Posted on: February 5, 2009 7:41 pm

Weekend's Best Feb 6-8

After last week's Eastern Conference monopoly of the column, it's nice to see the West taking center stage on this one; however, the East does make an appearance.  Without further ado....

Friday Feb. 6

Manitoba Moose @ Providence Bruins

Our first game of the night features the top team in the North visiting the top team in the Atlantic.  Both teams sport a 1 point lead in their respective Divisions, but Manitoba holds a 14 point lead in the overall standings.  The Moose are on a 2-game win streak and has a point in 9 of their last 10.  Bruins rookie Mikko Lehtonen has 2 goals in the last 3 games.

Rockford Icehogs @ Milwaukee Admirals

Game 2 is the second placed team in the West Division playing at the top team.  Milwaukee holds an 8 point lead in the Division.  The Admirals have won 3 in a row, while the Icehogs are on a 4-game win streak.  One streak with, obviously, have to end tonight.

Fight Night- San Antonio Rampage @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

A great game if you want to see a fight, runner-up for out fight game of the weekend.  San Antonio comes in with 81 FM's, good for 2nd in the AHL, while WBS sits in 3rd with 75.  Most likely to duke it out: Rampage's Adam Keefe (19) and the Pens Paul Bissonnette (16)

Saturday Feb. 7

Milwaukee Admirals @ Chicago Wolves

The top team in the West on the road to face one of the teams tied for 3rd.  The Admirals come into the weekend leading the Wolved by 13 points.  Chicago enters on a 2-game win streak.

Fight Night- Houston Aeros @ Quad City Flames

Houston enters the weekend with 64 fights on the season, while Quad City sports 59 of their own.  Most likely to trade blows: Aeros Mitch Love (tied for 3rd in the AHL with 20) and Flames Peter Vandermeer (14).

Sunday Feb. 8

Worchester Sharks @ Providence Bruins

The top team in the Altantic hosts the number 2 team in the Division.  Providence comes into the weekend leading the Division by a single point, so this game could easily be for the Division lead.  The Sharks enter the weekend with a point in 7 out of their last 10 games.  Keep an eye on Worchester's Ryan Vesce, he's on a 15-game scoring streak.

Fight Night- Norfolk Admirals @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

This is our fight game of the weekend.  Norfolk is currently leading the league with 87 FM's, while WBS has 75 of their own.  Most likely to drop the gloves with Paul Bissonnette: Jay Rosehill (tied for 3rd with 20).


There you all go, enjoy...

Category: NHL
Posted on: January 29, 2009 6:54 pm

Weekends Best 1/30 - 2/1

Here are my weekend's best games in the AHL for Super Bowl weekend.

Friday 1/30

Hershey Bears @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

The top team in the East visiting one of the teams tied for second.  Hershey leads the Division standings by 10 points.  Bears Alexandre Giroux is leading the league with 36 goals and has a point in 22 straight games.  On the other side, the Baby Pens Mark Letestu has a goal in 5 straight.  To spice this up, this game was the runner-up  for the Fight Night Game.  Hershey comes in with 56 fights while WBS has dropped the gloves 70 times.

Portland Pirates @ Providence Bruins

The top team in the Atlantic hosting one of the teams tied for second.  Providence comes into the weekend with just a two point lead in the Division standings.  Pirates rookie Tim Kennedy has an assist in 3 out of the last 4 games, while Bruins Vladimir Sobotka has a point in 8 straight AHL games, dating back to November. 

Fight Night- Albany River Rats @ Norfolk Admirals

Albany comes in with 55 fights, while Norfold leads the league with 82.  Most likely to duke it out: Albany's Nicholas Blanchard (14) and Norfolk's Jay Rosehill (18).

Saturday 1/31

Portland Pirates @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Portland's tied for second in the Atlantic, while Bridgeport's tied for second in the East.  Bridgeport has the edge in the Conference standing, leading the Pirates by 6 points.  Tigers rookie net-minder Nathan Lawson has a .942 save percentage in the last 4 games.

Fight Night- Norfolk Admirals @ Hershey Bears

Hershey has 56 fights on the year, and is lead by Greg Amadio with 16.

Sunday 2/1

Worchester Sharks @ Providence Bruins

This is the only game on Super Bowl Sunday, and it features two of the teams with the least originality when it comes to names.  The sharks are in 4th in the Atlantic, while the Bruins sit on top of the Division.  However, they lead the Sharks by just 3 points, so standing may well change before game-time.  Sharks Ryan Vesce is on a 13-game scoring streak.


Sorry about the East Conference monopoly on the Weekend, but the West just had no good match-ups.  What we need there is Milwaukee, Manitoba, and Grand Rapids to play each other.

Category: NHL
Tags: NHL
Posted on: January 22, 2009 7:36 pm

Weekend's Best: 1/23 - 1/25

Here are the best games in the AHL this weekend.

Friday 1/23

Iowa Chops @ Rockford Icehogs

This game features the number 2 team in the West on the road at the number 3 team.  The Chops lead the 'Hogs by just one point, so this match-up is critical for Divisional positioning.

Fight Night: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins @ Hershey Bears

The Penguins come into this game with 67 Fight Majors, while the Bears are sporting 52.  The leaders are: Paul Bissonnette for WBS (15) and Greg Amadio for Hershey (16).  What makes this more juicy is that Hershey is on top of the East while WBS sits in third.

