Tag: connor mcdavid

NHL PICKS: Connor McDavid vs Sidney Crosby, Bob Murray First Game As A Head Coach

Edmonton Oilers vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Not an exciting night in terms of games for the NHL tonight. Only two on and this is one of them. Pittsburgh at home this year are 15-10-2, they are 4-5-1 in their last ten but coming off a big win vs the Flyers two nights ago. The Oilers on the other hand are 12-11-4 on the road, 3-5-2 in their last ten coming off a loss to San Jose. The Oilers have not played since Saturday night, as the Penguins last game came Monday. The Oilers should be well-rested and prepared for this game. The Penguins go with Matt Murray who is essentially impossible to get a read on this season. He played unbelievable vs the Flyers Monday but who knows what he can do tonight. Murray is 2-3 in his last five starts allowing 15 goals over that span. The Oilers go with Mikko Koskinen who has been very subpar since his signing. Koskinen is 1-3-1 in his last five starts allowing 17 goals in that span, he has allowed 3+ in four of these five starts. The Penguins are currently one point ahead of the Hurricanes for the final wild card spot and have no time to waste right now with the way the Hurricanes are playing. They need these two points desperately. We will see what they can do after a big win and no Evgeni Malkin tonight. Going Penguins.

Vancouver Canucks vs Anaheim Ducks

This is a rough match up. The Ducks are still spiraling out of control it feels like, they have their GM as their new head coach, they can barely score goals and things are not looking good. Chad Johnson is a probable in net for tonight as John Gibson either is hurt or has given up on the Ducks. Johnson is 2-11-0 on the year with a 3.63 GAA but is 0-5 in his last five starts allowing 15 goals in that span. The Ducks are on a seven-game skid and 2-8-0 in their last ten but 10-8 at home. The Canucks are 12-14-4 on the road, 4-4-2 in their last ten and coming off a loss vs San Jose. The Canucks are currently two points out of a playoff spot right now. They are a hopeful team just playing the season and taking whatever comes their way. They are a very young, competitive team that can sneak into the post season and a win tonight helps those chances. The Canucks go with Jacob Markstrom (probable), who is 2-2-1 in his last five starts allowing 13 goals in that span. I like the Canucks tonight but something tells me that with Bob Murray behind the bench for his first game, the Ducks pull this one out and end their skid. Going Ducks.

 

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Edmonton Oilers Fan Throws Jersey Onto Ice After Oilers Third Period Loss to Chicago

You have read that correctly. The Oilers fan base is basically done, they have thrown in the towel and speaking in more literal terms. Have literally thrown their jersey on the ice.

As NHL Discussion Instagram shows here:

The comments do not show many backing this fan up nor the Oilers organization. It is clear as day this fan base is frustrated and they have every right to be. The Oilers are three points out of a wild card spot, 23-25-5 with 51 points, 6th in the Pacific division and 3-5-2 in their last ten games.

They have been a disaster for the last two seasons and their only highlight comes in 2015-16 when they made that playoff run. Along with having Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, the Oilers really have nothing else going for them.

A lot of this clubs frustration can be credited to recent General Manager Peter Chiarelli, and his poor management. Trading away Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, trading for Griffin Reinhart (using a pick to get him that would have resulted in Mat Barzal), signing bad players to bad deals. The list can go on and on. No one, players, fans, reporters nor even executives in the Oilers organization have answer right now.

The Oilers current situation is they have six picks this season, a ton of contracts expiring in the off-season and a relatively young offense with a less experienced bleu line than most teams but still not an old blue line. They have one of the best players in the world right now with Leon Draisaitl along side him.

The Oilers realistically need three things (1) consistent number one goaltending. There 2015-16 playoff run was backed by Cam Talbot’s consistent and solid goaltending. In the last two seasons goaltending has been absent for them.

