Melnyk the Man

Derrick Simpson, June 12

The other day I was talking about billionaires with a friend of mine. He said that Eugene Melnyk was a billionaire and I corrected him and remarked there was no way the Senators owner could be that rich because he wouldn’t even allow Bryan Murray spend to the salary cap. Long story short, we took our argument to the local search engine and sure enough, Melnyk is a billionaire (and surprisingly a resident of Barbados!).

Imagine this guy in a bathing suit on the beach! Yikes

Imagine this guy in a bathing suit on the beach! Yikes!

Being a Leafs fan I was completely unaffected by this (some may even say happier), but the hockey fan inside me was steaming hot. The owner of the #15 value ranked NHL franchise (via forbes.com) was too cheap to spend to the cap. The Sens will have a much tougher time being contenders with an internal budget. In fact it’s already costed them a few times.

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The NHL’s Latest Epidemic

 

Derrick Simpson, May 14

The NHL has a full fledged crisis on their hands. It all started with Corey Perry and Jeff Carter, after that Shawn Thorton and PK Subban, and then King Henrik himself took a cheap shot at a down and out Sidney Crosby. No I’m not talking headshots or insensitive chirping. This issue is much more serious and dangerous. The barbaric deed I am daring to speak of is the act of squirting water at an opponent or his equipment. It’s dangerous, it’s unsportsmanlike and it has to stop.

Matt Dunham/The Associated Press Maybe Hank was still holding a grudge from this?

Matt Dunham/The Associated Press
Maybe Hank was still holding a grudge from this?

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Weekend Wind Down: Canadian Female Athletes

Derrick Simpson, May 11

In honour of Mother’s day, this week’s Wind Down will be counting down the Top 5 Canadian Female Athletes.

5. Shannon Szabados

Greg Southam, Edmonton Journal Szabados makes a save during the Oilers practice on March 5, 2014.

Greg Southam, Edmonton Journal
Szabados makes a save during the Oilers practice on March 5, 2014.

Team Canada’s Gold medal winning Goalie during the 2014 Olympic’s is no doubt the best female tendy around. Szabados currently plays hockey for the Columbus Cotton mouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League (it’s a men’s league!). She also practiced and warmed up with the Edmonton Oilers shortly after stealing the show at the Olympics.

4. Barbara Ann Scott

Scott was a figure skater during the 1940’s.She is the only Canadian woman ever to win a Gold medal in singles figure skating at the Olympics. She also won two world championships and multiple other international events. Sadly, she passed away in September 2012.

The Ottawa native has an arena named after her in the nation's capital

The Ottawa native has an arena named after her in the nation’s capital.

3. Clara Hughes

hughes

The Winnipeg Native comes in at #3 on the list. What makes her so great is that she has won medals in both the summer and the winter Olympics! Hughes took home 2 Bronze medals for biking in 1996 and has won a Gold, Silver, and 2 Bronze over 3 winter Olympics for speed skating. She is tied with Cindy Klassen (also a speed skater) for the most Olympic medals for a Canadian with 6.

Hughes is the poster child for Bell Let's Talk and openly speaks about her experiences with mental health issues.

Hughes is the poster child for Bell Let’s Talk and openly speaks about her experiences with mental health issues.

Christine Sinclair

sinclair

Christine Sinclair is the captain of Canada’s national soccer team, and arguably the best female player in the world. The current Portland Thorns FC player is an eleven-time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year Award and and a six-time nominee for FIFA World Player of the Year. In 2012 she won the Lou Marsh Award for Canadian Athlete of the Year.

Paul Ellis Getty Images Sinclair scored a hat-trick in Canada's 4-3 semi final loss to the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics.

Paul Ellis Getty Images
Sinclair scored a hat-trick in Canada’s 4-3 semi final loss to the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics.

