Ronnie Shuker is an associate editor with The Hockey News. He brought his philosophy and journalism graduate degrees to THN in 2011 and has been living the dream since. By day he mans his desk, crushing copy and weaving yarns for the magazine. By night he’s either at home or in the press box watching dump-truck loads of hockey.
The Nashville Predators have been one of the NHL’s biggest surprises this season, right alongside the New York Islanders. They’ve led the Central Division most of the way and have been going back-and-forth with the Anaheim Ducks for first in the Western Conference.
For all their hard work, however, the Predators could conceivably end up as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and face the Los Angeles Kings as the No. 8 seed.
That’s right, in the NHL, the reward for finishing first in your conference could be the right to play the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round.
Would anyone be surprised if the Kings “upset” the Predators in a seven-game series?
It wasn’t too long ago that a fan could expect to see his or her favorite NHL superstar play more than 20 minutes per game.
Actually, it was just last season.
In 2013-14, 29 forwards averaged more than 20 minutes of ice time per game. This season, all of eight are above that mark.
Americans love their underdogs. Even more so, perhaps, because America so rarely plays the role of the underdog. That’s why the United States’ victory over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., remains one of the country’s greatest sports stories ever told.
For every underdog story, however, there is the favorite’s tragedy. Of Miracles and Men, the latest documentary in ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series, takes the Miracle on Ice tale and tells it from the other side. Like the recently released Red Army, it humanizes the supposed robots of the Big Red Machine that were upset by a group of college kids on a Friday night in February some 35 years ago. Read more
It was late March and Chicago was in Pittsburgh to face the Penguins. Jason Comyn arrived at the arena early to watch his beloved Blackhawks warm up, just as he’d done every game he’d gone to since October. Patrick Sharp was gliding toward him with his stick on his knees and saw Comyn talking with an attractive woman in the stands.
Sharp had first noticed the travelling Hawks superfan back in October when Comyn was just beginning his epic road trip. Since then, Comyn would usually rap on the glass during the warmup, and Sharp would respond with a head nod. When Comyn saw Sharp coming toward him in Pittsburgh, he flashed him a sly look from the stands, and Sharp responded in kind, which caught the woman’s attention. “Did he just wink at you?” she said.
Indeed he did. That’s the kind of connection a fan can make with a player after following his favorite team around for a season. Read more
The rivalry between Toronto and Montreal extends well beyond the ice. As the London and Paris of North America, the two cities have long respectfully despised one another, mirroring on the municipal level their hockey teams’ mutual dislike. And like any long-standing conflict, this civic feud is filled with stereotypes from both sides.
Torontonians look at Montreal and see a city of European lassitude and lax morals with a fashion sense that falls somewhere between hipster and homeless. Montrealers, meanwhile, think Toronto is the third-largest city in the United States filled with stuck-up suits and anal urban tree-huggers who could all use a little cultural proctology.
For two weeks over the holidays, however, Toronto and Montreal will kiss and make up to co-host the 2015 World Junior Championship, putting the WJC hype machine on its biggest stage ever. Read more
Let’s play a little hindsight gymnastics.
Quick question: would you make this trade?
Joe Thornton, Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler and Tyler Seguin for Matt Bartkowski, Loui Eriksson, Alexander Fallstrom, Matt Fraser, Dougie Hamilton, Alexander Khokhlachev, Jared Knight, Joe Morrow, Dennis Seidenberg and Reilly Smith.
Because that’s what the Boston Bruins are left with after trading three future superstars and one well above average player before their primes in four separate trades.
If Thornton, Kessel, Wheeler or Seguin were still with Boston today, each would be the team’s top scorer. Seguin, of course, leads the NHL in goals and points.
One dumb deal is a mistake. Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend. Four is…WTF is going on?
Korey Kealey and Erin Phillips know a thing or two about healthy eating. As a culinary expert, Kealey is around food every day. So is Phillips, a registered nutritionist and the wife of Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips.
Both women have children in hockey and know all too well the challenges parents face getting their kids to eat healthy while schlepping them to and from practices, games and, especially, tournaments.
In Goddard State Park, R.I., a few hundred fans have gathered to reminisce about an American League team that played its last game nearly 40 years ago. They’ve brought books, pamphlets, jerseys, shirts, photos, hockey cards – anything alumni can sign.
And they’re not shy about pimping their paraphernalia: hats, DVDs, pens, mouse pads, shirts, license plate frames, pins, banners, golf shirts, gym bags, aprons, cookbooks, coffee mugs, ornaments, posters, lapel pins and even, yup, doggie hoodies. The island’s once-iconic Rhode Island Reds logo is everywhere.