Saturday 1/24

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins @ Hartford Wolfpack

WBS is the third team in the East, on the road visiting the number 2 team in the Atlantic.  However the Baby Pens lead the 'Pack by 6 points in the Conference standings. 

Fight Night: Ditto

That's right, our game of the night is pulling double duty as our best fight match-up of the night.  Hartford counters WBS' 67 fights with 61 of their own.  The match-up to watch for is the Pens' Paul Bissonnette (15) vs the Wolfpack's Justin Soryal (16).

Sunday 1/25

No Games Scheduled


So there's my latest Weekend's Best.  Let me know if you guys are liking this.  And have a good weekend everyone.

Category: NHL
Tags: NHL
Posted on: January 17, 2009 6:56 pm

Deviation: The Rivalry

I must deviate from my typical topic due to the magnitude of a certain basketball game this afternoon.  Today was the 170th playing of The Rivalry Game: a rivalry voted 4th best in the nation, and the best small-school rivalry by ESPNU, it's the most watched D-III game of the year, every year.  I'm talking about Calvin College vs Hope College.  Separated by 30 miles and 3 games in the over-all series (86-83 Hope) going into this afternoon's games.  Both teams came into the DeVos Fieldhouse at Hope College 3-0 in the conference.  And the Calvin Knights came away with a 66-64 road win; placing them in control of the MIAA and trimming the all-time record to 2.  Another classic game in the best rivalry in all of small-school basketball.   GO KNIGHTS!!!
Posted on: January 15, 2009 11:29 pm

Weekend's Best Games 1/16 - 1/18

Friday 1/16

Hershey Bears @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers

The top team in the East Division (Hershey) visiting the number 2 team.  Bridgeport trails Hershey by 5 points in the standings.  The Bears are currently on their first 3-game losing streak of the season, and have been outscored 19-8 in that stretch.  Hershey's Alexandre Giroux is on a 12-game goal scoring streak; just 2 games behind Brett Hull's AHL record.  The Sound Tiger's Ben Walter has a goal in 3 out of the last 4 games and Mike Iggulden has a point in 6 out of 7.

Manitoba Moose @ Grand Rapids Griffins

These two teams are tied for first in the North.  GR is on a 5 game point streak (4-0-1-0) and a 9 game home point streak (7-0-2-0).  Manitoba is beginning a 5-game road trip and will play 15 of the next 19 games from the visitor's bench.  The game features two goalies who will play in the AHL All-Star game: the Griffins' Daniel Larsson is tied for the league lead with 5 shutouts (1 shy of the team record), and the Moose's Corey Schneider saw a 13-game win streak end Tuesday, but rebounded with a 34-save shutout of Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Portland Pirates @ Providence Bruins

Portland's tied for second in the Atlantic while Providence sits in the top spot.  The Pirate's Nathan Gerbe has 8 points in 6 games since returning from his first stint in the NHL.  Bruins rookie Mikko Lehtonen has a goal in 5 out of the last 6 games.

Fight Game: Peoria Riverman @ San Antonio Rampage

Team fighting majors for Friday Night's Fight Game: Peo (48) SA (62).  Eric Neilson leads the Rivermen with 13 fighting majors while Adam Keefe leads the Rampage with 17.

Saturday 1/7

Providence Bruins @ Hartford Wolf Pack

The top team in the Atlantic plays the two team tied for second back-to-back.  Friday night was Portland and tonight it's at Hartford.  The Wolf Pack's Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau is on a 5 game scoring streak and has a point in 8 out of the last 9.

Fight Game: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins @ Albany River Rats

The Saturday Night Fight features the Penguins (65 FM) visiting the River Rats (50 FM).  The Penguins are lead by Paul Bissonnette , who has dropped the glove 15 times, while Trevor Gillies leads Albany with 13 fights.

Sunday 1/18

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers

The Baby Pens are in third in the East, but trail the Tigers by just 1point; a lead that might not last until Sunday's face-off.  WBS has a point in the last 3 games (2-0-0-1) and 9 out of the last 11 (8-2-0-1).  This season, they're outscoring opponents 54-40 in the third period.

Fight Game: Albany River Rats @ Philadelphia Phantoms

These two teams are tied with 50 fighting majors as a team.  The Phantom's Matt Clackson is the AHL's most active fighter, he's dropped the gloves 20 times so far.

Posted on: January 10, 2009 7:46 pm

First attempt- Calder Cup Contestants

This mights seem a bit odd for my first attempt at a serious sports blog; but I've never been what you might call conventional, and I see no reason to start now.  So, just mid-way through the season, I'm going to make my prediction on who will be playing for the Calder Cup.  Representing the East: the Hershey Bears.  Not much of a challenge there, the Bears have the highest point total of any team in the league, and no eastern team even comes close.  They are on an absolute tear this season, and anyone who doesn't consider them a favorite to reach the Finals is drinking some spiked Kool-Aid that even I wouldn't touch.  With the easy call out of the way, let's move on to the West.  Drumroll please... and (suprise, suprise), I like the Grand Rapids Griffins.  Now that may seem like a biased call, seeing as how I live just 20 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids, but I think it's a fair pick.  The Grifs have a lot of NHL caliber talent (Darren Helm, Jimmie Howard, Justin Abdelkader, Mattias Rittola, Jonathan Ericsson, Aaron Downey, to name a few) due to their ties with the loaded Detroit Red Wings.  They have been on a hot streak and are tied for the lead in the West and second overall.  Anyway, that's all I got for now.  Feel free to tell me how much I screwed it up.
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