Joe Louis Arena was more than just a building

Written by :
Published on : April 13, 2017

 

 

On Sunday April 9th, 2017 the Detroit Red Wings played their last game at Joe Louis Arena, signaling the end of an era. For 38 years Joe Louis was the heart and soul of Hockeytown, and the list of players who graced the ice in that building is a who’s who of hall of famers. It is one of the most iconic places in hockey, even for those who don’t support the winged wheel. Everyone respects the history but for some of us, Joe Louis Arena is more than just a building where our favorite team played, it’s hallowed ground. It’s like a part of the family, a piece of our sports culture. A piece of Detroit’s culture.

 

JLA is a monument to a time before corporate sponsorship of stadiums. When places that represented a people were named in honor of the greatest champions among those people. The Red Wings new home, Little Caesars Arena, inspires considerably less Motor City pride. Joe Louis Arena was too old, too small, too ill-equipped to handle the needs and desires of today’s sports fan. Because of that, it was time to move on, but damned if it wasn’t a great place to see the game. That place was always rocking and the atmosphere was always electric. Four Stanley Cups were won by the Red Wings during their time in that building. The team was built into a dynasty during that era; they were royalty, and Joe Louis Arena was their castle.

 

 One of 31 octopi that were thrown on to the ice during the Red Wings last game at Joe Louis Arena.

 

The Red Wings are missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years and it almost seems fitting that in the same year we all said goodbye to beloved owner, Mike Ilitch, and Joe Louis Arena. This is the beginning of a new era for the franchise and all of its fans. What makes this franchise so special is that even though they are planning for the future they know they had to honor their past.

 

The Illitch family has always had a deep love for the city of Detroit and they know what that building and the team mean to the city. The organization recognized the meaning of that moment, and they knew that the fans in Detroit needed a chance to pay their respect to a place that means so much to them. In a ceremony that involved over 90 current and former players and coaches, the city and the team had a chance to process the moment and reflect on everything that had happened under that roof.

 

 Current and former players salute the crowd following the closing ceremony at Joe Louis Arena.

 

Steve Yzerman was in the house and was greeted by adoring fans who begged him to come back home to Detroit. Bob Probert’s widow spread his ashes in the penalty box, a place where he spent a considerable amount of time during his career. Guys that couldn’t attend, like Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan, sent in video messages. Hell, Wayne Gretzky did a video message, and he didn’t even play for the team but he wanted to be part of saying goodbye to a piece of history.

 

Joe Louis Arena was more than just a building. For some people, it was their earliest memory of going to a game. For some people, it was where they fell in love with the game. For some people, it was where they saw champions made. For some people, it was sports Mecca. For some people, it was home. As for me, it is the place where some of my fondest memories happened, and the best place to watch a hockey game on the entire planet.

 

 

 


A new chapter for the Red Wings

Written by :
Published on : February 28, 2017

 

 

It’s been a very different kind of year for fans of the Detroit Red Wings. Right now, the team is among the worst in the NHL and the chances of them making it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs are dwindling with each passing day and each loss. It’s a sinking feeling that people in Detroit aren’t used to and missing the playoffs is something that hasn’t happened in decades. To many of us, it’s a tragedy for a franchise that is so accustomed to excellence to be in such a poor state. But it also seems like a fitting cap to what has been a trying year for the Red Wings. A year when the Wings have lost some very important people and will be leaving their home of the last 38 years.

 

The hits started coming last summer, less than two months after the Red Wings first round playoff exit at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightening. On June 10th, one of the most legendary players in the history of the game of hockey, Gordie Howe, passed away at the age of 88 and the entire sports world mourned. He was an old man who had lived a full life and for that, all of us who loved him can be grateful. But that doesn’t lessen the impact of his passing.

 

 You are missed, Gordie.

 

Then a couple of weeks ago, on February 10th, 2017, longtime team owner, Mike Illitch, passed away. He too lived to a ripe, old age and at 87-years-old the man who made his fortune off the Little Caesars pizza chain and bought the Red Wings in 1982 for $8 million had lived to see his team win 4 Stanley Cups during his time as owner. He truly loved the Red Wings and his other team the Tigers, as well as the city of Detroit. As a fan, you couldn’t ask for a more passionate and caring owner. All he ever wanted was to win and though his Tigers were never able to bring him a championship he was overjoyed every time the Wings were able to hoist the Cup.

