“Let’s drop the puck on the first collaboration with my boy Matt Marini from PUCK HCKY. We got some stuff to get you guys fired up.”
I spent the entire last week in the sub zero temps of Girdwood , AK where we have a ski cabin and spent my down time off tour at my “Happy Place”, but I can’t help but feel a bit like a jerk for sending my daughter out to ski camp all week with minus temps blasting through the Alaskan air! She toughed it out and made her dad proud but Seriously growing up in AK and in playing hockey at a young age with all games and practices being outside, I don’t remember games or practices ever being cancelled due to cold temps. I do remember my dad telling me to just run in place as fast as I could on the truck seats to try and revive the blood back into my frozen feet. Ah memories!! AK kids are a special breed!
Let’s drop the puck on the first collaboration with my boy Matt Marini from PUCK HCKY. We got some stuff to get you guys fired up.
Since this is Matt’s first edition with me I’m gonna turn the stick over to him and let him dazzle you with the dangles he can fire off! We have some really killer prizes for you guys to win and as soon as they’re into production we will start showing you guys the goods. Thanks to everyone for the great feedback and light hearted chirps;).
Drop the puck already!!!!!!
1) Dysfunction in SJ ? Wow…what in the world is going on in the Shark Tank? Even though the Sharks are technically still in the playoff hunt, not sure how that can happen with all the weirdness going on. Lets face it, the expiration dates on Jumbo Joe Thornton and Patrick “hammered…lined up” Marleau (Google “Sarich hit on Marleau”…its worth it!) are well past expired. Those two guys can be dealt with in the off-season, but the internal strife that seems to be brewing between players and management is crazy!!! Ive never seen a player (Thornton) tell his GM (Doug Wilson) to “shut his mouth” !! What does everyone think is gonna happen this off season in San Jose?
2) The Hamburglar lives in Ottawa! What a great story happening in Ottawa right now as rookie goalie Andrew Hammond (The Hamburglar!!!) has STILL not allowed more than 2 goals in a game. His record is now 10 wins, ZERO losses, and 1 OT loss. His stats are insane: .955 Save Percentage (meaning he stops 95.5 out of every 100 shots fired his way!!) and he is only giving up 1.39 goals per game. The fans in Ottawa are certainly taking to Hamburglar mania, as some are now sporting Hamburglar masks at the games, and just last night a wayward burger actually found its way onto the ice, of which Hammond happily picked up and tossed to a fan as he exited the ice!!!! While the Sens are still a bit of a long-shot to make the playoffs, with this kind of goal-tending ya never know. Can the Hamburglar lead the Sens to a playoff birth?
3) Post-Trade deadline review- Who helped themselves the most and why?
a) Detroit – Marek Zidlicky may turn out to be the best deal of any this year. Why? Because he is still a offensive machine from a defensive position. He has the right-handed shot from the point that the Wings have lacked all season. Zidlicky is already producing points and adding a dimension the Wings will need in the playoffs. Erik Cole is also fitting in nicely with the Wings thus far. He has shown some flashes of speed I didn’t know he had….great skater. Once he starts throwing his weight around a bit more, Cole will be a difference maker come playoff time.
b) Anaheim – Wow!!!! I was blown away by the moves the Ducks made at the deadline. Keep in mind this team was already perched at the top of the Western conference PRIOR to the deadline. Anaheim brought in the following guys: James Wisniewski, Korbinian Holzer, Simon Depres, Tomas Fleischmann and Jiri Sekac !!! How many defenseman do the Ducks need??? If you add Wisniewski & Depres to the top 6….wow!!!!! Also Sekac is gonna be good….very highly skilled forward in his first NHL season.
c) New York Rangers – OK….the Rangers already had one of the top defensive corps in the entire league prior to the deadline. This we can all agree on…right? So what do they do? They go out and get Keith Yandle from Arizona. Yandle is only one the top defensemen in the league, and brings a huge boost offensively to the Rangers blue line. I’m pretty sure between Anaheim and the Rangers, we have the top 2 defensive lineups in the NHL. The Rangers also got James Sheppard from the Sharks who will provide some good forward depth for the playoffs. Sheppard is strong on both sides of the puck !!
4) NCAA league playoffs are either already happening, or get rolling this week as Selection Sunday is this coming Sunday for the Frozen Four. There will be tons of college action on television this week, so theres no reason to miss out on the games!! Plus…and I do not know why, but there ALWAYS seems to be something incredible that comes from the NCAA playoffs and of course the Frozen Four. As of now, North Dakota, Minnesota State, Boston U along with Michigan Tech and Miami of Ohio are leading the pack towards a NCAA Frozen Four championship…but you never know who will emerge as the underdog team!!!!
Matt Marini from PUCK HCKY weekly Top 5 Power Ranking:
1) Anaheim Ducks: Loaded at pretty much every position, super-deep on defense, two stud goalies, and of course Getzlaf & Perry. Gonna be tough to take these guys out in a 7 game series.
2) New York Rangers: When King Henrik gets back to minding the crease the Rangers are going to extra stingy on defense! The Rangers also have a pretty potent offense with Nash, Brassard, St. Louis, etc leading the way. This also going to be a tough team to take out this spring!
3) St.Louis Blues: The ONLY concern for this team might be goaltending…and that’s a slight might! Elliot and Allen are both capable of winning a series or two….but are either of them Stanley Cup winning caliber? We shall see.
4) Nashville Predators: Is this the year for Nashville? It could be…if Pekka Rinne stays healthy. If not, they have no chance at a Cup. These Preds have good depth all around, and boast some true superstars in Weber, Josi, Rinne, Forsberg and Jones. I predict a good playoff run for the Preds, only concern here is generating enough offense. If they get consistent goal-scoring, this team has a good chance to emerge from the West.
5) New York Islanders: OK…a little bit of reach here, maybe. I see the Isles giving anyone a difficult match-up in the playoffs, and I think they have a legit chance to do some damage in the battle for the Cup. With Halak in goal and newly added Michal Neuvirth backing him up, the Isles finally have the goaltending needed to make an extended run in the spring. This team is super-solid at forward with the ability to roll 4 lines at all times. In fact the Isles “4th line” of Martin, Clutterbuck and Cizikas can provide some serious grit and hit anything in an opposing uniform…if they can keep it under control in the playoffs (by not taking a bunch of penalties) this line could be a difference maker.
So there Ya have it friends. Takin off for the U.S. Tour with Nonpoint and Five Finger Death Punch this Friday so it’ll be good to be out on the road while the playoffs ramp up. Looking to catch that Flyers/Blackhawks game on our day off next Wednesday! Until then…
Keep your head up,
Brock & Matt
Snipe City is a weekly hockey column by 36 Crazyfists vocalist Brock Lindow and PUCKHCKY founder Matt Marini.