1. Hayley Wickenheiser 

wicken

Wickenheiser is fully deserving of being #1 on this list. She has five Gold medals, and one Silver for playing hockey for Canada’s National Women’s Team. Her five Golds are the most of any Canadian Olympian. It is not well known, but she also played softball in the summer Olympics. She was chosen to be Canada’s flag bearer for the 2014 game’s in Sochi, Russia.

Wickenheiser has played for men's teams over seas, including HC Salamat (seen here) and Eskilstuna Linden.

Wickenheiser has played for men’s teams over seas, including HC Salamat (seen here) and Eskilstuna Linden.

Like what you saw? Don’t agree? Forgot to call your mother? Leave a comment below!

See last Weeks Wind Down, Nhl Players most like Star Wars characters: http://splashurl.com/kaxa6jy

Derrick Simpson, All Day Sportz

 

 

 

Weekend wind down: 5 NHL players most like Star Wars Characters

Derrick Simpson, May the 4th

To celebrate national Star Wars day, this week’s Weekend Wind Down is counting down the top 5 NHL players most like Star Wars characters.

 5.Brent Burns

USATSI

USATSI

This is the easiest and perhaps most common on the list. The San Jose Sharks forward and NHL foundation player award nominee is most like Chewbacca. They are both extremely hairy and if either of them gave me a dirty look, I’d run away like a chicken with it’s head cut off.

brent-burnschewbacca

If I didn’t know any better I would think that these two were brothers!

4.Alex Ovechkin

hockeyworldblog.com

hockeyworldblog.com

Last year’s Hart trophy winner and the only player to score 50 (or more) goals this season, actually has quite a lot in common with a Stormtrooper. Stormtroopers are known for running around wildly and shooting at anything that moves. While, this year Ovi was a -35 and took a league leading 386 shots!

ovenckinStorm1-vd

 

Although they may seem skilled in their respective fields, they are both extremely over-rated.

3.David Clarkson

clarkson

Claus Anderson/Getty Images

The Maple Leafs forward had a very disappointing season (reviewed in my article on David Clarkson, visible here:https://alldaysportz.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/no-where-to-go-but-up-for-clarkson/ ) and that makes him most like Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks. I’m not saying David Clarkson is a bad player or that I don’t like him. But, after this season Clarkson is being seen useless and with a near 6 million dollar cap hit most people want him out of Toronto (Just like Jar Jar in Star Wars!).

davidjar jar

Me sa think a they look a same!

2.Dustin Byfulien

164906641_std

jets.nhl.com

I wouldn’t go as far as calling Dustin Byfuglien fat, but since he came in at 302lbs at the end of Winnipeg’s season in 2013, he certainly isn’t petite. That means he and Jabba the Hutt have something in common. They are both the most overweight people in their fields!

big buffjabba

 

They call him Big Buff for a reason.

1. Jaromir Jagr 

jagr

The Devil’s leading scorer of this past season is 42 years old and just signed a one year extension with the New Jersey Devils. The Masterson Trophy nominee is incredibly old for an NHLer and that puts him in the same category as Master Yoda. Both of them are skilled, respected, and have tons of experience.

mulletyoda

 

The force is strong with this one!

Like what you read? Think I’m absolutely crazy? Leave a comment below!

See last week’s wind down on goalie masks here: https://alldaysportz.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/weekend-wind-down-top-5-goalie-masks/

All stats are courtesy of nhl.com

Derrick Simpson, All Day Sportz

 

Game Breakers: Pittsburgh Penguins

 

Derrick Simpson May 2

Today’s 4th and final Game Breakers covers the Pittsburgh Penguins, who take on the New York Rangers tonight at 7 PM eastern. Find out who will make the biggest difference for the Pens and why.

pittsburgh

 

 

Cardboard Brooks Orpik

Opposing players tremble in fear when cardboard Orpik line up for a hit

Opposing players tremble in fear when cardboard Orpik lines up for a hit.

   This guy does everything: Blocks shots, gets in the shooting lanes, even stands his ground on opposing players. The paper defender is a real coaches guy too, he’s never even talked back to one!

