalie Taylor report. In the end it worked out. Natalie came to the Columbus and the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg. With the exception of the Canucks I like all Canadian teams. In fact, I’d like to see the Jets win a Stanley Cup. The cup needs to go back to Canada at least once right?
1. Jim Slater
I really loved watching Slater play in Worlds this summer. He was a nice addition to the team. Plus, I’m a huge fan of his work on “Saved By the Bell”.
2. Dustin Byfuglien
You can knock Buffy all you want for being a big dude but that doesn’t take away from his defensive skills. Buffy knows how to use his body size to his advantage. The moment you don’t take Buffy serious he will score or set up a beautiful play that leads to a score. I love Buffy so much I own a shirt that says “I LIKE BIG BUFFS”. I’m not ashamed to say I changed the words of “Baby Got Back” to “Baby Got Buff”.
3. Grant Clitsome
Grant was one of the most beautiful human being to ever play for the Columbus Blue Jackets. When the Jets signed him you could hear women and gay men crying all over Columbus. Grant may not have been the best player on the Jackets but there was something fascinating about his style of play. You couldn’t take your eyes off of him. Unfortunately, neither could opposing teams.
NEW YORK RANGERS
I’ve spent a lot of my life flip flopping when it comes to the Rangers. I love them. I love them not. I love them. I love them not. Then I joined twitter and discovered Dave Lozo. Seriously this man never ceases to make me giggle. (click here for an example of his awesomeness ). The point is Dave Lozo is a Rangers fan.
1. Henrik Lundqvist
Lundqvist is truly one of the best goalies to play the game during my lifetime. That’s all that needs to be said.
2. Rick Nash
Here’s the odd thing about Nash being in my top 3 Rangers players: He was my least favorite Columbus Blue Jacket. There is a huge part of me that doesn’t want Nash to do well. At least this season. Then there is this other part of me that enjoys watching him. It seems as though Nash re-found his love for hockey in New York. Which is great. Everyone deserves to love their career.
3. Michael Del Zotto
Del Zotto is an all around good guy. On the ice. Off the ice. How can you not like him?
Well there you go guys. It’s going to be an interesting ride.
6 of the 7 times I’ve posted hockey shots dedicated to a team that team has lost. Today I’m dedicating these shots to the Lock Out in hopes that the Lock Out ends.
This first shot goes out to the one and only Commissioner Gary Bettman. Since his reign began in 1993 the NHL has experienced three lock outs. In those 18 years Bettman has become a scapegoat for all problems ranging from lock outs to global warming. He’s even been given some rather spectacular nicknames such as “The Count”. So Count Bettman this shot is for you. Drink up and negotiate.
The Count Bettman
1-part Black Velvet Whiskey
1- part Grape Soda
1 part Cherry Vodka
In the counts voice ” 1, 2, 3. THREE!! THREE LOCK OUTS ah ah ah” then shoot!
Don’t you just love it when someone tells you they are going to do one thing and they end up doing the opposite? Ya, me neither. Which is why I’m a little salty with the New York Rangers. They stood in front of everyone and said they were united. That they were not going to flee to another country. What fools we were to believe they wouldn’t leave us behind. After the lock out was announced many of the New York Rangers packed up and left us behind. This shot is dedicated to the team who left us behind.
Flight of the Rangers
1 part Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1 part Cruzan Vanilla Rum
1 part Cruzan Black Cherry Rum
1 park Coke
* Before taking this shot tell everyone at the bar you’ll be there all night. Take the shot, throw your money on the bar, and run out before anyone can stop you.*
Without Paul Bissonnette my days on twitter would be few and far between. The man sure knows how to start a riot. Be forewarned Biznasty haters. If you tweet Biznasty something rude he will retweet it and his twitter minions will get all up in your twitter grill. Without further ado the shot dedicated to the panty soup legend himself.
1 part Absinthe
1 part orange juice
1 part maple syrup
1 part egg white
*After shooting say something that will get everyone riled up. Repeat the responses. *
You know what’s worse than someone doing the exact opposite of what they said they were going to do? Someone leaving in the middle of the night before you have a chance to say goodbye. Before you have a chance to fix things. That my friends is what Evengi Malkin did. The day before the lock out Malkin signed with a KHL team. I understand why he left but understanding doesn’t make it hurt less. The least you could do is drink the shot I’ve made for you.
2 parts Stoli Salted Karamel
1 part Baileys
carmel and chocolate sauce on top
*Tell everyone to count to three. When you hit number two shoot before everyone else*
While many signed with European leagues and decided to play in the minors there was one man who decided to go a different route. Captain of Team USA and Columbus Blue Jackets Defenseman, Jack Johnson, went back to the University of Michigan to finish school. While many were moaning about how hockey is the only life they know Jack Johnson was making sure he had other options. A lot of players could learn from Jack. If you have the time and money finish up school so you have options in situations like these. Cheers to you Captain America. Study Hard, Play Hard, Party Hard.
