Remember the NHL?

Remember that game with ice and pucks? With power plays and goals? Yes that game. The NHL season actually began over a month and a half ago, but how many people actually know that. ESPN pays no attention to the dying sport. The NHL’s decision to use Versus to broadcast national games was terrible. Few people know what channel Versus is and those that do hate the station. Had the NHL chosen ESPN over Versus, the sport would have gained much more publicity and increased its fan base. Though its fan base is small, I consider myself one of the lucky ones who watch the sport. The games have been exciting this year with young players such as Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin taking over the sport. Let’s take a look at the beginning of the season:

1. Best Team

This choice was pretty simple, but it was not 100% clear either. The Ottawa Senators started the year on a roll, winning fifteen of their first 17 games. All of a sudden, they lost seven in a row, came back to earth, but they have won their last five in a row. The Detroit Red Wings, on the other hand, have played consistently excellent hockey all year giving them a league-leading 49 points. With Ottawa being too inconsistent and having only 45 points, the Red Wings have been the best team so far this season. Left Winger Henrik Zetterberg is having a great season, second in the league in both points and goals (43 and 23 respectively). Goalie Chris Osgood has been phenomenal, leading the league with a 1.76 GAA. Of the 20 players who have played at least 20 games for the Red Wings this season, only two have a negative +/-. The most telling statistic may be average goal differential in which the Red Wings average margin of victory is 1.22 goals per game. The second-place Ottawa Senators average margin of victory is .97 goals per game, a quarter goal less than Detroit. Continue reading “Remember the NHL?”

Alfredsson Deserves a Suspension

Though I’m not an NHL fan, the Red Sox did not play until late last night and the NBA Finals don’t start until Thursday, so I was left watching Game 4 between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks thoroughly dominated the second period and were leading by a goal with about two minutes remaining. The Senators got a late goal from Dany Heatley and found themselves going into the third period tied. Unfortunately, an idiotic play by Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson  gave much of the momentum to the Ducks. With mere seconds left to play in the period, Alfredsson held the puck in the neutral zone with no chance of scoring. Instead of taking a last second shot like most players would, Alfredsson turned toward Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer and drilled the puck directly at him. The puck ricocheted off Niedermayer’s leg. Anaheim players immediately noticed this and started going after the Ottawa captain. My questions is: What in the world would make Alfredsson that? His team had been dominated throughout the period, yet they had managed a late goal to even the score. They had all the momentum. All the Senators had to do was finish the period strong and get off the ice. Alfredsson couldn’t do that. To make matters worse, he is the Senators captain and is the last player anyone would expect to do such a thing. Alfredsson deserves a one game suspension for this ridiculous, unsportsmanlike act. Duck player Chris Pronger was suspended for the game for an elbow to Dean McAmmond in Game 3 and if Pronger’s play deserved a suspension, so does Alfredsson. Enough said. Cheap shots do not belong in sports in any way and I cannot think of a worse time for Alfredssson to pull one.

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