Category Archives: Hockey

Penguins Gaining, But Risk A Net Loss

After posting my recent critique of the NHL’s so-far lackluster season, I’ve been making a concerted effort this past week to watch more games. And one thing stood out in the play I witnessed, something that’s reflected in the current standings: the Pittsburgh Penguins are starting to actually look like a two-time defending champion.

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Tristan Jarry: a potential crack in the Pens’ championship ice

The Pens have reclaimed the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, and they’ve looked good doing it. They’re riding a three-game winning streak (as of this writing), and they showed a smothering defense–particularly in the third period–in their win Wednesday night over the previously hot but now suddenly ice-cold Flyers. Combine a tight D with that team’s world-class offensive skill and the idea that we’re seeing a team in the midst of an Islanders- or Canadiens-like string of three or four consecutive Cup wins starts to look very plausible.

But that win Wednesday night revealed something else that may give Pens fans a moment’s pause: without the sidelined Matt Murray in goal, Pittsburgh may have a major problem in the playoffs, no matter how many snipers skate on their forward lines. Continue reading Penguins Gaining, But Risk A Net Loss


The NHL In The Penalty Box

This is a feature that I’ve been meaning to write for weeks…but haven’t been able to do so.

No, the post-Super Bowl hangover did not help. Seeing the team of my youth finally win the big one pushed a lot of other considerations aside, for sure–but that didn’t really last this long.

Nor was I taking my own advice, from a couple of years ago, and indulging in a well-timed sports sabbatical during the deadest period of the calendar–though that idea remains wise.

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The USA women’s Olympic team: the best thing in hockey this season. The NHL–not so much.

No, I haven’t been able to write this hockey-centric feature post for almost a month now because, frankly, I haven’t been able to make the necessary confession–not even to myself. But I guess the time has now come:

Hello, my name is Stephen, and I am no longer a hockey-holic.

Continue reading The NHL In The Penalty Box

Groundpuck Day

Today is January 1st, New Year’s Day, and for puckheads, that can only mean one thing:

The Flyers are still in last place.

Well, ahem, yes, that’s technically true, but for the majority of hockey fans out there, the first day of the year has come to mean another installment of the NHL’s best–and, weirdly, worst–idea in a long time: the Winter Classic.

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The 2018 Winter Classic at Citi Field: I feel like I’ve been here before…

The outdoor game has been a big hit for the league, but there have always been minor issues with the presentation of the game–and, apparently, folks are beginning to notice that fact. A recent video made the rounds on the web suggesting that maybe, just maybe, there might be better places to play the Winter Classic than in football and baseball stadiums that are in no way designed to host hockey games.

Gee, if only someone had had that idea sooner. Oh, wait… Continue reading Groundpuck Day

Knights And Daze

A lot has been happening lately–so much stuff, in fact, that it’s been difficult to pick one sports story to think much about, let alone write a commentary about it. One thing that has stood out, just enough, in these recent, active days has been the unusual immediate success of the NHL’s expansion darlings, the Vegas Golden Knights.

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The Golden Knights: they’re having quite the time in Vegas

At 9-4-0 with 18 points, the GK’s are sitting in second place in the Pacific and breathing down the necks of the division-leading Los Angeles Kings. It’s pretty remarkable that an expansion team would shoot out of the gate with such winning ways. Clearly, the Vegas ownership has done a sparkling job of putting together a team that can compete right away with the NHL’s established squads.

But you have to wonder: is this really a case of the Knights being that good…or everyone else not being all that great?

Continue reading Knights And Daze

Expansion Team, Anyone?


a DFR audible

Wow. A four goal lead early in the first period of their home opener. It’s hard to believe the Vegas Golden Knights are an expansion team.

Meanwhile, one hopes that maybe someday, the good people of Arizona will be able to enjoy their own NHL-caliber hockey team.

A good hockey team in the desert. How crazy would that be?