(2) Two to three more top six forwards and 1-2 more role players. In 2016-17 the Oilers had Milan Lucic producing granted that has not happened but they also had, Oscar Klefbom playing well, Patrick Maroon with 42 points, Mark Letestu, Zach Kassian playing well as well, along with Andrej Sekera not injured, and their role guys, bottom six guys doing their job. The Oilers literally need Lucic to wake up, and 2-3 more 35-45 point guys.

(3) Klefbom, Sekera, Nurse to back this blue line and pick it up. Granted Sekera and Klefbom have been battling injuries on and off, Adam Larsson and the other pieces on the blue line being regulars do not help their case but if the Oilers can get a top four to produce and play consistent they would be fine.

To me it all comes down to the Oilers finding the right pieces, playing consistent all year not just for two to three weeks. Maybe I am wrong and this team is way off but, what is the solution to the Oilers issues?

 

NHL Hart Memorial Trophy Nominees

This is usually an award that goes to someone who makes the biggest impact to their team but is also one of the top point scorers in the league. Last years nominees were Taylor Hall Hart TrophyClaude Giroux, Taylor Hall and Nathan MacKinnon. Giroux bounced back big time in 2017-18 to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a playoff match up. Giroux tallied 102 points (34G, 68A) in 82 games after only scoring 58 points in 82 games during the 2016-17 campaign. Nathan MacKinnon played a major role in why the Avalanche went from being the worst team in the NHL in 2016-17 to being a playoff team last season. The 23-year-old tenured forward tallied 97 points in 74 games last season, if it were not for missing eight games this award may have been his last season. MacKinnon bounced back from 53 points in 82 games to 97 in 74 games last season. The winner Taylor Hall lead the underrated, unskilled, inexperienced New Jersey Devils team to a playoff spot for the first time in almost ten years. Hall shook up the NHL with his record setting point streak last season but more importantly led the Devils in every facet of the game. Hall had 93 points in 73 games, in just his second year on the team, Hall helped put the Devils back on the map.

This years nominees are different than last years, which is a good thing. It would be hard to not mention at least the top five considerations for this trophy. Based off what last years nominees did for their club last year and what the winner Taylor Hall did for the Devils last season, we can all realize as to why these players below are being nominated for one of the more prestigious NHL awards.

  1. Mikko Rantanen (18G, 43A, 59 points in 37 games) 
  2. Connor McDavid (19G, 33A, 52 points in 35 games)
  3. Nikta Kucherov (16G, 41A, 57 points in 37 games) 
  4. Johnny Gaudreau (16G, 32A, 48 points in 37 games)
  5. Mark Scheifele (22G, 27A, 49 points in 36 games)

Mikko Rantanen has been a freak of nature this year, he has been apart of almost every Colorado win, a major reason the Avalanche are back in a playoff spot right now and continues to do it night in and night out. Sure he has Nathan MacKinnon so his accreditation is a little less valuable. But Rantanen being at 1.56 points per game is incredible.

Johnny Gaudreau has single handily (with the help of Sean Monahan) turned this Flames team around if you ever watched a Flames game, Gaudreau is by far the most impactful player on the ice for Calgary, his ability to take control of the game, create separation and just constantly be involved in every play when he is out there shows his importance to Calgary.

Connor McDavid we all know his significance to Edmonton, he has no one around him besides Leon Draisaitl (they do not always play together) but McDavid has consistently been the one of the biggest reasons all year the Oilers are hanging and fighting for a playoff spot right now. Not to mention he plays upwards of 22 minutes a game, which is unheard of from a forward.

Mark Scheifele, the Jets have tools around him but Scheifele’s presence is definitely known when he is out there and not out there. He is always scoring big goals, plays the best two way game among most centers in the league and is not just a one-sided player. Aside from his leadership Scheifele is one of the most underrated forwards in the game today.

McDavid or Crosby? Who is better? Comparing two NHL superstars

Since Connor McDavid came to the NHL, it seems like many experts are saying that he is the best player out there, but don‘t forget about Sidney Crosby, who is also considered as the best player in the NHL. Well, only one of them can be the best, of course.

