Monthly Archives: March 2014

Buffalo Sabres: Ted Nolan’s Off-Season To-Do List

Ted Nolan’s Off-Season TO-DO List:

  1.       Reintroduce the defensive line to man coverage
  2.       Re-teach forwards how to shoot the puck
  3.       Explain the concept of passing without a turn-over
  4.       Match-making & trust exercises
  5.       Figure out WTH to do with my goalies?!

Obviously, this is not Ted Nolan’s actual TO DO list, but I bet it’s damn close. Provided he ever signs a contract, there are serious expectations for him to create a powerhouse team from the ashes that are the Sabres. While starting in the basement has the fortuitous advantage of having nowhere to go but up, the climb is a bugger.  (EDITOR’S NOTE: Edmonton Oilers say “hi”)

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Chicago Blackhawks: Eyes On The Prize

EDITOR’S NOTE: The influx of hockey-writing talent continues, as we warmly welcome to the fold Michael Devine.  Michael, the brother of current Ice Nation author Ger, is an experienced writer who also lends his considerable talents to the brilliant Chicago Blackhawks blogs Cheer The Anthem and III Communication.  Like his younger brother, Michael of course hails from Ireland, but unlike Ger is a Blackhawks fan through and through.  He will be providing us, and you, with updates and opinions on the Hawks and on the NHL as a whole, and we are excited to have him as part of the team.

From the perspective of teams either already eliminated from contention, or struggling desperately for the final Wild Card slots, this will seem like “First World Problems”.  However, there is no denying that the Chicago Blackhawks are experiencing some turbulence in the closing stages of the season.

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NHL Dictionary: Team Nicknames (Eastern Conference Edition)

Image courtesy of vintageleafs.blogspot.com.

Curious what a Blackhawk is, or why a team in Calgary would be known as the Flames? Too bad, because today’s NHL Dictionary entry only includes explanations of Eastern Conference nicknames!

What we do have is a definition for “Blue Jacket,” a rant about recycling names, the obligatory Leafs/Leaves discussion and 13 more entries of varying educational value. Dig in!

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The Champions Hockey League

Image courtesy of puckworlds.com.

On December 9 2013, the International Ice Hockey Federation made the announcement myself and other European ice hockey fans had been waiting rather impatiently for: they are having another go at the Champions Hockey League. Only this time, it would be better. Much better.

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Detroit Red Wings: Praying to the Church of Nyquist

It is a line that has been trotted out many times over the past ten years. “The Red Wings have no future”. They are getting older and older, but who do they have to replace Lidstrom? (well no one yet, but he is irreplaceable). Who replaces Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, etc. Well, the kids who have been forced into the lineup over the course of the season have given a glimpse of what is to come.

However, there has been no brighter shining light than that of Gustav Nyquist.

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Buffalo Sabres: Murray Takes the Goat by the Horns

EDITOR’S NOTE: The influx of new talent continues here at Ice Nation UK, as we introduce you to our new Buffalo Sabres contributor Cassandra Crawford. Cas is based in Pennsylvania and will be bringing her own unique style of analysis and debate to the table, examining the strategies employed from Sabres’ management down to the coaching staff and individual players. A keen hockey observer and entertaining writer, Cas is a welcome addition to the team – enjoy!

Former Sabres' goaltender Ryan Miller has enjoyed a terrific start in St Louis. (Image courtesy of twincities.com)

Former Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller has enjoyed a terrific start in St Louis. (Image courtesy of twincities.com)

The Sabres are the NHL team no-one wants to be. Sitting in last place, they’ve become fans’ favorite punch line, the ‘other Buffalo team’ who never takes home the big prize. For the Buffalo loyal, this season’s trade deadline became one more indecency to suffer.

Tim Murray, the new GM, did the unthinkable by reaching in and pulling out the soul of the team. As Ryan Miller and Steve Ott packed their gear and shuffled off from Buffalo, fans wailed and moaned, some even ran straight for the St. Louis band-wagon.

Murray was making a clear statement to the team and the fans about how his term as GM is going to be run. Things are going to change, a lot.

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Interesting Numbers: Primary Assists in the NHL

Image courtesy of CBS Sports.

As part of a new series for Ice Nation UK, I will be providing brief insights into the numbers behind the game, hoping to point out interesting or surprising trends, patterns or results.

First up: who are the most effective 5v5 playmakers in the league this season?

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