Being the team player that he is cardboard Cardboard Brooks  lays down to block a shot in practice. Not even a game, A PRACTICE!

Being the team player that he is  Cardboard Brooks lays down to block a shot in practice. Not even a game, A PRACTICE!

For those who don’t know the real Brooks Orpik is injured and the Penguins used a cardboard version of him in a practice as a joke. The rest of the article will be serious… I promise!

Sidney Crosby

The Hart trophy favourite had his fair share of struggles in round one. He was held goalless, seemed quite frustrated by Brandon Dubinsky’s antics at times and was even put on a line with Russian superstar Evgeni Malkin in an attempt to heat up the two. He faced adversity in round one, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Cole Harbour, NS native will bounce back. He is the best player in the world and always seems to come through when it matters most.

At the age of 26 Crosby already has a Stanley Cup and two Olympic Gold medals. Too bad he can't grow a playoff beard.

At the age of 26 Crosby already has a Stanley Cup and two Olympic Gold medals. Too bad he can’t grow a playoff beard.

Evgeni Malkin

The 6’3″ Russian centre lead all Penguins forwards with 7 points in the first round, including a hat-trick in game 6 versus Columbus. Malkin is extremely dangerous and always seems to up his game for the playoffs (he won the Conn Smythe for best playoff performer in 2009). If he can carry the momentum from last series to round 2 he will surely be a handful for the Rangers.

 

blackandgoldworld.blogspot.com Geno Malkin will be hoping to add to his 3 GENOS from the first round

blackandgoldworld.blogspot.com
Geno Malkin will be hoping to add to his 3 GENOS from the first round

Marc Andre Fleury

For the past couple years it seems no one has believed in Fleury (including himself) come springtime. I believe this is his bounce back playoff year. Aside from game 4 in Columbus (fluke 3rd period goal, weak overtime goal) I thought that Fleury played well. It seems like he is slowly regaining his confidence, hopefully for Dan Bylsma Penguin’s this happens sooner rather than later.

Fleury will be hoping to prove his doubters wrong in round 2

Too bad Fleury won’t be this arrogant versus the Rangers

Like what you read? Think I’m a bit off? Leave a comment below!

All stats are courtesy of nhl.com

See yesterday’s Game Breakers about the Rangers here: http://wp.me/p4zyyB-5P

Derrick Simpson, All day Sportz

 

Game Breakers: New York Rangers

Derrick Simpson, May 1

The 2nd seeded New York Rangers take on the 1st seeded Pittsburgh Penguins on May 2nd in the Metropolitan division final. The Rangers will have their hands full trying to handle Crosby, Malkin and the rest of the Pens. Here’s who’ll be their game breakers while taking on Pittsburgh.

rangers

Rick Nash

The former Blue Jacket was held goalless by the Flyers during the first round (although he did put up 4 assists and had a multitude of chances in game 7). It may be because earlier in the season he had a concussion, but Nash seemed to be afraid to drive to the net and was taking the majority of his shots from low percentage areas. If the Blueshirts  are to beat  the Pens, Nash will have to make better choices when shooting and must be willing to get a little dirty.

thehockeynews.com Nash had 26 goals during the regular season, he has yet to score in the playoffs.

thehockeynews.com
Nash had 26 goals during the regular season, he has yet to score in the playoffs.

Ryan McDonagh

Ryan McDonagh is the centrepiece of the Rangers strong blueline and he will need to be on his top game to shut down Crosby and Malkin. The Saint-Paul, Minnesota native will be relied on, along with Dan Girardi, late in games to shut down the Penguins. He didn’t play his best hockey in round one (0Pts, -2), and will most defiantly need to up his game against the 2nd place team in the East.

bleacherreport.com McDonagh averaged just under 25 minutes a game and was a plus/minus +11 during the regular season.