So who is the best? Or at least who is better? If we take a look at their first years, that is something incomparable, because meanwhile Crosby scored 39 goals, McDavid, limited to play just 45 games because of an injury, managed to score “only” 16 goals. But Crosby played fewer games in his first NHL campaign – 53.

Prominent stars set to dominate NHL for years

But the very next season McDavid scored 41 goals. This number was never achieved by Crosby in his first three years in the NHL. In his first three seasons, Crosby scored more points than McDavid, he beat him in this category 294 to 256 points.

Head-to-head:

  • 1st season comparison : McDavid averaged 1,07 point per game, Crosby 1,26 point per game.
  • 2nd season comparison: McDavid averaged 1,22 point per game, Crosby 1,52 point per game.
  • 3rd season comparison: McDavid averaged 1,32 point per game, Crosby 1,36 point per game.

In their respective first three years in the NHL, both McDavid and Crosby participated twice in the NHL All Star game. Both players won one Hart Trophy, McDavid won two Ted Lindsay Trophies compared to Crosby‘s one. McDavid won two Art Ross Trophies for the most productive player, Crosby “just” one.

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Can any of them challenge Wayne Gretzky one day?

Well Sidney Crosby is exactly 10 years older than Connor McDavid. Crosby won three Stanley Cups in total and also won the MVP honor in those playoffs. Crosby has achieved more collective trophies, two olympic gold medals, World Championship title and World Cup title. So far McDavid has won “just” one gold medal from World Championships.

Based on these numbers and stats and maybe more importantly, based on your own eye-test, please feel free to decide for yourself who is the better out of those two. If you cannot make a decision, please feel free to join our club, you are welcome!

Best NHL plays of Tuesday night; Sharks win over Nashville, Red Wings first two-goals, Oilers win over Montreal

This was a pretty exciting night, some upsets, some high scoring games and some games we all expected. This will be a new edition, and this does not mean “top plays” as in top goals, or passes it means the top plays as in what lead to the goal. I will break down about 3-4 games and highlight how that goal happened and the important aspect/teaching point. 

Game 1: Predators vs Sharks; 5-4 Sharks won. This was a crazy game from start to finish. The Sharks opened up with three first period goals and the Predators score 4 unanswered goals after that. The one play I will be highlighting is the fourth goal for the Predators and Sharks. The 4th goal for Nashville came off the stick of Rocco Grimaldi, all he did was outwork the defense man get inside position on him and bury his chance. Hard work, desire for the puck, is all you need to be successful. Fourth goal for San Jose came off the stick of Joe Pavelski but the play started with Joe Thornton taking a hit to make a play, Burns filling in, making a questionable pass, Sharks forward staying with the puck and instead of Pavelski going hard to the net he stays in the soft area in the high slot, bangs it home. 

Game 2: Canadiens vs Oilers; Oilers won 5-2. I am going to highlight two Oilers goals here and their first two, for one reason puck movement and simplicity. You probably here time and time again, do not force passes and use the perimeter, open the ice and get the defense man to open up and move. The Oilers did exactly that on their first goal. It started with a good fore check/terrible play by Canadiens defenseman. #91 for the Oilers came in hard forced a turnover, held it for a second, created space, Draisaitl popped behind the net, McDavid slid to the hash marks on the other side of the goal, Benning foot inside the blue in the middle of the ice, it was bang-bang, #91 to Draisaitl to McDavid to Benning for a goal. Simple, open the ice and create space. Goal #2 for the Oilers is my favorite, McDavid is so good at this, not forcing anything to the middle staying wide and creating offense that way. A lot of kids and players nowadays like to come down on a defenseman and go to the middle thinking they will beat him that way, all defenseman are programmed to push you wide and ride you into the boards, McDavid does exactly that, goes wide and uses his speed to blow by the hit. All young players out there, you have a slower defenseman on the ice, use your speed and go wide, just like McDavid’s play and the Oilers second goal. 

