Boxing is my favorite sport. Yeah, I said it. That makes hockey No. 2. So what? If you think that doesn’t make me a hockey fan, re-think again. All it shows is how much I love boxing, because I’m as hardcore as it gets about hockey.
I admit, though, I cringe every time I see the sweet science turned into a high school biology class. After all, hockey fighters throw nothing but haymakers, technique be damned, with all the grace of a deer in a yogurt shop.
But hey, I gots to get me my boxing fix somehow, and I’m paid to cover hockey, so as long as the NHL allows fighting, I may as well have a little fun with it.
With that in mind, then, I’ve put together my top 10 pound-for-pound ranking of the best fighters in the NHL, regardless of size.
There’s no denying the St. Louis Blues are a well-built, well-coached juggernaut that could win a playoff series or two. But there’s a little something missing. The Blues are, of course, a dominant 8-2-0 against the East. They’re also a strong 10-4-3 against the more powerful West. But in games against top teams they will need to go through to get to the Stanley Cup – San Jose, Phoenix, Chicago, Los Angeles and, er, Vancouver – the Blues are 2-3-2.
This is why the Blues still need a game-breaking scorer to get over the hump. Read more
The last time we saw the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup final, it was 43 years ago and Noel Picard was sending Bobby Orr airborne to create one of the most enduring images in the history of the game.
Could this be the year the Bruins and Blues reprise their roles as Cup finalists? Well, after watching the best team in the Eastern Conference and the best one in the Western Conference beat formidable conference opponents Monday night, the prospect is tantalizingly possible.
Each has the best winning percentage in its conference, thanks to the Bruins 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Blues’ 2-0 win over the Minnesota Wild. With 8-1-1 records in their past 10, they are the two hottest teams in the league. Read more
We have a few giants in our midst and it’s nice to see the hockey world appreciate the careers of three legends, all in their final season or two. Teemu Selanne, Jaromir Jagr and Martin Brodeur define a generation of hockey excellence.
But there’s another trio of hockey personalities who are in the midst of distinguished careers that will surely take them to the No. 2, 3 and 4 positions of all-time. Joel Quenneville, Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff are gradually moving up the chart of NHL coaching wins and by the time they’re ready to settle into retirement will sit next in line behind the great Scotty Bowman.
The Philadelphia Flyers’ recent improvement (5-3-2 in their last 10 games) hasn’t brought an end to the trade rumors dogging the club.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Tuesday the Flyers aren’t trying to push out center Brayden Schenn, but they quietly told teams they would consider moving him for the right deal, though Dreger didn’t elaborate what that would be.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos noted Schenn was linked to the Edmonton Oilers earlier in the month in a supposed swap for Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky. He doubts the Flyers are shopping the 22-year-old, but claims the Toronto Maple Leafs have had interest in Schenn for some time, though Kypreos believes any Leafs offer must include defenseman Jake Gardiner.
Brayden isn’t the only Schenn whose name surfaced in the rumor mill this month, as older brother Luke was subject to speculation after being scratched from three early-November games.
Of the pair, Brayden has the most trade value. He currently leads the Flyers in scoring (13 points in 20 games) and is on pace for a career best in points. One would think the “right deal” would have to include a slightly older (late-20s) established scoring forward. Read more
With 10 games on tonight’s slate, including a late-night (at least if you’re in the east) battle of big Bens, it’s a busy one across the NHL.
Here the rundown of games and night No. 2 of THN’s “best bet” picks, with all four of our experts looking to remain undefeated. Read more
According to reports, the Ottawa Senators yesterday had their worst-attended home game since 2004 when their afternoon 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets drew an announced crowd of 15,535. Read more
Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish’s willingness to shop his 2014 first round pick in a package deal for a “stud defenseman” prompted the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson to suggest Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber as a trade target.
Matheson observes the struggling Predators have “absolutely no offense” and suggests promising young defensemen Seth Jones and Roman Josi could offset Weber’s departure.
Jason Brough of NBC Sports also noted Weber’s heavily front-loaded contract ($14 million in salary this season alone) is burdensome for the budget-conscious Predators.
MacTavish has repeatedly stated he won’t trade young forwards Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov. Matheson doubts he would part with puck-moving defenseman Justin Schultz, but doesn’t consider Yakupov untouchable and believes the Predators “wouldn’t mind Sam Gagner.” He also feels the Predators would have interest in prospects like Darnell Nurse or Oscar Klefbom. Read more