Friday, February 20, 2015

Stanley Cup Favorites Right Now

With cold temperatures all around the United States and Canada right now, it might not seem like spring is right around the corner. However, the Stanley Cup playoffs will be here before people know it, and several teams are starting to feel the pressure to build up for that time. Winning in the NHL usually requires a good amount of skill along with luck to make it all work. Here are the three teams with a good shot to go all the way.

Nashville Predators
 It is time to start taking this team seriously, as they have been at the top of their game for a few weeks now. They continue to put up huge numbers, as Pekka Rinne leads them. Even though there is a chance that he could possibly win both the Vezina and Hart trophies, this team is going to be a Stanley Cup contender because of all the other talent on the roster. Adding Mike Santorelli to the mix only makes them better.

St. Louis Blues 
 Even though they are not even winning their division thanks to Nashville, St. Louis still needs to be taken seriously as a Stanley Cup contender. They have been unable to close the gap in the standings, but all it takes is one hot playoff series to make a statement. They have been playing particularly well in 2015, and that has allowed them to put together one of the best records in the NHL.

Chicago Blackhawks 
They might not be playing their best hockey right now, but it is hard to argue with the Chicago Blackhawks and their chances of winning the Stanley Cup title. Many people still have them as the favorite, and they certainly have the individual talent to make it work. Leading the league in points is Patrick Kane, and he has a slew of other players surrounding him were playing at a pretty high level. It seems like most agree that the Stanley Cup title will go through the Windy City.

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Guest blogger Mark Mathews

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Los Angeles Gunning For History In 2014-2015

There have certainly been a few NHL dynasties throughout the years, but if the Los Angeles Kings could win another Stanley Cup title this season, they could be one of the most unlikely. Hockey is still a work in progress in warmer climates, and the team would be the first true franchise to dominate the NHL for a prolonged period of time. That is what will be motivating this squad heading into the new year more than anything.

For the most part, Los Angeles made sure that they brought back most of the same talent that they had just a year ago. After all, it works, there is no reason to try and fix anything. Marian Gaborik and Matt Greene were locked up with new deals, And the only notable addition was Adam Cracknell. People in fantasy hockey do not really expect him to be much of a contributor this season.

The only guy that Los Angeles could be missing this year is Willie Mitchell. He has been a pretty strong player in fantasy hockey for most of his career, but the 37-year-old is starting to get up there in age little bit. The team feels like they can replace his production, and more than likely they will find somebody to step up.

In the last few years, Los Angeles has been able to have success despite the fact that the Western Conference is pretty strong. The teams in the Pacific division specifically have been pretty tough, but none of them really made a huge splash this offseason to strike fear in Los Angeles in general. Anaheim and San Jose both feel confident that they too can make a Stanley Cup run, but all the history is on Los Angeles’ side.

At the end of the day, no team is going to truly build any type of dynasty unless they have strong play in net. Jonathan Quick and Martin Jones are extremely reliable, and they both have at least a few more years to play at a high level. When they are rolling at just the right time, this team becomes nearly impossible to stop.

by guest writer Zack Kennedy

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Betting favorites to win the NHL season

This season’s NHL is drawing towards its climax, with four teams now left in contention for the Stanley Cup, as they compete in the Conference Finals.

For fans of those teams that didn’t make it this far, the 2012/13 season is already finished, but for supporters of the Bruins, Penguins, Blackhawks and Kings – as well as sports betting fans – this is the most exciting stage of the season. There is not much time left for any punter who hasn’t already placed a bet to do so, but which teams are the hot favorites to win? At this stage it is the Blackhawks who have been rated the favorites with the bookies, and you will get odds on them of 10/11 at many sites to overcome the Kings in their Western Conference Final and go on to win the Cup.

They currently lead the Kings 2-1 in that series, and dominated the Western Conference during the regular season, finishing with the highest total of points in this season’s NHL. This looks like the form of Stanley Cup winners, but if you don’t fancy these odds, you might consider betting on the Bruins – who are favorites to beat the Penguins in the Eastern Conference final and have odds of 2/1 – or you might prefer to play the Break Away ice hockey slots game at Lucky Nugget instead. This five reel slots game boasts a total of 243 pay lines which, along with the presence of a wild symbol (the burning hockey puck) greatly boosts the odds of you winning a payout if you choose to play it.

However the great chance of a return is not the only reason why Break Away is a game that any ice hockey fan should love, because the outstanding video graphics and audio effects make this one of the most gripping and immersive video slots games you can find, plunging you right into the heart of a brutal NHL encounter. It lets you feel like you are out there on the ice rink, starring for your team in the Stanley Cup play-offs, while also allowing you to keep all of your teeth!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rangers Expected To Make Alain Vigneault Next Head Coach

It looks like former Canucks' coach Alain Vigneault is set to take the Head Coach position for the Rangers, beating out Mark Messier who had also been in the running. This will be a great coup for Vigneault as Messier has described coaching the Rangers as a dream job. It’s almost better than winning a massive jackpot at your favourite iPhone casino and fans eagerly await the finalizing of a deal.