Game 3: Coyotes vs Red Wings: Red Wings won 5-1. This was a game the Coyotes probably expected to win. They have been playing pretty decent hockey this season, a lot better than years past but the Red Wings scored three quick goals and it was game from there. The Red Wings first two goals will be highlighted though. The Red Wings first goal is like a dream come true watching it, it was so slick and perfect. Pass from the defenseman to the forward swinging through the neutral zone, one touch pass to the supporting forward there with him, back to the forward with speed up ice and the Red Wings Anthony Mantha, used his speed, pushed the defenseman back, Frans Neilsen, forward two pushes the defenseman back to the goal, leaving Mantha on a 1 v 1 vs a forward, all he does is keep his feet moving, shooting off his stride cross the body of the goalie. Goal #2 is a coaches dream, Red Wings on the power play, puck gets moved from the right side to the left side, shot from the point Justin Abdelkader slides right in front of the net, takes the goalies eyes away and shot beats the goalie clean. Red Wings up 2-0. Watch up until 2:00 minutes to see the highlights. 

Must Keep Fantasy Hockey CENTERS for the 2018-19 season

How does your fantasy league run? 2 keepers of any position? Perhaps you get five? Probably a little too much in my opinion. Must keep a goalie? However your fantasy keeper league works this article will be useful for you!

First we will start with Fantasy Hockey Centers all owners MUST keep. Centers come a dime a dozen usually you have a ton of them on the waiver wire and roster, but a GOOD center is not easy to come by in the NHL. Here are the top 10 Fantasy Hockey centers you should keep!

  1. Nathan MacKinnon: A nor brainer obviously the guy had more than a point per game last year almost 40 goals(38) and 58 assists, the Avalanche’s clear number one guy, you would have to be on every drug in the world to skip this guy.
  2. Evgeni Malkin: Does his value ever decrease? This guy does it all too, power play, penalty kill, scoring, assists and is always consistent.
  3. Connor McDavid: Top point scorer in the NHL two years in a row and only 21. Sure why not! Enough said.
  4. Sidney Crosby: Do we have to say anymore besides he will be a 90 point scorer next year and is the best player in the NHL.
  5. Tyler Seguin: If Seguin does not ink a contract extension soon, this may be a John Tavares 2.0 situation all over again the Stanley Cup winning and glorified scoring center has emerged into an elite level center quickly since coming into the league. Seguin has scored 30 plus four times in his career with a career high of 40 goals last season. Not much will slow this guy down!
  6. Anze Kopitar: He actually was not on my keeper list last year but he proved his worth and did not let the $900000 million contract get to his head. After a 72 point season and 35 goal year, Kopitar is viable fantasy keeper.
  7. Blake Wheeler: After inking a 5-year extension, Wheeler is going to be hitting his stride over the next few years, after a slow start in the first few years of his career, Wheeler has emerged into an elite level center. Tallying 91 point last season a 17 point increase from his 2016-17 season!
  8. Steven Stamkos: For some reason a lot of people are weary on the whole Stamkos situation, due to injuries, a lot of pieces in the line up producing, some may actually not keep Stamkos this year. Coming off a an 86 point year, his best season since 2011-12, I wonder what some think about Stamkos now? Definitely keep the elite center.
  9. Claude Giroux: I would have not kept Giroux coming into the 17-18 year but after the pieces the Flyers added on the offensive side and coming off a MVP caliber season, Giroux is a solid fantasy keeper. After a 102 point season and 34 goals, it would be silly to pass on Giroux.
  10. John Tavares: Heading back home to Toronto now and playing with that great young talent in Toronto, it will only make Tavares better. Lined up with Mitch Marner and Connor Brown the veteran center has a lot of tools to use and more freedom to his game. He will be targeted the same probably but having Auston Matthews on a different line will leave Tavares with some great defensive match ups.

 

NHL predictions: McDavid go for another 100 plus points, Giroux for another 30 goal season, and more!

Connor McDavid 2018-19 predicitions
McDavid bound for his third 100 point season in 3.5 years?

