Sam McCaig's blog

THN.com Blog: Hat tricks, the Hawks a little heart for Mats

THN.com Blog: Hat tricks, the Hawks a little heart for Mats

by Sam McCaig - December 20, 2008 11:53 PM EST

Guess who's leading the trick parade? Can Chicago with the Cup? And just how should fans feel about Sundin?
Here are three questions to ponder in between all the egg nog and sugar plums: Who has the most hat tricks this season? (Hint: He plays for the Philadelphia Flyers – and it's not 24-goal man Jeff Carter.


THN.com Blog: Life without No. 1 not so bad

THN.com Blog: Life without No. 1 not so bad

by Sam McCaig - December 13, 2008 9:47 AM EST

The Devils, Sharks and Canucks all lost their starting goalies with each suffering a different degree of hardship in his absence.
You can come up with a pretty convincing argument that says Roberto Luongo, Martin Brodeur and Evgeni Nabokov have been the best three goaltenders in the NHL for the past several seasons.


THN.com Blog: Chelios, Lemieux go back to the future

THN.com Blog: Chelios, Lemieux go back to the future

by Sam McCaig - December 6, 2008 11:07 AM EST

A pair of vets, Claude Lemieux and Chris Chelios, are playing in the American League, a circuit normally reserved for the youngsters.
The American Hockey League, a development league? Not this weekend. Not with Chris Chelios, who turns 47 in January, playing a conditioning stint in Grand Rapids and 43-year-old Claude Lemieux trying to resurrect his career in Worcester.


THN.com Blog: NHL shootouts still wrong after all these years

THN.com Blog: NHL shootouts still wrong after all these years

by Sam McCaig - November 29, 2008 3:08 PM EST

While most fans seem to like the one-on-one game-finisher, the shootout remains a skill-competition and is no way to decide a team game.
A couple of days ago, a fellow THN editor asked me if I was still “down on the shootout.” I promptly replied, “Yes.” However, back when the tie-breaking format was introduced in 2005, I probably would’ve yelled, “Hell, yes!” and immediately launched into a double-decibel rant about the NHL selling out the game and the shootout’s complete lack of credibility.


THN.com Blog: A night for Wendel

THN.com Blog: A night for Wendel

by Sam McCaig - November 23, 2008 3:42 PM EST

It was all things Clark inside Toronto's Air Canada Centre when the Maple Leafs honored No. 17 for his time with the blue and white.
With the Air Canada Centre packed with 19,474 Maple Leafs fans sporting 'staches and clutching the bobblehead of their favorite marauding, goal-scoring Bud, the scene was set for Wendel Clark's banner raising in Toronto on Saturday night.


THN.com Blog: Best and worst by the numbers

THN.com Blog: Best and worst by the numbers

by Sam McCaig - November 15, 2008 10:22 AM EST

New Jersey with a poor penalty kill? Simon Gagne leading in shorthanded production? We crunch the numbers.
The San Jose Sharks are 10-0-1 at home, with the only blemish a 4-3 overtime loss to Nashville on Remembrance Day. The Detroit Red Wings, meanwhile, are 8-1-1 on the road, for the best away-from-home record in the league.


THN.com Blog: The NHL's October surprises

THN.com Blog: The NHL's October surprises

by Sam McCaig - November 2, 2008 9:19 AM EST

The numbers don't lie, and the stats from the first month of the NHL season contain plenty of oddities.
Every time there's an election in the U.S., the possibility of an "October surprise" arises. It's the idea that a big, late-breaking story will sway people to vote in droves for a particular candidate.


THN.com Blog: Saturday slate leaves fans feeling full

THN.com Blog: Saturday slate leaves fans feeling full

by Sam McCaig - October 26, 2008 1:57 PM EDT

Having all 30 teams in action for the first time since Day 1 of the post-lockout era led to some interesting facts.
Feast or famine, NHL style. That would be 15 games on Saturday – with all 30 teams in action for just the second time in league history – followed by a Sunday bereft of hockey.


THN.com Blog: Poor between-the-pipes starts and surprising shutouts

THN.com Blog: Poor between-the-pipes starts and surprising shutouts

by Sam McCaig - October 19, 2008 10:08 AM EDT

Martin Biron wishes it was last year's playoffs, Marty Turco wishes it was the pre-season and Martin Brodeur inches towards immortality.
Remember Martin Biron's coming-out party in the playoffs last spring? The Flyers goaltender made his long overdue NHL post-season debut and led Philadelphia past Washington and Montreal in the first two playoff rounds before falling to Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference final.


THN.com Blog: The Flyin' Canuckmen

THN.com Blog: The Flyin' Canuckmen

by Sam McCaig - October 11, 2008 4:15 PM EDT

Did somebody say Vancouver would have trouble scoring?... goals galore... and Dougie's coaching debut.
Maybe the question should've been, who's not going to score for the Canucks this season. Vancouver skated into the 2008-09 campaign as the team that couldn't generate any offense.


THN.com Blog: Primed for a comeback

THN.com Blog: Primed for a comeback

by Sam McCaig - October 5, 2008 10:23 AM EDT

Comebacks and career revivals are a part of every season, so here are a few players who are most likely to step it up this season.
Ice time and opportunity, as well as health and happiness, are significant factors in a player's productivity. For the eight players below, the stars haven't been aligned the past few seasons and their dwindling output has reflected that fact.


THN.com Blog: Make believe is fun in NHL’s pre-season

THN.com Blog: Make believe is fun in NHL’s pre-season

by Sam McCaig - September 28, 2008 10:27 AM EDT

There isn't much glory in scoring points in the pre-season, but it at least allows some minor-leaguers to get noticed.
Pre-season stats are a big lie, of course, full of false promise for bubble players before the reality of the regular season sets in. Sure, talented Buffalo center Derek Roy led the league in pretend points last September and, certainly, the NHL's name players are well-represented in the exhibition scoring race.


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