NHL: Thursday Night Hockey
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

A busy Thursday night of NHL action sees the puck dropped on 11 games across the league. The Maple Leafs will be getting goaltender James Reimer back from the injured reserve. Pittsburgh remains without star center Evgeni Malkin (concussion), but he is making progress towards a return.

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 decision in Los Angeles last night, and they travelled north after the game to San Jose, where they will face the Sharks tonight. And in Big D, Kari Lehtonen returns to the Dallas […]


NHL: The Biggest Surprises of 2013 So Far
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

Many expected that the 2013 NHL season would bring about a lot of crazy and interesting news stories. Because the season is only 48 games long, the chances that luck or randomness factor in to the performance of a player or a team are a lot better than during a typical 82 game season.

Looking at the current scoring race, there aren’t really any surprise names at the top of the list. The top three scorers are arguably the top three players in hockey – Steven Stamkos, […]


NHL: Friday Five For 22 February
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS 

In today’s instalment of the Friday Five, I take a look at Kevin Bieksa’s recent scoring exploits, why Lindy Ruff was a scapegoat in Buffalo, the best hockey movies of all time, and much more.

5. NEW SEASON, SAME RESULTS IN EDMONTON
Phoenix Coyotes at Edmonton Oilers (-120, 5)
2013 started with so much promise for the young Oilers. They were supposed to be one of the most exciting teams in the NHL. And things started really well – Nail Yakupov made an immediate impact with some […]


NHL: Friday Five for 15 February
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BY JEFF ANGUS

In today’s instalment of the Friday Five, I take a look at the Ryan O’Reilly holdout in Colorado, Alexander Semin’s impact in Carolina, the return of Ryan Kesler, and more.

5. COLORADO MISSES RYAN O’REILLY
Colorado Avalanche at Edmonton Oilers (-162, 5)
It appears as if O’Reilly’s days as a member of the Colorado organization are over. The club and O’Reilly have been unable to close the gap in terms of expected salary – O’Reilly wants a contract with an annual cap hit in the […]


NHL: The Friday Five for 8 February
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

In today’s instalment of the Friday Five, I take a look at the dominant Chicago Blackhawks, the surprising Anaheim Ducks, whether Ryan Nugent Hopkins needs to worry about a recurring shoulder injury, and more.

5. BLACKHAWKS MAKING IT LOOK EASY
Chicago Blackhawks to win Western Conference +280
The Chicago Blackhawks continue to be the class of the NHL. They are getting solid goaltending from both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery. Their defense is a great balance of skill, mobility, and size/toughness. And up front, they […]


NHL: Better Or Worse – Edmonton Oilers
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

I find it helpful to think of Hockey as a game of ratios and percentages governed by randomness. It’s certainly not about raw numbers. Consider that scoring five goals is better than scoring two goals, in a vacuum, but scoring five goals while allowing six against is a worse result than scoring two and allowing only one. Beyond that, often times teams really can’t control whether or not they’re scored against. Weird ricochets off of stanchions, bouncing pucks deflecting of skates in front of the net, […]


NHL: The Friday Five For 1 February
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

It is Friday, which means it is time for my weekly NHL roundup. And oh what a week it has been in the NHL…

5. SABRE RATTLING
Buffalo Sabres to Win the Eastern Conference +2500
Do you believe NHL coaches don’t care about retribution? In their 7-4 Thursday night win over Boston, Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff called a time out with 13 seconds to go in the third. This was after Jason Pominville scored the seventh Sabres goal into an empty net. Ruff wanted […]


NHL: The Good & The Bad So Far For The Canadian Teams
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl, videos

BY JEFF ANGUS

Although the 2013 NHL season is still in its infancy stage, we are starting to get a better read on players and teams. The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks have been dominant in the West, while the Eastern Conference juggernauts from New York, Pittsburgh, and Boston are still finding their legs and shaking off some of the lockout rust.

Among the seven Canadian NHL teams, none have really stood out in the early going. Let’s see what the short term future holds for Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, […]


NHL: A Look At The Canucks Northwest Division Domination – Part II
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

The mood amongst the Canucks fans I chat with regularly seems to be more pessimistic than usual headed into the 2013 season. From the injury status of Ryan Kesler (and now David Booth?), to doubts about the quality of the clubs blue-line to a general sense of impatience regarding a presumably forthcoming Luongo trade: it seems that many folks find themselves doubting that the Canucks are legitimate contenders this season, with many even wondering if Vancouver can emerge as Northwest Division champions this season. Yesterday, in part […]


NHL: A Look At The Canucks Northwest Division Domination – Part I
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

Over the past several seasons, the Canucks (-172 to Win the Northwest Division) have grown fat feeding off the ruinous mediocrity in the Northwest Division. Since 2009-10, only two other Northwest Division teams have made the playoffs, and both were in 2009-10 when the Calgary Flames and the Colorado Avalanche snuck into the dance and were unceremonious thumped in their respective first round series’. The last two years, the moribund Northwest has been the Canucks for the taking, and they’ve taken nearly 80% of the available points […]