 

 

 

Henrik Lundqvist

The 2012 Vezina winner could steal the series for the Rangers. The Swedish silver medalist can potentially shut down Pittsburgh’s top scorers and his shallow playing style enables him to save rebounds and cross-crease plays much easier than other goalies.

Bruce Bennet/Getty Images Lundqvist should be Dan Bylsma and the Pens main concern

Bruce Bennet/Getty Images
Lundqvist should be Dan Bylsma and the Pens main concern.

Keys to Winning

The Rangers can count on their defensemen  to help them win. McDonagh, Giradi, and Marc Stall are all expected to be rock-solid defensively and even Anton Stralman looked great in round one versus the Flyers. And of course their goaltending should be topnotch. Also, don’t forget about the always dangerous Martin St Louis.

usatoday.com Deadline addition St Louis had a cool 6 points in the first round

usatoday.com
Deadline addition St Louis had a cool 6 points in the first round

Weakness

I may mention special teams a lot on All Day Sportz but that’s because they really are that important to winning (especially in the playoffs!). New York is struggling in both special teams departments with a 71.4% penalty kill and a 10.3% power play. To add, the Rangers can’t seem to win while they are leading in a series. In the past 3 years, all 4 series’ New York has won has gone to 7 games.

All stats are courtesy of nhl.com

See yesterday’s Game Breakers on the Bruins here:http://wp.me/p4zyyB-5x

Like what you saw? Don’t agree with me? Leave a comment below!

Derrick Simpson, All Day Sportz

Game Breakers:Boston Bruins

Derrick Simpson April 30

Round 2 kicks off tomorrow with the Boston Bruins facing off against the Montreal Canadiens at 7:30 pm on CBC. This series is poised to be a great one, as it features two of the most storied rivals in NHL history. In this article I break down who will help Boston the most and why.

boston

Patrice Bergeron

This guy is the perfect two-way player and is the heart of the Bruins stellar penalty kill (90%). The recent Olympic Gold medalist leads the Bruins in faceoffs taken and will play a big part in shutting down the Canadiens top guns.

good bergeron

Getty images Bergeron and Krejci will be huge deciding factors for the Bruins.

 

Milan Lucic

The Vancouver BC native had 3 goals in the first round and will be looking for more of the same against Montreal. However, Lucic’s responsibility versus a much smaller Montreal team will be trying to wear them down physically.

lucic

Getty images Lucic’s main responsibility will be to hit anything that moves

Tuukka Rask

While debating on whether to put Norris Trophy nominee Zdeno Chara or Vezina candidate Tuukka Rask, I realized that at the very least Tuukka will have to out play Carey Price(which is no easy task!). But, if anyone can go up against Carey Price and win, it’s Tuukka Rask. Against Detroit in round 1 he went 4-1 with a league leading .961 save percentage and a 1.16 GAA (also leading among goalies with at least 1 full game played).

Getty Images Rask will square off against Montreal superstar Carey Price

Getty Images
Rask will square off against Montreal superstar Carey Price

Keys to Winning

If the Bruins are to advance to the conference finals, they will do so with their great special teams (37.5% PP, 90% PK), elite goaltending, and by physically out playing and out working their opponents.

Weakness

Save for Zdeno Chara and newcomer Andre Meszaros, the Bruins blueline is young and inexperienced. Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton, and Matt Bartkowski have all played less than 25 career playoff games. While University of Vermont Alum Kevan Miller played his first ever playoff series against Detroit.

All stats are courtesy of nhl.com

Like What you read? Think I may be a bit off? Leave a comment below!

Check out yesterday’s Game Breakers here: http://wp.me/p4zyyB-4r

Derrick Simpson, All Day Sportz

 

Gamebreakers: Montreal Canadiens

Derrick Simpson April 29

The Montreal Canadiens will need everything they have and then some to take down the Big Bad Bruins. Here’s who they’ll need to step up the most and why:

nhlwallpapers10.net

nhlwallpapers10.net

Brendan Gallagher

The pesky Right Winger will be responsible for attempting to throw Vezina front runner Tukka Rask off his game. The Edmonton native will to go up against Zdeno Chara and the rest of the Bruins young but strong defense corps. If Montreal can consistently beat Rask during the series, Gallagher will receive credit.

habseyesontheprize.com Gallagher's play infront of the net will be crucial for Montreal's success

habseyesontheprize.com
Gallagher’s play infront of the net will be crucial for Montreal’s success.