 

 Mike Iliitch loved his team and his city.

 

So with two of the biggest icons in the history of Detroit hockey gone, isn’t it fitting that the team would miss out on the postseason for the first time in 25 years? The passing of Howe and Illitch, along with this year’s abysmal performance by the team and their departure from Joe Louis Arena, point to a shift in the world of Detroit Hockey. That might not be a bad thing and it seems like it could be a jumping off point for the next generation of Detroit Red Wings.

 

New arena. New owner. New Red Wings. The team has been coasting on “just making the playoffs” for years now and the decade anniversary of the last Stanley Cup championship is rapidly approaching. Fans are getting tired of simply making it to the dance and getting tossed in the first or second round. It’s time for a rebuild and a year away from the playoffs might be what the franchise needs to turn the corner and get back to the mountain top. It’s been tough losing Gordie and Mr I, and it will be tough leaving Joe Louis Arena behind but the only constant in this world is change. These changes might be hard but they are necessary. Likely, it will be a bumpy road but with some luck there will be a new, improved Red Wings team rising from the ashes of the 2016-17 season.

 

 


Top 10 NHL Fights Of 2016-2017 Season

Written by :
Published on : February 3, 2017

 

The NHL All-Star game was this past weekend. With a little over half of the season complete, it’s a good time to recap some recent storylines.

 

Fights per game is at 0.31. That’s in line with the 2014-15 season, sans most enforcers, and slightly above last season’s 0.28 number.

 

Cody McLeod led the league with 12 fights in the 2015-16 campaign. He’s currently tied for the league lead with Jared Boll at 11, making it likely they’ll surpass last season’s high.

 

Michael Latta leads the AHL with 7 fights. He may become the first player suspended for the 10 fight rule put into place this season.

 

Cody Eakin and Chris Kreider fought on January 17th. They also both picked up Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in a high-scoring Dallas Stars New York Rangers contest.

A couple of weeks ago, Cody McLeod was traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Nashville Predators. The Preds then played the Avs the very next day. McLeod fought Jarome Iginla. There was no bad blood from when both donned the same sweater:

 

“It’s happened in the past where I’ve fought guys I’ve played with,” said McLeod. “We were down 1-0 at the time and kind of sluggish in the second period and I was just trying to provide a spark. I asked Iggy and he obliged, and there you go.”

 

This was the second time the two have duked it out.

 

Without further ado, Here are the Top 10 NHL fights of 2016-2017

 

10. Jordan Nolan vs Jared Boll, Nov. 20, 2016

 

9. Max Domi vs Ryan Kessler, Nov. 4, 2016

 

8. Chris Neil vs Cody Bass, Nov. 8, 2016

 

7. Lawson Crouse vs Chris Stewart, Jan. 19, 2017

 

6. Josh Anderson vs Chris Stewart & Matt Calvert vs Matt Dumba, Dec. 31, 2016

 

5. Matt Martin vs Erik Gudbranson, Dec. 3, 2016

 

4. Miles Wood vs Steve Oleksy, Dec. 23, 2016

 

3. Michael Healy vs Ryan White, Nov. 19, 2016

 

2. Luke Gazdic vs Chris Neil, Dec. 19, 2016

 

1. Adam McQuaid vs Derek Grant, Jan. 12, 2017

 

Did we miss any fights that hold a special place in your heart? Share in the comments below.

 

h/t hockeyfights.com

 

Follow me on Twitter @c_brown22

 

 


Garth Snow: the Real Problem for the New York Islanders

Written by :
Published on : December 28, 2016

 

 

The New York Islanders are currently having a “decent” season. The team had a rough start in the beginning of the year with the loss of Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, and Frans Nielsen. However, it seems that the team is getting more used to the new setup. But for a team that has so much potential, and has made the playoffs two years in a row, why hasn’t the team made it any further? Many fans blame the coaching done by Jack Capuano. Many other fans blame the managing of former Islanders’ goalie, Garth Snow.

 

Personally, I would have to agree with the fans who believe it is Garth that is preventing the team from winning a Stanley Cup. It has been ten years for Garth Snow as the GM and I feel that he has made some contributions that have helped but he’s also made a lot of stupid choices. Now, lets take a step back and look at Garth’s history with the Islanders and what he has done wrong ever since he was hired.

