Boston Bruins @ Montreal Canadiens Preview

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Steve Babineau/Getty Images

Boston Bruins @ Montreal Canadiens Preview:

Storylines and Keys to Success of Hockey’s Best Rivalry

Gary Bettman and the NHL scheduling staff have decided that tomorrow will be the day the Montreal Canadiens (3-1-0) and the Boston Bruins (1-3-0) will meet for what will undoubtedly be a war on ice. After a full offseason plus since their last matchup (an emotional game seven which resulted in a couple of remorseless death threats…) the Canadiens and Bruins have had plenty of time to prepare for tomorrows match. This game will host several underlying story lines, and each team will have a specific game-plan set in place to ensure their respective success. This article aims to provide some insight on what fans can expect of this Thursdays matchup.

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A Closer Look At: Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers

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Authors Note: During the regular season I will be trying to look at 2 different NHL teams every week.  Typically it will be one Eastern Team and one Western Team, but that may adjust depending on developing stories in the NHL.  

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Review of the NHL’s New Camera Angles

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Note: All gifs have been compressed to be mobile friendly using gfycat.com

As I have stated in one of my previous articles, there are quite a few changes coming to how we, the fans, consume the product that is the NHL. Of those changes, the most noticeable is the five new camera angles. When watching on your TV, this opens up so many possibilities for the broadcasters to be able to give you so much more depth into the action that happens in the game. However when using the online based services, NHL GameCenter Live and Rogers GameCentre Live, you are given access to these angles at any moment that you want. Feel like creeping Carey Price all game? Go ahead. Want conclusive evidence that the ref is an idiot? Why not. Now that we have gotten through 34 games of hockey, I feel like it’s a good time to review these new camera angles.

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2014-15 Week in Review: Week 1

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Here is the big highlights of what has happened in the first 32 games of the 2014-15 NHL season for those of you who were too busy to catch everything that is going on in the league.

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Around the Arena: Home Ice Advantage

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Cover Photo by: www.aynottawa.ca

The idea of having an advantage over your opponents when playing at the place you call “home” is centuries old in sports and competition. In hockey this idea is known as “Home Ice Advantage”. However is there really such a thing as home ice advantage? This is a topic of debate among analysts because often the factors pointed to improving a team’s performance at home games are intangible ideas that can’t be measured with statistics. If this were true, how is it that in the current NHL, where parity is so prevalent between teams, do the majority of teams still have better home records than away records? The idea of home ice advantage should have been lost in an age of parity in the NHL, but it has actually grown as an idea. The Detroit Red Wings, during the 2011-2012 season, brought home ice advantage to the forefront of hockey lore with their 23 straight home game wins. This was a remarkable feat not ever accomplished even before the salary-cap era. There is one constant in the idea of home ice advantage, the arena. Here is a look at how a team’s home arena has made home ice advantage become such a prevalent part of the modern game.

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The Away Game: Goalie Respect

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Recently I’ve had the pleasure of reading a recount of a game played by Al Corey, a veteran goaltender­ from “The Ancient Netminder” blog. I highly recommend any older and newer goalies to give some of his articles a read as they offer a lot of veteran and interesting insights into netminding. In this article specifically, Al had some issues with the opposing players, and tensions grew high.

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Why Have the Leafs Sucked for 47 Years?

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Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the most financially successful team in the NHL. The Leafs are more valuable than the 5 least rich teams in the league. They are worth an estimated 1.15 billion dollars, and are the only NHL team worth more than a billion. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs have not won the Stanley Cup in 47 years. The irony of the Leafs having such monetary success with so little on the ice is staggering. An organization which virtually sells out every game and has the financial power to make itself one of the most well equipped elite franchises in all of sports. Even in a salary cap based system. A team who has just has failed to achieve hockey’s ultimate goal for so long. Why have the Leafs failed like they have? Why are they on the end of so many jokes? ESPN recently ranked them to be the worst franchise in North America of all of the major 4 sports leagues, are they?

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The Anticipation is Killing Me

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Well here we go again…

Every year around this time, hockey fans get that once in a season feeling.  The new season is upon us, and that means so many things to a hockey fan:

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California Road Trips

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Photo via Waymarking.com (http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image.aspx?f=1&guid=fd40c405-aeb4-48c2-b641-b0677c5c3b5c)

Beginning last season as a result of the 2012 NHL Lockout, the league replaced it’s 6 divisions with 4 and introduced, among other things, a new regular season schedule format that has each team play every other team at least once both at home and away. This is good for parity and gives fans of teams in other markets a chance to see their favourite team play. It can also lead to some unfortunate circumstances.

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Fantasy Hockey: The Ever Evolving Game of Fantasy Hockey

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Photo by: NHL via NHL.com
Fantasy Hockey and fantasy sports in general have come a long way in the past decade.

It used to be that only those who kept track the old fashioned way with paper and pencils could have truly customizable leagues. This left in-depth strategic fantasy hockey out of reach for many who did not have the time or the resources to keep track of stats manually.  For most, a decade ago, fantasy sports were simple and relied more on luck than strategy. The demand for more competitive experiences in which outcomes could be more directly related to hard work and strategy by the users has pushed developers of fantasy sports sites to create a digital universe of sports that can act much the same way the actual sports work. This has led to a fantasy hockey experience that can be tailored to any level desired by the users. I have seen this tailoring first hand as a commissioner for many years of a fantasy hockey league. When we first started we just played all default settings but as the years have gone on, we have felt more comfortable and needed new challenges. The immense possibilities of customization have allowed our league to change to better suit our increased skill and interest level, and new abilities of customization developed by the sites each year allow for continued room to grow. Below are some things you can customize to evolve the strategy and skill involved in your league as you and your friends look for new challenges in the future.

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