Although nothing has been signed yet, it seems that Vigneault is very close to making Broadway his new home as he has the strongest credentials to succeed outgoing head coach John Tortorella. Certainly Vigneault fits the classic coaching carousel criteria in that he has a very different temperament and demeanor to the previous coach and he will certainly shake things up if he is signed.

The concept of Vigneault becoming the next head Coach isn’t a surprising one, but the situation came to a head rather fast as the Rangers had been very quiet about a head coach vacancy. There may have been a few team meetings held out in California but there was no indication of the direction they were planning on going. Seems they like to keep the element of surprise both on the ice and off.

Vigneault had already been approached by the Dallas Stars but the Rangers got aggressive and ensured that they would snare him as their next bench boss. The Stars had already gone as far as putting an offer on the table and were simply waiting for him to sign, but James Dolan stepped in and made sure the Rangers would get their man.

The probable new Rangers coach is the right man for the job and although he has a very different personality to Tortorella this may be exactly what is needed. He has had success at NHL level and took the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final, accumulated 313 wins in 540 games as the Canucks bench boss and has won a Jack Adams Award.

Although nothing has yet been made official, insiders say that the writing is on the wall and that Vigneault is a head coach in waiting. Now the pressure shifts to Glen Sather who will have to ensure that he can tailor his team to accommodate Vigneault’s style, so this could be an interesting summer.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Betting on an upcoming Ice Hockey event

Whilst many sports fans might have had a few disappointing cancellations due to the snow this year, we are lucky that the game we all know and love is able to carry on regardless. With more people joining the fan club everyday it's no surprise that people have started betting on the sport.

If you are looking to put some more excitement into your ice hockey experience, then like many others you could place an online bet on the result of an upcoming event and be in with the chance to win some big bucks. With the excitement that comes with the players’ potentially vicious mentality, and it on occasion spilling into fights , it is one of the most intense sports around. The addition of a bet can make watching the sport even more interesting; you can bet during the game with live odds and also before the game for pre-fixed odds. If you love the hockey but prefer to relax with a nice cup of tea and a few slots instead, make sure you try out some of the many hockey themed slots Gaming Club for one offers a brilliant range of themed slot and advanced slot games. Break Away is one of the many slots and features hockey icons such as the court, referees, penalties and even a classic Zamboni.

The Olympics, Winter Olympics and Paralympics have caused a large increase in sports fans recently because of the sporting heroes created. Ice hockey has had one of the most dramatic booms, so with more and more people joining the sport there has never been a better time to place an online bet on one of the upcoming events this year.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rangers Get Some Much Needed Size & Grit; Acquire Ryane Clowe

While last week this disgruntled Rangers fan wrote about the signing of Mats Zuccarello and how he didn't meet the needs of the Rangers, today it's the opposite story.

News broke late this afternoon that the Ryane Clowe sweepstakes was down to the Rangers and Canucks. Shortly thereafter it was confirmed that the Rangers and Sharks had agreed on a deal and the deal was to be finalized if Clowe agreed as he had a No Trade Clause.

According to TSN:
In return, the Sharks receive a second round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, Florida's third round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft (previously acquired by New York) and a conditional second round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft.

If Clowe re-signs with the Rangers or the team wins two playoff rounds, the pick remains New York's 2014 second round selection. If neither occurs, the pick becomes New York's fifth round 2014 selection.
While much of the Rangers roster is made up of skilled players who aren't capable of using their body to  screen goalies, get to the opposing team's goal or grind it out along the boards - Clowe is more than capable. He plays like a bull in a China shop. He's a big man who is more than willing to pay the price to get the prime real estate on the ice. He's also not reluctant to drop the gloves when needed. He's your prototypical NHL power forward who is tough as nails, uses his body effectively and can play with the a nasty streak.

There are critics of course because Clowe has yet to score a goal this season and some wonder how a guy with zero goals is supposed to help the Rangers atrocious offense. It's my belief (and assuming Sather's) that Clowe brings intangibles that the Rangers so badly need. The goals will come. Until they do, Clowe will provide screens on the opposing goalie, get to rebounds and create space for whoever the Rangers put on his line.

He's certainly struggled offensively this season through 28 games - but he's had a decent career stats-wise for a player never shy to back down from a physical confrontation or throw his body around. In 423 NHL regular season games he has 271 points (101 goals, 170 assists). His playoff numbers have been even more impressive scoring 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) in 68 games.

Clowe is exactly what the Rangers needed.  Time will tell how much more, if anything, the Rangers will do prior to tomorrow's 3pm NHL trade deadline.

Oh yeah, I've had a man crush on Ryane Clowe for a long time -- proposing that Sather inquire about him back in June 2009.

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