 

 Garth Snow the goaltender in net for team USA

 

Garth Snow was originally a New York Islanders goalie, as the back up goalie for Chris Osgood and Rick DiPietro. However in 2006 when Garth retired, he was named General Manager of the team, replacing Neil Smith (who has actually won a Stanley Cup as a GM). Through those years as GM, Garth has had his highs and lows. His lows as GM have truly prevented the team from growing.

 

For instance, in the 2008 Entry Draft, Garth Snow and the Islanders selected Josh Bailey. Yeah, you know Josh Bailey, famous for his sloppy performances and lack of scoring. Josh Bailey has even earned himself a song made by Islander fans who sat at the former Moe’s Section at the Nassau Coliseum. The lyrics of the song is a parody of the song “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel and it goes like this, “Hey! Josh Bailey, I want to know, if you’ll score a goal”. And to make matters worse, Erik Karlsson (two time James Norris Memorial Trophy Winner) and Jordan Eberle (All Star and led Oilers in goals in 2012) were also available in the same round of the draft.

 

Another example of Garth’s many bad decisions would be the 2011 draft pick of Ryan Strome. Ryan Strome hasn’t been a very impressive player ever since the team drafted him. What makes this pick even worse is that like the 2008 draft, there were far more impressive players available, such as Jonas Brodin and Mark Scheifele.

 

 Garth Snow plotting his next draft disaster

 

My third example is going away from draft picks and more into trading. In 2013, the Islanders and Garth Snow traded Matt Moulson for Thomas Vanek. Now this specific scenario still bothers me to this day. Matt Moulson and John Tavares had such fantastic chemistry on their line and for some reason Garth decided, “Hey, let’s get rid of one of our best players who also works well with our other best player so we can get Thomas Vanek, who doesn’t even want to play for us.” Thomas Vanek didn’t even stay on the Islanders for more than one year. What a complete waste of a trade and it led the Islanders to a horrible season (also due to John Tavares’s injury at the Sochi Olympics).

 

Finally, the last decision that Garth Snow made that I felt was ridiculous was allowing Matt Martin and Kyle Okposo to leave the team. We all know that Frans Nielsen wanted to leave the Islanders to go to Detroit and Garth even offered an identical contract like Detroit’s. But he seriously did not try at all to keep Okposo and Martin on the roster. He just let them leave. And to make this situation even worse, Garth offered Casey Cizikas a $16.75 million contract. Cizikas is a good player but he is not worth $16.75 million. He decided to offer Cizikas a huge contract instead of offering to either Okposo or Martin? You’ve got to be kidding me. With Okposo and Martin, the Islanders made the playoffs two years in a row. The team was actually growing from 2012 to 2016. But for some reason, Garth wanted to do what he does best and prevent the team from succeeding.

 

It’s like he has it out for the Islanders for not starting him in net while he was a goalie for them, but lets not make this into a whole conspiracy. In all honesty, Garth has made some really good decisions like picking up Tavares and Pulock. But I feel like he has made more mistakes in his ten years of being GM than contributions to the team. I hope we eventually get back to where we were last year but for now it’s still too early in the season to tell. If the Islanders blow it this year, I wouldn’t be shocked if Garth loses his job.

 

 


April Without the Red Wings

Written by :
Published on : March 18, 2016

 

An April without the Detroit Red Wings. That’s something that’s pretty hard for me to comprehend. The last time that happened was 1990 and I was four years old. For almost my entire life, the Red Wings have had a presence in the postseason of the NHL. 24 years in a row they have had a shot to win the Stanley Cup. Whether as President’s Cup winning favorites or the last team in, they’ve always been in the conversation come April.

 

The Wings currently sit one point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wildcard spot. When the two teams met last Tuesday, the Red Wings defense got off to an abysmal start where they allowed 23 shots against their 3 in the opening period. The team wound up losing the game 4-3 because they were never able to recover from that first period and get a much needed win. The Flyers are one of the hottest teams in the league and briefly overtook the Wings for that 2nd wild spot before that win against the Blue Jackets yesterday. The Wings are going to need some very strong performances to close out the season if they hope to make the playoffs from the 25th straight year, and keep the longest current postseason streak in all of sports alive.

 

Now all of that is in jeopardy and I’m not sure what to do. So let’s explore why the Wings are in the predicament they’re in.