Captain America Goes to School
1 Part Cherry Vodka
1 Part Blue Berry Vodka
1 part Vanilla Vodka
Drop in a glass of Red Bull
Here’s to an end to the lock out. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
The Winnipeg Jets’ playoff hopes took another heavy blow last night at the hands of the New York Rangers at the MTS Centre. The defeat leaves them 8 points adrift of the Buffalo Sabres, who occupy the all-important 8th spot in the east. Hope of making the post-season were high for a while, but a recent run of bad results has seen that small hope quickly fade into disappointment and thoughts of what could have been.
The game got off to a good start, from a Jets point of view. Jets piled on pressure and got a golden chance to make something of it 10:41 into the opening period. With 2 Rangers players in the box, Winnipeg had a 5 on 3 opportunity with just under 2 minutes, a stellar New York penalty kill made sure that didn’t happen. The Jets closed the period still in firm control, but with no goal to show for it.
Into the second period, and it didn’t take long for Winnipeg to finally get reward for their efforts. With 3:58 gone, Spencer Machacek strode down the right wing, and attempted a pass into the middle; his pass took a huge deflection of a Ranger stick and flew through a transitioning Lundqvist’s legs and into the net, 1-0 Jets.
Under a minute later, and Winnipeg’s relentlessness paid off again. Some nifty work from Wheeler ended with him sliding the puck to Bryan Little, who tipped the puck past a scrambling Lundqvist to double the lead, 2-0 with 15:06 remaining in the middle period.
New York seemed to have had enough, and replied quickly and in an impressive manner. The Jets were on a powerplay, but Callahan hustled the puck free in the Winnipeg zone and span round the back of the net and laid off Michael Del Zotto who had the easy task of dispatching the puck in the net, to cut Winnipeg’s lead in half, 2-1 7:44 into the second period.
Soon, the scoreline was even. Alexander Burmistrov had taken a holding penalty, and the Rangers punished him. Marian Gaborik dished the puck to Callahan who had set up shop in front of the net, and after a small scramble, it was Callahan who squeezed the puck home. 2-2 with 1:37 remaining in the second.
The final period had the same feel as the second. It took only 3 minutes for the first goal of the period to occur. Brian Boyle was behind the net, and carried the puck in to the side of the net and flipped the puck goal-bound; it trickled through Pavelec and made it 3-2 Rangers. Pavelec will certainly feel he should have done better.
New York sealed the points on a powerplay. It was Burmistrov again who was in the box, and it was the same offence, holding. After a passing move between a number of players, the puck landed at the feet of Stepan, unmarked, and he fired the puck into the net to make it 4-2, with 9:54 remaining.
The Jets didn’t have what it took to get back into the game, and they fell to another defeat.
Final Score - Winnipeg Jets 2-4 New York Rangers
Goalie Stats -
Winnipeg – O. Pavelec – 24 saves from 28 shots
New York – H. Lundqvist – 22 saves from 28 shots
3 Stars -
1. Michael Del Zotto(NYR)
2. Ryan Callahan(NYR)
3. Evander Kane(WPG)
This is a broad look at the playoff picture with just under 30 games to be played by each team. There is still much hockey to be played but why not dream while we can. So here is an overview of where teams currently stand and which teams I think will be the 8 in the playoffs come April.
As it stands Wednesday night, we have the NY Rangers (whoo hoo!) at the top of the conference with 79 points, followed by the Boston Bruins(72,) who have played the same amount of games as the Rangers, and the Panthers(65), who sit in third, to round out the divisional leaders.
A quick look at the Rangers, who have not lost more than 3 games in a row, shows us that they have been the most consistent team to date this season. The Bruins were very dominant early this season and were pretty tough to beat, but have only won five games in their last ten, three via the shootout.
Last season, the Rangers squeaked into the playoffs as the 8th seed with 93 points. To surpass last year’s total, they need to win 8 games out of their last 28. They are all but a lock for a postseason trip. As far as for clinching the division, they are in a good position to do so but need to be on top of their game. The Rangers are only 10 points ahead of both Philly and Pittsburgh, with 2 games in hand on the Penguins. Pittsburgh will give them a run for the division title but the Rangers have just enough points to come out on top.
Boston(72) will secure the Northeast division and there is very little doubt about that. Ottawa(68) and Toronto(64) are close but Boston has played way too well this season, unless they collectively decide to take a few weeks off to not finish on top of their division.
The Southeast Divison, however, is a completely different story.
The Southeast is a Division where if a team is not on top of the division, they probably will not make the playoffs. The Florida Panthers(65) currently are in the lead and sitting third in the conference. The Washington Capitals(61) who are still struggling to find consistency this season and are 3-4-3 out of their last ten games and are currently ninth in the conference. My guess is that unless the Jets make their first season back in the league a magical one and start pulling points out of nowhere, the Panthers by default end up on top of the division and I’ll then place the Jets to fight it out to grab the 8th seed. Who knows, can they make a fairytale ending this year?
Current standings can be seen here. NHL Standings
My Playoff Picture will result in these standings:
1. NY Rangers (116)
2. Boston Bruins (109)
3. Florida Panthers (95)
4. Pittsburgh Penguins (104)
5. NJ Devils (103)
6. Philadelphia Flyers (97)
7. Ottawa Senators (96)
8. Winnipeg Jets (94)
And just missing it and losing the tiebreaker, Toronto with 94 points, but less ROW’s. Perhaps next year Phil Kessel.