Is Connor McDavid going to go back to back to back 100 plus point seasons? McDavid tallied 100 points in 2016-17, last season he topped the leaderboards with 108 points and now for his fourth year, third full year in the NHL, can McDavid go for 100 plus points? With where McDavid is coming from in Edmonton the situation may not be great but it was not great last season and not much has changed on the Oilers side of things. McDavid scoring 100 plus points is an easy thing to imagine, I mean he went from 31 to 40 goals scoring just 5 power play goals last season and he only had 20 power play points of his 108 points. His power play numbers will only increase as he becomes more selfish, if you notice on the powerplay he always looks to be the set up man, once he chooses to be the scorer we could see upwards of 30 power play points. McDavid was T-62 for power play points last year, yet 1st in points… sheesh. I think it is fair to say McDavid will go for another 100 point season, maybe not upwards of 108 but around 102, or so.

Claude Giroux for another 100 point year? Giroux had a monumental bounce back season and one that propelled the Flyers into the playoffs. Giroux came into the 17-18 season off a 58 point and 14 goal year, anything was going to be better than that year. Giroux sure showed his 16-17 season the way out quickly. 2016-17 was Giroux’s lowest point total in his career since 2009-10(his first full year in the NHL). For Giroux to come back and tally 102 points from 58 points is amazing, a 44 point increase in one year is unheard of. To go from 14 goals to 34 goals, 20 more goals in the same amount of games. Giroux surely had himself a year to remember, but can he do it again? I don’t think Giroux tallies 102 points and 34 goals, perhaps, 89-90 points and 28-30 goals.

Taylor Hall predicitons for 2018-19 seasonTaylor Hall going for 100 points this year? The Hart Trophy winner, had an unforgettable regular season and led the Devils into the playoffs for the first time in five years. Hall brought a breathe of fresh air to this New Jersey team and proved to be the most valuable player in the NHL for sure. Hall played in 76 games last season scoring 39 goals, along with 54 assists for 93 points. A lot of eyes will be on the MVP once again coming into the 18-19 year, and even worse Devils fans will be expecting Hall to do it once again and even better! The Devils have not done much this offseason, therefore it seems like Hall will be with Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt as of now, so a lot hangs on those guys to continue their production as well. I don’t think we see Hall go for 100 points, maybe 85 points next year but 100 is a stretch.

Matt Barzal upwards of 85 points? This is going to be a tough one, without John Tavares Barzal will have all eyes and defensive one pairings on his tail next year. As elusive and shifty as he is, it is going to be difficult to move away from the opponents top players for 20+ minutes a game and be productive at it. Barzal had an unbelievable 85 point, record breaking rookie season. The positive is that, this will be the GUY for the Islanders, one man advantage, 5 on 3, even strength, in all facets of the game Barzal will be the guy. To say he cannot tally upwards of 85 points is just poor analysis, we have seen top players in the NHL have successful season with not many great player around them. Although Barzal does still have Josh Baily, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Ho-Sang, Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, let’s not forget about these guys too, so he may not get all the attention. I’d go 80+ for Barzal next season.

William Karlsson upwards of 40 goals next season? To be quite honest, no chance! Karlsson sure had a great year, but two years in a row for 40 goals is tough, especially when his only bench mark before this season was 6 goals, something was a little fishy with his production last year. Overall a very good player when used correctly but for another 40 goal and 75 point season is tough. Karlsson only shot 184 times last year and scored 43 times, shooting at a 23.4 percentage is unheard of nowadays. If he shoots upwards of 20 percent next year, I’ll quit writing. I see a 28-30 goal season out of Karlsson next year.

Patrik Laine or Auston Matthews, who scores more goals? I am going with Laine, Matthews may have his production reduced a little next season. With Tavares in Toronto now, Matthews won’t have all the spotlight, but still, Matthews is good for a 30 plus goal season, I just think this is the year Winnipeg strings it together and Laine wins the Rocket. Very close last year missed by 5 goals to Ovechkin who shot 110 plus more times than Laine. If you think Laine shots a lot already wait until next year, we can expect upwards of 270 shots and a rocket trophy.