 

Defense and Goaltending

 

When you allow as many shots as the Red Wings did in the first period of that Flyers game, it becomes obvious that the defense is a big problem area for the team. It’s been that way for a while now. Actually, it’s been a problem ever since Nicklas Lidstrom left back in 2012. The team hasn’t had a stud defender since and the good players that they do have haven’t been able to get the job done. With the team’s most experienced defensemen, Niklas Kronwall, sidelined for 1-3 weeks with a knee sprain, they really need the other guys to step their game up or there is a very big chance that they will not be in the playoffs.

 

 Mrazek can’t continue to let himself be caught out of position.

 

The defense also isn’t being propped up by the goaltending like it was in earlier parts of the season. There are times when the goaltending looks down right amazing, especially when you consider how many shots are getting thrown at the net. But Petr Mrazek has been looking pretty shaky as of late and Jimmy Howard, who the team is paying $5.3 million for each of the next three seasons, looks like a shadow of what he once was. From what I have seen this season, Jimmy Howard has no business being in the net and should only be looked at to give Mrazek rest. So that means Mrazek had better find some of that early season magic that he displayed if the Red Wings have any hope maintaining their shaky hold on a playoff spot.

 

 

Put the puck in the net

 

The defense shouldn’t get all of the blame for the state of the team because the offense has been anything but prolific. Despite having a stable of young stars and some aged but crafty veterans, they have not been able to get the puck in the net nearly as often as necessary to stay competitive. The Wings are 24th in the league in goals per game, with 2.5. That is not good enough. They need Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to turn it up a notch and help the young guys out. But more than anything, they need to score some goals. Some way. Any way.

 

 The Red Wings are going to need more than just Larkin to make it to the playoffs.

 

I’m not going to lie, from what I’ve seen recently, the Detroit Red Wings will not be making the playoffs. They just look too flat all around, despite the dazzling play of Dylan Larkin and other youngsters like Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. The future is bright and I’m really hoping that they can hold it together long enough to make it 25 straight playoff appearances. Then who knows what’s possible. Anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but first they’ve got to make it to the dance. And I’m not as sure about that happening as I was a month ago.

 

 


2016 NHL Trade Deadline Rundown

Written by :
Published on : March 2, 2016

 

 

The NHL Trade deadline has come and gone with one of the most dismal deadline days in recent memory.

 

 

 

Many people saw this coming, with only 14 trades, most of which you could consider “minor”, made over the weekend leading up Monday’s 3pm deadline. There were a few big time moves though, three of which involved captains. Dion Phaneuf, captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was traded to the Senators in a monster trade earlier in the month. Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd returned to Chicago in a trade made Friday night leading up to the deadline and longtime ‘Canes captain Eric Staal joined his brother, Marc Staal, when he became a New York Ranger on Sunday afternoon.

 

Here is the rundown for all the trades made up until the deadline:

 

February 29

 Lee Stempniak is now with the Bruins

 

