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: Canucks Fans, Do Not Freak Out Just Yet
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

During this lockout shortened NHL season, teams have less margin for error than they might’ve had in the past. A nine game losing streak like the one that the 2011-12 Blackhawks – a very good team – stumbled through, would make a playoff spot a distant dream. But randomness is part of hockey, and a prolonged stretch of subpar results can sink a teams (shortened) season.

Headed into the 2013 season the Canucks were already going to be without their best even-strength skater (and their most valuable […]


NHL: The Friday Five For 25 January
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

My weekly hockey roundup continues, and now that the NHL has returned, my focus will of course be on that instead of European hockey or the AHL. A lot has happened over the past seven days in the NHL – injuries, surprise performances, rookies standing out, and much, much more.

Read on to find out my thoughts on five stories that have dominated headlines over the past week.

5. THE BLACKHAWKS SOAR
Chicago Blackhawks to Win the Stanley Cup +700
Chicago has been hands down […]


NHL: Games to Watch on 23 January
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

There are four games in the NHL tonight, and the Leafs, Canucks, and Flames are all in action. Vancouver and Calgary are looking for their first wins of the season, while the Leafs are looking to get back on track in Pittsburgh, which is a tall task against a deep and talented Penguins squad. Out in the desert, the gritty Blue Jackets hope to continue their strong start against a Coyotes squad that has struggled at keeping the puck out of the net. Let’s break down each […]


NHL: 10 Questions From Opening Weekend
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

NHL hockey is back, and even though the 2013 season is only a few days old, there is no shortage of interesting storylines to (over) analyze. Let’s take a look at 10 questions from around the NHL that need some answers…

10. LUONGO IS STILL A CANUCK…BUT FOR HOW LONG?
Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks (-175, 5.5)
The Vancouver Canucks haven’t traded Roberto Luongo yet, but a deal may be close. GM Mike Gillis was quite candid in a recent interview with the Vancouver Sun, […]


NHL: Canucks Projections – Team Totals
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

Well we’ve come to the end of the road with our Canucks Projections project. Having previewed every relevant Canucks roster player from the Sedin twins, to the top-six forwards, the third liners to the grinders, and from the young roster players to the defenseman. So we’ll now dive in and look at the team’s projected scoring as a whole. And on that front, my simple projection model has a lot of good news for Canucks fans as it only projects the team to fall off slightly from last […]


NHL: Who Will Win The Stanley Cup?
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

Which NHL team will hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2012-13? Do the Los Angeles Kings have the right ingredients for a repeat? Does a healthy Sidney Crosby lead the Penguins all the way? Do the Canucks finally break through? How about the New York Rangers – is star winger Rick Nash the missing ingredient?

THE FAVOURITES
New York Rangers (+850 to Win the Stanley Cup)
WHY?
The Rangers are absolutely stacked at forward, they boast a solid defensive group, and Henrik Lundqvist is far […]


NHL: Canucks Projections – The Defense
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

So far this week we’ve looked at the scoring projections for every Canucks forward – the Sedin twins, the second liners, the third liners, the depth forwards and Zack Kassian – and one Canucks defenseman (Chris Tanev). Throughout his tenure as Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis has made having a blue-line that “activates” offensively a priority, a maxim made plain by his oft-stated commitment to icing a blueline that can contribute two-hundred points. In a lockout shortened season, of course, the 200 point plateau is an impossibility […]


NHL: Canucks Projections – Kassian & Tanev
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

Welcome to Part V of our Canucks Projections project. The hardest part about a scoring projection model based, as mine is, off of past performance – is that it’s nigh impossible to calibrate it in such a way as to produce a meaningful indicator of how a young player will produce. Among the model’s biggest whiffs last year was Cody Hodgson – who it pegged to score a modest four goals. I’ve tried to augment it somewhat this season when predicting the goal scoring output of Zack […]


NHL: Canucks Projections – Depth Forwards
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

Now that we’ve covered the Sedin twins, the second liners and the third liners, we’ve come to what everyones really been anticipating reading about in this series – the depth forwards. How many goals with Aaron Volpatti manage this year? Can he beat his career high of one? We’ll try and answer those questions, and more, today!

When looking at depth forwards, and trying to account for every single even-strength minutes the Canucks will play this season (based on the rate at which the Canucks take and draw […]