February 07 2013 09:34PM
This was one of those hockey games that was absurdly memorable, except that it really wasn't. For two periods, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets fought to a total stalemate, a timid display of outside attempts that resulted in few shots, fewer scoring chances, and fewer Leafs fans in our nations more Eastern timezones even bothering to stay up until the end of the game.
The Leafs won 3-2, as Matt Frattin deflected in a Cody Franson shot with five minutes to go and Phil Kessel scored his first on the season on a powerplay less than a minute later. The late-game comeback doesn't particularly work in the storybook concept of the dull 55 minutes that preceded it. But that's what sports is, you'll have several stretches of inaction punctuated by bursts of elation and despair.
The only problem is if you attempt to objectively define players and teams based on those small bursts.
February 07 2013 01:06PM
Penalties and power play opportunities have increased significantly. With the Leafs penalty kill falling into that familiar territory at the bottom, sitting 27th with a 71.9% rate, I wanted to look closer at what kinds of penalties were being called.
February 07 2013 11:26AM
Hey look who used to play for Winnipeg! (River City Sports Blog)
There were five seasons when the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs shared a division. From 1980 to 1982, they were both part of the Campbell Conference's Norris Division. In 1995 and 1996, both teams belonged to the Central Division in the Western Conference.
Not the current version of the Jets, mind you, although I believe the City of Winnipeg has a better claim to the history of the original Jets franchise, WHA and all, than the City of Glendale does. Some of the season ticket holders at tonight's game at the MTS Centre will be old-timers who once had season tickets to see Bobby Hull, Dale Hawerchuk and Teemu Selanne. For all the superstars the Jets had, the first run Jets between 1979 and 1996 were groups synonymous with regular season mediocrity, that often found itself one-and-done in the playoffs.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 06 2013 08:11PM
I'm not going to say that I'm sick of watching the Hamilton Bulldogs, but... screw it. I'm really sick of watching the Hamilton Bulldogs. They've got little to brag about in terms of a prospect pool, play boring hockey, play that hockey poorly, and when they face the Toronto Marlies, tend to switch into a mode where they're attemping to start a fight every two shifts. It's in no way entertaining if you prefer skilled hockey. There's still a game to go in Hamilton on Tuesday, but after that - sweet freedom. Season series done. After two preseason and twelve regular sesaon matchups, I'm probably as happy to not see the Bulldogs in Ricoh Coliseum again as the two teams are.
That said, while this wrapping up is all good and fantastic, there was still points on the line tonight. With the Bulldogs well out of the playoff picture already, these were Toronto's points to lose, and unfortunately for them, they did just that, falling 6-4.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 06 2013 02:34PM
Ah, the ever so trusty ten game mark. The best time possible for talking points, in the sense that it's a decent chunk of games to get a feel for a team's players, yet not enough to get into a panic about the rest of the season. This year, however, could be an exception to the rule - what was once seven do-overs is now four, meaning the effects of the first ten games will resonate with the end result far more than the norm. So, with that said, is it time to panic? Time to panic... more? I'm not quite sure, so here's ten thoughts to celebrate ten games down.