Finland’s World Junior Team – Goalies and Defense

We are all excited about the annual holiday premier hockey tournament, so much so that the announcement for the list of players invited to the selection camp to decide who will play in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship that will take place in Buffalo, New York starting on December 26th. Finland is a team who won gold at the 2016 tournament but fell all the way to the Relegation round a year later thanks to a disastrous round robin.

Today, we look at the goaltenders and defensemen who were named to the selection camp. It’s a very strong group on the backend, with all 9 defensemen picked in the first 4 rounds of the NHL draft while also having large resumes of international play with Finland’s youth teams. This Finland team will be closer to the 2016 Gold winning club than the team that almost lost to Latvia in the Relegation round.

Continue reading “Finland’s World Junior Team – Goalies and Defense”

First and Last: The New York Islanders vs. Vancouver Canucks

Are you still not over the 1982 Stanley Cup Finals? Then this game is for you! A huge rematch between the team with a “mentally fragile” Jordan Eberle and the “award the Calder to” Mathew Barzal versus the “he might be starting but that could change” Anders Nilsson and “I don’t score but that’s okay” Brendan Gaunce. The Canucks are currently 2-1-1 on this Eastern road trip and going into Brooklyn against an Islanders team who has won 3 straight and 7 of their last 10. Surely, this is a Canucks win, no?

Continue reading “First and Last: The New York Islanders vs. Vancouver Canucks”

First and Last: Canucks vs. Flyers

The Vancouver Canucks begin their 6 game road trip in Pennsylvania, where they play the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. Today we focus on the Flyers and the history they have with the Canucks.

Continue reading “First and Last: Canucks vs. Flyers”

GAME PREVIEW: Royals vs. Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings take the ferry to play Victoria on Friday, looking to avenge the 3-2 overtime loss back in October when the Royals came and visited. Matthew Phillips scored with 5 seconds left in overtime to break the hearts of Oil King fans and save them from the shootout.

Continue reading “GAME PREVIEW: Royals vs. Oil Kings”

Using the CHL Canada-Russia Series as a Measure of Future Professional Success

The WHL portion of the 2017 CIBC Canada-Russia Series is over and after a dominating 7-0 win in Moose Jaw, the Western Hockey League All-Stars lost 4-3 to the Russian team after leading 3-0 in Swift Current. Victoria Royals star Matthew Phillips had one goal in these two games, and although that is nothing to sneeze at, fans of the Royals and those who follow the Calgary Flames prospect were likely hoping for a more Dillon Dube-like domination.

But does how a player do in these two games guarantee any future professional success? Do not fear, here is a list of players with only 1 goal in a single 2-game series, as well as players who had great games and saw little to zero future in the NHL.

Continue reading “Using the CHL Canada-Russia Series as a Measure of Future Professional Success”

SERIES PREVIEW: Royals vs. Rockets

Fresh off of a sweep of the Vancouver Giants last weekend, the Victoria Royals are back for games 3 and 4 of a 5 game homestand. Up on Friday and Saturday night are the Kelowna Rockets, who always seem to give the Royals trouble. They’ve only played once this season, an 8-3 win for Victoria in Kelowna, but the Rockets won 6 times in 8 games during their season series last year. To show the league that they are the best team in the B.C. Division, the Royals will need a pair of big games on home ice.

Continue reading “SERIES PREVIEW: Royals vs. Rockets”

GAME PREVIEW: Royals vs. Giants

The Vancouver Giants are on the island this weekend to play the Royals, a team who decimated them in their only two meetings so far. Victoria is back at home after a tough Eastern road trip while Vancouver are looking to return to .500 against one of their biggest rivals.

Continue reading “GAME PREVIEW: Royals vs. Giants”