Thursday, March 23, 2023

The Athletic Hockey Show: That 70 show?

On this week's episode of The Athletic Hockey Show:
- How high can Connor McDavid go?
- Taking stock of the wildcard races
- Jesse Granger nerds out on goalie gear
- A great listener email about Pride events
- This week in history, featuring the worst MVP ever
- and more...

The Athletic Hockey Show runs most days of the week during the season, with Ian and I hosting every Thursday. There are two versions of each episode available:
- An ad-free version for subscribers that you can find here
- An ad-supported version you can get for free wherever you normally find your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify)

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Puck Soup: Fighting Fanatics

On this week's episode of the Puck Soup podcast:
- Yet another player sits out Pride Night
- Fighting is banned in the QMJHL, sort of, while NHL reconsiders the instigator
- The league partners with Fanatics and people are mad
- Looking at the dwindling playoff races
- How high can McDavid's numbers get?
- The NHLPA player poll is out
- A few rounds of 20 Kesstions, and more...

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Monday, March 20, 2023

Weekend rankings: Which playoff bubble team is under the most pressure?

We’re exactly four weeks away from the playoffs, and as always at this time of year there are four groups of teams: Those that have had a spot locked up for weeks or months, those that have been out of the race forever, those that are right on the bubble, and those that still think they’re in the race but probably aren’t.

That last group, sadly, includes a few of this year’s teams that have been the most fun to watch. That includes our beloved Sabres, as well as the perpetually not-quite-pesky-enough Senators, plus the Wings and Capitals. Each of those teams could still make a run, but would need an enormous hot streak to pull it off. Even that might not be enough.

So with apologies to those teams, let’s focus on the six teams that were sitting between 10% and 90% playoff odds based on Dom’s projections (as of Sunday). These are our bubble teams, and they’re fighting for four spots. They all want to make it, obviously, but some are under more pressure than others. But who? Let’s break it down, from the least pressure to the most.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

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Monday, March 13, 2023

Weekend rankings: Changes for Flyers, Kings keep rolling and April highlights

It’s mid-March, the trade deadline is over, and I just want you to know that it’s perfectly OK to admit that you’re already looking forward to April.

April rules. It’s when we get the last few weeks of the season, leading into the first round of the playoffs, which is the absolute best time of the year to be a hockey fan. It’s the time where we find out what the matchups will be, and whether of all the (non-McDavid) stars can get to 50 goals or 100 points. And if your team stinks, April is also the draft lottery. Either way, it’s what everything is building towards, and it’s pretty great.

March? Or to be more specific, post-deadline March? Eh. It’s good too, some of the time. It’s fine. The playoff race starts to form, and we get lots of low-scoring three-point games between division rivals. March is a perfectly acceptable month of the hockey calendar. It’s just not April.

And it’s OK to want to look ahead to the really good stuff. That’s what I did, and I found five gifts that the schedule-maker has left under the April tree. We can’t open them yet, but let’s pick them up and shake them. I feel like I’ve strangled this metaphor sufficiently, let’s get to the link.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

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Friday, March 10, 2023

All 95 members of the 50-goal club ranked, from Gary Leeman to Rocket Richard

While it was at least a little bit lost in all the trade deadline news, Connor McDavid made some history by joining the 50-goal club last week. Somewhat surprisingly, it was the first time he’d reached the milestone, making him the 95th player in NHL history to have achieved the feat.

This seems like a good excuse for a ranking.

Now, with 95 different names to sort through, am I going to write an extensive explanation of each and every rankings, droning on for roughly 10,000 words that nobody will read? Sure, sounds like fun! (Editor’s note: No you will absolutely not.) No I will not. But with some judicious use of grouping and categorization, we can get this down to a manageable level. Remember, these sorts of lists aren’t about being right or wrong. They’re about you CTRL+F’ing down to your favorite player and then having a temper tantrum in the comments about him being too low.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Friday, so let’s do this. To be clear, I’m not ranking these players best on who had the best careers. I’m not even ranking them based on who had the best goal-scoring season, since we can just sort by stats to get that. No, we’re looking for the guys who do the best job of capturing that 50-goal vibe. I realize that’s vague, but you know it when you see it, so let’s get to the ranking.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

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