Flames get some goaltending help from the Wild
  • FLAMES GET: G Nicklas Backstrom
  • WILD GET: F David Jones
Blackhawks and Ducks swap depth players
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Tim Jackman, 2017 7th round pick
  • DUCKS GET: F Corey Tropp
Marooned in Edmonton
  • OILERS GET: F Patrick Maroon
  • DUCKS GET: D Martin Gernat, 2016 4th round pick
Predators add a minor leaguer
  • PREDATORS GET: D Corey Potter
  • COYOTES GET: future considerations
Darryl Sutter’s Kings add the coach’s kid
  • KINGS GET: F Brett Sutter
  • WILD GET: F Scott Sabourin
Jamie McGinn moved to the Ducks
  • DUCKS GET: F Jamie McGinn
  • SABRES GET: 2016 conditional 2nd or 3rd round pick
Dustin Jeffrey back to Pens, likely AHL-bound
  • PENGUINS GET: F Dustin Jeffrey
  • COYOTES GET: F Matia Marcantuoni, Dan O’Donaghue
Matteau! Matteau! Devils send Stefan to Montreal
  • CANADIENS GET: F Stefan Matteau
  • DEVILS GET: F Devante Smith-Pelly
Avs, Isles make tiny swap
  • ISLANDERS GET: F Marc-Andre Cliche
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Taylor Beck
Bruins add Lee Stempniak at the final minute
  • BRUINS GET: F Lee Stempniak
  • DEVILS GET: 2017 2nd round pick, 2016 4th round pick
Islanders pick up winger Shane Prince
  • ISLANDERS GET: F Shane Prince, 2016 7th round pick
  • SENATORS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
AHL deal between Ottawa, Minnesota
  • SENATORS GET: F Michael Keranen
  • WILD GET: D Conor Allen
After missing out on Russell + Hamhuis, Bruins add Liles
  • HURRICANES GET: LW Anthony Camara, 3rd round pick, 5th round pick
  • BRUINS GET: D John-Michael Liles
Brandon Pirri goes to Ducks for cheap
  • PANTHERS GET: 2016 6th round pick
  • DUCKS GET: F Brandon Pirri
Eric Gelinas gets fresh start in Colorado
  • AVALANCHE GET: D Eric Gelinas
  • DEVILS GET: 2017 3rd round pick
Kris Russell is now a Dallas Star
  • STARS GET: D Kris Russell
  • FLAMES GET: D Jyrki Jokipakka, F Brett Pollock, conditional 1st or 2nd round pick
Avalanche add Mikkel Boedker from Arizona
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Mikkel Boedker
  • COYOTES GET: F Alex Tanguay, C Conner Bleackley, D Kyle Wood
Chicago, Carolina swap AHLers
  • HURRICANES GET: D Dennis Robertson
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: G Drew MacIntyre
Plotnikov goes west
  • PENGUINS GET: F Matthias Plachta, 2017 7th round pick
  • COYOTES GET: F Sergei Plotnikov

 

February 28

 The Rangers got Eric Staal

 

Capitals send Laich, Carrick to Leafs for Winnik
  • CAPITALS GET: F Daniel Winnik, 2016 5th round pick
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Brooks Laich, D Connor Carrick, 2016 2nd round pick
Rangers, Capitals swap minor leaguers
  • RANGERS GET: F Chris Brown
  • CAPITALS GET: F Ryan Bourque
Hurricanes dish Versteeg to L.A.
  • KINGS GET: F Kris Versteeg
  • HURRICANES GET: F Valentin Zykov, conditional 5th round pick
Eric Staal joins his (other) brother in New York
  • HURRICANES GET: F Aleksi Saarela, 2016 2nd round pick, 2017 2nd round pick
  • RANGERS GET: C Eric Staal

 

February 27

 Reimer is now a Shark

 

Oilers, Sabres get you excited with a Big AHL Trade
  • SENATORS GET: F Jason Akeson, F Phil Varone, D Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, conditional pick
  • SABRES GET: D Michael Sdao, F Alex Guptill, F Cole Schneider, F Eric O’Dell
Penguins add defensive help with Schultz
  • PENGUINS GET: D Justin Schutlz
  • OILERS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
Panthers beef up with Jiri Hudler
  • PANTHERS GET: F Jiri Hudler
  • FLAMES GET: 2016 2nd round pick, 2018 4th round pick
More depth in Florida: Cats add Purcell
  • PANTHERS GET: F Teddy Purcell
  • OILERS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
And even more depth: Panthers also add Kindl from Wings
  • PANTHERS GET: D Jakub Kindl
  • RED WINGS GET: 2017 6th round pick
Sharks add James Reimer from Toronto
  • SHARKS GET: G James Reimer, F Jeremy Morin
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: G Alex Stalock, F Ben Smith, 2018 conditional 4th round pick
Blues, Oilers trade goaltenders
  • BLUES GET: G Anders Nilsson
  • OILERS GET: G Niklas Lundstrom, 2016 5th round pick

 

February 26

 Ehrhoff is no longer in Socal

 

Chicago adds Fleischmann, Weise
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Dale Weise, F Tomas Fleischmann
  • CANADIENS GET: F Phillip Danault, 2018 2nd round pick
Kings, Blackhawks swap underwhelming veteran defensemen
  • KINGS GET: D Rob Scuderi
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: D Christian Ehrhoff

 

February 25

Ladd heads back to Chicago for another Cup run
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Andrew Ladd, D Jay Harrison, F Matt Fraser
  • JETS GET: F Marko Dano, 2016 1st round pick, 2018 conditional 3rd round pick

 

