How Bout ‘Dem Islanders

Tuesday was a great night for New York hockey.  The New York Islanders defeated the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 6-3, while the New York Rangers took down the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2.  With the win by the Rangers, they have slipped into the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  The win by the Islanders brings them within 2 points of that same playoff spot.  As for the Rangers game, they jumped out to a very early lead scoring a goal in the first minute and a half.  The flyers bounced back with 2 goals of their own, but before the end of the 1st period the score was tied 2-2.  After a scoreless 2nd period, Rick Nash scored both of his goals in the 3rd period to seal the victory.  Henrik Lundqvist played a nice game saving 23 of 25 total shots on goal.  The stars of the game for the Rangers were Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan.  Nash finished the game with 2 goals as Callahan added 2 goals and an assist.  I feel that the Rangers are definitely going to make the playoffs this season.  They are too talented of a hockey team to be watching the playoffs from the coach.

Now the Islanders had a tough match-up last night against the 1st place Montreal Canadiens.  It was a quiet 1st period where the Canadiens came away with one goal.  On the other hand, the 2nd and 3rd periods saw a bit more action.  In the 2nd period the Islanders scored 3 straight goals in a span of 11 minutes.  The Canadiens answered back with one goal to bring the score to 3-2 (Islanders) at the end of the 2nd period.  When the Canadiens tied the game at 3 I started thinking, oh no here come the Islanders I’ve grown accustom to.  But I must admit I was wrong.  Maybe this team of young talent is showing us, right in front of our eyes, the potential this franchise will have for years to come.  The Islanders stormed back and scored 3 unanswered goals and won the game 6-3.  I really want to believe in my heart that they are going to make the playoffs too, but if I’m going to put them in the playoffs I would have to take someone else out.  Out of the teams that are currently in the playoff picture in the East, I could see the Islanders catching the New Jersey Devils.  The Devils have lost 6 games in a row and 8 of their last 9, and I don’t see a sign of them turning their season around anytime soon.  They have a lot of games left against the top teams in the Eastern Conference and the way they look right now, they can’t beat anybody.  The final game of the season at the Rangers could prove to be the difference in their (the Devils) season (way to go NHL with your scheduling skills!!).

Can’t wait to catch the Rangers and Islanders in action for their next game?  Well, you won’t have to wait long, and you’ll be able to find them in the same place.  The Rangers come to Nassau Coliseum this Thursday night at 7:00 P.M to take on the Islanders.  Let the rivalry continue.  The season is hitting its stride, and I think this game will live up to its expectations.  I like the Islanders to win in an overtime thriller 5-4.

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

There’s A Professional Hockey League????????

In case you’ve missed it (and I’m pretty sure you did), The Chicago Blackhawks are doing something we’ve never seen before.  They have scored at least one point in every game so far this season.  They have a total of 41 points through their first 22 games (a record of 19-0-3).  What the Blackhawks are doing is amazing.  The Blackhawks have set a new record for the most consecutive games with a point to start a season.  They surpassed the ’06-’07 Anaheim Ducks by winning their game on February 22nd.  Hockey, in its lockout shortened season, has become mostly an afterthought to most people.  Can the Blackhawks amazing performance singlehandedly revive the sport of hockey?  I think it can.  I find more and more people are tuning in to see how many games they can win in a row.  People love watching history, and that’s exactly what this is.

As for New York hockey, it’s not going quite as well.  The New York Islanders and the New York Rangers are both currently sitting outside of the playoff picture.  The Rangers rank last in goals scored in the Eastern Conference and sit in 9th place (1 point behind the Philadelhpia Flyers for the final playoff spot).  The Islanders on the other hand rank last in goals against, which doesn’t bode well for their playoff chances.  However, they are only 3 points behind those Flyers, so nothing is out of the realm of possibilities.  You can watch both the Rangers and Islanders in action Tuesday night.  The Rangers have a big game against the Flyers at Madison Square Garden (@ 7:30 P.M.), while the Islanders have the 1st place Montreal Canadiens at Nassau Coliseum (@ 7:00 P.M.).  See, I didn’t forget about you hockey fans.  Enjoy!

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

You gotta fight..for your right..to fiiiiggghht!!(Thanks Beastie Boys)

Hey hockey fans don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you. Everyone I talk to is excited to have hockey back, and I don’t blame them. The Chicago Blackhawks have started out on fire winning 10 out of their first 13 games, as they are still the only undefeated team in regulation left in the NHL. The New Jersey Devils have also gotten off to a nice start this season as they head up the Eastern Conference. And as usual, My Islanders are hanging out in the bottom of the barrel(there’s always next year). On a serious note, Islanders fans may have something to get excited about. They will be moving to Brooklyn after the 2014-2015 season. This move should give the New York franchise a badly needed fresh start. The Nets of the NBA can tell them how nice it is to call Brooklyn home. Personally, I haven’t been to The Barclays Center, but everyone can’t get over the awesome atmosphere inside the arena. This move should also help attract talented free agents. Another headline early on in the season is the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings getting off to an extremely slow start. They have played 8 of their first 11 games on the road, so they shouldn’t be as worried as their fans are.

The story grabbing all the headlines so far in the NHL is the same issue plaguing the NFL. Of course I am talking about player safety. Hockey like football is a very physical sport, however hockey is not a violent sport by nature. Some of you, if you could see me, would probably be looking at me like I have 4 heads. Hear me out now. Fighting in hockey is a tradition. It is as much a part of the game as line changes or shoot outs. Let me be the first to say that I would stop watching hockey entirely if they banned fighting. Fighting in hockey serves a purpose. It’s not just there for the sheer entertainment of the fans(even though it is a huge part of the attraction for casual hockey fans). See, it’s kind of like a retaliation pitch in baseball. When a baseball player shows up an opposing team or player, they get thrown at in their next at bat. When done respectfully and not done out of anger, it accomplishes something important. It’s the same in hockey. This tactic is used when an opposing player does something uncalled for or out of line(in layman’s terms: when you do something dumb you get punched). This solves problems quickly, and it can be part of a teams strategy. Fighters and instigators also have their own place on NHL rosters. A fighting ban would certainly put some NHL players out of work. These guys simply make a living playing that role. It is the same as a defender or rebounder in the NBA who lacks offensive skills. A prime example is Dennis Rodman. He played to his strengths and filled an important role for his team. There are guys just like that in the NHL. Their only role is to rough people up, retaliate, or instigate. To take fighting out of hockey would be like taking charges out of basketball, it would change the culture of the sport.

When NHL players were asked about this issue, 97% of them said they’re against banning fighting. That is an astonishingly high number! I also guarantee you that if you polled hockey fans, at least 95% of them would want to keep fighting in hockey as well. I understand that player safety is a real issue that every sport should take seriously, but this is not the right issue to take a stand.

I am also a contributing author @ intheneutralzone.com. If you enjoy my writing, please check out more of my work there.