Hockey fans, and fans of sports in general, are interested in numbers, whether they’re players statistics, projections or even player salaries. There are a number of useful and not so useful websites that give us our numbers fix and one of the best in the hockey industry has decided to close its doors.
Bryan Mcwilliam is a a freelance sports journalist and editor who currently writes and edits for The Hockey News. He interned at THN in the summer of 2012 and was a big fan of the Calgary Flames run to the Stanley Cup in 1989. The Toronto, Ont., native enjoys contact sports, eating everything in sight and his favorite film is Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
The Los Angeles Kings took on the Nashville Predators Saturday in a match-up of Western Conference powerhouses. Coming into the contest the Predators were in a dogfight for top spot in the Central Division with the Chicago Blackhawks, while the Kings tried to inch closer to the Pacific-leading Anaheim Ducks.
Well, it’s official. Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons, who shockingly received a ton of support from fans – mainly from his native Latvia as well as the Buffalo Sabres – will be heading to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game in Columbus.
Girgensons, a 20-year-old center from Riga, Latvia topped all vote-getters with 1,574,896.
The World Junior Championship is packed full of talented players from all over the globe, some of whom have already been drafted by an NHL franchise. Today, let’s take a look at how the top pick from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft from each country participating in the 2015 world junior is performing. The list below is in alphabetical order.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a strange season riddled with the mumps, causing several players to miss action, yet they still remain atop the Metropolitan Division and tied for the Eastern Conference lead.
Their strange season had all kinds of weird on Friday.
In front of a raucous Toronto crowd, Canada dominated Denmark, the Cinderella-story of the World Junior Championship, 8-0 on Friday.
Canada got off to a hot start thanks to goals from captain Curtis Lazar – who has scored in four straight games – and Sam Reinhart, but also experienced a concerning moment when Robby Fabbri went down to a lower-body injury in the first period.
Fabbri has been one of Canada’s top point-getters in the tournament, so the loss could be a substantial one.
The Canadians added to their lead in the second period thanks to a goals from draft-eligible Lawson Crouse, who has been impressive at the tournament on Canada’s fourth line, and Connor McDavid, next season’s potential No.1 draft pick. Lazar also added his second of the game with 6:39 left in the period to make it 5-0 after an exceptional pass from defenseman Joe Hicketts. The pass was so sweet that Lazar even blew Hicketts a thank you kiss.
Nick Paul added a nifty backhand goal in the third period to continue to build the Canadian lead, and Brayden Point added his first of the tournament making it 7-0 for Canada, which forced the Danes to pull goaltender Georg Sorensen in favour of Thomas Lillie. Nick Ritchie added a late power play goal to cement the victory.
The Danes never gave up, but the Canadians were too much and walked away with an easy win. Canada moves onto the semi-finals to play Slovakia.
In other World Junior action Friday, the U.S fell to Russia, while Sweden defeated Finland 6-3. The Swedes and Finns were neck and neck through the majority of the game, until the Swedes notched a late goal courtesy of Oskar Lindblom to seal the deal and move them forward in the tournament.
Russia and Sweden will face each other in the semi-finals.
Also in quarterfinal action, a very good defensive performance from Slovakia earned them a victory over the Czech Republic 3-0, in what some would say was a stunning victory. Denis Godla was a monster in net yet again for the Slovaks, continuing his impressive performance at the tournament.
In the day’s first game Switzerland defeated Germany 5-2. NHL Prospect Kevin Fiala added another goal for Switzerland, his fourth of the tournament.