February 24

Canucks add Larsen from Edmonton
  • OILERS GET: 2017 5th round pick
  • CANUCKS GET: D Philip Larsen

 

February 23

 Weber is now in Washington

 

Caps add depth with Weber from Buffalo
  • CAPITALS GET: F Mike Weber
  • SABRES GET: 2017 3rd round pick

 

February 22

Flames, Canucks swap prospects
  • FLAMES GET: F Hunter Shinkaruk
  • CANUCKS GET: F Markus Granlund
Polak, Spaling to Sharks for Torres and picks
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Raffi Torres, 2017 2nd round pick, 2018 2nd round pick,
  • SHARKS GET: D Roman Polak, F Nick Spaling

 

February 21

Leafs deal Matthias to Avs
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Colin Smith, 2016 4th round pick
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Shawn Matthias

 

February 9

 Phaneuf finally got shipped out of Toronto

 

Maple Leafs trade their captain to the rival Senators
  • SENATORS GET: D Dion Phaneuf, F Matt Frattin, F Casey Bailey, F Ryan Rupert, D Cody Donaghey
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: D Jared Cowen, F Milan Michalek, F Colin Greening, F Tobias Lindberg, 2017 2nd round pick

 

 

There you have it. All of the trades made leading up to the deadline. How did your team do?

 

 


Tanner Glass Is Ready To Fight Wayne Simmonds

Written by :
Published on : February 10, 2016

 

 

As many of you know, this Sunday is Valentine’s Day. And while couples across the country will be exchanging chocolates and roses, it seems that Tanner Glass and Wayne Simmonds will be exchanging punches.

 

 

This past Saturday, the Flyers hosted the Rangers in a matinee game that the Blueshirts would go on to win in a shootout. But in good ol’ Rangers/Flyers tradition, it didn’t happen without incident…

 

 

Now that Ryan McDonagh is “day-to-day’ with a concussion, Ranger’s enforcer, Tanner Glass, thinks it’s time for Simmonds to answer for his actions

 

 

I’m glad that Glass is stepping up and making it known that the Rangers aren’t going to allow things like this. Players are going to think twice before taking a run at star players if they know that Glass is there to hold them accountable. I wouldn’t be surprised if McIlrath tries to drop the gloves with Simmonds too. I can just picture Glass and McIlrath flipping a coin in the locker room before the game to see who gets to fight him.

 

Glass and Simmonds are no strangers to each other though. They fought once before back in 2013:

 

 

If Sunday’s tilt is anything like that fight, then we are in for a treat. And Simmonds really has no choice but to fight Glass now. Once it’s in the media, it’s a done deal.

 

P.S. I would be pretty scared to drop the gloves with someone who fights bears:

 

 

 


The New York Rangers Face Obstacles In Push To The Playoffs

Written by :
Published on : February 5, 2016

 

 

 

The New York Rangers opened up the second half of their season, and their push to the playoffs, Tuesday night with a 3-2 loss in New Jersey following the All-Star break. But the 2 points wasn’t all that they lost.

 

Late in the third period, Reid Boucher laid a hit on Kevin Klein that would take him out for the rest of the game.

 

“All we heard was him screaming a little bit because of the pain,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “The referee said, ‘Listen, he just fell awkwardly. There was no slash, no nothing.’ ”

 

Klein is a key player in the Rangers defense and he recently missed a game on Jan. 17 with an injury to his right thumb, which happens to be the same thumb he injured this time around. But this absence will be the second significant stretch of games he’ll miss this season, having missed most of December with an oblique injury.

 

The Rangers are obviously better with Klein on the ice. They were 17-6-2 before the  injury, then went 3-6-2 without Klein. I strongly believe Klein’s absence heavily contributed to the inconsistent play of the Rangers throughout January.

 

 

“I can’t say enough good things about him, what he means to our team and how steady and solid he’s been in our ‘D’ core,” captain Ryan McDonagh said.

 

AV says the team won’t have a timetable for Klein’s return for a few days, but also said the Rangers have no plans to call up a seventh defenseman. Even with Klein’s potentially lengthy absence, the injury isn’t expected to have an impact on whether the Rangers (27-18-5) deal impending free agent Keith Yandle before the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

 

The only good that comes out of Klein’s absence is the opportunity for rookie defensemen Dylan McIlrath to get some solid playing time. He’s only appeared in 20 games (filling in for Klein during his first absence) all season and only 3 since December 22nd. In those 20 games he has scored 2 goals and notched an assist while earning a plus-five rating.