PK Subban

If the Habs’ struggling power play (15.4%) is to have any success against the Bruins dominant penalty kill (90%) they will need Subban and his dangerous shot. The 6 foot defenseman was a force with the extra man during the season, racking up 23 points on the powerplay.

mtlblog.com Subban will need to return to his 2013 Norris Trophy winning form.

mtlblog.com
Subban will need to return to his 2013 Norris Trophy winning form.

Carey Price

Carey Price (4-0) will have to stand on his head for Montreal, especially because he will be going up against Finnish Superstar Tukka Rask. Price will certainly have to be on top of his game to shut down Boston’s strong forwards and their schorching powerplay.

 

olympic.ca Carey Price already has an Olympic gold medal. Can he add a Stanley Cup to his resume?

olympic.ca
Carey Price already has an Olympic gold medal. Can he add a Stanley Cup to his resume?

Key to winning 

The Canadiens will need to play a fast-paced skilled game in order to beat the Bruins. The can’t afford to get sucked in to playing Boston’s physical style.

Weakness

Montreal’s special teams will be a huge worry for Michelle Therrien. Their power play and PK struggled in the first round (15.4% and 71.4%, respectively), and the B’s have arguably the best special teams units in the league. In addition, unless Alex Galchenyuk returns from a lower body injury, the Habs will have trouble containing Boston’s forwards down low.

Like what you saw? Think another player may be more important to the Habs? Leave a comment below!

All stats are courtesy of nhl.com

Derrick Simpson, All Day Sportz

Weekend Wind Down: Top 5 Goalie Masks

Derrick Simpson, April 27

Every Sunday on All Day Sportz I write a countdown. This week I am ranking the Top 5 Goalie Masks of All-Time

 

5. Eddie Belfour

 

 

belfour

The 2011 Hockey Hall of fame inductee comes in at #5 for his signature eagle mask. The design even earned the Manitoba native the nickname “Eddie the Eagle”

Blackhawks backup goalie Antti Raanta loved the mask so much he donned a Belfour tribute mask for the Stadium Series game at Soldier field

raanta

Those pads are pretty sweet too!

 

4.Brian Hayward

other hay

Although he only played 25 games with the Sharks over 2 seasons, this mask painted by Don Straus was extremely creative as no one had seen anything like it before.

3.Jacques Plante

plante

It may not be much to look at, but Jacques Plante makes #3 for being the first NHL goalie to wear a mask during a game. During the first period of a game versus the New York Rangers on November 1st 1959 Plante took a shot to the face by Rangers forward Andy Bathgate. The Montreal goalie got stitched up and 21 minutes later he returned to play, this time wearing a mask. The Canadiens went on to win the game 3-1 and although many people didn’t agree with it Jacques continued to wear his mask and other soon followed.

2.Gilles Gratton

gilles

 

“Grattony The Loony” comes runner up for his masked based on the Leo astrological sign. Some people said that Gratton would growl at other players on the ice during games; he was well known for his crazy personality.

1.Gerry Cheevers

cheevers

Gerry Cheevers wore what was  arguably the most recognizable mask ever, and it looked like something that came straight out of a horror movie. Every time Cheevers took a puck to the mask a new stitch mark was painted on. The iconic mask now sits on the wall of his grandson’s bedroom.

In 2002 Steve Shields would pay tribute to the two-time Stanley Cup winner  with a modern Cheevers mask.

 

shields

Like what you saw? Think i left someone out? Leave a comment below!

 

Derrick Simpson, All Day Sportz