 

I love McIlrath in the lineup and I feel like he should’ve played in favor of Girardi and Boyle throughout December and January.

 

Even McDonagh said he has been impressed with how McIlrath’s game has continued progressing, despite spending most of the season in the press box.

 

 

“It’s a tough role not knowing if you’re going to be in or not every day, but every time he’s jumped in there he’s played very well,” McDonagh said. “We know about his toughness, his physicality, but it’s great to see him gaining some confidence with the puck, his poise and using his big shot, too.”

 

Now, with a guaranteed spot in the lineup (at least until Klein is healthy), McIlrath finds himself with what might be the biggest opportunity in his young career.

 

The Rangers push to the playoffs starts now, and if they play well like back in November, I’m sure we’ll be seeing them skate well into the spring (maybe even June).

 

Their next opponent is the Philadelphia Flyers on the road. Let’s Go Rangers!

 

 


Dylan Larkin seems destined to be the Captain of the Red Wings

Written by :
Published on : January 19, 2016

 

 

 

I’m here to talk about the next big thing in Hockeytown and his name is Dylan Larkin. By now, the rest of the NHL has taken note of the talented rookie, but many of us Red Wings fans have been on the hype train since very early this season. This kid optimizes the term “local boy makes good.” That should be the front page headline on the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News when this young man inevitably becomes the one wearing that coveted ‘C’ on his jersey in the coming years.

 

This story is just too good for it not to happen. I’m not sure many casual fans in Detroit were familiar with the 19 year old Larkin when he became the first teenager to play in a Red Wings uniform in 15 years. Fans in the Motor City are well aware of him now and he is the first rookie All Star for the Red Wings since Steve Yzerman. That’s pretty good company for a kid from Waterford, Michigan who grew up rooting for the team and probably dreamed of one day donning that red and white uniform. Well his dream is now a reality and he has grabbed the bull by the balls, so to speak, and is making the most of this opportunity.

 

 Celebrating with the boys after setting up Danny DeKeyser for the game-winning goal in overtime against the Coyotes.

 

He is currently tied for first on the team in points (30) and goals (14), and tied for second in assists (16). This is a team with the likes of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk still playing on it. Not to mention he has a plus-minus of 22, which is far ahead of the number two player on the team (Datsyuk with 9) and good for third in the entire NHL. He also has 4 game winning goals which leads the Red Wings and all rookies in the league. Dylan Larkin can do it all and in my opinion has been the Wings most valuable player this year. That’s why he is the only Red Wings in the All Star Game. While he may not be able to catch up to Artemi Panarin for in points (43) and assists (27), I still think his goals and plus-minus make him a strong candidate to win the Calder Trophy.

 

Some people think there are other players on the team that deserve to be named Captain before Larkin, and I respect that but I think this makes too much sense. In such short time he has already become so valuable to the team and that value will only increase as he develops as a player. Henrik Zetterberg’s contract runs until 2o21 but most people believe that with the wear and tear his body has endured throughout the years that he will likely retire before the end of that contract. When that fateful day finally comes and our Swedish Prince hangs the skates up for good, I think it is Dylan Larkin who should be handed the torch to lead his team into it’s next era of greatness.

 

 The look of a captain, the eye of the tiger.

 

He has received heaps of praise from coaches and fellow players alike for his natural athletic talent, as well as his desire to improve every day and be the best player he can. He’s got speed and grace. He can handle the puck, pass it, and shoot it as well as anyone on the team right now. He can play all over the ice and if he continues to develop at this rate, he could be one of the best players in the league by the time he is old enough to have a legal drink at a bar in the States.

 

Barring any major injury or other career derailing incident, Dylan Larkin is the future for the Detroit Red Wings. The team is on the verge of a major roster shift as its aging stars continue to decline and eventually retire or leave the team. Dylan Larkin should be the centerpiece of the new Red Wings as their Captain and lead them to the playoffs for another 24 years.

 

 

 


Support Us
Support ScoreBoredSports on patreon!

patreon-medium-button
Sponsors

Hide Error message here!

Forgot your password?

Error message here!

Error message here!

Hide Error message here!

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Error message here!

Back to log-in

Close